I’m on hour 52 or so, of dog ownership. Here’s what you should know:
- I got a crate. I had talked to the woman at the rescue who said she thought it was plausible, short-term, that I could use a crate. He’s having none of it. Not in the car, not in the house. Not. Having. It. He goes in after whatever delightful thing I throw into it, and makes sure he leaves a leg out so I can’t close the door. Thank heavens I borrowed it, and didn’t buy it.
- I had no idea.
- We got out of the car when we got home and I took him for a walk. My neighborhood is straight out of a Disney forest, with the bunnies and the squirrels and all. He showed interest in the first several bunnies, but the bunny that ran? He ran with it, snapped the collar, I chased him a block or so, sensible of how fruitless it was to call him a name he hasn’t really learned. Luckily, he stopped and let me tie the collar back onto him, and we didn’t encounter bunnies on the way home. We don’t take walks of any length after dark, now (potty breaks yes, walks, no)— my neighborhood’s bunny situation has a coyote kicker.
- The next morning, I walked him before work. He was a pro, dealing with people and other animals we encountered, until we encountered a small Asian woman in a hat. A bridge. too. far. He lost it, slipped his replacement collar, and we had to turn around.
- He’s been wonderful, so far. The only thing he’s destroying is a toy I bought him on clearance (a fabric bone he’s unraveling). He’s picking up “sit” and his name like a champ, walks nicely on a leash, plays with all the toys I bought him (unlike the cats, who look at things I buy and go “meh,” most times).
- The cats are decidedly unthrilled, but have ended their hunger strike and emerged from hiding, once they realized that I was less imprisoning them than giving them the option of whether to deal with him.
- I bought him a beef bone at the grocery store last night, and gave it to him after 11 p.m. Big mistake. I have uncarpeted floors, and he gnawed on the bone and dropped it on the floor loudly well past 1:30 a.m.
- He’s a bottomless pit. I’m feeding according to the “Learn to Earn” method, in which you don’t use a bowl, but feed as part of training and through interactive toys to channel their energy. It’s great, but I spend a ridiculous amount of time refilling his toys. He ate without much of a break for most of the afternoon and most of the evening.
- In an effort to wear him out, I clocked more than 10 miles (most of it with him.) I thought he’d pass out and I’d get to hang with the kitties. I spent some time with the kitties, but he cried most times I was upstairs. I thought he was lonely, but no— every time, his treat ball was empty or he needed to go out. Someone said “it’s as much work as a kid.” I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s a helluva lot of work, even though he’s the sweetest pup ever.
- He does something unbearably cute pretty regularly. We walked in a nearby park tonight, and walked along the beach of the lake. I hadn’t brought water (I didn’t mean to go as far as we did), so I took him down to the water’s edge, so he could drink. He bit the waves and wouldn’t drink.