Eight and a bit weeks old – 99% Labrador – and 100% mischief.
It’s astonishing how one little scrap can turn a household upside down.
Dixie came home with us just a few days ago and it’s fair to say life’s never been quite the same since. Mind you, she’s not predictable. Fully expecting her to follow the pattern set by all other puppies I’ve ever owned by howling the house down through her first couple of nights, I was all set to sleep on the sofa to keep her company. But she was quite happy to snuggle into her basket with a cuddly toy – a luridly coloured bug-eyed chicken called Rooster Cogburn. He’s not the cutest of companions but he did the trick and we didn’t hear a peep out of her all night.
Paragon Veterinary Nurse Ceri Delaney has since advised me that cuddly toys aren’t a good idea as they can be ripped to shreds too easily and then there’s a danger the pup will swallow bits of stuffing. She introduced me to a variety of safer options, including the Kong and the Pyramid. They’re basically both hollow rubber toys which can be stuffed with doggy treats and provide a bit of education and exercise as well as giving Dixie something she can chew to her heart’s content.
We already have three other pets in the house – a very well-behaved nine year old German Shepherd/Retriever called Zara and two cats, five year old Puskas who’s as close to saintly as any cat could ever be (except if you happen to be a mouse!) and one year old Cash who’s a holy terror. The cats get on fine with Zara, but are still very undecided about this newcomer in their midst. Puskas prefers to maintain a lofty distance – Cash has crept over to Dixie’s basket when she’s safely asleep to touch her very tentatively with one paw. I’m confident they’ll become partners in crime before too long.