20 February 2017

One Wrong Move And That Dog Will Tear You To Shreds

I live in a calm, orderly world. I'm happy in this world. I know where every item is in our kitchen. I can tell you precisely where to find any particular size of scissors. I can easily direct you to our SCUBA gear . . . and anything else throughout the house. Counter tops and furniture remain uncluttered, floors are wide-open without items forgotten here and there. I wouldn’t say that I am neurotic about living in an orderly environment . . . but Rusty certainly would. 

When we have house guests Rusty endures my predictable 15-minute meltdown when I must accept that gear belonging to our dearest friends will be strewn about the house. It’s an insignificant price to pay for hosting our pals as guests. Otherwise, when it's just us (and our cat), I use a little unwritten schedule to keep our house and my life very orderly. 

And then one day about a week ago my little universe shifted. The axis of my little world tilted somehow, and what order existed left the building.

Our new puppy arrived. Penny is a baby, and it will be many, many months (as in 18-30) before she doesn’t need every puppy accouterment known to dogdom in every room and outdoor space. Leashes are everywhere. After all, we must have a leash quickly at hand as Penny is being house-trained. And remember, we have concrete walls, so placing a hook or a series of hooks on the wall is not an option . . . even for this man (today is his birthday, again), who can over-engineer and construct anything we might need to hang and/or store puppy gear.

Bones, toys, containers of dry chow, containers of freeze-dried turkey bits, containers of probiotic powder, dog crates, collars of varying cute design, containers of training treats, water bowls, mats, exercise pens, brushes, stripping knives (don’t ask) -- these items are everywhere, on every kitchen surface, tossed about the terrace, and on indoor and outdoor tables. Penny believes that her water bowls are merely small pools intended for digging and splashing and rolling. Thus towels and Sham-Wows® require daily washing. 

And ask yourself: How does one house-train a dog when one lives in the house solely for sleeping and cooking? Otherwise, in our world, we live outdoors on the terrace. When Penny awakes in her crate at 4:15 A.M. and cries, her request is a clear indication that she needs to go outside to poop or pee. And who would deny such a request?

Of course a little dog, especially a rocket-fast puppy, can get into a lot of trouble very quickly. If anything is at her eye level, it goes into her mouth. Happily, our yard is far more puppy-proof than our hands, hair, and clothing.

So my calm, orderly world now involves keeping an eye on three-month-old Penny almost 100% of the time. I wouldn't say that I'm neurotic about watching her every movement . . . but Rusty would. If there be typos, grammatical errors, or misspellings in this post it is because I'm too tired to care. Yes, the grammar Nazi has let go . . . at least for today. Lo que hay.