Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The History of Scout, chapter Two
Did I mention that Scout was absolutely and without doubt the cutest puppy in the history of the world? Of course, not being experienced dog people (as I may have mentioned before) we didn't have a lot to compare her with. But we had many experiences like this:
Strange man walks up to John outside of fast food restaurant, says "that is a seriously cute dog", and walks away. Cars stop in the middle of the PetSmart parking lot. People roll down the window. We Take her to a park, and are immediately surrounded by people of all ages, children saying, "Can I pet your puppy?", people telling stories about when their own dog was a puppy. It made me think that there ought to be something called "dog evangelism", where you just walk your dog, meet people, and talk a little bit about Jesus, too. Seriously, I've never been popular before. That just doesn't happen with cat owners.
Of course, that was not our whole experience of early puppy-hood. No. "No" was a frequent word in our household. Not that Scout understood it. She probably thought her name was, "Scout, NO." Actually, our house is pretty noisy, and that may have been part of the problem. There were other problems as well.
Sleep deprivation was one. At first it was the nightly howling, (which we sometimes, affectionally called "yowling") which went on for three or four nights. Then it was some middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, until she had a little better bladder control. One time Scout and I were out at about 2:00 (she was about 8 weeks) when suddenly a raccoon jumped out of our garbage can! We both jumped!
Also, there was the play biting. All in fun, I know, but extremely annoying. And we couldn't think of an effective way to tell her we didn't LIKE it. "NO" didn't work. Shaking the can of pennies didn't work -- after the first time anyway. The water squirter didn't work. Also, on the leash, off the leash, inside or on a walk, she liked to jump on us and nip (polite way of saying, "bite" our clothing.) I used to have a very nice James Taylor T-shirt which now has a big hole in it.
It was like living with an alien from another planet.
Besides that, she started getting sick. We had her to the vet not long after we got her, where we got special bland food, a shot of water, and some antibiotics. At that time, it seemed to clear up, and we weren't that concerned. It's just harder to get on with potty-training if your dog can't -- you know -- wait.
So maybe you understand why one Sunday afternoon, when John's son offered to take her for a play-time at a nearby dog park, I didn't hesitate. Scout was just about 10 weeks old. We were getting ready to enroll her in her first puppy class. But we hadn't gone yet. And I needed a break. Scout obviously needed more physical activity than we could give her in our small house and not-yet-fenced-in yard. You know what they say: "A tired puppy is a good puppy." We waved goodbye and took a good nap.
But why were they not back at 6:30 P.M.? It was past Scout's supper time! I was starting to get worried...
To be continued....
Possible Future posts...
The plot thickens, Animal Humane Society, Scout is not a bad dog, Dog Park Therapy, etc....