Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Maybe we should've name him Goober...

Buster Brown
Oscar the Grouch
Piddle Puppy
Oscar No Bite
Oscar Possum
Knee Biter
Oscar Meyer
Damn Dog (when he's especially naughty and I'm especially irritated)
These are all nicknames that our new little puppy Oscar has acquired over the past 6 weeks or so since he's come to live with us.

This has been a different sort of summer for me. Oscar has turned me into an early riser...whether I wanted to be or not. And though I complain about it often, I have to admit that in some ways it is awfully nice. It's peaceful at 6:00am. And the temperatures outside are pleasantly cool. Oscar and I putter around in the backyard watering flower pots and the garden. We pull weeds and work on random yard projects. We sit on the porch swing where I read my scriptures out loud and he looks up at me and listens intently. Apparently I have a righteous puppy. ;) We come inside and do dishes and laundry. And after being up for an hour and a half, Oscar falls asleep at my feet as I sit on a counter stool and check out emails, social media and the news on my laptop. It's a nice routine.

But my summer does indeed revolve around this little puppy and his schedule while we house train him and adjust ourselves to having this new little member of our family. It's a lot more time consuming than I had ever expected.

Puppy quirks:
* I can't wear dresses. And during the summer, little knit dresses are my go-to wear to stay cool. Plus they make me feel girly and cute. But I can't wear them. Because Oscar jumps up and grabs hold of the hem that's swaying around my knees with his teeth...and won't. let. go. Which usually results in a hole in the fabric. Sigh. This shall pass, right? Please tell me that next summer I'll be able to mix my summer dresses back into my wearable rotation?

* Everyone told me that having a puppy was like having another baby/toddler. And while I accepted that was true to some extent, I didn't realize just how humorously accurate it would turn out to be.
Oscar likes to climb up in an attempt to lick some left over food off a bowl or plate. I think Brandon just liked the adventure of pulling himself up and onto the opened dishwasher door...and sometimes to grab the spoons out of the silverware holder.

Every single one of my children did this as toddlers.

* I laugh every day. Belly laugh. At the crazy little things Oscar does. For example, this morning I was setting up a sprinkler to spray a dry area of my lawn. I had set the hose in the spot I needed it and headed back to turn on the water. It wasn't until I was in the process of turning the knob and looked back to see how high I wanted the water pressure, that I realized Oscar was standing directly over the sprinkler. And his reaction when that water shot up was priceless! I could not stop laughing! He's a water dog so he wasn't too upset, but oh my!

* When I give him a treat filled "kong" (rubber toy with a hollow middle for him to work food out of) he always takes it to the mat outside the back door to play/eat/work at it. When I give him a edible chew bone, he grabs it and runs down the deck stairs and onto the lawn to chew on it under the tree. Go figure?

* When I take Brandon to meet up with his gymnastics carpool in the mornings, often I'll take Oscar along for the ride. His favorite spot in the car is laying in my lap with his head nestled into the crook of my left arm while I hold the steering wheel. I have no idea if this is a no-no is terms of the laws of the road, but as long as he just lays there, which he usually does, it's not distracting at all. And kind of sweet...

* He will obey me better than anyone else in the family. Apparently I'm the alpha. And I must say, he has a darn good "sit" and "come" going on.

* Especially when he is wet but really any time, he does this little snake in the grass, writhing little dance on his back. Usually it is accompanied by small growls. I'm sure he's just getting a good back scratching in, but he looks so funny!

* He doesn't do this as much anymore, a fact that likely makes Julianne kind of sad, but when Oscar first came to our home he would put his little head down in your lap and make a kind of huff sound out his nose. It was remarkably cute, and reminded Julianne of a dragon...so much so that she had to go pull out and re-read "Dragonhaven" by Robin McKinley. And that is where Oscar's nickname of Dragon came from.

I have to document some of these little puppy stories because people say I will miss the puppy phase after it is over. Honestly, as cute as the little goober is, I think I will be rather happy to have these exhausting and sometimes very frustrating puppy months behind me. But I already look back on pictures from a month ago and say, "Awww...remember when he was so tiny and used to do that?" So I'm assuming they may be right to some extent. Personally, I'm just really looking forward to being able to go on a walk where I feel like I am walking Oscar instead of him walking me. That comes with practice, right?