While the puppies didn’t nail all of the “obedience” they learned in school a few months ago, they have mastered “stay.” If I have a particularly tasty treat in my hand, I can put them in a “stay” and walk down the hall, open their food closet (typically a surefire way to have puppies jumping around my feet) or even go upstairs and they will barely budge. In fact, I just wowed Don yesterday by putting them into a “stay” and going to the front door and knocking. They didn’t bark or run to the door but instead waited for me … and their treat!
However, the catch is they will only do it together. If I take one on a walk and attempt to put the other in a “stay,” it works for about half a second. As the rescue organization warned us, littermates bond to one another so tenaciously that everything else, including us humans, comes in a distant second.
Today, I decided to work on a critical skill of my own today: bathing the puppies. Their first bath at home (Daisy has also had a couple trips to the groomer) was a bit of a disaster with the terrified pups shaking and climbing their back legs up the back of the tub the entire time (separately, mind you!). Don suggested I try our walk-in shower this time. Archie was the dirtiest, so I tried him first. I suited up in my bathing suit, covered the floor with large towels and then invited the wild child up to our bedroom, where he loves to dig through our trash cans. He eagerly bounded into the room and went straight through the open door of the bathroom thinking he could snag some dirty tissues before I noticed.
But as soon as I corraled him inside the shower and turned on the water, his excitement of being in the bathroom quickly died. The poor guy ran straight for the glass door and repeatedly tried to go through it, in essence banging his little head against the heavy glass multiple times. I managed to pull him closer to the sprayer (lesson learned: Leave his collar on for easier maneuverability!), and with one hand tucked tightly under his belly, quickly got down to business. In about three minutes flat, my lower back started giving out from bending over, so I got down on one knee, and he, in turn, climbed on me like a scared child, digging his front claws into my chest and his back claws into my thighs.
We got that soap off as quick as possible and released the (wet) hound into the bathroom for toweling off. For the next 10 minutes, Archie rolled his wet body on everything in sight, including Don’s side of the bed (I’m sure it’s dry by now!). All in all, it was a pretty successful experience and I’m sure it will just get easier every single time.
It’s not just the puppies who are learning new things. Every day, we’re all growing smarter about living peacefully under one roof! Yeah, even Sammy (our cat)!