I’ve always liked dogs and as soon as I moved into a house (from an apartment) I got one – a Black Labrador that came to me via a newspaper ad and what I then considered to be the outrageous price tag of $60.
At the time I knew about as much about dogs as I did about children, of which I had two; twin toddlers, still in diapers. Why my wife and I decided to toss a puppy into this mix is anybody’s guess. But we did.
It worked out okay. A serious case of gun shyness prohibited the dog from becoming the hunting companion I’d originally envisioned. But she grew into a fine pet and child protector, a role she faithfully filled for 14 years, living long enough for the toddlers to become licensed drivers. No more can be asked of a dog.
We now have a new puppy. This time she’s a Golden Retriever, the result of another newspaper ad find and cash transaction, although the exchange of money was considerably more than $60.
The new pup seems as stubborn and hardheaded as the original, eating everything she gets close to. What she can’t swallow she chews into pulp. At the moment she’s working on a wicker fish creel but when she’s outside her foodstuff of choice seems to be clods from my neighbor’s freshly plowed field.
This digestive smorgasbord can lead to problems and a puppy with loose bowels isn’t conducive to house training. We have had a couple of house breaking misfires but, overall, so far, so good.
Beginning next month we’re going to try a 7-week course in obedience training (i.e. puppy school). I am not overly optimistic but this is based on past experience and is in no way a reflection on the quality of the program or the instructors. My Lab and I flunked out of puppy school after about a month. She had learned to come when she wanted to and I had learned to reasonably tolerate this canine arrogance so we jointly decided we’d had enough. That worked out okay, too.
As for now, though, I must attend to the dog. The pup is whining about something. Maybe she’s finished eating the fish creel and needs to go out.