We are finding it hard to believe that both Little Nell and Magnus will be a year old next month. In comparison to dogs, cats seem to grow up and get sensible and independent so quickly, whilst dogs seem to take for ever; charm and frustration in equal measure whilst exhausting you in the process. We were in our late twenties the last time we house-trained and socialised a puppy, and I remember how we relished taking Ben our beautiful wall-eyed Border Collie out at every opportunity.
Perhaps it's the house training and socialising three children in between that makes the difference, but sadly now it shows..
BH :'She wants to go out....'
BH: 'Oh you're asleep in the chair...I'll take her....'
Me: 'Don't let her eat the cat food.'
BH: 'Oh you're not asleep...'
Her days are now spent snoozing out in her kennel and run, next door to the boys (which includes her dad Rusty at the moment,) or dashing around the garden 'helping' Bookhound while he does logs and things, or the daily walk to the woods and several jaunts up and down the lane, before coming in for the evening with us, and then sleeping indoors. We keep thinking we'll leave her out in the kennel to sleep at night...but then go all soppy and worry she might be scared.
The puppy crate at night was such a success, but quickly outgrown, so Bookhound constructed a sort of gated bed area in the space under our stairs (I let him out occasionally). In goes Nell at about 10pm and we don't hear a peep until we get up the next morning.
One or two things have become essential items and this is one of them...
Ghastly isn't it, and I daren't wash it because I think it might lose its magic attraction.
It was a stuffed fox which rather surprisingly is called Foxy, she learnt the name very quickly, bonded with it instantly and then proceeded to carry it round with her and take it to bed every night. We just say 'Find Foxy' and she does, heading off to her bed like a very well-behaved toddler with her cuddly friend. Nell is most definitely a 'carrying' dog and is happiest out on a walk with a ball/frisbee/dead rabbit (DROP!!) in her mouth. She certainly knows the difference between right (goooood girl...waggy tail...biscuit maybe) and wrong (baaaaad girl...squirms on floor and slinks off to bed...biscuit no chance hurrummmph).
The other essential item is this...
I am sure you would all agree that if there is one thing a girl doesn't like it is her ears dangling in her dinner. Searching around for a bowl that she couldn't tip up I came across this, billed as a Spaniel bowl. And blow me down the ears hang either side and we have said goodbye to the crusty-lobed look.
And finally, quite by chance this week, we discover that we have a singing dog (we've always wanted one), keen to channel her inner Dame Nellie Melba to the sound of Bookhound's harmonica. The Sprocker Operatics have us in stitches...
Anyone else out there doing, or remember doing, the first year of a puppy thing??
Anyone else have a singing dog??
What should we teach her to sing next??