The puppies found something dead yesterday. They were delighted. I didn’t think much of them being out of sight behind the shop until I told them to “Come!” and they bounded happily over (oh, good good puppies!), bringing with them a smell that my nose will never forget (blaaagghh, get away! get away!). I managed not to vocalize the disgust, which would have undone days of training them to come on command. They led me back to their treasure and I spent the next few minutes trying to pry what looked like a piece of raccoon spinal column out of one large puppy’s mouth, only to have to start in on the next one when he or she snapped up the prize. Finally got the thing out of both mouths long enough to drag them away from it by their collars. I needed Kerry’s help to get both puppies up to the garden hose, during which exercise I told Kerry two was a mistake.
Then began the puppy waterboarding. At least, that’s what the puppies told the neighbors was going on. I guess I didn’t think the cold hose water would be so terrible to them, since they’re constantly trying to jump into the kids’ blow-up pool (down! down, sharp puppy teeth and claws!), which is full of cold spring water. Our nearest neighbor “happened by with fresh tomatoes from his garden” during the second bathecution, and once he decided he didn’t need to call the cops on us he helpfully suggested rubbing them down with vinegar. That’s what worked when his dog won the dead-thing-in-the-grass lottery last week.
We dried the traumatized puppies with a towel and got them in their crate for the night. Then I went straight to my dog-training book to find out how to not traumatize them. Too late. “Things that spook the pup during the two-week ‘fear period’ of 8-11 weeks of age can remain ingrained for a long time.” Our pups are 10 weeks old. Great.
By this morning, I thought the grossness was behind us, and had made friends with the puppies again. But in the middle of our math lesson this morning, that smell came wafting into the room. I went out to the deck, and sure enough, Molly had thrown up part of another animal. Not just on the deck, also on Mingo’s back. Since the hose was out of the question, I got a pitcher of soapy water mixed with vinegar and gave Mingo a sponge bath. He whimpered and whined about the scary bath, but we got through it.
The fact that our puppies are in love with dead things and frightened to death of baths is bad, very bad.