Puppy training appears to be going really well. Mattie at 5 months sits next to the door to ask to go out and do her business which is wonderful. So we naturally felt confident in having our carpets cleaned and deodorized. $400 dollars later we happily sat in our living room and enjoyed the clean, fresher smelling carpets.
The next day a cup of bacon grease was sitting on the counter with three paper towels soaking up the grease within the cup. The cup was on the back of the counter and we decided that we needed to run to the store. We forgot about the cup of grease and were confident that all would be ok. When we got home two hours later the cup was off the counter (unbroken, meaning that Emma was the one to grab it off the counter) laying on the floor. Grease and paper towels were gone but all else was ok. We felt that we had gotten off easy and figured they would digest the paper towels and that would be it. One o’clock in the morning came with a loud retching sound I turned on the light just in time to see Mattie projectile vomit the paper towels, bacon grease and her dinner all over our clean bedroom carpets. Now my daughter used to projectile vomit when a young baby but she had nothing on Mattie!
It took us an hour to clean up the disaster and finally we got back to bed. Emma still had her paper towel to get rid of and she did the next day out on the grass….gotta love Emma!
My husband just called me. He found Mattie chewing on a closed prescription bottle of codeine! (no pills got out) She might be potty trained but she is still a baby!
The day begins at 5:30 with taking Mattie out to go pee. We beg Emma to come to but she snarls back that it is only 5:30 and are we crazy! After Mattie squats outside and tinkles we take her in and give her a small treat, hoping it will hold her over for an hour till breakfast. Back to bed we go. Mattie thinks that this should really be the beginning of play time but after everyone on the bed growls, snarls, yells and glowers at her she lays down and tries to go back to sleep for that precious last hour. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not but the next time she pounces on one of our faces we get up and feed her and force Emma to rise up out of her deep slumber and eat too. We have to watch over the eating time (which for Mattie is less then 2 minutes) to make sure that Mattie does not push Emma (who is still 3 times Mattie’s size) out of the way and finish her food. Then Emma and Mattie are outside for a couple of hours and we are getting ready for work or on the weekend getting an extra hour or so of snooze time.
How many things can a lab puppy put in her mouth in a day? The answer is that you can’t count that high! Here is a short list…a whole corncob swallowed in 2 halves, a cupcake paper (swallowed like magic), a screw (not swallowed because I dug it out of her mouth) numerous shoes, a pair of men’s shorts, cat treats (a whole bag consumed)…this is just one day…by the way the corncob was thrown up for 3 days but at least it did not cause a blockage.
This was Matties first time going to the Dog park and taking a swim with Emma
A thirteen week old lab that weighs thirty pounds can be a handful. A thirteen week old lab that weights thirty pounds and is smart is a dilemma. When Mattie walked into (ok, pulled me into) puppy class it was obvious that she was the largest dog there, not the oldest just the largest. As the trainer bends down to welcome her to the class Mattie proceeds to pee. Mattie pees every time she meets someone new. The good news is that she has a decent memory and usually remembers who she has met and who is new so the peeing usually only happens once. My sweet Granddaughter, Lizzie is with us, we take a seat next to a couple with a darling wirehair terrier named Buddy. Buddy immediately nips at Mattie, being twice Buddies size Mattie assumes he is a wild beast and shrinks under my chair. When she realizes that Buddy is a puppy she begins to bark at him to put him in his place. It did not work but it did create a barking competition. I quickly filled my hand up with treats and let Mattie smell them. That got Mattie’s attention and kept it through most of the class (I only went through around 120 treats 🙂 .
When the instructor asked us what we wanted to get out of the class many people talked about training their dog to sit or listen or not chase the cat. When it came to Mattie it was train her to not stand on the dining room table or pee when she met a new person. Yes I said stand on the Dining room table! Day before yesterday I came home from work exhausted and my husband said “Mattie has a new trick” as if on que Mattie runs over to the dining room chair jumps up like it was a step stool and proceeds to stand on the table! The training class ended with Mattie showing off how well she sat and focused (she was focused on treats) and us leaving with the hope that Mattie will not rule our home forever.
Last night my husband reminded me that Emma was crazy till at least two. Two years seems sort of far away. I may be retired by then. Or dead.
Right now Mattie only weighs around 16 pounds. So when she is calm and angelic she will put get up on your lap, place her head on your shoulder and quietly go to sleep. Then there is what we call “Devil Dog” time…This is when Mattie is in need of a nap but does not know it yet. She runs around in circles as fast as she can, jumps up and nips at your hands and barks at her favorite toys till you give them to her! Emma at this point just goes and lays down. Trying to hide from the naughty pup. Inevitably Mattie will finish her Devil time and drop down next to Emma and go into the sweetest nap you have ever seen, changing her right back into the Angel we love.
Emma has never been an independent dog but Mattie can be. Sometimes we loose track of her and find her just hanging out in the sun, chewing (hopefully) on a toy. She loves her kennel which Emma never liked. But come right around 9 at night Mattie slips into her kennel and settles in for the night. She actually sleeps till 5:22 in the morning! I swear it is 5:22 every morning! What an alarm clock!
At 5:22 either Tony or I get up and coax Emma up. Emma takes Mattie outside for their morning pee and poop and then begs to be let back in which happens at 6 when Tony gets up and feeds them and puts them back out. I tell you this to let you know the importance of having an older dog to train your new puppy! Emma is a life saver! She is saving the puppies life and our sanity. I had no idea how great she would be at mentoring Mattie!
So may I say that Mattie is about as smart as a puppy comes! Which means that she walks all over us whenever given the opportunity. However she totally respects Emma (our 9 year old lab). When Mattie naws on our hands we say “no bite” till the cows come home but if she nips on Emma one small growl will stop Mattie in her tracks and shows total submission. At 9 weeks old Mattie knows her name and the word “eat”. Boy does she know eat! I have only seen one other dog eat faster than Mattie and that was a 90lb yellow lab named Chief who could enter the Olympics in a food eating contest!
This weekend was our first “walk” events. On Friday night Mattie, Emma and I ventured outside for Mattie’s first time on a leash. We went one house past ours and turned around. That took about ten minutes with tiring to keep the leashes untangled and Mattie from chewing the leash etc. Then we turned and went past our house plus one. Just as I am starting to pass my neighbors house (Bruce) Bruce pops his head out the door and asks if I realize I am heading a parade. There behind Emma and Mattie following at a safe distance were my two cats Tulo and Smudge. It was like the circus had come to town! At this point I decide to end the first walk and try again on Saturday.
Saturday went much better. Mattie was tired but she mad made it entirely around our block (around 1/3 of a mile). It took us almost an hour but I felt it was very successful. A little six year old girl fell madly in love with Mattie. Mattie was concerned about some large sounding barking dogs but other then that the walk went off without a hitch. Oh there was the lady who made her husband stop their car in the middle of the road, she rolled down the window and begged to pet the baby. What could I do but pick Mattie up and let her pet her!
Sunday was a great walk. Still around the block but Tony went with us. He took Emma and I had Mattie. Mattie insisted on keeping up with Emma and sometimes passing her so the four of us did a little jogging and Mattie was totally tired when we got back home! The cats met us in the front yard when we got home and all was well.