Dearest Antonio (and all others who are about to be owned by an Irish Wolfhound Puppy),
There are lots of sites on the Internet, lots of books and specialty magazines to read, and lots of
experienced fanciers of the breed, all of which will give you advice as to how to care for the
lovely new puppy who has already taken over your heart and is about to take over your life.
What we at the Hounds of Heaven would like to convey to you is our sense as to how to nurture
the relationship between the two of you, especially in the early weeks, as that will be the
template for the relationship in the days to follow.
There is such anticipation and excitement and, yes, anxiety, when it becomes time to start your
new lives together. There is so much information as to what to do and what not to do. While it
is very important to pay attention to the good factual advice as to the care and feeding of your
wolfhound puppy, don't get so wrapped up in trying to do all that so absolutely right that you
have not time or energy left to establish the mutual relationship between the two of you. The
more time the two of you can spend together in the early days, the more you will come to deeply
know each other, and to mutually accommodate to one another.
While it is fun to have a new little four-footed creature in our lives, it is also a lot of work and a
bit overwhelming at times. The more you learn to do things together, even though it requires re-thinking routines and takes more time, the faster you will learn to adapt to one another. If you
wait until the puppy is older, you will miss the time when the puppy is the most malleable and
teachable. Each time we have gotten a new wolfhound puppy, we have increasingly given over
as much of our lives as we can to establishing the bond between the puppy and all of us, two and
four footed. While that is certainly disruptive, remember that this time is finite and the end
result is SO positive. Furthermore, these little creatures change so quickly, that if you don't
attune to them as much as possible, you will miss the charm of each of the stages they are
passing through. How many of us parents of grown two-footed creatures fervently wish that we
had only rearranged our priorities so that we could have better attuned to our children as they
were developing and therefore would have received much more of the joy and wonder of being
in relationship with a growing child?
We have brought home each of our Irish Wolfhound puppies on a weekend. The next Monday
(two to three days later), the puppy has come to work with us along with all of our other dogs.
All of our dogs sleep in the same room with us (on their own futon mattresses on the floor), and
eat in the dining room/kitchen with us. This at first leads to interrupted sleep, chaos during
mealtimes, and such oddities as doing psychotherapy while sitting on the floor cuddling with a
little one. But only for a very short period of time! Within one week of such intensive
togetherness, the puppy is already beginning to adapt to our schedules and routines as we are
beginning to adapt to the personality and needs of the puppy. Within two weeks things have
begun to settle down remarkably, and by the end of the first month the relationships are running
along almost seamlessly. Of course, we all have to adapt and re-adapt and re-adapt as each of
the dogs goes through different stages with differing needs, but the pattern has been set right
from the beginning that we all can do that as a team with mutual love and respect for each other.
While not everyone will be able to take their dogs to work with them as we do, everyone can re-arrange their lives for a while so that they can spend as much time with the puppy as possible.
It is our belief is that these lovely creatures are a very precious gift to human beings, sent to
allow us to experience in a profound way what it can be like to give and receive ever-growing
amounts of unconditional love. If we are willing, and will take the time to nurture loving,
mutual relationships, our Irish Wolfhounds can help us to heal the broken parts of our spirits and
blow our hearts wide open to receive much more of the goodness of life. How much, or how
little of that happens is in OUR hands, because they arrive in our lives ready to give their hearts
to us without reserve.
We share in your joy of beginning your relationship with your hearthound. Our beloved Hounds
of Heaven continue to bring us healing and happiness beyond description.
Deborah and Bill and Fionna and Tulia and Keegan and Carina and Becka
Hounds of Heaven