Week 5

Diary 5 – January 19th to 15th February

Third week of school and the novelty has not worn off…wow… we shall have to see what he is like at week 10!  On the way to class we did a short visit to the Bryanston Organic Market to visit some of the stallholders who are very attached to the puppies and watch them grow from “balls of fluff” to a “handsome dog” that is ready to fly the nest to begin the formal training. Tuppence however was more interested in playing than being shown around… another time perhaps it should be school first then the treat of a visit later!!!!

Walking to the post office the other day he could not understand why a solid wall was barking at him…. As he could not see the dog behind, he was very confused as to where the sound was coming from, not that it worried him.  Walking past the gate where there is an old German shepherd was fine, until we got past the gate and the dog barked….. Tuppence shot round to see who/what he was barking at….nothing…oh ok …let me sit and think this one through!  He then walked on calmly home and flopped on the kitchen floor…. It was quite hot and being black he feels the heat.
Tuppence is now at the chewing stage…. Obviously his big teeth are beginning to push the baby teeth which are causing irritation…. Found to day that he had chewed through the wire of the fan, luckily not plugged into the socket and that the edge of the Persian rug has a raw edge, not a neat woven edge! (Mind you, I think that could have been boredom rather than teething).  I have also found another of his hiding places… under the spare bed in the study, so as I type this all I can see is one foot and a tail!!!!

Before I go out, leaving Tuppence in the kitchen, I set up the “damage control” objects…. Three metal food bowls individually positioned on the table… this is to make a BIG NOISE when he pulls the table cloth off (I know, I could take it off, but then he would not learn that this trick is a No No), attach a beer can with stones in it AND a bell to the hand and kitchen towel on the hook so that when he pulls them off, either it will knock him on the head to give him a shock (it is not a big bell and the can is not heavy before I get reported) or just the noise will do the trick. So far neither has had much effect (… I need something which makes a BIG noise as he thinks the bell is quite fun to play with) but hopefully it will sink in eventually…. at least I hope so.

His latest, and very horrible habit which I need to break, is to eat the other dogs’ faeces.  This is not an easy one to break, but necessary.  If I catch him at it, it is a good yank on the collar and squirt with the water bottle (always close by), but I am also adding a small amount of “schweden-bitter” to Sammy and Xara’s food (they do not mind the taste and aids the digestion of food) so that hopefully he is put off.
I took him the other day to meet some friends for a coffee at Cresta shopping centre.…. Naturally he was the star attraction as we walked through to Mugg and Bean where we had agreed to meet, but the funniest thing was when we walked past a fashion shop which had a mannequin in the window…. We walked past… then he stopped…went back to the window… put his nose against the glass as if to say “who/what are you”… then walked on.  Not a bark, growl just inquisitive! (All part of the learning curve). While having our coffee, he just lay flat (not under the chair but next to it) and slept…. I was so proud of him.

Thursday, school day, saw us going to a nursery school.  The idea of this is to see how the puppies behave and react to “little people” who are the same size and eye level.  Well I can say that Tuppence and all his siblings and friends behaved like stars, thoroughly enjoyed being fed “treats” by the children and making new friends.

The weekend saw Tuppence again going to a party…well what a time he had…fell in the pool twice, ran himself ragged playing with the other dogs to the point that I had barely got to the end of the road on the drive home and he was fast asleep, only waking when we got home to do a “busy” and then fall into his bed to sleep more and all the following day all he did was sleep…. I have established his NEW sleeping place… under the spare bed in the study (he normally goes there when I am working on the computer), but he now retreats there for his P and Q time.  I just have to remember NOT to shut the study door when I go elsewhere in the house… not like the other day when he went into the bathroom, pushed the door closed and then sat and barked (good lad that he is), but I thought he was barking in the garden and ignored him for a good 10 minutes until I realised where he was……. Sorry boy……!!!!!!

From Friday 3rd to Sunday 12th February Tuppence went on holiday (he went to stay at Guide-Dog Kennels).  I myself went away for the week and since ALL puppies out on the programme have to spend some time in kennels, although he was only 16 weeks, this was a good opportunity and his first stint of being away from home! From what I understand he played from morning to night with his kennel mate, and if not with him, with anyone else he could find to play with…. He definitely did not seem to miss me and I think will not hang on to my “apron strings” when he is fully grown!!!! Unfortunately while I was away, Sammy and Xara had a fight – for no reason.  As I was at Sodwana Bay, I had to do some rapid thinking as to how to handle the situation as this was not the first time it had happened. Sammy was stitched up and kept at the vet for a couple of days, but I am glad to say that she is definitely on the mend, but Xara having been on “death row” for a few days has been re-homed to a family where she is on her own.  So as a family are now down to just Sammy and Tuppence.  Sammy for a few days until Tuppence got home did not really know what was happening, following me like a shadow.  She is also now also becoming a bit more tolerant with Tuppence which is also a good sign, so sometimes good things comes from bad happenings.

Tuppence met hissponsors the other day at the graduation – Mr Ian Symon of Pt Operational Services. TuppenceI think must have known to be good as he really did put on his best manners and behave himself, except when a guide dog owner from Austria played the pan pipes – Tuppence, at a crucial moment decided that he would “sing” to the music being played – “what a wonderful world” – perhaps he realised what a beautiful world this is and that he wants to make his mark in it (or perhaps the music just hurt his ears – who knows!).
Today we walked at Northgate.  This was a new experience for Tuppence as he had not been to the centre before.  He met up with some of his 4 legged compatriots whilst I was able to meet some of the new puppy raisers for the first time.  A good time was had by all, and all, dogs included, that we shall meet again shortly.

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