It’s been just a little over a week since I flew out to Boston to get our latest terrier, Little Sally Yates. And things have been up and down. First the good news. Oscie, who I have always called Little Boy but next to Sally looks like a big galloot, has been more patient with Sally than I even dreamed possible. I had high hopes as Oscie, although he is somewhat pushy with male dogs of all sizes, is completely submissive with females of all sizes and species. Many will say, “That’s as it should be. He’s trained well.” And I’ll give some credit to Miss Heather, Ranch Manager Louis’s wife who is a (kind and gentle) doggie dominatrix. When Oscie goes to stay with her, he always comes back with better manners. But Oscie does have his triggers. For instance, we’ve stopped allowing toys and balls in the house because he just gets himself worked up into a white hot rage over them. And he got pushed around so much at meal times by Lucy, that he can be a little food guardy. With those caveats in mind and with an abundance of caution which said a puppy should never be left unattended with an adult dog, we proceeded with the introductions.
It was love at first sight from this moment. Sally follows Oscie around everywhere and he very nicely tolerates her, even when she jumps all over him and bites his ears. However, poor Little Boy has discovered all the couches in both Sonoma and San Jose where he can jump up but she can’t follow. Sometimes even a Smooth Fox Terrier needs a break from Smooth Fox Terrier madness.
So I have multiple crates for puppy containment when I can’t supervise and emotional triggers like toys are kept out of the mix. We were still having problems with both Oscar and Sally with abandonment issues. Once Lucy died, Oscar, who has never been on his own in his life, went into a depression and became unhinged when left alone for even a few hours. He would have what I call “panic poos” where he would just lose it and forget all his training. Then when I came home (after no more than two hours out) he would be so stressed he would nearly pass out. Well, since we’ve had Sally, there has been no more of that. Even locked in her crate, she seems to comfort him.
Sally is another matter. I’ve never had a puppy who is so ADHD. I recognize that, in the early stages, puppy training is really all about owner training. You adhere to a strict routine. Feed the puppy, take the puppy out for a wee and poo. Puppy wakes up. Out for another wee and poo. Intense exercise session. Puppy goes out for a wee and poo. Well, Sally seems able to run around like a whirling dervish for hours and never go. I’ve gotten into a routine in the morning of taking her out in the back yard and doing a 30 minute yoga routine on the back deck to give her plenty of time to do her business. Sometimes, when I do my last namaste, she still hasn’t. And that’s dangerous. Because she’s still getting worked up when I leave her alone. Mostly she manages to hold it. But every third time, there is a revenge poo that she kicks out of her crate like an angry chimp throwing feces. I’ve tried to make the crate a happy place. It’s where she gets all her meals and the only place she can have her toys. I leave the crate open all day so she can go in to rest. Which she sometimes does. But more often it’s poor put-upon Oscar seeking sanctuary. Any suggestions other than consistency, consistency and routine, routine would be much appreciated.
Meanwhile, Sally Yates is living up to her namesake. She is forging ahead and taking no prisoners.
At this point, I’m as tired as Oscar as Sally has decided that 3AM is a good time to wake up and have puppy zoomies. The next hurdle is an upcoming RV trip to Lake Tahoe where Sally will have her first roadtrip experience. Oscie will either go to Dr. Dave’s Doggie Daycare or back up to Miss Heather. In either case, I’m sure he’s looking forward to the rest.