Stinking of Success



 Our new puppy, Fergus, is a little stinker. No, really; he’s the reekin’est dog I’ve ever known. His urine should be bottled and used as anti-mugger spray. The first ingredient in his kibble must be turnips. His puppy breath could fell rhinos.

But that’s only the beginning of his impressiveness. He’s also highly self-assured. At eight weeks of age he wanted nothing to do with Amy, the neighbouring Schapendoes puppy about four times his size and age, and chased her out of his leash perimeter. He tells off anyone he thinks needs it. So far, almost everyone he knows needs it. This morning on the front lawn, Fergus and I had a little heart-to-heart that went something like this:

  • F: (Telling off a passing pedestrian) Yap yap yap!
  • Lb: Hush.
  • F: Yap yap yap!
  • Lb: Grrr!
  • F: YAP!
  • Lb: (Clamps hand over muzzle)
  • F: YAP!
  • Lb: (Clamp)
  • F: YAP!
  • Lb: (Clamp)
  • F: (Bites togue) Yipe! YAP!
  • Lb: Cai, it’s time to go in.

Cai, who will be two in September, has a nine-inch compressed rawhide chew that weighs half a pound. Fergus has taken it from him. Yesterday I brought Fergus to the pet store while I worked, and we settled him in behind the counter with a new toy or two and a more sensibly-sized four-inch rawhide, but he wouldn’t touch it. His frank little 12-week-old face looked up at me in puzzlement. “But… that’s for babies!”

Fergus is stinky and noisy — but he’s smart. When he first moved in with us, he was in an exercise pen in the living room, just in front of the piano. He tended to relieve himself in the pen end nearer the piano. When he was let out to play, he would piddle most often under the piano bench. We took down the pen when he went to board at the breeder’s for two weeks, and we’ve kept up the crate training that Shelley began with him. We’ve also started using a few disposable puppy pee pads my mum gave us. I put one under the piano bench, the place he himself had chosen, and that’s where he went. Just think, only twelve weeks old, and already he’s starting to train us!

Fergus is also pretty darn cute, in a frogs-and-snails kind of way (Cai has a sweeter look and nature to him) . And when he’s tired, he’s happy to flop against my neck like a little rag doll.

Cai has good reason to be jealous of Fergus. But when no one else is paying attention, Cai frolicks around the first floor of our apartment with his little brother, playing chase, tooth hockey, and tug. And that, for me, is Fergus’s biggest success: being Cai’s little brother.

13 Responses to Stinking of Success

  1. goodbear says:

    well, he is VERY cute! isn’t it amazing how different their “animalities” can be?

    is the turnip dog chow pricey? “cardi mugger spray. reduces muggers to tears!”

  2. lavenderbay says:

    The price of turnip chow varies widely, depending on the perceived level of crime where it’s sold.
    And yes, Fergus is ultra-cute, and today he spent an entire shift behind the counter at the pet store and was as good as gold, barking maybe twice the whole time. He really is a love.

  3. jamesviscosi says:

    Oooooooooh such a cute puppy! Maybe you should try him on asparagus next, then his urine would probably be lethal!

  4. Shelley says:

    After having two weeks here scaring away Mennonite buggies with his brother and sister (after all none of them DARED to come on the property and all went quickly by on the road), I’m afraid we did some harm to his confidence – as in built it up a little too much by having him learn that his bark could scare horses!! (or so he thinks).

    Or course Manitou and Nero just give them “the look” that says who do you think you’re kidding?

    Watch out Einstein doesn’t train you too much!

  5. lavenderbay says:

    Oh! Oh! I’m choking on the fumes, James, just imagining it!

    I am SO-O-O grateful for your having crate-trained Fergus, Shelley! Cai gets a bit of peace and quiet when Fergus goes in for his dinner and nap. Cai isn’t used to getting up at 05 30!

    Last night, I had just gone to bed (E.g.’s in Saint John for the weekend) when that noisy thunderstorm hit. A great clap overhead got Fergus barking, so Cai and I came back downstairs and sat with Fergus during the storm. Fergus stayed in his crate, but was content that we were there, and he soon curled up and went back to sleep.

    We could call him “Fergustein”, but that sounds too much like the bolt-headed fellow. But yeah, I think he’ll (we’ll) benefit from classes of various sorts, like agility eventually, or something else that uses his brain.

  6. Very cute dog. Please don’t bottle the urine.

  7. lavenderbay says:

    Don’t worry, Urban Thought, only 100 ml of the stuff would be allowed across the border now anyway.

  8. livingisdetail says:

    Love the conversation and Fergus is a beautiful pup. He did well to bark in the thunderstorm rather than cower. I have had dogs that were terrrified of storms and now my family has one bold dog who, when we first saw her encounter a thunderclap, raced outside and barked and jumped up at the sky. All the time with a wolfish grin. She thought it was fun.

  9. lavenderbay says:

    That’s interesting about your fist-shaking dog, Livingisdetail. I thought Fergus was barking from nervousness, but after what you say, with his personality he was probably demanding to be let out so he could tell the thunder off! We’ve had a few more (quieter) thunderstorms since that one, but Cai and Fergus have been too busy playing together to notice.

  10. Gina says:

    I love dogs with a little spunky side. 😉
    He is adorable.

  11. lavenderbay says:

    He’s spunky all right, Gina! And the sweetest little cuddlemuffin when he’s sleepy.

  12. Checkers says:

    Looks like Fergus got some Cardigan plus! He is very cute. He can come by here and play tooth hockey anytime!!!

  13. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, Checkers! As soon as Fergus gets his passport, I’ll send him over for a few hours! Cai sometimes has that look of an adolescent that hasn’t had enough sleep about him lately (probably because that’s what he is) .

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