Some people would say that there’s nothing nuttier than a person who posts obsessively about their pets. They would agree that there’s nothing stranger than a person who thinks that everyone in the world wants to know everything about their dog/cat/pig/bird/rodent/etc. They would try to convince you that there’s nothing more annoying than reading mind-numbing details about a household pet.
I am so totally not one of those people. And now that I’ve said that, I’m going to write a post about Charlie. Mainly because I want to keep a record of just what’s going on with him, how we’re training him (because it’s working, can you believe it?!), and how quickly he’s growing. And because I am a nutty pet owner who assumes that you want to know everything about my amazing canine and that you don’t think ANY of these details are at all mind-numbing.
Charlie has now been with us for a full week! And I seriously think he’s doubled in size in that amount of time. I know for certain that his ears are standing taller than they were before, and each and every morning, he wakes up looking more like a German Shepherd and less like a fuzzy bear cub.
As you may have read on Facebook, I took Charlie to the vet last week to get him checked out. It wasn’t really a “necessary” trip because his next set of shots wasn’t yet due, but I wanted to take him in and make sure everything was okay. It was a good thing we went because he tested positive for THREE types of intestinal worms. Oh, good grief. Charlie was started on a round of antibiotics, plus dewormer, plus heartworm preventive… and because I was already spending money like it was going out of style, I had the vet redo his first set of shots since I didn’t have lot numbers, amounts, or even names of the boosters he had already received from the breeders. (Likely, the breeders didn’t miss anything, but I’m resting easier knowing that it was taken care of by a medical professional who will be seeing Charlie for the rest of his puppy shots.)
Charlie weighed in at 15.4 pounds at the check up which means he is already bigger than any of the dogs Wes and I have owned. It wouldn’t take much, but still. The vet did comment that Charlie will be “huge,” and I’m believing it more and more every day as he inhales his Puppy Chow and trips all over himself coming and going out of the backyard.
Speaking of Puppy Chow, we had to separate the dogs after Charlie nearly lost a bit o’ ear during lunch one day. BC won’t tolerate having him eat with her, even if sharing means that she gets the tasty, fatty Puppy Chow that he gets, and has literally jumped on top of him and attacked him. I’ve started taking him out to eat by himself on the back deck while BC eats her adult food inside, which has made meal times easier.
I’m amazed at how much easier housetraining is with a German Shepherd when compared to what it was with our miniature dachshunds. I’ve been reading “German Shepherds for Dummies” (seriously!), and we’ve been doing exactly what the book tells us to. And it works! I marvelled at this to our vet, who said that there’s a difference between intelligence and “trainability” in dogs. Dachshunds are probably just as intelligent as GSDs, if not more so, but they do their own thing and don’t tend to care what their humans think when it comes to being trained. It’s been quite a change to have a dog that is a people pleaser. When I take Charlie out to go potty, he goes on demand (!!!), then actually seems pleased that I’m so pleased. He is VERY energetic, but so far, we’ve been able to keep a close eye on him and redirect him when he starts eating the carpet, eating my curtains, eating my clothes, etc. He gets plenty of play time, wrestle time, and running time, so he sleeps like the dead at night. Which is a HUGE praise. He still gets up at 5am, but 5am on a full night’s rest is no problem at all. I’m able to take a book out on the back deck with me and read by porch light while he slops his food everywhere and the sun comes up. It’s actually quite nice.
Anyway, that’s life with Charlie for those who have been wondering how we’re making it. I’ve told Wes that I feel like we have a chance to make up for all the mistakes we made with Reese by doing right by Charlie. And as sad as I still am to think back to that situation, I think feeling so helpless towards the end actually helped me to come into this with more realistic expectations. Hard, tiring work in constantly monitoring and training a fifteen pound puppy is going to lead to a well-mannered, happy, and healthy ninetysomething pound dog.
How about you? What are some fun puppy (or other assorted animal friends) memories you have with your best four legged friend?