Friday, January 6, 2012

They grow up so fast

There's a country western song by Mark Chesnutt titled "I'm Gonna Get a Life".  Silly me should have taken ol' Mark's advice instead of my own... gonna get a dog.  Ollie's still the cutest little Cairn, but gosh darn my world now revolves around him.  


I swear it's like having a toddler in the house - lots of fun and keeps me entertained with his cute little antics.  The best part is that he doesn't have to be monitored as closely as a toddler, but he can be just as demanding and destructive as a two-year-old.  Plus there's that whole bit where I can shove him in his crate whereas Child Protective Services would have a serious problem with me doing the same to one of the kids.


Toilet training with the girls involved me doing some bribing with M&M's for using the potty.  Ollie successfully taking a tinkle or poo outside involves me cranking up my high-pitched babytalk voice to teeth grinding levels of sugary sweetness when the little beast does his thing outside instead of on his puppy pads in the laundry room.  And I don't care if I sound just like my mother talking to her pugs (as my husband and oldest daughter snicker in the adjacent room upon overhearing said babytalk) if that's what it takes to get some positive results with the housebreaking.


I'm still adhering to Cesar's decree that a tired dog is a calm and happy dog.  A dog that won't use your hand, face or shoelace as a teething ring.  And develop this annoying habit of hopping into the dirty clothes basket in the laundry room in search of a smelly old sock to chew.  If Ollie has been for his 45 min walk through the neighborhood in the AM followed by a session of fetch or another stroll in the PM, then he's (usually) less likely to make my life miserable by adopting annoying or destructive behaviors.


Like most dogs, Ollie is very motivated by food.  I feed him his expensive dog food by strictly adhering to the age/weight guidelines so that he won't become an obese fellow.  This makes it ridiculously easy to bribe him with little treats so that I easily taught him to sit and the youngest daughter taught him down.  The next step is gonna be stay because the stairs are just too much temptation to resist and he has a tendency to dash up to the second floor at top speed before we can catch him.  


One dirty little habit Ollie has developed that I doubt would be exhibited by a toddler is the ability to exact revenge.  When I put him over the baby gate into his very comfortable and spacious area right off the kitchen and he doesn't want to be there, then he dashes over to his puppy pads where he proceeds to chew them to shreds.  Of course, the minute I hear ripping I rush over with my "NO" and the finger (index, not middle one) that I'm using as what Cesar calls the I don't agree with this behavior signal/noise.  Cesar uses his now famous tcccccht while I have NO and the finger.  It's hilarious because when I do this he will usually stop the behavior and stare, which is my signal to distract him with a toy or rawhide.  The trick is that sometimes Ollie thinks I'm just kidding around rather than being serious, so he adopts this feisty in-your-face 'tude where he thinks it's fun to yap defiantly and lunge at my finger with his sharp little teeth.  I think I'm starting to see a bit of tween-teen behavior from my precious little pup.


Below is a short video I made this morning while Ollie was out in the back garden, post walk, to play a bit of ball before going in for some downtime in his playpen crate.  A month ago he could only push the deflated pink volleyball across the ground and now he's toting it in his mouth.  The darling little puppy months have passed in the blink of an eye.  Before you know it he'll be hiking his leg on every signpost and blade of grass in the neighborhood.


video



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