Before we picked Theo up to bring him home, we asked the breeder what Theo’s personality was like. She told us that he tended to sit back and observe what his siblings were doing rather than jump right in. Hmmm, I thought, that reminds me of my son! I can deal with that!
Turns out that, while Theo is no doubt an old soul—a deep thinker—he certainly did not display any reticence to jumping right in once he got comfortable with his new home! He is always curious, always watching us, and wanting to be part of everything we’re doing. In fact, he is already displaying a very strong personality especially when it comes to tug-of-war games! I have read that this is a typical trait of Miniature Schnauzers.
To be fair, he has been surprisingly easy to put down for naps and at nighttime. If he’s sleepy, he never puts up a “fight” like children seem to do LOL.
I have read that puppies thrive best in predictable schedules, so we do have certain rituals we do each day. Every morning when I get up—by then my husband has already fed him and had him out for potty (at least once)—I sing a little “Good Morning” song to him. He is very excited to see me and wags his tail vigorously, jumping up on my arms as I reach down to pet him and sometimes gently nipping me. After I have my morning lemon drink, I sit on the floor with my legs outstretched, put him up on my lap and hand him his “bully stick” (according to the pet store employee this is a dried bull penis LOL) which he chews away at while I stroke his fur. This is a lovely bonding time with him first thing in the morning and so far he seems to look forward to it. I have started to use this time to pray since my morning quiet time with the Lord has been disrupted every since Theo came to his forever home!
This week was the first time we bathed Theo. Although he has a strong personality, he is still timid of new places and experiences. (Because he is not fully vaccinated yet, we are limited in where we can take him and what he can partake in.) When my husband carried Theo upstairs to be bathed for the first time, the poor little guy was shaking and shivering as much as he did when we first met him. (Upstairs is one of the areas we are keeping him out of for now.) He did not take to the water at all! He has thick fur but when he was wet he looked like a drowned rat! Unfortunately there was no time to get any photos; photo below was taken when we first met him.
This week also was the first time we took him outside to our front yard. It is so much easier to watch over him here, as there aren’t nearly as many leaves in the front as there are in the backyard. (We have to constantly watch him, as he wants to eat everything-- especially grass (not the best for him), dried leaves (which aren’t good for him), and sticks (which really aren’t good for him!)). He was nervous about going to this new area at first, but he now enjoys frolicking on our lawn and exploring our driveway and sidewalk in front of our house. We have even taken him for the first time for a walk up and down the street. We were able to keep him from getting distracted by things he might want to munch on by me going ahead and walking quickly and him scampering to keep up! I can’t wait until his vaccinations fully kick in so we can start taking walks down to the lake.
Theo seems to really enjoy being outdoors, and I enjoy taking him out in the backyard; except that, as mentioned above, he constantly tries to eat things! We have a lot of leaves in our backyard from our and neighbours’ trees, so I finally got out my leaf blower (which I had bought to use in my science shows many years ago) and blew the vast majority of the leaves against the fence away from the lawn and it is SO much easier to manage him. Now I’m not doing nearly as much “mouth swiping” as I had to before.
Of course, even though there are fewer leaves around, he can NEVER resist shoes. Almost every time I take him out, he makes a dash for my shoes. He likes my rubber “indoor” shoes I wear out in the back as much as my red shoes (he loves unzipping the Velcro strap) or my running shoes (he likes to pull on my laces) I wear in the front. If you didn’t know, for health reasons, it is best to keep shoes (especially the soles) you have worn outside (which potentially carry a dangerous virus) away from a puppy and we have been diligent about doing this to ensure his safety.
Next week I’ll be sharing my observations about our puppy’s inborn predatory instinct—something I never expected to see so strongly in a puppy!