Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back Story: Puppy, puppy night

It's four in the morning. I am shivering in my backyard. A riot of stars has exploded across the winter sky. The dog at my feet has finished peeing and now I am asking her if she has to poop. She does. So we move to the poop place, across the yard from the pee place. She does her business and I scoop her up into my arms and carry her like a baby back into the house.

On this occasion, I am able to get her back to sleep in just a couple minutes. Most nights, it takes a half-hour to get her to settle back down. She will be up and out again by seven. I will entertain her until daylight and then we will go out together yet again to feed and water the chickens. After that, I will sit on the kitchen floor with her in my lap and hand feed her. This cure for food aggression really works. Separation anxiety is another matter. I have a whole new vocabulary gleaned from dog care books.

I used to download the news from the Internet and read it on my e-reader. I haven't been able to do that in weeks.

All the while we play, she has one eye on the master bedroom door. She is waiting for Mommy to come out and take over. So am I. Fortunately, Amy has taken time out from her career to stay home for a few months. She is a willing participant in the rearing of Suki. She is developing into a first class dog trainer. The pup already knows all the standard tricks.

While the training is going on in the kitchen, which has been sealed off like Manhattan in the movie, "Escape From New York," I am taking care of the Blog and my volunteer responsibilities for the Library Association. After lunch, I move to my downtown office to take care of my real work for a couple hours. The alarm on my cell phone goes off. It's time for the puppy's medicine, a good excuse to lock up and go back home to see her.

As I come through the front door, the separation anxiety is evident in the tail that is wagging so hard I fear it will fly off. All the books will tell you that at this point you should exhibit alpha dog behavior by ignoring her for five minutes. I skip the advice and pick her up and let her lick my face all over. After that we wrestle on the floor floor awhile. I hope to wear her out so she will sleep through the night. It never works.


Kay Reimers said...

A puppy is like having a baby all over again. Wait until he gets into his troublesome teenager phase. When he realizes that you really are easy to fool.

Jo said...

I have a 13 wk old lab pup and I can soooo relate to this esp the middle of the night routine!

Toad Hall said...

Great picture. What a beauty.