Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pinot's Puppy Antics

Okay. I'll admit it.

I succumbed to a bit of grandmotherly bragging about Pinot in my last post.

To be fair and balanced, however, I feel obligated to inform you of a few of Pinot's many less-than-desirable puppy antics.

Remember, at nine months old, she is still a puppy.

AND Labs tend to stay in puppy-hood a bit longer than other breeds (ahem...), often pulling puppy stunts until they're at least two years old, sometimes even well into adulthood. Baxter, Elsie, and Kenya have all grown through this phase and had their own sets of impish puppy behaviors. And we survived. We'll survive Pinot's, too.

So, again in the interests of fairness and equality, here's a brief photo record of Pinot's latest puppy precocities:

1. Inability to keep her butt on the ground when excited: oh, she sits on command very well. And she even short-stays. But when I tell her to sit and stay to capture a photo, she just HAS to leap up and sniff the camera. Notice the smudge in this picture? That's a Pinot-nose-print on the lens.

2. The need to chew, chew, and chew some more. This photo captures the non-skid mat beneath our treadmill in the utility/laundry/kennel room ("TRUE" is the side of where the treadmill). Nice little bite marks in the mat, eh? Lest Pinot carry all the blame, Kenya helped in this adventure (remember, Kenya at 21 months is still a puppy by Lab time-lines, too). :o)

3. The tendency to mimic (and well-surpass) the misbehaviors of her canine forebears. Two or three years ago, I posted a picture of Baxter atop the picnic table peering in the window to see what we were up to inside (he just loves his people so much!). Ridge picked that up from Baxter and added an occasional scratch to the screen to let us know he was there (he just loves his people so so much!). Here's Pinot's version of peering in the window from the picnic table (she must love her people very very much!):

4. The drive to dig. She's the first of our gang (her mom and dad included) to be a genuine digger. Elsie and Ridge never did, at least not to any damaging extent. Thankfully, this is a behavior that CAN be corrected. The trick is catching them doing it. :o)

5. Oh, and did I mention that insatiable chewing instinct (see #2 above)? It deserves re-mentioning. They are Labrador retrievers after all (they do work with their mouths). Anything will do...

...the corner of a Scrabble box:

... a grooming comb (it smells SO good):

...the carpet edge ("my humans were talking about getting a new rug anyway"):

...even a Just Labs magazine (how dare she?????)!

6. And then there's the carry-things-outside antic. Elsie and Kenya both did this. Kenya still does. And Pinot has become her eager partner in crime. The following contains the items I found in the yard just 36 hours after Don had cut the grass (and cleaned up all the doggie toys in preparation for mowing). My count is eight Booda ropes, seven Nylabones, one Kong, twenty-two bones, and one collar (yes, Pinot got out of her collar, too; God only knows how):

That's 39 items in 36 hours (from Sunday PM to Tuesday AM). Figure two 8-hour nights' sleeps during which Kenya and Pinot are crated and evenings spent indoors with us, say four hours, and one 2-hour afternoon nap, and that leaves 14 waking hours in which to deliver 39 items to the yard. Also remember, when I work with the dogs outside, I use bumpers and dummies, so the loot you see above is not leftovers from our work times.

I don't even remember them carrying all that stuff outside.

Now all we have to do is train them to bring them back in so we don't have to do the yard sweep every time the grass needs cutting.

Ah...the Pinot Squirt. She's developing so well, but she has so far to go. Puppyhood can seem like forever, eh? But it goes so fast.

I may as well enjoy the ride. Who needs tidy-edged carpets anyway?

'Til next time,


Russ said...

Hi Joan! After reading this, I'm beginning to think Nala and Pinot are more than just littermates, they're twins!

Nala doesn't hold her sit/stay command when excited either (I don't dare put my camera near her nose); she's chewed several flip flops (she steals them from the closet) and her dog bed; and she's a digger, too. I lost count how many holes I've had to fill in the backyard. Oh, and did I mention the entire bottle of olive oil she stole from the pantry when we weren't looking? She chewed it open, causing the entire bottle to empty onto the carpet. What a nice, slippery mess. We threw out the carpet. We still love her, though (good thing for her she's adorably cute and affectionate!). Gotta love them labs!

Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan said...

Hi, Russ!

LOL...yup, they sound like twins, eh? Pinot, I will say, has only helped herself to onions, garlic, and ginger root from our pantry -- so far -- no oil (yikes -- what a mess).

I was thinking about Nala (and Pinot) and how Nala differs so from your last Lab. And then I realized I would have said the same about Pinot and Elsie (Elsie, their mom, is so LOW key, calm, almost lazy, and quiet -- Pinot and Elsie seem so different).

AND THEN I remembered. Elsie was every bit the imp Pinot is now when Elsie was a pup (we used to call her Elsie the Little Imp): super energetic, eager, sometimes inattentive, forgetful, short attention span, a chewer (shoes, sneakers,and flipflops), too intelligent for her own good, etc.

BUT when Elise hit two years old, she suddenly morphed into the quiet, easy-going, loving Lab (indoors) we'd expected her to be all along.

Then I remembered Baxter (the first imp) and Kenya (the third imp) and I realized that what we're seeing now with Pinot and Nala is probably puppyhood. I'm convinced of it.

I say that only because every now and then I catch a glimpse of what Pinot will be in a year or two (as in steady, calm, loyal, attentive, affectionate, intelligent, eager to please, faithful, people-oriented, etc.) and I can't wait.

We just have to survive the next few months! (hehe)

I do hope Nala becomes all you hope she'd be. Just give her some time to grow up (we tend to remember the adult dogs we've had -- how wonderful and well-trained/behaved they were -- yet, how quickly we forget their puppyhoods!)

I even have record of Elsie's impishness in the archives here at LabTails (or I would've forgotten).

They do grow up (I keep telling myself). Even Kenya is a thousand times less puppy-impish now than last summer, and she 's only 21 months old.

They'll get there (I keep telling myself that). :o)

And we're in it together, eh?

In the meantime, keep protecting those camera lenses of yours! I know now to keep mine further away from canine noses!

Hang in there -- I think Nala has what she needs to become a wonderful, well-behaved girl. She, like Pinot is just all adolescent right now. :o)