Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Out of Puppyhood-- Into Adulthood

Early in January this year, we brought home a new family member. On October 6, Kaycie, our West Highland White Terrier celebrated her first birthday. The little puppy is now a full-fledged, potty-trained adult.

There were days when I thought the potty-training would last forever. This was pretty much the same feeling that I had with all of my kids. At least with kids, you can put on diapers and protect the stuff around the house. Puppies like to decorate white carpet with yellow puddles. Kaycie was especially fond of making nice little circles under the dining room table whenever one of the kids left a gate open.

Kaycie joined our family in the middle of winter, which meant several trips outside during very cold weather. The little bugger was smart. She would wait until I gave up on her and we'd head inside. As soon as no one was looking, she would deposit a brown gift on one of the rugs. She eventually learned that she could make the family members very happy if she squatted outside instead and was quickly awarded a treat.

Kaycie amused herself one day by unrolling the toilet paper in the bathroom. She took great delight in rolling around in it. For a couple of months after that, we had to store the rolls on the counter. After a party one day, we discovered that she no longer messed with the toilet paper. Around the same time, we realized that she had stopped decorating the carpet and left the rugs alone. Apparently the mischievous puppy grew up.

Kaycie was quite the escape artist and loved to take off running. We had a close call one day when she headed for a busy road near our house. She was just a few months old and wouldn't respond to the "come" command. As she neared the busy road, I felt my heart leap and I started to scream. Each time I came near her, she would run away. I tried to run away from her to entice her to follow, but she kept edging closer to the road. Cars were zipping by. I continued to scream, and the neighbors came out and tried to help. Fortunately, one little neighbor girl called out to Kaycie and she came running right to her, jumping all over. Someone else grabbed Kaycie and right at that very moment, I was reminded how much I truly loved the bundle of fur.

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