Rex didn’t start out like this: mellow, quiet, still. When he was a puppy, he tore through the house grabbing kleenex out of wastebaskets, toilet paper off the roll, discarded socks on the floor. Anything he could get his paws on, and his mouth around, was fair game. I thought I was prepared for Puppyhood. I bought books, supplies, tried to puppyproof the house, but ultimately, there was something I had to PUT into practice:
P – Patience
U – Understanding
T – Training
When that bundle of cute puppy-love was in my arms, I wanted to snuggle and hug him, but he wiggled and jiggled and squirmed. He wasn’t immediately the cuddler I had hoped for.
Was he being malicious when he nibbled on the remote control, gnawed up the wooden whirlybirds in the backyard, and chewed on his plastic foodbowls? Nah, he was just being a puppy.
I wanted a dog that would lie by my side at night and watch television with me, walk calmly at the end of his leash, and sit and stay when I told him to. But those instructions don’t come programmed into a puppy’s head like a computer loaded with software.
Okay, I’m not an expert when it comes to dogs, just an ordinary person who believes every dog should have a home. And I wasn’t about to give up on my capricious puppy even though he was a handful. Some of my fabulous Facebook friends commented on their own adventures with a young one:
“The ‘office puppy’ used to chew on the adding machine tape and get into the garbage by my desk. She’s two and a half now, and does a lot better with her chew toys.” Yvonne
“My 120 pound German Shepard ate my favorite Christmas ornament and buried enough of the kids’ socks to fill a landfill. When she turned two she became a well-behaved dog. Now she’s 11 and I miss her wild, ready-for-anything days!” Darlene
So what have YOU been through with your puppy? Maybe it was a long time ago, maybe it was only yesterday. Fill us in on how you survived puppyhood — it just might help others. Thanks!