We picked up the puppy on Sunday and he's been keeping me busy ever since. I've been outside more than I've been inside and I've barely been online at all. But he and I are getting close to a schedule that suits us both and things are getting easier. I'm not complaining. I know this is the hardest part and that once he's housebroken, things will be even better. And for only eight weeks old, he's doing surprisingly well with that. L has been an enormous help.

He's adorable, of course, as puppies are. Floppy ears, big paws, a nose that he occasionally trips over (when he stops to sniff something but forgets to actually stop). He pounces on things, he kinda hops down the stairs, he attacks his own leash, he's not fond of his collar, he's learning to sit on command, he still doesn't know his own name. The kids are finding him quite entertaining (when he's awake) and so is the rest of the neighbourhood. A puppy really is a good conversation starter.

We tossed around a couple of names on his first day but ended up with the name I had chosen back when we first started thinking about a pup. The very first dog I ever had (as a child) was named Darcy so, since I'm a huge Leafs fan, it seemed kinda fitting to call this one Tucker. I'm hoping though, that he doesn't become a wildman (dog) like his (sorta, kinda) namesake.

We decided to try crate training this time so I did a lot of reading before we brought him home. Everything I read said to introduce him to the crate gradually, don't force it, it may take a couple of days. So when we brought him in the house on the first day, I put him less than halfway inside and when he immediately backed out, I let him. He laid down on the floor in front of it, then got up, went inside, curled up, and went to sleep. It could not have been any easier.

During the day, he doesn't often nap in the crate. He prefers to sleep at (or on) my feet or under my chair if I'm on the porch or under my desk. I'm not sure how the under-the-desk thing is going to work when he gets bigger but hey, he'll make a helluva foot warmer. At night, he always sleeps in the crate and I highly recommend that method for the peace of mind alone.

I almost forgot to mention the cat! The first day the pup was here, he was sleeping peacefully out in the kitchen. The cat went sauntering out there, like it was any other day, spotted him and froze. She's been on her guard ever since, making sure the coast is clear before she goes anywhere, racing past him if she has no choice, hissing at him on the few occasions when they've come face to face. The pup, on the other hand, has shown next to no interest in her. So far anyway.

So that's what I've been doing for the last few days. Well, that and.....

....J stepped on a bee so the bottom of his foot is all swollen.
....the kids played baseball Monday night and had a great time.
....while the girls were playing ball, J asked to go with a friend to the playground. I said ok and off he went. Fifteen minutes later (if that), his friend came back to tell me J had been hurt. I went over to the playground and he was bent over, his hands, legs, shorts, socks, covered in blood. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Once I got some of the blood off, the actual cut on his knee turned out to be not that bad but he scared the hell out of me.
....my parents called and said they were coming Monday night, whether or not there was a ball game. I spent the afternoon vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, and tidying things up, in really sticky, clammy, humid weather..... and then we ended up sitting on the front porch. They never even came in the house.

Things have not been boring around here.

Posted by Ripley on July 09, 2003