Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tell me again why I wanted a puppy

I remember when I had newborn babies--I was tired all the time. Well, a nine-week-old puppy is like a newborn baby, only I'm forty years older and, yes, I'm tired all the time. Waking up is hard.
First of all, you simply can't train a puppy this young. For certain things,  you can train yourself--like taking her outside every hour. But there are complications there: I cannot take her in the front yard until she's four months old and has had her final parvo shots. Parvo is rampant this year, maybe because of heat and drought, so I'm doing all the protective things--spraying my shoes after going to a pet store, etc. A friend came to pick me  up for lunch one day and before I invited him in I asked, "Have you been to a public park? A dog park?" He looked at me solemnly and said, "Never in my life."
I can take her out in the back yard because my dog is innoculated and it's been long enough since I had the stray lab back there. That works really well--she poops and pees, as long as Scooby isn't out there. If he is, she gets so interested in him she forgets what she went out there for. And I can't take her at night--I'd lose a black puppy in the dark space on the side of my house. One night I tried a leash. I really went prepared for this--leash, flashlight, squeaky toy to which she will come. But she's so little, she just pulled her head out of her collar. There went that experiment.
I have heard of something called Puplight--a collar that has a bright light on the front, slanted so that it doesn't bother either pup or owner but still throws a good bit of light. I think I'll get one--but it's too soon.
Sophie was supposedly trained to a litter box filled with feline pine. She acts like she never saw it, never heard of it, hasn't a clue what to do with it. I did put those puppy pads down today, and I've had just a bit of luck with those. That may get better. Meantime I'm pulling up rugs in the places where she stays most.
A puppy playpen was recommended, so I bought one--not cheap. She barked and yelped and hated it for four and a half days and then discovered how to climb out. I did figure out a neat way to keep her in the kitchen today, using sections of the playpen, but only if I'm in there cooking. And she will stay happily in the bathroom while I shower, put on make-up, etc. But she definitely does not want to be out of human company.
I hate to crate her all the time--and she's too young really to understand that a crate is her nest. She does wet in it occasionally. But that's where I leave her when I go out--and her yelps follow me down the driveway.
Meantime Scooby, my Aussie, is scared of her and almost refuses to come in the house, even in this heat; the cat hates her. One thing Sophie has learned--she ducks when she sees the cat.
Jordan and Jacob have come many afternoons to play with both dogs, and they are a godsend. But I spend much of my time juggling animals, feeding, cleaning up messes, etc. On a good note, I've lost two pounds. Another good note: Jacob seems to have bonded with Scooby. I expected him to be friends with the pup, but she's too frenetic for him.
I know Sophie will turn into a good dog--she understands "NO" and "STAY" already and she's affectionate and loves human company, but there's a lot of training ahead of us. I think I'll feel better when she's four months, I can begin real training, and I can take her in the front yard.
Meantime, understand why I'm tired?
I'm happy to add a PS: Sophie had a visitor tonight--a ten-year-old girl who played with her all evening while my class met. They both had a good time, and tonight I have one tired placid pup. The girl's mom took a cute picture of Sami holding Sophie, but Sophie is so black all she looks like is a bundle of black--no darting eyes, cute face, etc.

No comments: