Shelby is 10.5 weeks old now. She has energy that my ‘closing-in-on-50-years-old’ body isn’t used to (especially with the disabilities I’ve got). She IS a hairy tornado. She wakes me up in the morning by pawing at the inside of the tent she sleeps in (on my bed- to keep her contained and safe, but next to me) to go potty. She has learned how to paw the zipper from the inside and get the door all the way open- well at least enough to poke her head through, so I can’t dawdle. I’ll carry her to her potty papers, and insist she unloads both tanks before moving on to feed her (I keep a baby gate up until she’s done). Otherwise, it’s like a Tootsie Roll dispenser malfunctioned and left ‘gifts’ in a trail on the floor. She’s a mobile pooper. According to the puppy training information, she’s doing well. She gets it right about %80 of the time already; the info says that most pups aren’t totally trained until they’re 6 months old. In the meantime, there are barricades all over my apartment, and I bring her to her papers about every hour, when she wakes up after a nap, or after a period of psychotic playing.
She’s into the piranha-teeth phase now. One of her favorite activities is to sink those sharp little puppy teeth into the back of my fuzzy slipper and just hang on for a couple of steps. Then she waits to sink those teeth into the other one. Walking (for me) has become a hazardous situation. So, I shuffle. I look like some sort of deranged Parkinson’s patient with a short,hairy stalker behind me. And she follows me everywhere ! The puppy training info tells me that ‘communicating’ with her as her fur-mom would do is the way to go… growling an intense and definitive ‘no’ growl is what she’ll understand. What I understand is that I look like an idiot. I don’t have a good growl. Go figure. I don’t even holler/yell all that well.
Her ‘guard dog’ attributes need a lot of work. She barks when someone is leaving. When my dad came over yesterday, he took off his coat and hung it on the back of one of my dinette set chairs. OK. No problem. Once Shelby got some love from her grandpa in the form of ear scratching, she turned around and eyeballed his coat (the only different thing over there), and proceeded to bark at it until she got up enough courage to slowly approach the ‘dangerous’ coat and give it a good sniff. Then she was fine. But barking once someone is already inside and comfortable enough to remove their coat is a bit backwards from alerting me when they’re trying to enter. Granted, I let him in. But she’s done this with a friend who was here… let her come right in, but then gave her the business when she was getting ready to leave. Uh huh. She’s a scary one! But I can’t bark at all, so I guess she’s one up on me there.
Then there are the times when she is just too sweet for words. She must sleep near me during the day (her ‘rule’, not mine). She has her own recliner with a soft comforter, but she’d rather sleep on the floor under the leg part of my recliner when it’s up, or next to my recliner on the floor. If my feet are on the floor, she sleeps between them with her head on top of one foot. When I pick her up to move her, she just lays in my arms, limp, and lets me do whatever I want to her. She’ll sleep on her back like a baby in my arms to the point when she’s dreaming and twitching. She is very trusting, and as long as she’s able to sleep near or on me, she’s content. During the first part of the day, if I’m still worn out from an interrupted night’s sleep, I’ll let her play like a maniac until she wears herself out, and then haul her fuzzy butt back to my bed, put her back into her tent, and we both get another hour or two of sleep.
Shelby is a kisser. When she’s on my lap, she loves to stand up and slurp my face. Her tail is also semi-motorized, and moves so fast it’s hard to see the actual movement. It’s just a little black blur on her butt. And it’s in motion a lot! My dad says that in 20 years, after she’s ‘gone’, there will still be thumping of her tail in her cremation urn. She seems to be very happy just about all of the time (unless she’s trying to figure out why I’m growling at her). It’s sweet to see how curious she is about everything, and that simple things give her joy. All people should be so content with their lives.
The puppy stage lasts a good year to year and a half. We’re only two months in. I love her like crazy, and I’m worn out ! I look forward to watching her grow and learn things she needs to know to be a safe, civilized dog. In the meantime, I am the hairy tornado monitor, pee pad changer, food dispenser, belly scratcher, and toy cleaner-upper. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything 🙂