Sunday, 8 November 2015

Home is where the Woofer is

Its been quite a few years since my Shadow crossed the rainbow bridge and for a long time, I didn't really want another dog. There are some dogs that are just that special that you are not likely to meet another one quite like it - and Shadow hit that perfect spot.

It's also hard to travel when you own animals, unless you take them with you or have a great relationship with a local kennel. As Shadow had a lot of health issues, kenneling generally wasn't an option, so it was travel with dog or find a friend! I also feel that its unfair on a dog to be alone during the day, and with the move to a new country that was pretty much on the cards all the time  - so another woofer just wasn't an option. 

Life changes though & with W's new job, the 'alone time' dropped dramatically and it became possible to think about having a dog in our lives. I made the mistake of looking around to see what woofers I could find and met this adorable chap. He really looked more like a guinea pig, than a puppy - and sounded remarkably like one too. 

As the largest puppy in the litter, he clearly shared some dietary traits of a porcine nature. Here he is with his sister, the day before he left for his new home. 

The first few days of settling in were quite challenging as the renovations were still in full flow, so the house was full of people wielding sharp implements and pots of paints. Luca quickly demonstrated his ability to get underfoot, find and remove the tool you have just put down, or simply cause chaos.  We have started puppy training, which is all done in Dutch and is a huge encouragement to accelerate my language skills. Thankfully, some of the basic commands sound almost the same in English and Dutch so I can claim to have a bi-lingual puppy. Or as close as you can come, when he wilfully and cheerfully ignores you because he's found something far more interesting than listening to his master's voice!

Despite the puppy training being second time around, I am struggling to find some comparative  commands to those we are learning here : 'high' and 'low' for 'stand on box' 'get off box to the ground' just don't quite sound right and Luca can definitely  hear the lack of confidence in my voice. If anyone knows what the commands should be, please let me know!

It's quite an exhausting experience for a young puppy to spend an hour concentrating hard, in a group of distracting and interesting other pups. So Friday nights usual end up rather like this - with Luca inelegantly sprawled on his own personal sofa .

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