"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Can we really do this?

Maybe it's the fact that Murphy's first GEB eval is Friday and I'm quite nervous about it, but I'm fairly on edge about the dog this week.
I am a worrying perfectionist, which is a fairly deadly combination.
And of course, I'm a mother and an editor/manager --- two jobs where you're never going to achieve perfection and there's a lot of stress.
Add dog trainer to that list.
What I keep trying to tell myself about Murphy is along the lines of a favorite Anna Quindlen essay that was of great comfort to me when Andrew was a baby. She talks about how when she first had a child, she believed raising a child was a true-false test: You were right or you weren't. Then she ulitmately realized that it was an essay test.
I try to keep that in mind, but I find myself thinking too much probably about what's not working or what I think I'm not doing right. I worry that he's in the crate too much. He still grabs the leash from me (he doesn't do that w/ Bob). He still play-bites when you correct on the leash. He's still pulling when you walk him sometimes.
Of course, I should remember what is working. He's doing great with sits and downs are improving. He stays like a statue while we get his meals ready. He knows he's not supposed to grab the leash and more quickly abandons it after trying; I keep hoping that this means we're nearing the end and further persistence on my part will cure his attempts.
I've noticed I usually worry the most in the morning when I'm trying to squeeze in his first trip outside, feeding and a quick walk before Andrew wakes up.... so that's another behavior pattern. If it were Murphy, I'd try to anticipate and correct.
So, well, tomorrow is another day. Today, I'm going to focus that he was out of the crate for an hour before I put him back in while I made Andrew's breakfast. We're going to take him along when we go to get puppy nail clippers, and hopefully I'll still have time to make cookies with Andrew with our new dinosaur cookie cutters before I go to work. Maybe Bob can do another walk or longline play w/ Murph if Andrew naps.
Just keep plugging, day by day.


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