WEEK 1 14th to 20thDecember
I collected Tuppence on Wednesday 14th December aged 8 weeks.
The first hurdle was travelling in the car from guide dogs to my home in Blairgowrie. As a guide dog, they have to learn to travel in the car, so from day one they are taught to travel in the front foot well of the passenger seat quietly. At least that is the idea. Tuppence had different thoughts though. From the gate to Fernridge Veterinary clinic he squealed and barked trying to get up on the seat. (The car was very hot). Pushing the pup down with the left hand and still driving is not a good one, but we managed without being stopped for dangerous driving.
The stop at the vet was to show off Tuppence as they always want to see and help Guide Dogs. After cooling off, being weighed – 6.2kg, we carried on for the rest of the journey, all 5 minutes of it. Sitting on the cool towel (which I had sorted out at the vet) calmed him and by the time I drove into the drive he had settled and was ready to sleep.
Arriving home, he had to be carried from the car into the house and greeted at the locked kitchen security gate by Xara and Sammy, my own two dogs. Xara and Sammy as usual sniffed and poked with their noses to see if this black “thing” moved, then when it did, gave friendly warning barks to tell Tuppence the pecking order (whether he will listen remains to be seen). We all then went into the garden for exploration time.
First stop the grass to see if he can be coaxed to do a “busy” (toilet training on command) which he did, and was praised for doing so. I think I could see a cartoon balloon over Tuppences’ head saying “wow, this is scary…have I got all this space to play in… I am going to get lost and what if I fall in these big things with water in them” (the drinking trough or the swimming pool).
Having explored, sleep was the order of the afternoon, and on waking out he went into the garden and did a busy on his own… wow was I pleased!!!
Play time… best one… the packet empty food and a bottle… both made lots of noise to annoy Maria while she was doing the ironing in the kitchen.
Bedtime… well… Tuppence was benched to my bed leg at the head of my bed, allowing movement but not too far. The bed chosen for him he did not like… a bread crate and a blanket… he preferred the rug underneath it. However we both had a good night… he settled immediately and went to sleep until about 4am. I heard the crackle of the newspaper which I had put down (my early warning system)so I knew that hewas getting restless, so up I got, switched off the alarm, and took Tuppence out into the garden where he obliged with a “big” busy. Back to bed until 6.30am…. Not bad for a first night.
This has been quite and exciting day for him, he went to the Bryanston Organic Market. He had his little jacket on and although I was carrying him he got lots of cuddles and affection. He was very good and enjoyed the socializing despite the heat. Over coffee, he lay under my seat and slept (just as he should when older, but I think that this was sheer exhaustion). An hour later we were on the way home again… enough was enough!
During the day he has been in and out of the house playing one grass, checking out the tortoise and generally being a puppy terrorising both Sammy and Xara. He also found that he could pull the table cloth off the kitchen table and the hand and drying up towels hanging from the hooks found their way into his bed!!! He also found that his feet are good gardening tools…. They make good holes to put a nose into and bring muddy paws into the kitchen.
Bedtime, uneventful, and he decided that his bed WAS actually comfortable. Again, a good night and the hours of waking the same as day 1.
As a puppy raiser, the first few weeks are the hardest, as it is like having a new baby in the house… sleep patterns are disrupted… your ears are re-tuned to different noises, particularly the silent ones during playtime, and generally more alert. Your time is spent avoiding puppy who is under your feet, going outside at regular intervals, particularly when puppy wakes after a sleep and meals to coax them to do “busy” and in between trying to fit in the normal things of running a house, like shopping!
Today again excitement reigned… we all went out for lunch where Tuppence met some other dogs…5 in all. A Labrador, a pug, a Maltese, a miniature Doberman and a cross pug/jack Russell. Apart from the lab, they were all roughly the same size of Tuppence, so you can imagine the games…. In and out, round and round. Tuppence was exhausted at the end of the day. He slept all the way home in the car, had supper, slept more, went out for busy at bedtime, and then slept until 5am…
Quiet day in the garden, helping Petrus, the gardener, with the weeds and the grass. Only Tuppence thought that he would try to prune the hibiscus. He also realised that he could dig holes and come up with a muddy nose…. The garden now has holes which were not there before. 3am Tuppence for the first time yelped to wake me…. wanting to go out… so proud of him.
Today Tuppence is being a holy terror. Played with the wire from the radio speaker pulling it from the cable clips, then bored with that played with the curtain tie-back, pulling bits out of the tassel, did a “busy” in the house, dug some more in the flower bed, came inside (was playing outside) to do another “busy” in the house on the carpet, tormenting Xara and Sammy and tried to help Maria clean the oven. He then decided that the serving trolley made a good hiding place. Not a good day!!!!!
Getting the hang of sitting and waiting for his food rather than diving in head first. He is still barking in front of Sammy and Xara wanting them to play… neither co-operative.
Not a bad day. House training is still a bit erratic but we are getting there. Nights are still broken at about 4 am and then wanting breakfast about 7. At least he was able to hang on during the night until the rain had stopped. Naughty wise…. He has found that the small carpet rugs are good to tug around the house and re-arranging them where he thinks they should be … that must be stopped. He also has found that my coffee table is quite a good teething post… that too must be stopped.