|Mason at 14 weeks. How could this furball be so evil?|
I went to work the morning we were going to pick up Mason and two of my friends from work had left a gift basket on my desk. In the basket was sparkling cider, cheese, crackers, and Advil. My friends are such comedians. Little did I know I would need that Advil, not necessarily that weekend, but eventually.
Even as small as Mason was he had a huge attitude. After that first weekend with us he had no interest in cuddling with me, which was what I wanted to badly. I was convinced that I had gotten a bad seed; that there was something seriously wrong with him. I really didn't think I would make it through puppyhood. My friends at work kept telling me to be firm and what I was going through was exactly what it's like to have a puppy. The books did not tell me how difficult some puppies could be. Mason would run around the living room, stop at my feet, bite and attack them relentlessly. I never knew how sharp puppy teeth were. They are like tiny needles. The more he sensed my frustration the more stimulated he became. I reread my books and they all said a firm, "No!" and "ignoring the puppy" was all the correction that was needed. Well, that didn't work on Mason. My mom was old school, she told me to roll up a newspaper and smack his bottom. I was tempted, but didn't want to go there. I even tried spraying water at him with a spray bottle, but he wasn't even phased by that, he thought it was a game. He would attack my hands when I would put his leash on him. When we did venture outside Mason would constantly chew on his leash. He would not walk properly no matter what I did; he would jump up and try to grab his leash. I think we went through several leashes during his puppyhood. Everyone kept saying that things would get better, but I couldn't believe it.
One of the things that Mason did was stalk us from under the sofa. He was so small that he could easily get under there. It freaked us out at first. He would just lie under the sofa and stare at us, calculating his next move. The funniest thing was when he was having one of his "moments". He zoomed around the living room at top speed, ran under the sofa, grabbed the electrical cord of the phone, and the cordless phone went flying. We were in such disbelief that a little puppy could actually do this.
This was just the beginning of puppyhood. Sadly, puppies and adolescent dogs (5 months-2 years) are the ones that more often than not end up at shelters. Just like children, puppies go through a teenage phase where they forget what they've learned. This was so out of my comfort zone, but I educated myself as much as I could and I was determined to work through the difficult stages. Raising a puppy is challenging, exhausting, and frustrating, but in the end very rewarding.