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Hi all,

I the local rescue organization just brought my new 9 week old baby girl to me last night.  I did as much research as I could the two days between when they informed me that I could have her and when I got her, buying an (adult sized) crate, a bed, a few different brands of "premium" foods (chicken soup for large puppies and canidae full life), a couple toys (a puppy kong and a little stuffed sheep with a squeaker in it), and various and sundry other stuff.

The meeting process went very well, she took to me right away.  She even peed in the back yard for me within the first 15 minutes (I probably didn't praise her lavishly enough for that, and didn't have a treat on me, lesson learned.)

She is obviously accustomed to crating because it wasn't hard to get her to go in to hers (albeit with a treat bribe each time, but she's not all that tentative.)  I fed her about 1.5 cups at about 8pm, which in retrospect was probably too late at night.

The first big problem I had last night was that she would wake up whining every hour from about 11pm (when I went to bed, she was sleeping on my lap til then) to about 3:30 am.  I sometimes I could talk her down by just putting my hand by the crate and talking quietly to her, but other times she wouldn't stop, so I took her out to go potty, though she didn't need to go.  

This morning I got up at 6 and took her outside and she once again was very good at potty.  I then fed and watered her and put her back in the crate while I got ready for work and she went absolutely bananas, alternatively barking and whining loud enough for me to hear it in the shower.  She calmed right down when I came back into sight.  I took her out again and she went potty again, but wouldn't make a pile and I eventually ran out of time and had to crate her and go to work.

About 2.5 hours later I came back to check on her and of course she had messed her crate, and to make matters worse had tried to clean it up which ended with poo smeared into her bedding and flung all around the room (and all in the caging as well, it took me about 20 minutes to get most of it and replace the bedding with a clean towel while it was washed.)  I figure this was probably my fault because I fed her too late at night.  I took her out and then hung with her for about 10 more minutes and came back to work, then went back another 2.5 hours later and she was fine this time, and I'm going to go back again here in a couple minutes.

I guess the questions I have are:

1) What can I do to exercise her?  She's too young to chase/fetch anything and she doesn't really seem to be running around on her own.  I did carry her 4 blocks to the park last night and she walked most of the way back.  Is there anything else I can do?

2) What times are good to feed a 9 week old pup on a 2 feedings/day schedule?

3) Can anyone recommend toys a young pup will play with?  She didn't manage to get any peanut butter out of the puppy kong I left her and she hasn't figured out how to squeak the squeaker yet, so she gets bored of that really fast if I'm not around to squeak it for her.  I'm feeling guilty about leaving her home alone on the first day I've owned her but I didn't really have a choice (and won't the next two days either)

4) How small do I need to divide her cage off?  She's got access to about about 4/7 of it right now, up from about 3/4 when I left this morning.  I dont' know if she messed her crate because she had too much space or if she just absolutely couldn't hold it anymore because I fed her too late at night and she didn't manage to go before I left.

Thanks for any help, I'll post pictures of her after work.
 
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