Someone on one of the cattledog groups wrote:
"I just want to share something for new puppy parents: When you see and read the stories on here of all the wonderful, well behaved, well trained, and awesome adult dogs that most have, and you wonder how they all "lucked" out and won the dog lottery- KNOW THIS: most of us wanted to KILL our little adorable pups when they were 4 months old. I personally lost half a bookcase of old books, 5 pairs of shoes, almost all my socks, two expensive rugs, a floor-stand antique mirror, and countless hours off my life due to blood vessels popping in my head. So remember, when looking at photos, you will look back and forget all that stuff when you see cute photos of your baby when he/she was a puppy. THEY GROW OUT OF IT. "
4-8 months, horrible, horrible, horrible time! Sometimes it lasts into their first year.
Did I say horrible? I meant horrible. Horrible with a capital Hor.
House training my last one, Artie, was a nightmare! I would get on FB and cry out to my friends. I'd sob on the phone to other dog people. What the hell had I gotten myself IN TO? What was I thinking? I'm too old for this.
I've had cattledogs since 1993, you think I'd have some kind of handle on it.
He wasn't my first dog or cattledog either and I always seem to win the Dog Pooping Lottery because I never get to do that part in summer or fall. Oh, no. Dead of winter.
Artie was a horrible, horrible puppy.
AND he got car sick! What cattledog gets CARSICK?? He didn't get carsick with his foster mom. I was so stressed about that I almost got carsick. I'd sit in the car on the way to dog classes, shaking, my heart hammering in my chest, my ears tuned to that "rrrrap-bleech-gack" sound.
His one saving grace: he was (and is) a social butterfly. He's whip-smart, funny and has a real zest for life. He loves to swim. He has a lovely combination of ON and OFF. He's the best hiking dog I've had in years. I adore him.
I had another one (Dru) for 6 months in 1999 I was working with (6-12 months old), he was the worst chewer I ever had. I had him tethered to me, right by my leg, and he silently almost chewed the table leg right by me in half. I never heard it, never felt it. He tore up and annihilated linoleum floor tiles etc. When I got him, his former owner had allowed him to poop and pee in the crate, dirtiest dog I've ever known. Yes, Virginia, you CAN stuff a 50 pound ACD into a pretty damn small crate. He got through the horrible house-training thing but that was 3 weeks, (almost 24/7) of utter hell.
His one saving grace: he was a social butterfly, used to run with 5 Greyhounds and a Borzoi. Coolest thing you ever saw: a cowdog herding sight hounds!
Elke, our "found pupp" was another horrible chewer and dis-embowler of All Things With Stuffing. And she had the extra bonus of being completely disinterested in playing fetch or any game for that matter. Oh, and for an extra-extra bonus, she was (and still is to a great extent) 40 pounds of pull-you-off-your-feet. My slightly deformed hand is thanks to Elke's pulling me off my feet and dislocating 3 fingers. But wait, there's more. She tends to be dog fear-aggressive too! Which can be anything from a low growl to going after another dog to shrieking, whining and spinning! Wheeeee, fun for the entire family!
Her saving grace is her complete and utter mesmeric ability to suck you in to her lair of sweetness. Her coat is like velvet. You pet her and your heart rate begins to lower. Her eyes are limpid, brown pools; her kisses are softer and sweeter than a summer garden. People come to meet Artie; they stay for Elke.
The one thing I thank my lucky stars for is I have never had a dog in the last 20 years that wasn't ok in the crate. I personally can't cope with that, separation anxiety or severe aggression.
I know they say you don't always get the dog you WANT but you get the dog you NEED many times. Really? Somewhere in the Great Cosmic Book of Life, it was written: "Mia needs the puppy from hell. Not once, not twice, but we're going to give her that canine gift that keeps on giving."
Artie was the first all positive trained dog I've ever owned. Interesting process for all of us and continues to be. But he really has turned into such an awesome dog in so many ways. It must be like child birth I guess. You know there was pain but it seems slightly dimmed.
God help me, I'm thinking about adding a third at some point.....the Gods will lead us in the right directions. I'm a big believer in Fate. And that they have a really sick sense of humor at times.
Puppies. Simply Adorable! There are not enough adjective or superlatives for puppies.
Teenaged dogs? A new dimension of the depths of hell....Dante couldn't make up this stuff. If he did, there would be an Eighth Dimension of hell.