Saturday, April 9, 2011

What is a puppy?

A puppy is a certain type of dog. Not necessarily a baby dog. Some bearded collies are apparently still puppies at a year and a half. I know labs who have been puppies until they are at least eight or nine. If puppyhood is not an age in a dog’s life, what is it? What defines a puppy?

A puppy grabs your boot and races out the door with it, causing you to run around the very damp yard in stocking feet trying to get it back at six-thirty in the morning.

A puppy doesn’t walk anywhere – she pounces and leaps. If she is on leash, she pulls – and not in a straight line. She zigs. She zags. She turns around. She twists the leash around the walker’s legs and then heads back the way she came.

A puppy likes to carry stuff around in her mouth. Toys. Shoes. Balls. Underwear. Cats. If she can catch them.

A puppy obsesses over a cat hiding under a sheet or on top of a fridge or behind a cupboard. She will watch the cat (or the spot where the cat is hiding) for hours. It is the only time the puppy is both wide awake and completely still.

A puppy gets bored easily. A toy holds her attention for thirty minutes max before it is discarded forever and the search is on for something new.

A puppy is all wiggles and bounce and flounce and excitement. A human who returns from a two minute trip to the bathroom is greeted just as enthusiastically as one who has been gone from the house for several hours.

A puppy greets strangers and other dogs with tail up and cheerful smile – except when you want her to, in which case she will refuse to have anything to do with them.

I'z not playin' wiv them!!!

A puppy can steal a loaf of bread from the back of the kitchen counter, but cannot pick up a ball lying right at her feet.

A puppy takes indoor toys outdoors and brings outdoor toys indoors and will bring both to you the moment you sit down with a cup of coffee.

Play wiv me, please!

A puppy has big floppy double-jointed paws that are capable of absorbing three gallons of mud each. The puppy is very skilled at then wiping or spraying said mud all over the walls, freezer, floor, cupboards and, of course, the human’s best going-to-the-theatre clothes.

A puppy has much more energy than the human with whom she lives.

But when she finally flakes out and goes to sleep, a puppy is the sweetest animal on earth.

(This post is especially written for Broken Promises Rescue, who knows I don’t foster puppies. If Jessie were sleeping, I would show you how sweet she is. But she's still obsessing over the cat.)

(Sorry for the spacing problems, yet again. Is anyone else with a blogger account having this problem???)


Cora said...

Oops! Umm, she's really cute, does that count?
Good fosters are the foundation of any rescue, annoying them by asking them to foster exactly what they don't want is not the rescue's best interest. I wonder how we're going to make it up to Jean for doing this to her!
-Broken Promises Rescue

Jen said...

I LOVE puppies!! It's a good thing- I have TWO. Neither of my girls are ever going to grow up, I suspect!! But, I wouldn't have it any other way, either.

Jessie is GORGEOUS! If I lived closer, my goodness! I could have a Beardie, quite easily!!! :)

Jen and the Black Dog Crew

Jean said...

Ha ha - not to worry, Cora. She really is cute, and she is SUCH a quick learner! Really, she's a very good dog - er, puppy. She makes me laugh with her antics. But I think I know how grandparents of two year olds feel after babysitting for a week. :)

Jean said...

Jen, that's what you get for having labs and JRTs - perpetual puppies! I don't know how you do it with school, work, and New Hope Rescue work!

Dom said...

*glances at Herbie* It's true. It's all true <3

Black Jack's Carol said...

I do love your posts when you are fostering. So much to observe and relay, and all interspersed with wonderful wit. Another lucky dog (okay, puppy:) has hit pay dirt in her temporary home selection. And yes, I'm quite sure she chose you most deliberately.

And to backtrack, since I'm once more terribly behind in blog reading. Your posts with strategies to keep newly adopted dogs safe were excellent. There's a story here that ended happily, but only after three weeks of intensive searching. It happened when a dog named Buck bolted, after only a couple of months in his new home. He was traveling with his person across the border and flew through the hatchback opening of the car when a border patrol fellow opened it for a search. Buck was so named because his previous owner had amused himself by shooting the poor dog with a pellet gun. When Buck saw the border guard's belt holster, he lost it. He finally ended up in a lady's garage, and when she saw one of the 200 posters put up by his already attached and now heartbroken new human, was able to make contact. Buck had lost 15% of his body weight in the three weeks, but was otherwise okay, and very, very happy to be reunited with his person. Moral of the story: think ahead at border crossings, or any time a car door would have to be opened. But you already told us that in Number 3 of your post.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the pictures of Jessie - she looks like my dog Possum but supersized !! xo

Anonymous said...

my girlfriend who has 2 rescue BCs fostered a beardie last year for several months..she has some stories to share...said the beardie was way tougher then her BCs..different personalities...anyhow hope it all works out jean..looks like a cool dog..


georgia little pea said...

OMG, Jessie is running around and making mischief! What a long way she's come in such a short time. I love that shot of her with one eye open.

Based on your very thorough study and notes, I guess Ms Pea is still a pup too. She's sitting beside me right now as I type, glaring and unblinking. I think she wants something. Creepy puppy :)