Day zero (Sunday, 18th May):
We pick him up. He is so cute. I had brought a box for the back of car but a) it’s a little small and b) V wants to hold him.
Result: He gets too hot and throws up all over V. Nice.
Arriving home, Rufus wants to play but, what with the car journey, being sick, being in a strange place away from everything he’s ever known, he doesn’t want to. From Rufus’ point of view “You had your chance mate. From now on just don’t be bothering me!”
He cries a lot. He uses the newspaper for the intended purpose. Very good.
A mosquito wakes me up at 5 a.m. and I fail to return to sleep. I am on holiday and V is off to work. It is our first “bonding” day and also the day on which we go for a five minute walk.
It takes an hour and a half!
Every person is a potential new best friend. Especially if they’re going the other way. I feel a right barsteward pulling him as people wrongly think he is tired. He is not tired. He has been sleeping for hours and woke up ten minutes ago. Until we left the house (which is about 3 steps behind us) he was running round as happy as Larry. When his tail wags so does his whole back-end. It is very funny.
We stop off at the vets on the way back. By now he IS tired and falls asleep on the vets table. I am also tired and could have lain down with him.
Later we play. He is so hungry that he attempts to eat my fingers. His teeth are like small needles. He nearly succeeds.
Our floors are so clean. The mop and bucket are on standby. I bought extra cleaning stuff last week in readiness.
Dino wakes me up at 5 a.m. He has found the bedroom and the new game of tug-of-war with the bedcovers is just so much fun.
I had forgotten how tiring they are.
He is a little sh!t machine. In one end you stick food and water and out of the other comes….. well, you know what. I clean it all up and, normally as I am emptying the stuff away, he does it all again. Great.
I think the food I bought (special puppy food) is far too rich for him. When I make him eat it (rather than nicking Rufus’ food), he is sick soon after. However, he soon eats it all back up. Hmmmm. Nice.
He fully understands “NO” now. This is good.
Everything must, of course, be tested for its edibleness! Peeing on newspaper was easy. Of course, having ones front paws on the newspaper is “being on the newspaper”, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, having the brain the size of a peanut means that rugs = newspaper. The rugs have all been taken up, except the lounge one, which cannot be. The doors to the lounge are now permanently closed.
We went for the same walk as yesterday. We were a little faster.
Last night Dino woke me at about 4a.m., trying to destroy something in the bedroom. I get up to go to the bathroom. On the way round the bed I step in a little present recently left by Dino. I only realise this when I reach the bathroom.
I am not happy. Since I am not the one having to go to work, I try to clean it up as best as I can by the light of my mobile phone, given that the search for the torch was without success. By now I am wide awake.
The best bit is when he sleeps. This is when he’s at his best because you don’t have to watch him all the time.
We go out for two walks.
I am so tired that I go to bed at 10.15 p.m.
Dino wakes me up at 10.45. Yes I know it’s not technically day four but it feels like it to me. He is trying to destroy something. I shout “no” at him. It works. I resume sleep.
2 a.m. Dino is intent on destroying something else. This time a whole sentence, including many swear words has the same effect as a “no”.
4 a.m. Dino, whilst exploring the bedroom, has knocked something over and become trapped. I pick him up, put him in the hallway and close all doors. I use many sentences and many swear words. These have the same effect as “no” but the exclusion is probably the worst bit for him.
6 a.m. I had to get up as V was getting up and I needed to take him to be registered (siamo in Italia, *sigh*).
I decided to walk him. Of course, any walk is doubled because every passing person is a potential friend. He doesn’t yet realise that not everyone falls instantly in love with him. So he goes towards them all, wagging his tail and crying. If he can’t get to them (because usually he is going the wrong way and I stop him with the lead) he just sits down and continues to cry until, hopefully from his point of view, they come over to stroke him. This works about 50% of the time.
It was a very, very long walk. By the time we got to the ASL place (the central vet offices in Milan), he was tired (good, I say, as, because of him, I am too). Whilst being registered, he went to sleep under the vet’s table. The vet thought this was highly amusing. Apparently, she had never seen a dog sleep like that (with the back legs straight out) before.
I thought it was normal for a puppy- at least all the Bearded Collies that we’ve had have done that – but only when they are very young, of course.
We did catch a tram back for part of the way. That was very exciting.
And so many people!
Then after a short sleep (him, not me, unfortunately), we all (including Rufus) went for a walk to the local large park. When I say local, of course, local for us. For Dino it was like a trek to the other side of the world.
Again, it took a long time. But I was able to let him off the lead in the dog areas, and he comes back if you call him (most of the time, anyway).
He really enjoyed it as there were many dogs. He likes to go to them and lick their faces whilst his tail is wagging uncontrollably. He’s a bit too young for play as they are all stronger than him.
Then he went to sleep. The people that were there thought this was really funny (as he was sleeping doing the back legs thing again) and said he was like a frog (rana).
Personally, I think he looks more like one of those animal rugs that you used to be able to buy in the 70s. And, at 4 a.m. this morning I did think that perhaps one of those rugs would have been better value for money.
Dino has found the balcony! Plants, it would seem, also make good playthings. The kitchen door is now closed.
On the plus side, he realises that the bedroom is for sleeping in. This is a step forward.
Hurrah! V is also home today. Now I will not spend all my time watching Dino.
We are now up to three walks a day. There has been no sign of toilet making outside, as yet. Still, he keeps watching Rufus, so it’s only a matter of time.
It feels like 6 months.
Give me my life back!
I could happily sleep for 48 hours non-stop.
Tomorrow is another big test. We are both at work. I feel sorry for Rufus and quite guilty about him having to put up with the little bar steward.
p.s. yes, his back legs stick straight out at the back.