Our first week with little Poppy has been a real learning curve. I’ve lived with dogs for a long time, but nothing can prepare you for being the owner of your own dog. It’s such a huge responsibility. Even though I’ve wanted a dog for such a long time, I didn’t realise how tough the first few days were going to be.
Poppy is a great dog. She’s really easy going and gentle. She loves attention, wants to meet everyone we see on our walks & she’s desperate to play with all the dogs in the park. She’s happy to be picked up & manhandled, (which we had to do when we had new windows put in this week!), she didn’t mind me trying out a harness on her & changing the size and she doesn’t mind been pulled about when we’re trying to untangle the lead from her.
What she doesn’t like is bed time.
On her first night, Poppy barked & howled for a good 45 minutes when we put her to bed. She finally settled down, but then woke up every 1.5/2 hours throughout the night. Our poor neighbours! On the second night, she didn’t take as long to settle and only barked once during the night. Then we decided to leave the radio on. Who knew Poppy was a Radio 4 girl?! She now settles instantly, along with the help of a nighttime treat, and generally sleeps through until 6am. We’re hoping with the clocks changing this’ll be extended until 7 for a bit, which’ll give me time to fashion a curtain that should help darken her room a bit. And hopefully help her, and us, get a bit more sleep!
Here’s what I’ve learned about Poppy this week:
- Poppy likes to bounce. Like all good Springer Spaniels, when Poppy gets excited she bounces like crazy. And not only that, she stands on her back legs quite a bit. I think it’s so she can get better view of things, as she’s so small!
- Poppy is really well behaved around food. She is completely disinterested when we’re eating & only slightly interested when we’re preparing food. However…
- Poppy likes to eat used chewing gum. She has to stop & sniff it, and if you’re not quick enough, she’ll gobble it up. (PS – She also loves Minstrels & dog poop & I’m pretty sure she also ate a feather by mistake after it got stuck to her nose)
- Poppy has GIANT front paws. As she’s a Basset Hound mix, she has proper Basset front paws. Just her front. Her back legs are all Spaniel, but she stands with them pointing outwards. Super cute!
- Poppy has a great Hound howl. She howls when she’s over excited, tired, yawning & fed up of barking.
Despite being 2, Poppy hasn’t been trained so some of her ways are very puppy- like. At the moment, when we’re getting ready to go for a walk, or not paying her enough attention, or giving her what she wants straight away, Poppy barks. And she’ll quite happily bark right in your face. This won’t do. So my OH looked into it & we’re working on training her out of it. In order to do this, we have to ignore her when she barks, and reward her good, quiet behaviour. This is hard. When we’re getting for a walk, she gets overexcited & barks like a crazy pooch. We have to ignore her until she quiets down & then we can go out on the walk. It totally works though so here’s hoping she’ll be the best behaved pooch in the park in no time!