Sunday, January 15, 2006

Harry, Don't Read This One

All right, a post about the pup.

Buddy has been with us two weeks now, and he's doing fine. He spends a lot of time in the yard with me, helping me weed, sunning himself, and trying in vain to catch squirrels and cardinals and jays that come to the bird feeders. His big thrill is chasing a chicken or rooster back over the fence (we live between a couple of farms.)

He's got a great personality; bright and alert but also pretty mellow for a pup. He cuddles with me and most puppies won't do that. Like all pups, he wants to chew on everything so we're majorly invested in chew toys. He loves sock tug-of-war.

Outside he's a ball of energy, already trying to herd my kids and their friends when they're out playing basketball in the drive or tossing the football around the yard. With our dogs we prefer to use hand signals instead of voice commands, and he's so smart he's already got down the basics.

At night, we keep Buddy in our master bath with a baby gate up in the open doorway. I don't like keeping pets in kennels or cages. In the bathroom he has a comfortable quilt and dog bed, food and water, and plenty of space and toys. The gate allows him to see us and me to hear him. The floor is tiled so accidents aren't a big deal (we're almost house trained, and as soon as he is, he gets the run of the place.)

Our cats have accepted Buddy for the most part. It was obvious the first week that they'd forgotten what it's like to live with a dog in the house. Buddy is dying to play with them, but so far only Jak, my friendliest and most laid-back cat, will let the pup approach him. Jeri walks away or climbs out of reach; Rush simply won't stay in the room. We've always had dogs and cats so I don't anticipate any problems; it'll just take time for them to adjust to each other.

Sometimes it's tough to see him and not think of Missy, our Sheltie who passed away two years ago. I've had a couple of bad moments, but the joy of having a dog in my life and with the family again outweighs the sadness. I do think after you lose a much-loved pet that it's important to wait until you know you're ready to bring a dog into your life again rather than try to do a replacement. Buddy can't replace Missy, but he doesn't have to. We've let her go now, and we're enjoying our pup for his own unique personality and presence.

I don't have my new roll of film developed, but when I do I'll post some new pics.

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations. He sounds like a lovely dog. :)

    Have fun playing tug-of-war!

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  2. It sounds like he's settling in just fine--and you're adjusting to him as well. Thanks for the update.

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  3. LOL. That subject header made me look twice. Then I had one of those heh,-for-a-second-I-thought-that-was-about-me moments.

    And, er, I didn't read the post. I hope it's not a sad one.

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  4. Cages aren't all that bad, really. You just have to be ruthlessly disciplined and never, ever, use them as a punishment. Our dachshund was house trained in a couple of days with the use of a cage - he got fed in there, his favourite bedding was in there and he soon learned to see it as his safe place. For his first two nights I spread newspaper around the open door, on the third, I closed it. He didn't make a noise until I came in the next morning to let all the dogs out.

    Now all three of our dogs are cage-trained and we have collapsible cages that we take with us when visiting friends and family. They give them somewhere to hide from the hurly-burly of over-excited nephews and nieces.

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  5. I enjoyed your pupdate. *g*

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