Off to (puppy) school


I have been home-schooling Mia since she came to live with us, age 8 weeks. Having practically grown up with dogs and raised a few, how much better can it get for Mia? She seems to be doing quite well to be honest and her learning curve has been pretty steep.

House-trained she is. She only goes INSIDE the house if we have visitors. I mean, come on, which little puppy would like to go outside when she is getting heaps of attention from nice new people who even allow her to jump on them and sit on the sofa! A little inconsiderate of me, don’t you think?

She sleeps in her crate in our bedroom every night (the poor dear) and only wakes me up twice – once to generally take a stroll around the room; a ruse to try and clamber onto our bed (usually around 2-3am) and the second time, around 5am when I am too sleepy and tired and just let her sleep with us on the bed. No one should expect a puppy to sleep without her cuddles. Its insane. Yes, she squeezes herself right in the middle of the both of us. And no, she does not seem to feel hot – at all, even though we are burning up.


Mia and I walk every day. Mia walks me. She is all of 10kgs but the might and strength she shows on the road can put any super hero to shame. Huffing and puffing we reach the park, I throw the ball, Mia runs like the wind, I wait for her to return. I wait some more. I call. I entice with treats. I jump up & down to catch her eye. But all I manage are the incredulous stares of other dog walkers. When all else fails, I run to Mia, retrieve the ball, throw it once more. Sigh, when will I learn?


Puppies nip. And I want to nip this in the bud. So I am prepared with dozens of chew toys, rag dolls, real bones, hide bones – you name it and I’ve got it. As soon as the little mutt comes charging towards me, I stuff a toy in her mouth. Off she goes, to return a second later – minus the toy. I throw another one at her. The same thing happens again and again, everyday. Finally, I let her chew….my hands. She calms down while I try to calmly extricate my arms from her sharp needles. Who can blame her for choosing a warm, smooth, crunchy bone to cold, tasteless, lifeless dolls and chews.

After seriously evaluating the situation, I have come to the conclusion that my training techniques have become a little rusty and that I desperately need to brush up on them. So after weeks of contemplation (read procrastination), I have finally short-listed a few ‘puppy’ schools in the area. Having written to them, I am hoping and praying that they will accept me (and Mia). Fingers crossed!


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