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Rated: E · Essay · Animal · #1886558
My Lab pup is between three and four months...
My champagne white, three and a half month old Lab has been with me for about a month. Dog training is mostly how he's training me, instead of the other way around. The puppy seems to be in charge of the household now. This is not what I had anticipated. I thought I was going to train him. At this point, I can only laugh about what happens--if I didn't, I'd cry.

The first habit of mine the pup decided to change was my constant sipping of a can of soda. I used to always have a Coke or orange soda, or something within reach of my daybed/desk. I can rest my aching back on my Temperpedic mattress, and watch TV, use my laptop and phone, and function from one spot in the house. This is the Grand Central spot, where I spend many waking hours, doing whatever I do.

"Johnny" figured out how to bump my little side table with his nose, and the drink would fall, the liquid would spill out, and the rest of the drink just became his. The dog steals my lemonade, and laps it up in front of me. My canned Country Time lemonade!

So, being the human of the duo, I figured out how to fix that cute little trick. I've switched to twist top bottles, and I keep the lid on. So, there. Take that "Johnny". I don't know if he'll ever unlearn this trick. He drinks coffee too.

Forty-something pounds of cuteness and mischief, in motion or napping. He's precious when he's napping. I'vegone off and left him loose in the house, and been gone for hours. He investigates, and he moves things around. Sometimes he finds lost things, like a shoe that was missing for three years. That's another story.

Somebody suggested I keep him in his crate to keep him calm. Too late to start now. I know he would cry and yelp horribly. Besides, he doesn't fit into that crate like he used to. He was 31 pounds when we went to the vet last. I know he's fourty-something now. That's a heap of dog to move when he doesn't want to. He's eating all his dinner, and is still growing.

I used to be a container gardener, but "Johnny" fixed that. When I potted my plants, my previous dog had just passed, and I found lots of bones in the yard. I decided to use them with the rocks in the bottom of the containers so that the plants can drain from their waterings. "Johnny" has located the bones. One of the barely growing cannas was dumped sideways, and dug into until he found the bone. I hope he doesn't know there are bones in all the plants. The plants are having a hard time making it, and "Johnny" is not helping.

As the heat allows, "Johnny" and "Shadow" my ten year old German Shepherd, and I have been taking midnight walks around the block. It's "Shadow" I have to watch because she is a serious watch dog. She protects her Mom, and she figures everybody is a threat. It's good at home, but not when she barks and lunges toward some other walking person. One night, she saw a man walking a dog, and she pulled loose. Barking, she rushed up to the man and the dog, who just stood ther luckily. I grabbed her and apologized. So, you see, "Shadow" already has a bad reputation in the neighborhood. Usually they walk together, but "Johnny" needs more exercise than "Shadow".

"Johnny" steals everything he can get his soft mouth on. He carries around my gray kitten "Quip" who is two weeks younger than he is. He's never hurt her, but she meows loudly while in his mounth, and then I rescue her and hold her and give her loving. Once, I was rescuing the kitten from the pup, and the phone rang in the middle of the ordeal. When I returned to my day bed, there lay the kitten, waiting for me, damp, and anticipating her Mama's loving. This is beginning to feel like an animal conspiracy. It's keeping me active.

I have a total of two dogs and fours cats. It's the puppy, next to my every step, driving me kinda crzy these days. He'll grow, and so will my character if I live through puppyhood.

He's been rowdy around the service men that have been by about my sewer problem. The man had the camera 8 feet into my drain pipe, and "Johnny" was trying to dig the hole wider. The three men, and myself, managed to corral the pup in the alley that afternoon. There was more consequence from the drain company man.

It was okay at the beginning, considering I couldn't keep the pup inside. He followed me out, and so did "Shadow" as she will partake of his shenangans. She knows not to pass the doggie door if it's covered by the bulletin board and two large containers of bleach. However, if "Johnny" opened it, she figured she was going out too. Luckily I stopper her and only the pup made it as far as the alley. He stayed in constant movement. The man asked me if I needed some help, and he ended up giving "Johnny" a good pitch into the yard. Actually, I think they both enjoyed it.

It's fun to play with a puppy when you're not doing something else, like sweeping. "Johnny" chews on a moving broom. We're working on that daily.

I was feeling a bit smug that I'd made it through all the service man visits without major incident, and I was proud that again I have a two seater house. I thought we'd made it through the day with no physical damages. I let the dogs off their leashes, and the last plumber pulled away from the house in his truck.

Time for me to settle back into the pace and calm of El Centro.

"Eek!" I screamed like one of those girls in the movies. It was a good scream, if I do say so myself, after the fact.

Next to the daybed had stood a rectangular sort of card table. I'd been piling papers, magazines, pens, nail polish and clippers and scissors. It was a kind of "things to be put away table". It just kept getting higher. It was all stuff I didn't need for "Johnny" to get his teeth on.

I could tell he'd hit the table once, real good, and knocked it over like the flower pot. Same methodology. Everything fell over in one fell swoop. There lai my important stuff, all over the den floor. We are talking wall-to-wall mess. There's no walking path.

My back hurts, and like Steve Martin used to say, "I'm waiting for the drugs to take effect." I've told "Johnny" three times already that he made the mess and he has to clean it up. He's playing possum about it. No action, except I saw him carry off my laptop case. Yes, if I weren't laughing I would be crying. Eventually, he's going to be a good boy. That's puppy love.
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