Books. How-to guides. Helpful handbooks full of practical ideas. I’m a sucker for reading up on a new project to learn how to tackle and approach it to get the best results.
This is exactly what I did during the countdown to puppy arrival. I wanted to be clued up before Pippi arrived rather than dipping in and out of the pages to find out things as and when needed. Being an organised kind of girl, I needed a plan.
Three chapters in and I thought it all sounded very matter-of-fact and pretty straightforward. Nothing to worry about, it all sounded perfectly manageable. I. Can. Do. This.
All I will say now is that by the time I had leafed three quarters of the way through the book, it went back on the shelf and hasn’t been referred to since.
It turns out that while the book was full of tips and suggestions which I digested fully, unfortunately Pippi hadn’t had the chance to read up on what she should and shouldn’t do or how she must behave in certain situations. Poor love. Her motor skills weren’t up to literacy. Darn it.
The book was useful for learning about dogs but most of our puppy training came through trial and error along with trying to understand Pippi as an individual dog.
I’m sure these guides are beneficial and do give some useful information. For some lucky dog owners the results can even be achieved as they suggest they should.
In the absence of the dreaded book, I turned to Google. Yup, let’s see how other people in the same situation are getting on.
This was not a good move. For every post there seemed to be a mixture of positive and negative responses.
“My puppy just howls all night.”
“Well, my puppy’s been sleeping through no problem since the day we got him/her.”
“My puppy keeps weeing on the carpet and never seems to do it when I take him/her outside.”
“Well, my puppy was fully house-trained after four days.”
“My puppy bites everything in sight even thought we’ve got him/her lots of toys.”
“Well, my puppy sits quietly and never bites, chews or does anything naughty, ever.”
Bah! If you didn’t feel like a failure before, you soon will after scrolling through the forum threads.
Don’t do it, it can seriously damage the ability to feel good about your own personal predicament. Either that or you’ll turn in to an ever-so-annoying smug person. Boo!
Helpful in small doses but take them too seriously or you’ll be an emotional wreck. Just go with the flow and keep calm (so much easier said than done at times).
If it’s anything serious then an expert website can be valuable. Then and only then hit Google.
We made the decision to learn our own way and in Pippi’s own time. Which turned out to be perfectly alright.
I’m not really sure what books are. I think they’re the slabs of paper that used to be on the kitchen shelf. I got a bit bored one afternoon when there was no one home and my teeth were hurting so I had a chomp on the corner of one book. Mum pulled a face when she saw it and then they all vanished.
It happened again. Mum put a book out of my reach on the coffee table. I wanted to show her how clever I am by jumping up to grab it with my teeth. I managed to have a little nibble. It turns out that wasn’t a good idea. It was her friend’s book. She did that face again.
The thing is, I like books to have a chew on even though I know it’s mischievous. I can walk, run, fetch, dance (sort of), pick up sticks, look, listen and learn, but I can’t read can I? Don’t be silly! I’m a dog for goodness sake!