It has been quite a week in our household. Last Saturday saw the much anticipated arrival of my apprentice, Bear, who is, for the sake of clarity, a girl! Now nobody asked me if I wanted an apprentice, and I wasn't involved in the choosing process, which quite frankly was a bit rude, so I reserved my judgement until after I met her.
'Them Indoors' had given some careful thought as to how to manage the introduction, and decided to take me with them when they went to collect Bear. I travel strapped into a car seat, and Bear has her own, so we came home in the back of the car, with 'Her Indoors' in between us, giving us equal fussing. When we got home, we did a nice wander around the garden and then we went inside; me first, obviously, as it is my house.
'Her Indoors' was very careful about food, fussing and toys, as these were obvious potential bones of contention, if you'll excuse the pun, but things have gone very smoothly. Bear loves me - obviously - and it took only three days of her best puppy charm before I was playing with her, zooming up and down the hall, dropping toys for her and returning her play bows. 'Her Indoors' is very firm about crate time for both of us, so we get plenty of rest, which is absolutely fine by me - I love a nice beddie as you know.
Whilst Bear has her disadvantages: she pinches toys, jumps up at my ears and tail and is fascinated by my bed, she also has some advantages. New toys have appeared like magic, there have been joint training sessions - easy peasey stuff like 'sit' and 'bed', with accompanying treats, and lots of praise for being tolerant. 'Her Indoors' was a bit horrified when I yawned one time, and Bear decided to put her head in my mouth, like a lion tamer, to look for any left over noms. I stood there patiently with my mouth open until she had finished. I have tried to sneak some of her dinner but 'Her Indoors' has learnt to be more careful as puppy food is a bit rich and it unsettled my tum slightly.
Bear has been very quick to catch on in the weeing and pooing outside department, probably helped by the lavish praise that is heaped upon her every bladder and bowl movement. Anyone would think she was excreting pure gold! The flip side of this is that 'Her Indoors' has found herself accidentally praising me for the same thing, as if I haven't been doing it for years without a mention! The only time Bear seems to have lots of accidents, is when 'Him Indoors' is left in sole supervision. 'Her Indoors' has been muttering darkly about him 'not reading the signs', but I've not see Bear holding up any signs so I think she's being a bit unfair. It took Bear a short while to realise that night times are for sleeping, but she is now going through the night which is a relief to us all.
Useful pieces of equipment in the puppy containment department are her crate, a puppy play pen and a stairgate across the kitchen door. Deployed tactically, these can give us brief respite on needing eyes in the back of our heads and high speed reflexes. She also has a backpack so she can accompany us on walks and start to get used to the sights and sounds of the big wide world. She sits in it, watching me closely.
She has had her second vaccination, so next weekend she can go on her first walk, and next week we shall be meeting a few of our important people, including Ann and Peter who sometimes look after me for the day if 'Them Indoors' have to go off somewhere. Their garden is ace and they are excellent at spoiling a fur so Bear needs to make a good impression. Then she's got a play date with two very well-behaved and sociable labradors and, in a few week's time, her first trip in the motorhome.
I shall be with her all the way, showing her the ropes, as the Boss did for me. After all, a Teddy and a Bear were clearly intended to be quite a team!She's mastered the stairs and the tilty head!
She even sleeps occasionally...
That's one of my toys, bloomin' cheek!
Showing the pupster how to deploy the appealing eyes for treats.
Bear in her beddie!