Forgive me for not writing with a puppy update sooner. I thought that finding time to write was tough with chatty preschooler in the house: Adding a playful pooch to the mix means my distractions are on overtime! I am pleased to report that Cupcake is settling in splendidly to his new home, family and life. Since we brought him home three weeks ago, so much has happened!
Crate training is working! Thanks to all those who wrote in words of encouragement. After a few fitful nights of sleep, the puppy now settles down like clockwork when placed in his crate at bedtime. The key is take him out (I would say that the the end of the day potty trip is even harder than the early morning one) and then give him about fifteen minutes of focused play (he fetches like a master already!). After that, we simply put him in the crate, shut the lights out and he settles down until dawn.
He likes to eat everything — including things that are bad for him. I have heard that puppies are worse than babies when it comes to sticking things in their mouths and have learned the hard way it is true. We are earnestly trying to be diligent about not dropping food on the floor — especially things like onions, grapes, raisins or chocolate which can be especially toxic to dogs. But our yard is a whole ‘nother arena! Cupcake wants to gnaw on every piece of bark, twig and dried up flower he finds. On New Year’s Eve we had a real scare: He was up all night barfing and with diarrhea. At one point, sleeping on the living room floor with him was easier than trudging up and down the stairs to our bedroom. He kept on going out until nothing was left. It didn’t dampen his spirits though, and the next day he was happy and interested in food. I made him some comfort food — white rice with poached chicken — and mixed in a little canned pumpkin. Supposedly it acts as a binding agent and “firms things up.” It seemed do the trick and in less than 24 hours he was completely back on track. I still don’t know what it was that caused him to get so sick that night. I need to do some research on toxic plants, I think. (Any advice?)
Walking a puppy makes you really popular. Cupcake is seriously the happiest dog in the world. His tail is always up and wagging. He wants to say hello to every person and dog within eye, ear and nose shot. And people who would never have spoken to us before are suddenly fishing for invites to come and play. Walking down our town’s main street with Cupcake attracts so much attention, I feel famous. Yet, some resist temptation: About 80% stop and say hello or at least make eye contact, but to the 20% who don’t, you have to wonder: If puppies don’t make you smile, what does?
I could go on and on, but can’t right now. More soon on the our wonderful puppy adventures! — Angela M.
Previously on The Puppy Files:
After Losing Our Dear Cat We Ask, Is It Time For a Dog?