Monthly Archives: January 2012

Spencer Gets His Own Pad

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It is exhausting trying to get away with chewing furniture....

As of today, Leo has been with us for exactly one month. He is growing and healthy and all puppy. But Emma and Spencer have moved. They had no time or tolerance for puppyhood. Luckily, I have a rental space that I let them have. They are very happy in their new place. It has carpeting which means they can stand up on their own!It took them a few days to understand that they could stand up without assistance. Spencer especially didn’t want to give up the “tend to me woman” attitude and we had to actually ignore him until he got his own smelly ass up off the ground. After living with hardwoods and no throw rugs for the past few months and not being able to stand up unless we helped them, they feel like young dogs again and stand up and walk around just for fun!

There is a tv in their space and one or more of us are in their with them daily. Their door stays open to the family room where Leo lives so they can still keep an eye on him. But they are no longer being bitten and yapped at by the baby. It’s funny, I am not sure if it is just now that I have something to compare to or if it’s because they see Leo and his bad behaviors, but both Em and Spence are perfect angels. No accidents in an entire month, no pulling on the leash, no knocking down the barricades between the rooms. They seem to finally have grasped being a “good dog”. Or maybe Leo is just such a puppy that Em and Spence seem grown up in comparison. Had I known getting a puppy would make the older two straighten up and fly right I might have considered this years ago….no I wouldn’t have…that would have been nuts!!!

So here is how our daily routine has changed. Leo wakes up about 6am and starts whining. Sometimes I get up and let him out or sometimes I get one of the kids up to let him out. As soon as Spencer senses us downstairs he starts his old man “arrfff” to make sure we remember to come get him. So, Leo is bouncing around his crate screaming like we are rock stars and as soon as we open the door he bolts towards the next gate where he stands wiggling and screaming while we try to wrestle his leash on him. Spencer is still “arrff”ing in his apartment. He won’t be outdone by  Leo the ball of nuclear energy. Spencer may not have the ability to be a doggie tornado any longer but he can still annoy the hell out of me with his rhythmic, off key, breathy “arrff!”. Out goes Leo. In comes Leo. Leo gets fed. While Leo is being fed, which ever one of us is on dog duty goes to get the big dogs. Out come Em and Spencer. Emma always pauses at the doorway, either because she doesn’t want to be attacked by Leo or because she is still shaky on the laminate flooring. So, Spencer with the bladder of steal, waits patiently at the door while Emma hems and haws and then finally makes her way thru the living room to the front door. Emma has the bladder of a flea. Not that I think fleas have bladders…but you know what I mean. So I always sweat when she is procrastinating in the doorway because she has been known to just let loose right there.

Out go Emma and Spencer. They are perfect. They do their thing and they go right back in the house. They get fed…while Leo takes up his screaming because he is done eating and wants to be where the action is. Insted, Leo gets to go right back outside where he sniffs and digs and whines and jumps. Maybe he does his thing, maybe he doesn’t. And in we come. Leo goes back into his crate where he screams some more while I take the kids to school. Emma and Spencer are done eating and go back to their apartment talking to each other the entire way about how dumb puppies are.

When I get home, Leo is usually asleep in his crate, with his pee pee pad chewed up. I sneak in quietly, trying not to wake him, go to Spencer’s place, get them, Leo wakes up and starts screaming, and I walk Em and Spence who again, are perfect and do their thing and head back in the house, to their comfortable, clean space that is puppy free. I go get Leo who repeats his Insane Puppy Overreacts routine from the morning and we go out. He sniffs and pulls and digs and whines and maybe he does his thing and maybe he doesn’t. He gets distracted ya know. Sometimes the neighbor’s dogs are out so there is some general butt sniffing and pouncing. This is progress because when Leo first met them, he would cry and hide behind my legs. And in we come. At this point Leo and I do some training. He is going to have manners. And then we spend about 2 hours with me clapping, stamping, yelling, snapping, and making all sorts of weird noises to stop Leo from chewing my furniture. This is in-between the walks that happen on average every 20 minutes.

About noon, Leo takes a nap. In his crate. So I go walk Em and Spencer again who do their thing. It’s as if they want to prove to me they ARE good dogs and so I can get rid of that crazy screaming thing in the crate. Leo wakes up, reprising his Insane Puppy role, goes out, comes in.

I leave for work and the babysitter and kids take over.

I come home from work and bribe one of the kids to do doggie duty.

Go to bed, repeat in 6 hours.

It’s the little things. Like yesterday when Leo’s ears were being blown straight up by the wind. Or when my youngest is in Spencer’s space and is snuggling with Emma and I know Emma is happier than she has ever been. Or listening to my oldest repeat to me what we are supposed to do and not do with training Leo. Or watching the middle child wipe Spencer’s butt….ok, that isn’t heart warming but it cracks me up!!!!

Spencer thinks it's his bachelor pad...Emma thinks it's home...

Spencer’s Gift from Santa

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Puppy Christmas Surprise!!!

Santa brought us a brand new puppy! Storks bring babies and Santa brings puppies!!! Emma thinks it was Satan who brought the puppy. We all went to bed Christmas Eve in anticipation of a fun christmas morning. No one had asked Santa for a puppy, no one had talked about puppies. We had our hands full with Spencer and his inability to stand on his own, his garbage eating, his farts and his in-house “accidents”. We had  fallen into a routine that revolved around Spencer and Emma (his satellite). Taking care of elderly dogs is challenging and Spencer being a challenged dog on a good day, his remaining years are involving  much more attention than all of his years combined. But they are OUR dogs and we love them. And as much as I hate them sometimes, they are lives that were entrusted to me to care for and that is what I will do until the end. Lesson for the kids and learning experience for me.

Anyway, about 6am christmas morning we heard this wicked cry/scream coming from the livingroom. The kids jumped out of bed, with tears in their eyes because  they were sure it was Emma in the throes of death. They simultaneously wanted to run downstairs and help her and go back to bed and not deal with her death on Christmas morning. I, being the mom, slowly creep down the stairs, unsure as to what could be making this animatistic howling and low and behold….there’s a puppy!!!! In a crate!!!! I yell for the kids that Emma is fine but they have to come right away!!!

Three sets of slippered feet pad down the stairs and stop, in shock, unsure as to what they are seeing or what this is going to mean to their life. I open the crate and out tumbles Leo! Leo is a full-blooded beagle, 8 weeks old and a totally typical puppy. He licked everyone, jumped on everything and he tried to play with Emma and Spencer. Bad idea.

Emma was a nervous old lady. She didn’t like the way Leo was licking and nipping at the kids, she didn’t like the way he was trying to eat all the wrapping paper, she didn’t like that he was sniffing around for a place to pee. She didn’t like Leo. At all. Leo was totally oblivious to her disdain. She had a tail! A big bushy tail! That must be a toy!! And so Leo found his favorite play thing…Emma’s tail.

Spencer was also unimpressed. Spencer knows he is the top dog. After all, he has a crew who lifts him up and helps him walk, wipes his butt after every poop and gets all the love when he does his “sad doggy eyes”. Spencer is secure in his spot as top dog. So when Leo climbed all over Spencer’s large laying down body, Spencer was tolerant.

The rest of christmas day was all about Leo. Other presents were forgotten on the floor…until Leo found them and then they were put up on the couch. Lucky for us we are having one of the mildest winters on record because we were taking Leo out every hour, which we soon learned should be every half hour which was actually every 15 minutes.

All of the sudden, Spencer and Emma’s puppyhood was coming back to me like an acid flashback. The pee and poop everywhere, the constant crying and whining, the chewing of EVERYTHING. That is when I started to hyperventilate. I forgot that I love my animals, I forgot about the love that a puppy can bring, I forgot that I have 3 kids who will help to raise this puppy. All I could remember in that moment was a house destroyed and puppies that I could not love because they were costing me a fortune in flooring.

On top of everyone and their brother telling me that beagles are the worst dogs in the world. Ofcourse, no one has experienced Spencer in all his glory, his coon hounds disease, his food stealing and home escapes, his “accidents”. But everyone is so sure that beagles are the AntiChrist. I have researched beagles for 6 years. I love the beagle breed. Every single negative in a beagle is every single negative that Spencer owns and wears with pride. His nose to the ground, oblivious to his name when he is on a scent. Running away, eating poop, getting fat, jumping up, being an all around turd.

My oldest also got a very fancy camera for christmas. What goes better together than puppies and cameras?