Monday, January 14, 2013

Life With a Puppy

Eight years ago, we gave away our second dog.  A few years before that we had to have our first dog put to sleep.  So, we had been dogless for eight years.  Even though we liked dogs, we were pretty sure we'd never have another one because it was convenient being able to go where we wanted when we wanted without having to worry about somebody watching the dog while we were gone.  It was also nice to not have to clean up the backyard.

Once we moved to Florida, John got the dog-owning bug.  He spent time watching videos of dogs online which were at a nearby Humane Society.  I'd go back and forth about owning a dog again and finally decided it was time.  We went to the HS and found a dog we liked.  She was almost a year old and about 60 pounds.  She was too much puppy for the rental we were in, so we took her back after two days.  We fostered her for that reason - if it didn't work out we'd be able to take her back.  She has since been adopted so I trust she is with a great family.

At the end of September, we went camping with some friends who told us that their dog had gotten pregnant by a neighbor's dog.  John spoke right up and said we'd take the runt of the litter.  That weekend, while we were all camping, the puppies were born.  For the next ten weeks, our friends sent us pictures of the puppy which they called "Cocoa," and we watched her on Skype.

Two weeks
Probably 7 weeks
We made plans to meet halfway between Jacksonville and our friends' house to pick up Cocoa.  It was the second Saturday in December.  We drove four hours and spent 1-1/2 hours with them.  Cocoa cried most of the way home.  It was so sad.

Pick-up Day 
Pick-up Day
We weren't going to keep the name, Cocoa, but after much deliberating and not being able to agree on something witty, we decided to keep the name she was given.

The first week and a half, she woke up three times a night.  It brought back memories of being up with a brand-new baby.  When she finally was awake for the day, it was 6:30 in the morning.  I am not a morning person, so 6:30 was too early for me.  Not for Cocoa, she wanted to play.  I, however, just wanted to go back to bed.  It has been five weeks now, and she is sleeping through the night.  I, however, still do not like getting up at 6:30.  The thing is when John gets ready for work, she wakes up.  This last Saturday, we all slept in until 8:00.  No one was up to wake her, so she just kept sleeping.  That was nice.

She is a shy puppy, not excited to meet new people and terrified of big dogs.  She didn't particularly care for the vet the first time we took her until she gave Cocoa some treats.  When the vet left the room, Cocoa remembered where the treats came from and tried to jump three feet in the air to reach them.  She didn't succeed, but I started wondering if she is part Mexican Jumping Dog.  We don't know what her father is.  Her mom is a chocolate lab.  Her sister looks like a shepherd.  Who knows?  All we know is that she is adorable.

She was born with a very short tail.  When she gets excited, her entire bum wiggles, so she has been given the nickname "Poopy Wigglebutt."  Poopy for obvious reasons.  She is a lot of fun to play with.  Nate likes to chase her around the furniture while she has a toy in her mouth.  It's like a game of Keep Away.  I think she actually pulls one over on him instead of the other way around.  One day she was sitting in front of the couch and Jacob was talking to her by his bedroom door behind the couch.  She stared at him and then jumped over the couch to get to him.  It took about a nanosecond for her to be on the other side, much too fast for us to react.  John gets her to chase him around the couch.  She ran around the other day about 5 times.  When they took a break and started up again, she didn't chase him around the couch but realized it'd be quicker to catch him if she just jumped over the couch, which she tried to do.  She is too smart for our own good.

New Year's Eve
Cocoa is 3-1/2 months old only and a ball of energy.  Thankfully she sleeps all night even when falling asleep at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.  She is house-trained and whines or barks when needing to be let out.  She is a puppy and still bites when she plays.  I think she loves me best because she jumps all over me and bites me most.  When I get home from working, she jumps for five minutes (despite my reprimands that she stop).  

It had been eight years since we had a dog.  The kids are old enough now to take responsibility for her care when John and I aren't home.  It is much easier now, although it is still hard work.  This will probably be our last dog.  I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to find another one like her.  John says she is the easiest puppy he's ever tried to train.  

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