Friday, December 24, 2004

Puppy mayhem

Baby Lady Posted by Hello

A pic of Lady when she was under a year old and we still allowed her to sleep in our beds and after she wet Kuok Sum's bed she got kicked out to the porch. What an angel.

Having 3 puppies must be somewhat equivalent to having a baby in the house, or worse off. Last night saw them wedging themselves between the iron grill and front door and bawling the night entire. Maybe it is our own fault, the owners in my house keeps on overindulging the little angels and not laying a firm enough authority to the point of having them behave. Yes it is tempting to look at their cute little face, the drooling tongue and waggily tail to want to just forgive them and hug them to death but there is a point that one has to make a stand. As I was referring earlier, my housemates are overindulging the pups, letting them enter the house with impunity, putting them on the bathroom floor to cool them when the weather is hot, feeding them in the kitchen and just letting them lie on the upper floors. I hate to play the devil’s advocate but if no one else does and it becomes a habit that the three caballeros think they own this house, I’ve to act to reassert myself as top dog.

It was hard enough toilet training Lady and to hear her whimper to be let in but in the end she learnt to stay outside and know we mean well. Now it’s their turn. After being rudely awakened round 4 a.m. with the incessant wailing to be let in, I decided discipline is in order so going down with a sour disposition indeed, I took my rubber slipper and gave them a few light flicks on the hips and nose and proceeded to throw them unceremoniously out of the door. Sat there waiting the whole of the hour till early morning and reinforcing the habit, if they decided to cross the threshold its ‘WHACK!’ I don’t really want to do this but it conditioning does work and now at 6 a.m. they have finally learned to keep their distance even when the door is wide ajar.

I’m not that mean so after they learnt this, I had them a sumptuous breakfast to show there are no hard feelings and that they did well. The key is to associate the whacking to entering the house and to show that reward for obeying the alpha male, Pavlovian theory at work, simple but effective. Now the problem is convincing the others not to ‘manja’ the darlings too much or else they’ll figure they can run to them whenever I want to induce punishment. At least they did manage to get the chicken wire on the gate to prevent the pups from escaping and also thanks to Adrian for sending over the dog collars for the pups.

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