Saturday, November 7, 2015

Puppies: Boarding school at my house

Eclipse left the only world he knew four days ago. He was one of a litter of nine black Lab puppies living in a beautiful country setting.

He didn't know what awaited him when he was plunked in a crate in my car. But he knew enough to vocalize about it.

Half an hour later I pulled into my driveway in a suburban neighborhood. Imagine his surprise at how different this new place looked, smelled and sounded. Did he wonder if his litter-mates were here, too? What a surprise when he saw no other baby puppies but three adult dogs. He wanted to engage with them immediately. Another surprise: boy dogs don't provide mother's milk from their under parts.

It's been a busy four days getting Eclipse acclimated to a new environment and starting crate and potty training. He had his first vet visit and was pronounced a happy, healthy puppy.

He's learning how to be on a leash and that no matter how loud he gets ..."I want out of this crate NOWWWW and I'm gonna make noise until that happens!" ... it doesn't work. I tell new puppy parents all the time: ignore puppy vocalizations that are purely attention-getting mechanisms. The noise will stop eventually. Puppies do what works. If being quiet gets the attention they want so badly, quiet will ultimately win out. And just so you'll know, I haven't entirely won that battle yet but will persevere.

Puppy Eclipse will be here for a while - until his forever family gets moved into their new home. They will do most of his training, with guidance from me along the way. That's because Eclipse is in training to be a service dog for a very special little boy.

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