Raising children was a complex and interesting process. As a parent, I can honestly say that I will probably never think I am done raising my children. But since I have taken on the task of raising a puppy, parenthood may seem like a picnic.
The first thing I have discovered is that there is nothing so energetic as a small puppy like our Josie. This dog can take a walk around the yard at a dead run, pull everything she can find out of the garbage cans and chew it up and still have the energy to run a mile and a half on a half mile walk. She wants to play constantly and for a couple beyond their play years, this can become problematical for us.
Of course, everything she gets, she chews. So far she has eaten my address book, two books I was attempting to read, my glasses (it’s alright, though, because I have nothing to read) and every plastic canvas creation I have attempted in the last month.
We have the bathroom situation figured out. She goes outside…unless she goes inside. So far, my screaming at her when she starts to pee on the rug only means she pees faster to get me to stop screaming. She hasn’t figured out yet why something we praise her for doing out in the grass is something she gets in trouble for if she does it a few feet away on the living room floor.
As a typical puppy, it is second nature for her to bite everything she plays with. She can start out licking your hand or foot but biting will soon follow. I read somewhere that the best way to train a dog not to bite is to roll up some paper and slap her sharply on the nose every time she bites. Josie bit my foot and I slapped her sharply and said, “No.” She sat back and considered it a moment, and then tried again. Again, I said, “No.” and slapped her with the paper. She settled down at once, lying down and looking very cute and innocent.
Satisfied with my attempt at doggie discipline, I went to get her a treat from the kitchen. I returned with the treat, only to find that she was chewing the rolled up paper to shreds. I didn’t give her the treat, but I did have to give her some points for problem solving. The problem she hasn’t solved is how to get rid of all the paper in the house so I can’t roll up anymore!
My rugs may be taking the hardest part of bringing up the puppy. They are being constantly washed after Josie uses them for her bathroom breaks and when she’s not doing that, she is chewing them up. She especially likes the one I have under my small desk in the living room. I wasn’t too worried about the rug because she couldn’t get it out from under the desk. I found out I was wrong the day I heard the crash from the living room and Josie came running with the rug in her mouth and the wreckage from my desk tipping over strewn out behind her.
I had thought she was getting better, but today, while working in the basement, I could hear her, running madly around on the main floor. She must have heard me on the stairs, coming to check on her, because she met me at the door of the basement and flopped down on her belly to give herself a more innocent appearance. The innocent air didn’t help, however, since she had a string stuck in her teeth and hanging from her mouth and streaming out to the rug that she was slowly unraveling.
Yes, bringing up Josie is a challenge, but I take heart from the fact that our children eventually grew up under our guidance, surely Josie will too. Right? Right? Josie, spit my shoe out of your mouth and tell me I’m right!
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