Another post in my continuing “Days of Yore” series, catching up on long-overdue photos of Truman’s final days as a puppy-in-training….
July 13, 2008 — What Up, G?
When I was out grocery shopping in my neighborhood one day, I had the good fortune to meet a family with a working service dog. Because I recognized the dog’s jacket (from another school), I introduced myself as a puppy raiser for GDA and we struck up a conversation. To make a long story short, I ended up house-and-dogsitting for them a few times while they went out of town on not-so-dog-friendly trips.
I enjoyed having a house and yard to myself for a few days, and Truman was ecstatic (as always) to be with another dog. Now, this other dog (we’ll call her “G”) is no spring chicken, and is not used to having to deal with an exuberant young four-legged punk, but she really held her own! When she felt like playing, we had a fine few minutes of racing around and play-bowing and barking and toy-stealing. Then when she was done, she was done, and would let him know.
G liked Truman’s squeaky octopus so much, we decided she should keep it.
Bronx has returned! We’ve been hosting the now ten-month-old Dog Wonder since Wednesday night. As of this writing — Monday, lunch time — he’s finally motionless during daylight hours. He and Truman have been playing pretty hard. Fortunately, Roo went to work with my husband today so I could actually get things done around here instead of spending my day breaking up the crazy.
Bronx had “The Big Snip” about a week ago. The good news is, it’s much easier to control a male dog if they’re neutered early on like this, because the procedure can prevent the formation of difficult-to-break behaviors like territory marking, etc. The bad news is, I’m pretty sure they gave Bronx a Red Bull transfusion at the same time. My husband suspects the vet may have mistakenly added a second pair instead of removing the first.
It has been HumpFest 2010 around here. (I’m sure that’ll bring some interesting Web traffic.)
Fortunately, Truman got tired of the abuse yesterday and decided to stop the dominance displays himself instead of waiting for his exhausted humans to pull the little black dog off his back. Way to take the initiative, boy!
In other respects, it’s been pretty entertaining to watch them play and wrestle. Bronx is trying a new “snowplow” technique, where he shoves his nose or entire head under the standing Truman in an attempt to — flip him, maybe? Who knows? When that proves impossible, he bites Truman’s leg. There’s been a fair amount of snorting and teeth-rattling too, and a noise that sounds remarkably like a hiss. Maybe he’s part snake. He’s quick enough.
He hasn’t moved since I started writing this. I think I’ll go check his pulse.
Bronx waited until the last couple of days with us to put on his NaughtyPants. Seriously, he is such a good and sweet little dog…but when he decides to do something against the law, he goes into stealth mode and does it quickly and quietly. Now, I am a vigilant puppy raiser, but this one flew under my radar, and he did it repeatedly.
A Bronx Q&A from the last few days:
Jenny: “What is my shoe doing off the shoe rack? And where is the other one?”
Bronx: “Check the living room, where you were just two minutes ago. It tastes like Disneyland.”
Jenny: “Is that an ink pen sticking out of both sides of your mouth?”
Jenny: “Where did my hair tie go? I could have sworn I had it this morning….”
Bronx: “You’ll see it again. Probably just after dinner.”
Jenny: “What’s that giant black lump in the middle of my bed?”
Bronx: “Oh, hi. Enjoy your three-minute bathroom break? The yellow dog just jumped off and ran away, muttering something about the cops, but I’m lovin’ this TempurPedic mattress. Wanna join me?”
Jenny: “What are you eating? Open up.”
Bronx: “I believe it’s excrement. You’re gonna wanna wash those fingers.”
The Bronx is back. We’ve been puppysitting him for a week, and when he and Truman are in the same room, it’s CrackTown, U.S.A. They simply do not stop without enforced time-outs.
Bronx is a sweet little guy, six months old now and still intact. He’s pretty mellow on his own, but he and Truman have been taking turns doing inappropriate things to each other in the name of dominance. It’s been hard for me to accomplish anyth– excuse me for a moment, won’t you?
Ahem! Okay then. So, “Humpus and Grumpus,” as I’ve taken to calling them, are home with me today while Wolf is out doing some steam locomotive stuff and big band music stuff. It’s been a long day of absolute nonproductivity for me. I figured I could separate the boys successfully by taking Bronx out on a few errands (it’s nice to have a portable dog in the house again), and maybe stopping for coffee somewhere.
But I can’t find my keys.
And I’m almost certain they’re in Wolf’s car.
So I’m pretty sure I’m stuck here in the eye of the furricane until…tomorrow, basically, unless I feel like going out for coffee at 2 A.M., when I expect him home.
Wolf and I are puppysitting little Bronx this weekend; he will be eleven weeks old on Saturday.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a furball this young in my care, Wolf has never had the joyous experience of puppy-induced sleep deprivation, and Truman hasn’t had a canine playmate in a while, so we thought it would be a nice way to spend the holiday weekend.
Bronx is a mellow little guy. A champ at sitting, patient with food and water, cuddly and affectionate, excellent recall skills. A good boy, an “easy” puppy.
It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that MY dog-in-residence — Truman, otherwise known as Dingus McFreaktown — is the one causing all the chaos. They’ve done nothing but play and wrestle and squeak and chew and slobber and run in circles and follow each other around since Bronx got here last night. I’ve had to put the little man in the kennel a few times, just to give him a break from the Yellow Instigator.
Funniest thing? In just twelve hours’ time — including several hours of sleeping last night — Bronx has done *eleven* Labrador shuffles. Full butt-tuck-and-run, crazy-circle, energy burst shuffles. Indoors. Amazing.
And Truman is very excited to finally be the alpha dog over someone else. Unfortunately, this means that when I haven’t been busy getting up to take the little dog outside to pee, I’ve been busy getting up to pull the big dog off the little one.
I…won’t post a photo of that. But we’re going to take pictures of them sometime this weekend, and hopefully post those soon. Assuming we can get them to stop moving long enough to focus the camera.
The people who raised our friend Trooper are raising another puppy. Everyone, meet seven-and-a-half-week-old Geo:
Yes, he’s a cute little stinker. But don’t worry, Truman. You’re still my little sunshine.
June 22 — Puppy swap!
Our good friend Epcot, another tall, yellow and handsome male Labrador, needed a ride up to GDA for a vet appointment, so I took the opportunity to puppy swap with his family.
When you’re used to an immature, opinionated, feisty five-month-old with the self-image of Napoleon and the brute strength of a tiny Clydesdale, you forget how blessedly “easy” it is to handle a big dog. Epcot was ever the gentleman, a pleasure to walk and cradle and command.
My neighbors were confused. They’d see me outside, relieving this big yellow dog, and the inevitable comment would come. “He’s HUGE!” Then I’d wait for the sheepish question. “Is that…the same dog?” And I’d laugh. If we were living in a soap opera, where a child who was born two seasons ago is suddenly attending college, then yes. That would be the same dog. But I would politely explain, and introduce them to Mr. Epcot, who would smile to put them at ease.
He was a good boy. Very sweet, laid back, intelligent. But as much as he tried to convince me that the floor of the passenger side of my truck just wasn’t comfortable for a dog of his size, I was not about to let him drive.