This week’s pupdate:
Philomena is a very busy young dog. We are all about redirection around here as well as making sure our new puppy gets enough exercise to keep her energy at a reasonable level. While it is tiring, as she still wakes a time or two for a tinkle in the middle of the night, we are also having a tremendous amount of fun. Philomena makes us laugh. A lot. (ps. a frozen wet washcloth is great for teething. Better than toes, frozen or otherwise.)
Philomena is engaging and curious and quite a quick learner. Last night at bed time, she didn’t even whine when she was placed in her kennel den for the night. She then awoke once at 530 am to go outside, only to go back to sleep in her den until we were ready to get up for the day. She’s figuring out her routine amidst our lives here, and trying her best to make friends with Charlie.
Charlie is having none of it. We respect her in this regard.
After all, Charlie did not choose to get a puppy.
Yesterday Philly walked all the way around a neighborhood block here. It took some coaxing with small bits of chicken to get her to come along, but in the end I think she was glad she did. She is getting to know the neighborhood a bit.
After her walk, which required her walking with the leash, she was given a bit more freedom. Philomena used her free time to chew on a stick. It’s life’s little pleasures, isn’t it?
Today, a work day, Philly donned her leash once more for a neighborhood jaunt. On this walk, colder and more windy, she was carried a bit of the way. But there were still bits of chicken for paying attention to me and for listening when I call her name, and all in all this too was a fine walk indeed.
In a time which seems like a lifetime ago, I used to run marathons as a sort of side hobby. I ran the weekdays with babies in a stroller and managed a long run on the weekends. In the end I took on 7 of these races and while I was no Olympian, I managed to place now and then. More importantly I made some friends and kept in touch with the self in me that had nothing to do with early motherhood. Raising small children, while undoubtedly a most rewarding and important job, is lonesome and occasionally mind-numbingly dull work. Marathoning gave me a balance amidst it all and enabled me to be a bit of a better mom. Essentially, I ran marathons to survive early motherhood.
Now it would seem that coin is flipped. The pandemic we are experiencing in the world is no sprint. It is definitely more of a marathon. I heard from friends in the UK that lockdowns are in place once more there. There are no lockdowns here, though we are experiencing a difficult season indeed. . The United States is once again acting like the lawless wild west of old, relying on people to make up their own rules along the way. As a result, we are dying in droves. While the vaccine roll-out does bring some hope, there is no end in sight to this pandemic. As Kristin Wigg of SNL fame put it the other day, “the trouble with a light at the end of the tunnel is that finally we can see how bad the tunnel really is.” I agree with her. And so we trudge along this marathon route, step by step, day by day, best we can. And to weather this marathon, we got a puppy.
Something about the structure that raising a new puppy requires, as well as the constant navigation of a fairly steep learning curve (each dog is a new universe in and of itself, is it not?), takes us outside of the panic in the world at large. Much like the structure of marathon running helped me deal with the panic of being a clueless young mother so long ago. I am so grateful for this.
And so here we are. A week in. Already in love. Registered for puppy kindergarten in January. This may or may not lead to some agility work for this little pup who is, indeed, a handful as we expected her to be. But while she is a handful at times, she is also the sweetest little thing.
When she settles down I enjoy doing a sketch of her.
There is no better way to get to know a dog than to draw them.
Ever moving, growing like a weed, it is hard to keep up.
But I aim to try.