It’s been almost four months since we brought a little black and white bundle of fur into our home, a bundle of fur that has grown exponentially in that time. He’s a puppy in a larger puppy’s body and is still doing all the playful things he did as a tiny fur ball — just with bigger teeth. Once I could easily fit the little creature in one arm and carry him downstairs, but now it takes a bit of oomph just to lift him by his front two legs and drag him where he refuses to go — usually the kitchen, because he knows he’s been naughty.
While little Sox has grown, he’s shed some of his baby teeth — I didn’t realise puppies even had baby teeth and that they fall out and are replaced with adult teeth — just like baby humans.
Recently I heard the pup chewing something that sounded like a piece of glass. He was spitting it out and sucking it back into his mouth again and it was rattling around what was left of his teeth. I grabbed his mouth and found the little jagged tooth. Weird, but cute. I miss those smaller teeth though because they’ve been replaced with monster adult teeth and he’s still play-biting both of us, which, while not with full force, can still be quite a nip. We’re trying to curb the use of teeth at playtime, which is a slow but necessary battle.
One thing that has changed in my life with Sox is our daily walks, which is my favourite thing about having a canine companion.
One thing that has changed in my life with Sox is our daily walks, which is my favourite thing about having a canine companion. He gets me out and about every day — unless the weather is extra awful, in which case we play in the house, a bit of tug of war is popular. When I say the word ‘walkies’ I can see the excitement in his eyes and he runs around towards the door when I put his little harness on. There are a few places that we visit around Derry, and there are so many other dog walkers. It’s a world I didn’t even know existed until I entered the dog-owner family myself, the ‘pupiverse’.
Something to laugh about
We have great fun on our walks and I enjoy getting back to a bit of nature, and despite the sometimes horrendous weather, it ensures that I make the effort to go out and about. The joy in his face is worth it. I didn’t know that dogs could smile and laugh either, but these are things that little Sox is teaching me. He loves it when my partner tickles his belly, and actually laughs.
Our walks involve a few rounds of fetch, well almost. I’m still trying to make fetch happen, and we’re getting there. He’ll chase the luminous ball alright and grab it in his jaws, but returning said ball to the point of origin is a challenge, and despite my yells and waving around like a demented wacky inflatable tube, he’ll simply have a wander around wagging his tail in delight and drop the ball like it’s the last thing on his mind while there are so many amazing things to be sniffed.
House training was relatively easy — there was lots of holding of noses and confusion — but he’s now doing all his business outside and on our walks, which is a vast relief, and bedtime is easier since we purchased a little comfy pillow for him to sleep on.
We’re about to head off on another walk and to work on our fetch game. Sox is already barking at the door. I’d better go.
— Christina Curran is freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.