By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
At 7:00 AM, Groundhog Day, my sibling, Simon the senior Brittany, and I got on the road bound Sacramento to pick up Skyler, my new Australia Shepherd 9 week old puppy. As a night owl, this feat was challenging- foreshadow to changing my serene senior life as I once knew it. Snacking on cookies and chips to keep awake and deal with the twists and turns in the mountains was a prelude to my pre-Skyler healthy lifestyle.
Before picking up puppy, cell phone chat let me hear my new crated child! He was loud--squeals and whines. Once the Red Bluff, CA horse lady with a litter of Aussies let the pooch out of the dog box, all was quiet. And so the fun began...
When our eyes (his are hazel) met for the first time--it was puppy love. The long ride home back to the Sierra was better than expected. The docked tails of both boy dogs were wagging fast. All was calm. My 200 mile drive to sedate the dogs plan worked like a charm. Everyone was dog tired. Then, the 3:00 PM vet check also was lucky. My rocky raccoon eyes from lack of sleep widened when Skyler (13 pounds of fluff) received an "A" for the hands-on physical exam. Exhale.
Once home, my new dog duo and cat were relatively calm. In fact, by 1:00 AM we all were cuddled up and sleeping in the waterbed. No problems. But hold the phone. My vet told me that the pup I saw on February 2 was not the real deal I'd see in about 18 hours later. Fast forward to the doc's prediction. (Three hours of sleep, night one.) Meet the real energetic puppy Skyler!
The New Puppy Rules
* Lose crate. Whoever the pro-dog crate writers are, I believe it's fiction they wrote when saying it works. Read: It does not unless you have ear plugs and laid-back neighbors.
* Forget cats and puppy best friends from the get-go. Spoiled felines and new puppies aren't instant pals, especially if you have a me-first Aries Siamese-mix kitty and Sag herding dog. Zen is not zen-like for now. Last time I saw him he was packing up his kitty food and toys...He may be seeking a new "No Puppies Allowed" home.
* Use dog lead smarts. Skyler didn't know the word "lead"... He does now and loves it. I love it.
* Hide all tech cords. Last night in a puppy minute, Skyler shredded my cell phone cord. Radio Shack no longer carries it. Upside: I got my new cell phone back from brother--it works. Good dog!
* Stay on top of poo. Ah, we got this feat handled. After every feeding, playtime, naps it's outdoors to do puppy business. Note to self: Skyler is living up to his name "scholar." He's got potty training down to a "T"...
Now, if Zen can just get the message that the pup is a permanent fixture in the house, we can live in peace. "Zen? Here kitty, kitty."