He went to the groomers yesterday, for the first time. I think he’s feeling cute.
He went in looking a bit shaggy, and he came out looking like a giant bundle of fluff. She’s trimmed the hair on his face but left the length the same on the top of his head, so combined with the blow dry he ended up looking very 80s for a while. She also trimmed the fur around his paws so he looks kind of like he’s trotting around on tip toes. It’s not exactly what I was expecting… But he does look cute!
I don’t think I ever posted an update on my standing desk. I’ve been trying to keep a routine in my work day, which starts off with a run and then shower and breakfast, then a few hours standing at my desk. I like to stand first thing because I’m trying not to let things seize up after running. Then I try to stand again for a while after lunch and for the last part of the day. The non standing periods are sitting in the living room with my laptop to keep an eye on Monty, sat at the desk, or lying on my bed with my laptop depending on how tired I am.
The main things I found are:
It didn’t really help my hip at all, but I worked out that my hip feels a lot better if I stretch my hamstrings. If I feel that annoying ache in my hip then usually a few minutes of hamstring stretching sorts it out. This seems slightly bizarre since the hamstrings are at the back and the ache was at the front and almost into my stomach, but anyway, that’s how it is.
Standing is really tiring! At least to start with, I was feeling a lot more tired and hungry.
I haven’t written here for too long. It’s the usual update – dog takes up all my time and energy, when he’s asleep I go to sleep too. Well, sometimes.
I’ve had the week off this week and have been spending a lot of time with him. He is amazing and I love him. He’s also a total pain who wants to run around and jump at me all the time, and my hands are covered in little scratches and tooth marks, but that’s OK and we’re working on it. He’s such a lovely little dog when he’s just padding around the house. He looks like a little bear.
He hasn’t enjoyed the fireworks. He’s OK with them when he’s inside, but getting him outside is difficult, which interferes with his toileting (as he’s very reluctant to go inside the house now – shouldn’t complain, but it’s not ideal for him to hold it). We’ve had fireworks every night for four nights in a row now, which I think is quite ridiculous and I really wish we could ban firework sales to individuals.
In other news… I have a stomach upset 🤔 Again! I think it might be spaghetti carbonara. I stopped eating spaghetti bolognese because the sauce is too much for my stomach (all the acid from the tomatoes, probably) and switched to carbonara thinking it would be better, but this is the second time I’ve had an upset stomach after eating it, so maybe not. It’s not as bad as last time, but I saw the signs and switched to an extremely boring chicken + rice diet (like my dog!) so that may have softened the blow.
So I’m back at work next week. Work annoyed me last week. My manager asked me to create some fake data in the system to display some charts for a demo. So I did. Then on Thursday morning the managing director called me into a meeting to complain that it wasn’t what he’d asked for. The problem was that he had created this data with no thought to how it would actually look when plugged into our charting system. What he actually wanted were completely different charts, but that is not what I was asked to do, nor was it realistic for the timeframe. He didn’t even tell my manager that he’d called me. I don’t deal with the managing director much, but when I do I always come away with a bad impression of him. So in some ways I’m not looking forward to work again tomorrow, but in other ways I feel like I have more important things (dog) in my life to worry about instead. It’s just a job.
I never realised that having a puppy would be so much work. You see well behaved dogs out for walks, trotting alongside their owners with perfect behaviour. You don’t see all the training that goes into making a dog walk on a lead without attacking it. Or when they decide that what they really want to do is flip their water bowl upside down, while still full of water. Or the hours spent walking in circles around the garden while he searches for the perfect place to poo, because apparently it’s extremely important that you sniff the entire garden four times before deciding, except you also have a really short attention span so you might get distracted by a really tasty looking piece of grass along the way and then have to start over.
He always looks so calm and well behaved in photos. Trust me, he’s not.
He had his second round of vaccinations on Friday, so next weekend we can start taking him out. Chunky boy here now weighs 4.6kg, which is up from 3.9 only a couple of weeks ago. The vet didn’t seem concerned anyway, but I’m not sure if we’re overfeeding him… The breeder (or more likely, her young daughter) nicknamed him “Mr Chonk” because he was the biggest of the litter. But once we can take him out for walks he’ll be burning off more calories.
I don’t know how you tell if a dog is fat. For one thing he’s a crossbreed, so there’s a lot of randomness as to exactly what his genetics are so he doesn’t have a known ideal ‘shape’, and for another, most of what you see is fur.
We gave him the second dose of a ‘deworming’ tablet today. We did the first dose two weeks ago, and it made him completely crazy. He took it at about 11 in the morning and spent all afternoon totally hyperactive, barking, growling and generally worrying us because he seemed agitated and wouldn’t settle. We googled it and apparently it’s not a medically recognised side effect but plenty of people on forums talk about it. Others say it can’t possibly be the tablet because it’s not a known side effect. After having the second dose today, he was exactly the same again. So, yep, it’s the tablet. He’s supposed to have it done again in two weeks but we’ll have to ask to use a different medicine.
We’ve had the puppy for almost three weeks now. I never expected owning a puppy to be so stressful! I’m not getting nearly as much sleep as I used to. I keep napping in the evenings after work now.
He is generally doing a lot better now. He has his vaccination booked for next Friday, so a couple of weeks after then we’ll be able to start taking him out for walks. How this is going to work… I have no idea. It’s a struggle to get him to walk from one end of the garden to the other without him trying to eat my shoelaces or chewing on the lead. The lead tends to excite him and he likes to jump up and grab it. I’m a bit concerned about having him walk around much outside because I think he’ll probably try to eat everything he finds, and I’ve noticed the pavements tend to be littered with tiny pebbles and such… so that’ll be fun.
I’d like to get him down to Parkrun at some point so he can see a big crowd of people running but it’s too far for him to walk and with the fuel shortage it’s hard to justify taking him in the car. Maybe in a few weeks.
On the subject of Parkrun… since starting going again, progress has been slower than I thought. I did the first week at about 22:20 and was really pleased with that for a first effort, thinking I’d knock quite a bit of time off it the following week. But I actually got stuck around that time, for a few weeks, before suddenly jumping down to 21:30, where I’m stuck again. Last week was a bit of a struggle, but it was very humid and I’d done two sets of speedwork during the week before. This week I did some 1KM repeats on Wednesday, so hopefully I’ll be well enough rested to see the rewards tomorrow?
The problem is always pacing. It’s a course with an incline at the start, in the middle and at the end, so generally the pace tends to dip in the middle, but I think it’s also the psychological battle of the initial excitement wearing off, fatigue setting in and feeling like a long way from the end. This is the last two weeks:
I obviously still have enough left in me because the last kilometre is always the fastest. But it’s a fine line between taking it a bit too easy in the middle and imploding on the fourth kilometre. I’m still aiming to get it back to about 20 minutes. That feels like a long way away at the moment, though.
Is it only day 4? All the days merge together now.
I think I’ve just accepted that I’m not going to sleep past 5AM for a while. We tried leaving the little pupper alone last night, for the first time, and he started howling at 5. We agreed that we would leave him til 6 in an effort to get his schedule a bit more aligned to ours, but by then he was really distressed and his stomach was gurgling loudly. He seemed a lot happier after we took him out for a toilet break, so I think really we just need to do that when he starts howling. Even if he’s just howling because he’s scared being on his own in the dark, letting him stay scared is just going to upset his stomach. At least, that’s how mine works! It’s a weird world for him. He’s entirely dependent on people who go through a door and disappear for hours. He hasn’t seen upstairs yet. He doesn’t know we’re only a few metres away.
He’s doing better with the toileting. He’s still peeing inside a lot but he hasn’t pooed inside since the first day. He’s a clever little dog. I’m amazed how quickly he learns things. I’ve taught him to “Sit”, and I’ve also taught him to stop howling and sit by the door of his pen before we let him out. He’s also learnt that when I hold my fist in front of him, he should boop it with his nose. I’m currently trying to teach him “Drop”, which seems important given that he puts everything in his mouth. On day two he ate a piece of gravel from the garden, which I hadn’t expected at all. Apparently puppies eating stones is not uncommon and usually they just pass them, but obviously it’s potentially dangerous so you don’t want them doing it. They also eat grass… In fact he seems to want to eat grass more than his actual meals.
The other problem at the moment is that he gets the zoomies. Which means that he’s playing quite happily with his toys one minute, then the next he’s rushing full speed up and down the room jumping up and down. It’s hilarious actually, but the problem is that this is when he starts getting bity and aggressive. His bites haven’t actually hurt yet but that’s something we need to stop. All puppies bite a little because their mouth is primarily how they interact with the world, they just learn not to do it by the reactions they get from their victims. He’s like two dogs in one. When he’s calm he’s lovely, but when he’s got the zoomies he’s like a possessed shark. It seems to happen when you think he should be tired… I guess he gets tired and grumpy and doesn’t really understand that when he feels like that he should go to sleep. He’s only a baby really.
Today we took him out for the first time in a carrier. Puppies need two rounds of vaccinations before it’s safe to let them walk around on the ground in public, and they tend to be 12-13 weeks old at that stage. Until then you need to both protect them from the outside world, but also introduce them to it as it’s an important part of their development. He seemed completely unfazed by being taken out, which was surprising. He just sat in the carrier quite contentedly (trying to chew the strap). This is the same dog who yesterday got scared and refused to go to the toilet because it was raining… and then got even more scared when I put an umbrella up.
We picked him up this morning. He’s still quite upset but hopefully he’ll settle in a few days. He cries a lot when we leave him alone but he seems comfortable with us. This afternoon we were playing with him while I was sat cross legged on the floor, and he went to sleep nestling his face into the back of my knee (probably because I’m warm?).
So far his favourite trick is to pretend he doesn’t need the toilet when we take him into the garden, then go on the carpet 30 seconds after we take him back inside. Some of that might be stress though. He’s been twice outside and 4 or 5 times inside 🤦 But he also seems scared of the garden and much more comfortable inside, which probably doesn’t help. I’m frantically reading up on training.
Allergies seem OK. Or at least, no worse than they have been over the past few weeks. I think if there was going to be a problem I’d know about it by now. Last winter we had problems with dust on the radiators which got circulated when we switched them on, and 30 minutes of that was enough to make me feel like I had a heavy cold. I think it was just a bad hayfever day the other week.