Saint Spot Syndrome & Puppy Development


Maybe the baby-dog “channels” Saint Spot…to do you both honor. Image Copr. Dave Garber/Flickr

I notice a lot of increased interest lately in “new puppy” information including puppy development. It must be all the cute lil’ guys that arrived in homes this past spring and summer. There’s nothing cuter than a baby dog (or baby anything, really!), and I am totally convinced that puppies are made that way so we’ll forgive them all the silly-crazy-stoopid-destructiveness that comes with them.

Are you familiar with Saint Spot Syndrome? Well…probably not because I just made that up. 🙂 Basically, Saint Spot Syndrome refers to comparing the new clueless cute puppy to that heart-dog that may still share your heart and home, or maybe awaits you across the mystical Rainbow Bridge. Any little pup will suffer mightily in the comparison.

Remember that you spent many years together with the other canine, and likely had rough spots together, too. But time churns the memory cream until the sweetest butter remains and the sour stuff drains away–so give the newcomer a break. Heck, maybe Saint Spot sent him/her to you. Among trainers there’s a saying that we always get the dog that we NEED at that moment in time.

I like that notion.

Here’s some hope for getting past some of the puppy-icity angst. You can learn what to expect in this article about puppy development birth to 12 weeks and then puppy development 10 weeks to adult.

So do you have a young-ish canine giving you fits? How do you reconcile the differences between New Boy and your beloved’s memory? Or does it matter to you?

I want to welcome my newest affiliate to the blog, too–find fun pet-themed gifts for yourself and your pets at the ASPCA Store!

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Saint Spot Syndrome & Puppy Development — 7 Comments

  1. Um, yes. You never forget the older dog. Which is unfair to the new puppy.

    Thing is you have to remember what the older dog was like as a puppy too. I love Beagles. I really do.

    But the little monsters will chew on ANYTHING. This includes the wooded moldings on the wall, wooden chairs, shoes, and underwear.

    But I love them.


  2. Don’t know if I showed you this before. The Poet Laureate of Cobalt, my mother-in-law, wrote it for Sammy after he died. She was one of his favorite people, since she used to treat him all the time.


    Sam was a beagle as handsome
    as a beagle dog could be,
    And every time he looked at me I fell
    in love completely.
    Those great big brown eyes used to say
    “I’m dumb I know I am,
    But love me anyway.”
    His wagging tail and those long ears on
    my heart did always pray,
    He often got underfoot and his long ears
    would flop about
    He seemed to say when he looked around
    “I am stupid, no doubt,
    But love me anyway.”
    “I know I could have done better when
    on my leash, but Oh
    I tried my very best but I truly
    and really know,
    I am a silly clumsy beagle dog,
    and most of the big sofa I used to
    love to hog
    but love me anyway.”
    “I know I wanted to go out at
    the strangest hours
    and I’d back away from the doors if
    there were rainy showers
    So I know I am odd
    But love me anyway.
    “ I must have caused you to have a lot of
    hurt and pain
    When I escaped and died but I know
    we will all meet again.
    Because you loved me anyway.”
    I am sorry, love Sam.

  3. We were lucky, because we found a puppy with Riley’s soul a few weeks after she passed away. We spent the first few months just amazed that he reminded us so much of her, but they looked nothing alike But Blue is Blue. It’s like he gave us everything we needed to accept Riley’s passing while giving us an amazing dog that walked into our home and took a spot like he’s always been here. I always say that Riley saved a place for him and we’ll always be thankful to her for that.

    Now when it comes to adopting a fourth dog, I have trouble with that, because we have 3 special dogs already 🙂

    • I love this! A friend of mine has had cats return to her in this way. Sometimes it’s as though the departed pet “chooses” the next one for us. At least I’d like to think so.

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