Monday, June 13, 2016


Well, we've had our second dog for about six weeks now.  She's just over 3.5 months old and is doing great.  The vet, with good reason, calls Finn a "tank of a dog" - despite being so young, she's already almost Charlie's weight and about 3/4 of Charlie's height.  Now, Charlie is a little on the small side for both height and weight (any suggestions on how to fatten her up a little would be much appreciated...she's finicky and a little too thin and very active, and nothing I do seems to help her to keep that extra couple of pounds on her), but Finn is just all belly and waddle!

Finn is a very, very different dog by personality than Charlie.  She is extremely feisty, very determined and opinionated, and isn't shy about putting herself out there!  She feels very free to launch a sneak attack on Charlie (she will actually lie in wait for Charlie to come around a corner and then rear up on her short little back legs and dive on top of poor, unsuspecting Charlie), and will take chew sticks right out of Charlie's mouth and then run for her life as Charlie chases her, and pushes everyone out of her way if she wants to get somewhere first, and eats anything and everything and all of the time!  She's quite the character for such a young little thing.  She's smart, and is going to be a handful to train because of it, but at least she's food motivated (which Charlie has never been) and she takes readily to being offered food in exchange for doing what I ask of her.

She's not one to cuddle for very long periods of time (very unlike Charlie).  She'll lie content in my arms for a while if she's sleepy, but otherwise she'll stay only a minute or so - then in a flash, she suddenly wants down and I need to be careful to maintain a good grip on her because she would otherwise just launch herself out of my arms.  In these moments, if I don't put her down immediately, she growls ferociously (which makes me laugh).  Of course, the alpha in me needs to be the alpha to her, so I often let her just growl it out while she's still in my arms, and then when she finally quiets, I put her on the floor with a scratch behind the ears and a warm "good girl."  She'll be fine - she's just opinionated. :)

Finn's attachment has been a little slower with Finn than it was with Charlie - I think mostly because she is the second dog in the house and peer-oriented to Charlie first.  Also, I think I'm more relaxed with this second puppy than I was a year ago with Charlie.  And finally, I have deliberately stayed a wee bit more in the background this time 'round because I really want Finn to attach strongly to the kids; Charlie is very attached to them, but she is definitely my baby (likely because of my care of her around her surgery last year).  Just recently Finn has started showing me signs that I'm becoming an alpha to her, but it's been slower than with Charlie.  For example, Charlie has never, ever walked through a door ahead of me, or walked up/down stairs before me; I didn't train her to do that...she just did.  By contrast, until the past few days, Finn is just fine barrelling ahead of me and, in fact, forcing her way to the front of the line-up.  :)  I'm not at all worried about this; she's doing great and attaching well to all of us, and everything else will happen over time.

Finn sleeps in the crate on my side of the bed (Charlie still sleeps on the bed with Geoff and me), and has really never made a fuss about being in her crate...she's been fully crate trained since the first week or so of being here.  When we're out of the house, she and Charlie share the big crate on the main floor, which we have thus far divided into two so that they're together but not sharing the same space, if that makes sense.  Eventually I'm sure we'll take the divider out, but I'm not completely comfortable knowing yet how they'll be with each other in the crate without the divider when we're not around.

Housebreaking is underway.  Finn fully understands, when she's outside, that once she does her business, she gets to run inside for a treat.  But, although recent signs are hopeful, I'm not at all confident that she'd feel like holding her bladder if she feels like going, or if I'm delayed by a nanosecond in opening up the door for her.  At least her preferred spot for indoor accidents is the easy-to-clean, hard kitchen floor.  I wish there were a way of speeding this process up.  Everything gets sooooo much easier once a puppy is fully housetrained.  But for now, until she's done, she is not allowed upstairs (unless I carry her up for bed at night), or into the (carpeted) dining room or library areas.  Hopefully it won't take too much longer.  I remember with Charlie that once she made the last brain connection, it suddenly clicked and she was done...I am hoping this will be the case with Finn soon, too.

We adore Finn.  My heart is still somewhat more oriented to Charlie at this point, perhaps particularly because Charlie is so very loyal to me and because the two of us bonded so strongly over her hip surgery last fall; but I do love Finn, too, and our bond is growing.  She's a fun little puppy, and I think she's going to be a terrific dog!

I'm so very happy that my dreams came true:  Three kids; two dogs.  I'm done!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so much like our Lucy & Frankie! My husband, Caleb, has trained both of them, and although he loves both of them dearly, he & Lucy have 'a thing' - Lucy will growl at anyone who gets between them - she adores him and he her! Frankie, well, he's more of a floozy - he loves every one, and is quite the charmer. He was a bit harder to train he's more stubborn - he wants his own way, and is just so tenacious. We always laugh - when we get him to do something, we have to 'pay the toll'. (treat - which in our family is a piece of kibble) They do love their Greenies, especially the blueberry flavour. I have to admit that they BOTH sleep on our bed. Frankie goes to bed with Kaden - once Kaden is asleep, he jumps out and comes to us. We calling it 'taking one for the team'. We love having 2 as well! Cindy