A few years ago, Sony developed a robot dog . The dog supposedly did all the cute things dogs do but I personally thought it was a pretty stupid idea. However, a few nights ago when I had my fourteen-week-old puppy out in the freezing rain at two in the morning I finally understood the appeal – the robot dog had an off switch. Even better – it didn’t do the not so cute thing that puppies do.
Before we got Sophie the Newfoundland puppy it had been thirteen years since we’ve had a really young puppy in our house. Even though I see puppies in lots of AnimalSense classes it’s different when they’re living with you full-time. You forget the housebreaking accidents (which always hit the carpet even when most of your house has wood floors). You also forget the little shark teeth. Sophie likes to put these teeth into lots of inappropriate things like mail and clothing.
Of course there’re lots of things we are doing to improve the situation. In order for her to develop better elimination habits, we make sure to take her out often and really try to learn from the signals she’s sending us. And when she’s chewing on things that she’s not supposed to we do give her an appropriate toy, something that’s better than whatever she currently has. Frozen kongs or bones stuffed with peanut butter are good options when she’s in a particularly bitey mood.
Most importantly, I need to remember that Sophie needs to learn to live in this big strange new world and I need to work on patience. Puppies will be puppies and I’m just trying to learn to laugh at the puppy antics. I do own a rug cleaner after all and truth be told, none of my pajamas are all that nice. We’ll get through it – but it’s a good thing puppies are cute!