Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Carpe Canem

We have started a family.  The good kind, not the "Oh crap, I'm all banged up, we'd better get to New York for a shotgun wedding before the bump gets too big to blame on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups" kind.

This is Ellen.  She may or may not be all labrador, but she is all dog.

You know, people throw around the term "dog-proofing" too readily, like it's a very easy process that involves keeping cakes off the floor and not leaving the cat tied up where the dog likes to sleep.  What people don't realise (and I clearly don't number myself amongst "people" any more) is that dog-proofing means:
A: locking away anything softer than 9.5 on the Mohs scale, 
B: locking away anything that is harder than 9.5 on the Mohs scale but small enough to be carried away and hidden in the garden, and 
C: putting cinder blocks around the entire perimeter of your property, lest your dog tire of tearing at your sleeves and decide to try and escape.

Ellen has settled nicely into a routine already, and has worked out her favorite things.

One of the things Ellen likes to do is to eat the cane chairs

Ellen also likes to eat the wooden furniture

All that wood makes Ellen thirsty.  When she drinks, she likes to put a big wet nose on the camera.

But it's not all bad.  She knows some basic things, and as the lady at the shelter said, she's very "food-motivated", so like me, she can learn through tasty treats.  These treats can be used as incentives to reinforce house rules.

One of the first rules is that she is not allowed on the furniture.  She has a bed that's more expensive than ours, and feet as muddy as you'd expect from a water-dog who's very excited about her drink bowl.

It's not easy to enforce the rules all the time though.  'Specially when she is soooo tired and adorable at the end of a long day's chewing.

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