On the drive home, I promised Davy that he would love his new home and pet family (Ginger, a Walker Hound; and Clancy, Eliza and Smokey – the cats). I assured him that I was a very experienced pet parent and knew how to make this work. He whined from the back of the SUV. Once home, I escorted him from the car to the house and walked him on leash from room to room making introductions along the way. He settled in nicely that first night. I thought – this is going to be easy!
The biggest challenge so far is Davy and the pets. I thought everyone would just accept each other. Davy is a little too exuberant (barks in their faces) and plays a bit too rough (tumbles them like a litter mate) for my old, arthritic cats. So I have to monitor them – closely. They are like magnets to him. Ginger, on the other hand, gives him a taste of his own medicine. So I have to supervise them – closely. I don’t want Ginger to pull on Davy’s ears. It’s important that they stand up the way they were meant to. I really want them to get along. As soon as they get into cuddle position – they chew on each other’s faces - lovingly.
I took Davy to school. He is a Mensa dog. At two months he can sit, stand, down and take a dumbbell in his mouth. He can follow a hotdog while in heal position as I meander around in the arena. He loves to play with the other dogs, barks for attention, and savors eating treats. I have high hopes for his achievements. This week we are working on spinning left and right. He’s willing and able. I am creating fun ways for him to learn. He’s a very clever boy.
We have been to see the veterinarian twice. Each time, I treat him in the waiting room so he has a good association with it. The staff gives him a lot of attention while we wait our turn. During his puppy shot, I give him a bite of string cheese, and he doesn’t even notice the injection. At home I’ve been cleaning his ears, giving him baths, picking up his paws, looking in his eyes like the doctor would. So he is well behaved during his check-up.
He’s adorable, but he has his moments. He gets a little cranky when he is tired, hungry, or doesn’t get his way. That’s when he pesters the cats, goes after my shoes and socks, treats Ginger like she is a chew toy. Then I know it’s time to settle him in for the night. It’s funny but I wouldn’t hear a tree fall on my front lawn during a hurricane, but I can hear Davy fidget around 3 a.m. to go outside for a potty break.
Now that I’ve finally gotten my wish of having a new puppy, it’s really re-shaped my day. I want to give Davy a lot of attention when he is young. These early months are key to building trust, teaching manners, and socializing him well. Puppies are a lot of work, but they are only that little for a very short time. It’s worth it to give them attention and enrich their lives now so they will grow into well-behaved canine good citizens.