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Living in Sin: Two Puppies, Two Weeks

Posted Jun 03 2011 9:56am

Things have been very busy around here with our new toy fox terrier puppies!

Here are some updates from the first two weeks with them!

1. Indiana is the alpha dog. Charleston is a week older — and is technically Indiana’s uncle! — but Indiana has the calm confidence (most of the time) to really be the leader of the two.

2. At their first trip to the vet, they weighed 2.6 and 2.9 pounds. They will end up being around 7 pounds when full grown.

3. Chuck is quite often the more, um, energetic puppy. Sometimes Eric and I call him “Chaz” because, well, he’s just acting like a Chaz.

4. Indiana’s ears have started to stand up and they are getting really big — they are actually bigger than Charleston’s. Coincidentally, the same time his ears started to stand up, his behavior started to get a bit more wayward  — more like Chuck’s — leading me to form a highly unscientific theory that their ears standing up is like a teenage boy going through puberty. It just makes them act more like…boys.

Chuck and Indiana

5. Eric taught Indiana to sit this week. Chuck…has had some trouble focusing.

6. Chuck still hates his collar and has been biting at his shiny red tag so much that his name is nearly indistinguishable now.

7. The puppies spend most of their waking hours getting each other riled up — wrestling, growling and barking, playing tug of war, and running through the apartment. Eric and I have both been really surprised by how rough they play with each other. Take yesterday for example. Indiana positioned himself on the lower level of our end table (a few inches off the ground). Chuck was sitting quietly nearby. I watched Indiana squat down and calculate his move…before jumping straight onto Chuck’s back/neck and tackling him to the ground. And a couple days ago, Chuck broke into a sprint toward our sliding glass door…and crashed right into it with some force. We are being so careful with them…but then they take hits from each other like a couple of hockey players.

8. They love tunnels and small spaces. We bought them a cat tunnel for them to run through and play in, which they love. They also love our giant ottoman . Even when it’s pushed up against the couch, there is a gap between the ottoman and the floor that is the perfect size for them. They run through it, play in it, and go down there to sleep a lot of times when we are watching TV. We can feel them wrestling around below us.

9. Figuring out a good system for keeping them contained has involved a lot of trial and error. They really like their crates, but they can’t stay in there for too long. We decided to gate off the tiled entryway for them so they could have their crates along with toys, food and water, a pee pad, and room to play. We had to find an extra extra wide baby gate, but then we realized that the slats were so wide, they could squeeze right through them. This led to a temporary solution of covering it in cardboard. Even though it made the entryway look like a junkyard, we were pretty impressed with ourselves…until Indiana managed to find one tiny corner spot where he could start tearing at it…and he was running around the rest of the apartment very shortly thereafter. We went out later that day and had sheets of clear plastic cut at Lowe’s. Eric drilled holes in it and used zip ties to attach it to the gate. It looks really good! The next morning, Indiana woke up and decided he wanted out. He started messing with the centimeter-wide space between the sheet covering the gate and the sheet covering the door and eventually pushed it aside far enough that he could squeeze through (leave a very upset Chuck behind). We had more plastic cut to fix this problem, and the whole thing has been working like a dream ever since. The puppies are way more relaxed and happy this way and then so are we!

10. Because they aren’t fully vaccinated, we can’t take them for walks just yet. Not only does this mean they aren’t socializing, but it also means that we would have to leave them behind if we wanted to go on a walk in the evening, and we’d prefer to use that time to bond with them. So this week, we bought a new carrier for them. The person straps it on over the chest, making it sort of perfect for use on a long walk; the idea was that we could put them in it and then we could bring them along on walks so they’d start to experience more of the outside world (and more people!) but would be safe. This is a great idea in theory, but let me just tell you…as the girl who went out in public on Wednesday night wearing two puppies in a frontal backpack…I feel very ridiculous. The carrier is really functional, but I think it looks like we want them to be little wussies who can’t walk around by themselves. I wanted to tell everyone we passed, “It’s because they are too young to be down on the ground! I’m not That Girl, I swear!” I just know they are all thinking, “Why don’t you just dress them in sailor suits while you’re at it?”

The past two weeks have felt so busy, as the puppies need a lot of attention. But because we’ve been treating life with puppies as the new normal and accepting that things are going to look different around here — while still doing our best to keep on top of all of our other responsibilities — things have been going very smoothly. I feel like we’re settling into a new routine that is working really well.

And if you need a Friday morning dose of baby animal…here are some more pictures!

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