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Jasper

by Matt Hicks



 

 

Jasper took his first walk around the neighborhood last week and I accompanied him. He's been with us for three weeks, and during that time, he's  given me plenty of reason to fear that he would never be able to leave the house, so taking this walk is a big deal. He's supposed to be a dog, but he's actually four legs and teeth that never stop working. After having him for a few days the thought of taking him out into the world conjured up apocalyptic images of entire neighborhoods chewed to their foundations, bewildered families huddled together in rags trying to cover their nakedness, their clothes literally chewed from their bodies. Everything in site a saliva soaked mess. 

You think I'm kidding, but only constant vigilance and Jasper's own super human ability to charm have saved our house, and himself, from certain destruction. Here's a timeline to help you appreciate the experience.

Week 1:

We brought Jasper home from the shelter with him safely buckled in the back seat. With shining eyes Jon and I agreed that the dogs cuteness alone would make training him worth the effort. We got louder and louder as our excitement increased. That's probably why we didn't hear the gagging coming from the back seat until it was too late. So he gets carsick? We don't get out that much anyway.

When we arrived home Jasper huddled against the door, refusing to come any further into the house. We coaxed, we pleaded...finally Jon lured him into the kitchen by leaving a trail of bacon bits across two rooms. Once in though, he was in. We got him on a Thursday, and spent the entire weekend rescuing everything that was higher than our waist from his gaping maw, including the cat.

He had no bathroom manners, as he had spent his early months outside. His habit was to lean forward, glance around furtively and relieve himself wherever he happened to be standing. All three of us took to wearing a necklace made of a paper towel roll attached to leather cord so we could immediately stop, drop and clean up after him, (Jon had questioned my purchase of 300 yards of leather cord on sale when my favorite craft store closed, but that savvy investment was finally going to pay off).

We purchased a doggie crate because it soon became clear that furniture, walls, blinds, etc would not be safe if he were allowed to roam unsupervised throughout the house at night.

Week 2:

See week 1

Week 3:

Some progress has been made with Jasper's toilette. Operating on the assumption that he simply needed instruction, I would go out with him, carry him to a predetermined location, and pretend to pee in the grass myself...okay, sometimes I didn't pretend. He will go to the door, step outside, and be willing to pee in the grass if you will carry him there. 


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