Moe at 3 months could be best described as stumbling mass of ears, paws and elongated tail. He lived by the adage “why walk when I can run”. The world was vast and full of new experiences.
Moe was the first dog I had gotten during the “puppy” years. As such house training was a new experience to both of us. When he came home with us he was, thankfully, paper trained. Great, I thought, it’s just a matter of blocking him in the kitchen, where a section lined with training pads waited for the inevitable. Well done, I congratulated myself as I went to bed the first night. I’ve got the hang of this puppy thing, I thought, crossing my fingers that Moe did as well. With trepidation I looked into the kitchen the next morning. Moe hearing my arrival was clamoring at the gate to get to me. A scan of the room showed no signs of accidents, however the very important training pads floated in a large lake of urine. I think I had not fully understood the ratio of input vs output.
Much to Moe’s delight we had plenty of snow that first winter. Unfortunately it was also an extremely cold winter. I would wait anxiously by the door when I let him out to do his business. On more than one occasion I would have to don my coat and boots to go into our small yard and retrieve him. There he would be, romping like a dolphin through the snow, which was deeper than he was high. He would stop occasionally to bury his nose in the snow, then flip it up tossing a ball of snow into the air which he would attempt to catch in his mouth. Despite the cold temperatures his walks never took a direct path, each snow bank had to be climbed, every bush examined and every smell investigated. I hadn’t realized that dogs didn’t know the rule “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”
Visits to my soon to be husband created a new wonderland. There he could romp and play with the 6-year-old Tasha and Willa. I know that Moe enjoyed this new endeavor, I’m not sure about the other dogs. The biggest challenge came on his daily walks. We didn’t realize how hard it would be for this energetic puppy to keep up with the older dogs. Often he would fall behind while investigating the world, however, he was a trooper and would come crashing down the path, ears flapping, tongue and tail looking like they were dragging on the ground.
When we left the dogs alone in the house, we would put up the usual baby gates to block Moe in the kitchen, just in case he felt the need to relieve himself when we were gone. Tasha and Willa, the sage adults they were, roamed the house freely. We came home one time to be greeted by Tasha running down the stairs, followed quickly by Willa and then, not to be out done, came Moe. We were further confused when we found the two gates in the doorways to the kitchen standing just as we had left them. It became obvious that Moe had climbed them – where there is a will, there is a way.
Our puppy is now a stately 7 years old. He has, thankfully grown into his ears and tail, but regretfully he also grew into his saucer like paws. The world needs less investigation by this seasoned warrior, however, he still out smarts us just like he did with the baby gates. For some reason he likes to sleep in bath tubs.