Sunday, January 2, 2011
Ups and Downs, Ins and Outs
The Pup is named Polo (because he looks like a cuddly little polar bear) but is also known as Apollo and Spud. He kind of told his side of the story already, so here's mine. We were dogless for about a week, and that was as much as I could stand. I had said that the timing of getting another dog would be a family decision, but I couldn't wait. I let my husband talk me into "just looking" at the local animal shelter. (He didn't have to twist my arm at all. Seven days of not being gleefully greeted at the door is a long, long time.) We went home with a sweet six-month-old golden Lab mix. The naming rights were supposed to be a matter of family vote, too, but I stole the ballot box.
Polo loves to go on walks, although he still hates meeting oncoming traffic. If puppies are "chick magnets", Polo is a general "people magnet". Since we end up doing a stop/sit for many encounters, strangers praise us for great obedience. I can't take a compliment that we don't deserve, so I inform them that he's actually scared stiff and refuses to move. This is usually followed by, "Oh, I see, he's just a pup. Inn't he just the sweetest lil thang?" Yep. So much for aerobic walking. Here we are on the trail together:
There is one nightmare that keeps coming true for the Polo pup. At odd times of the day, tall bearded men suddenly appear in our upstairs hallway. Sometimes, they poke their heads into the master bedroom when they come into the house in the wee hours. They're big, they have man-voices, and they come from out of nowhere. Of course the pup has to bark at them -- they're scary! Unfortunately, this doesn't endear him to them, and not even the Mom and Dad show appreciation for this loud announcement of Polo's surprise. Nightmares, indeed.
So far, Polo has endured two shower-baths. He takes them sitting down, but doesn't particularly enjoy them. Although most dogs don't "mess their nest", dogs who have spent time in kennels don't know better than to potty in their crates. Ick. But with all his beautiful fur, Polo needs regular baths anyway. Here's hoping he'll learn to like them.
We're enrolled in an obedience class that starts later this month. At least, I am, and I think Polo is supposed to come with me. It's good to have a walking partner again. He's still learning the greet-Mom-at-the-door thing, but he'll figure it out.