Five Things I Know about Timmy So Far - 08/25/2020
Tomorrow it will be four weeks since I met my little boy-pug Timmy and brought him home. He was very tiny and malnourished when I met him, but he is thriving now. I love watching him wake up to the world every day, unfolding like a flower. I had forgotten what a joy it is to have a puppy in the house, especially one this young. He is a lot of work, but I have time and am committed to raising him well. He has definitely restored the joy to my life that I lost when Clara died.
Dogs, like people, come out of the chute with a lot of their personality traits already in place. Timmy has been no different Although some of his personality will develop as a result of his interactions with me (and other people) and with his environment, I am enjoying discovering the type of dog he was born to be. Here are five things I've observed so far:
Timmy is fearless and bold.
When I first met him, I thought I had never seen such a tiny dog, and I thought that he was probably not going to live very long. I almost let him go, but he leaned toward me with a little pug smile, and obviously was not afraid to leave with me. I decided I wanted to try to save his life, rescuing him from an unscrupulous breeder who had clearly lied about his age when I first spoke to her. This boy was only about seven weeks old, at least three weeks too early to leave his mama. But he was not afraid and was very alert from the moment we met. Since then, the only thing that has scared him appears to be a loud barking dog, which we encountered in a parking lot today. He has not had much interaction yet with other dogs, and this Rottweiler barked loudly from a car and freaked him out. But otherwise, he's game for anyting so far.
2. When he is outraged, he will let me know.
The first day, he had come in a two-hour car trip from Phoenix, and I had him in a carrier in the car with me for two more hours while I delivered orders for DoorDash. This was just way too much for him, and he finally starting making quite a bit of noise in the car with howls of protest. Since then, I've learned not to push him. But he is not shy about vocalizing his complaints if he is hungry or in pain or sick of the car. He makes an astonishing amount of noise for such a tiny dog.
3. He has a wonderful new puppy smell.
Okay, this is not a personality trait. But there is something so compelling about the smell of a new puppy, kind of like a newborn baby. It's milky and sweet and untainted, brand new to the world. The top of Timmy's head smells delicious. I wish I could bottle that scent and keep it forever, because it won't last.
4. He shows signs of being very intelligent.
Timmy is already watching TV with me, and responding to videos on my phone. He appears to recognize dogs and whines at them. I love watching him tilt his head as he tries to take in what is going on. My Clara never responded to TV, but Pasha, my first pug, responded early like Timmy and frequently jumped up on the screen to try to get at dogs (or really any animals) that were showing there. I've always heard this is a sign of intelligence in dogs. He is also responding to commands now: come, sit, stay, jump up. I'm having less success with Go Pee, because he is distracted by eating dirt in our yard (we don't have grass here for the most part; it's the desert after all). However, he knows what I want and will go on the pad in the house when I tell him to. He also knows "crate" and "food;" he appears to distinguish when I say yogurt or chicken (he is still on this diet right now and will be for another month or so, as I wean him to puppy food). And he knows "go outside;" since he started eating dirt he starts licking his lips and runs for the door when I ask him if he wants to go out.
5. Timmy is sweet.
When I brought him home, he refused to eat for the first day or so. By the second day I was frantic, and made an emergency run to PetSmart for unpasteurized goat's milk and a dog nursing kit. He resisted at first, but once I got the nipple in his mouth, he drank like the starving boy he was. And when he finished, he climbed up my arm and kissed me on the lips, clearly in gratitude. He continues to exhibit this trait in his enjoyment of physical contact and cuddling moments with me. He seeks out the place cloest to me whenever we sit together, usually climbing onto my shoulder and curling up there like a monkey. Thank God he doesn't try to groom me.
Clearly, he has won my heart. At the request of my FaceBook friends, he now has his own Facebook and Instagram pages. He is so tiny and adorable right now that I want to document everything, like any new mom would. And of course, to share it with the world. I'm sure I will learn much more about Timmy as his world continues to unfold. I'm enjoying the process.
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