As you may know, we are a household ruled firmly, yet fairly, by Scarlet, our 14 year old kitty.
I am wholeheartedly and unabashedly a cat person. While I love dogs, I never envisioned having another one. Hallee, my ASD 18 year old is not a dog fan, unless they’re asleep. Mad, my 13 year old IS a dog fan, but has one at her father’s house that she sees often. Mark is happy if I’m happy, so onward we marched..into a dogless future.
Or so I thought.
A few weeks ago, a girlfriend posted on FB that they were getting a new puppy from a family up north and was anyone else interested in one of the litter. She sent a picture of the puppies. I still don’t know what made me do it. Maybe I had a mini-stroke. Maybe I forgot that my cat wants to drink the blood and wear the skin of any other animal brought into our home. I turned my phone around and showed Mark the picture. He said, “Do it”. We did it. This is Cooper.
He’s half Golden Retriever and half yellow lab. We brought him home at 7 weeks and oh my God..it’s sleeplessness, exasperation, adoration and lots of kisses with stinky puppy breath. Oh, and teeth. Lots of little razor sharp piranha teeth. We all look like we wrestle alligators for a living. We’re at week 3 and he’s just turned 10 weeks old. He’s grown like a weed, destroyed my family room rug by chewing tiny holes whenever he thinks no one is looking and made my little, black heart grow just like the scene from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
And Scarlet, my aged, spoiled best-furry-friend? She hates him. HATES HIM. Right now she hates him, hates us, hates everything. Her Majesty has been an only pet for over almost a decade and wants to keep it that way. Currently, she’s upstairs and we’re down. We have a split-level and until Cooper is older and we’re not so heavily into crate training and manners, he’s sequestered down here with us.
Scarlet, who formerly claimed the downstairs as HER territory, has moved upstairs with the kids. Occasionally she’ll come down and glare at the puppy thru the baby gate on the stairs and then go back up in a huff. When I do take him upstairs (on a short leash) she meets us at the top and while she won’t run away, she’s not exactly welcoming. I’ll tie Cooper up to a chair leg and sit on the floor and pet them both (several feet between them) and tell them what good friends they’ll be..isn’t this fun, etc. Cooper wants to love her desperately, but on the occasions he’s gotten too close, she’s knocked him over like a bowling pin. I guess we’ll need a little more than 3 weeks.
Cooper is adjusting to his new life with us like a champ, despite Scarlet. He goes into his crate willingly now and mostly sleeps thru the night. He knows sit, leave it and loves walks, as long as there are no seagulls or crows involved. Those are scary and bad. Winged death from above. And also garbage trucks. Loud, scary, puppy-eating-machines. But we’re getting there.
Today was a test of my new role as a mother of two pets. Scarlet ended up at the vet for an emergency appointment (Thank you Penobscot Veterinary Services and Dr. Leighton! We love you guys!) due to a rotten sinus infection. After a miserable morning for my girl, who hates all things cat carrier (she pees and howls) and car related, we got home, got everyone settled and I took Cooper out to potty. On our way back in the house, I see that he’s either playing with or just has just spit out a wooly bear caterpillar. Hello, Google. Are wooly bears toxic? Do they have spines? My concern jumped to defcon 5 when about 10 minutes later he began making choking/horking/honking sounds. Not throwing up, but sounding like he may. Gurgling tummy, explosive toots, hork-hork-hork. Catarpillar? Weird yard plant? Shoe?
We spent a great deal of time outside waiting for the inevitable explosion and calling the vet. Again. Nothing like thinking you’ll have to
sell a kidney make a second emergency visit to the vet in one day. Turns out the little wooly bears are not in fact, toxic, but do have spines that can cause irritation if he got them in his mouth or gullet. And since he spends most of his time with his mouth gaping open like Jaws coming up for a teenaged girl, there’s a pretty good chance that he tried to swallow it.
While the hiccups and occasional horking are still going on, he’s happy as can be. He’s had half of an antacid (dog safe) and a little bit of plain, white rice that’s staying down just fine. He’s terrorizing his toys and humping his bed…I take these as signs he’s going to be fine. In a couple of weeks when he’s done with his first vaccine protocol, we’ll hit up a few puppy play groups and the dog park and make him some furry friends who don’t hate him.
Here’s what we’re feeding: Fromm Puppy Gold dry.
Here’s who takes good care of him: Penobscot Veterinary Services.
Here’s what he loves to chew (besides my rugs): Puppy Kong, bully sticks, dehydrated sweet potato sticks.
Vaccine protocol we follow: Dr. Jeanne Dodds.
And now, more cute pictures…