Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Puppy Progress, Pt. 1

Hello.Hey, Bloggy Friends!

Well, yesterday marks the first day we brought Galileo home. He has definitely brought a little more sunshine into our lives. He is adorable, cuddly and a bundle of laughs for both of us.

This week also marks the very first week Alan and I have EVER house trained a puppy. Acclimating cats is a much easier job. You basically bring them home, show them where the litter box is and BAM - they have it! Puppies, as a lot of you know, are a totally different story! By the end of this first trial run, I am still sure that I am a cat person through and through.

I won't lie - I'm getting a little frustrated. It doesn't really seem like he is "getting it" yet. He goes outside and pees when we take him, sure, but I don't have the feeling he knows outside is the only place he can pee or poo. Sometimes we'll take him out and he'll just sit there in the grass starring at us, then as soon as we bring him in he pees on the rug! We are doing everything the books are telling us, but it seems like they leave out a few minor details - like, it isn't as easy as it sounds! He definitely understands that he gets a treat when he goes outside, which is a good thing. He'll squat and pee, then run right for it. But like I said before, that doesn't keep him from squatting in the house. I know it's only been a week, and all we can do is keep trying. It's just hard when it doesn't seem to be going the way you expected. I would really appreciate some words of encouragement, Bloggy Friends. You have all been so good to me already, with your advice and support. I know it will all work out, but I need to vent to someone!! He just seems so defiant and I need to know if that's normal!

There is also the issue with his crate. All the books say he will LOVE his crate - well he doesn't. He is miserable in his crate. We have bought cushions, comfy blankets, fill it with toys, give him water and still he barks like a banshee when he's inside. I feel like he sees it as punishment. He basically kept us up all night last night, whimpering and barking from it. We can't show him attention when he does that, because he'll think it works for him. So, we just lay there and let him do it - to no avail.

On a more positive note, Mary Todd and Abigail are slowly adjusting themselves to Galileo. I notice that they are getting closer (especially when he is asleep) to sniff him and see what in the world he is. When playing they start to wrestle around, but they both play so differently. He's all about nibbling and they are all about clawing. I think they'll find a meeting point eventually. He has tried to snuggle with them a few times, but they aren't having it yet. He is a puppy still, so his energy far surpasses their mature, teenage cat years. I look forward to the day when they play, sleep and cuddle together. How sweet!

I hope you don't mind if I take a little time on the blog to post our progress with him. I feel like it will help me along the whole process. I have attached pictures to make it more entertaining for you, if you don't feel like listening to me gripe! I appreciate you're advice though, you have all been so helpful. I would like to give a special shout-out to my friend, Charlie. He lives in Tampa with his partner Jeff. I met them both in 1997 when we were all in the same fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha)! We just so happened to be the only (secretly) gay ones around, so we have kept in touch after all this time. They are great guys and have helped so much with advice and such on the puppy. Thanks Charlie!!

I hope you all have a fantastic day. It's hot as Hades in Philadelphia today! I love it.

and I love you,



TrainingtoTri said...

Ooooh puppy potty training is so hard. Especially with toy breeds. I feel for you, but you are going to have a hard time for a few weeks. It takes at least a month to get a dog housebroken and on a schedule. At least with a puppy. I've sworn off puppies for that exact reason :) rescued adults get it much quicker! I've also never had a dog that loved it's crate. But you are doing the right thing by not rescuing him when he cries, that'll just reinforce the bad behavior. LOL. good luck to you, just be consistent. That's the key to success.

Rick Watson said...

That is one of cutest little babies I've ever seen! How blessed you are to have something like that in your life! He's just a baby. You're gonna have to exercise some patience here. I know, at times, you get impatient when things don't go your way! Most divas are like that!

Don't lose your cool with him. It's gonna take a little time and a lot of love to train him. I know you've read up on books and things. The next time you're downtown Manayunk, why don't you drop by the vet's office with Galileo, introduce them to one another and tell him what's happening. He, of all people, should have the knowledge you need to survive this!

Be consistent. Be patient. Love the cutie as much as you can, cause he will love you back unconditionally!

He is soooo cute! I almost can't stand it! If he hates the crate, then maybe just put him on the back porch and not inside the crate. Leave the crate open to allow him to go inside if he so chooses.


Anonymous said...

Wot? I'm not the 1st to comment today??? How did that happen?!

Ugh, sleep dep is the worst. We never talked about dogs and beds. Uh ... our dogs slept with us!!! But my co-worker keeps her dogs in crates at night.

A few blogs back one friend of yours (forget the name; think it was your frat buddy) had some good advice about never letting the dog out of sight during these confused times. Comes down to either (1) he is in his crate and unable to poop b/c it's his living area or (2) he is under your eye and you run him out the moment he looks like he's about to download.

I had never had a dog before when Gary and I adopted Schubert (13 years ago!!!). I just assumed Gary knew what the f--k he was doing. Wrong-O!!! (Hope he's not reading this, joy of my life and loins, Man from Heaven, etc.) So we both had to stand outside, in the cold spring rain, under an umbrella, BEGGING the mutt to take a dump. I remember it well. But he got it, eventually (there's more to this story but I'm embarrassed to post it!!!).

Rick is right. This little boy is adorable and you just have to picture that he will get it, and you must try, somehow, to realize (or maybe imagine) that he WANTS to get it worked out and that he only ever wants to please you.

All will be well, friend!

Ellie said...

Hey Josh! I know nothing about dogs, having never had one, so all I can offer is good wishes that he'll eventually get it. But oh my god, Galileo is the cutest little guy ever. What an awesome little family you have!

Edro Edro said...

Kendall really spoiled me because she was so easy to train, but it was exhausting, as I would take her out at least every two hours in the beginning. I remember how frustrating it was with puppies in the past. My last dog would still have accidents once a month or so, even into adulthood, and I never got why b/c she definitely knew it was "bad."

If you keep him in your sight and yell loudly when you see him beginning to pee/poo, that will help reinforce things. You may be doing that already. It sounds harsh and scary for him, but it was really effective for me to get the point across.

Good luck, Mammy. I can't view the pictures here at work, so I'll stop in later and tell you how adorable he is.