August 18, 2003

Alpha Male ~ Day 3

When the world offers you lemons, make lemonade. When it offers you a puppy, wrap some words around it and call it kennel journalism. Since I will not be able to gather too many thoughts on any other topic for a while, I will be keeping Pup Chronicles (Alpha Male) to remember Tsuga's first month (and maybe beyond) accompanied from time to time with pictures to see how he has grown. This is for us, but you can share if ya wanna.

6:00 a.m. Tsuga slept from 8:30 til 4:00 without a peep (after the 10 minute sea-lion imitations on first entering the dreaded crate). Even so, he got up too early. Finally after Ann left this morning at 5:45, he went to sleep on my lap. This is the first time he has calmed down enough to sit close and not be gnawing fingers or belt or watchband. I slipped him off into the crate, and he settled down without protest, nestled next to one of my old unwashed tee shirts, hidden by the towel that blocked his view of stuff going on in the house. I left the radio on NPR as company, and actually had about 30 minutes to have a life apart from the new conscript.

7:30 That little respite is over now; and after wandering around in the yard eating the Corepsis, clumps of mower grass and a few earthworms, we're back inside again. He is so sleepy, and I'm sure he hasn't been getting up at 5:00 a. m. when he was with his liter mates. The second attempt to put the groggy little guy in the crate was not successful, and he's making a racket Ann would never have tolerated. Unfortunately, the computer is in the part of the house with carpet where we want Tsuga to stay out of. So, if puppy is awake, I will not be computing. And so it goes. I am reading what I can find on "separation anxiety", because just today, he throws a fit when I leave his sight even briefly. He is so exhausted. When I come in the room he runs up and lies down between my feet before I can sit down; but he will not rest in the crate. I don't know what we're going to do tomorrow when I have to be away for 2-3 hours.

9:00 Finally, he's konked out and I've been able to get into the front room for a few minutes. I have been saying that I need to do more reading. Well, I think the opportunity has presented itself. I can read outside or in the room with the hardwood floors while he snoops and sniffs and attacks things. Computing (including some way-overdue writing/editing) will just have to take a back seat. Note: I can tell that his face has darkened since we brought him home. And his back legs are stronger, less prone to scissor. He is remembering that when I hold up two fingers, that means STOP, and a light tap on the snout with the fingers when he bites too hard or pulls at my shirt sleeves or chews on the braided rug seems an effective reminder. Re the house training: failing grades so far.

RE: Chewing... yes, we are aware of the great KONG. But are some folks carrying this bit too far? Take for example, AUNT JEANNIE'S ARCHEOLOGY KONG (for advanced dogs) LAYER ONE (deepest): roasted, unsalted cashews freeze dried liver bits LAYER TWO: dog kibble, cookies or liver biscotti Cheerios sugar-free, salt-free peanut butter dried banana chips, apples and apricots LAYER THREE: carrot sticks turkey or leftover ravioli or tortellini Kong Toy (the larger the better!) Pack as tightly as possible. The last item inserted should be an apricot or piece of ravioli, presenting a smooth "finish" under the main opening. LIGHT VERSION: substitute crumbled rice cakes for cashews, Caesar croutons for freeze-dried liver, fat free cream cheese for peanut butter.

Posted by fred1st at August 18, 2003 09:38 AM | TrackBack

Ha-ha! Yes, that is an over-the-top Kong recipe...peanut butter...the cheap store brand works just as well...Kong makes a bone shaped one that has stuffing orficies on the biscuits fit perfectly...part is above the rubber for an instant treat the rest has to be worked on, chewed and licked. You might look at Nylabones too...they are non-toxic and almost indestructible...lots of good chewing.

You are going to have to wait out the crate whining and barking. It took Harley about a week of whining and barking before he got the idea that it wasn't working. Don't force him into the cage...BRIBE him...toss in a treat or make a dry chow trail...with lots of "happy" & "good boy" baby talk. You have to figure out how to make it fun and to his profit. Otherwise you're done. ;-)

Posted by: feste at August 18, 2003 03:52 PM

It might be a little early to worry about "seperation anxiety". His whole life he has had his litter mates with him, so he is not used to being alone yet. Take him outside with you and read. Don't pay attention to him and let him discover the joys of wandering off by himself and being "alone" even if he is only 10 feet away. He'll gradually get the hang of it.

Posted by: bogie at August 19, 2003 06:35 AM

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