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  Benjamin talks about ...
Golda Growing Up!
 
 
Benjamin talks about        
For four months Benjy has been showering Golda with new experiences.
Here he shares some of his lessons with Golda!
           
   
 

Golda is now four months old. This is the equivalent of 4 human years. She is learning fast and becoming more like a grown up, in some ways at least. This is a critical time in a puppy’s life as now is when they start exploring their independence. Up until now Golda has relied mainly on her parents, human and canine, to take care of her and she just wanted to play all the time. Now she wants to take care of herself, by herself!

She is becoming more aware of her surroundings, which is quite scary for her as everything is new. She gets territorial with things like, say, a bucket or a mop left out of place.

 

Physically, she is getting bigger. Her adult coat is coming in and her bark is deepening. She is still a boisterous puppy at heart, always wanting to play, but steadily growing into her adult self in her own determined way.

When Golda completed her first set of vaccinations we took all the dogs to the beach. This was the first time Golda had ever been outside the house other than for the vet. It was her first car ride of any significance, her first experience of the sea and her first encounter with other people and dogs. After a bit of a rough beginning she did fantastically and she had a huge amount of fun.

 
   
 

One challenge we have had is she does unfortunately get carsick. She has always been carsick but she is better when she sits on my lap so at least some of the problem is probably caused by fear of the unknown. We deal with it by giving her frequent short relaxed car trips, often with the other dogs, and we also don’t feed her for 4 hours before we go out in the car. Just getting older seems to help, especially now that she knows how much fun it is to go out with the other dogs!

Another challenge has been she has been terrible walking on the lead. She dug her heels in, screamed her head off and refused to move an inch! She tried that a bit at the beach in the beginning but very quickly followed the big dogs so she could also explore and sniff and talk to the other dogs and even go into the sea.

 

We have been out a few times since then and each time Golda gets better and more confident. Sometimes too confident as she wanders off quite far if she can and even her parents seem to worry about her.

For a little while now Golda has been meeting up with another Chow puppy named Hercules, just a month older than her. Despite being older and stronger he is no  match for Golda. She really wears him out with her boundless energy! Recently Golda’s older brother Diesel and cousin Velvet came over for the weekend. Golda had a huge amount of fun playing with Velvet who seems to be just as hyperactive as Golda. So she has not been short of social and environmental stimulation. Her next challenge will be to come away with us for a weekend and stay in an entirely new environment.

 
   
 

Meanwhile, at home Golda is becoming very cheeky and has started to challenge the other dogs, especially over food. Pan’Kou is much too indulgent, Ch’zu is always ready to put the little brat in her place, and Mia, like all mothers, is sometimes very indulgent and sometimes really fed up!

Of course, Golda still wants to spend most of her time playing. Ch’zu likes to kick a ball about with her and even Pan’Kou seems to secretly enjoy playing with her. Mia is sometimes possessive of her baby and if she seems to be having too much fun playing with the other dogs Mia will tackle her away and take up the position as Golda’s only playmate. Other times though, she is more than happy for others to entertain Golda so she can snatch a few moments break from those puppy teeth. All in all, the big dogs are remarkably patient with our Golda!

 

Golda has her own unique relationship with the cats. They are fascinated with the puppy and love taunting her. Sooty really enjoys luring Golda into a corner where she can sink her claws or teeth into a delicate nose or lip if things get too rough. Golda loves chasing the cats, which are so much faster and more exciting than any of the other members of her family. So far, the cats are the only ones to succeed in teaching Golda any manners!

As Golda is growing she is developing new habits. She is a natural jumper and doesn’t hesitate to jump on and off walls and furniture. As cute as this is, it does pose some serious risks to her hips and elbows in the long run. Her big teeth are coming in now and she is chewing through loads of hooves. She is also growing closer to her Dad and likes to follow him around. I hope that, in time, she copies some of his good habits.

 
   
           

Written by Benjamin Munro in September 2012.

"I am really enjoying Golda. We have a very special bond, much closer than she has with anybody else. She responds to me instantly, even if she is in the middle of playing wildly or sleeping deeply. We play together a lot - just one look and she's ready for a chase - but I also make sure to spend some quiet time with her each day. I think this is paying off because when we go out she makes sure not to lose sight of me."

 
         
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