Thursday, December 22, 2011

Utter Chaos and British Doxies?

Let me tell you, Doxie pups are so cute when you first bring them home! They are so shy, and they cautiously explore the house up to a point. They have this invisible little line that they refuse to cross, which makes life really easy. Easy, that is, until they realize that the little line is all in their heads and that good things to chew are located over the line. Oh, and this shyness thing? Yeah... this is OUR house now!

 "As soon as as I wake up!"

We started off keeping them in a pen when we were in the room with them, and a kennel when we would have to leave the house. The pen was nice, but since it was made for our guinea pigs Cow and Pie it didn't contain the puppies for long. My fiance was a little reluctant to let them run around the house because of all the trouble they could cause. Having had dogs before I tried to get him to understand that without letting the dogs run around you will not be able to correct the bad behavior. I won out and the puppies promptly got into as much trouble as they could. It was a common sight to see Mackenzie and/or Doppelbock running around with pieces of mail, guinea pig hay, clothing or board game boxes clenched tightly in their jaws. They even took advantage of my 20 minute catnap to steal the instruction sheet for a homework assignment and shred it to bits. This time it was my tail between my legs as I had to go to my professor and explain why I needed another sheet. Thankfully she likes puppies.

  "Who, us?"

Since we couldn't let them out yet, we set up a potty spot in the back hallway for them. This worked great when we were watching them, however mysterious little spots began to show up on the carpet whenever we would turn away for a second... They know what "go potty" means, and they will do it, but the accidents still happen. We are debating what our next step it, whether to let them keep using the back hallway until it gets warmer or start outside training right now. They have been going on walks for a few days already, so they might take the the outside training just as well. The puppies are also apparently British. When I am trying to tell them to stop doing something, "no" and "stop" does not work. I have lived in England before, and am a fan of the Premiership (soccer), so naturally the next word I would use is "oy"! They stop dead in their tracks without any further misbehavior, so apparently they were British in a past life!

"It's walk time!"

Their first trip to the vet went really well. It was actually my first trip to this vet, so both myself and the doxies were a little nervous. I had been going to the same vet for most of my life with all manner of animals; guinea pigs, gerbils, iguanas, cats, chinchillas, bunnies, dogs and cats. However, they had been slipping lately and getting very sloppy. A few years ago, they mixed the charts up of my dog Macho and my cat Uihlein. (You know, because dogs and cats are so hard to tell apart.) Uihlein went in for bladder surgery and he didn't make it. They pumped him full of anesthesia which his chart said he was allergic to. Then this time around, they could never find Boomer's (God rest his crotchety little soul) chart. So we felt it was time for a change. I really liked the new place. The vet seemed to really enjoy the puppies company as he examined them. The one funny part of the exam was when the vet needed to make sure Doppelbock's fellas had come in alright. Doppelbock gave a little squeak and his eyes went wide when the vet confirmed that they indeed had.

 "We are never going there again!"

Now is a good time to tell you about their emerging personalities. Just by looking at their pictures online, I had determined that Doppelbock was the stoic, bright, thinking type who was confident and loving and that Mackenzie was the shy, sad, scared introvert type that would need a lot of love and attention to come out of her shell. Well, I was wrong. Mackenzie is an energetic extrovert who can be considered a cross between Lady Macbeth and the Artful Dodger. She can make herself look utterly pitiful when she wants food, and she is smart about food as well. When a treat is given to her and Doppelbock, she takes Doppelbock's treat, hides it in their bed and then gets hers and takes it to her bed as well. She is incredibly smart; she is opening doors, locks and food bags. She fears nothing, not even death, and is very vocal about anything that gets in her way.

"Who, me?"

And then there is Doppelbock. Yeah, Doppelbock is special...


Doppelbock is very shy, and he clings to me and my fiance whenever a new situation arises. While Mackenzie has learned how to go up the stairs to the second floor, and she can go down stairs to an extent, Doppelbock sits and howls on the steps until we come get him. He howls and whines so loud (even if he is on the second step from the ground) that my fiance and I can't help but laugh. He will let Mackenzie push him around to the point that she will steal the food out of his mouth and he will look sadly at the ground hoping to find a crumb. Even though he isn't very bright, he always climbs on my lap to take a nap and he knows when I need puppy kisses to cheer me up!

 "And I help with homework!"

Well, puppy school starts next week and we are very excited about that. I was very happy that my fiance decided to enroll them. We have them going on separate nights so they can meet new friends and focus on the skills rather then themselves. I am excited for the training because my fiance needs to be trained as well. He is very apprehensive about the dogs, and he passes on his nervous energy to them. They in turn begin to act really wired and hyper, so if my fiance can get rid of this nervous energy and replace it with positive energy they will work better with him. I am also excited to get some training of my own. See, I work with very hyper, out of control dogs. I train them, kind of like the Dog Whisperer. Well, these skills do not help me when it comes to puppies or "good dogs" because I am used to going right to the dominant heavy training skills. These classes will show me how to deal with normal dogs so there is a lot to learn for me, my fiance and the doxies!

Well, that is all for now. I can't wait to tell you about Doppelbock and Mackenzie's first Christmas and puppy school! Here is a parting picture to go "awwww" over!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Mackenzie is Out of the Bag!

Wow! It has been over a month since I have last written, so let me give you this word of advice: Don't get two puppies during the last couple of months of the semester! It has been non-stop puppy and homework since the middle of November! (And puppies eating homework, more on that later.)

But wait, I said "puppies" even though the last post talked about one puppy. Since my fiance is a follower of this blog, I couldn't let the Mackenzie out of the bag until I got her. I couldn't just get one puppy, especially when it comes to the uber-social doxies. While "Ty" (henceforth known as Doppelbock) would have been perfectly happy being an only child, I couldn't stop thinking about the little dark chocolate pup that I had to scroll past every time I wanted to look at Doppelbock. When I received an unexpected windfall from work, I decided to surprise my fiance with two puppies! I called the breeder and found out that "Rocky" (henceforth known as Mackenzie) was still available. Not only that, if I bought one I received $50 off the second one which meant that I could actually afford the drive to get them! (I live north of Chicago and the puppies were located near St. Paul.)

I was so excited to surprise my fiance with the second puppy, but I was also in for a surprise as well. Now, anyone who looks at the name "Rocky" would expect the puppy to be a boy, I know I did. I was terribly excited to get two boys because that it what I had growing up. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Mackenzie had lady bits instead of male bits! The breeder asked me if that was ok, and I looked at her picture online and, well... I'll let you try and see if you could say no to this face!

She looked so sad and shy, she was practically begging me to take her home! I could hear her little puppy voice saying "Please don't leave me without my brother!" I was excited because I knew my little Doppelbock would be able to bring her out of her shy little shell. Again, this was another thing I got wrong. More on that a little later.

So with the money paid and the deal in place, I went with my sister to pick them up. Like most reputable breeders, this one is located in the middle of nowhere to ensure that the dogs have lots of room to run. I was very impressed by how well the dogs were kept, and how well mannered the dogs were. As you doxie owners know, there are two types of dachshunds; the bad mannered and the good mannered. There is almost always no in between, and usually you are more prone to get the badly behaved ones.

When I arrived at the house, I was greeted by the owner's daughter, who said she would bring the puppies right out. Two seconds later, a little 3 year old girl came walking out holding my future puppies. I wish I would have taken a picture! The puppies were holding on for dear life as much as the little girl was. When she set them down, Doppelbock (the boy) ran behind me and began to shake while Mackenzie (the girl) hopped right up onto my lap and began giving me puppy kisses with vigor! Her tail was wagging so hard that she wagged herself right off my lap! All the while, Doppelbock huddled behind me, whimpering slightly. Well, I was wrong about Mackenzie being the shy one!

So we grabbed the puppies and puppy packs and headed back home. The puppies lasted the entire five hour drive without having one accident, and four out of the five hours they slept. When we stopped at the rest stops (which was frequent because my sister has the bladder of a ground squirrel) I would place the cage next to me and open the door. Again, Doppelbock huddled in the carrier while Mackenzie charged forth in order to plant her puppies kisses all over anyone who would allow it.

Now, I had told my fiance about getting the second dog shortly before I went to get them so it wasn't a total surprise. However, when he saw them it looked like Christmas had come early! They cautiously walked out of the carrier and then ran right towards my fiance. I looked at him and he looked at me and without saying a word we could tell what we both were thinking. "What the heck do we do now!?"

I knew what I wanted to do. Before they became too independent and less likely to participate, I took pictures for the family Christmas card!

As you all know, the only time to get an untrained dog to pose for pictures like this is the get them after a five hour car ride and right before bed. And after this picture, I placed them in their kennel and they slept through the night.

And by slept through the night, I meant slept until about 2am. Unfortunately for my fiance I can sleep through the apocalypse, so he had a rough couple of weeks. We were so proud of the puppies because they only woke up during the night the first few days. Now, they go to be with me at one in the morning and wake us up a 9:30 am. How nice is that?

Well, this summarizes the first couple of weeks with the puppies. The next installment will include their first doctor's appointment, potty training, puppy school and the little quirks that we have been discovering! Oh, and how they ate my homework.