When Max left us before Thanksgiving, we immediately knew that we needed another companion for Millie, our chihuahua-rat terrier-papillon mix. We had talked about a smaller dog like Millie, but for security I wanted at least something around the size of Max. I personally wanted a dog similar to Max. We came upon a miniature Australian Shepherd as an appropriate fit and began to look around. They are typically 25-35 pounds (Max was 42) and fairly energetic. A co-worker of Lynn’s knew of a local woman who bred single litters of Minnie Aussies from her female, and had seven available. So we went and had the entire litter to pick from since she had not advertised yet. Two were male merles (one blue, one red) and I was drawn to the blue one. Since we were planning to visit family in Missouri for Christmas we decided to wait until our return on Dec 30 to pick him up.
That night we welcomed a new member to our family: Mannie Painter. Mannie keeps our “M” dogs intact and is short for “Emmanuel”—God with us.
To say we are delighted is an understatement. Losing Max is still painful; we miss him. Mannie won’t replace Max in our hearts, but will give Millie a companion, bring another loyal member to our family, and provide security and companionship that only dogs bring. I am looking forward to another hiking companion.
Now the hard part begins—training a new puppy. Since I am working from home now, I am the designated trainer. We (and especially me) didn’t do the best at disciplined training of Maddie, Max, or Millie. Max was simply smart enough to pick up on things, so eventually he became a fairly disciplined dog. Maddie and Millie not so much (Millie is smart but way too excited about everything). So how to train a dog? I’ve read one book, perused another, caught a couple of YouTube videos, obtained a clicker, and built a crate. Mannie is ten weeks old now, so after he gets used to our house and back-yard for a few days, I plan on beginning basics. He took to the crate immediately, even with the door closed. The first night I took him outside three times with success (both pee and poop), and slept in the interim.
For the most part, house-training has gone well, but puppy-hood is in full bloom with chewing of everything in sight (including my glasses!) and now engaging in lots of bark-filled play with Millie, who is soaking it up. Walks are works in progress as new sights, smells, and especially sounds are somewhat frightful. I expect all of that to pass by the way soon.
So welcome Mannie! Here’s to a new year, new adventures, and many fun days ahead.