Puppy Update, or “Pupdate,” If You Will…

I haven’t really written about it here, other than mentioning it in passing, but back in December, Didi and I adopted a puppy. It’s been an experience so far. We had a genetic test done and Josephine (“Joey”) is a mix of Staffordshire terrier, pit bull, labrador retriever, and St. Bernard. She’s the runt of the litter, and at seven months old is currently about 50 pounds. Like a lot of the runts of the litter, she’s also frighteningly smart.

She’s merged herself into the family pretty well — we had some rough bumps with Gertie the first day, but now they’re a little pack. The cats generally tolerate her, but she’s taken to fucking with them a lot more as she enters the velociraptor phase of life (6-24 months). The kids love her. We love her.

So her list of commands/tricks:

  • sit
  • wait (keeps her sitting until the food bowl is on the floor and she’s told “okay” to eat)
  • down (lay down)
  • go to your mat (go to bed)
  • kennel up (go into your kennel)
  • roll over
  • whisper (speak, but quietly)
  • give (surrender whatever it is you’re holding)
  • heel (in-progress)
  • gentle (take your treat without tearing my hand off)
  • touch (tap something with your nose)
  • be nice (stop harassing the cats)

And on top of that, we’ve been training her on FluentPet buttons, so now she can tell us when she wants to be fed (constantly), or when she needs to go out to go potty (slightly less constantly). We’re going to start adding buttons for “play” and then “mom”, “dad”, and a few others. It’s been hilarious to see this click with her.

Nicknames for the little monster have been pretty easy to come by. Joe Joe Donkey Show 1, Joe Joe Tornado, Picasso 2, Sharknado, Chocolate Thunder, G.I. Joe 3, Hopper, Sloppy Joe… We seem to have a new one every week.

The only downsides thus far have been the baby bunny she killed in the back yard, and the TV remotes and wedding RSVPs that she’s eaten. In the grander scheme of things, that’s not too bad.

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