Bringing Home Brandi Lou


We recently added a new puppy to our home. Believe it or not, it was my idea. I thought it would be a nice reward for my daughter who has been a trooper through some significant life events.

My daughter has asked for a puppy for many years, but I never thought it was the right time. Besides, we already have a sweet golden doodle named Sammy! Well, I decided it would be a wonderful surprise to present her with her own puppy. Let me share that adventure with you!

new dog

First, let me tell you how we surprised her. We concocted an elaborate story to get her to choose a puppy. We decided to tell her that her Aunt Tracy was getting a puppy but wanted her to pick it out. This did not seem out of character for my daughter, who is often a consultant to her aunt. We eventually took her over to see the puppy after spending weeks talking about her. As she was playing with the puppy we held up a sign and brought her attention to it. It took a minute for her to comprehend that the puppy was hers!  Her face was priceless. I felt like the best Mom ever!

Well, that feeling quickly vanished when Brandi Lou, also known as the squawker, arrived at our home. Prior to her arrival, we bought all the necessities. Our list included: puppy training pads, toys, playpen, crate, carrier, and puppy bows. She is a teacup yorkie and only weighed .9 ounces.

I completely underestimated the needs of a tiny 9-ounce puppy. The first weekend we hardly slept. She cried, she pooped, and she passed out. Good grief!  By Monday I was ready to scream!!  We installed a video camera over the puppy playpen to monitor her, we bought her a blender and created just the right blend of goat’s milk, dog food, and sugar water. We wrote recipes down, we tracked her eating, and we used droppers and syringes to ensure she was fed. We had a newborn!

 I was frustrated and angry, and my daughter immediately learned about responsibility, when she had to nurse Brandi Lou back from a hyperglycemic reaction.  I think it was at that moment she understood the enormous responsibility it is to be a puppy mom. I wish I could have shielded her from that moment, but I think it turned out okay because she is a pretty intense puppy mom! 

puppy plus our first dog

We are now a few months into this new life with two dogs. Brandi now weighs two pounds and is a feisty ball of energy. We are settling into a nice groove, but there are some tips I will share with you about bringing home a tiny puppy.

  1. If your puppy is small or prone to hyperglycemic reactions, we found goats milk was amazing. We fed her a bit before each meal and mixed it in with her food. It is a complete meal and provides those nutrients puppy’s needs.
  2. The puppy playpen was the best purchase I made and is the perfect size.
  3. Having a video camera saved the puppy’s life. I had to dash home when I saw her climbing on top of her crate. Sadly, she jumped off and sprained her paw. Luckily, she was fine in a few days.
  4. Old hand towels are perfect for lining their sleeping corner.
  5. If you have an older dog, provide lots of treats if they tolerate the new puppy. Hold the new puppy and pet the older dog. Again, give lots of treats. We are a few months into this and I am always surprised to see Sammy caring for Brandi Lou. He will go over to her playpen to check on her, and he always puts food down on the floor for her to eat with him. You have to really know your dog and trust that he has the right temperament for a tiny dog with a squeaky bark.
  6. Enlist the help of a trainer. Even though the accidents are tiny, they are frequent and after stepping in miniature mountains of poop, I called in an expert. Just check their credentials and make sure they are accustomed to tiny dogs.

Bringing Brandi Lou home has been one of the hardest things we have ever done, after bringing home Sammy. However, the love she gives my daughter and the gentle kitten-like licks she covers us in more than make up for it!

**Currently, Memphis Animal Services is adopting pets by appointment only. If you were already thinking of adopting a pet, please consider doing it during this crisis.