LESSONS FROM A PUPPY: by Ken Keckler DVM
These are universal truths passed down from puppy owners throughout the ages.
1. You’re not as smart as you think you are.
This is realized while you have the puppy on a retractable leash. She has wrapped herself around a large bush. As you walk around the plant to untangle her, it dawns on you that she is faithfully following behind you, and you are just going to keep going in circles…
2. Your dog voice sounds ridiculous.
You know it does! You get all high voiced and start with the baby talk just like everyone else.
3. Puppies put a rip in the time-space continuum.
You have pressing chores to do, but that puppy is sooo deprived of attention. You get down on the floor to play with the puppy, getting pawed, pounced on and bitten, and suddenly an hour has evaporated! I call Brisby “Time Sucker”, for this reason.
4. It’s hard to take pictures of a moving object.
Sure she’s doing something really cute, but by the time your camera fires she’s a blurry smudge on your photo. And don’t try to squat down to her level, or she’ll stop what she’s doing and bound over at you. Good luck with your phone camera!
5. ”I guess you had to be there”.
Yes, what she did was hilarious. You were laughing for twenty minutes at her antics, but when you try to tell someone it loses every ounce of humor.
6. Nicknames are easy.
They just happen. Brisby has a docked tail and a wiggly brown haired backside. Very early on she was “Monkey Butt”. When she’s excited, she runs at you with her backside catching up with her front end, like a semitruck starting to jackknife. Hence the name “Swervy”. And then there’s the spinoffs: Briz and Brizzlebutt. More to come I’m sure…
7. Simple is better.
A six dollar scientifically designed chicken flavored chew toy with nubs placed strategically for a pup’s “teething enjoyment” doesn’t thrill her as much as shredding a piece of newspaper, chasing a skittering ice cube around the kitchen floor (before crunching it up), chewing on shoe, or peeling off layers of toilet paper.
8. You can’t buy love.
All of the expensive, high tech toys laying throughout the house can’t hold a candle to getting a good belly rub, neck scratch, or chewing on a human hand. See lesson #7. And prepare for lesson #3.
9. Vacuum cleaners are incredibly frightening.
It seems to be a universal truth: that big, loud, moving, sucking device strikes terror into a puppy’s heart. And also many college students…
10. Try new things.
Puppies will try to chew on everything. Sure, it looks like a branch sticking out of the snow, but it could be an incredibly tasty dinosaur bone. You don’t know until you try. That new brillo pad she drug out from under the sink? Well, it could be a wonderful… Hmmm. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want a soapy hunk of steel wool in their mouth… By the way, be sure to close your cupboard doors.
And last but not least…
11. Cat feces are delicious!
Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. What could possibly be better? Feverishly digging into the litterbox to find that treat, small chunks of clay are flung for yards around the box. Delicious AND fun!
Personal recommendation from experience: Placing a cat’s litter box in a typical teenage boy’s bedroom (for the cat of course) is a great deterrent for teenage girls. Boys tend to be lax about cleaning it. For some reason, girls prefer not to enter. This can lead to less anxious parents.
I’m sure there are some that I missed. Feel free to share your lessons learned from puppies here or on our Facebook page!