MJ Wixsom: Vet has clue about what puppies do

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A client asked me today, “Did I have any idea? Did I have a clue? Because having two dogs is much more a chore, you know?”

She went on to ask, “Have you had twins, triplets or more?”

The overwhelmed owner asking had a puppy and a 7-year-old dog. Both were dachshunds.

I made eye contact with Stephanie, because she knew! We shared a smile.

As I closed the exam room door: “Oh, if you only knew! Doctor has three lab puppies.”

Two were planned in a moment of insanity, the third a rescue put me over the edge.

Labrador Retrievers are great dogs that is true. They are smart, strong and able bodied.

They help in fires, rescues and more.

But as puppies, they are special. They take the cake.

Ryker as a matter of fact, grabbed the cake pan off the stove.

Before he could get it to the floor, Whiskey and Tango were sharing the cake and grabbing more.

Later, while we were in the living room with Whiskey and Tango, Ryker was in the kitchen.

There was enough spaghetti sauce on the stove for leftovers. Then Ryker was standing tall enough to make sure there were no leftovers.

Speaking of kitchen, it is now impossible to load the dishwasher without at least two pups on the door or in the basket pre-cleaning dishes for us.

Grab one pup and two have a go. Hold two and it is impossible to load the dishwasher, besides there is one more.

Cooking is an adventure.

As I bent down to get veggies out of the crisper, Tango grabbed the ham from the shelf.

The pan slid out then turned upside down.

There were leftover ham bits, jelly and ham all over the floor.

Whiskey, Tango and Ryker were there, grabbing, and wolfing bits off the floor.

Meanwhile I could not even close the fridge, because of the ham on the floor. Two hands and three labs made it difficult to keep them all from getting into the ham.

Finally, I had them corralled in the hall, but Tango broke free to go back and clean up scraps.

When Whiskey and Ryker were safely put in the bathroom and I headed back for Tango.

I managed to keep Tango from eating all of the scraps, but I worried about him for a couple of days.

(Ham has been implicated in cases of pancreatitis.)

I currently have toilet paper bits strewn throughout my living room. There was more in the bathroom, but my daughter picked up the two rolls of bits. The third roll is in the living room, spaced too far to be easy. The bits are too big for the vacuum and too small to be quickly removed.

I have walked by them for a week, these bits on the carpet. Ryker is the one that started this game.

He is tall enough to reach on the counter where Whiskey and Tango cannot. But all three play shred the toilet paper well.

Ryker also plays a mean game of keep-away! Bored with playing with the younger pups, he has recently upped his game.

His favorite thing is to grab a DVD from the stack. These are neatly categorized on the shelf, but that just makes it easy to nab one and run.

While we were eating, we heard the characteristic crackle of chomped DVD plastic.

M’Kinzy is the only one fast enough to corner and catch him.

But Ryker is good! He feints and he fakes and dashes and darts. I swear he is smiling the whole time! Finally, M’Kinzy stops him and grabs the DVD.

But the game is not yet over, no it is not.

M’Kinzy must hold him while I get up and take it away.

Several DVD cases now have a characteristic Ryker marked chew.

I don’t know why the pups have just discovered the living room.

Before, they would use it to hide a pile of poo or sleep on our laps while the TV was on.

Now they are there, tug-of-warring and fighting.

Whiskey taught Tango to lick the picture window frames. Ryker had to help and the window sill plant went for a flight, so now there is fresh dirt with the toilet paper bits.

Licking the windows?

I have not counseled any client for that behavior. Never heard of it actually. There is no condensation. There is no cleaner on the frames. But all three pups now lick the window frames.

A good night sleep is a thing of the past.

They are not really sleeping through the night, these puppies three.

Seems Tango needs to pee at midnight, but Whiskey prefers to pee at 1:12 a.m. Then Ryker needs to go at 3:30 a.m. or so.

One night recently, I had turned in early to catch up on sleep.

Just after midnight, I awakened to a whoosh of whiz landing on the carpet.

Tango was to blame, but I kicked them all out while I emptied my own bladder (an urgency I didn’t realize until my feet hit the floor).

At just after one, Whiskey was slurping my mouth.

Twice I could ignore, but realized the third and fourth slurps meant something more.
Whiskey and Tango headed for the door, but Ryker remained curled in bed.

I listened when Ryker said that he had a big boy bladder and that he didn’t have to go just because Whiskey and Tango were out again at 1 a.m.

But then, at just after 3 a.m., I was awakened once more to the unmistakable whoosh of whiz landing on the carpet.

The culprit this time was none other than Ryker, his big boy bladder felt much better right then.

Learning my lesson, all three were outside while I relieved my own bladder and cleaned up the carpet once more. I love Labrador Retrievers.

I love these pups, too, but yes, ma’am, I do have a clue.

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566