October 30, 2012

More and more Pavlova


. . . Well, puppyhood doesn’t last long. . . .

VOICE LESSONS START AGAIN NEXT MONDAY.  YAAAAAAAAAY.  Like I have time to drop voice lessons back into the maelstrom.  While Pavlova is still little and somewhat, ahem, unpredictable* I’m going to take her along, and walk her either before or after;**  there are some nice footpaths out there, and she’s still small enough to pick up if we meet any dogs of uncertain intentions.***  Which will also be when I find out that voice lessons make her howl.  She doesn’t howl when I’m just dubbing around with the piano, but the emphasis there is on the ‘dubbing’.  Nadia will have me begging for mercy pretty quickly I fear, possiby in shrill and squeaky tones.  I had all these plans about the music I was going to learn while she was off having babies, to impress her with when she got back.  Sigh.  But I do have a PUPPY.

I had a fabulous new idea about socialising said puppy.  Today I took her to a rose nursery.†  Hey, there are PEOPLE at a rose nursery.††  There might even be other dogs.  And in fact there were other dogs:  a friendly Corgi and a shepherd/collie cross who shares Darkness’ attitude toward puppies, including the strong direct ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ glare at the human responsible.  And tonight going bell ringing when I put her back in her crate as we were about to begin she had a strop, clearly saying, SO WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TEACH ME TO RING?  I CAN STAND ON A BOX, CAN’T I?  STOP TRIFLING WITH ME.  I’M NOT JUST LITTLE AND CUTE.

* * *

* I can’t tell if any of this isn’t just that she’s a puppy and sphincter control is variable.  She’s mostly getting through the nights clean and dry^ but she has yet to get through a day without peeing on her crate bedding at least once.  Arrrgh.  It may be partly that she still likes indoors so much better than outdoors—indoors has FOOOOOOOOD and TOYS and HELLHOUNDS!!!!—that she doesn’t finish the frelling job.  There are downsides to everything.  I’m delighted to have a FOOOOOOOOD-oriented dog because it means you can always catch her attention—and as we roll into winter I hope it means she’s not going to be hanging around outdoors to cavort in the arctic blast^^—but she is a trifle too distractible.  When you’re outside waiting for her to relieve herself you can’t afford to pull out the little rustly bag of puppy kibble till after she’s finished what she’s doing OR SHE’LL STOP IN THE MIDDLE to dash up, plaster herself against your leg and look hopeful.  THAT’S THE WRONG KIND OF SPHINCTER CONTROL, HONEYBUN.^^^

She also doesn’t like the dark much.  This means that at night I can stand, with somewhat dubious complacency, at the top of the little curly walkway in Peter’s back garden, near the door, with both the sitting-room and Peter’s study lights blazing through the big windows, and if she disappears into the shadows, if I don’t follow her with my torch, she reappears promptly, looking somewhat reproachful, although she’s not good at reproachful (yet).#  This is excellent over most of the lengthening winter evenings at the mews but last thing at night at the cottage, where the set-up is less congenial, not so much.

After trying to get a crap out of Pavlova, who will then probably last the night, but who thinks the cul de sac is full of bogeydogs and chiefly wants to go back indoors and EAT SOMETHING, and then striving to find tonight’s unique and exactingly proper ritual that will allow hellhounds to eat their supper (while Pavlova is yowling at the inadequacy of her final snack) I am a gibbering wreck.  Sleep?  What?##


+ I’m trying to decide which is the bigger YAAY, for singing lessons restarting or a clean puppy.  Tough call.

^^ I should have had her down my coat-front on Saturday.   A pocket heater than kicks.  Hey, I missed a socialisation opportunity.  She hasn’t been to a wedding yet.

^^^  Too much information warning:  I clearly don’t have a clue about how often she needs to pee or we wouldn’t keep having damp bedding.  But I do have a clue about how often she needs a crap and proceed accordingly.  Today she had assumed the position and the desired result was emerging, and I said Good girl . . . AND SHE SUCKED IT BACK IN AND RUSHED UP TO ME FOR HER TREAT.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.  It took another couple of minutes—while I turned purple with all the things I was not saying—for her to settle down again and frelling do it.

# Chaos is the master of reproachful.  May he remain the undisputed master of sad-but-accusing in this household.

## I’ve got most of the puppy-knitting yarn wound up again.  It’s funny, this has been a less blood-pressure-raising job than the other night when the very end of a till-that-moment amenable hank ran amok.^  I went into this one knowing that it is a SNARL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS so it was like ho, hum, knots in seven dimensions?  With teeth?  And demonic giggling?  Whatever.

^ One might almost say it hucklebutted.

** Although the ‘small enough to pick up’ is really not going to last much longer.  I can still carry her one-armed only because (a) she thinks I can and (b) part of Olivia’s socialisation process includes practise dangling and Pavlova dangles extremely well.  But when Niall and I stopped at the pub again^ coming back from ringing Pavlova’s fan club said, Ooooooh, she’s GROWN SO BIG.  Yes.  And I’m shovelling food into her.  No, make that SHOVELLING.

^ It’s such good puppy socialisation.  The cider is incidental.

*** Nadia seems to think it’s pretty quiet around Sorghumlea.  It might be worth bringing hellhounds as well.  It’s really very bad for dogs around New Arcadia and having my head down over this puppy-raising business is resulting in a lot of in-town, pavement walks for hellhounds, which get dispiriting after a while.

† Don’t ask.  Several.  But Peter did not have to sit on the roof coming home with Pavlova in his lap.

†† She eats thorns and thorny stems.  Just by the way.  Or she would.  I’m labouring under what is no doubt the delusion that I’m getting them away from her in time.  I, however, manage to stab myself and bleed.  Ow.


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