Tag Archives: cat ownership

Puppy tales, Part 8

This item clarifies something I wrote earlier, right after we acquired a Chihuahua mix dog from someone who lives down the street and around the corner.

I had written that Toby had been neutered. I was mistaken.

His “equipment” was not as readily visible as I had thought. We took him to the doctor’s office for his first going-over and she noticed he had his tools. “Do you want to neuter him?” she asked. “Yes,” I said.

Well, we did it this past week. We took him and removed his malehood from his little body.

The result? No change in his disposition. We had been told he might be a little, um, moody once we got him home. That has not been the case with Toby. He’s as frisky as ever. We leave the room for 45 seconds room, return and he acts as though we’ve been apart for a month.

Well, since we consider ourselves to be responsible pet owners, we’re glad we had this deed done.

With this post, I think I’ll scale back on the “puppy tales” entries. You know how this is going already. We’re glad we have this marvelous addition to the family.

Our 12-year-old cats, truth be told, are slowly beginning to adapt to life with a new little brother among us.

I’ll let you know if major developments occur along the way.

I’m out.

Puppy tales, Part 7

It is my duty to report that Toby the Dog has committed his first act of vandalism in our home.

You’ll remember that we acquired Toby just a few weeks ago. His former “owners” said they didn’t want him. We were mortified that they reportedly had turned him loose in our neighborhood hoping someone would claim him.

We did precisely that. We’ve taken him in. Toby is part of our family.

However, this addition has not been totally hitch-free.

We put him in one of our bathrooms the other day while we left to run some errands. We’ve decided to do that rather than let him run around the house. We leave him with a bowl of water, a little bed we purchased for him. He’s good to go.

Well, we’re learning now how we need to puppy-proof our house, much as we’ve learned how to child-proof it.

How do we puppy-proof our humble abode? My making sure he cannot chew things he shouldn’t chew on.

Such as yours truly’s sandals.

Toby found my sandals and promptly removed the insole from one of them and chewed it pieces. All over the bathroom floor the material had been scattered.

We came home, found the wounded shoe, put 2 and 2 together.

OK, is Toby in trouble? No. It’s our fault that we didn’t think strategically to prevent this kind of damage from being done.

Hey, we still feel fortunate. He remains very well-behaved. He doesn’t bark unless he has something to say, such as when he tries to urge his new brother and sister — our 12-yer-old cats Socks and Mittens — that he wants to play. They both hiss at him and both have clocked him at least once. No harm, no foul. He’s starting to get the message. Toby doesn’t gnaw on our furniture. He doesn’t dig holes in our yard.

We’ll be sure to guard against further vandalism, however. We just need to outsmart him.

Puppy tales, Part 4

Honest to goodness, I do not intend to keep blogging forever on this canine family member.

It’s just that dog ownership is something new to my wife and me. Yes, we’ve owned dogs before, but the previous dog that entered our lives did so more than 25 years ago. We had him and then he was gone.

Toby, as you know by now, came into our lives just the other day. My wife and I have re-learned something about pooches: They do require attention.

We’ve been cat owners/lovers for our entire married life together, which on Thursday hits the 43-year mark. The two cats we own are now 12-year-old siblings. We’ve had them since they were about 3 months old. They rule our house. They set the boundaries. We follow them. That’s how it goes. Toby is learning that lesson quickly.

Socks is our big male. He’s very sweet. He loves people. He doesn’t like other animals. Toby got a lesson on Day One. He ventured too close to Socks, who then hissed at him, took a swing at him and said, in effect: Stay away, Bub, or else. Toby has gotten the message.

Mittens is our female. She’s much smaller, but that doesn’t mean a thing. She holds her own. She’s also pretty shy — around people and she has even less tolerance for other four-legged creatures than her brother. Mittens and Toby haven’t gotten acquainted formally just yet. They will. I believe she’ll learn to tolerate the little guy.

My wife and I are quick learners. We’ve understood all along that dogs are more labor intensive than cats. So no one has to lecture us on the obvious.

I’ll just need to keep reminding myself how happy Toby is to see us when we walk into a room.