Hello everyone! Recently I got the chance to host my puppy niece for the second time this year at our “Camp Cuddles” retreat! Here’s a little recap at all the fun we got up to!
So in case you don’t know, I have one beautiful puppy niece, Arya the Chihuahua! My sister adopted her last year and everyone instantly fell in love with her as she’s the sweetest little dog ever! Arya was found as a stray and went through a few shelters before arriving at one in Chicago where my sister adopted her. We had our first Camp Cuddles, which is basically me making up a fun term for when I puppy sit, back in June/July and so this time it was deemed Camp Cuddles 2.0!
I had originally thought maybe changing up the theme and floated around Snuggle Spa for a peaceful, spa themed retreat, or a back to school kind of thing but my mom didn’t like Snuggle Spa because she said it didn’t sound as cute as Camp Cuddles and I felt back to school was sort of insensitive as at the time schools around the country were debating if they were going to open or go virtual due to the pandemic. So Camp Cuddles 2.0 was born!
This time the reason for puppy sitting was that my sister and her roomies were moving, and they were worried about the dogs they have being in the way. So they asked if I could take Arya and I said ABSOLUTELY I CAN, because that’s the only answer. Plus I was missing her so much after the original Camp Cuddles! She was supposed to be here a month but it ended up being just under three weeks, which was probably for the best because my sister and puppy niece missed each other so much. Here’s a bit of what we got up to!
Typical Day at Camp Cuddles
So a typical day started around 6:30am when we’d wake up and I’d check my phone for a bit while Arya cuddled and napped next to me. She would pretty much stare at me until I woke up so she could come and cuddle which was a little weird but she’s so cute I couldn’t be mad. Then she’d nap with her grandma (my mom) while I went out to water the garden. She didn’t like having to follow me around but she also didn’t like not being able to come with me so we found napping was the best solution for her.
Once I was done with that I’d give Arya breakfast while my mom and I had our morning coffee. Then it was time for morning walkies! These were typically shorter walks because it was pretty hot out. After that we’d just hang out, play, take more naps, and do other random stuff. I would try to do stuff like blog, job hunt, or do something productive in the mornings but Arya would get annoyed if we were in my home office as she hates that room (no chance for cuddles and I think the typing woke her up often so it bothered her). Eventually, as she got more independent and learned it was okay to go to another room if she wanted, she would actually ditch me and climb up onto my bed so she could nap in peace. If I did have to go somewhere for groceries or something then I’d just leave her in my sister’s old room just to have her in one place (she doesn’t have accidents but I figured it was easier to check in one room than the entire house) but I didn’t leave often so she wouldn’t be alone.
If she was really bored then I’d hang out with her outside for a bit. I’d either walk her to a nearby park to sit outside for awhile or sit in our yard with her. The park wasn’t always great because there would be really loud kids yelling at each other and so Arya didn’t enjoy it. Sometimes the yard wasn’t great either because the annoying sketchy neighbors like to let their dogs out off leash and of course the dogs don’t understand that they have to stay on their yard and not bark at Arya. Plus, their dogs had horrible recall so they’d start walking towards Arya while barking (or even just us walking outside) and not listen to the owners calling them back. But we’d just make the best of it!
Eventually we’d have dinner around 5 or so, then we’d go out for a longer evening walkies when it was cooler! After evening walkies, Arya would eat her dinner (I’d give it to her when we were eating but she usually wasn’t hungry until after dinner) and then she’d usually get some carrots. After that she’d have a bit of zoomies around the house and then settle down until bedtime!
Once it was bedtime she’d ignore me when I would tell her to go to her bed (she preferred my portion of the bed with the fuzzy blanket over her own bed on top of my bed in the corner with her own fuzzy blanket). Eventually she would move though and then she’d sleep until she woke up to stare at me the next morning!
One of the more eventful moments over Camp Cuddles 2.0 was a pretty bad thunderstorm we had one night. Arya woke me up by coming to cuddle at around 3am one night and I was confused because she normally stayed in her bed just fine. I moved her back onto her bed and tried to go back to sleep but then shortly after (around 3:30am) I realized it was starting to storm. Poor thing must have realized what was happening, got scared, came to cuddle, only to get turned away! Once it started to thunder she got out of bed again and I let her cuddle that time. I didn’t get much sleep after that though because I was so paranoid I was going to accidentally kick her or something!
Adventures on Walkies
We’d have some adventures while out on walkies too! Not all fun though. For one, there’s one neighbor down the street that has a really poorly trained Yorkie. The dog is maybe only five pounds or so but it will escape constantly and run after anyone walking by barking. It would constantly come after Arya! Even when it’s leashed it would still bark at her and the owner doesn’t care. In fact, one day we were each walking on opposite sides of the street but in the same direction. I was trying to hurry because we were ahead anyway but the lady kept walking faster to try to keep up with us trying to have a conversation with my mom (who doesn’t understand to just ignore people to end a conversation). Arya realized the dog was getting closer and she freaked out so much I had to pick her up (which she hates) to calm her. We finally got away when we turned the corner but it was so frustrating!
One day while we were out, Arya got curious about the playground at the park. We thought it’d be fun to let her try out the swing! It was fun for us but she was very unsure about it. (Photo below.) Also, there really should be little doggie playgrounds honestly.
While we were out, we noticed there were lots of bees. My main goal became to keep her from getting stung by a bee. Luckily Arya seemed on board with that idea too as she was scared of the bees. I think the buzzing freaked her out!
We still had a bit of Snuggle Spa at Camp Cuddles! I had asked my sister to pack Arya’s Christmas robe as it was the closest she had to a spa robe so I put that on Arya. I also played calming music and gave her a doggie massage! She didn’t really like the paw massage and didn’t care to have her tail or ears massaged but she loved the hip and shoulder massage, behind the ears massage, and belly rubs! I think she liked the Snuggle Spa overall, and she actually got annoyed when I tried to move on from the hip massage so I had to massage her hips extra long LOL!
The last day that she was at Camp Cuddles was our beach walkies day! I’d wanted to take her to a nearby beach so she could meet experience something new. She LOVED it! She isn’t a fan of water so she didn’t go near the lake, but she loved walking on the sand, and then walking the little trails in the park. We had a great time that morning and she didn’t want to leave! Now, technically she’s not supposed to be on the beach itself, as it’s a no dog area but we were there super early to make sure we didn’t bother anyone just so she could see what it was like and then left the beach quickly to get back on the trails where she was allowed. It was a success!
So that’s Camp Cuddles 2.0! While I miss her lots, I am so happy she’s back home with my sister because those two really did miss each other so much. I’m not sure when the next Camp Cuddles will be, but it was so fun while it was happening! Feel free to leave ideas for the next one though!
Thanks for reading!
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