Thursday, May 20, 2010

28 Days Later

Remember this picture?

That's me and Widger, the smallest one of the box of the puppies. So called because he liked to sleep all the time, cried if anyone woke him up, and was (still is) my favourite of them all. Well, here is Widger this morning, almost exactly four weeks after I got him:
Yes, that's quite a difference. In fact, the two pups we have left here are edging up on being the same size as Trixie, although they're still quite a bit lighter. They're eight weeks old now, an age at which many people still get their first puppy from a less scrupulous breeder (ten to twelve weeks is ideal), and they're really beginning to, well, get on my fucking nerves.

The noise is incredible. All day long. They growl and yelp and bark at each other as they wrestle around the garden, so when I need a break I stuff puppy Kongs with kibble and gravy and give them to them in their den. That lasts about two minutes, before Widger gets frustrated with his own inability to extract the food from his Kong, so he decides to shove Bunty off her Kong, which causes a fight. So I separate them, putting her outside the pen and him inside. That gives another ten minutes of peace until one of them finishes their Kong and wants to rejoin the other one, which gives rise to more barking and whining. So I pop the two of them in the den together with their chew toys and leave the room. This makes them bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark until they eventually fall asleep. This lasts half an hour to an hour, before the whole cycle starts again.

I cannot wait until they have their shots and they can go for walks. I am a great believer in the maxim, "a knackered dog is a quiet dog".

I've long been of the opinion that it's better to get an adult dog than a puppy, and now I know I was right. Sure, you miss out on weeks of cuteness with an adult dog, but they're usually housetrained, you can start walking them straight away, and they can generally figure out fairly quickly how to get food out of a rubber container.

You'll also notice I haven't had any sleep, nor have I had a haircut in four weeks.

EDITED TO ADD: I do still love them, though. Like, really a lot. Now sssh, let's go and do some work while they have forty widgers. Sshh.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All good things go to Sweden

The puppies are going to Sweden in a few weeks, as soon as they get their vaccinations. Because everything goes to Sweden eventually.

I've said I won't be driving them to the airport. I can't take a repeat of my upset over Woody.

Here are some puppy pictures to be going on with.

Changing habits

Experts tell you things all the time, but sometimes you just don't believe them, so you carry on doing things the way you did before, even though that's the opposite of what they've told you to do.

You don't believe, for example, that because you've been eating certain things your whole life in a certain way that you can never change and develop new tastes. You also don't believe that it is possible to toilet train two eight-week old puppies with praise and treats. Surely that's too young?

Turns out that sometimes, just sometimes, if you follow the advice on the website and you listen to your CDs and go to your appointments and stick to the eating plan that's been devised for you, several things are possible.

First, you can wake two eight-week old puppies up after their forty widgers, call them to follow you outside, tell them to pee and poo in the right spot of the back yard, and they follow you and they pee and poo where you tell them to, and you treat them and praise them and they are pleased enough to do it again the next time. Amazing. Not only that, but they now sit on command and come when we call them. At eight weeks! (They do still pee in the kitchen if we leave them unattended for more than 90 minutes, but they hardly poo any more.)

Second, after a month of hardly drinking tea, and then only black tea, you end up having a cup of tea with a tiny amount of cow's milk in it and it tastes like someone's dumped a big load of liquid cheese in your tea. Bleucch. Thirty years I've been drinking tea and enjoying it (before then people insisted on putting sugar in it, and it was horrible), and now it turns out I don't drink my tea black because I'm on a diet, I drink my tea black because I like it that way.

Third, you can order Chinese food and, instead of having a spring roll followed by a main course (often with chips instead of rice) and a bag of prawn crackers, you can have just a main course, and not even eat the rice, and feel perfectly satisfied with that.

Also that clicking noise in your hip starts to diminish and bending down to wash your feet in the shower in the morning doesn't make you want to throw up because your back hurts so much. Good times.