1.2.17 As I stood in the garden in the mizzle for the umpteenth time, in the dark, watching Lola lying nonchalantly on the wet grass, chewing away, rather than getting on with visiting ‘Lola’s corner’ to do her stuff, I reflected that I really need to think more positively about this whole Lola puppy business. There’s only so long I can wallow in the slough of despond, counting down the 12 years or so until she leaves us with a hole so big we immediately get another puppy (at which point I might dig out these blogs and think again). Anyway, rather than focussing on the sense that I have made a Terrible Mistake in getting a puppy and coming to terms with the thought that I don’t really like dogs, I am throwing all my mental energy into positive thinking to focus on all the wonderful things about Lola.
So, she doesn’t always bite us. Sometimes she is asleep.
No, really, I can do better than that. If she has a really manic time, growling, bearing her teeth, leaping around and trying to bite us, it is only a prelude to a time of quietness when she is quite happy to sit and watch us (making sure we don’t leave the room). So she isn’t always Really Hard Work.
The great advantage of the kitchen where Lola and I are confined together, is that it has two doors, so if I’m clever, I can slip out of one unnoticed while she is guarding the other.
Actually, Lola does have many good traits. I have been able to leave her while she is wide awake twice today, and have come back in to find her asleep on her bed in the utility room, which is just off the kitchen.
I do think she is pretty good natured. Lola really likes people. She shows this in the house by jumping up at them and trying to bite them, which isn’t particularly convincing to new people, but we’re working on it (by holding her down and stuffing her mouth full of toys). She always wags her tail on the school run and loves it when children stroke her. As I’m still carrying her, she can’t jump up at them. She’ll be able to do that on Monday when she goes On The Ground.
Lola is also really good at growing. This means she is now big enough to jump up at the table and reach anything on the edge, especially any papers. This is Really Annoying. If we ignore her, as the books say, she is happy because she gets what she was after. If we shout ‘down’ and knock her down, she seems equally happy and jumps up again.
I’m tossing over in my mind whether I can sneak her into some training classes before her proper ones start on 2nd March – another red letter day, along with On The Ground Monday. My ability to control her seems to be going backwards. The only trick that seems to work more often than not at the moment is that she will come inside if I do some flamenco foot-stomping so those flamenco lessons at university have finally come in handy. They don’t work so well in wellies, though. And the only reason I know flamenco sometimes works is because Nothing Else Works to get her back in the house, apart from leaving her on her own, which doesn’t always work due to her having discovered her Digging Delight border. Lola might have had a point at which she recognised her name and responded to it. But that point has gone. She just tunes out to my voice.
Bedtime now after a final visit to the garden and the effort to get her to get onto her bed without chewing the puppy pads on the floor. I’m giving up on newspaper for now. She just chews it. It will all start again in less than seven hours’ time.