Friday, November 26, 2010

Igor. One week and counting up.

Igor's been living with us for one week today. It's been a very exhausting time. I remember sitting and thinking about getting a brand-new puppy about a week before he actually arrived.

I recalled how cute and adorable Niki was when we got her (she still is, btw!), and how fun it was to play with her. That brought me to thinking about how late I stayed up some nights throwing toys for her to chase and running her around the main floor of the house in order to tire her out so she'd sleep. I thought about the potty-training that went into the first loooong while. Even though she was pretty awesome, it was still a bit of work. We had her "puppy room" set up so she could just go into the room and do her business pretty much anywhere in that room, although ideally she'd jump into the paper-lined litter box to perform. She didn't always make it, no. But it was cool.


I decided that I didn't want to empty out the foyer to change it back into a puppy room, so Igor's only option is to go outside on the deck (not great cuz it stinks after 2 years even though we wash it off), or go all the way down off the deck, down the stairs, onto the grass. Yup. Door number 2. The grass. All I can say is thank goodness for outdoor lighting! I nearly took a header off the bottom stair the other night in the dark. I'd forgotten to turn on the big light. Or had it flipped itself off? I can't remember and it doesn't matter. It was freakin' dark and it was raining (yes, raining) and I was tired and he was squirming to be let down NOW!!! The lights need to be turned on at night as my night-vision goggles have not yet arrived in the mail.

He's doing pretty good with potty-training. Well, maybe it's more accurate to say that we're doing pretty good since we're the ones that have to keep an eye on him for "I'm looking for a great place to pee" behaviour. He circles around, like all puppies do. Yay. However, sometimes his circles are ... subtle... and disguised as "I'm looking for that toy I put down a minute ago" behaviour. I can say without argument that he's quick to drop into the doggie crouch! One second he's standing upright and in less time than it takes to blink he's squatting and peeing. One fluid motion. (Pun intended) Tether training really doesn't make much difference with that kind of speed. No, we don't punish him for the booboo. It's our fault (okay, maybe mine), so why screech? I clap my hands to distract him and hoist him up and run for the door. Better luck next time.
This was Niki's rawhide birthday card for her 1st b'day in January. Igor loves it!

Igor likes to chew. Anything that Niki ignored in favour of stuffies with squeakers is what he homes in on. This was Niki's 1 y.o. birthday card. It was pristine until he got hold of it for a few minutes and now a corner is chewed right off. The funny thing about Igor chewing on Nylabones and VeggieDents is that Niki figures it must be good if the puppy's got it. She nipped into his kennel, stole his VeggieDent (a bagful of which we've had in the house for the past several months!) and ate it! Then she went back later and snitched the one he'd been sucking on and ate that too. Such a jealous little darling.

Igor the Wonder Dog! Stairs are no obstacle!!
He's precocious. Physically anyway. I don't remember exactly how long it took for Niki to climb the (carpeted) stairs, but it was definitely not in the 8 week range. Igor just turned 9 weeks old this Wednesday. He climbed the stairs 2 days before that. Not just one or two steps. The whole freakin' flight from the main floor to the bedroom level. That's how many stairs? Um... I could go count them, but I'm busy. Suffice it to say that I was impressed.

Size comparison. Igor vs the small drink bottle.
He's also jumping from the main level down the step into the living room. It's a sunken living room, which I always thought would be cool but has turned out to be a slippery-when-wearing socks and not such a good idea when you're distracted and forget to take those two steps down. He quite literally did a "Super-dog!!!" leap, stuck the landing (gymnastics style) and dashed off in hot pursuit of Niki. Why am I so impressed by that? Because going down stairs is a scary thing when you have to approach it with your head as the leader and it's a skill that takes dogs a while to learn and become comfortable with!

I figure he'll be coming down the main stairs sometime this week. Maybe.

Meanwhile, I think it's potty time again. He just woke up from another nap. Byeeeeeeeee!

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Wake up call

Wake up call
Sunrise over Torbay