Four Weeks

Abby seems to like her new dog bed

It's been four weeks since we brought Abby home. In that time she has definitely moved in. She adjusted very quickly to the new environment. Only a day or two after she arrived she was acting like she had lived here all the time.

The first week she was the center of attraction. All the ladies in Sandy's family wanted to see the new puppy. We had lots of company: Sandy's mom (Janice), sister (Lynn), daughter (Shannon) and niece (Colleen) all came to visit. Abby certainly got a lot of attention. The good news is that a new puppy is a lot of work and there was certainly a lot of help. Things definitely changed when all the company left and we had to do everything ourselves. Since I had to go to work everyday and Sandy was off for the summer, most of it fell on her.

Potty training was the first order of business, of course. Abby did pretty well. She had one accident the very first day. We were taking her out to go potty in the back yard. As soon as she got out on the sceened in patio she squated. "Abby!!! No!!!" But it was probably just a misunderstanding really. She thought that she was outside. She probably just didn't realize that the patio doesn't count. She has to go all the way outside.

Mischief - Abby raids the pantry

She did have one legitimate mistake the first time that we took her upstairs and she went in out bedroom. There's no explanation for that one. She had one other episode but it shouldn't count either. She was knawing away at one of the metal registers in the floor. The air conditioning might have been running and that might have gotten her attention. She was pushing her snout between into the slot, probably trying to eat something that she could see inside, like some dust or something. All of a sudden she let out a yelp and jumped up in the air. The register went flying. Abby was crying. She must have gotten her snout pinched in the register. Afterwards there was a puddle where it happened, but we chalked that one up to literally "scarred the piss out of her" rather than a real accident.

Other than that, she did very well with potty training. There were no "serious" accidents and we were certainly grateful for that.

It didn't take Abby long to get used to sitting on the couch

When she first got here she wasn't able to climb anywhere. She couldn't get on the furniture. She couldn't even go up or down the stairs. She was very timid on the steps. It took her about a week before she finally went up, and then even braver, down the steps. I did manage to get a video of her the first time that she came down the steps on her own. See below. She finally managed it but there was a lot of whining and crying before she took the plunge. Now three weeks later she is a big dog and goes up and down the stairs without even a thought. The furniture isn't a problem for here either. The couch in the family room has become her favorite place to nap during the day. So far she still hasn't managed to get up or down on our bed by herself, but I am sure that will come as she gets bigger.

Before we picked up Abby, Sandy put some thought into puppy-proofing our house. She bought baby gates that I put up in the doorways so Abby is restricted to part of the house. She bought stand-alone wire enclosures for the exercise room (which is Abby's bedroom now) and the back yard. I mostly rolled my eyes during all this, thinking that she was making a big production out of nothing.

Wet face after drinking from the sprinkler

Well Abby has lived here for four weeks now and I have encountered the reality of a puppy. How can I put this? I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Not just wrong. I was WRONG.

Like a human toddler, Abby thinks that absolutely everything in the universe should go into her mouth so she can chew on it. Everything. No exceptions. Rocks, carpets, human arms, shoes, books, furniture, clothes, blankets, grass, bark. Especially bark. Anytime she goes out in the back yard she immediatly heads for the planting beds and starts to chew on the bark chips there. In the house, she chews on the rugs and furniture all the time. If you are close to her, she chews on you. And she has very, very sharp teeth. She doesn't really bite, she just puts her mouth on you. But her teeth are razor sharp so you end up with scratches everywhere. It was really bad the first two weeks. Every day Sandy and I would compare our wounds. We kept the Neosporin out on the counter. But Abby is getting better. She seems to be slowly learning how to avoid hurting us.

She even tried to chew on the wall a few times. Now how does she look at a wall and think, hey, that thing should go in my mouth.

She is incredibly destructive. We had to string chickenwire around the garden. She had eaten all of the ripe tomatoes and raspberries and was even digging up radishes. She has dug up so many plants in the back yard that we only let her out there on a line. There are holes everywhere in the grass.

Our little angel takes a nap

Inside is as bad or worse. The carpet in the family room has holes. Clothes and shoes have been chewed up. We are trying to hold the line at not letting her wreck the big pieces of furniture like the couch or dining room table or hutch. Just about everything else we have given up. We hear that the intense chewing phase for puppies lasts till sixteen weeks, which is how old she is. We are hoping the chewing will start to slack off but we don't completely trust her. We're fencing off all of the planting beds. I'm just hoping that we aren't going to have to put up fences everywhere inside the house!

For all her mischief she really is a good dog. She likes people. Whenever we take her for a walk she has to stop to say hello to everyone. She is very friendly. And she is a cute puppy. Everyone who sees her stops to comment on how cute she is. Whenever Sandy and I come home, she runs to greet us. Her tail wags so hards that her whole body swings from side to side. That's how she got her cute nickname, Miss Wiggle Butt. But she has a lot of energy and is very creative when it comes to destroying things. Hence her other nickname, Monster. Whenever it is quiet in the house, Sandy and I look at each other and say "Where is the Monster?" But we suspect that as she grows up into an adult dog, she will grow out of both of her puppy nicknames. At least we hope so!

Here is some video from Abby's first few days living with us. Since it is high definition, I am going to take the easy route and just provide links. If I embed the video I have to lose quality or redesign the whole page, since it isn't wide enough for hi def. I am also sticking with the mts file format. It's higher quality than if I convert it to mp4. If you aren't using Windows, too bad.

Abby's first abortive attempt to come down the stairs. Or the MP4 file is here.

She makes it down the first section. Or the MP4 file is here.

Abby coming down the lower part of the stairs. Or the MP4 file is here.

Abby greets Sandy coming home. This shows how she gets her nickname of Miss Wiggle Butt. Or the MP4 file is here.