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Relampago is ten years old. According to the vet, he's in perfect health, and he's got probably another six or seven years left in him. The ear thing has even cleared up and he's hearing a lot better than he was earlier in the month. I've been kicking around the idea of getting him a puppy to raise in his image before he gets too old to care about such things. I've watched my mom and Zapata over the last year, and Relampago LOVES playing with Zapata, so I do have a general idea of the what a new puppy would entail. The thing is, it's been ten years since I've had to take care of a puppy. I was still in college when I got Relampago, and I had a lot more time to spend on him. My rough plan is that I would try to crate the puppy for the first few weeks, move him into the closed off bathroom for the next few, then the kitchen, and then when he's fully housebroken he'd have the same access to the house as the Relampago.

Has anyone gotten a puppy while working full time, with no spouse / live in / roommates? And if so, do you have pointers?

Assume the following:

1.) The Relampago and I live alone. There are family members nearby (one of them works within two blocks of our house), and we are not adverse to the "It Takes a Village" theory, if that's what it takes to have a nicely socialized dog.

2.) We have a nice sized back yard. We probably should go through and make sure that there aren't any holes in the fences or access to under the house for a smallish dog to get through.

3.) I live close enough to where I work that it's not inconceivable that I can come home for lunch maybe two or three times a week, but planning in advance for that may be difficult. Claudia could also concievably come by to take care of any biological needs.

4.) Relampago stays in the house all day, between eight and ten hours. No compliants, no accidents, no destruction of furniture, no chewing, no shedding. I think he alternates between the couch in the TV room and his chair in the living room. Sometimes he naps on my bed. I suspect he sleeps for a good portion of the day, but he also chews bones, rearranges the rugs, and spends a lot of time on guard duty. When Zapata comes over, I think that they play a very complicated game of chase. Both seem to be rather exhausted when they've spent the day together.

5.) Relampago generally doesn't like other dogs, but he adores Zapata, and he spent a lot of time in worship Chispa before she died. He lives in abject terror of Holden. Both Zapata and Chispa are/were Pulik, so I think that Relampago wouldn't have a problem with another puppy of his own breed so long as he got to establish himself as being the one in charge. (It took him an hour to go from wanting to kill my mom's puppy to playing with it.) He thinks he's an alpha dog, but really he's a beta. I imagine that it wouldn't take very long for the new puppy to figure that out.


( 1 comment — Say something )
Apr. 30th, 2003 11:35 am (UTC)
the one thing to remember is that puppies need a hella lot of time devoted to them. they will be destructive if they aren't given sufficient attention and/or outlet for their high-energy levels. At first they will sleep a lot, but when they get to be 4-9 months old, and then again when they're like 12-16 months old, they need constant supervision. I think they can be adequately crate trained, but they will need a lot of running around time when you're home. I think it's good to get one while Relampago is still young enough that he can play with the puppy. Obie was just curmudgeonly with Coco. I'd forgotten what it was like to have a puppy in the house, and then when I sat Rocket I was like "man, I have to watch him ALL THE TIME. No putting a bone in front of him and reading or watching tv like I do with Coco."

I love puppies. I want ten of them.
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