I’ve gone through a lot with Rufus. We started with the puppy months with indoor peeing, 2 am vomiting, and non-stop chewing , followed by the barely-there fully grown months with constant barking, leash-pulling, and getting the zoomies on the stairs. But we’re growing out of that stage into something a little more respectable.
After all of this, I would think that as the only human in the house that I’d be the moral authority for this dog.
It appears that I am wrong.
Sophie, my six-year-old mutt, has taken my place. She is now Rufus’ person.
If I ask him to come downstairs with me, he looks at her first. If I offer him a toy, he paws at her to play with him.
I love that my dogs get along so well. Sophie now looks at Rufus as a playmate, not just some annoying puppy. She actually bugs him now. That’s something I never thought I’d see.
When I first brought Rufus into the house, he followed me everywhere. He was the typical puppy who would not let me take a shower without him there waiting on the bath mat. I realized that I can now walk upstairs without him following me, as long as Sophie is with him downstairs.
He is roughly a year and a half, and he’s finally becoming a dog. There is still quite a bit of puppy energy but there has been a pretty substantial shift towards maturity. The beast is getting tamed.
It’s a little sad that Rufus does not run like a puppy so much anymore. I miss those double-paw pounces directed towards Sophie when she has serious business to attend to. At the same time, he’s become an attentive listener, which is more welcome than a big box of Christmas presents in July.
He still has an enormous amount of energy. We still have to use the flirt pole to burn a lot of it off. That’s fine. Armed with a new Jolly-Tug toy (since the old one is destroyed) tied to our cord, we played with it this morning. He remained focused and would not even stop to play with Sophie when she tried to block him. I’m not sure what’s going on there: she is not remotely interested in the toy as much as she wants to play some type of defense in this game. I attribute that to her having lived a past life as an NFL linebacker, and she occasionally has to bring out her inner Brian Urlacher.
During their game, Rufus stayed resolute, determined to get the Jolly-Tug. He earned a solid B for “leave it.” We did not have any tug-of-war struggles, but he was not terribly willing to let it go whenever I told him. However, once he did let go, he left it. He did not try to sit and chew on it until it was destroyed. That’s another sign of his maturity that I’m pleased with because perhaps this toy will last a little longer than previous ones.
Overall I’m really happy with how he has been coming along. Vet visits still create headaches, of course, and he still feels stranger danger with techs and staff members he’s met many times. I’m hoping that the intensity of these visits will decrease as time goes on. I can say that now, the world does not overwhelm him quite so much. That’s definitely good since I watch too much TV and find it pretty terrifying.