RAIS­ING A PUPPY IS NOT CHILD’S PLAY

The Sunday Independent - - SUNDAY MAGAZINE - TUMI MORAKE @tu­mi_­morake

I HAVE be­come a proud new momma to a mixed-breed puppy. You know you love your puppy when he grad­u­ates from be­ing called a pave­ment spe­cial, to be­ing called mixed- breed. If only some­one had told me, it re­ally is like hav­ing an­other child in the fam­ily. In fact, con­sider this my hum­ble apol­ogy to every per­son who com­pared hav­ing a baby with hav­ing a puppy.

It re­ally is pretty much the same What­sApp group.

Look­ing at the amount I have al­ready had to spend on this pup, he had bet­ter be plan­ning on be­ing the next Lassie.

Now, adopt­ing a three-month-old baby, in my view, would be a lit­tle less work than what I am cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing with this puppy. Usu­ally, when you put a baby in those cute lit­tle cots that dou­ble as a baby cell, it is to keep the poor thing from rolling over and hurt­ing it­self. I can’t even be­gin to think like that for a puppy be­cause then that’s abuse. Yet, I do not know how else to keep him from run­ning out­side the yard, into the pool and into the house while Christina is clean­ing.

The de­bate be­came about whether to keep him in­side or out­side be­cause he is still a baby but he is also busy. I mean, imag­ine a mom de­cid­ing whether their child should be relegated to the out­doors.

It was only when the kids were crawl­ing at about six months that I be­gan baby proof­ing the house. This puppy has us puppy-proof­ing the yard. Now I must cover all pos­si­ble es­capes. What am I go­ing to deal with at one year? I shud­der to think.

When a three-month-baby is left in one spot, you are guar­an­teed to find that baby where you left it un­less it rolls. Not pups. You need to keep an eye out be­cause that ex­citable, yet damn adorable, beast jumps at you out of nowhere, bolts through the house at the speed of light. The big­gest ca­su­al­ties have been slip­pers, a cush­ion, shorts and my hus­band’s socks. Ba­bies are cute, pup­pies are a cute mess.

We had our first vet visit, and got our clinic card, mi­cro chip, vac­ci­na­tions and de-worm­ing done. The kids were wor­ried about him get­ting an in­jec­tion. Now they know how I feel when I have to take them for theirs. I also re­alise I had no idea what I was get­ting my­self into when I had this puppy.

They de­velop quickly but you must guide them through the ba­sics.

So, we are go­ing to go to puppy school soon.

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