Remember when your kids were toddlers. How curious, how destructive, how maddening, but how cute they were?
Well, we’ve gone back in time. This time, with the canine variety.
This little four-month cutie-pie is our puppy, Sitka. She’s half Husky and half Heeler.
Sitka loves her crate and likes to nap in this position.
She is endlessly curious, endlessly mischievous. Smart but stubborn.
Look at the next photo. See the look in her eyes? She’s asking me, “Am I allowed to chew on this?” (Yes)
“Please don’t take this chew toy away. Please don’t scold me.”
The potty training is coming along … mostly. When Bruce takes her out to do her business, I sometimes watch from the window to assure myself I won’t have to clean up after her when she comes inside again.
Sometimes I ask Bruce, “Did she potty?”
“Yes, she did.”
“But, was is just the pee-pee?
“No,” Bruce answers. “She also did the poo-poo!”
And then we both laugh because it sounds exactly like the way we talked when our kids were potty training.
I regularly buy her toys and chew objects to keep her occupied.
But some things are forbidden.
She’s not allowed into the master bath because there are so many items she won’t leave alone.
She especially loves the master bath trash.
And beyond the master bath is the walk-in closet where all sorts of delectable and smelly items of clothing rest in the hamper. Sitka thinks, “Aw, smelly socks are the best. Underwear? Almost as good.”
“But the absolute most funnest, bestest, tastiest ever,” she thinks, “are books. Yes, books. Those bits of paper are like dessert. They almost melt in my mouth. And ripping them into little pieces, chewing them into pulpy pieces to decorate the carpet is so satisfying. It’s almost worth destroying my lady’s books even though when she discovers me and the book she screams like a cat. Yeow! I don’t like that loud sound. And she gives me a swat and a ‘No, no, no, no! Bad dog!’”
Sitka chases and terrorizes Link, the cat.
She steals the kitchen towels, any socks left on the floor, wires, the tv remote, tags on towels and blankets, anything not tied down, etc.
And she’s a digger. There are bunnies and ground squirrels in abundance on our eight acres. And, by golly, she’s gonna dig one up!
She hasn’t learned to come. Well, I take that back. She comes when I have a treat to offer her. Otherwise, she comes when she feels like it.
She jumps on us. We’re working on that. She doesn’t jump on me too much ‘cause I thrust out my knee. But Bruce is so nice, she keeps it up with him.
Oh, but this sweet puppy is so adorable. When I praise her, she gazes up at me with liquid dark chocolate eyes that seem to say, “I’d do anything for you.”
And so, we hold on. Because the reward of our consistent training and praise and patience will be a loving, loyal, civilized adult dog who will bark to warn us of prowlers, protect us from all dangers, and lie at our feet when we sit by the fire, dreaming contented doggie dreams.
And, unlike raising humans, we don’t have to wait for twenty years to finally see the fruit of our labors.
I’d forgotten how much patience it takes to raise a young one. It’s all coming back.