Born March 29, 2015
Getting our First Puppy
May 26th, 2015 was our BIG DAY! After being on the wait list for many months and spending that time reading as much as I could about owning a dog, I was feeling knowledgeable but also realizing I had another million unanswered questions! Time to dive in.
Our little guy was exactly what I had wished for. Having had dogs growing up but never as an adult this was one of my ‘bucket list’ wishes and I waited until I was retired to make that wish a reality. I knew that my work life and owning a dog were not compatible so now I had the time to devote to this little bundle of fluff.
I have been wanting to send you an update for a while, but life gets so busy…especially with a new puppy! :) First, I must tell you that we LOVE our little Koko. He is the best dog!!! He has the nicest temperament, is smart as a whip and is just a joy to have. When we take him out, people tell us he is the cutest dog they have ever seen. So thought you would like to know!
He is doing really well on his potty training but I don’t allow too many opportunities for mistakes. He’s either on a leash with me in the house, or playing games with me (that’s when sometimes he stops and pees in the house and I just can’t get him outside fast enough) or in his long term or short term confinement pens or crate. He is fantastic about sleeping through the night and did so after the first week. I usually put him down around 9-9:30 (if I’m up later I will wake him and take him out one more time before I go to bed) He sleeps through the night till anywhere from 6-8:30 AM…which I think is amazing.
I am having such fun socializing him. He’s met so many different people and had so many different experiences, that they are too long to list. We've had people into our home as well as have gone out into the community. So far everyone is his best friend. People. dogs, cats, fish, birds. He’s fascinated with everything.
My daughter has a 7 month old lab mix (Mookie) and she is really a sweet dog but of course so much bigger than Koko. They did really well being introduced but with space to romp Mookie was too powerful for Koko so I kept Koko in his crate most of the time with Mookie sitting right next to the crate. Their second encounter was on Father’s Day. We did a little experimentation with them together in my back yard but decided that Mookie is just too big and gets too excited with Koko in our big yard. I have an outside exercise pen so I put Koko in there. Both dogs were very interested in each other and engaged through the pen enclosure. We decided to let Mookie into the enclosure as there was a good amount of space but not enough to let her get too rambunctious. That seemed to work well. It was really cute to watch Mookie take a toy and walk around to try to engage Koko. As soon as Mookie laid down Koko was all over her but she seemed to understand he was a puppy and was most patient with him. I bought them marrow bones from the butcher and they both had their bones and enjoyed being together. They stayed in the pens for several hours watching all the grandchildren play in the pool and seemed content to be in their enclosure enjoying the day.
This past weekend we had a trauma. We had a yard sale on Saturday and of course the opportunity for socialization was fantastic. Koko was in an out door pen, could see all the activity and of course most everyone had to go say hi, pet him etc. As we were packing up, I took him out of the pen and was playing ball with him when the neighbor’s parents’ dog got loose and ran into our yard and attacked Koko. He was an English bulldog and very strong. In a knee jerk reaction I pulled the dog off of Koko and may have saved his life! And luckily I didn’t get bitten in the process. The dog bit Koko in the face so after I pulled him off, little Koko’s nose was all bloody. I whisked him off to the vet who examined him and said the lacerations were superficial, no need for stitches and that after some healing, he should be just fine. They cleaned him up and put him on antibiotics for a week. Unfortunately, this dog had had a few other instances of biting (both humans and other dogs) which had developed as he got older (I think he was 14.) According to the owners, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and they decided to put him down. What an emotional afternoon. This just happened this past Saturday, but Koko still seems to think that this world is a wonderful place and he still loves meeting other dogs.
As of Saturday, he weighs 6.2 lbs.! He still naps twice a day and as I mentioned before, sleeps through the night very well. He does amazingly well with the leash and walking, knows how to sit, down, fetch & leave it. We’re working on paw and some other things right now. I’m so amazed at how quickly he gets it! We are enrolling him in puppy classes this week, which I’m sure he will love.
August 26, 2015
Tonight is Koko’s last Puppy Kindergarten class. Most of the other dogs are bigger than he is but I don’t think he knows he’s little, as he wants to get right into the fray. There isn’t much play time at the class and the room is fairly small so the puppies can’t get too much momentum going. The perimeter of the room is lined with chairs and Koko uses that to his advantage. He just sneaks under a chair and the other dogs can’t really fit so his strategy works!
Today he went for his first grooming. I have bathed him before but this was the whole works. Of course, I think he looks adorable! He’s now 5 months old. Wow, hard to believe.
As I’ve read about adolescence, I can see the impact. Sometime when I give him a command, (sit, come etc.) he just looks at me. From my puppy who was so cooperative to a little Attitude. Cracks me up!
We also have had to deal with the challenge of our fenced in yard. We have a metal fence with poles that are about 6” apart. We had no trouble containing him as he was happy to stay in the yard with us and play fetch. About a month ago, he figured out he could squeeze between the poles and/or go under the fence. You could almost see his mind going as he would run to fetch his toy and then decide to take another path…right through the fence! Retrieving him was a whole other issue as I couldn’t get into the other yard without traveling a distance around hedges etc. Meanwhile, he was out of my sight and the whole event made me very nervous. Going forward, I bought a clothesline and kept him tethered when we played fetch, but he would go around trees etc and get tangled and well…it wasn’t a long term solution. We finally ended up buying some black vinyl poultry mesh at Home Depot and spent the day with tie wraps securing it to the fence so he couldn’t go through or under. It was kind of comical to watch him make the discovery the first time he was in the yard after our ‘installation’. We were playing fetch and as he ran to get the ball, he looked at the fence and decided it would be more fun to take a detour through the fence. Imagine his surprise when he realized he couldn’t get through! He ran along the entire length of the fence sniffing and looking. He turned around and looked at us. If he could speak I know what his words would have been…LOL. Anyway, thankfully he hasn’t tried digging to go under but we do keep a close eye on him when he is out in the yard as we have Coyotes in the area. So we don’t want to take ANY chances!
Koko at 5 months weighs 8 lbs. 7 oz.
I wish my children had been as good about going to bed as he is, though. He doesn't really like being in his crate during the day although I do put him in for short periods. Most of his time is either in the exercise pen or outside with us. When it's bedtime, he goes into his crate without a peep and sleeps all night.
I don't know if I'm just lucky or if most of the pups have similar behavior. Do you think they are ALL this good about going to bed?
It's amazing what we have learned about dogs while in Fl. It seems that everyone in this community who has a dog has a small dog so there are lots of friends for Koko to see on his daily walks. The hunting aspect of his lineage comes through every day when we walk. Koko thinks of each walk as a gecko safari. Amazing how some of the other dog owners say their dogs pays no mind to the geckos. For Koko it is pretty exciting and then add a bunny or two...and it's nirvana.
We also learned of some dangers which we haven't had to deal with in MA. There is a non-native Bufo bull frog which is quite poisonous to dogs. Apparently the parotid gland emits a poisonous substance which can be lethal. Koko found a dead pancake flattened one the other night on our walk and clearly thought he had won the lottery. I had some treats to "trade up" so he would leave it, but he was clearly not interested. I figured since it looked clearly petrified, there couldn't be as much harm...but of course, I wasn't sure. I finally found a piece of palm tree to knock it out of Koko's mouth and figured I would keep a close watch on him that evening for any adverse reaction. He was fine but the next day, I heard a story of a dog who found a dead frog and after putting it in his mouth started to foam at the mouth and had to be rushed to a vet. I was sure glad I didn't have that experience. I'm still not sure if it is because the frog he picked up had been dead too long, or maybe that it was not one of the poisonous ones. Happy to report a good outcome but it points to the need for constant vigilance.
There are several really nice dog parks close by so we have taken Koko so he can play w other dogs. One of the pictures of him completely filthy is after a great time at the Naples dog park. Thought it might brush out but that encounter definitely called for a doggy bath!
Hope this finds you well.
Patricia & John Gugliotta.
Name Mother, Sire and Date of Birth Adult Weight
Koko Guinevere & Redford- March 28, 2015 14 pounds
Cavachons From The Monarchy