Meet Seward. Seward is two months old. He’s a mix of Husky and gawd-knows-what. OmegaDotter’s gymnastics coach, upon seeing his huge paws, suggested he was part Saint Bernard. Um, I don’t think so. I also sincerely hope not. My suspicion is part German Shepherd.
Anyway, he’s a puppy. He does what puppies do: He piddles on the floor (though he’s rapidly learning that going outside is for peeing, and we are rapidly learning his peeing cues), he chases the cats (only one of which has decided to emerge from hiding after two days), he chews things. We are trying to teach him “Sit” and “No” and “Down” and “Leave it” right now, with more advanced stuff—such as “Heel” and oh-my-gawd-it’s-never-going-to-happen “Come”—for later.
(Chewing. Sigh. I just intercepted him and OmegaDotter’s hairbrush and her fancy-pants swimming goggles.)
Seward was a bribe. Specifically, he was a bribe for the dotter. This is because she had fulfilled the requirements for her previous bribe—no minuses for behavior in gymnastics—which resulted in horse riding lessons. It also, alas, resulted in an immediate drop in her behavior. OmegaDad, a firm believer in bribery, immediately put “puppy” into play as a bribe for doing well at the state meet in gymnastics.
Now. I’m not a great believer in bribery, myself. I feel like it sets the bribee up for exactly what’s happening: once the bribe is earned, there’s no motivation for x behavior anymore, and y behavior sets in, instead. However, OmegaDad had come down the heavy about the state meet, and was insisting she get first place and second place and I don’t know what all, and, naturally, it was Extreme Pressure for the girl. So, while she was participating in the state meet, and doing fairly well though not as well as her best meet, I was giving OmegaDad the Hairy Eyeball about how he was being a hardass. The dotter started out fairly good on the beam, but didn’t do so well on her second event, and worse on her third, and she was, at that point, stressed and unhappy. (Besides, it being about a year and a half since Kai died, I was sort of wanting a puppy, too.) The dotter produced a second place and two third places in her age group, plus a fourth place overall, and I declared that it was okay, and we would get a puppy.
I had forgotten just how time-consuming a baby animal can be. Cleaning up the piddle and chasing after him every time I hear him sound like he’s chewing is very distracting. But! I have been taking him out for walks in the morning and the evening, and am now looking forward to going for hikes with him and the dotter when the snow and ice is completely gone.
In the meantime, I have a slew of blog posts brewing in my brain, so hopefully it won’t be as long before the next post as it was before this one. We’ve been off to a Chinese New Year celebration, the dotter has been drawing cartoons, we have baby chicks we incubated and hatched, I finally saw the Northern Lights (but did not get any pictures, wah!), we all got sick for a week apiece, one after the other—it’s been busy.
(OMG. The puppy found a large piece of foam rubber hidden away somewhere and totally tore it apart in about five minutes. And I just diverted him from chewing some computer cords. OMG. Johnny was right, damn him: On Facebook, when I announced the puppy’s arrival, he said, “Let the chewing begin!”)