I’ve been thinking this week about how different the two dogs are. Flo was a dream puppy; I think I realised that at the time. She didn’t start her shenanigans until she was about 7 months old and her leg injury first appeared – that was when she was first ‘rested’ and consequently went looking for
trouble things to occupy herself while I was out. Circumstances were very different when I got Flo – I had six weeks holiday to spend with her and, in fact, for the first week of her life, when she was awake I was never out of her sight. When you don’t have to get up for work in the morning, getting up at stupid o’clock to take the puppy downstairs isn’t such a biggie. When you do have to go to work each morning, with a smile on your face and leaving all grumpiness behind, it is a biggie. I’m feeling that with Elsie.
Anyway, here are some of the differences that stand out so far between the dogs. Firstly, Flo persisted with Kongs from the very beginning. She would lie there and go at it until it was empty. Elsie has a 30 second attention span. Even with unfrozen, soft food inside a Kong she’s not interested unless it’s really easy to get out. She also gives up with the biscuit balls straight away. Her short attention span is Flo’s gain.
Flo wasn’t really a chewer (of my furniture or my things – she’s chewed stuffies and her beds). There is one set of teeth marks on the foot of the couch where she had a quick chew when she was little. That’s it. Elsie bites into everything. I know I’m going to find marks all over the furniture as time goes on. We’ve just been to visit Aunty J and I had to remove her from a few pieces of furniture and retrieve a pair of flip flops she found and decided would make good chew toys.
Flo is very calm around food. I don’t remember her getting hyper when her bowl came out. I think she must’ve eaten more quickly when she was a puppy because I’ve got her a Go Slow bowl. Elsie wolfs dinner down and bounces around for more as though there are 11 other litter mates just waiting to get in on the action. We’re working on that one! There’s no point in getting her a Go Slow or Scoff Stopper until she’s a bit bigger.
For a long time Flo thought the verandah was her toilet. I got to calling it the poop deck. Elsie’s much better on that front. Although she does still leave one or two pees up there on the tarp, for the most part she’s doing what she has to either on the grass or in the bushes. Hurrah!
Flo took a couple of weeks (or maybe even longer) to start going up and down the stairs. Elsie was doing it on the second day. She can beat me upstairs now.
Poor little Elsie has been thrown straight into the life of being owned by a person who works full-time. Her love of food has made training her to ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘wait’ quite easy. With Flo I remember sitting there calmly in the living room, doing it by the book, with treats as incentive… Elsie worked it out within a couple of days, at the food bowl, no treats required! That’s not to say that Flo was hard to train, she wasn’t. Elsie’s also learning that bouncing around as I’m walking to the door with her food bowl in my hand doesn’t get me there any quicker. She bounces, I stop. She stops bouncing, I walk. This morning and yesterday I even got her to wait until Flo’s milk was down on the floor and then to follow me to where I was going to put her bowl. She didn’t dive in to Flo’s bowl at all.
Theoretically they should have 25% of their genes in common, which means of course that they don’t share 75%. They are both gorgeous though… it’s possible that I may be subjective.
The good news of the week is that Flo’s leg is much better. She still had a pronounced limp the first week that Elsie was here – I was a bit concerned that the running she was going to do with the puppy would make things worse… it seems to have had the opposite effect. When she gets up after a rest she limps for 2 steps and then she walks normally. Now, this also coincides with me giving her a different sort of Apple Cider Vinegar, which is a lot cloudier than the last stuff (that means it has more of the ‘mother’ in it) so I’m wondering if that is also making a difference. Who knows. I’m just pleased she’s on the mend.
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