5.2.17 I’ve been having flashes of the love that I’ll feel for Lola. They largely dissipated this morning at 5am (it is Sunday after all and I would dearly love to be in bed). Having taken her out for her last garden visit at the early time of 9pm, as neither of us was feeling very well, I expected scenes of carnage in her room this morning. Suspiciously, the puppy pads were dry but there was a dribble on the floor. She had gone on the mat which the wellies are on. First time and a very unwelcome development. It could have been worse, though. But I don’t know why she did it as she has always gone on the towel or puppy pad by the door.
Then she did her usual routine of jumping up and grabbing my dressing gown and has embarked upon her latest Annoying Behaviour of chewing all the chair legs. (The Chew Stopper spray is permanently on the kitchen table now). Ironically, I feel, she has ripped off all the safety notices on the chairs about them being fire-proof and can be spotted wandering off with a sign saying ‘carelessness’ in her mouth, which just about sums up our behaviour. Charlie and I have managed to salvage a few but others I’ve let her get away with. I’m quite relaxed about paper post-sock. When I do leap into action is with any small items of clothing, such as the boxer shorts that mysteriously appeared on the floor when Charlie came down yesterday.
Having taken her out twice already (it’s 5.55am), Lola has now settled down and is sitting peacefully on her mat. She had a good day yesterday. She didn’t do any GWs (gratuitous wees) as she had done last Saturday when everyone was around. Andy, Amelia and Charlie took it in turns to play with her in the quagmire/garden. Amelia got her jumping over the privet hedge, which Andy is now relaxed about, not caring as long as she stops eating the tops of all our spring plants. Amelia has great hopes for Lola’s future in agility.
My great hopes are that when I can start taking Lola out for walks (tomorrow) and when we start going to training classes (one month’s time as that’s when the next course starts. I wish it were tomorrow as well) everything will be ok. In fact, I can’t wait for The Walk. Trying to entertain a puppy in January in the garden means that the garden really suffers. I’m hoping that when we start going for walks, she will use up energy outside our garden and house. More to the point, she weighs about 11kg now and she really is getting a bit heavy to carry on the school run, although the extra 150g a day has been great weight training for me.
I’ve largely given up training her to walk on a lead as she seems to hate the lead so much. Again, I’m hoping that when she is out and about, she’ll be so distracted she won’t notice the lead. I’m still working on trying to get her to sit and stay. She only does that outdoors, when I want her to come. When I try to get her to sit and stay indoors she comes to me straight away.
I do have this vague sense of panic that this is our life now and there is no going back. I am sure Lola has a lovely nature and once we’ve trained her, all will be fine. But at the moment the inconveniences of having to get up early, clearing up after her overnight activities, trying to get her to stop jumping up and grabbing my dressing gown all loom very large at 5am in the dark when the alarm goes off. To be fair, I have been getting up at 5am over the past year to get on with things, but that was by choice. And I was able to get on with things. Also, as I went out on Friday night I took her out to the garden at 11.45pm when I came back and then had a ‘lie in’ to 5.50am and she was dry and fine. I know that as she gets older I’ll be able to leave her longer. But it’s hard work at the moment.
Talking with my friends on Friday night, particularly to women whose husbands were keen to get a dog but they weren’t, I realised that I could put anyone off getting a puppy. I have a myriad of reasons why not to get a puppy and not that many yet why you should. Just one example would be that as I’ve been writing, Lola has gone from playing quietly on her mat to going round each of the chairs and chewing the wooden legs so I’ve been stopping to spray each bit with Chew Stopper. She even found another ‘carelessness causes fire’ sticker to chew. It’s relentless. Then she lay peacefully at my feet and looked up at me but I declined to stroke her because I had a feeling she would just try to bite my hand. My dog-owning running partner suggested I should play with her mouth a lot so she gets used to having hands around. So we’re trying that. When I can face it. Not at 6.15am.
Oh, and Lola has also started licking the grouting and chewing the edge of the kitchen tiles. Perhaps my new career could be as an anti-dog consultant, going round to houses whose children are desperate to get a puppy and warning the parents to ignore their children’s pleas.