Soleil is my 6 year old cousin from Maryland. We recently took a road trip in a rented RV to South Carolina to visit my family and introduce them to our brand new member of the family: a golden doodle puppy named Soji.
Soji is short for Sojourner. You may recognize the name from the strong abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, who represents a lot of what me and my family believe in. Did you know that Sojourner is also another way to say a person who travels or goes on journeys? This is also very fitting because we took a road trip to go get her. And Soji, we thought, is such a cute nickname to communicate that! 🙂
My cousin Samantha, who has helped us take care of the puppy, is a 12 year old from South Carolina and joined in the fun! We had great time walking her around the neighborhood.
On the road, Soleil and I learned a lot about puppies and their health that you may not know!
Me and Samantha with Soji
“They like to sleep a lot because they are babies.” -Soleil. Very true. We learned this with our puppy quickly because we were worried how tired Soji was and how much she was sleeping. But as we learned from Soji, and also the Halifax Humane Society says, a puppy should sleep somewhere from 16 to 20 hours a day.
“Sometimes, overnight, they will whine- a little annoying!” -Soleil. Our dog trainer, who gave us advice before we left on our road trip to pick up Soji, was very helpful in teaching us how not to encourage her to whine or howl at night, which is perfectly normal for a young puppy. We have to be patient and use a lot of positive reinforcement when the puppy is quiet to get it to calm down.
“Dogs are good and I like to hold them.” – Soleil. Many dogs have different personalities and ways they act –just like people! We are lucky because Soji loves to be held and is very calm when kids are playing with her. Not all dogs are this way, and it is important to respect their boundaries.
Minds at work on the blog post!
4. “They are very gentle.” -Soleil. One of the best things about puppies is that they are figuring out their strength too so they are kind and sweet for kids, especially breeds mixed with golden retriever like Soji. Big dogs don’t usually mean to hurt, but they may not know their own strength when playing with a little kid.
5. “They like to nibble a little” – Soleil. They are curious and happy to search around places just like kids! And a lot of the way that they explore is by nibbling on everything: grass, dirt, even hands! It’s important to make a distinction between biting and licking and discourage them from chewing on your hands or your shoes, as stated by the American Kennel Club.
Nana Sippie and Soji after a puppy fashion show.
6. “They wear a furry jacket to keep them nice and warm.” -Soleil. A great way to put it, Soleil! And that’s why it’s important to keep them nice and cool because their fur often makes their temperature higher. If you’re hot, they are definitely hot! Don’t leave them in the car, especially since they really can’t regulate their own heat, also confirmed by the American Kennel Club.
7. “Most of all, I like little puppies because they don’t bark.” -Soleil. Yes, they do whine but they are usually very quiet and observant, even when playing!
Soji strutting in her prettiest tutu.
8. “They get a little shy just like us, and they like to stay with their mom.” -Soleil. We got Soji when she was about 8 weeks old because it is recommended that they not be separated from their mom before then, like they do at puppy mills. If you want to read more about what a puppy mill is, I recommend this article by the Humane Society.
Soji’s first bath, with Me (Right), my cousin Samantha (Left), and Soleil brushing her
9. “They drink milk to get healthy and strong.” -Soleil. They are just like people in that way! Both humans and dogs drink milk from their mothers because they are mammals, which basically means that they are animals that give live birth and have fur! Still confused? Go read my post here about mammals and their features, especially their bellybuttons.
10. “Every time they go in circles, they have to pee and poop.” -Soleil. Learning about pups and their behavior, especially before they go to the bathroom, is very important! Want to read more about animal poop? Look at this post.