Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pet-ternity Leave

Yesterday I was joking that I was going to take today as Pet-ternity leave (usually I call these work at home days and not actually work . . . but I was honest that I wasn’t working). When I was on the phone with a colleague today, the dogs got barking, Hailey was into everything and my colleague said “you really have your hands full there.” Yes, yes I do, and it made me think that maybe we should have pet-ternity leave. If we did maybe 20 000 animals would not be euthanatized a year in one shelter alone in the Toronto area. As an animal lover, I can’t even imagine abandoning or abusing an animal. Mind you, how we humans treat each other, it really isn’t a surprise that we would treat “lesser” species poorly. Ok, enough rant, back to my puppy!

My pet-ternity leave started slowly. I waited for it to stop raining to go to the dog park (I had the time, so why not). I was brave and took both the dogs to the park alone. In many ways it is easier than walking because Gemi will just run. Hailey was ok. She only jumped up a few times and being on a leash got her tangled a bit. She did crazy dog on the leash in 2 ways. Way one, I stand in the middle and she runs around and around in circles. Way two, running as far to the right as she could on leash and then running as far to the left and back and forth about 20 times. The only bad part was when we got home, she got away from when she got out of the car. My heart stopped. Fortunately so did she and I was able to get her just about 10 feet into the neighbour’s yard. I have figured out now how to make sure this doesn’t happen again!

Next adventure was the vet. Now, I have been spoiled with one dog who loved the vet and one who while nervous was ok there. This was my first experience with a dog who was very nervous. She whined and paced and trying to get her on the scale was a challenge. My baby weights 15 kgs or about 33 lbs. Once we were in the exam room she relaxed a little. I am happy to report I have a very healthy baby, perfect weight. Vet’s best guess of breed, some sort of Sheppard mix. She is about done growing. He said the great thing about a Heinz 57 dog is they tend to have fewer health problems (let’s keep our fingers crossed). Some guy at the dog park said I could have her genetically tested to determine her breed. That sounds like going to far for even me!

The last part of our fun day was our assessment at puppy school. I liked the woman. Anyone who has Temple Grandin’s book on her desk is Ok in my books. Of course my dog pooped on the floor, kept trying to get the people food on the shelf, stole a plastic spoon and wouldn’t give it up. Other than that, she mostly just sniffed around the room. After the assessment we have decided that she is going to do group lessons (that includes one private class) and to help with the sibling rivalry in my house, 2 private lessons in the home. As her collar is too big (and she has slipped out of it), and they had beautiful collars there, I got her a new one. (I will have to put a picture on the site soon!). Apparently on the way home from the school (less than 20 minutes) Hailey got bored in the back seat and decided to join me in the front of the car – I tired to keep her in the back with my elbow, but it wasn’t safe to do that. At least she just got in the passenger seat. There was a straw there she was able to destroy, but it kept her safe and still.

Hopefully all this exercise and adventure will make some of us tired tonight!

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