Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Love Trouble

This is the height of comfort if you are a puppy.

Aaaaaanyway ... last night Raimi got in the worst trouble he’s been in so far in his short life. He took one of my shoes into the livingroom and was chewing on it while I was feeding the puppies. Normally I put the shoes up high when I get home but for some reason I took them off and left them on the floor. He chewed a part of the outer leather off them but they are still wearable – you’d only really notice the damage if you were looking for it. Did I mention they were $250 leather boots? Ya. Soooooooo … lots of trouble and lesson learned(by me).

Raimi has reached the teenage part of Ridgeback life. For anyone who’s never owned a Ridgeback the cycle starts with an 8 week old puppy who is adorable and starts learning the rules of the house and manners. Five month old puppy knows the rules and follows them quite well. It then occurs to 9 month old puppy that perhaps the rules aren’t written in stone and for the next few months test them to see if any have changed. It’s almost like they have completely forgotten the rules and you are now dealing with a very large stubborn independent dog with the mentality of an 8 week old puppy. All training must start again from scratch. They push the boundaries of your patience and the limits of your restraint when you discover $250 shoes with irreparable damage.

This goes out to all the people who have never owned a Ridgeback but are considering getting one: PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY are extremely important. I’m sure many a Ridgeback has ended up in a new home as a result of this stage of their development. You must be prepared for this – no one is immune. Not even me and my shoes.

My situation is exacerbated by the litter that takes the attention away from Raimi and he does not like it. He is behaving like a brat and while I make sure to love him and Petal up real good while the puppies are nursing or sleeping but he doesn’t think that’s enough. Given also the fact that part of his punishment for shoe destruction was no park visit we now have a frustrated boy. Tonight will be a good blast at the park and hopefully take the edge off.

So I tried a new puppy food yesterday thinking the Royalty in the litter would take to it. Nothing doing. Well, not quite true, they both ate several pieces and then decided against it. They are trying more and more solid food everyday so I’m hoping soon they’ll be diving in like the rest of them. I also discovered that the rest of the litter do not LIKE the new food and I have to go back to the original. Sigh. Honestly, these are Ridgebacks for gawdsakes – they should eat everything. You’d think they’d inherit their mother’s propensity for eating pretty well whatever’s put in front of her(except lettuce but couches are okay). The puppy is Miss Princess Pink, one of the "I think that is poison" puppies.

I’ll try to get some pictures of them learning to play. They are still very stumbly but attempts are being made to chew on each other’s feet, wave paws in faces and generally realize there is more to life than sleeping and eating. It’s as cute at is sounds.

No comments: