There should be a warning label with puppies!
Three months ago I bought the cutest Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy that you could ever imagine. I called her Cassy. I don’t know why, it just seemed appropriate. She was small, shy and very afraid. As I left the breeder, she was sat in the back of the car, shaking and whining and my heart went out for her. I tried my best to calm her and make her feel safe, but she obviously missed her mum and the familiar surroundings from birth.
Eventually I got home and carried her into the house. Debbie, the breeder, had given me a blanket that had familiar smells for her. I placed the blanket on the floor and she lay on it for hours, not moving. She didn’t want to eat or drink, she just lay there looking at me. I will admit that I began to get worried. That didn’t last long!
After several hours, curiosity got the better of her and she started to explore the house with me in tow. I didn’t want to restrict her from anywhere except the bathrooms and bedrooms. I wanted her to get used to the house so it would be familiar to her. It was funny watching her plod along on paws that were too big for her and her little, inquisitive face looking back at me every few seconds. From the outset she wasn’t a tactile dog, she didn’t want to be touched unless she wanted petting. You couldn’t just reach out and stroke her as she would move away.
It was only a few minutes into the grand exploration that she was sick in front of the television. Charming. If Eastenders or something was on I could understand, but the television was off! Obviously her nerves had gotten the better of her stomach and I was thankful that she hadn’t eaten much. Without a word of complaint, I cleared it up while she looked on, curious. It must have been a sign to see me with a bucket of water and a cloth as, just as I was finishing with the sick, she decided to empty her bowels. Completely. By my chair.
To say it stank would be an understatement. It was awful! I didn’t want to scare her on her first day but I admonished her in a calm sort of way. She stood back, leaning forward the way only puppies can do, her ears perked and a look of pure innocence on her face. How could anyone be upset?
Needless to say, over the days this continued and slowly, but calmly, the admonishments became sharper and she began to understand that maybe pooping in the living room wasn’t the right thing to do. She began to learn to go outside and do her business for which I was very grateful. The only problem was, I have a large and very interesting (for a puppy) garden. So, once she realised that when she stood by the patio door and began to whine I would let her out, she would start doing it even if she didn’t need to do a poop. She just liked running around the garden. In the snow. In the middle of winter. It was freezing out there and she didn’t care.
Fortunately puppies sleep a lot. And eat a lot. And poop a lot. And want attention A LOT!
She is now six months old and I have trained her to do as I ask her. Well, I don’t actually ask her, I have taught her to understand my hand signals for sit, stay, lie down and fetch. She is very clever when she wants to be, but she is still a puppy and puppies want to play all the time, even when they are bone tired. They are a lot of work.
I never wanted children (mainly because I still haven’t grown out of my teens!) because of the commitment and time they take up. I always wanted to do things and a child would have stopped that. So does a puppy! More so, in some cases. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cassy to bits and she is a gorgeous dog, but she is more than a handful.
They should definitely stick warning labels on puppies. Something like, “WARNING! This puppy will do what it likes, when it likes, where it likes and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Ensure you have plenty of cleaning materials to hand and be prepared to give up your social life. You will fall under its spell and no matter what it does, you’ll think it’s cute. Oh, and kiss your bank balance goodbye!”
I think that would suffice!
I made a short(ish) video of her when she just arrived if you would like to see her bouncing around. Click here.