Things happened quickly for us lately, with having to put our Sweet Pit Bull, Bambi to sleep, at almost 14 years of age, my husband having cataract surgery, and getting our rambunctious new yellow labrador retriever puppy, Amber. Due to my husband’s surgery, he wasn’t supposed to lift anything over 10 lbs or bend over for several days. Today he started doing light duty on taking care of Amber.
I have to admit I laughed out loud when he tried to feed her this morning. He filled her bowl, then started to put it down on the floor. Amber jumped up, right into his hand and there was an explosion of puppy food all over the porch. He yelled some bad words, and I, still laughing – because it had happened to me a week ago – got him to come in, telling him Amber’s second job was as a vacuum cleaner and she would clean up every bit of it.
He just spent quite a bit of time with her on the porch. He put her on the dog run while he put new weed whacker cords on the push whacker for me, then put her on the leash and walked around the house with her. She jumped into the kiddie pool when they went around the back. He came into the office, then suddenly said, “She just got over the gate.” I jumped up and, sure enough, she was in the living room, looking around. I hurried to grab her and put her – still dripping from the pool – back onto the porch and close the door.
Having a new puppy is good for your reflexes. We are all modifying our behavior to accommodate our new lifestyle. We now look at things as BA (before Amber) and AA. (after Amber).
We had gotten quite spoiled, for example, being able to get food for the dogs in the pantry, put their bowls down with both dogs sitting and waiting. At the “OK,” they would start eating. Are THOSE days gone! Molly still waits for an “OK,” but I now am filling Amber’s bowl, putting it on the table within reach, grabbing Amber’s harness and getting her to SIT for a split second while I put the bowl on the floor and quickly say, “OK!” This has worked reasonably well a couple of times.
I had a really nice time with her this afternoon. I opened the door to check on her and found her asleep in her crate. I started to close the door, but she came out of the crate and wanted to talk. I picked her up and brought her to my chair in the living room. She was still sleepy, so I had a big, sweet, cuddly puppy for awhile. We both really enjoyed it.
I’m not sure how much progress we’re making, but Amber is definitely reacting to her name now. She can go up or down steps now. She walks well on the leash about half of the time. She is sleeping in her crate and not making a mess there. Most of the time she doesn’t make a mess on the porch now.
We’re getting lots of exercise with our walks around the yard. She still hates her harness, and a new baby gate with a people door is on the way…