Rex didn’t start out like this: mellow, quiet, still. When he was a puppy, he tore through the house grabbing kleenex out of wastebaskets, toilet paper off the roll, discarded socks on the floor. Anything he could get his paws on, and his mouth around, was fair game. I thought I was prepared for Puppyhood. I bought books, supplies, tried to puppyproof the house, but ultimately, there was something I had to PUT into practice:
P – Patience
U – Understanding
T – Training
When that bundle of cute puppy-love was in my arms, I wanted to snuggle and hug him, but he wiggled and jiggled and squirmed. He wasn’t immediately the cuddler I had hoped for.
Was he being malicious when he nibbled on the remote control, gnawed up the wooden whirlybirds in the backyard, and chewed on his plastic foodbowls? Nah, he was just being a puppy.
I wanted a dog that would lie by my side at night and watch television with me, walk calmly at the end of his leash, and sit and stay when I told him to. But those instructions don’t come programmed into a puppy’s head like a computer loaded with software.
Okay, I’m not an expert when it comes to dogs, just an ordinary person who believes every dog should have a home. And I wasn’t about to give up on my capricious puppy even though he was a handful. Some of my fabulous Facebook friends commented on their own adventures with a young one:
“The ‘office puppy’ used to chew on the adding machine tape and get into the garbage by my desk. She’s two and a half now, and does a lot better with her chew toys.” Yvonne
“My 120 pound German Shepard ate my favorite Christmas ornament and buried enough of the kids’ socks to fill a landfill. When she turned two she became a well-behaved dog. Now she’s 11 and I miss her wild, ready-for-anything days!” Darlene
So what have YOU been through with your puppy? Maybe it was a long time ago, maybe it was only yesterday. Fill us in on how you survived puppyhood — it just might help others. Thanks!
6 thoughts on “Puppyhood…Survival 101”
After a well-behaved, mellow daschund died, we bought an Irish setter as the next pup. Daschund – short legs – can’t get into anything. Setter – long legs – could get into almost everything, including the birthday cake waiting on a tall sideboard. Tell-tale cavern in the top of the cake. Strangely enough, it didn’t make “Red” sick. In fact he could always smell the wrapped See’s Candy under the Christmas tree, and got into some of that. One shoe of a beautiful pair of Italian stacked wood-heeled shoes was the next victim. I couldn’t tell my husband about that; called the store and was able to buy (gulp) the last pair in my size. My husband never noticed, or never commented on why I had three shoes in my closet!
Lois, three shoes in the closet! And don’t those doggies of ours have the most inquisitive noses. So sorry to hear about the loss of your little doxie. I had a little girl doxie growing up. You’re right about those little legs. My Rex, like your Red, has long legs and an extensive reach. He gets into everything!
Isn’t it amazing what training, consistency, and maturity will do for a dog? Titian, my first Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) puppy, had me in tears and at one point I was ready to send my teething terror back! The digging, the chewing, the jumping, the pulling, etc. had me frustrated. Where is she now? Right here with me. A well-behaved, loving, sweet therapy dog who is a mentor to all of the “new kids” (my new CCI pups!). Who would have guessed.
Kimi, you’ve done such wonderful work with all of your CCI pups. Thank you for commenting and mentioning again that training, consistency, and maturity are so very important. That cute little puppy we first interact with will become a mature and well-mannered dog if we give it patience, understanding, and like you said, training. Kudos to you, Kimi, for all you do for others.
Thanks, Julie! I know you love your Cooper!
Love this! So true, so true. 🙂