Part One: My Puppy is an A-hole
Jones, our first puppy, came to live with us in May 2018. He was nearly four months old and we were smitten. He was tiny and adorable. He loved being held. And from the first day, he was a great car rider.
And just like that, the honeymoon was over.
Potty training started. We discovered socks were his favorite food. He chewed the backs off of BOTH pairs of my Hoka running shoes. He growled and barked at people when they entered the house. He growled and barked at other dogs. He chased bikes and people when we were taking our walks. He put EVERYTHING in his mouth. He was always curious what was inside sacks and bags.
Once, he slid his nose into Mark’s briefcase and, before we noticed, he came flying by with an apple in his mouth. He had found a snack.
Once, I took him to the grocery store (yes… where I live dogs are allowed at my grocery store. So cool) and he threw himself out of the cart, about a two foot drop.
Once Jones ate a string, acted like he was going to die, and after a half day at the vet and many dollars later, was 100% fine.
Once I took my eye off of him for two seconds and when I turned around he was on the kitchen table drinking my coffee.
Once, I frantically searched for him for about 10 minutes, all over the house and outside. I hollered and hollered his name. I thought I had lost him for good. I thought he must have slipped out of the door when I opened it and ran away. I began to cry. At that very moment I heard a small yip. Just one small yip. He would not yip anymore. I didn’t know exactly where is was coming from but when I finally located him he was buried deep in the pantry, happy as a lark, licking the spice rack.
If you’ve ever had a puppy, you are probably smiling or nodding with delight because you know these instances are normal puppy behavior. And while exacerbating, this surely does not make a puppy an a-hole. And I would agree. But…
Once, we were getting ready for a garage sale. We were moving furniture and larger items out onto the driveway and needed to keep the dogs out of the way. We put them in a long hallway and placed a baby gate in the hallway opening to block them from entering and exiting. As the garage sale began, Jones started to bark and become agitated by the sounds of the garagesalers. Mark and I were busy and didn’t pay him much attention. Many minutes later, I walked back into the hallway to check on the dogs and found Jones using Buster as a ladder to chew a tennis ball sized hole in the drywall. And that, my friends, is the kind of behavior that can make your puppy a bonafide a-hole.
Next time on the weekly Kippo blog, I’ll share our attempts to reprogram Jones’s undesirable behaviors. We love Jones. We just don’t want him to be an a-hole.