March 27, 2009
The Little Stranger
Playtime with Mom... Abigail at 3 months
It was three months before Woody and I were married . I was one of four girls in the small office that was getting married that fall. My boss was a hapily married woman who had raised two fine young women. We had had many conversations about my future marriage. One slow afternoon when she called me into her office for something, and we got to talking... she said..."Let me tell you a story"... The woman sitting in front of me was impeccably dressed and the queen of organization... "When I found out I was pregnant I had all of these ideas. When my first daughter was born, I sterilized everything, I used the best diapers and made my own baby food, I washed her little shoestrings to keep them white...
then I got pregnant with my second daughter, I was so exahusted... and it was impossible for me to keep up once she was born. One day I fell asleep with them outside and I found she was eating dirt and it didnt bother me, she never looked like she was posing for a magazine cover...She then took both pictures of the girls off of her desk. Which one is the most sucessful the most "normal"? The one who ate dirt, and climbed trees...
Remember that when You have your own kids...Just love them and dont worry so much about doing all of the right things
I thought about Chris Salerio, and her words of wisdom. Because of circumstance, temperment and breeding, Annabelle was the "perfect child" I seldom had to scold. she was good about the bathroom and passive about crating... not a barker or pushy about attention. Abigail is just the opposite at this point in her life
Its been a difficult but revealing week for me and Abigail. I came into this with as open a mind as I could have. I had lost an exceptional dog, and didnt expect Abigail to be her replacement. She is her own person, and still a baby really, and perhaps a late bloomer. She was very attached to her Mom and sister and didnt want to be separated. Perhaps that is part of the problem
Her breeder has a program that she follows with the puppies, one of the most important things is crate training. Its vital that the pup be able to stay in her crate while I am gone. I have arranged for a wonderful neighbor to come during the day to take her out. Then at night I expected her to be in her crate until I was sure of the house training.
house trained. She only wanted to go outdoors when we got home... but not at night nor in the rain and snow or with lightining..She is a little girl after all. I understand this, but she wouldnt go in this house on the pads either, as Annabelle did when she couldnt go out. She has her own bathroom as well as pads by the back door. But at three months she cant hold it very long and going out after dark is dangerous with the wild animals plus we are so close to a busy road...
Abigail not only doesnt want to be in a crate in another room, she cannot handle being alone for any length of time. she will walk in and out of the jumbo sized crate at will even lay down in it. But close the door, she turns into the Tazmanian Devil, freaking out to the point of blooding herself. Because she wont allow herself to be crated ie put down for a nap, I think this contributes to all of the issues she is strggling with. She wont stay still in a play pen with me in the room. That is making things very difficult
I remember that I had Woody to help and that he was home with her at night and I had her during the day. Still by 4 months Annabelle was spending 10 to 12 hours a day in her crate and it wasnt an issue for her. It has been sugessted that I exchange Abigail for a different puppy. Only as a last resort... I cant believe that a bonding hasnt already occured. Last night Abi wasnt settling down and as she came over and suckled my night dress sleave I saw a look of contented trust.. she just needs a binkie... Annabelle used the corner of a blanket, her favorite is in my closet still. I found a delivery blankie and tucked that around her and she chewed on the corner and settled...A little teething baby thats all she is...
And..she has a nasty habit of eating her poop. Pretty disgusting. I know that this is common and this breed is notorious for this. I have been giving her a suppliment to help deter this. She is infuriated when she goes and doesnt get to... you know... so now in the house I can scoop it up and while I am doing that I stuff her mouth with a soft liver treat to keep her busy. Outside I just take her away from it.
Its exausting trying to keep up with her, to try to keep the carpets from being soiled... But she is confused with all of the smells in here.
We have had some break throughs. I succumbed and moved Abi into my bed. That has been fun. I made a little bed for her at the head of the bed so she is close to me and can wake me when she needs to go at night. She has been very good about this and we have been sucessful to transition to the indoor bathroom at night. She is a much better partner than some of my bed partners, keeping to the space that I provided to her
But the truth is I see her acting very lost. She will sit in front of the closet mirror and howl. She acts like she is looking for some one or something. She was coming when called, she no longer does this and sometimes just seems lost. She was walking with me now she doesnt overnight.
The thought is that she really wasnt ready to leave home and that perhaps returning to the farm would be a good idea. Sadly I feel like they are right. So its back to Oklahoma for perhaps a month so the breeder can work with her on crating. I also have the old crate Annabelle used that Abigail hates. Perhaps it smells of death even though I cleaned it well, I dont know, but I am going to trade it out for another one.
I will miss my little tomboy girl, today we had a hard day but I sat and held her quite a bit, just loving her. That is why I got her and I want to not let the problems get in the way of the love. I know that that being with the breeder will do a lot of good and we will try again in a month. I will miss the litle stranger that I hardly know but love to pieces
Aint She sweet Abigail at 3 months