Indiana, our new puppy, came home the day before Thanksgiving. He’s a yellow Labrador Retriever, and after a few days home I can safely say he tends toward the marshmallow end of the Labrador spectrum (the other end, of course, is hyper spaz).
Of course, it’s not all thoughtful looks and puppy naps — he can be a holy terror, particularly in the mornings when he’s chasing kids, chewing on shoes and doing all the things puppies do. He’s far more laid back in the afternoon, lounging around the house, napping frequently, and more or less doing the perfect impression of a yellow marshmallow.
In this, he’s a far cry from Madison, aka Mad Dog. Our previous yellow Lab was a bundle of energy only stopped long enough to take a 15 minute power nap every hour or so. Then she was right back into the thick of things again.
Indiana — about half the people I meet get the reference — has his own challenges. We picked up Mad Dog at nine weeks old, after she’d spent a week on her own after the rest of her littermates were picked up. As a result, we didn’t have to worry much about separation anxiety, and crate training was a breeze. She loved being in her “house”. She enjoyed her alone time.
Indiana’s a week younger than Madison was, and spent the last eight weeks hanging out with his littermates. As a result I’ve spent the last few days struggling to get him to sleep in his crate — it’s a battle of wills in which I try to outlast he’s whining until he falls asleep. So far I think I’m winning … but it’s hard. Once he’s down there are those inevitable middle-of-the-night howls, but thankfully most of those are because he needs to go out, not because he’s lonely.
All in all it’s great to have a dog in the house again. He’s a tiny, furry bundle of Lab right now, and we can’t do half the things we’ll be able to do when he’s older — fetch, swim, stupid dog tricks — but puppyhood has its own rewards … and we’re enjoying all of them.