We recently had an addition to our household. We added a new fur baby! Not surprisingly, our other fur baby was not very happy! She has taken to some “odd” behaviors since Max—the puppy—joined our family.
Mittens’—the cat—newest behavior is jumping up on the hood of the stove and opening the cupboard doors. She looks pretty proud of herself (or perhaps a bit surprised that she was caught)! She sticks her front paw into the cupboard handle and pulls the doors open. She just goes along the top of the hood and pulls open the doors. We aren’t sure if she is looking for a treat or a place to hide!
The New Puppy—Max Is His Name
Our oldest daughter was being a “foster parent” for Max—his name was Ace when she had him. She showed up one day with Max and basically said, “Surprise! You are now the parents of this Dachshund/Black Lab mix puppy! Here’s some food and his bed!”
It wasn’t quite like that, but we were given no forewarning that we were going to be “parents” again! We agreed to keep Max on a “trial” basis with the stipulation that if things didn’t work out, our daughter would have to find Max a new home.
Max was 12 weeks old when he came to live with us. It has been a month now since the little guy moved in and changed our lives!
We told our granddaughter that Max would be her puppy and she would have to take care of him. She gets a little nervous and because he is a puppy and he loves to jump, she also gets very frustrated with him.
We have given her the responsibility of leading him on his walks and giving him his treats when he’s been a good boy and has done his “business” outside!
Giving this responsibility to her has been a good choice because it is teaching her how to care for something other than a toy. (She was supposed to do this with the cat, but the cat “latched” onto me and has never looked at anyone else!)
Walking the Dog
We were able to find a place for all of Max’s things when he moved in with us. He had a collar and a leash so we started the walks right away that evening.
Max loved it and so did my granddaughter! I am not sure who was more excited. Because of his age and his short little legs, we didn’t walk very far, but it was enough to make both my granddaughter and Max tired! They both slept all night!
Because we knew Max would be a “hit” with the other kids at the bus stop, we made our daily walk with the dog, the walk to the bus stop.
As we knew he would be, Max was a big draw for the other kids and this helped our granddaughter gain a few “popularity points”, too, because they all talked with her and wanted to have her “let them” pet Max. She feels like a big girl!
Who’s Walking Who?
Max loves his leash—he loves to play tug-o-war with it and whoever is on the other end! Since this is usually my granddaughter, she gets the “joy” and burden of attempting to teach Max that this is not acceptable.
Like any “kid” will do, Max is testing all the boundaries to see how far he can go and how hard he can push. But overall, he is a great dog and a wonderful little companion. He loves to jump, but we are working to curb that behavior so he doesn’t hurt his back. He has the fiestiness and playfulness of the Black Lab and the short legs and long body of the Dachshund which makes him more apt to have back problems if he (and we) aren’t careful.
Max—a Great Companion for a Little Girl
Our granddaughter just loves our new fur baby! She’s the one who named him Max. We allowed it because Max was close to the name Ace and he responded very well to the name Max. Now, he will always be Max. It completely fits him! I can’t say that the two are inseparable, but they sure do make a good pair! She loves it when Max does what he is asked to do and she even likes the tug-o-war sessions while walking.
She certainly loves and deserves the attention of the other kids when they fawn over Max and give her the respect of being his fur parent!
All in all, I would have to say that a pet is a great way for a child to learn responsibility and to have a loving companion throughout life! I know I would have been lost without the pets I had as a child!
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About the author
Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org.