Week 6

Diary 6 – 16th February to March 8th

Tuppence is now 17 weeks old.  He has had his next set of jabs (this was done while I was away and he was having his holiday), so he is well and truly vaccinated for the next year.  He, like his brother has a small lump on the neck as a result, but it is not worrying him in the slightest.  It will go down in due course as it would with us. He is also growing at an alarming rate.  Height wise he is nearly the same size as Sammy, but not in body length or girth (Sammy is on a diet!)

The other day I decided that I would take him and Sammy to Delta Park for a walk.  Well… this was the excitement of the week for him.  First he was overawed at the size of this “big garden” to play in and did not venture far from my side… but then as the confidence raised so did the distances between us.  In the end I had to use the treats that I had in the container as a rattle to re-call him as he wanted to go and play with the other dogs that we met en-route – no problem except they were going in the opposite direction! He came home and slept for the rest of the afternoon… a bit of p and q for Mum and Sammy!

As he gets bigger and more adventurous so do his antics.  Latterly he has been bringing in the floor mop and the broom.  I am not sure if this is an indication that he will be a “service” dog, that he wants to tell Maria something or that he is being naughty! I think it is the latter… as I type this I hear the broom being manoeuvred through the door and into the house. (He is clever in that he knows he must move his body sideways and his head to get long objects that he his holding/dragging through a restricted space). He has also found it is great fun to play with the charcoal briquettes for the braai…. tearing the bag and strewing the charcoal all over the garden – I am not sure that it is very good for the lawn though!

He went on a group walk at Greenside the other day where he met other pups of various ages, varieties and colours.  Naturally he was so inquisitive to meet all these new dogs friends, he spent much time bouncing around.  Having said that, when we did get to walk through the suburb he was very good, particularly when passing gates where the doggie occupants were barking – he just walked passed like a pro! As a puppy walker one of the hardest jobs, as mentioned previously, is to train the dogs to walk past a gate where other dogs are barking without any form of distraction being shown by your pup. This can take several attempts of walking past the gate, stopping, correcting and starting again until the pup will walk, without any distraction from the dog barking behind the gate, to the other side of the drive or gate.

How time flies, Tuppence is nearly 19weeks.  Today I took him for a walk around the neighbourhood –  he was very good except that he found it a bit hot… being black he does feel the heat more than the golden Labradors’.  Anyway we stopped at the nursery school around the corner from where I live and made a “date” to visit the children next week.

Tuppence has decided that the gardener needs help.  The other day, the gardener was planting new plants in the patio beds – Tuppence watching him quietly from the sitting room window.  When the gardener had left, Tuppence climbed through the window which was open – I have cottage pane windows and burglar bars – (this is a new trick that he has found he can do!) –jumped into the flower beds, and promptly “re-planted” the flowers – the only problem being that  they were not where I wanted them and the beds  had big holes in them!!!

This weekend we are also doing “duty” at Hobbyx where SAGA will have a fundraising stand.  Attending the stall for a long or short time is excellent training for dogs of all stages of maturity.  The reason being that as there are so many different noises and the hustle and bustle of multitudes of people builds confidence in the dog. Both Tuppence and I worked from 10am to about 12.30 on Saturday…. Wow, talk about the madding crowd…. Tuppence wasn’t a bit interested in the show or the number of people … he just wanted to play and be patted and cuddled.  Being the youngest member of the group of dogs there he was a people puller, so he got lots of attention, and by the time to go home he was exhausted from all the attention.

On Monday, we visited the nursery school as planned.  Great excitement as far as the children were concerned and Tuppence and his brother Temba, who came for the experience too, thoroughly enjoyed the attention and were very well behaved.  We have agreed to do another visit in the not too distant future.

Thursday 8th March saw our last puppy class… the pups are now 20 weeks old, and ready to go from “pre- primary to primary school”.  They all had a good play and then a walk from the guide dog centre.  Each and every one did very well and is ready to graduate to the next level…. Being at home all the time and being walked with their puppy walker re-iterating all the items that were shown during puppy classes.

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