Posted by: trees143 | January 22, 2008

The Puppy Diaries – Installment One

Just moving a few previously published things over here so that as I add more they will make sense.


It was Saturday 12/22 when Deb came home with an exactly 6 week old Boxer puppy as a Christmas present for me. He was so incredibly small and young.

I wasn’t sure how to react at first as this was completely unexpected. We’d lost our 3 year old Boxer in August and it was absolutely devastating. Buddy was one of the most special creatures I’ve ever known and a huge hole had been left inside me. I wasn’t sure that I was ready to open my heart to another Boxer but Deb felt it was time. And she was right.

Of course, our lives have been turned upside down since that day. Raising a puppy is a lot of work and should not be something that is undertaken lightly. Too many dogs end up in shelters because they are an impulsive buy as a Christmas puppy.

The first thing we did was buy a small crate. The other dogs have crates as well and so little Spike will inherit this one when the pup grows enough to need a larger space (Spike currently uses one that is twice the size that he needs). Crate training a dog is a hugely beneficial thing to do for both the dog and its human companions. They consider it to be like a den and if it has only positive experiences when learning to accept it (never use a crate for punishment) then it will be a safe place for them throughout their lives.

The image

As the pup settled in we started the great quest of finding a name. I felt Gaucho was a good one but it didn’t quite seem to fit. Then we tossed around some botanical names for trees (Acer, Salix, etc) but those didn’t quite work either. As I got to see the personality of the little guy emerge the name Bogart slipped in and stuck.

The first day or so he just slept. As it turned out, the breeder had wormed and vaccinated him just before he came home and so he was processing all of that. We discovered, in the middle of a long night, that he had a pretty bad case of worms. The poor thing spent hours ridding himself of them and as a result we were up with him throughout the night.

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Once the worms were gone he suddenly became too skinny. He had been weaned quite young and since he came from a litter of 11, there was a whole lot of competition for food. He felt quite miserable the day after the great purging and so took solace through snuggling with Pal.

The image

He did start to pick up though and had moments of great energetic outbursts. Boxers are very toy oriented dogs and so we knew that it was important to give Bogart plenty of opportunities to play with them. I’ve learned that the trick is to rotate them so he won’t get bored.

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Bogie started eating voraciously. We were offering both wet and dry. His tummy wasn’t very happy and so he started to experience quite a bit diarrhea. The cure has been to feed small amounts of the wet mixed with rice. It’s taken a couple of days but his system has settled down and he is much more comfortable.

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He has quite the personality. I can attest that a seven week old puppy is perfectly capable of throwing one humdinger of a tantrum. Bogart is still becoming accustomed to the limitations of his world. We had been keeping him seperated from the other dogs as much as possible. Since I work from home the natural thing had been to close him in here with me. That allowed for lots of unfettered play time.

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He loves a good game of tug of war, and likes to roam around exploring. This was a problem though as there are wires all around the office and so I had to watch him very closely at any point when he was not sleeping. Also, the other dogs were not very appreciative of being kept away from the leaders of their pack (Deb and myself). It was time to create a solution.

The image

Buddy was raised with the help of a dog pen so I dug this one out of the shed and set it up in the office. Bogie wasn’t too pleased with the change in circumstances but being contained is going to give him the opportunity to do things right rather than being scolded for the things that a puppy naturally wants to do – chew on wires, chase cats, and generally wreak havoc wherever his puppy curiosity leads him.

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Also, the pen is a very good way for him to interact with the other dogs in a safe way. He is still too small to be loose with them. Spike is mostly very curious but he does have moments of showing a bit of aggression. Spike doesn’t take too well to changes and so he needs a little time to get used to the newcomer. Sadie is still unsure. At times she seems just curious but then she has moments where she seems like she could become a little aggressive toward him. They are small dogs and Bogart will soon (well, in a couple of months) be large enough to interact with them freely. He has spent time loose with Rusty as Rusty is an absolute gentleman who understands puppies and gives them lots of cues as to the proper behavior to exhibit towards their elders.

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We have expanded the pen so that Bogart has a little more room to romp and a place far from his bed in which to deposit waste. He is still too young to housebreak, and often it is too cold outside for us to consistently take him out so we’ll use puppy pads for the moment. He does use them frequently but still has times where he goes in the spot where he finds himself as he is too young to have much control.

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He is doing very well. When the weather is warm he gets lots of time to romp outside and when it is too cold for him we put the other dogs out so that he can have supervised play time in the house. He is starting to put on weight and settle into the routine of life in our home. Below is a photo of him that was taken today.

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I am going to try to do periodic installments of this as I know Bogart will be growing rapdily and of course, it will all be well documented as I can’t resist having the camera close at hand all the time. You just never know what’s going to happen next.

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Responses

  1. After just reading the current edition, and now seeing this one again…I realize just how much this pup has grown! Such a sweetheart!

  2. OH! I wanna puppy now… course, it doesn’t take much for me to get that urge. I am a sucker when it it comes to puppy breath and associated giggles. We have three dogs and are planning more when we get our land. Can’t really do much more than three here in the city. Anyway, very much enjoying watching Bogart grow and observing your approaches to raising the little guy. He is clearly a delight and I know you must be loving every minute. My little icon over there is my Frankie-boy. Mama’s baby. He is 8 yrs old and will always be my baby.

    I found you in David Rochester’s blogroll. If he recommends a blog, as far as I am concerned, it is worth a read and I am glad I stopped in. I have two blogs right now. Frankiesmiles (focuses on the land we are buying) and allmyown (which could be anything). Stop in. Love to have you visit.

  3. Bite my shiny metal ass, assholes, you were joked!

  4. Thats an intresting topic, thanks.


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