I spent 10 days puppy sitting which is why I haven’t blogged much. I’ve been too busy making sure a cute little golden retriever puppy didn’t shit on my floor. I’m happy to report that we have officially survived and by we I mean my dog, Tiger and cat, Maya. I do believe that if left alone Maya would have gone toe to toe with this puppy, in fact sometimes when she crept into the kitchen and circled Mae, I felt like I was watching an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins narrating as Maya made plans to kill Mae and remove her entrails.
I must say that last week wasn’t too bad. Mae didn’t destroy anything or ruin my carpets and it was a great learning experience for my kids. Both kids now realize that one already trained dog is plenty and that the freedom that comes with a dog versus a puppy is pretty priceless.
I have learned many things over the past week. Training a puppy is a metaphor for life. Here goes:
Puppies would rather be hated than ignored. Mae didn’t mind when Tiger growled at her, but when he ignored her it seemed to drive her nuts. She would keep at him until she got his attention, even if it was negative. Hmmm….I seem to remember something about kids being like that.
Puppies are curious about everything. An ant, a fallen flower petal lying on the ground or a cord that operates the mini-blinds. Everything is EXCITING! INTERESTING! AMAZING! No matter how benign, everything new is something to explore and celebrate. They actually seem joyful as they are sniffing the TV clicker. People although curious like puppies, seem to be more cynical and less bubbly overall and could learn a lot from a puppy.
Puppies must be trained. When they piddle in the foyer, you make a face, point, say “NO”, maybe even put their nose in it. You have to (listen carefully for this is the important part) stop what you’re doing, reprimand and correct them by taking them outside so they can learn an acceptable alternative. Apparently if you show them, tell them and (here’s another important part) do that with consistency, you’ll be successful. Ahh….another thing human parents could learn from.
Puppies do not shit where they eat. Put them in a cage with a chew toy and you can leave for hours – maybe even days. They will hold it as long as possible. However, people, metaphorically speaking, constantly shit where they eat. They’ll be mean, nasty, rude and inconsiderate to their parents, spouses, kids, siblings – basically anyone they co-habitate with, saving their good manners and behaviors for the video store clerk at the mall. That probably should be reversed. Lick the face of those that love and take care of you and save your growling for outsiders that trespass on your property. Dogs get this. People on the other hand, do not.