We had been thinking about getting a puppy for a while now. Our daughter has two and we love them when they come and visit. The pandemic has driven puppy prices up as people wanted a companion in lockdown.
The latest round of border closures meant some people could not collect their puppies that were ready to rehome from the breeders. Breeders place ad online, we (with trepidations due to the number of puppy scams currently being reported), replied to the ad. The breeder does not ship her puppies. She likes to meet the new owners. She is a three hour drive away but we didn’t have to cross any borders or go into any cootie zones. So, Christmas eve, after working a morning shift, we came home with a furry bundle of joy and frustration.
There is an awful lot of mental processing that goes with a new puppy. They are learning the house rules, you are learning the puppy signs and signals for different things. its not like they just walk up to you and say, ‘I’m a bit peckish, is there anything for me to eat, I would really prefer a nice bit of chicken’ or ‘Excuse me, could you please direct me to the bathroom?’ Nope, its puddles on the floor (thankfully we already hate carpet so its floorboards) and biting of finger (or toes) and sniffing the offerings and wandering off.
Anyway, our gorgeous little piece of fluffy devils spawn, is fitting in quite well. She eats what we eat (the puppy friendly version), not that keen on actual dog food, but who can blame her on that. We are getting there with the toilet training. We have stopped saying ‘good girl’ when she does the right thing because she seemed to be confusing that for the last thing she was told ‘good girl’ for. ‘Go wees, good girl. Come inside, good girl’. I’m sure you get the picture, potty training does seem to be getting back on track again now.
The amount of mental processing she is taking does seem to be a good thing for me. My brain does not have as much time to get into negative spirals because it is paying attention to her. And her fluffiness is incredibly great for patting as a stim. She makes us get out of bed in the morning and go outside and play. She makes us eat at regular times and as we have to organise something healthy for her, its easier to just all eat the same thing (another reason for not going the dog food route) and we don’t eat as much junk.
She loves going in the car, she has her own blanket and a harness. She is such a little thing that the smallest harness we could get (Xsmall) was too big so we had to cable tie the straps to a smaller size. I don’t think it failing in an accident would be an issue because she weighs less than a kilo and wouldn’t put that much strain on anything. She will grow and the harness will fit without modification in next to no time.
She loves going on the push bike, she rides in the basket on the front (harnessed in for safety). We also have a trailer she can ride behind (a second hand kiddie trailer with seatbelts we can attach her harness too). So she gets out and about quite a bit for someone who isn’t socialising fully until her vaccinations are completed. She never touches unknown soil, when she isn’t harnessed in, she is carried in public. The only ground she gets to run around on is our fenced back yard.
Can she run. Its just zoom, zoom, all over the place until her batteries run flat, then its nap until recharged and go again. And she bounces. Standing start, about six inches off the ground. She changes direction mid air when she is running. If you have seen the meme ‘run like someone left the gate open’ that is her. Her happiness at just being is amazing. She loves to play. Loves to cuddle. Unfortunately she is going through the bit where she loves to bite. Not bad or vicious, I just feel like she thinks I am her chew toy. She hasn’t broken skin but puppy teeth are still sharp.
So, now you know what we are up to, I need to schedule in a little nap before I go to work this afternoon. Puppy is currently napping after deciding we needed to get up and play at six this morning. Time to make the most of the quiet.
By the way, we call her Maiz. Its short for Mazikein.