It Takes A Village
I mentioned on my Puppy Page that Kate and I are co-raising our litters. Because she generally works nights, and my husband and I work days, co-parenting works out really well. Case in point: Kate messaged me this morning about taking Paul Ryan (yes, I know his name will be Koosh, but PR just kind of stuck and I’m in denial that he’s ever leaving, so *pthpppppppppppppppt!*) during the lunch hour while she ran to an appointment. I said sure, that he could go to Walmart with me, because when there is an opportunity for socialization, you leap on that!
Not everyone has easy access to training centers and puppy classes, but most everyone lives within reasonable driving distance of a Walmart or a Home Depot or a Lowe’s, and these are great places to socialize young puppies. They are not technically allowed in Walmart, but when I take puppies in and leave them in a blanket in the cart seat, I’ve never had anyone ask me to remove the puppy. Home Depot and Lowe’s DO both allow dogs, so that’s a great place to take them to socialize and start to learn to walk on a leash in new and strange environments. Just be responsible and take along some clean-up supplies in case of an accident.
Paul Ryan took the whole thing in stride, the way he takes most everything.
Though I think he kind of questioned my shopping cart-wielding skills. I explained to him I’m like a shopping ninja!
With young (read: unvaccinated) puppies, you do need to take care not to expose them to something nasty. I took along a handy travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and when folks asked to pet the puppy (and LOTS of folks will ask!), I dosed them all with the Purel before they dug their fingers into that luxurious puppy fur.
See how uptight the employees are about you bringing puppies into the store?
Kate picked up Paul Ryan after her appointment and will take him to Lowe’s on the way home, rounding out his visiting schedule for today. And tonight, when I’m home and she’s at work, I’ll take over the pee pad watch and the feeding and the supervision of play with the big dogs. It’s a great system.
I can’t wait to perfect it on a litter of more than one. Sleep is highly overrated…