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!!!!