Saturday, August 7, 2010

P-E-T Code

I often compare having a critter pet, particularly a puppy {or a toddler or teen dog, say, oh, under the age of 3}, to having young children, though young mama's roll their eyes at me when I say so.  But honestly there really are a few similarities, especially with a spastic active breed like this one, who appears to have some sort of terror terrier in him. Good grief these dogs have some energy.

He requires a lot of toys. A LOT of toys. Some because he needs the stimulation to keep him entertained, but mostly because he can destroy go through them fast. Which means that you have toys strewn from one side of the family room to the other about 99% of the time. Once he's down for the night, there's a ritual of scooping up toys to return them to his "toy box," just so you can see the floor again, and not break your ankle stepping on one of them later.

Then of course, while there may not be diapers involved, there certainly is potty training, or housebreaking, as in breaking your puppy of the desire to just pee or poop right where he is, i.e., inside your house - and that starts right away. So there are schedules for potty training. And trying to recognize the "I need to go potty signals." And coming back inside only to turn around and have to go outside. Ten. Times. In. A. Row. And ... the accidents that come along with it.

There's also a schedule for feedings and a schedule for naps, and apparently a highly stimulated breed like this must need to continue those schedules for some time, or else they get cranky and then drive every other animal within range crazy and start to get into everything. Mine must go down for regular naps every single day, at about the same time, and since his house breaking occurred with a crate, that is where he naps. In another room. Away from any stimulation. With a noise machine to cover any external noises. And covered like a bird so he can't see anything. And you have to be quiet. And pray nobody rings the doorbell.

Of course you must keep your eye on them at all times and be careful about what might be on the floor because, apparently this kind of breed wants to put everything in his mouth. And eat it. Everything. No. Really. EVERYTHING. If there is a speck of something that makes it way to the floor - a leaf or twig brought in on a shoe, a twist tie knocked off the counter, a piece of paper, a thread, piece of string, a tissue, a bobby pin, an empty toilet roll, you name it, if he can get to and find it, he will eat it. 

And yes, sometimes, you even have to be careful what you say.
Husband arrives home. "Has he had a T-R-E-A-T?"
Wife, "No, but it's almost time for his dinner, so he doesn't need one."

Husband. "I'm going by Mama's. Wanna R-I-D-E with me?"
Wife, "Nah. Too hot to go out. Tell her I said hello"

Husband, "I'm going O-U-T for a while. Need anything?"
Wife, "No, we're good. Since you're going out, would you check the M-A-I-L before you leave?"

Yes. I am convinced. He actually does know what we are saying, at least he knows certain words like those based on his reactions to those words, but thank goodness he doesn't spell. At least not yet.



  1. I felt like this when my kids got old enought to realize what we were spelling. is that bad? lol. thank you so very much for the birthday song on my blog, that was special !

  2. Our Spanky will be 3 in October...I swear he hears something falling before it hits the floor...he still will try to taste it..and loves to shred paper towels, paper napkins...We got the toys and toy box too..his favorite is the ball, and his rope( he only uses the rope when we are all in the evening) We crate ours too, he is pretty good about the potty outside...but he is an anxious little perp,barks at everything..I don't have the nerve yet to let his free at nighttime..Jacob's room is filled with stuffed animals that spanky loves to get into...he will be 21 in Oct..we see how that goes. they are a joy and a pain all at the same time..we love our spankster quirks and all...

  3. Jake is three and a German Shepherd. He's a rescue. We are convinced he can understand everything we say. He loves his toys and the only ones he can't destroy are the Kongs. He loves his "brother" our eight year old mixed breed Petey and they play (although it looks like fighting). They both love to go for walks and visit our neighbors. If Jake sees the neighbor's car in his carport Jake tries to run up the driveway but if the neighbor's car is missing, Jake doesn't even try to go for a visit. As for eating stuff on the floor, yep, everything. He even ate some embroidery floss that my neighbor had dropped.And the both love dog cookies, but Jake knows where they are here and at our neighbors. He will sit in front of the neighbors' cabinet and look at the cabinet and then at the neighbor until he and Petey get a cookie.
    OK, so you can tell the are my furkids. LOL

  4. Oh Bonnie, you're welcome! Hope it was a great day. My husband thinks his birthday celebrations are a national holiday and must go on for at least a week!! Me, I'm just happy to have another pass by and be here to enjoy it.

    Faith, yours sounds a bit like mine! Boo has done well with his housebreaking but it was some work to get there, I tell ya. It had been a long time since I had a puppy and of course, despite convincing me how he would help out (to talk me into taking this puppy) - the hubby didn't help at all! Overall Boo's been a very good dog, a bit "spirited" and a bit spastic, and even sometimes give an attitude (he likes to growl at you like a Chihuahua) and I definitely do not see him sleeping at night outside of his crate for a long long time either - if ever! I'd be afraid of what he'd get into.

    Karen, this one is a rescue too. He was abandoned in a cardboard box at the Walmart parking lot. He loved my elder Lab who just passed away - in fact I'm convinced she lived longer because of him because they would play together like she was still 3 despite her aching muscles and bones. I try to keep an eye on this one, but I tell ya.. I'd sure hate to see an xray of his digestive system!! Yikes!! :)

  5. Our dogs figured out saying "G-O" meant "go." The devils. One good thing about rescuing the adult dogs is they were potty trained. Or else I would have lost my mind.

  6. That is soooooo true!

    My dog is getting older and I kind of want to get a puppy while the old one is still around. I find the older dogs help train up the new ones. I can't decide if I want to go through all of that again.


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