Elf has been heard to say it would have been easier to have a third child than get a puppy - "at least you can put a nappy on them". There has been a great deal of wee on the floor. Just when we think Winston has got the idea, he goes and wees on his bed. Or goes outside, comes back in and then wees on the floor.
It would be fair to say we have fallen out of love with him at times. This weekend has generally been good though. Winston is closed in the downstairs bathroom overnight, and he wees indiscriminately on the floor in there, but chooses to poo on the newspaper. Apart from early-morning slip-ups, (before everyone is quite on their mettle), today and yesterday have passed with no moppage required upstairs. It has been cold but not windy, so we have been able to leave the back door open, and the kids have been playing with him outside a lot of the time. Constant surveillance is required, and that is pretty tiring, but at least the weeing-puppy phase should be a lot quicker than the choking-infant or drowning-toddler phase.
Relations with Hattie continue to be frosty on her part, and merely floppy on his. I have tried carrying her under one arm and a bowl of cat meat under the other, and marching her up the stairs into his presence. Even when he is confined in the borrowed playpen, she is not prepared to stay and eat.
Today he was introduced to Larson, his neighbour. Larson is a black lab of mature years, greying about the whiskers. I missed most of the meeting, but Winston apparently jumped about too much for Larson's liking. His attitude to Winston was probably something like my attitude to pre-teens doing incompetent kick-flips in a supermarket carpark. I would sum it up as "Just... don't".
This afternoon was originally going to be our first trip to puppy school, but we had a kids party this morning, and it was just too hard to up and go at the point I should have. So Elf decided we should all go for a walk on the beach instead. Once we had everyone assembled and ready to go, we turned to Winston - he was a boneless black heap on the floor.
Winston was pretty good in the car, riding in the back of the wagon with his front paws up on the back seat, looking over the boy's heads. He trotted happily along the beach, seemingly unfazed by all the new things - sand, sea, other dogs coming up and sniffing his bot. He was keen to be friends with everyone and even the slightly barky dogs didn't make him cower or anything. Other dog people were complimentary, but predicted that he would be the the size of a chest freezer when fully grown. Back home after the walk he was so tired he looked even more boneless than before - like he was actually painted on the floor.
He is now exploring the yard more fully. I unintentionally set up an experiment yesterday by leaving Marcus's ugg boots outside the front door. When we returned from soccer 2 hours later, one had been carefully moved up to the back deck, but not molested. This is pretty much what zoologists do with radio transmittters when they are studying dolphins or bats or whatever. The ugg boot system, although less scientific, is cheaper to set up.
Tomorrow he will have his longest day yet alone. I would love to set up a webcam so I can see what scampyness he gets up to. We know that he will sleep for most of it anyway.