Episode One: check.
Episode Two: checking it off right now.
This was when I started to see a bit of the funny side to puppyhood. Just a bit. Most of the time, I was knee-deep in poo bags, dog hair and a serious case of comparison-itis.
This spans our adventures from ten to twelve weeks old.
Let’s get started!
The Chronicles of Moxie :: Episode Two
Or Doxie: if the dog school instructor is talking to her.
Or Maxie: because people keep assuming she is a boy and I guess that’s a more manly name.
Or T-Rex: because one time I was joking and the woman didn’t realise.
Whatever her name is, she is definitely alive, all 6.9kg-up-to-date-on-her-rabies-vaccine of her, and – I like to think – happy and well. I did have to Google “Is my puppy happy?” to double-check that claim, and I’m still suspicious when I can hear her belting out a bark (or ten) in the elevator as Kris takes her out to go pee-pee. I look forward to the days of complete bladder control and when a certain someone realises that you cannot call the elevator by the power of bark alone.
But, we are at the big twelve weeks! We are vaccinated, we have moved up to Puppy Class at the dog school (you know, the one where we have to do stuff) and we, dare I jinx it, might even be bonding now.
So here it is: weeks ten to twelve, in puppy-themed anecdotes.
The most popular search term in the last two weeks: “Is my puppy the devil?”.
Closely followed by “does my puppy hate me?”, “why does my puppy love my husband more?” and the classic “is my puppy broken?”.
Oh and let’s not forget “I yelled at my puppy, will she hate me forever?”.
Turns out, the puppy is not broken (just an arsehole at times), she only turns into the Devil between 8:30 and 9:30pm which is solved by a biscuit and a helpful suggestion that someone needs to take her butt to “bed” and well, sometimes it’s OK to yell at the puppy because dammit, I am human and I really cannot afford to fix my camera.
Dog school it.
Dog school has been eventful, frustrating and a lot of fun. Mostly, just eventful.
We finished our last Cubs Class (for the 8-12 week-ers) and, a certain someone, got told off. Again. In my head I imagined the interaction between her and the other fluffy-dude to go something like this: “Bow to me peasant, for I am Moxie: Queen of the Dogs!”. Or she was channelling her inner dog-feminist and going for something like “I fight for equality. I fight for more toys. More treats. Bigger toys. Toys that come in any colour but pink! Did I mention more treats? Also bigger treats!”.
In reality she decided to take that little boy down with all available teeth and paws, and then wee on the instructor from the shock of suddenly being in the air. It was definitely not very lady-like. And she has officially been labelled as a lady who likes to “play hard”.
You know what they say: play hard or go home. Turns out, most of the puppies in class are the go home variety. Losers.
Now that we have moved up to the Puppy One Class, this has curbed some of her desire to transform into the Lady Of Light Galadriel and re-enact that scene from Lord Of The Rings yelling “all shall love me and despair!”. It’s good to be a middle-sized dog again, instead of one of the biggest puppies.
That and we also have ourselves a 20 minute walk before we even get to the dog school and, if we are lucky, a bit of time to run about in the play area before the other pups show up. It takes the edge off our energy so we run and play like everyone else instead of like we’ve just dropped a couple of grams of amphetamines (that is probably the most gangster thing I have ever said).
If that doesn’t ooze responsible dog owner I don’t know what does – that was a joke. I do know.
On the flip side, that was the only successful thing to happen at Puppy One. The rest of our first class was spent laying on our belly eating mud. Or licking the grass. Or licking the mud, Or staring at every dog she could lay eyes on and probably chanting “dogs! dogs! dogs!” in her head.
I keep personifying my dog. I know. I need more sleep. I know.
No amount of sweet-talking or bribery was getting that girl to do anything other than get up to taste another morsel of mud. After 45 minutes, my sweet talking had progressed from “Moxie! Puppy! Puppy! Puppy!” to “park that butt on the floor you giant embarrassment”. In the end, we gave up with the clicker and treats and went for a stick instead, “oh! Now you can sit! What a shocking revelation, you little butthead”. All said in the sweetest and most positive of child-like voices, of course.
The one thing she did well was running straight to me when the instructor let her go. Luckily she heard my inner monologue of “don’t you dare nip my ankle as you run past me Kraken-face”.
On Monday morning, I pulled out the kibble, stood in front of the house (cars and distractions galore) and we got our training on. I told her she knew her stuff.
I am now referring to dogs as The Kraken’s distraction-kryptonite.
It’s all Kris.
Of course, the Thursday evening class with Kris went great, because we have already established that she loves him more than me. They got promoted to Puppy Two, so it is now officially a competition between us. We have to progress through the dog school separately with Moxie as we both have membership.
Further proof that she loves Kris more includes when I went out for three hours on the weekend and left her with Kris. She didn’t even notice I was gone. Then we both left her for an hour and when we returned she only greeted Kris.
“Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here picking up your poo, getting your dinner, training you, and walking you”. Pfft. Dogs.
Me no comprende.
The Kraken has a special face that she reserves for crate time.
I say “in” and point helpfully to the bed in the crate. She smirks and says something like “Ik spreek geen engels”. To which I reply with “hahahaha… no”.
We have now changed it to “bed” and of course she just waltzes into the crate with a look of “well, you should have just said so”. I put my smartypants on for this cue though and attached it to the bed and not the crate, that way, when I take her and her bed places, I can still tell her to go to it.
Pats self on back.
The curse of strangers.
The biggest thing from the last two weeks is other people.
Other people who want to pat my dog on the head for no reason. Or call to her when we are training or walking by. The dude next door decided to stand and watch us training in the morning, then he proceeded to pat his leg and call my dog over, then he had the audacity to tell me she doesn’t listen! I almost yelled at him. But I saved that for another dude instead. I have a lot less patience at 7am.
Let’s not forget the drive-by petting, from a selection of people including a couple of joggers. Way to distract my pup. Idiots.
Oh and the woman who jogged past us and called to Moxie to chase her… I kid you not.
We’ve been bear-hugged by a child whilst the mother just stood there watching. People continue to shove their fingers in our face, stand on us when we are on the bus and my favourite of the last fortnight: the child walking behind us making weird noises, caught Moxie’s attention, she stopped (as a puppy does) and was almost trampled by the ten other kids walking with that child who weren’t looking where they were going. I had to whip her off the floor, much to her dislike, before she was seriously hurt.
The icing on cake? “Can I pet your dog?”. Uh, no.
Who are these people and why are they always out when I want to walk/train/or take my dog out for a poo?!
I have waffled on for long enough.
Don’t read this wrong, we are having a great time. It’s damn hard. But when it’s going good, it is going great.
When it isn’t, I’m still crying into my hamster whilst consulting Dr. Google and Kris is walking back from the bus stop bin at 3am with one slipper on because The Kraken has stolen the other.
On the flip-side, last night we all sat together on the sofa to watch some TV and The Kraken chose to lay beside me (OK, OK, it was literally on top of me) but I definitely felt something. She might even like me.
I think that’s everything. I must go, the Kraken woke up 15 minutes ago but has just decided that now is the time she wishes to be released from the crate. Time for some more “I don’t think so. I will let you out when I am ready” training.
Or more accurately “wait five minutes whilst I fill my pockets with poo bags, keys, treats and debate whether I should put my shoes on or not”.
Ah, puppyhood. You bring me smiles, squashed bags of poo in my pockets and the sudden realisation that I smell like a dog owner.
That’s it for Episode Two. I’m pretty excited for Episode Three already so stay tuned for that next week. Then I will chill with all the dog-talk. Airing my dirty-doggy-laundry is rather therapeutic though, so definitely expect more from our escapades.