Last week I left Vivian for the first time overnight. It was just one night and she was with Greg and Ike, so hardly alone, but still it was hard. I thought she would miss me terribly, but apparently that was not the case. Greg and Ike are great entertainment and the recliner has plenty of room for an 18 week old puppy and her very favorite human dad. According to Greg she got a major case of the “zoomies” which for the uninformed is a case of monster running and jumping from room to room and chair to sofa to other chair for a period of time. The zoomies are hysterical to watch and appear to be in response to different stimuli, such as a bath or maybe having Mom gone? She greeted me happily when I got home and proceeded to jump on me and nip at me in an effort, I assume, to see if the rules that had been enforced before I left were still in play….and they are. Her newest trick is putting her paws on the table and taking things off the table…yep, another poodle counter surfer is born. Just when you think you have the little rascal trained she comes up with something new! This week she has a couple of vacation days with Dad and we are going to start working on “stay” which is a concept she doesn’t seem to get. On Thursday she heads to the Red Woof Inn with Ike for a weekend of fun and frolic with favorite Red Woof house-mother Jenine! We shall see how her first introduction to the boarding kennel goes. She continues to be an adorable and frisky puppy….all 27 lbs of her!
I think poodle people are a unique bunch. I am on a google group for poodle people or people who own poodles, or breed poodles or show poodles or just plain love poodles. Some of my poodle list friends I have “known” for over 13 years and when they leave the group, I miss them. The group is less active now then it use to be as I think more people use facebook or other social media rather than the old fashioned email lists. I sometimes miss the old group, because the debates that occurred were always interesting and often hilarious. “Feed raw or not?” was one that came around quite often and always spurred passion. I fell squarely in the not category, this former home economics teacher is wildly afraid of raw chicken, but never got in the middle of that one. In fact most debates I stayed out of, since as the lowly owner of one pet poodle I could not speak definitively on anything other than poodles are smart and really cute. Since everyone on the list agrees with that I can’t get any real debates going. I once met up with one of my poodle friends in Washington DC for dinner. My husband was my beau at the time and he wasn’t entirely thrilled that I was going to meet a man I met on the internet called “Cookieman”! It was of course ok, I knew he was bringing Mrs. Cookieman and I knew virtually hundreds of people who knew Cookieman. We talked poodles, they brought cookies, and the only thing better would have been if the Cookieman poodles had come along!
Recently a group member nicknamed Bitlit passed away. I wonder if she knew how many people she touched with her encouragement, her thoughts and her funny sense of humor? Bitlit would have been happy that I got Vivian; she would have told me that life goes on and I deserved to have another poodle. She would have been right, she usually was.
Working on recall has been fun. I want to be sure that Vivian comes when called every time, as that was an issue that my poodle Anna had. Anna liked to run and when she was running there was no coming back until she tired out or someone cornered her. I clearly remember a not so fun run through Shaker Heights Ohio early one morning as Anna checked out the new neighborhood. Another romp was through the fields at Greg’s house years ago. Greg was convinced that he and his Golden Retriever Jack, could get Anna to stay with them, and come when called. So he unleashed her and then proceeded to chase her through the fields before finally trapping her in his mother’s garage, one long farm field away. I know that it was my fault not working with Anna enough when she was young on recall and I certainly don’t want to make that mistake twice. That being said, every time we go outside we work on recall. Viv is doing great, and the first five times she comes to me like a poodle with wings and does her funny little Mary Lou Retton sit right in front of me. The sixth time? Well she is a poodle and the sixth time she looks at me with a look that says, “I did it five times, you know I can do it, I am tired and won’t do it again. Now I am going to go chase this butterfly please leave me alone.”
This morning on the way out the driveway Greg pointed out a skunk as it made its way under the trees in front of our house. Yikes, now I have to worry about skunks and Vivian! Vivian hasn’t met anything she is afraid of yet, so if she sees a skunk I am afraid she will run toward it and while her recall is good for a 15 week old poodle, it is not fool proof by any means. Luckily our yard is very large; we do have a section fenced in and when we are outside of the fenced area Greg and/or I are always with them and not anywhere near where we saw the skunk as that was close to the road. Last weekend Viv saw her first deer, as two were in the soybean field and quite close to the house. She looked rather startled when she barked her baby bark at them and they took off across the field. Lots of people around here are having bear sightings in their yards, even in town. It is because it has been so dry and there are no berries for them to eat. We haven’t seen any out by our house, which is just fine with me. I don’t need big black bundles of fur; I have Vivian and she is enough.