In hindsight this was all predictable and somewhat avoidable based on prior experience. Little Bear was not always a lovable puppy. But that was twelve years ago and I’d put all the chewing and property destruction out of my memory.
Also I didn’t do a lot of due diligence before deciding to take Tobie home with me. In hindsight it should have been perfectly obvious that he was going to get quite a lot bigger, and that he was nowhere near as old as the shelter said he was. I really had in mind bringing home a smaller dog, on the order of Laddie or even smaller. But I’ve always been a sucker for violating the first law of buying a used car: Don’t Fall In Love. Also, a shelter dog is bound to have traits that are not so adorable, at least at first.
All in all, Tobie is a very good boy – for a big mischievous puppy. He usually means well, and even when he clearly doesn’t mean well he’s never malicious about it.
Big puppies need to chew, and they can be maddeningly perverse about what they feel compelled to chew. Tobie has a veritable stack of chew toys and bones, and he uses them: But he became absolutely obsessed with destroying my summer sandals.
So anyway: I belatedly removed nearly everything from the bottom kitchen cabinets, became diligent about covering the kitchen garbage can – and then he moved his depredations into the bathroom which alas has no door. Fortunately the bedroom does have a door, because he has lately expressed an interest in my dirty gelsocks and they’re expensive unobtainium.
Also, at least at first he seemed to regard “housebroken” as more of a guideline than an iron law. This was no doubt exacerbated by his early bowel problems. We haven’t had a recurrence in quite a few weeks now and so this morning I finally feel safe in taking what’s left of my main cabin rug out to the porch…
…and giving it a good shampoo and scrub now that Monsoon has become less extreme and unpredictable. That rug is never going to be the same, but I won’t consider replacing it until Tobie is at least mostly past his Obnoxious Puppy stage.
Don’t get me wrong: Tobie is a fine young man. But who hasn’t wanted to throttle a teenage son from time to time? I think that when he grows up – maybe two long years from now – he’s going to be a real keeper. He’s very smart, albeit often very willful. Picks up on new things very quickly – though again he doesn’t always agree or approve. He can make me dream of the peace and quiet of my post-Laddie days – but yet again post-Laddie I was finding myself looking for reasons to get out of bed in the morning, getting noticeably more old and cranky by the day. And when he decides he’s had enough of my staring at the box with my back to the room and presses against my leg demanding a good ear scratch, well…he knows how to worm his way into my affection.