Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Dogs are NOT Cats!

Welcome to Clueless Puppy Owner's new blog!!

Technically, my dog can no longer be called a puppy, given he's 15 months old.  But, because it is cathartic for me to keep on writing about my trials and tribulations, I've decided to start up a series on what I've learnt over the year since becoming a dog owner.  My older blogs can still be found on  and if there is enough of a demand, I'll go back to my posts describing the torture my little fluff ball keeps putting me through.

So, what have I learnt?  Well, the one point that has jumped up and bit me in the nose is that "Dogs are NOT Cats"!!   Let me explain.

I have had cats for most of my life.  When I was a little girl, we had a little male cat that I loved very much.  We had him for about a year, but then he ran away.  I was devastated.  I guess someone must have left the back door open, because the cat was no longer in the house.  About a year later, an identical cat  appeared in our backyard.  Difference was, however, that this cat was female!!  We took it in where it stayed on as our pet till her last days.  I'll always remember my parents telling me it was a "miracle" that our cat went from boy to girl, and I always believed them.

Since then, I had a goldfish for a couple of years until I finished elementary school.  In University, my younger sister brought home a cat.  That cat stayed on for many years, even after my sister and I had both moved out of the house.  That cat had become my parent's subsitite child and certainly enjoyed more priveldges than we ever did!!

Living on my own, I got a my own pet cat.  Once again, this little fluff ball lived with me for years until I met my future husband.  Poor hubby was sooo allergic to her.  He landed in the emergency ward more than once during our 2 year courtship. Hubby and kitty cohabiting was not an option.  When our son came along, we got ourselves a goldfish.  That darned Cynprinidae tried to outlive us all.  He lived for about 5 years, although the last year and a half  he was floating mainly on his side!!!

Then finally, after 8 years of coaxing my hubby, son and I were finally able to convince him to say "yes" to a doggy!!  We had done tons and tons of research.  Hubby didn't want to be placed in a situation where he would end up in the Emergency ward on a weekly basis.  We found that the PWD was probably the right dog for him, but just for good measure, we spent 4 hours at a PWD breeder's house, where about 6 dogs were running around.  Hubby was great with them.  Then, he also visited a PWD from the same breeder (IE lineage), that didn't live too far from our home.  Once again, hubby was fine with we made the decision to finally get a dog!!

OH MY GOD!!  Nothing would ever prepare me for that 1st night!!  This was no goldfish, and no cat!!  Dogs BITE!!  He was all of 8 weeks old when we brought him home..a little 11 lb ball of fluff!  But, high energy..holy smokes!  He tore through our yard and through the house like he'd owned it for years.  He jumped and bit and snarled and peed everywhere!!

Hubby an I looked at each other and in that moment, we knew our lives would change forever.  I realized then that I had better learn canine language fast, if I ever wanted this to be a success.  None of those Cesar Milan episodes on dog training would help me with my doggy.  Even Cesar didn't deal with puppies (only adult dogs), because in his words, "Puppies are clueless".   I had to endure the "advice" of every single well-wisher I would meet.  What none of these people would realize, however, was that most of these "training" techniques work better for older dogs.  Eight  weeks is just too young to start establishing the Alpha role..puppies just don't get it!!  I know this now because I see how my doggy (now 15 months old) deals with dogs he meets for the 1st time..and how he dealt with them back then.  Night and day!!  Back then, the new dogs he'd meet would either turn their back to him or try to bite him.   He had to LEARN how to play and interact..and also had to LEARN his limits.  It took me a full year, but I finally got to understand that part too.  I was even more clued-out than he was!!

And so the name "Clueless Puppy Owner" came to be.  It took me a while to realize that my dog was not a cat...and thanks to his training of me, I've learnt a little about communicating in the canine world.  It's taken a year, but I think I finally love the little guy.

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