Eight Pounds of Pounce

Posts promise to be fewer and shorter than usual. We are under siege. The source is a bipolar pup, half barracuda, half Miss Congeniality, a chimera of canine good and evil.

The snickersnack of the jaws: how to divert over and over into acceptable directions and towards acceptable approved objects: that is the challenge.

Today will be our first solo run, just Gandy and me, all the live-long day.

She did as well her second night as she did her first. We shouldn’t complain. It all goes with the job description, and we knew what to expect. Still, to have your life completely co-opted by eight pounds of fur-wrapped energy when I thought I was going to be doing so many other things with this prime time for writing in the winter months…well, think again.

A saving grace: when she gets in her snuggly mood, she is happy in her crate (where she is at the moment) and naps for a while and I have an unpredictable few minutes to eat, shower, write a blog post, answer an email. But write a book about dogs? What was I thinking!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. “All these toys and all you want is the rug.” Surely you remember giving your kids toys to find them playing with the box that delivered the toys…
    (Maybe she would like one of those knotted rope toys?)

  2. When I first got both my dogs as pups, I used to tell people I either had the perfect puppy or the puppy from hell, and I never knew from moment to moment which I was going to have to deal with. Good luck with Gandy!!

  3. Did I say uncomplicated? She acts like a typical puppy – fun to watch for a while but as you said you won’t get much work done. What we did when we had a pup her age: set up a playroom with a foldable wire fence from the hardware store (originally designed for composting) about 3 ft square that we could easily move around or fold up to put away. Put chew toys and a mat in the center – works great. Good luck!