Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gertie and Della

Keb and I are parents.

 Thursday we drove to Little Rock to meet two standard poodle pups, female, aged sixteen weeks.  They were bred at a kennel named Renowned Poodles, located within a bird sanctuary 15 miles west of town in the mountain wilds.  Getting non-blurred pictures of puppies is a challenge!  Here they are in a typical "jump up and kiss me!" attitude with Kathy.  She was about to decide that the smaller one on the right is Della Street and the stockier one on the left is Gertrude Lade.  Their mother is the white dog on the left.  The dad isn't black, either.  The girls show their parti-color heritage with little white patches and a white toenail here and there.

Friday morning we returned to the kennel to pick up the girls and bring them back here.  They traveled well, with Gertie taking constant interest in the potential to jump up front and see better while Della hunkered down and bided her time.

We chose these names because of our enjoyment of the Perry Mason TV series.  We've been collecting DVDs of that series and have eight of its nine years on hand.  Della Street is Perry's legal secretary.  Gertie is the receptionist in the outer office.

Kathy had ordered crates for the puppies so that they could sleep in our bedroom without getting into the million varieties of puppy trouble while we slept.  Puppies of all varieties take lots of attention and vigilance, but poodles distinguish themselves by a trickster trait.  They are so smart they need to invent games that involve blitz-theft.

 There's Della yesterday afternoon during a 30-minute free play time in which I served as the Watcher and Alpha Male, barking "OFF!" whenever I saw tooth-testing of rugs, leather furniture, and the many house plants in the area.  Della is testing the tensile strength of a Christmas cactus with a view to carrying off a piece to nibble on.  Behind her on the hearth is a little arrangement of stones and driftwood found on the Oregon shore years ago.  That is now up on the mantle, as the pieces of wood seemed great chew toys for a few seconds.  OFF!

We bought two litter mates so they would have a familiar companion before meeting our two cats and possibly freaking out.  Here they go into Kathy's office to explore all the old dog smells on the rug she brought here from West Plains when we combined households and lives four years ago.

The kitchen is proving to be a very interesting place.  The door they use to go in and out is there.  Their food and water is there.  Even more interesting, there are dish towels, hand towels, and many counters at a good height for thievery.  Gertie-with-the-big-white-patch is measuring the distance to my banana peel this morning.  Too far, alas!  OFF!

This is Della, smaller of build, with a smaller white patch, looking for another fun opportunity.

This is Gertie, trying out her "who, me?" expression after a minor transgression, such as testing the dining room seat cushions for chewability.  We've given them chew toys, which are the hit of the party, briefly, until other things come to mind.

Neither likes the nose leads we use instead of "choker chains" or leather collars.  After two days of trying to rub them off while we go "walkies," they are figuring out that heeling in the perfect position results in no bothersome tension on the loop around the snout.  They are adapting to what feels best, and I am heaping praise on them in my baritenor range, "GOOD GIRL!"

I am sure they will easily learn the Latin names of all our plants in the coming months.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Congrats on the new puppies! Two is a great idea and once they outgrow their puppyness, you'll be set for a long time. Our rescue guy really missed his sister and now that we have another pup, he is much happier. Despite the temporary challenges, there is such joy in watching their zest for life...especially after elderly dogs. It helps heal.