You would think without marathon training, I would have oodles of leisure time on my hands, but my life has taken a new turn with the addition of The Puppy.
The first few months are crucial for dog training, and I want to do it right for a change, which means we are one busy family at the moment.
My days are filled with feeding, exercising, teaching, cleaning-up after and correcting the pack, which also includes the kids.
When we first brought The Puppy home, our Havanese wouldn’t go near him, preferring to snarl from under the table, rather than play. But now that ‘Charlie’ has been with us for two weeks, Pepin has relaxed to the point where he will now sniff at Charlie when the pup is asleep, no doubt checking for vital signs. This is progress.
Charlie plays hard and sleeps hard. When he plays, he is a whirlwind, when he sleeps, we can hold him upside down and he doesn’t even twitch an eyelid. He sleeps so soundly that one of the kids worriedly asked, “Is he okay?”
Charlie also loves the snow. He will roll in it and shove his snout through it and lay down in it and eat it.
Charlie has a lot to learn, but I can see the wheels turning in his mind as he works at something new.
At ten weeks, not only will Charlie sit and lay down on command without me having to say a word, but he will also go from laying down back up to sitting (9 times out of 10) when I use only hand signals. We are working on ‘stay’ and ‘leave it,’ with excellent results. He is by far the smartest dog I’ve ever owned (no offense to Pepin–our ‘grumpy old man’).
I have to admit, I am having fun training the dogs. It’s a challenge for me, and if you know me at all, you know I love challenges.
Bailey (the Awesome Chocolate Lab who started it all) is currently staying with us, and thus, our week has been filled with wild rumpus moments where you know EXACTLY where the Wild Things are (in your room, eating your socks) and scenes so tender they could have been scripted by Hallmark.
It has also felt a little like doggy boot camp here in the German countryside as I try to emulate the Dog Whisperer, but I love looking down and seeing those lovely faces staring patiently at me–waiting for their post-walkies carrots.
But something about the way Charlie follows me around the house, sitting nicely and staring at me with his gorgeous eyes makes me wonder:
Am I training him, or is he training me?