Thursday, February 25, 2010
This & That
Off to the vet today! Nope, nothing's wrong with Alfie...it was just time for his last puppy vaccination. As usual, he was a trooper and although excited, behaved pretty well for us. At 4 1/2 months old, Alfie's between 18 and 19 inches at the shoulder, and weighs in at just over 26 pounds. I wonder how much of that is fur?
I recently had to give him a haircut around the face, as his shaggy locks hung over his eyes, blocking peripheral vision. I learned with our last doodle puppy that this can really hinder their work on overhead obstacles! Now his face fur is trimmed to about an inch and a half, and the rest of his coat is still around three and a half inches. Sooo...he looks...FAT! Dr. Boggs even thought so, until she felt under all the fur and said, nope, she could feel all the ribs and he was just the right weight. When the weather warms up a bit, I'll see about trimming the rest of him so he seems a little more proportional. Until then, we'll just enjoy all that soft cuddly fur!
We're still working on those long down/stays I mentioned a couple of posts back. I think right now, that's his biggest "working" challenge. We've been practicing a lot, and I think we'll just have to be patient. There is some progress though...I've been taking him to church with me and last week, one of my young students observed, "Wow, Alfie's so much better this week! Last week he was terrible, but this week he's way better!" Kids always tell it to you straight, don't they? I love it!
Alfie's in that period of puppyhood that our book calls cryptically, "the juvenile period." According to these experts of understatement, at this time "Chewing is a priority." That is their gentle way of expressing that chewing is almost the ONLY thing the puppy does! When Alfie notices something new, you can tell his brain is assessing: #1--Can I fit it in my mouth? #2--How good is it to chew? (everything is good to chew -- only some things are better than others, e.g. erasers, pencils, dolls...) and of course there's #3--Can I chew it without being noticed? In Alfie's defense, I'll note that there's excellent reason for his chewing...he's teething like crazy. And also, whenever I notice him chewing something inappropriate, all I really have to do is ask him to "fetch" it for me, then substitute it with something actually meant for puppies. He's got a lot of growing up to do, that's all!