Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Puppy Life

Due to an impending out of town trip, I am forced to find other arrangements to take care of Scully. This would seem less frightening if the really good kennel which basically takes your dog into their home and plays with her all day didn't turn us down for being too young. Also, today was the first day with the dog walker, since I have class from 1:30-6 (and then a review session that would not end directly after), so this nice lady who came and met her on Friday came in and took her out for a half hour. Scully was then left alone for 3 1/2 hours in her crate, which is definitely within the bounds of what she can handle. But estimate that the time elapsed between last seeing me and seeing me again was a record 7 hours. I came home to a dog nearly in hysterics. When I let her out of her crate, she literally climbed up me so her face was level with mind and was crying and licking and biting my face while shaking. I took her outside and she couldn't even 'go' because she just wanted to hold onto my leg. Can we say separation anxiety?

Anyhow, this has made me even more nervous about kennelling her at the vet (if they'll have her), since I think there they just leave her in a room all day with very little attention, and she clearly has issues. I have one friend who has begged me to puppysit, and has tentatively agreed to do it. I told her I'd send her an email describing exactly what's involved so she understands what she's getting into before she truly commits. I thought the schedule might be interesting for those who want to know what my life is like these days (oh yeah, and classes, recruiting, the marketing conference-- over, thank god--, and Follies):

Here’s our typical day:

5:30am Puppy starts whining in her crate. I take her outside and let her pee, I put her back in her crate and attempt to sleep.
7:00am Puppy starts whining again. I take her out, this time to pee and poop. I feed her breakfast, and put her back in the crate (so I can shower, etc.)
8:00-8:30am We go on a walk so she can go again, and then we come home and play in the kitchen. I keep the kitchen blocked off since there’s no carpet and very little she can destroy. She generally amuses herself with chew toys, but sometimes wants me to throw the ball for her.
For the next 3 ½ hours, if I have class I just go. If not, I will continue to play with her and take her out about every 1 ½ hour. She can hold it up to 4 hours pretty well, longer overnight. When I leave her, she’s always in her crate. She generally will not ‘go’ in her crate unless it’s an emergency.

Noon- Let puppy out of crate to go outside and pee and poop. Bring her back inside, feed her.
12:15 Take her on another walk, try to get her to at least pee again.
12:30 Let her play in the blocked off room again, or play with her on the couch with her chew toys. She’s massively teething so generally wants to chew on anything, including my fingers. I always have a chew toy ready to encourage her to chew on that.
1:00 Same as the 8:30 scenario. You can leave her in her crate and go out and do stuff, and/or you can take her out and play with her. As long as you’re back by 5, she’s generally OK. Sidebar—if you want to crate her and say, clean your apartment, write a paper, or watch TV, she sometimes barks and cries because she knows you’re there and hopes to be let out. I have to ignore her, but once she stops the bad behavior I sometimes let her out. This is also why on days I don’t have class I go to Starbucks to do work.

5:00 Let puppy out of crate to go outside and pee and poop. Bring her back inside, feed her.
5:15 You sensing a pattern? We go out again. Try to walk a lot, then bring her inside to play

That ends the big feedings. I take away her water (which I leave in the blocked off room of supervised play) around 8:30, since we generally go to bed around 12:30. I take her out as close as possible to that time. She sleeps in the crate and is pretty good about it. By the time she wakes me up, she really has to go.

Doesn't that sound like fun! If you'd like to petsit, please come visit!


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