Saturday, 4 January 2014

Puppy problems

My little dog had a litter of five puppies, twelve weeks ago.  Did I mention that on here already?  I think so. Anyway, our intention was to sell four and keep one, but we seem to have been left with two.  It's a long story, but basically someone strung me along for a couple of weeks, asking me to hold on to the puppy until she was ready to have her - and then changed her mind.

Meanwhile, it has been chaos at home, all through the Christmas holidays. Mostly in a good way, because let's face it, puppies are gorgeous and we have been lucky to have two of them to play with and look after.  But it has been troublesome too - due to the torrential rain, toilet training has not been going well in recent weeks.  I have been trying to ignore this, thinking that I would sort it when the second puppy went to her new home.  But learning yesterday that this was not going to happen, I realised that I had to take urgent action.  They needed to be taught to obey basic commands too. Twelve week old puppies begin to become quite a nuisance if they are not disciplined - these had become rather wild.

So today has been a blur of puppy training.  The two of them have learned to sit on demand incredibly fast, I am really impressed with them.  It helps that they are always ravenous, so will do anything for a treat. I have discovered that one puppy is a lot further forward with toilet training than the other, which gives me something to work with (previously I had not worked out which one was messing where).

It is all coming back to me now, and I am confident that I can get the pups sorted in the next week or two. I need to socialise them - they need to learn to walk on the lead and to go for short walks around the neighbourhood.  We tried this a week ago and the walk went really badly - and I felt awful when I realised this was my fault for not getting them used to walking around the garden on the lead first. I knew all this, but had forgotten.

I am surprised at myself for letting things slip thus far.  I suppose to be fair, it has been a busy time of year, but I was much better when I got my dog as a puppy - I sorted her out very quickly.  Anyway, I'll get there.  I think I'll take the puppies to a training class next week - that will be fun for me and for the children. And for the puppies of course.

I have certainly learned a few things from raising this litter - chief among them that homing the puppies is the crucial thing to get right.  I haven't done badly - the other three have gone to lovely homes.  And my little dog has really enjoyed motherhood, so it has been a worthwhile exercise.  But I don't think I should do it again - the second puppy will have to go to a new home when I find the right one for her, because three dogs would just be too many in our small home, but we have had her for so long that I know we will all miss her immensely.  It's been an emotional wrench parting with all of the puppies, of course, but knowing they are being well looked after has helped a lot.

Well, puppies will keep me busy now for the next couple of weeks - another reason why I won't be getting on with my writing! I will try, actually.  I feel very motivated at the moment, probably because it is the start of a new year.  I love the new year - anything seems possible, and on January 1st I was in a whirlwind of activity.

Then I came down to earth with a bump because the next morning I woke up with a really sore throat and a cold and painful ears... Now I am recovering, which is great, as I thought I was in for a lengthy illness.

So, did any of you need to know any of that? Don't worry. It's a rhetorical question.  Happy New yeR (again).

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