Category "New Mexico"
August 11, 2007
Puppies = Toddlers
When I was picked up at the Albuquerque airport last Saturday, I noticed an animal cage in the back and asked something like, "We aren't taking the cats, are we?" The answer came back "no." Puzzled. Then she said, "It's not a cat cage." Putting 2 + 2 together, I'm sure I said something stupid like, "You don't have a dog, do you?"
Well, she didn't then, but she does now. Welcome to Sierra, the latest addition to the menagerie.
We picked her up on the way back to Las Cruces from Shangri-La (aka the Hacienda de Dona Andrea de Santa Fe). She's a cute, active yellow Lab. She's very loving and thirves on attention and affection. (I'm sure the Dog Whisperer would disapprove. The human - animal dominance hierarchy has not yet been fully established in this household.) So I've been helping puppy-proof the house. Just like a good toddler would, she led us right to the things that we had to modify immediately. The first was the rubber-tipped doorstop. She had that rubber tip in her mouth faster than I could turn around.
She is not fully house-trained yet. However, we are getting much better trained to know when to take her outside. It's really not the animals that get trained. They must have a huge laugh off of we humans. (For a great blog that takes the dog's point of view, I highly recommend Bosco Dog Blog - I've enjoyed it for several years.)
We just returned from Pet Smart with three gates so that we could keep her corralled in the tiled kitchen, especially while S goes to work. Each gate has a little cat door at the bottom, which Sierra immediately figured out and went through. Well - Dylan and Chloe will have to have their food put elsewhere.
It's been fun watching the dog and 2 cats accommodate. There haven't been any huge blow-ups yet. Sometimes Sierra jumps around excitedly, like she wants to play. She and Dylan have stared off enough times, that they now can co-exist. Chloe was reluctant to come out of the closet for the first few days, but is now just walking around as usual. Fairly easy.
Category "New Mexico"
August 14, 2007
This holiday has turned out much differently than I expected, but for some reason, I was never quite sure how it would turn out. Each time we had a "plan," it morphed under our feet. Much of our time has focused around Sierra and getting the NM house puppy-proofed. The back yard is now secure so that she can't slip through the wrought-iron gates on the sides. Despite the intense heat, the patio is in the shade much of the day - she's comfortable there, and she has her wading pool to splash around in.
And there are 3 pressure gates that can corral her in the kitchen (on the tile floor) until she is fully potty-trained. We haven't used potty-words so much since we had toddlers (of the human kind!) An unexpected preoccupation!
Sierra is a very sweet dog - a nice disposition, eager to play and to please. She has definitely bonded with her master, in part because of the long walks they take each morning. She has also had some inter-species encounters with Dylan and Chloe -- she wants them to help her play with her squeaky bone.
To be honest, I really enjoy her ... but I am not ready to take on that level of responsibility on a daily basis. Independent cats are more my speed at this time. I asked S how long she's wanted a dog. The answer was "Years." So I'm sincerely happy for her.
In case you're wondering how Dylan and Chloe are doing, here they are - stationed next to the computer.
On the other hand, I can tell I'm already feeling very parental and protective. Today we stopped by to tour a local doggy day care center. S has to drive me to Albuquerque on Friday for my flight, and it's almost 250 miles each way, so we thought we'd give day care a try. Well....... the poor dogs are lined up in narrow runs. "Day care" means that they are let out into a large field, as a group, to fend for themselves. I had flashbacks of some poor day care centers we saw when we had little kids. We're thinking Sierra might make the trip to ABQ with us..... The amazing thing is that the dude ranch is already booked solid for Thanksgiving and Christmas into 2009. I think there's a market niche to be filled here...
Category "New Mexico"
August 17, 2007
Friday Cat/Dog Blogging
Alas, my holiday ends today so I wanted to share a few last pix of the NM menagerie and their keeper. They're quite photogenic, don't you think?