Pupdate!

As I write this post, there are two sleeping puppies lying next to me cuddled together on the couch. It is a wonderful, heartwarming scene which would be more idyllic had one of them not just passed gas.
It has been a wonderful and frustrating month. Neither R nor I has ever had more than one dog at a time. Puppy training times two is...interesting.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped with this so far, especially R’s brother and my mom who have come over to let the dogs out during the day. You guys are awesome.

For the most part, life with Tesla and Titus is a joy. There have been a number of firsts over the past few weeks. These included:

The first baths: certain unfortunate accidents necessitated the puppies’ first baths. Both were small enough to bathe in the kitchen sink. Despite their small size, they managed to soak me fairly thoroughly. The only thing sadder than the whining* of the puppy of the puppy being washed was the crying of the one waiting on the floor.

First Vet visit: technically not their
first but their first with us. I have been taking them to a place recommended by a coworker, the Center Line Veterinary Hospital** I was very impressed with the care they provided. We have definitely found our new vet.

It was a little weird going there. I am not used to dogs who resisted the vet visit. Dervish considered his vet a second home. He usually rushed out of the car to get inside where he often tried to jump through the receptionist’s window to get to the back. Once there he would check out the kennels and exam rooms to see who else was there as well as who was working. Kai didn’t particularly like going to the vet, but accepted it in a resigned “all right let’s get this over with so I can get back to my day” way.

Titus and Tesla, however...not so happy with the idea. I was very surprised that Tesla, my little fearless one, started whining while we were in the waiting room. Both of them calmed down a bit when we got back to the exam room. They took some time exploring and sniffing everything. When the doctor came in, I swear Titus stepped in between him and Tesla.

All right, I may be anthropomorphizing just a little but you should be used to that by now, right?

Both puppies have also started Puppy Classes.
Trainers Academy uses positive reinforcement methods (so none of the punishment based pack theory stuff endorsed by a certain individual who claims to whisper to dogs***). R is taking Titus on Thursdays and I am taking Tesla on Wednesdays. Both puppies seem to be enjoying the classes and are taking to the lessons quite well. We have already signed up for the Intermediate classes.

There have been some other interesting developments from the dogs’ class experiences. Part of each class is devoted to “puppy play.” This is the real reason we are doing puppy class -- to allow the puppies to socialize with other dogs. We want T & T**** to be used to being with other dogs and to be able to play well with others. This was very important given the way they play with each other...roughly.

Before classes Tesla would knock Titus around despite being 2/3 his size. After the very first class Titus started holding his own a little more. We had hoped that he would gain a little confidence and it seems to have worked. We also hoped someone would knock Tesla down a peg so she would be a little calmer.

Um...yeah. About that.

When they divided the puppies into two groups based roughly on size, I almost said something. I had visions of Tesla dominating the other wee ones like young Ned Flanders before the University of Minnesota Spankalogical Protocol was administered.*****

Um...yeah.

Rather than running forward and annihilating the other dogs as I expected, Tesla stood next to me, refusing to play. When I stepped back so she couldn’t hide behind my legs she looked up at me as if I had betrayed her. She spent most of that session running from the other dogs and batting her eyelashes at the other owners hoping one of them would pick her up.

The trainers, who had already heard about her wrestling matches with Titus from R, were almost as surprised as I was.

Three classes in, she has finally started to engage the other dogs. Last night she allowed herself to be sniffed without running away. Towards the end of the session she even jumped over a few of the dogs.

I suspect she was trying to jump into them and bowl them over like she does with her brother, but her depth perception and aim were a little off. They just weren’t big enough targets.

There is plenty more to tell, including some surprising information about their origins, but this post is already ungodly long. Besides, I have to save something for later.

Yes, for all of those who are not seeing all of the pictures on Twitter and/or Facebook, I will be putting up an album of puppy pictures. Soon.

No, I don’t know when.

Jeez! I said soon, all right?





*By whining I mean unholy screaming that sounded like someone was skinning a banshee with a rusty knife.

**Because as much as I loved the vet we went to with Dervish, it is Hellalong ways away. We went there because that is where he was born and everyone knew him (as the smallest of Sugar’s babies).

***For the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’ position on punishment based/dominance theory training click
here and here.

****It’s dynamite.

*****I’m Dick Tracy! Bang! Take that Pruneface! Now I’m Pruneface, take that Dick Tracy! Now I’m Prune Tracy, take that Dick...