Lets Talk with Diane A S Stuckart

Fur Baby Follies
By Diane A S Stuckart

According to the calendar, it’s Spring…though, here in Florida, we’re pretty much Springtime all year ‘round. (Except for those annual forays into “wetter than heck” weather, and a few awful months of “hotter than heck” temps). But I still like to think of this time of year as one of renewal. Trees budding, flowers blooming. And, since I’m an animal lover, baby birds and other cute critters hatching and being born. Yep, nothing sweeter than baby animals.

Except, of course, when said babies are actually furry little devil spawn!

I’m speaking specifically about our new puppy that we got at Christmas. Her name is Nina (coincidentally, the name of my amateur sleuth in my upcoming Georgia B&B mystery, PEACH CLOBBERED), though my husband swears he had no idea about that when he named his hellhound, er, pup). Nina is an Italian Greyhound, a tiny version of the racing dog you see painted on those buses, looking like a cross between a puppy and a mini-deer. Nina is adorable, and I’m not just saying that as her human mom. A police officer actually stopped my husband while he was driving with her just so he could take a closer look. And it’s a darned good things she’s such a cutie, because that’s the only way she gets away with being a baaaaaad dog!

If you’ve ever had a puppy before, you remember the trials and tribulations of teaching your new fur baby not to jump on people or piddle inside or chew up shoes, and not to ignore its human when he or she is calling. We took her to puppy class to learn the basics, which she did master…at least, while she was there with the yummy freeze-dried chicken treats the trainer had. But away from class, not so much.

Which is frustrating, to say the least. Most dogs are eager to learn, and by the time they are a few months old have the sit/stay/come/potty outside thing down pat. But not the Italian Greyhound. As a breed, they tend to be 100 times smarter and 100 times more stubborn than the average canine. Sure, they know perfectly well how to do all this annoying stuff their humans ask of them. But they’ll do it in their own sweet time. Or, perhaps not at all.

Right now, my husband wants to send her off to what he calls “puppy boarding school”, which is away from home training for a couple of weeks. And I don’t. So I’ve been working extra hard with her trying to reinforce her puppy class training. It takes effort, but I’m starting to see incremental improvement. So maybe she’ll avoid being shuttled off like she’s a doggie step-child in some bad made-for-TV movie. Fingers crossed. And I keep reminding myself that, as with any other goal—be it learning a new language, mastering a new dance step, or writing a book better than your last one—the amount of success you achieve is dependent upon the effort you put into it.

So, have you ever welcomed a new pet into your home, only to find it more of a handful than you expected?

While you’re here, visit our contest page for a chance to win a book from any of our six authors. Click here.