Friday, November 15, 2013

Finding our Rhythm

I have now had Scarlett for six weeks and Zak for eight. We are finding our rhythm. Mornings start early (before 6:00) and I have tried to build in enough flexibility for a couple of hiccups. We generally have them. There have been days when I've slid into my car, taken a deep breath and burst into tears because I'm so exhausted. But those days are fewer and farther between now, the puppies know what they're supposed to do when I let them out (and usually do it) and if I'm lucky, I even have time to sit down and watch a few minutes of GMA while I eat my bowl of cereal.

Zak is now 3-1/2 months and growing like a weed. He started puppy kindergarten this past week and we met another corgi there who came from the same breeder. She is just two days younger than him, but just half his size! Butters is 6 lbs and Zak is 12! Her mother is smaller than Zak's, and males are larger anyway.  Still, the contrast was striking. Zak was the star pupil this week, sitting quietly on my lap while most of the other puppies were barking. He was a little taken aback by it all. He barks plenty at home! He is into all kinds of puppy mischief; you name it and Zak has done it (or at least tried it). He is too smart for his own good sometimes. He is very good at problem solving.   He has many hiding places in the house and will run to whichever one is closest when he's in trouble. He learned how to poop outside his kennel. He just puts his little butt up against the edge and it lands outside, on the floor! No messy kennel! One night last week I was in the basement, putting clothes in the drier when I heard Zak yelp! I ran up the stairs in time to see Princess slinking off with her head down and ears straight out to the side. I can pretty well imagine what happened. Zak was trying to get her to play with him and she had enough! He has respected her space since then.

Scarlett is in Beginning Obedience class and learning all of the basic commands like "come", "sit", "stay", "down" and "heel". She's doing very well and loves the one-on-one time with me. She is a sweetheart and as long as I give her plenty of playtime each day, she is a very content and happy girl.
I took Princess to the vet in Casselton yesterday for her annual check up and to have a heart-to-heart with the doctor about her overall condition. Other than pretty severe back pain, she isn't doing too badly. Heart, lungs, teeth, eyes all looked good. She has cataracts but they're not severe. The huge fatty tumors on her side, while not attractive, are not pushing on any vital organs or nerves. But we do have to get on top of the back pain. She has trouble pooping - but it's not a digestive problem; the doctor thinks it's because her back hurts. So she is now on two pain medications twice a day, and will be for the rest of her life. They are commonly used in elderly dogs and that's certainly the stage of life she is in. She sleeps a lot and is always read for a car ride. She sleeps with me, but has been willing to allow Zak on the bed. She lies against my legs, and he's up by my head. Scarlett prefers her kennel. It all works out.

We're still waiting for our first snow of the season. I'm in no particular hurry for it, but I am looking forward to seeing how Scarlett and Zak react to it. It will be new to both of them. That will be my next post.