Friday, July 2, 2010

Can the puppy find Summer?

It's July and the grass is still wet! June broke all records for one of our coolest and wettest on record.

It was also the month that we welcomed a new puppy into the family! His name is Lucca and he just turned 9 weeks old. He is one of the reasons that I haven't posted for awhile. We've been pretty busy with our new baby. Having had two Labs, two Rottweilers, and numerous cats over the past 40 years, we found ourselves missing our furry creatures. ( the visiting deer just aren't the same!)

We could certainly do without the 4 AM 'potty 'trips', and our temporary lack of freedom .... but we know it will be worth it. This little guy tugs at the heart in seconds. He also seems to love exploring our property and being underfoot at all times. Thank goodness he naps! We are fully prepared this time around with crate, toys, play area, kennel....and have even begun fencing in the entire 12 acres to keep him in and the deer out.

He's great at helping to pick up all those nasty sticks around the place, and loves to help me weed the garden. He also has developed a taste for spinach leaves  ( and anything else that is green and moving) My husband Fred built a great outdoor kennel for him next to the barn/ shop the two can spend time together listening to the jazz station on the radio while 'tinkering'! They've definitely bonded.

We've been working on some of the basic commands like 'Sit', 'Down', and 'Come'. Having lots of treats and patience helps. The biggest hurdle seems to be walking with a leash ( and wearing that darn collar)
We have a long gravel driveway and it can take quite awhile getting up to the mailbox when there are so many distractions along the way. A long stick dangled in front of his nose sometimes does the trick. Or better yet, When Fred starts driving the tractor up the hill,Lucca breaks into a fast trot! Imagine my surprise when I came walking down the driveway the other morning to find Lucca on Fred's lap having his first tractor ride!

He's still afraid of things like the lawn mower or the noise from the chain saw. Living in the country can be pretty overwhelming for a small puppy! Once he has his booster shot next week we'll start introducing him to some other dogs and doing more socialization. The last time we actually had a puppy was over 20 years ago when we had our first Rottweiler, Lance. He spent most of his time outside but came into the house in the evenings, and was with us most of the day. Dante became our second Rott, when we inherited him from our son when the dog was a year old. Both dogs were gentle to the point of letting our cat sleep on top of them!

Living in the country can be a messy business, especially when there are lots of trees, and plants to play with, not to mention piles of leaves and needles that accumulate under our fir grove. I also look forward to the day when he is grown up and we can give him more freedom to run up and down the vineyard rows!
The challenge will be to train him to only dig up the weeds! Tending the garden with Lucca is a new adventure, especially when I see him pulling on a daisy stem, trying to catch the water as it drips out of the watering can ( yes, we actually had a week of sunshine near the end of the month and I  had to water!), or gently tugging on a newly planted pepper plant.
After beginning the month of July with cool temps and two days of rain or perhaps it was drizzle (Portland is the only place I know of where there are so many names for precipitation : showers, light mist, downpour, steady drizzle)  they are now predicting temps in the 90's for next week. Summer may actually arrive in time for the Fourth of July!
I will be content to enjoy my new puppy and what's left of my garden! It's a 'Garden of Eden', where everything is a temptation!