Sunday, February 2, 2014

Days 1 & 2 of Life with Cinder-our new Puppy

     Cinder arrived home shortly after 11:30AM, following her 45 minute ride on Brian's lap from Janelle's. Immediately she met each of the older boys individually in the garage before we brought her in the house.  Neither of the boys seemed thrilled or upset; they just sniffed at her and looked her over.  We brought her in and she was pretty scared so I snuggled with her on the loveseat for about an hour. During that time, Gilley joined us, sharing a few sniffs and looking somewhat flumoxed that we were sitting in HIS spot.
     Throughout the day, she interacted with us more freely but she was clearly upset at not having her siblings so snuggling with us was a big deal. Brian and I traded off snuggling and playing with her throughout the day and evening. We were able to get her outside for regular potty breaks during which she did her business and she has not offered to potty in the house, but we've also been able to keep her in our view and catch her when she acted like she needed to go potty-also following the rules of going after play, naps, eating and drinking. So far, she's had no indoor potty problems and as of this morning, seems to know she should go to the door when she needs to go out to potty; and knows going outside is about going potty. No messes in her crate last night either.
     Gilley and Buzz's noses are both so out of joint they are at right angles.  Gilley seems resigned that Cinder's here and is likely to stay - at least a while. As he sat by me on the
Cinder napping on Gilley.
loveseat this morning, he allowed Cinder to lay on him and nap. Buzz is minimally tolerant so long as we're with them. He's snapped at her a couple times which means one of them has to stay with one of us at all times because they can't be alone together until Buzz accepts her without such obvious disdain for her existence.  It's rather sad because neither of them wants much to do with her and all she wants is for them to play with her in the worst way. Because the boys are having some adjustment issues, we've brought their crates back into the house to be able to lock them up while we do some things with Cinder and not have them interfere. 
     Last night, I opted to sleep on our sofa sleeper in the living room with Cinder's crate next to me so I could quickly and easily be available to her when she cried. It worked pretty well. Cinder went into her crate at around 9:30PM and only a few times woke long enough to whine and shift positions. At 2:45AM, she was not to be consoled while in her crate and I decided she probably needed to go potty.  We went out and she pottied quickly and we returned to go back to the crate beside the sofa sleeper. She wouldn't settle down because she needed an early breakfast to fill her hungry tummy. Once she had some breakfast, we both dozed off and awoke at our normal 4:00AM, when Brian and the big boys appeared for morning care too.
     Brian made a rookie mistake, feeding the boys first without making Cinder's food up and getting her in her space first. In the process of things, Cinder spied Gilley eating breakfast and as she would've with her littermates, thought she should eat with him-NOT. Gilley backed away somewhat disgruntled at the prospect of losing his breakfast, but I intervened to save his day.          To avoid more food incidents and help with giving each dog their share of downtime away from the others as we embark on training Cinder, we brought the boys' crates back in and placed them together in what has been my sewing closet, but now is dog crate space and sewing storage.  We may as well get them used to going to their crates again as a routine since Cinder's got to learn that-and so much more.  They are NOT happy at their change in - everything. 
     Breakfast done, we got off to a sluggish start on this dreary day.  Two pots of coffee were necessary for functional life.  Puppy may have us up and moving, but that doesn't necessarily mean we're coherent or functional! I'm hopeful we only have this hurdle for a week or so tops! O
     Cinder's proving her smarts already by going to the back door when she needs to go potty!
She's only seven weeks old and we've only established the routine only 24 hours ago, but she's catching on-despite the cold, rainy, slushy remnants of snow outside (in which she seems to love splashing). She's already learned her way to her crate, water and the back door. She goes to get a drink from her tiny dish beside her crate.  She willingly goes in her crate to eat.  While she doesn't like being alone (yet), she does seem to understand her crate is her space and is not necessarily a punitive jail.  She absolutely misses her siblings and momma, but her blankie with their scent is in her crate to help her feel less alone. 
     While the older boys resemble stodgy curmudgeons, I can see that as she ages, Gilley will enjoy romping with her. Right now, both still see her as a little, rambunctious munch monster who enjoys chomping on them, stealing toys, stealing favorite spots and generally being an invader on their turf.  They're tolerating her but claiming they like her would be wrong at this early stage.  I'm glad we got a puppy now because a couple more years of age and my boys would never adapt to such a young, needle-toothed little terror on their turf, chomping their tails. I'm sure they'll adjust to Cinder's presence-even learn to like her and let her share our lives, but it will not happen fast or easily. We will need to keep a close eye on things for a long while. 
     From the human perspective, Cinder's adorable and loves snuggling. She's learning quickly about potty training, crate training and life with two older dogs.  She already follows me as much as possible; comes when I call her; and when Brian takes her out, she runs straight to me with her little tail wagging wildly. Darn the luck-another loving and loyal Border Collie may just be too hard to enjoy but I think we'll suffer the agonies of trying. One can never have too much love or  too many friends-human or canine!  I can also say that WE are probably also at an age where taking on raising a puppy again in another few years will probably more than we want to tackle. Timing on getting a puppy now is about the best it could be.  Assuming she remains healthy, we hope she's with us for at least 10 years (or more), which puts us squarely in our late 60's, ready to be done with raising any kind of babies. Cinder will likely be our last puppy to raise and probably our last and only dog after our beloved boys are gone.
     The adventure began yesterday and we're tired, but happy that Cinder is finally here and we've got this wonderful challenge of...Raising Cinder!

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