Another adventure for Grandma

There is something new at Hickory Heights. Micah, a four-month-old Shih-Tsu mix, is my newest addition. I was not really in the market for a new dog, but when the opportunity presented itself it made me think. I would be absolutely lost without a dog. It is such a warm and cozy feeling to have a dog waiting for you when you come home.

Someone told me that the humane society had some cute pups. I had the opportunity to see them for myself when I visited my children at their hospital a couple weeks ago. The day I stopped the puppies had just had surgery so they were not at their best. I looked at them, but could not decide what to do.

I told my grandson that night that I was going to get a puppy. He could not wait to tell his mother and his sister. My granddaughter could not believe it. Since it was April 1 she thought it was an April fool’s joke. She tried to call me that night, but I was not at home.

I knew I wanted one of them, but I was not sure if I wanted the little boy or the little girl. I actually did not care as much for the look of the girl although she was friendly enough. I went back up to the hospital a day later so that I could get a chance to play with them. The minute I walked into the room the boy wanted me to pick him up. The girl was more interested in just running around. I picked the boy up and I was hooked. He cuddled up in my arms and stayed there. Whenever I tried to put him down, he came right back to me. We played for a while, then I took him home to see how he would get along with the animals I had.

The bad thing was I had a girl’s name all picked out, but I had no name for a boy. First, I thought about Noah but I rejected that because it seemed like I was always saying no and I thought he would be confused. Since my other two pets have biblical names, I wanted a biblical name for him. It took a couple days, but I finally settled on Micah. By the end of the week he knew his name. I could see that he was going to be a fast learner.

My days are different for a while. Now I run the puppy outdoors as soon as I get up, then I feed all of the animals. Then, it is another trip outdoors to finish his business. My system is working. The accidents are becoming fewer and farther between. When he races from room to room I know that he needs out. When he finishes eating he brings the dish as if asking for more. When I give Hannah her pills, I have to have a scrap for Micah.

I had a chew toy that you can put peanut butter or a dog biscuit in to let the pup chew it out. He also likes chew bones. I discovered this when he stole one of Hannah’s bones and ran off with it. She was not very happy so I had to find one for the pup. When they are both chewing, I have to referee or one of them would end up with two bones.

The puppy has now met all of the grandchildren and the children. He is such a happy little fellow. He has established his own routine. He goes out, eats, goes out, plays, then begs to sit with me and falls asleep. When I put him back in his kennel he is happy to rest there.

One has to remember that a puppy is something like a baby. They eat and sleep. Micah has definitely got a nice personality. He is very cuddly. He cannot understand why my lap is smaller when I am sitting on the kitchen chair. He likes it when I take him in the living room and sit on the couch so he can stretch out.

The baby gate that I bought when I got my new kitten is out once again. He has the kitchen, the pantry, and the mud room to roam around in. I feel like a new mother. He is training me well.

Goliath who is a very big cat is scared of him. He gives the puppy a very wide berth. As soon as he sees the puppy he disappears. Hopefully, that will smooth itself out. The dog was not a problem at all. She is a great example for the puppy. She has been wonderful as she has put up with the little guy climbing all over her. They have squared off over a couple bones but that is it.

This is the fifth puppy I have trained six if you want to count Hannah who was a year old when we got her. For a girl who grew up without any pets this has been a wonderful adventure. I love my pets, but I expect them to learn the rules of the house.

The first three puppies I trained were of the German Shepard breed. The dogs were mine until I got them trained, then, they went to the barn with my husband. I remember especially the last one, Ebony. My in-laws had a pup at the same time. My husband kept telling me all of the wonderful things their dog did. Ours did not do any tricks, but she was potty trained! I soon used scraps of toast to train her to catch. It worked very well. Soon she was catching everything.

Spring is a good time to train a puppy. I can just run him outside when he looks like he is about to let loose. This morning he was eating the snow. He probably had never seen that either. He does not like rain though. He went out, but wanted right back in the day that we had rain.

Now I am rolling a plastic donut across my kitchen floor to amuse him. He runs after it, but does not always bring it back after all, he is still a baby. I would say that we both have a lot to learn!

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at