It’s still called parenting

Delaine and I recently adopted a baby boy, but we can’t agree about how to rear him. First, I think of him as a baby, but Delaine insists on calling him a mutt. On that point Delaine wins. He was a rescue at the animal shelter when we adopted him. He was listed as a beagle mix, but everyone who sees him says he is a lab. We deferred to Dr. Hunter, his veterinarian at Blythewood Animal Hospital. He stared at our pup and declared that he is too small to be a lab. After looking at the shape of his ears, he said, “I can see some beagle in him.” It is therefore official – our new addition is a mutt, but he might be insulted if he reads in The Voice,  his favorite newspaper, that his parentage is questionable, so we will just call him by his name, Hachi.

Hachi likes to stay up late, playing with his toys, as we watch TV. When we put him in his crate, he sometimes cries, asking for permission to stay up longer to continue his antics – chewing shoes, jumping on the leather sofa, and hiding stolen treasures behind the drapes. When he whimpers and asks to hang out with us, Delaine says we should ignore him, but I have been known to release him from his crate, hold him in my arms and sing to him.  Again, Delaine wins a point. Dr. Hunter mentioned that puppies are much like children who cry to get their way.

When we first established a crate site for Hachi, it was near the entrance to the den and the kitchen. I told Delaine that there were too many distractions there – the scents of the kitchen, the noise of the TV, the sound of our voices and the sight of our feet as we walked near his crate to raid the refrigerator for late night snacks. I thought his crate should be placed in a quiet zone away from distractions. That is the only point I have won so far.

My sister and I agree about how much to feed him. We are following the recommended amount listed on the puppy food bag, but we disagree as to how often he should be bathed. I figure, it is hot, and I want a clean puppy, so I wash him every …I won’t finish that statement. My friends already told me l was overdoing it. Now that I have conferred with Dr. Hunter and purchased the appropriate shampoo for Hachi, he will no longer be bathed with Dawn detergent. In my defense, I figured if that stuff cleaned oily ducks and dirty dishes, surely it would work on puppies.

Well, Delaine is upstairs asleep, and I am downstairs writing. Don’t tell Delaine, but I am going to take Hachi out for a late-night field trip in the backyard. Hachi can keep a secret.

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