Update From Puppyville

It’s cold, rainy and dreary outside.  I’m being a bad parent and letting Perry, the 4-year-old rot his brain on computer games today.  This is a good day to be in a semi-vegetative state.  Katelin is sporting her fancy sweater purchased a couple years ago from the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas http://www.greyhoundadoptiontx.org/store/index.php/cat_5 (she’s the min-pin and really hard to fit with clothes and she’s always cold in winter, hence greyhound wear fits her deep chest and tiny waist…there may be some kind of joke there… I just can’t think of it right now).  Mia normally thinks the sweater is a great handle by which to grab Katelin, and drag her all over the house, but she hasn’t realized she’s wearing it yet, as Katelin is buried under the imitation down blanket on the couch. 

This is the kind of weather where my dogs forgo their house training.  Why pee or poop outside in the cold rain, when there’s  a nice warm, dry rug in the living room that suits them just fine.   Mia was my last hope to try and create a properly house broken dog.  She’s pretty good, but if the need strikes and I haven’t taken her out in a while she goes in the house.  I’m very sure Katelin is teaching her the finer points of stealth bodily function excretion, as the other day I found a big pile of poop right next to a little bitty pile on their big dog bed my room.   Forensic testing (ie the poops were cold, yet still soft) revealed that the offending samples were produced at roughly the same time.  Wonder what went on then….Mia:  “Man, I sure have to poop, but Mr. Master didn’t go out with me earlier so I just wandered around the back yard, looking for squirrels and stuff”.  Katelin:  “Oh, that’s no biggie, I was busy looking for rats.   Plus it was cold and rainy and who wants to poop out there?  They’ve blocked off most of the carpets, but see this nice big pillow?  Use it, they’ll never notice.  I’ll show you.”  Mia:  “Wow!  Katelin, you’re so SMART!”

Otherwise Mia is doing pretty well.  She only makes the kids cry maybe once a day.  Mostly she bites softly now, but sometimes she gets carried away.  The kids clothes are a mess though, as games of chase result in torn shirts and pants.  Two more months ’til the needle teeth fall out.

One sad thing I’ve realized about puppy ownership is how astonishingly fast they grow.  Mia is twice the size she was when we got her Labor day weekend.  It occured to me that puppies basically age a year every month.  The husband pointed out that pretty soon we’re going to have this giant  dog with an infantile mind lumbering around our house.  She’ll be like that big guy from “Of Mice and Men”, she won’t know her own strength.  However, she does tone things down for the little min-pin. Technically the 30 pound puppy could do some serious damage to the 12 pound min pin, but Mia seems careful with her for the most part.  They play tug-of-war in the back yard and she actually lets Katelin win sometimes, it’s really funny to watch.   The min pin is pulling and tugging and growling for all she’s worth and Mia just kind of sits there with this bemused look on her face, holding her end of the rope.

Another thing I’ve learned is that she’s got a deep, innate NEED to chew.  If she’s awake, she’s chewing on SOMETHING.  Either Katelin, a rawhide, or one of us.  Generally we direct her to Katelin or a rawhide.  I’ve got rawhide all over the house.  For the record I’m totally pro-rawhide.  My life with this puppy would be 100% impossible and I’d think my furniture and stuff would be a wreck otherwise.  Good thing she doesn’t have a sensitive stomach and can eat them. 

It’s really hard to find Rawhides made in the USA (foreign ones can contain nasty chemicals like formaldehyde).  There are zero American ones at PetSmart.  Only a few at Pet Supplies Plus (and no bulk ones, the best I could do for knotted ones were 5 packs.  Costco had a big bag of knotted bones that were not only from China, but also had Xylitol in them (an artificial sweetener that can cause sometimes fatal low blood sugar in dogs)!

I have discovered that carrots are excellent chew toys, to give her a little variety.  Early on she liked celery, but that lost it’s luster.  She will spend a good 10 minutes or more working on a carrot though.  The down side is often when I open the refrigerator, there’s a big black chunk of dog nosing around for produce. 

Oh and she loves her crate now!  I was worried that we’d have to continue chasing her around the house and dragging her into the crate when she’s 60 pounds, and that just would suck.  I didn’t even have to sit with her in the crate and pet her to create good feelings about it (per my moms advice, which I just don’t have time to do). I didn’t feed her in the crate either.  She just magically started going in there on her own about a month ago.  I pull a treat out of the treat jar and she starts heading that way.  She even goes into her crate for naps! Just like all those pamphlets I hand out to new puppy clients say!

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