Deputy Dawg

Well we both survived being alone in the house for a few days. I have an uncountable number of puncture wounds to my hands but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because those teeth are coming through live, loud and clear. I know this because I had to get my hand in there to remove a piece of cardboard that had got stuck to the roof of his mouth.

Let me see, he’s been with us for five weeks now. Training is going well but he gets too excited to sit down and have his collar on before we go out for a walk (I’ll try and shoot some video of me trying to get his collar on – it’s funny in the way that watching Hulk Hogan trying to wrestle an eel into submission would be) but he’ll quite happily sit perfectly still when we get back to have it taken off – so somewhere in that black curly head of his, he knows exactly what’s going on.

His legs are growing fast too. He’s like a miniature gazelle and his coat is getting quite thick and curly. On the plus side, he’s starting to get better at playing by himself and a new thing is that when he’s tired, he gets his blankets out of the crate and makes a bed somewhere that he wants to be.

Me and my bed

Me and my bed

I’m looking on this as a big step forward as it can’t be much more than another three months before he comes out of that crate for good. Right now though? I trust him about as much as er… well, I don’t trust him at all. He’s good and getting better but “I’m an idiot puppy” mode can reappear in the blink of an eye and that’s when the storm-bringer shows up.

Puppies sure grow up fast. I’m looking forward to being able to get all of the nice rugs in the house back out of the cupboard and consign these ‘temporary’ hessian rugs that have been ergonomically designed to take the skin off your body, into the trash. We also have puppy class tomorrow night – half the deal of going to puppy class is to learn something but I’m sure that the other half is to make you feel good about yourself that you don’t have one of the other dogs that are there.

Eventually, we’re going to need to do something constructive with him. I guess it will take a few years but Eleanor has been looking at training him to be a search and rescue dog. I think they go out and try to find people like dementia/alzheimer patients (they might be the same thing – sorry) who have wandered off but I guess there are many reasons you might want to use a dog to track a person who had gone missing. It’s not a criminal thing, so there will be no tracking across the Grimpen Mire in search of Stapleton but it exists as a ‘thing to do’ and could turn out to be pretty interesting for all of us.

What I do know is that if we don’t find something for him to do, he will find himself something to do and that can only end in trouble and insurance claims.

•••

A word to others with a new dog: a great distraction technique is dancing to ‘Young Americans’ by David Bowie. He really didn’t know what to make of that. Then again, not many humans do either. It’s also my professional opinion that he absolutely much prefers Everybody Loves Raymond to Ugly Betty over breakfast now. This is a change for the better I think.

S.

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