Last night we pondered the way we handle winding Cinder down and putting her to bed for the night. I don't always want to be the one who does the routine things with her-Brian also needs to do them. Cinder needs Brian to learn to work with her too. There should be no "good cop, bad cop" when it comes to dogs in families! Everyone should be equally responsible for and able to provide consistent care and handling-it's in everyone's best interest and especially the dog's!
Since I usually run on only four or five hours of sleep, I'm usually the last one to bed and first one awake. My sleep habits won't change, but I can change how things are done and one is that Brian needs to do some puppy care even when I'm awake and available. Luckily for him, putting her in her crate went relatively easily and she went to sleep without fuss because she was so tired. Last night, Brian was a little uncertain of my motives for having him take over some of her evening care, even after explaining why, but hopefully he'll come to understand the value of his equal share in raising Cinder.
Yesterday, Cinder got her first bath. Since she was housed in a barn based kennel, she came
with a little dust and dirt, but she added something she found to roll in while outside that was utterly disgusting. Right now she's small enough to fit in my large kitchen sink, making it easier to bathe her. She had no knowledge of water and it was definitely a minor trauma getting wet-until she also got a mildly soapy rub down. I didn't use the sprayer on her because I figured the pressure would be too harsh and the overall experience might make her hate bathing. After her bath, I went to use the sink sprayer to rinse the sink but I wasn't paying attention when I pulled the trigger and shot myself with water. Lesson for the human: be sure the sink sprayer is facing the right direction before pulling the trigger on it!
After her bath, we both needed to dry out. I pulled off both my soaked shirts and took Cinder to the bathroom for some blow drying. She wasn't happy with the sound, but I think she liked the warm air and rubbing which warmed and dried her pretty well. She was so exhausted. I wrapped her in a warm towel and as I layed her on the bed while I got another sweatshirt, Buzz got on the bed and crawled over to her, looking at her as though he wanted to help her but had no idea how-and didn't want a tail chomping or lip pulling for his attempt! He nudged at me as I put
on my sweatshirt, looking at Cinder as she layed there. I picked her up and went to the recliner to let her rest in my lap and get her air dried before she woke up and went out in the cold again to potty.
Gilley is feeling extremely displaced and goes to our bed instead of interacting with and being a chew toy for Cinder. Buzz, amazingly, is attempting a more tolerant approach, trying to stay out of the way of her needle teeth bites and bold jumps on him while also anxious to show her the way of life in our home and even trying to help her when he thinks she may be hurt or scared. These dynamics are much different than I'd anticipated and will probably evolve differently over time for all of them as the big boys learn to cope and live raising Cinder.