Back in June, I wrote about what appeared to be a new hobby of Adagio — diving into Steve’s recycling bin and fishing out papers to tear into pieces. We had barked “No!” at him several times, but mere reprimands didn’t appear to be deterring him. I resolved to start squirting him with a spray bottle whenever we caught him in the act. But, no sooner did I make this vow in my blog than he…. stopped doing it!
I breathed a happy sigh of relief. Then the day after our recent houseguests departed, I walked into the room where they’d been staying. I found the debris shown in the photo. For a second, I didn’t recognize it. Then I realized it was pieces of the charming lion Steve and I had brought back from East Africa 5 years ago. He was made of recycled flip-flops, cleverly transformed into blocks of colorful rubber and sculpted into beastly forms. I loved that lion and his zebra companion. But Adagio evidently had wandered into the room (probably looking for his little friend Emery), spotted the rubber animals, and savaged them.
We had only the one lion and one zebra, so there will be no catching Adagio on any future hunts for African prey. I am sad about the loss of these, but I’m trying to think of it as a reminder of what Steve repeats too often: young puppies can destroy new things at any time. We cannot let down our guard.
Adagio has a new hobby! Suddenly, he has gotten the notion into his brain that it is fun to extract papers from the recycling bin in Steve’s office, rip them into shreds, and strew them about. He attacks them with a gusto startling in a fellow who normally prefers to spend so much of his time sleeping.
In the thick catalog of possible puppy sins, I know this is a peccadillo. Also, Steve and I appreciate the fact that it’s the worst thing Adagio has done in his short (not-yet-8-month-old life). He could be destroying important papers stolen from our desktops. He could be gnawing on our shoes or our appliances. Instead he’s targeting items that are already slated for destruction.
Still, it’s annoying to have to sweep up the shreds, plus destroying any household item is precisely the sort of thing CCI puppy raisers are supposed to train their charges NOT to do. We understand we must nip this in the bud. Steve argued at first we should try stern verbal corrections. Adagio is such a docile fellow, that seemed like it might work.
But we’ve tried it now for a couple of days, with no success. So now Plan B is to set him up to sneak into the office, spy on him until he begins his attack, then jump out and blast him with our squirt bottle. (It has water in it at the moment, but if necessary, we can add vinegar to make it more repellant.)
This plan will require us to give the problem more discipline and attention than we’re accustomed to directing at Adagio. But we know our duty. Stay tuned for a report on the results.
Steve and I were shocked a few weeks ago to notice that all of Beverly’s puppy teeth appear to be gone. She HAD a mouth full of puppy teeth when we got her back in June, but now here’s what we see in her mouth:
What happened to the lethal little daggers? Did they fall out one by one and get vacuumed up, without our noticing any of it? Did she swallow them? She’s not talking.
What we did notice is that Beverly, more than any other puppy, never gashed our hands or chomped on our other body parts while she was going through the teething process.
That’s one sign of what a good girl she has been. Here’s another: one day recently, we found her curled up on one of our soft chairs, looking extremely comfortable.
This is NOT a good things; CCI puppies are supposed to stay off the furniture. Steve is much sterner a disciplinarian than I am, and he immediately ordered her Off! It happened a couple more times in short order, and I shrugged my shoulders. (We never succeeded in breaking Kyndall or Dionne of the habit, once they figured out how cozy they are.) But Steve persisted in making Beverly get down. And she now seems to have completely stopped doing it! Can she have learned that climbing onto the furniture is unacceptable… and be obeying us? The mind reels…
Still, it’s too early to reach any conclusions about just how good a girl she will continue to be. This morning, I unwittingly dropped a $20 bill on the floor of my office. A moment later, Beverly began leaping and rolling around ecstatically, flinging something in the air and then pouncing on it. My twenty. I leapt up to save it, but found a piece missing. Pried open her jaws. Found a big chunk of the missing piece. Searched around in her mouth again and found the last bit.
I’ve taped them together and am hoping the bank will trade me it for an unmolested one.
Kyndall ate her bed this morning. All our previous CCI puppies pretty much immediately shredded anything soft we gave them to sleep on, but I had lobbied shortly after receiving Kyndall that we should allow her a chance to prove herself the exception. I bought a soft foam mat for her at Petco, and for all these months all she did to it was curl up and enjoy its coziness. I boasted to friends about her exceptionalism. Then this morning, after she’d been fed her breakfast in her kennel, I walked into Steve’s office and found this:
The thought crossed my mind that this act of aggression might be linked to her recent transformation into a predatory killer…of house flies. Normally, we don’t see many flies. But in this past week’s heat wave, their numbers exploded. Kyndall is entranced whenever she catches sight of them. She leaps and snaps at them, and I’m pretty sure I saw her catch and eat one.
Fortunately, they say the heat wave is ending. Fig season is also winding down (thank God!). That means soon we should be able to stop policing the dogs’ every instant outside (lest they stuff themselves with fallen figs, with disastrous consequences on their digestion.)
But even after the weather gets chilly, she’s going to be sleeping on the hard wood floors or plastic bottom of her kennel. After all, she is in training…