And Along Came Polly
I’d always joked with my friends that I’d more than likely end up with a mangy Mutt. Life has a curious way of reflecting the mind and, as it turned out, that’s almost exactly what happened although not at all in the way I expected. And so we introduce the last character in our little RV family…our dog, Polly.
You’re see I’m very much a dog person, grew up with dogs, volunteered in dog rescue for years (Hong Kong Dog Rescue), but never found “the one”. We came close several times…a couple of gorgeous mutts in HK and 3 foster puppies (who all died of Parvo, sadly), but never quite closed the deal.
When we moved to San Diego I naturally joined another rescue (Rancho Coastal Humane Society), took up some dog training classes and re-immersed myself into the glory of fur-balls and doggie licks. One fine morning an e-mail came out saying that two 4-week old puppies had been dumped in front of the rescue and would anyone like to foster? Almost instantaneously all rational thought went out of my head. I asked Paul (in passing since he was on a conference call for work) what he thought about fostering some puppies. He may have answered something along the lines of “sure, sounds great” because within 30 seconds I was out the door, driving in a happy puppy daze to pick up the little terrors. Paul, having not even noticed I left, called ~20 minutes later to find out where I was…”bringing back the puppies, dear”…and so it started.
Well, mangy pups they were. In fact, they had worms, mange and just about every other ailment the first month of so. We were completely enthralled and totally overwhelmed. Our life went from one of relative leisure to constant puppy-pee watch, socialization, sulphur baths (for the mange) and basically all things dog-related. But we were, truly and completely, in love.
Things we learnt in our puppy time:
- Puppies are cute, lovable peeing & pooping machines. When not peeing, they are likely pooing, or looking to pee…or thinking about pooping. That is, of course, if they are not gnawing or otherwise making trouble. Potty train early and give your pup plenty of praise for going outside
- Whatever you teach your puppy will carry-on into adulthood. It’s a good lesson this one and worth remembering. If your little fur-ball is encouraged to gnaw your antique wood table at 5 weeks and 5 lbs, she’ll be doing it at 40 or 50 lbs too. Likewise little puppy licks become massive, wet doggie face-washings in time.
- Training will save you years of aging. You can start clicker-training at 4 weeks and look to join a puppy class as soon as you can. Training is fun for both of you, will give you a gorgeous, balanced dog and strenthen that owner-doggie bond. We went with a fabulous class from Whole Dog Training in San Diego (the owner of which, Nan adopted our other pup, so what a great match!)
- Socialization will provide balance . When puppies are young they need socialization to new environments, people and things so they recognize these things when older. So, get your puppy out there, join a class and always, always keep it short and keep it fun.
Our little, mangy peeing machine has grown up into a gorgeous 40-lb beauty and is truly a part of the family now. She loves RV’ing, mostly because we’re all together, has become firm friends with the cat (indeed it’s hard to find one without the other), and has a ball exploring new environments. So, if you’re looking for your own mangy mutt, I definitely recommend a trip to the rescue. Who knows, with a little luck maybe your rational mind will take leave of you and deliver the dog of your dreams.SPONSORED LINK:
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