Friday, March 19, 2010

Pupipies and Patience

Well it has been some two months since my last post. Much has happened in my life these last sixty days, including a new puppy, Gunner, who is a Shih Tzu-Toy Poodle mix. He is adorable and exasperating, all at once. Playful and oddly feral, as all newborns are, I suppose, regardless of species.

It's taken about 15 months to dive back into the doggy pool after the loss of my gentle (gigantic) lab, Jake. I'd actually forgotten this puppy stage, and maybe never actually have gone through it quite like this before either. Neither of the two previous dogs I have owned have been this small, for one. At just nine weeks when he was adopted, Gunner was a newborn in every sense, including making endearing suckling noises when he sleeps. (Awwwww.) When my lab or the Siberian Husky (Crystal) before him first came home they were more like 12 to 16 weeks of age. Both of these dogs were fully able to be walked on leashes right away. Gunner is just now becoming used to and big enough (at now five and a half pounds) to walk on a loose leash. He will be 3 months old on the 20th.

So instead of walking, we have been training to what has affectionately become known around here as "the pee pad". Surprisingly, he took pretty quickly to this concept, minus the occasional spite pee he makes when he's mad at me. He has the hang of going No. 2 there as well, though sometimes manages only to get the front paws on the actual pad. (Ewww.) The messes aren't huge though, so it has been manageable. Honestly it's easier with the pad then getting dressed myself in the wee hours of the morning to walk and walk and walk and wait until he becomes "ready" to do his business.

What is more frustrating is the chewing. My husband remembers the lab, Jake chewing everything in site, and I guess I vaguely recall that. This little guy has a fondness for shoes. I catch him dragging my winter boots that are as big as he is by the tongue of the boot through my family room to flop down in a heap with his treasure at the end of the task. Of course, I take it awa to the boot tray in the back hallway, he following me and dragging it right back again. This will go on for several attempts until some other footwear or toy distracts him. What I do not like is when he bites at my fingers. Those little baby teeth are pointy! I am not sure how to break him of the nipping/biting thing just yet.

Although having a pet is time consuming, sometimes smelly and frustrating, it is a marvel how quickly they adapt to family life. I just am loving seeing that little face look at me with such love and trust and loyalty. ONLY with a dog is there this kind of experience. Right now my little rump roast is asleep at my feet, content to crash anywhyere, as long as I am nearby. How wonderful that another being is that devoted to being near me! He is my new treasure.

I will have to be patient while he learns and grows, to wipe up the messes and repair damages. It's why I waited in a way, to adopt a new puppy. In my selfishness I didn't want to get up earlier in the morning to attend to another being, or have to do the cleanup and maintenance necessary either. The decision and commitment that it takes to enter into the adoption is a little daunting. Once past the cuteness factor, the poop literally hits the fan and reality of what you've done settles in. I can say now it's worth it, because just looking a that face is reward enough. I'm a mom again!

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