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Columns

Tales from the Motherhood in Batavia: Loving your canine – teething puppy and all

What a wild two months. Our sweet puppy has tripled in weight, we’ve begun puppy training (aka people training), and puppy-proofed the house. That last one is a work in progress, since she just keeps GROWING.

When Daisy’s not lazy, she’s a land-shark – and we’re her favorite chew toys. And so are my shoes. (Shhh, mine are in protective custody.) Finally, I found a rice-based, non-rawhide, chewy thingamajig that occupies her when her aching gums become too painful. Hallelujah.

My ankles and calves, and, well, even my backside are relieved she has something else to nip at. Holly did find a temporary off-switch, when she rubbed her soft ears for the very first time, but, otherwise, we try to redirect her: We play and play and play, and then we play some more. And tug and tug and tug, and walk and walk and walk, but still, dear Daisy’s a wild child – until she’s not. And when she’s finally tuckered out? Nothing cuddlier in my book than a floppy puppy. Nothing cuddlier, indeed. It almost makes up for the chewing. Almost.

I’m a bit tuckered out, to be sure. The first few weeks with a young puppy are brutal. Young puppies’ bladders are tiny and must be emptied often. So every three or four hours, one of the kids or I dutifully took turns waking up in the middle of the night to take her out. I became so sleep deprived that occasionally I trudged out to the yard in mismatched shoes.

Eventually, though, Daisy just looked at me like, “Why the heck do you keep waking me up?” Exhaustion momentarily forgotten, I practically jogged over to the fridge to tear up the Daisy-duty schedule. Oh, happy day.

Walking Miss Daisy is a treat, too.

“Stay in your lane,” I say, glad for the harness that makes walking even remotely possible.

Yeah, I know, the world is a fascinating place. So much to explore. So much to sniff. But the zigzagging nearly does me in. Definitely time for some leash training. Stay in your lane, indeed. Other things I never thought I’d say:

“Get your teeth outta my shirt. I hate shopping.” Also,

“Where’s your sword?”

“Keep the dreds outta your mouth” is my personal favorite, compliments of Halloween costume box. (I let her keep the plastic sword. Ya gotta pick your battles, right?)

The battery incident takes the cake, though. I’d fed the kids after work, then ran to grandma’s to help her with something, while Noah and Holly discussed their plans for the evening. One wanted to Christmas shop, the other planned to study, but they didn’t quite communicate about who was on Daisy duty.

So after I returned home 90 minutes later, a few gifts were discovered: Something smelly, something chewed, and something missing: the battery pack to the cordless phone.

Studying and shopping abruptly interrupted, a search frenzy ensued. Striking out, we inspected the puppy. I was tempted to turn her upside down and gently shake the battery out of her, but Noah suggested we look for evidence of battery-acid burns in her mouth, first. Right. All looked to be well, but where the heck was the dang battery?

“Keep looking,” I shouted. “Find it before she does, and we can skip another trip to the emergency vet.”

The kids and I scrambled to find it, as I finally heaved the couch aside with my hip. Voila, there it was. And with no punctures, thank goodness. Crisis averted, lesson learned. (And, yeah, I got the memo: Land-line phones are so “yesterday.” This shall forevermore be remembered as the moment I finally let mine go.)

But new lessons abound. After all, the kids and I put up our Christmas tree. I know, right? Ha! Please pass the eggnog.

Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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