I have a confession to make.
It took me five weeks to fall in love with my puppy.
It then took me another two weeks to work up the brain power to actually get on the internet to tell you about it. Although, that’s a bit of an overstatement since I will just be quoting an update I wrote a few weeks back for the litter’s Facebook group. It’s a start, right? I’m easing myself back into the world wide web after being MIA for what seems like a millennia.
I don’t really have a long-winded explanation of why I’ve been gone, it can be summarised as follows: puppyhood is damn hard. Seriously.
That and part of me was a little nervous to come here and admit that. I mean, it is the internet and I didn’t fancy having the metaphorical tomato thrown in my face with quips of “well, didn’t you do your research, you plonker”. I did. A butt-tonne of it. And that still did not prepare me for the realities of puppyhood.
You know what did help though, unsolicited dog advice and descriptions of Moxie’s breed characteristics from strangers. That really helped.
I digress. Let’s get to the photos and a little update that I put together a while back detailing our time between Moxie’s arrival in our lives until around 11 weeks of age. Trust me, she is so much bigger now!
The Chronicles of Moxie :: Episode One
We have achieved quite a bit in the last week or so – well, I think we have, but feel free to let me know if I am behind in my doggy training).
We have met, what feels like, all the people, including creepy drunk dudes, children who appear out of nowhere to pat us on the butt (Moxie’s butt, not mine) and well, pretty much anyone who goes past because they are all potential friends in the making according to Dog-Face. For dogs, it’s the same. Every new doggy is a friend-to-be. Dog-Face is yet to be deterred by the looks of dismay and mutters of “uh, kids these days” from elder dogs who just want to walk peacefully to the park on a Sunday afternoon and not engage with today’s youths.
Leaves are the best. thing. ever. Especially when blowing in the wind. We must investigate and carry around leaves and branches at all times. No compromise. The bigger the better.
We have already started going to the dog school to attend their Cubs Class and so far, so good, even if she got told off for trying to wrestle a giant 11-week-old Labrador into playing with her. Turns out, “knock it off” sounds the same in all languages. You know what they say, little ones have spongy brains, they just soak everything up. I, on the other hand, just hope no-one calls on me to answer a question or go first before I have had a chance to watch someone else do it first so I have a vague sense of what’s going on.
We are also getting better at riding the bus. A little crying to start, then once we’re comfortable, we are good to go. We’re still working on the bike trailer, so far, we are doing laps around the garage like a pro, but we’ve yet to venture out into the big wide world. Slow and steady is how we are rolling.
What else is there to report: we ride in the elevator fine, we played in a giant pile of loud plastic that other day and we even went out to play in the rain and thunder too. All that left me with was a very wet puppy who’s only goal in life was to wrestle the poor towel to death.
The stuffed Kong has become my best friend. Every time we need to do something which needs her to hold still/be in something (the trailer, brushing… etc) out comes the Kong. Failing that, we do everything over mealtimes, because who doesn’t enjoy a constant stream of kibble when they are doing good things!
Things we have worked on this week: getting comfortable with being handled with lots of meal times spent having our ears, teeth and toes checked, our tail wiggled, our hair ruffled and just about anything else that might happen should we meet anymore strange people. It’s a good job, since we have already come across more than one person whose idea of “petting” is to just pat her on the head likes she’s a hairy basketball.
Other things include: Eye contact with her name (getting there!), a bit of sitting, some down (and then extending the time), some waiting for things like toys/food. A bit of this and that. She really seems to enjoy a working lunch and already looks expectantly at me when I have the tub of food and the clicker. I have a sneaking suspicion though that the toy is far for motivating to her though, so that adds a little more fun to playing.
If we aren’t brain training, we like to eat dinner out of the food-ball. Now that we’ve worked out that paws help get the food out, it’s a lot more fun!
Our vaccinations were a success, she even left with a compliment from the vet for being so easy to handle.
We are enjoying her alter ego as The Kraken. When playtime is over, or we have to go to bed, oh there are tantrums. My girl can tantrum like the most experienced toddler. Slowly she is realising that it gets her nowhere, but for two/three days, I was 100% sure I had accidentally released Hyde into the world.
Oh, and let’s not forget the alter ego The Piranha too. We are slowly learning to play with our mouth shut.
I consider myself grateful that she has yet to chew anything she shouldn’t. Probably because everything is hidden in cupboards and up in places even I can’t get to, but I am still considering that a success. I’ve only lost a book, a pair of jeans and my boots.
Puppyhood is difficult and challenging. We are learning everyday. Even if The Kraken did bring me to tears one evening – full on weeping into my hamster about how easy and simple he is to take care of and did he have any idea what I had gotten myself into (spoiler alert: he didn’t really care) – the next day she brings me to tears of laughter. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and I suspect there might be a grey hair or two under my hair dye.
Things to work on this week and next: fewer tantrums. Always the house training (we are still hoping for a sign that says “hey! I gotta go pee pee”) and maybe a visit to the lake to see the ducks. Oh and consistently getting the collar back on without Moxie thinking it’s a new form of playtime.
Here’s to another week or so of poo bags, preventing her eating dead frogs, playtime, nap time (for both of us!) and with any luck, no more riding the bus to dog school!
I know this isn’t a real blog post as such, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. Maybe I have over shared, maybe it is taboo to tell you all about our doggy-dilemmas, but hey, if it brings a chuckle to your day, I’m game for sharing. Do share all your puppyhood success and pain with me!