Saturday, January 21, 2012

On Raising a Baby

A guest post from Mommy
Some of the stages of raising a puppy bear obvious similarities to the stages of raising a human baby.  For months, we "moms" and "dads" divide our lives into one-, then two-, then three-hour increments according to the length of time that our little ones can go without peeing or eating or whining.  We leave the party early, if we even go at all; we get up in the middle of the night.  Teething is a pain, first baths are sweet, proofing the house is an ongoing chore, and so on.

It's some of the less obvious, silly similarities between these two types of "parenting" that I'd like to write about today.  See, we have snow on the ground this morning, and as I was putting on my heavier socks and layers of sweaters and big ugly boots in order to get my crying baby dog from this indoor side of the window to that outdoor one where all the fluffy white fun is waiting, I really felt the call of Mom Duty.

First, raising a puppy for these several months has been a lot like raising a baby because...

1.  Every season brings fresh joy and photo opportunities.

While puppies don't (usually) have a fashionable sundress in their first Summer and a new mini peacoat in their first Winter, they do share the wide-eyed wonder of a sweet child when they experience things like swimming and snow for the first time.

2.  Strangers often address a puppy first, just like they address a baby in a stroller, even though their statements and questions are mostly intended for momma's ears.

"You're just so adorable! How old are you?"  This is usually fine, when my response is met with eye contact and a pleasant conversation.  It's awkward, however, when a whole discussion about the dog happens without any real acknowledgement of me.. the owner.. the only other party available with the ability to speak..

3.  When babies sleep, parents really, really, really want to sleep.

I'm just 8 weeks old in this photo!
Even if you weren't the one awake with their middle-of-the-night needs.  On our first morning waking up with Margot, I took her outside at dawn.  Our first hours together the day before had been so exciting - a new state, a new family, a new big yard to explore - none of us had slept much.  When we came inside from our little morning walk, GoGo curled up at my feet on the softest spot in the recliner and fell fast asleep.  Needless to say, moments later, so did I.  She's a much larger and stronger puppy now, but I still want to fall asleep every time I see her peaceful face curled close to her paws.

4.  We all deal with cranky toddler moments.

A puppy just doesn't want to waste her time on sleep.  Why take a quick nap when you could keep yourself awake by stealing pens off of the coffee table, getting in trouble, and nipping the fingers that feed you?  A puppy, like a toddler, is wild most of the time, until finally, she drops exhausted into a hard sleep.  In between, there are lots of cranky, if-I-fall-asleep-I-might-miss-something moments.

As a reasonable adult, of course I realize some key differences here.  So, I also want to share with you some ways in which raising a puppy is nothing at all like raising a baby...

1.  Teething babies don't typically bite as hard or as often as daggar-toothed puppy dogs.

2.  Potty training happens a lot faster for smart puppies like litte miss Margot.

3.  When a human baby does something that it's not supposed to do, it is not generally considered to be in good taste to spray them in the face with a water bottle to get them to stop.  On the contrary, when a human baby does something nice, no one's first reaction is to feed them a little frozen broccoli to encourage similar behavior in the future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Best Tricks

Well, you already know that my very finest tricks include dancing on my hind legs and giving kisses on command. But now, we're working on even better tricks. See, I've been wild lately, and my 10-month-old crazies are inspiring Mom to give me Super-Extra-Training opportunities. My best tricks will soon include the most perfect loose-leash walking (EVERY time I'm out..), coming when called (EVERY time I'm called..), and welcoming visitors into my home (how THEY want me to.. not however I feel like welcoming them..)

As part of my Super-Extra-Training, I'm eating some of my meals one piece of kibble at a time, each as a reward for a trick. I'm basically an expert at puppy push-ups again already, which I haven't done since puppy school. To do a puppy push-up, you just sit, then lay down, then sit, then lay down, then sit, then lay down, and so on, without ever taking your cute butt off the floor. You might think that I have an advantage because my legs are so short - my belly is practically on the floor before I ever start my puppy push-ups! - but really, I'm challenged in the world of push-ups because I'm so inclined to spring up off of the floor every time I get excited.. which is every time I see a treat.. which is almost all the time :)

Anyway, let me show you what I like to do at mealtimes when I'm not busy Super-Extra-Training. Ever since I got big enough to jump on the couch, I like to hang out with my mom there. Who says you shouldn't play with your food? I hope you enjoy this video!

For more photos and videos of crazy cute Corgis like me, you should visit my new friends at The Daily Corgi. I'm feeling so famous because my blog is now listed on The Daily Corgi site. I want to thank The Daily Corgi folks, because I'm having so much fun seeing puppies just like me.

I call this photo, "Corgis Love Couches."

We're linked with The Daily Corgi on facebook now, too. Are you following me already? If not, go do it! We Corgis aren't always easy to keep up with, so get a head start now before I get even bigger and faster!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I'm just back from one of the best days I've ever had at the park. Mommy froze to solid ice, but I told her to heat up some hot chocolate and warm her fingers so that she could type this blog for me. I can't wait to tell you about my friends.

The dog park is really cool, even when it's super cold. Some of my best friends still come around, while our owners shiver. Today at the park, my friend Sonny and I were tossing around my favorite ring toy when we found this awesome black glove.

Sonny has ears that stand up like mine!
Because this glove was so super awesome, Sonny and I both wanted to hang onto it. First, I chased Sonny for it; then, she was trying to keep it from me with her front paws. I'm small and stealthy, so I got it away from her. When Sonny started chasing me to get it back, I held on tight. Sonny is bigger than me, and a little bit faster, so she caught up and we both hung on to one side of the glove. I heard the some threads start to rip.. then.. suddenly.. Victory was mine! Sonny's side of the glove tore, and I got to run with it on my own!

Sonny taught me today that toys are even more fun when we share them. I've never played tug with another puppy before; only with my mom and dad. When Sonny and I were pulling on that glove, I found out just how much fun tug could be. We played my favorite games - tug and keep-away - together all afternoon, right up until our friend Lexi came to the park.

See, I have lots of park friends. Here's one of my oldest park friends, Sally:

Sally taught me when I first started coming to the park that puppy teeth are sharp, and that I can't nip at other puppies' ears. She taught me so kindly, like an old aunt. Maybe we really are related, since we have the same colors. I'm almost bigger than her now.

My best friend at the park these days is Chloe:

Chloe was trying to play with a leaf in her mouth when Mom took this picture. But isn't she beautiful? When we met, she was wearing a big Christmas sweater, and she loved how my dad would scratch her so that the sweater didn't bother her as much. When it's not so cold, though, she just wears her fur. We run so fast that we both start breathing hard. Chloe sounds funny when she gets out of breath, I guess because her nose is so small. She loves to catch her breath by my dad's feet while he pats her, and I don't mind sharing his attention with such a good friend like Chloe.

I had a lot of fun on my holiday adventures this year, but now that it's 2012, it's nice to spend some time in my hometown with my friends.