Monday, December 25, 2006

Santa brought a new family member

Introducing Franny

In reality (or as real as our lives can get), she was named after the supposed spirit that may (or may not) be inhabiting our house on another plane of existence.

In the realm of our sweet daughter's childhood imaginations of all things possible, here is how Santa came up with her name, as explained in this letter that Santa left with the girl's new pooch...

This is a huge step for our little family, and one which I'm domestically prepared for, but totally stressing out on a purely emotional basis. Strange how parenting two homo sapiens feels more natural to me now, than training a dog to pee in a certain spot is.

One step forward, two steps back.

Stay tuned on Franny's (and my own) progress.

BTW, she's an 11-week old schnoodle.


Emily said...

Awww ... she's so cute! If Santa didn't leave her a crate of the appropriate size and type, I recommend a field trip to your local pet store ASAP. The late Barbara Woodhouse, the Monks of New Skete, and my own dogs' wonderful trainer all advise providing the pup with a crate just big enough for her to stand up, lie down, and turn around. (I also find that the plastic, airline-type crates work better than the metal, cage-type crates, as they create more of a "den" vibe for the dog, but tossing a blanket over the cage type will also work.)

Franny's mama and her own innate instincts have already taught her not to wet or soil her den. All you have to do is expand her concept of "den" to include your entire house, which is relatively easy to accomplish if you crate her when you can't supervise her (she will only wet her bed in a dire emergency) and make sure you provide food, water, and potty breaks on a sensible schedule (what goes in must come out!)

Good luck! My three dogs drive me nuts, but I wouldn't trade any of them (even my evil rat terrier!) for anything....

OKDad said...

We are crate training in a determined way...she seems to have denned up pretty well and even spent the night in it last night on her own -- I put her in eye sight of our bed so she could see us the entire night.

Serious puppy remorse at 2 a.m. this morning when my alarm went off to take her out to pee.

She did. (Yip yo)
Then fell back asleep in her crate with just a little fuss.

So, it was a good nite last night.

I think crate/house training will go fairly well, as she gets older and develops some bodily function control. It's getting her to go in a certain spot outside that may present a challenge.

Hope I'm up to it. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Emily said...

I never bothered training my pack to use a particular spot. We have a fenced yard, so I just open the back door and trust them to make their own decisions (which is usually a foolhardy proposition). But I can see the merits of designating a doggie bathroom, particularly if you've got small children who are likely to step in the "presents" Franny leaves behind.

We invested about an hour last January in a project that has paid HUGE dividends in terms of time and effort: a dog waste composter. We got the directions from Vancouver's marvelous City Farmer Web site. Eleven months later, our dogs (two of whom are quite large, and all of whom produce a prodigious quantity of, um, byproducts) still haven't filled it up, although they're getting close. I figure in a month or so, we'll have to retire it and install a new one elsewhere in the yard. I'll plant hostas and azaleas in the old one.

If you can housebreak two kids, you can housebreak a dog. And nothing will provide blog fodder quite like a clever animal. :)