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2004Old Dog, More New Tricks

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22 April 2006

When we had the floor replaced last year (can you believe we've had this beautiful floor a year already?), my only regret was that with this beautiful new floor, I would not be able to do puppies any more.

The older dogs were OK because they knew about dog doors and "outside" and stuff like that, but the puppies would be hell on the Pergo.

Well, I've learned a few things in the past year.

For one thing, I learned that when puppies start on solid food, you feed them outside, not inside, and then you don't have mash everywhere.  I think I still have mash smashed into the linoleum in the downstairs bathroom, where I kept the last batch of puppies I did last year, because I didn't want to ruin the Pergo.

But the one thing that "toddlers" (and Kimba!) taught me is that dogs can pee on the Pergo and it doesn't ruin it.  It doesn't even ruin it when you don't find it for several hours.

I was very concerned about that when Kimba began forgetting she was ever housebroken.  Fortunately, her puddles are usually so big that you can't help but notice them...unless she pees during the night. But when you run out of expensive Pergo cleaner, what do you use to clean your beautiful floor?

A mixture of vinegar and water.  Isn't there a similarity between vinegar and urine?  Vinegar may smell better, but urine is really just a bit more concentrated acid, right?  In fact, I have found a puddle or two of Kimba's long after it began drying and it wiped up easily, leaving no stains at all.

I think I would still use a tarp and sheets for older puppies, but for these little guys, who just make little puddles which I catch right away anyway because their "out of cage time" is limited, I'm no longer worried about ruining the floor.  The urine has less of an impact than the muddy pawprints that Sheila tracks in.

Having puppies on the Pergo provides hours of entertainment. When the puppies began to learn how to use their legs, but couldn't quite coordinate their legs with their heads yet, they would head off in one direction and then kind of tumble in another direction. 

brunoslip.jpg (7585 bytes)The Pergo didn't help with that, since their feet slipped on the slippery surface. 

But they have learned to come when called.   I call "puppies... puppies... puppies..." and clap my hands and they come running.  Bruno and Queenie are quite expert at this, and Peanut is starting to figure it out, though he's not quite as quick about it as the others are.

Sheila has to be reminded that these are little guys.  She had started playing gingerly with Fudge et al., and she hasn't figured out yet that these guys aren't quite at that level yet, though she is still careful not to touch them.

But Kimba is the strange one.  She actually seems interested in these guys.  She has only barked at them once (and they are too little to recognize it as a warning bark) and she will sit there and let them sniff her, something heretofore verboten.  But for some reason she is tolerating it this time.

She also figured out that the little syringe in my hand had Good Stuff to Eat and so when I was syringe feeding the puppies, she would sit there staring at me, ever hopeful.  She is being so good about having these little guys here that I let her have a couple of squirts of formula after the babies finished eating. 

I finally started the puppies on mash.   Their teeth have now all come in and feeding time was turning into "chew the finger" time and it was really hurting.  I was amazed at how readily they took to the mash--they have consistently been the easiest puppies to do anything with.  

Of course, no matter how easy Pergo is to clean, I am no longer a fool.  The puppies get fed outside and then brought in to the sink for a quick bath before being allowed to run around.  I have learned a thing or two from having this rotating puppy mill coming through here!

It's about time for Queenie, Bruno and Peanut to move on to the farm out in Penryn to start the next phase of their young lives.  I will miss them when they leave next week.  (Don't I say that about every litter of puppies who finally leave here?)

But I'm not sad enough about seeing them go to actually consider keeping one.  I'm sure the next batch of puppies will be showing up very soon.


QueenieBruno.jpg (25301 bytes)

"Does her food taste as good as mine?"
(I love the one foot hanging out the side)


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