August 30, 2007
Life Lessons With Annabelle
Annabelle in the grass, taken by the breeder in Mc Curtain OK August 11 2007
post started 8-23-07
The Alarm clock goes off and a baby cries as if on cue. The young man staggers out of bed and gets a bottle off of his dresser and goes to the makeshift crib and picks up the baby. He sticks the nipple into the baby's mouth and the crying stops, after a few minutes the baby cries again. The young man goes throught the motions of changing a diaper... He rubs his face sleepily and sighs "this is really hard..."
The young man slides into a desk in his Early Childhood Developement class. His girlfriend is sitting next to him, both have "babies" in their arms. She looks like she got absolutely NO sleep the night before, and comments " This baby feels like 25 pounds of lead in my arms, no kids for me for quite a while!"....These antonomically correct "dolls" are weighted and feel like a human infant. They are also driven by a small programed unit that causes the doll to cry and otherwise act like a real baby. It can sense that the proper motions have occured for feeding diapering, rocking and will cry or not cry accordingly. It is a great way to show someone just how rigorus having a young child is...
I didnt take the class. But I am getting a tiny taste of motherhood with the arrival of Annabelle to our home this past week. Neither Woody nor I have had a creature so small and dependent in our lives up until now, so this has been quite an experience.
I drove out to Oaklahoma to the breeder last saturday... I really underestimated the distance and it was over 250 miles. The breeder's kennel was just nasty... that is the only way I can discribe it. I have been in a number of them and have never seen conditions like this that poor animals were kept in. I dont think that I would have bought my puppy from her except she really loves her dogs... Its apparent by how they interact with her, she is very good to them, but I was afraid that her upbringing was going to make it difficult for her to ajust to living in our home, housetraining ect. Well I was wrong.
First of all, the little thing is very good, sweet natured and smart. She has worked hard to adapt to her humans needs and in turn, her humans have struggled to figure out what she is trying to say to us.
She lives with me on my side of the house in the unfinished master bathroom. Its perfect for her crate and she has room for running around if I prop the crate open and let her do that. The tile floor is easy to clean up. She doesnt have the run of the house, for which the cats are grateful... Makoa and KaNani are interested in her but not hostile nor are they going out of their way to spend time with her
We were doing the training pad thing but didnt understand her reluctance to use them. She didnt miss often, and seemed contrite when she didint hit the mark. She was also really going in her crate a lot. I thought...well, she is 3 months old and that situation she was raised in was disgusting... she doesnt know where she needs to go, our house is so clean she is confused...
Well yesterday, in disgust at her early morning crying, and dispairing at her lack of bathroom initiative, I harnessed her up and took her outside to the front lawn. She had turned her nose up at the grass before, this time she made a bee line for the grass and began to go. I took her out hourly all that morning.... and this morning we took that walk several and were highly sucessful. And yours truly was able to get all of her much needed sleep today and poor Annabelle was not crying all night...
The puppy got her owner house trained all in one day...
Seriously. I do see most plainly just how lacking in paitence I am, and I find myself praying often that I learn a bit of paitence, especially with Annabelle. She is paitence itself with me and is loving and so trusting. One of my spiritual defects is a lack of a trusting nature with regrads to God's care and provision towards me. Again its something that I want to work through and perhaps Annabelle is a tool in this classroom of faith.
Woody is captivated with her. At first it was "shes your dog... Im only here to help" but more and more its Woody that gets her outside in the morning. At night he has her from the time he gets home untill he has to go to bed... I say "has" because I detect a reluctance to put her back in her crate for bedtime. She sleeps pretty much through the night now. By the time winter come and she has to move out of the chilly bathroom I forsee her living in Woody's room. Im glad that the two of them get along so famously. He is her cuddle friend and they have fun playing and snuggling together.
Annabelle and I "do" things together, we go visiting the neighbors and take long walks around the neighborhood. I brush her out everyday and horror of horrors, gave her a bath, which she recovered from in about one minute, with sufficient treats and consoling cuddles. Fortunatley for her its warm enough that we didnt use a blow drier, she air dried quickly.
She grows and is maturing rapidly. Annabelle hasnt had an accident since we started going outside. She is walking beautifully on a leash and is the darling of the neighborhood.
Woody and I are working together at caring for her, and finding that having a project gives us some needed focus. She is very time consuming, but all things considered, she is a wonderful addition to our family.
We continue to hold to the "peaceable kingdom" rule. No barking at the cats and no hissing, charging, or blocking the door towords Annabelle. Mak is the most interested in her and has been pretty laid back, but last night he charged her crate. Nani hisses but runs away. Eventually I hope that they can peacefully co-exisit without supervision. But that will be awhile.
I am learning to relax a bit but I am also seeing that I need to be firm as Annabelle is developing her own personality and is quite strong willed. Both Woody and I are trying to be good puppy parents and absorb as many life lessons from Annabelle as we can
Labels: Annabelle, Cats, Woody