The dog is a beast. He's gaining close to a pound a day with no end in sight. Last checked he was 40 pounds at 12 weeks and 22 pound Homer (on a good day) has lost what little fur like substance he had left due to the constant nomming of the over grown baby.
We were trying not to crate him. It seemed like a good idea at the time. You know, big dogs, fast growing boys, should not be confined and all that. So we installed gates in the kitchen and installed an over sized puppy playpen on the lower level so that he and Homer could cohabitate and I wouldn't have to listen to it all night. And then it became VERY apparent that no one was EVER going to make Simon do anything he didn't actually feel like doing. Ever. His strength is, and will continue to be, greatly disproportionate to his actual weight. The good news is he really wants to please. And we are prepared to make good use of that willingness every second of his very impressionable puppy hood.
So we bought the biggest crate known to man. I swear you could put an elephant in there and it surely will never fit through a door again now that it's been assembled. We assembled said crate and then attempted to insert tab A (Mr. Fluffy Tinklekins, don't worry, I'll get to that) into slot B (door of crate) and failed miserably. He was only 30 pounds at the time. Nomans and I, we are very strong people. Lots of upper body strength and all that. It took two of us. One inside the crate pulling and the other outside the crate pushing. It was very demoralizing to the both of us and not a little disturbing to the puppy.
We bought treats. We bought treats and we slowed the hell down. For the first week it took me an extra twenty minutes in the morning after Little Girl's bus left just to sweet talk him to the door of the crate. But that works, you know, the whole sweet talking thing, because he wants to please so very, very much. And now he's crate trained and goes right in without a fuss and stays in too if you remember to toss in a bit of puppy candy. But here's the kicker, normally you would insert a divider so that the crate was just barely big enough for the puppy. This encourages them not to pee in the crate (or worse). We can't do that too him, I don't think it would be good for him. And in the end I don't intend to use the crate forever, I just need to be able to ask him to go if I really need him there.
Which brings me to the next point. If I ever hope to have friends or family in my house ever again I'm going to have to be able to put him away. Most people do not appreciate 240 pounds of slobbering fur in their lap and as I mentioned above, Simon pretty much does what he wants to do. And that doesn't mean he's not being socialized, he is. It just means I really don't have the physical control to fall back on.
Did I mention he has complete respect for the gates in the kitchen right up until he doesn't?
So here's poor Simon locked up in this cavernous crate and he still wets the bed at night. Not that we would do anything so silly as to leave him a bed in there, it would be consumed by morning. He wets the bed and then rolls in it. Or at least lays about in it. And since we can't wash him easily in the winter and have to rely on baby wipes for the most part he's kind of ripe.
We don't really mind.
We took him to Main Street Westport on Sunday. Main Street Westport wants to be Rodeo Drive East (it's not, that would be The Avenue in Greenwich but please try not to disillusion Westport in these current economic times). We figured that's a perfect place to start socializing him because nobody walking up and down that street has any manners to speak of (including me based on the level of snark in this post). Or sense, but don't get me started. He's guaranteed to get a boat load of attention wanted or otherwise.
He was brilliantly well behaved with the possible exception of stopping to have a pee on every possible patch of leaves because that's where he potties at home. You know, on the leaves in the yard. He doesn't know sidewalks from Adam. He was pet, hugged, cuddled, kissed and slobbered on by at least 50% of the population. He ate it up. He didn't even try to climb into any laps although I wonder what will happen when he realizes he can pretty much make a lap happen anytime he wants.
By the time we made it down one side and back up the other he was exhausted and we weren't much better. I looked down at my angelic fluffy white pumpkin and realized that Mr. Fluffy Tinklekins is mostly yellow these days.