By Kemosabe ~
Well, my human did it again and brought another puppy into the pack. I have endured three puppies already: Thunderbear, Buckaroo, and Crockett. Now there’s a new one: Wookie. And to top it off, she’s a girl.
Here’s the thing about puppies: they aren’t really dogs yet. They’re more like live squeaky toys who can’t control their bladders. The good thing about puppies is that their attention span is about the same as a gnat’s, which makes stealing their toys infinitely easy. They also sleep a lot, which the human appreciates.
The initial reaction to Wookie from my fellow pack members ranged from long-suffering (Thunderbear), to “she doesn’t exist in my Universe” (Buckaroo), to Crockett’s “I’m not touching it, it might have cooties.” This is fairly amusing to the human, because Crockett is an intact male and he will probably sing a different song when Wookie goes into season. Since I essentially raised my younger pack members, I’ve again taken on my usual role as Nanny Dog and Hall Monitor to Wookie, teaching her the rules of pack life and the hierarchy.
Wookie came from the same breeder as the rest of the pack, so she had been on a free-feed kibble program. Free-feed means that the kibble is available to the puppy all the time. The first thing the human did was start a feeding schedule: small meals four times per day. Wookie gets the kibble she was weaned on, plus a little raw food mixed in. Eventually she will transition to all raw, and twice-a-day meals. But right now, at 10 weeks of age, the human thinks small meals more often are better for her GI tract, and more of what she is used to having since she was raised on free-feed.
Wookie has been introduced to BioStar’s Dog Star Liver Treats (broken into little pieces) along with small bits of dehydrated liver. So far she’s a lot like Buckaroo: she hasn’t met a food she hasn’t liked. Of course, the human is keeping her away from things like fresh horse manure (one of the pack’s favorites), and she’s not big enough to reach the cat food bowls on the table, which are one of my favorite illicit snacks. Nor has she been introduced to Thunderbear’s egg-stealing missions but that will certainly come in time.
Wookie will start on Optimum K9 powder to cover all the vitamin and mineral requirements of a growing puppy.
Stuff to gnaw on
This puppy qualifies as a piranha, but at this age she needs stuff to chew on that doesn’t include the human’s slippers, electrical cords, the leather couch, a cell phone, or my fur.
Our human goes to a specialty dog store and gets Barkworthies Bully Stick Rings that are easy for the puppy to hold in her paws and gnaw on. Our human also buys dehydrated chicken feet for the puppy to chew. Often the puppy will fall asleep after she has had a vigorous chewing session, and then I slip in, quiet as a mouse, and steal the chew. It is one of the perks of being the Hall Monitor.
Our human has already begun clicker training, which she did with all of us when we were pups. Next month, Wookie will go to puppy class like we did. Puppy class is a good way for Wookie to meet other puppies and socialize in a safe setting. It’s also good for helping our human remember training tips that she has forgotten due to her advanced age and all, but don’t tell her I said that.
Friends of our human ask, how is it that the pack gets along with a new puppy. My response: it’s all about how the human approaches it. Our human didn’t stress about introducing Wookie to the pack, didn’t come up with fear scenarios in her head, or expect discord within the pack. She introduced us one at a time to Wookie and then we all got treats. She makes sure every day that each member of the pack gets plenty of attention and that our routine stays the same, despite Wookie’s presence.
The benefits of a new puppy in the house are the toys. All these new toys show up, which is great for me, because I like to steal them from under Wookie’s nose. Maybe it’s not as James Bond-ian as Thunderbear’s egg-stealing escapades, but for an older dog such as myself…it’s the little things.