I don’t intend to wear you out on puppy reports, I promise. But anybody who’s had and become infatuated with a new puppy knows it’s just a wonderful time.
Bogie, our new yellow Lab pup, has been with us a week and a half now. He’ll be nine weeks old on Friday, and he continues to amaze and impress.
By the way, it’s "B-OH-gie" not "Boogie". He was named after Humphrey Bogart, of Casablanca, Maltese Falcon and African Queen fame, NOT Saturday Night Fever.
From the first, Bogie new that the floor was not a rest area, the lawn outside was. He rests in his large kennel when unattended, with ample toys and distractions.
Over the last week and a half, Bogie’s been learning the ropes. He’s on a regular feeding schedule and is pretty much 100 percent on housebreaking, unless one of us messes up and doesn’t provide him access to outside at the right time. I swear, too, he’s grown two inches since he arrived!
It’s funny watching the world unfold for him. I mean, think about it, first it was my woodworking shop, where he stays in his kennel and is fed and watered. Then the immediate front yard. Then the immediate back yard. If you look at it from his eyes, it’s all fresh and bright and new.
We began taking walks to the bayou. It takes a while to get there, because Bogie has to stop, and consequently learn, several things between the house and the Teche:
– Ant hills bad.
– Carrying sticks in the mouth good.
– Trying to run between the big man’s legs while both of us are walking bad. (The big brute is obviously not very coordinated, and perhaps a bit of a simpleton, Bogie seems to believe.)
– Oak tree roots are fun to climb and romp around and over.
– Those yellow flowers that grow this time of year make puppies spit and shake their heads in disgust.
On our second trip to the bayou, Bogie was elated and would plunge his front legs only, up to his chest, into the water, tail wagging like a madcap clock pendulum. He would run off a couple dozen feet, race back and throw his front-half back into the water, then run off and repeat the whole process. After awhile, half submerged there, he would slap at the water excitedly, run off, and come back to start it all again. I nearly suffocated.
Oh yeah. He’s a Lab, all right.
Back at home, we have accomplished fetching about 99 percent of the time to hand. He comes to us when we call the majority of the time, unless he’s really distracted by a fascinating smell or sight. He’ll improve as he gets older and we get more insistent.
Best part of all is he’s so darned cute.
Classical Lab features and build, but he’s got that soft, straw-colored puppy fur and of course that specific feature we have come to call "puppy butt." The only reason I draw attention to this part of the little fella’s anatomy is because, no matter what he’s doing or how long he’s had his head toward you while chewing a rubber bone, wresting with a rope throw or tugging at a toy on a string, you can aim a camera at him and the instant you press the shutter button he turns his back on you and all you get is…you guessed it…puppy behind.
He made his first appearance at the vet’s last Friday, and aforementioned animal physician nearly took Bogie home with him. He was quite taken by the little guy. Bogie got his first round of shots, over which he made no fuss at all, and was proclaimed free of worms, which he made no fuss about either, proud as we were of him.
He’s is responding about 50-50 to the word "no" in regards to chewing on fingers, thumbs, clothing or shoe laces, which is an improvement over a week ago of about 40 percent. He is also learning that the back flower bed, where we grow Louisiana irises, day lilies and various herbs, is not his personal playground and self-serve salad bar.
Our old girl, Daisy, is slowly adjusting, but she’s let loose some pretty stern warnings and snaps. They’re not allowed to be together unattended, and probably won’t until the puppy’s four months old or so. At her respectable age of 15, a two-month old puppy will aggravate her to tears really quick, and Daisy figures she’s entitled to be cranky if she wants to be. They’ll work it out with our help and time.
Best times, though, are when we’ve fetched, tugged, thrown, chewed and wrestled him into total exhaustion directly or indirectly and he just curls up between feet or on a lap, and those puppy blue eyes – already turning to brown quickly – start drooping and he sighs in contentment. Dang, it don’t get much cuter than that, friends and neighbors.