Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Puppy Love

The pitterpatter of tiny paws has returned to the halls of our home.

We have adopted a puppy. Her name is Chloe and she is a three-month-old border collie/german shepard mix. I also suspect she has some labrador in her as she is forever pointing at nothing outside and attempts to flush chipmunks and mice out of my gardens. I would not have an issue with this if she were not also pulling my plants out by the roots.

In the thirteen-plus years since we had a puppy, I seem to have forgotten many things. Puppies are a lot of work.

I got quite acquainted with the planet Venus for about a week as I was up early enough to see it well before dawn while Chloe explored the yard searching for the perfect pee spot. Although she now sleeps a bit later, the potty training adventure continues. She is not yet letting us know when she needs to go out, so I have seen more of my backyard in the last month--especially in the the dark--than I have seen in the last 14 years.

I have also been reminded that puppies chew. This is evidenced by the fact that Sean is now missing the back end of one of his flipflops. We alleviate this problem by keeping plenty of chew toys on hand.

What we cannot seem to get through to her is that cats are not chew toys. Most of our cats avoid her, but Midnight is attempting to befriend her. They do play together, but it usually ends with Chloe pinning him to the ground by his neck. Cats do not like this.

With the cooler weather this weekend, Chloe has also discovered that people wear pants. This is apparently something she thinks she should latch onto and hold on for dear life.

Most of these habits will be overcome with time, patience and a good dose of obedience training. She does have some very good qualities in that she rarely ever barks, walks well on a leash and is already picking up on some basic commands. Our puppy is no dummy.

This has also been a good lesson for Shannon and Sean on the responsibilty of owning a young animal. A large part of her care fell upon them before school began. They now realize that puppies are not something that can be ignored or taken care of on your schedule, but have their own timetable. They require lots of attention, affection and are not something disposable.

We are hopeful that our experience with Chloe will be as memorable and wonderful as our time with our beloved labrador, Zak. She has already found a special place in our hearts in her short time here.

Feel free to visit or call for updates or with advice. And don't hesitate to call early. Believe me, I'll be up.

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