Puppy is hobby

Roo on RK's head.

We have all heard, repeatedly, that time is flying by. Can you believe it is December? How is it already Friday? But you know what makes time slow down to the speed of molasses on a cold day? Having a puppy.

It seems like forever since I drove to Portland to pick up the fuzzy white pup known as Roo, but it was only three (very long) months ago. Days filled with sharky sharp teeth, guarding the house plants and the loosely woven and amazingly fascinating living room rug, managing her interactions with the old dog, asking does she need to pee??? What do you do when the puppy chews your hair/Eames coffee table/ plastic cap on the toilet bolt? Redirect!!!  Shove a toy in the gaping mouth instead of my arm. Teach her to sit, lie down, come; show her that cheese is infinitely better than stuffing her head down a gopher hole. Sticks are fine but furniture is not cool. Watch her bound away across the neighbor's (and then the other neighbor's) land until you can no longer see her but you assume she is still running because the herd of deer is still on the move. Buy a book on recall, buy long lines, buy salmon treats, peanut butter treats, beef liver treats, cricket treats, bags of string cheese, follow husky trainers on Instagram for insight, research harnesses, and wonder if you are smart enough to train this dog to be off-leash.

She has caught and killed one mouse so far, and found any number of bird legs and other bits of dead creatures, left behind by owls or ravens. She has a deep love of deer poop which is inconveniently everywhere as the mule deer migrate through our neighborhood, leaving both softball-sized frozen clumps of turds and scattered piles of nuggets, gleaming like an olive bar at the fancy market.

Meanwhile, her puppy fluff has been replaced by plush, dense fur. The needle teeth are almost gone. Her tail is shaped like a fox in a Disney movie. She rarely makes a sound, loves to snuggle, and I can lean over her without securing my hair. There is danger of becoming complacent, leaving the house with an unsecured puppy free inside. There is hope she won't always surf the counter for something to eat, but given her unprejudiced embrace of all things (foods, paper, plants, rugs, pens, containers) combined with a short attention span, it is nearly impossible to believe she will be a good citizen.

Roo the puppy
"I'll be good, I promise. (Heh heh)"

In a few months, her soft bones and joints will be solid enough to run. I'm planning on her becoming my new running and biking bud as Mack settles in as the senior house dog. I'm counting on a tired dog being a good dog.

If you have nothing else you love to do and if you really want every single day to present new and interesting challenges, puppy is the hobby for you!


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Laurel Hunter

Laurel Hunter

Central Oregon, USA