Freya and Finding Time

Silly me, when I posted my previous puppy post, I forgot to mention puppy details. Her name is Freya (we named her; her previous name was a generic “Babe”), and she’s 12-14 weeks old (we don’t know precisely… I’m erring on 14 weeks, Mickey is erring on 12 weeks). Looks like she has some husky, some yellow lab, and some german shepherd in her, making her a VERY smart little pup (which has already gotten her in trouble a few times, but nothing too serious). She’s currently napping on the couch next to me, hence why I have the time to write this post.

Y’see, this past week, my life has been largely consumed by the dog. We’re still acclimating her to the house, and she’s still learning the finer points of house training, so I’ve ended up spending most of my days either taking her for walks/potty breaks, or keeping her occupied inside. I’ve found that if I just sit down on the couch and work at my computer, she’ll play for a bit on her own and then curl up next to me and go to sleep. Of course, this took me a few days to figure out (my first dog and all, plus every dog is different on this sort of stuff). The drawback to this technique is that sometimes I don’t catch her making messes as quickly as I would have otherwise. Mostly she just stays within eyesight even when playing. Also, if I need to get up to get anything (even a drink of water), she wakes up and the process starts over again.

Could I just kennel her? Yes, and the past few days I’ve tried to kennel her for increasing amounts of time (half an hour at first, escalating up to an hour and a half today) for her to get used to it. Instead, she cries the whole time. Even with multiple doors closed, she can hear my chair creak and keyboard clickity-clack (look at the picture, she’s got radar ears), and whines and whimpers and cries and howls. I haven’t let her out sooner because of it, but it IS a distraction when I’m trying to write.

All of this will become less of an issue as she gets older. First off, she’ll be older and better house trained. Second, we’ll have gotten into routines more (still the first week and all). Third, she’ll be able to go to work with Mickey on occasion (such as when I’ve got work at VMC, or need to go find a coffee shop or bookstore and spend the entire day pounding out essays for a school packet, plus really whenever Mickey wants the pup with her).

On a purely selfish note, I’m looking forward to when she is more house trained and on a more strict potty schedule so I can actually play some video games. Since I got back from Vermont, I’ve had a craving to play some Final Fantasy X (thanks for the return of the strategy guide, Eli :) ), but haven’t had time for the 4+ hour intervals it’s best to play the game in. (And yes, before you say it, I know that raising a puppy is a lot like raising a kid: they take up your attention and don’t go away. I knew this before we adopted her. That doesn’t make it any less frustrating.)

I may start more strictly crate-training her (keep her in her kennel more of the time and let her out at specific times during the day for food/potty/play). Not quite yet, though… part of the reason is that I feel crate-training alone just doesn’t create the same level of bond as spending extended periods of time with the dog.