Friday, 8 August 2014

Day Three...

          My sister and I agree, “Baby Anything” is cute.  Of course, the smaller it is, the cuter it seems to be—at least where puppies are concerned.  Today is day three with the newest member of the family—Maisy.  Maisy was born 10 June, so she was exactly eight weeks old when  she “came home” to us on Wednesday, 6th August. 
          I don’t’ know how much she weighs, but she is tiny.  You may have seen her on Facebook.  Like any proud Mummy—of human or doggy babies—I had to show people. 

    She was a shiver with anxiety on Wednesday night.  She was taken from her natural mummy, and the family with whom she lived.  She’d never been in a car before.  So, suddenly life was only unknown, scary. 
A wool blanket I laid on the floor, so she would have someplace soft, warm and comfortable to sit on.  I also put down a “snoring dog” toy next to her.  She looked forlorn, confused.  But she didn’t move, and simply shivered. 
The breeder was a bit sad to say good-bye, yet glad she was coming to a good home.  Once they were gone, I laid down on the couch with Maisy and held her until she calmed down.  She wriggled and climbed over me to lie on the arm of the couch.  That was a good start.
          I’ve read a couple of books on puppy training—and will probably consult a few others before all is said and done.  But all of them agree—one must start out the way one intends to go forward.  So, once she was calm, I put her on the floor to sniff around and discover her new home.  I left the room for  a minute to two, to look for something.  When I came back, she had laid down on the blanket.  Well done Maisy!
          On Friday, 1st August I’d ordered a carrier/kennel, feeding dishes, toys and a feeding mat.  Fully expecting them to be here before Wednesday, I had to put together some impromptu measures. But the order had not come.  First, I’d already obtained a   a scoop for the dog food—which was big enough to be a feeding bowl for a Miniature Yorkshire terrier puppy.  So, I placed some food in that. 
          Since the chew-toy I’d ordered had not come, I had to find something she could chew on—not too big and something that she could not get choked on.   Around this house there are several old toothbrushes.  Perfect!  Maisy seems happy chewing the bristles. 
          The biggest problem seemed to be where to have her sleep.  I promised “The Maverick” she would not be allowed on the bed.  And her kennel wasn’t here.  Where to put her?  Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a baby slept in a laundry basket!  The wool blanket went into the basket with a couple of stuffed toy dogs that are her size.  I thought it might make her feel like she was with her sisters. 
          I put her in the basket and hoped she wasn’t clever enough to figure how to get out.  She is still small enough to have a little trouble getting over the edge.  I laid on the edge of the bed and let her see me.  She whined.  I stroked her little head, told her I was near and told her to go to sleep.  A couple of minutes later a whimper rose from the side of my bed—where I’d put the basket.  I verbalised that I was near, and put my head over the side so she could see me, but didn’t touch her.  She laid down and went to sleep. 
          She slept till 6.00 am, and woke me up with a whine.  Out to the balcony we went, so she could pee/poop.  The night before I’d taught her how to get over the step from the balcony into the lounge.  Maisy looked up at me, proceeded to crawl over the step and walk into the lounge to pee on the carpet.  This girl is fast!  Okay—lots of work to be done on the potty training.  
          Thursday morning I rang the company I'd ordered the puppy supplies from. Apparently it was on hold, awaiting one piece of stock which had not arrived.  I decided to cancel that one items so the rest could be delivered--hopefully Friday. 
          Maisy likes to bark when she wants to play.  She is getting more bouncy by the day!  On Thursday I was preparing lunch for some missionary friends who are visiting.  Maisy did very well, sleeping on the arm of the couch most of the time.  Our youngest guest, aged about four, was very good when she petted Maisy. 
          If Maisy can’t see me, she will whimper, whine or bark.  If I am in a different room, I call her and she is learning how to find me.  And she makes sure she can get to me.
          Thursday morning “The Maverick” had gone out to the shops.  A shower was on my personal agenda—and the first time Maisy and I were experiencing this scenario.  I took her pink, fuzzy blanket into the bathroom with me, and dropped it on the floor.  Then Maisy was brought in and the door closed.  I turned on the shower, and when the water was right, I stepped in.  After about a minute, Maisy began to whimper.  I kept talking to  her, and the whine was low to moderate. 
          The mistake I made was to stick my head out and show her where I was.  The whine grew in intensity.  Then she howled.  So, I leaned over and lifted her into the sink.  That totally confused her—as she wasn’t on the floor, nor was she with me.  While the whine softened, she maintained her expression of distress.   Realising she was not safe in the sink, nor comforted, I placed her back on the floor.  Then I heard soft thumping.  I looked out, and she was jumping up against the tub, trying to get to me.  Feeling I had no alternative, I said to her:  “Okay, but you aren’t going to like it.”
          Lifting her into the tub, I placed her on the bottom of the tub.  The water and wet didn’t seem to bother her.  After a tentative sniff, she came over and put her little paws up on the leg.  I picked her up, and once again warned her:  “You won’t like this.”  I began wetting down her coat with water poured from my hand.  Not a peep!  So then I poured out a small bit of Aussie Three-Minute Shampoo onto my hand.  Maisy was quite relaxed whilst I rubbed the shampoo in her black and tan coat.  Again—this surprised me.  I took the shower hose down, and began to rinse her.  She whimpered, so I turned the water down.  When it was barely warm, I tried again.  She relaxed and even seemed to enjoy it. 
          I wrapped her in a towel, and took her to the bedroom with me.  I gave her a cursory rub dry, and then wrapped her in a drier towel.  I quickly got dressed, then we went to lie on the couch.  I rubbed her as dry as I could, unable to keep from smiling as I watched her fall asleep whilst I rubbed her.  I pulled out the damp towel, dropping it on the floor, and wrapped her in her blanket.  Since the breeze coming in was cool, I put another blanket on top of us and we had a snooze.  I figured she’d earned it—having to survive the distress of not being able to see me and then having her first shower! 
          I had a feeling Maisy might wake me up early today, Friday, 8the August.  I was right:  first time was 3.30 am to have a pee-pee.  She did good and finally peed on the balcony.  We both went back to bed and to sleep.  Second time was 5.30 pm.  What did she want?  First to eat, and then have a drink.  Fine…BUT then she wanted to PLAY!  Right, playful puppy at 5.30 am.  And the alarm is set for 7.00 am.  By the way—she won.  I didn’t get back to sleep.      
Also today Maisy went to work with me.  I tried using a medium sized shopping bag (the reusable kind with canvas handles).  But the handles weren’t long enough to fit over my arm properly.  It had no proper ventilation—so she stuck her head up out of the top.  I carried her in the bag and she was hot by the time we got to the office.  However, she seemed to settle down with her pink blanket, which I’d taken with us. 
          She made friends with our Vicar.  And she slept most of the time I worked.  If she isn’t interested in playing, then she likes to sleep.  But then, growing is hard work. 
          After work, I had to deliver the song-sheets to the church for Sunday.  As I was coming into the church yard, some friends were there.  So, Maisy made more new friends.  She was happy to sit on “A’s” lap.  I even left her so that I could put the papers in the vestry.  She was still content when I came back.
          Several people stopped to chat and stroke her.  Puppies elicit that kind of attention.  It is now my turn to “share” my puppy with others who want to say hello to her.  Heaven knows I’ve petted enough of other people’s dogs. 
          This afternoon the kennel/carrier came with the feeding bowls and other things.  One of those things is a knobby yellow ball.  The minute she saw it, she started chewing on it--even made it squeek. I was glad.  This evening we had a short play with it.  She is really coming out of herself as she gets more familiar with the flat.  I just wish I could catch her before she does her business on the lounge floor!  I am going to get her on a time table—well that’s the theory!
          On Saturday, 9th August we are going to the pet store to fit her for a harness, a lead and get a couple of more chew toys.  Then she goes for her first vet visit—to get micro-chipped and her first set of jabs (vaccinations).   
          This is the first time the dog has been entirely my responsibility.  And she is my baby.  She likes John—but I’m her reference point. 
          I’ve wanted a dog for years.  Now another dream has come true.  

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
"Lady Helene"