Thursday, April 15, 2010

Puppy Cuts and Pee Pads

Today my puppy Gunner got his first official "grooming". He did well at the little dog salon, actually. I expected him to be nipping at the groomer, but he didn't, for the most part. Like taking your child for his first haircut, I was nervous about handing over my puppy to a stranger to have his hair cut. He needed it, as yesterday's walk in 80 degree weather indicated. Still was hard for me to get it done.

And I have to say, I was fine until he did his face. One of the features that is so adorable on Gunner is the spray of fur/whiskers around his nose, like a halo. The groomer trimmed back so much of that fur on the top of his nose that the effect was to give him somewhat of a mustache. NOT the look I wanted. I couldn't see him when he was trimming that part. So when I got home I figured Gunner was already used to being handled, so I did a bit more trimming myself of the mustache to even things out a little more. He looks more like himself, and his fur grows very fast, so I'm sure he'll be shaggy again in no time. Still, I do miss the face fur halo. He's asleep now, so I'm actually thinking about trimming a bit more as he naps....

I find myself wanting to take him everywhere with me, reluctant to leave him at home alone. He screeches for a few minutes when I do have to leave him in his cage. I know he is fine and in his "home", but it's hard to hear the crying, nonetheless. It effects my daughter even more. So Gunner does ride along in the car with me when I have "drive through" types of tasks like the bank and post office, dry cleaners, etc. And when I have to go to the pet store he just goes right in the cart (he is a Shih-Poo) and stands up on the edge, watching everything. Funny!

The thing that is not going as easily is potty training. Oh, he is find with the pee pads. Does his business on the pads consistently, actually. He's learning to walk on a leash, aand does realize it is acceptable to pee outdoors. Just doesn't have the poop hang of it outdoors quite yet. So I'll go for a long walk and the second he is in the door he's straight to the puppy pad to poop. Augh. Not big stuff (tootsie rolls), but not exactly wonderful to pick up and with some great big smell, for sure. (He can clear a room!) Just part of having a puppy I know. It seems I'm the only one doing around here doing either the training OR the picking up. Par for the course I suppose. He's my dog.

I am wondering how to keep him from trying to eat/chew every little thing he spots on the grass or sidewalks outdoors. He seems particularly enamored of grass clumps on the lawn (from the mower). I have to stop all the time to fish something out of his mouth. Sticks, grass clumps, rocks, you name it. He ate a pine cone while up north and yaked it back up. And he's been chewing on my sheffelera tree in the dining room that I've had for 20 years. It doesn't seem to hurt him at least. I'm wondering how long this mouthy stage will last.

It's a lot of work having a pet, particularly a puppy. I hesitated in beginning again with a new dog after Jake (our lab) died. But I'm really happy that I took the plunge again. He's adorable, very attached to me and vice versa in the two months he's been here. So I am looking forward to many many years of fun with my new little one. :)

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