Puppy know-how a learning curve, for sure

Learning to raise a puppy can be a challenge and a reward.

I’ve been learning a lot about dogs since we adopted a puppy from the BCSPCA in October.

The other night Luna climbed up beside me on the couch, where she is not allowed to be, and started licking my hand.

It was a change in attitude for sure. Bold and affectionate.

Most of the time she wants to chew my hands. Some of that chewing has been appeased by various toys, water buffalo ears, beef soup bones, rawhide and non-puppy item she obtains.

She’s also started enthusiastically wagging her tail when we arrive home, which you have to admit is kind of nice.

Being welcomed to your own home isn’t normal. It’s also great to be forced to go for a walk when your mind is telling you that you have no energy.

On weekends we hike in the woods with her. On week days, however,  it’s dark before and after work.

Walking our puppy in the dark has its challenges.

Sometimes we’re a block away from home and have just started out, when she’s already pulling on the leash to turn back.

There are no streetlights in our neighbourhood so we take a flashlight to illuminate ourselves for drivers. She seems happier when the flash light is shining in front of her.

While Luna’s mom was a German Shepherd and Husky cross, all nine of her puppies looked quite different than each other.

Our vet told us we can send away a DNA sample and find out Luna’s various breeds.

We think of a golden lab when we look at her, but the vet said Luna’s ears remind her of a Shar Pei.

Maybe we’ll treat ourselves to the DNA test, after all the Christmas shopping is done.

When I was growing up our family never had a dog.

My dad didn’t seem very comfortable around them. We had cats instead.

One day I found a stray dog and brought it home. Memory is tricky so I can’t remember how long we had Shag for, but I recall that he had issues.

The sound of chains terrified him. He was an escape artist and hated being tied up.

Eventually the dog catcher found Shag a permanent home in Yahk, B.C.

While I work with our puppy, I wonder what Shag’s life was like when he was younger.

Was he a happy puppy? Do puppies change much as they grow up?

Guess I’ll know more about how that works in a couple of years from now.

Monica Lamb-Yorski is a staff writer with the Williams Lake Tribune/Weekend Advisor.


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