Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Day 3 brought a few milestones, including one that is a significant step in the right direction.

Yesterday I woke up anxious that we adopted a puppy who might not have been socialized enough before she got to us. She spent the first 2 days with us nailed to the back door. She showed very little interest in being near us except to play (once every 2-3 hours for about 20 mins then right back to sleep at the back door). Newfoundlands are supposed to really like and NEED to be with their people, so I expected that. When she didn't deliver, I looked up some information online and found some great information on an AKC Newfoundland site. (If I had cookies enabled on my browser I could backtrack to offer a link).

One thing I learned was right in time and utterly crucial to maintaining her health. She must walk only one minute per week of age per day. For her, that's two seven minute walks. Yikes! I thought. We seriously violated that guideline in ignorance the first two days having taken her all over the WC campus, even letting her jump into a fountain (another no go). And that was just par for the course for one walk. We had been doing two of those per day. So, now better informed, we are resolved to make sure she takes it easy on her growing but delicate bones.

The second vital piece I learned is that Newfies who are not socialized to people by 12 weeks might never take to them, especially if their mother doesn't take to people. The site suggested their is a critical period for developing that affinity for people, and being a psychologist, I read critical period, and gulped. Does this mean she's a lost cause for being glued to our hips like our precious Max (one of his most endearing traits)? My fears were relieved when her first visit to the vet resulted in not only desperately needed and overdue vaccinations and deworming, but also word that her vet thinks she was very well socialized. What a relief. I went away feeling better.

Nevertheless, this morning she wanted to stay by the back door. I managed to get her to come into the livingroom to play (this being the place I eventually want her to warm my toes while we snuggle up and watch movies in the winter). All it took was Peanut Butter Cpt. Crunch. Who knew? The little black panther even sat on command for the opportunity to mouth a piece. I know I should not give her people food, but I was curious to see what effect it would have on her behavior.

After a nice play session, she returned to the kitchen to fuel up, leave more water on the floor, and flop down next to the back door. Fine. I'll just take care of the laundry. We loaded up on new dish towels to keep the now continually wet floor somewhat dry, at times. She gulps water lying down. Water fills her jowns and when she's done drinking she sits up, water running out of them all over the floor and her. To prepare her for the rainy season around here, I've been rubbing her down with a towel even when she's dry.

Having been suddenly much more busy in the past two days than in previous weeks, I reunited with my former self: the one that thrives on having too much to do. I find I'm most productive when I have to juggle multiple tasks. I decided to iron some shirts that hadn't been ironed in about 5 months. I set up in the dining room and lo and behold! Major Milestone #1: Miss Katy's Bear Paw asleep in one of Max's favorite spots with her snoot on the AC vent. We are halfway to the living room! Now I just have to figure out how to get her to sleep on carpet... I have a feeling that would be much easier if carpets grew on farms.

Other milestones included sitting on command without a prompt and using a pillow.

Baby steps... maybe eventually she'll take after big bro:

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