For those of you new to my great adventure, as big of a change in my life I took by moving to Alaska was to decide to take in a roommate. A four legged furball roommate. In November, I bought a purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier pup who just finished weening. Auggie (rhymes with Doggie … and used to be Aughie (same pronunciation dangit) and really is Fullthrottle’s Gold Rush King if you ask the American Kennel Society) is now on the cusp of five months old, and has spent most of his life as part of the Nelson pack. So I thought, now would be as good of time as any to give an Auggie Update.
For the unfamiliar (like I was before I first saw this little guy) Staffies are somewhere between boxers and bulldogs, looking similar to pit bulls; but with a far more friendly personality. I like to say Auggie thinks every stranger is just another human hiding treats. They are bred to herd cows and bulls (that’s the “bull terrier” name) so he is short, bulky, and full of muscle – so he can take a kick. This means he is under foot alot, that’s just where he feels more comfortable, but talk about hard to get around in hallways with him so close. Bully breeds, though, are not good with other dogs, and that is my biggest concern with him. As much as I try to keep him social, certain dogs will always rub him the wrong way – and if they pick a fight, most of the time he will fight back and will likely win.
As many of you dog owners know, owning a puppy is like being a parent of a new born (then again, as many of you parents know owning a puppy is nothing like being a parent). My schedule for the most part is centered around the dog. Wake up – take him outside. Lunch – Take him outside. After work – Take him outside. Every other waking moment – take him outside. He is mostly housebroken, which is a nice change, its been nearly 2 weeks since the last time he went indoors, but the weather seems to have more influence on that these days (a cold pup is a pup that doesn’t want to go outside). Still, the cleaners aren’t far away. He is curious and spends most of his time tasting things, while I type this sentence he bit a shoe, an end table, the wall, his water bowl, and … wait a minute, he wen’t behind my couch let me check … yep it was carpet. He is not short of chew toys (and he goes through loads of them), but that doesn’t stop him from thinking everything is a chew toy.
We are halfway through his second puppy training class, and he is doing alright with that. He’s a smart dog, learns fairly quickly, but is stubborn and easily distracted. For instance, in a training room when I stand there with a smelly treat in my hand, I can call him and he can run at full speed to me. But get him out in the yard where there are peanut shells left by squirrels, plants, leaves, piles of snow (some of it yellow from a certain pup with the initials of Auggie) and getting his attention to come when called is like trying to convince a supermodel to date me.
He’s grown alot too. As a puppy, staffies are about as cute as they come. He had it all going on too, from the brownish-red fur heading to the deep brown puppy eyes and the black fu-manchu muzzle look — as many have said “all puppies are cute, but he is cuuuuuutttteee”. He is growing some, recently more side-to-side than up getting that barrel chested linebacker look. He can now reach cupboard levels I used to use to keep things away. The couch I would put him on to keep him in one place (because it was too high for him to overcome his fear of heights to jump off of) now is something he can jump onto. He still keeps pup tendencies. Right now he stares at his reflection in the window, because I guess chasing his tail was become a bit boring. And he still thinks he can sit on my lap in the car, which he can but it makes turning nearly impossible.
Not that its all peaches and poop. I have had less time for things, not surprising. You, my faithful blog reader, may see a serious decline in posts. It’s not because of the lack of things to write about, one can only type so long between trips outside and yelling for biting my sock (with my feet in them). I’ve been to the gym twice since I brought him home, and that was a while ago. Only geocaches I found were events, he’s not so ready for the park n grab experience and weather hasn’t been friendly enough for a day cache hike. And I haven’t been able to sleep in on the weekend for what seems like … since November.
I may sound like I am complaining but I really am not. Someone suggested before I brought him home that the two of us will be each others whole world, and it sure does seem that way. There are moments when he stops, sits, and stares at me – and while I used to think it was a sign of trouble to come, he follows if I leave the room when he does that and I know its just him making sure I am still there. When we are out and about and something scares him, as they still do sometimes, he runs to my side, crawls up next to me, and knows I will pick him up to keep him safe. But the best is those nights when he has a hard day, and I put him on the couch next to me, and nothing … nothing is as comfortable to him it seems than laying on me in someway completely uncomfortable to me. Though all the nips, the barks, the ‘no’s’, and even the poops – that’s what makes it worth it.
Now if you excuse me, someone just tore a stuffed chipmunk to shreds.