Under the nanoscope

August 14, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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After Nano's first bath

After Nano's first bath

So as everybody knows, yesterday we brought Nano home from the breeder. The first 24 hours with a new puppy are always adorable and exhausting, and I thought some of my readers might like to hear about it in more detail. (I’m looking at you, mothers.) We’ve also amassed quite a collection of adorable videos for such a short time, so I’ll post the links here. They vary in quality, so I’ve given them a star rating so you can choose which one(s) to watch. =)

Although she tenses up every time she is carried through a doorway — elevator door, bedroom door, car door, any door — she otherwise seems to have a general positive outlook on the world and isn’t too afraid of things. On the hour-long drive home (Blake drove), she alternated between sleeping in my lap, trying to lick my face, and craning her head around to look out at the cars if I was holding her up against my chest. The breeder said she’d been fed an hour ago, so there was the looming outside chance that she could expel some substance from somewhere — carsickness being the most likely. But I took pains to hold her up to see outside if the road got unusually bumpy or swervy, and she had no problems at all.

Still pretty wet

Still pretty wet

When we brought her in we wanted her to try to use the puppy pad immediately, but we were afraid that Pico would freak her out if he paced around her pen with frenetic enthusiasm. So I loitered in the hallway with Nano in my arms and Blake went in, leashed up Pico, and took him out for a nice walk in the Walgreen’s parking lot. Although I made some efforts to keep Nano way up high and facing the wall (instead of Pico), it sounds like he wasn’t fooled: he immediately knew something was up and he pulled back towards the apartment on the whole little walk (which is pretty uncharacteristic of him).

Once he came back, he behaved very unexpectedly. We thought he’d be super-duper extra excited as he often is when dogs come to our house for some reason. He hasn’t been around puppies much, though, and I think that’s why this was different: he went into “I am your social superior and am kind of aloof” mode. He puffed himself up a bit and mostly tried to stay out of her adorably unpredictable way. He’s clearly interested in everything she does, but it seems like he doesn’t know what to do about it. On occasion he’ll be sitting somewhere contentedly and she’ll timidly walk up from several feet away, get super super close to his face, and sniff his nose. Hilariously, when this happens he always acts like it’s the last thing he ever expected her to do: he jerks his head back like he’s surprised, his eyes get huge, and he looks around or looks at me. Usually his jerky movement scares her into backing up a couple feet, but if not he watches her for a few moments and then decides to go sit somewhere else.  I’m sure he has his reasons, but come on, Pico: you guys are dogs. Sniffing noses is what you do!

Dry and cozy

Dry and cozy

In many ways she seems almost miraculously pre-trained, although I know she wasn’t. In 24 hours she’s gone from never having seen a crate to being absolutely comfortable hanging out in one with the door closed. (For those of you who think crate training sounds mean, here is a link for you.) Also, she doesn’t seem to care about chewing! When Pico was a puppy he chewed on everything with an edge. EVERYTHING. And since it turns out most items have an edge in one way or another, that was a trying time for me in his little puppy life. I was constantly running over to him and removing a DVD or remote control or paperback from his little jaws and replacing it with a chew toy. But Nano, in contrast, just walks across the room, picks up her Gumabone, then carries it back to her bed for a good chew-a-thon.

Her paper-training success rate is right around 50%. She often tries to start on the pad, but sometimes she wanders off (or just starts in the middle of the floor somewhere else). She’s still pretty little, though, so I’m not really worried or anything.

The only thing so far about which I have a few concerns is the amount of noise she makes. As many of you know, Pico is a pretty quiet little guy. Aside from the occasional “awroo!” when somebody knocks on the door, his barking is extremely rare. (Quietness is a common trait for Japanese Chins.) Nano, however, seems to associate barking with play. Whenever we start to bounce around and she gets excited, she gives the tiniest little woofs and ruffs that are terribly terribly cute but will be terribly terribly annoying when she’s an adult. (You can see them here.)

Burrito dog

Burrito dog

Until she feels more comfortable around here with us, we’re not disciplining her too strongly, so for now about the worst “punishment” she gets is that we drop a few coins near here (so they clatter on the ground) or the car keys or an empty soda 12-pack box. She also whines a bit when she’s alone in her pen, as puppies will do, but I expect that to subside. She does also bark when she wants some attention, but I hope we’re able to curb that with coins. Conveniently, we have a little basket of spare change on our dresser, and so it was very convenient to start chucking them in her direction when she woke up this morning at 7:30 and wanted us to begin entertaining her. (Fear not, I was careful not to throw the coins somewhere that they could hit her.)

So that’s about it. The vet gave her a clean bill of health today, so we’re definitely keeping her. =)

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