Becoming New Pawrents and Littermate Syndrome

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged this year that I’ve missed announcing one the biggest life events that Pie and I have experienced… becoming new pawrents to two tiny fur nuggets, Panini and Canoe!

Back in March, we made the big decision to add a dachshund puppy to our family. With our older dachshunds, Roxie and Banana, being 17 and 16 years old this year, we realize that our days with them are numbered and we wanted to add a new puppy while there would still be overlap between the puppy and older dachs. Furthermore, the granny dachshunds have become so much extra work to take care the past year that we felt like the timing was right to add a new puppy since it wouldn’t make much of a difference in our already-chaotic, senior dog-sitting daily routines.

Just a small sample of the (literal) crap we have to deal with for our senior dachshunds.

After making our big decision in March, we waited a month and half for our litter to be born and then another two months for the puppy to be old enough to leave its momma. Waiting to get our new puppy was better than the wait leading up to and waking up on Christmas morning as a kid! Our breeder was so amazing about sending almost-daily updates with photos and videos. It was such a fun process to watch our fur nugget grow up, even though they were 800 miles away!

The doggie parents of our puppy. Photo courtesy of our breeder, Autumn Breeze Dachshunds.
Our puppy is the one on the far left at the milk bar.
Weeks 1-9 of our puppy. Photos courtesy of our breeder, Autumn Breeze Dachshunds

As our date neared to pick up our puppy all the way in Missouri, I began to panic and worried how much our two senior dachshunds were going to hate an energetic and pestery little puppy. We had known from the start that our older dachshunds would likely not be too happy about our decision to add a puppy to our family because it’s just not in their personality to be playful with other dogs, but the more I watched videos of the puppies interacting with their siblings, the more it seemed sad that the puppy would be brought to our home and not have any fun dog to play with.

When I threw the crazy idea out to hubby about maybe getting a second puppy, I was shocked that he was supportive! But where would we get another puppy? The breeder we were already getting our puppy from didn’t have any other litters at the time and we certainly didn’t like the idea of starting all over again researching breeders and traveling a far distance to pick up another puppy.

When I mentioned the idea to our breeder that we were thinking of adding a second puppy to our family sooner than we expected, she happened to have an unexpected idea that she could sell us a puppy she had that was just two weeks older than our current puppy that she decided she wasn’t going to breed after all. We thought hard about the decision for one whole day and eagerly said YES to a second puppy!

In our excitement to get two new puppies, it had never crossed our minds to do research on “littermate syndrome.” This behavioral problem was something I knew had “existed” when two puppies are adopted from the same litter, but I had never stopped to think that it could also apply to two puppies of similar ages who go to a new home together. In hindsight, the concept of two puppies of similar age being really bonded and not only too stubborn and difficult to train, but also fearful of anything outside their little puppy bubble, seeemed so obvious!! Derrrp.

In one short day of this realization, my feelings of uncontainable excitement for our two new puppies turned to sheer panic, as I worried we had hastily made the biggest mistake by being too emotional about our initial puppy’s loneliness. We were scheduled to pick up our two puppies in two weeks and for every single day leading up to our puppies’ Gotcha Day, I was worried sick we had made a bad decision. And the thing was, we wouldn’t even know right away if our decision was a bad one. It could be weeks, months, or even years before we found out that our two new cute fur nuggets were heathens together.

Nonetheless, our worries were cast aside when our puppies’ Gotcha Day came on June 18th. Our two new dachshunds were so cute and precious that we couldn’t even think about what terrors they might become one day!

Hubby was sweet enough to drive the whole trip, which allowed me tons of cuddle time with our brand new bundles of joy.

The older pups came along for the trip, too, and our back seat was full of wieners in doggie booster seats (Snoozer Dog Beds). The puppies actually slept the entire 12-hour drive home and only woke up a few times to play with each other.

We planned ahead for the drive home and purchased a fold-up playpen and a reusable pee pad before the trip, so we wouldn’t have to put our partially-vaccinated puppies on the grass at the rest stops.

We chose the name Panini for the female black dapple that we had first signed up for, which was actually a name thought up by a dear friend of mine. I liked it because it was a fun name that seemed to go with my other dachshund’s name, Banana. For our second puppy, a female cream brindle, we chose the name Canoe. I’ll confess that this name was actually a random and fun name hubby and I chose very early on in our relationship for what we would name our first child (boy or girl!) when we had one… but of course, everyone knows by now that we decided not to have kids after all.

We have now had our two new dachshund puppies for almost half a year and they are an absolute delight… although, our two senior dachshunds would strongly disagree! Panini has a very sweet and snuggly personality, whereas Canoe is SUCH a nut and so smart! They both make us smile and we couldn’t be more happy with our decision to get them.

As far as littermate syndrome, we have yet to notice anything to be concerned of and it almost makes me wonder if it’s just an excuse for new pawrents that don’t realize that new puppies are obviously going to be a lot of work, stubborn, and high energy, and you have to set your expectations accordingly. I hate to jinx it, but I personally think that getting two new puppies at once has actually been beneficial in our situation with a few things, such as potty training, having the puppies entertain each other, and being able to leave the puppies alone together. So far, they really enjoy the company of each other.

Most of all, I have really enjoyed having so many wiener dogs at once that I had to dub them the Sausage Squad! Just look how cute this crew is!!! I just might have to always keep this number of dachshunds on deck. ;)

“Then and now” of Canoe and Panini at 2 months old (June) and 5 months old (September).
“Then and now” of how the puppies’ coats have changed from June to October. The breeder had told us to expect Panini’s black spots to fill out, whereas Canoe would get lighter, and she was right!

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