We spent the last five or six years wanting a second dog to keep Princess Libby company. She indicated earlier on that she’s partial to golden retrievers and border collies. Since border collies usually require plenty of outdoor space for exercise we decided that a golden retriever is more suitable for our city lifestyle. The plan was to get a golden retriever puppy after we come back from France at the end of July. Her name was to start with the letter “J”, after Jason, since Libby has my initials. Well, so much for planning.
Last week, when I was browsing through photos on flickr, I saw a cute puppy in one of my contacts’ photo stream. It’s a four-month old mongrel puppy waiting to be adopted. I fell in love instantly, not only because she’s cute, but also because she reminds me of Libby when she was a pup. We drove out to meet her the very next day with Libby in tow. She seems to be a happy and healthy puppy so we decided to take her home for a one-week trial, mainly to see if Libby would accept her as a second dog.
One week later, things are looking good for the puppy. Libby has been, for the most part, tolerant of the new addition to her pack. Wrinkled lips and growling does occur every now and then, but it’s all in the necessary education of the new pup. For a pup that was paper-trained, she’s only had three accidents in the house in the past week.(update, she had two more accidents on the day I wrote this post, sigh) I’ve been taking her out every time she wakes up from a nap and every time she eats, which amounts to every 2-3 hours. The aim was to not give her any chance to do her business inside. Today, she came up with a way to tell me that she wants to go out by going to the hallway door and wait. What a smart little girl! We changed her name from Cherish to Cherry, short for Cherry Garcia. And she is here to stay!
On the non-toilet related fronts however, she’s not such a good girl. When she first arrived she had the bad habit of mouthing people when she plays. I am a firm believer that under no circumstances are a dog’s teeth ever to touch human flesh, except during teeth brushing so I have my work cut out for me. She still chews things that she shouldn’t (just today her sharp puppy teeth cut through the power cord to our cordless phone in 2 seconds) but she’s getting much better with people. She needs constant supervision and either doesn’t understand the meaning of “NO” or is too stubborn to listen. She tests her limits constantly and is not discouraged if her attempt fails the first time. We have to remind ourselves constantly that she’s only four months old and can’t be compared to Libby, who’s just about the most perfect dog one can hope for. It is frustrating training a puppy but I do know that if we are strict at the beginning our lives and hers will be much easier later on. We can always spoil her later, when she’s grown up to be a well-mannered adult, but for now I’m sounding like a broken record: “NO Cherry!” “Ouch Cherry!” “Off Cherry!” “BAD DOG, Cherry!”
See more of Cherry's photos here.