When we got Hank, our wonderful coonhound who passed away two years ago, we were newly married and living in a small apartment. We both worked full time, which meant we learned quickly that puppies should not be left alone with your things for seven hours, or even 20 minutes. Within a week of getting our first puppy together, we started crate training him and that made a world of difference.
We’re crate training Major and fortunately that part is going well. He goes in the crate freely when he’s tired and doesn’t whine all night wanting to get out. As long as he’s gone to the bathroom, been fed and played to exhaustion, then he’s good.
That last detail is essential. Playing to exhaustion. I have no memory of playing with Hank intentionally for an hour for the sole purpose of wearing him out. Maybe we didn’t have to do that, or maybe it wasn’t for a full hour, or maybe I’m just too old to remember details from 2000.
At any rate, we are ALL EXHAUSTED. When Major is awake, we play, play, play. Tug of war, biting the rope toys, playing chase around the couch. When he starts to sniff around, we scoop him up and take him outside for potty training, and then we come back inside for more playing. We go until he can’t go anymore, then he puts himself to bed in the crate and we all collapse on the couch with the hope that we’ve got at least an hour of no playing.
And then he stirs and it starts all over again.
Don’t get me wrong – we’re still smitten. Seriously, look at that face! We are still so glad to have a dog again. But somehow I’ve selectively removed from my memory the work involved in caring for a puppy. Either that or Hank really was the perfect dog.
Me: “Remember how Hank would sleep all day and only get up to eat and pee?”
Chuck: “Yeah, that was nice.”
Me: “Yeah, it was.”