all grown up
Watching Emmie quite literally grow before our eyes got us curious about exactly how much she had grown since we adopted her. At four months old, when we took her in, she was about 20lbs. Once the HHE arrived with our scale, S decided to weigh Emmie. Though we had not done a lot of training with her, our puppy had the “sit” command down pat so S tried to get her to sit on the scale. Attempting to coax her onto the scale with various treats and lures, however, proved to be an utter failure. It also provided a fair deal of amusement to our vet, who – once she got over her laughter – advised us to pick Emmie up and get on the scale ourselves. So the next morning, D weighed himself and then got back on the scale with Emmie in his arms to determine her weight.
Turns out that in about a month Emmie had nearly doubled in size. Whereas before she was small and timid, she is now tall enough to grab things off the table and countertops and get into all sorts of trouble. On the upside, her growth spurt has also helped her conquer her fear of heights. Before, it was impossible to get her to jump into our towering LandCruiser and she would literally shake with fear when she peered down at the ground off the high seat.
Not only has Emmie grown, but she has really come into herself. No longer does she incessantly whine every time we leave her alone or follow at our heels as we move from room to room. Instead, she has become a demanding attention hog, growling and slapping our legs with her paw if we don’t play with her. Whereas before she didn’t know how to fetch, now she barks and gets into her ready-to-play-position whenever she wants us to toss her stuffed toys. She has discovered that it is too much fun to not come back to us for more, especially since she’d rather play tug-of-war for hours than do just about anything else. She still tries to curl up in our laps like she used to when she was little, though she doesn’t really fit anymore and usually slides between our legs for a belly rub instead.
We had hoped to overcome the submissive urination by now, but unfortunately Emmie still has occasional accidents. Though they have become less frequent and smaller in volume, we still do not feel confident enough to put our carpets back down. And we still allow her time to calm down when meeting someone new or when D comes home from work (those power suits do look rather imposing). On the upside, she is now much more comfortable around Africans, men, and other dogs. She absolutely adores our housekeeper and she’s even grown fond of our gardener. Apparently, socialization really does work.
Before Emmie could become a woman, so to speak, we decided to spay her. After several dog people had recommended the same vet, we swallowed our reservations about veterinary care in Kenya and put her under the knife. S dropped her off one morning and must have looked anxious enough to warrant a special courtesy call from the vet when the procedure was over to let her know that everything went well. Emmie was pretty drugged up that first evening, barely managing to get up to greet D when he came home, but she snapped back to her rambunctious self by the next morning. She was a bit subdued for a few days after the operation, though that may have been largely due to the cone of shame we made her wear to ensure that she wouldn’t bite or lick her stitches, which finally came out yesterday. Now that she’s all healed, the next big adventure that awaits our puppy is obedience classes.