Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Baxter

The House of Cats has a puppy.  That’s the short of it, and now here’s the longer version.
Husband and I have been talking about getting a dog for quite a while, but if you recall my stories of Big Mike the Cat, you’ll recognize why bringing a dog into the house of a neurotic feline might not have been a good idea. After Mike went to sleep this past January, I started thinking a dog might be OK. Husband wasn’t so sure, but in recent weeks, he rethought the idea.
He has allergies, so I started looking for the kind of dog that is good for someone with allergies. Poodles fit that description, but we aren’t fond of poodles. They seem too prissy for us. And that’s when I thought of a goldendoodle, a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. They have the temperament of a retriever and something like the coat of a poodle. They have the bulky body type of a retriever and the graceful stride of a poodle as well. All in all, they’re good mutts.
I found a breeder about an hour from home, a family whose retriever was ready to give up her first litter of puppies, and we snagged the last one. We call him Baxter. I’m pretty sure Tiger calls him Dumb Ass, but he’s tolerant and only hisses when the floppy puppy goes for the cat’s tail. At the moment, Baxter is a cute little guy who fits nicely in our arms, but he’s expected to grow into a whopping 75-pound dog. Given his disposition, I’m afraid he’s still going to want to fit nicely in our arms when he’s full grown. It’s going to take the two of us to hold him.
At the moment, adding a puppy to the house has turned my previously leisurely existence into one of full-time zookeeper. Husband is doing plenty to take care of Baxter and his early training, but already I am going from mess to mess and using wads of paper towels at a time to clean up cat puke and then puppy pee and then cat puke and puppy poo. You take the puppy out, and the cat tries to squeeze through the door. You put the cat back in, and the puppy follows him, and then you have to start over.
Baxter has a crate he seems to feel comfortable in, and it serves as a playpen when the baby animal needs a break—or when the parents of the baby animal need a break—but he is not yet house trained. We’re working on it, although we’re having trouble reading the signs. I’ve read that if a puppy sniffs the floor and wanders the room, you can assume he’s looking for just the right spot, but this little guy doesn’t give us more than a 30-second lead time. He sniffs and pees before we can get him to the door. Apparently, there is a large learning curve, and it’s not just the puppy that has lots of lessons to learn.
We’re learning about which chew toys are good and which are bad—rawhide is not so good—and how often a goldendoodle needs to be brushed—every day—and what to do when he whines in his crate—let him whine.
I’ll keep you posted about who learns what fastest. Right now, it feels like nap time.


Shan said...

OK. I was wondering what kind of dog he was since I've learned a bit more about them helping out at the shelter. That sounds like a great combo! I mean except for the brushing everyday. I should probably do that with my pom, but I don't think it's going to happen.
Well, this is exciting news! It's good that you are home so much to get his potty habits under control. I'm sure he'll catch right on.
My foster pooch tried marking different things when he first got here and I had to get on that RIGHT AWAY! Fortunately he cooled it quickly and now just bugs the snot out of Tulip the chi boss. I have got to get him to the vet for snipping ASAP! ;)
Have fun with Baxter!

dive said...

He's a real cutie, Robyn.
I'm sure he'll have the two of you trained before you know it.

Alifan said...

Oh Robyn he looks a real darling, do not think that Oscar would approve of a dog ha ha.. hope you are well..always in my thoughts.

savannah said...

what a cutiepie, sugar! good luck and happy training! ;) xoxoxo

PF said...

Baxter is adorable!
That's all.