Angela Bocage

“Owww my ass!!!”—or, thankful and hopeful…

Aretha Exene, our li’l Labrador puppy wolf-daughter, came home September 7, 2008. She was three months old. Now she’s seven months old, sixty plus pounds, and STRONG. My younger sister the veterinarian (yes, of course I’m inordinately proud! Empathy for animals has run in the family five generations or more) said my life would never be the same. So “it is no coincidence” that I have not blogged since before then…she most certainly has changed our lives. I’m only writing now because I got her reeeeeeally tired running, playing, tugging, doing her tricks, getting lots of love and lots of water and the proper amount of healthy food and she’s now snoring away in her crate! One major way our lives have changed is that we’re lots more exhausted! But learning so much! We’ve got an awesome teacher in our first puppy class at a local APDT-style training center, and Aretha Exene’s learning vast amounts, too. She’s very very smart, almost as funny as my brilliant spouse in her own crazy way, and with apologies to the Army, Puppy Strong! We, too, are quite a lot stronger from playing tug with her, throwing all kinds of different toys and sticks for her, walking her on leash–I kick balls for her but kicking her basketball for her hurt my wife’s foot, and in the immortal words of Cartman, “OWW MY ASS!” –I got all turned around, tripped over the leash and fell so hard on the frozen ground a few days ago not only does my behind hurt, it hurts to walk up stairs. But I’ll get better and life is full of firsts–the first time she saw snow, the first shoe she destroyed, the first time she gets each new corny dog trick, the first time she got a bath, the first  class of teenage puppy kindergarten…she is such a little hooligan & gives us hugs and kisses and she loves us and we love her! I fear that if we visited anyone with small children at this point she’d scatter them like ninepins though. We’re 5’9″ and 5’10” and she has certainly flattened, upended, decked, and generally knocked us about.  But we are (all) learning.  I had way more to learn than I thought about relating to canines–sure I have a jaimongous theoretical education about canine behavior and learning etc., but moment-to-moment is so different and magic with such a wildly energetic and clever and did I mention VERY STRONG?! pup…a lot of other wonderful stuff I want to write about but right now she’s back and my partner’s getting swarmed over by dogs…can it really be only two dogs?! 🙂


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