Friday, August 13, 2010

Lucy, NO!

Young dogs must assume they have been given hyphenated names.  I don't know if this is the case with all puppies, but it has been true of the three we have had.  Jack-NO!  Indy-NO!  Lucy-NO!  With a child, you can use a broader selections of nouns and adjectives.   "Danger, hot!", "Owie", "that's Momma's", etc.  With dogs, even smart ones, it has to start simple and be consistent.   "No bite" and "good chew" are said continually in our house.  If Lucy's biting us, then we say, "no bite" and hand her a toy and say, "good chew!" with all the enthusiasm we can muster.  Then, we go after the band aides and the Neosporin.

The constant biting and chewing that all puppies must do wears thin on even the most accommodating of humans.  Puppies, like human babies, take patience and a nurturing environment.   I know the payoff surpasses any temporary grievance,  but it comes much more slowly with puppies.  Babies, for instance, will bite.  They won't, however, follow you for hours, jumping up and biting or nipping at your calves, heels, or any other available appendage.   Babies, at least for the first several months, will stay where you last put them down.   Babies do not chew flip-flops, speaker wires, or your favorite chair.  However, to give puppies a nod of approbation, you would never be able to put a baby in a kennel while you run errands.  Of course, presumably the baby has diapers and would not poop all over the kennel.  Lucy, NOOOOO!

I guess it's all a process.  There are those nice, warm moments when she gets really sleepy and wants to come sit in your lap.  Her playful springy-ness is quite fun to watch.  She's genuinely happy, if not pleasantly surprised, to see us still here when she wakes up from a nap.   Now if only we could get her to keep her kennel clean overnight, we could be just as excited to see her every morning.

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