We made major advances on the pup front yesterday.
For the first time he asked to go out and he made it all the way to the back yard without incident. He’s had the right idea for a few days but he’s never made it the full distance before – hence puppy mats on the way. But now he knows that if he sniffs at the kitchen door I know he either wants food or out. I err on the out …
He’s responding to discipline now, in the form of a rolled up newspaper. I know there are 2 schools of thought on the rolled-up-newspaper front, but I tried the softly-softly approach and it wasn’t working. Just the threat of the rolled up newspaper is enough to have him bouncing into his basket and curling up, pretending to be sleeping.
At teatime I took him for a scamper around Baggins Bottom. We went for a 10 – 15 minute walk over to the allotments and back, and while there I showed him the chickens … and discovered that 2 of the chickens are actually turkeys. I never knew we had turkeys on our allotments. Come to think of it, I never knew we had so many chickens either. I wonder what they do with all the eggs?
Saturday night I let him sleep on the bed … and we woke up at 10:40am. Wow. And he was still comatose with his tongue sticking out. Sunday night I let him up again and the cats joined us. Both of them. It’s a good job I have a double bed … This time we slept all the way through until 8:30am and it was me waking everyone up again.
This is all progress.
I’ll be leaving him on his own again tomorrow while I take the cats for their jabs and I’ll see then if there’s still a need for the naughty step. I can’t really cope with 2 cat baskets and an excitable pup on a lead on my own, next to a main road, and he needs to get used to being on his own for an hour or so here and there.
This morning I practised my yoga before breakfast. I did the “get up and go” routine this time, so a different set of poses. I’m not very good at cobra usually because my shoulders bunch up beneath my ears. I just can’t get the position right with my arms and shoulders in the right place. I started and ended the routine with cobra, and my shoulders were both beneath my ears with the first one. However, by the second one my left shoulder had dropped. For the first time ever.
This too is progress.
Then I dillied and dallied and faffed and wondered about taking Rufus for a decent walk, but I didn’t know where to take him, whether or not to take a picnic and a work bag, how long to go for, and whether to wake him or leave him be until he was ready. I need to get into a routine and I’m sure one will naturally find its way, but I have to start somewhere.
By the time I’d decided, he was wide awake anyway. I took him to Scout Dyke, one of my favourite very short walks. As it was the first one I just took the pup – and the car pet blanket and a towel … and a bottle of water and a dish. He was a bit whiney in the car on the way there, and he refused to climb down the steps from the car park to the path that goes around the reservoir. It was blowing a bit of a gale too, and we had horizontal drizzle.
Once we got down the steps and into the lee of the dyke, though, he brightened up and scampered along quite happily with no pulling or dawdling. He met a couple of dogs but was more interested in their owners, and behaved beautifully. I walked him so far on the lead, then we turned around to go back and I let him loose, expecting to be chasing him all over the place.
That highly intelligent pup trotted along at my heel. He stopped to have a sniff and I walked on and waited for him, so once he realised I’d carried on slight panic set in and he came after me. The next time I hid from him, which kept him even closer. But just as we reached the steps back up to the car park I looked around and he was trotting towards me with a stick the length of his own body in his mouth and a look of proud accomplishment on his face.
It was so funny and such a wish-I-had-the-camera moment that I’m never going without it ever again.
He slept in the car all the way home, staying on the back seat on the pet blanket.
This has to be a daily occurrence now, but I may not go as far as Scout Dyke every day. It’s 14 miles away and that’s 2 miles further than the office when I was working. I’m going to try getting us all up earlier, doing the yoga earlier, having breakfast earlier, and taking him for his ride and walk earlier. Then, whatever time I get to the desk, I’ll knock off 8 hours, 2 tea breaks and a lunch break later.
Although I may build up to the 8 hours part …
We got in, he ran through the house to do his business in the yard (we need to get him doing that on his walks …), and he fell asleep on the settee. I made a bacon sandwich, moved us upstairs to the “office”, and he’s now snoozing on the bed. Out of it.
So, 4 hours at the desk for the rest of today, then, including just 1 tea break (I already had lunch). Let’s see how much work I get through in that time.