It’s been nearly five months now since this rambunctious, four-pound banchie of a furball named Baylie came into my life. The times I look at her and ask “Baylie, are we going to make it?” after she has gotten into some type of mischief or caused me great strife, have become less frequent. Two, three and four months in, I was still asking myself, “what have I done? Can I really handle this dog” along with, “why can’t she be as fastidious as the cat and I“? As is the case with any relationship, you go through the honeymoon stage and then the harsh reality sets in.
Potty training came relatively easy for Baylie once I realized that crate training generated the best results for potty training, as puppies don’t like to potty where they sleep. For me, not so easy. Night after night of interrupted sleep having to escort Baylie outdoors multiple times during the night for potty breaks, was wearing on me. However, I did get to see what my backyard looks like under the stars at 3:00 a.m. Although, I quickly realized that basic commands were a cinch for her as was crate training.
Admittedly, I’m a little compulsive when it comes to keeping a neat, clean and orderly house. I cleaned, continually, when Baylie came on the scene. But, I have resolved myself to the fact that the world, as we know it, will not come to an end if I allow a paw print to remain on the hardwood floors or for a couple of toys to remain strewn about for more than a minute.
Early March was by far the most taxing on both Smoki, the cat, and my nerves. Baylie discovered that she loves dirt; specifically digging in the dirt especially after a nice rain and, equally, finds joy in bringing the outdoors in. Sacrificial plants brought to mom at the door, became a competitive sport; puppy vs. aging mom. And, if she could make it past me and into the house with wet, muddy paws, well that was even more fun for her; reeking havoc in her wake with mom in tow. It was play time for her. Just when I thought I would get a respite from mayhem……a broken paw. Trying to keep a bandaged paw dry on a puppy that goes outdoors in the damp grass at least ten times a day, was exhausting.
In the beginning, Baylie was like the Energizer bunny, she just never seemed to run out of steam. Gone were my quiet nights sitting on the sofa watching television, reading or writing. Long gone were the days the cat could quietly stroll about the house without being chased. Long gone were the days that I could leave an article of clothing on the bed for more than a second without Baylie absconding with it. We went through several pairs of shoes, one pair of prescription eyeglasses, a couple of pillows, endless towels, blankets and the list goes on.
Until recently, Baylie demanded my full attention when I was home, and if she didn’t get it, barking and tugging at any available body part would ensue. If I put her outside, then she would just about come through the glass door; trying to get back inside. Even the cat had reached her limit and said “enough, if you need me, I’ll be outdoors until bedtime.” And teething, well that subject will need an entire post.
On June 20th, Baylie will celebrate her six-month birthday and her nearly five-month adoption day anniversary. We are beginning to have some peace and harmony in the home. Even though Baylie is now 54.2 lbs. and counting, I and the cat have established ourselves as the alpha “dogs” in the pack. It only took a few slaps to the face and a lot of fat tails and hissing by the cat to put her into hierarchy status. For me, it took puppy classes, vigilant, repetitive training, discipline and patience to reach that status. Not to say she doesn’t get the upper hand at times, we still have issues to resolve. Her breed is that of a herding dog. She literally herds me around the house, pushing against me or pinning me on the sofa until she gains my attention. I’ve learned to be fully awake when I walk into the living room in the mornings with my cup of coffee in hand. Mornings are her play time. Mornings used to be my quiet time.
We’ve learned that when Baylie decides to have one of her “running fits” as we call it where she runs laps through the house, tail tucked and ears flapping, we just stand back, clear the path and watch the show. We’ve learned to accept paw and nose prints on white slacks. We’ve learned to live with puppy nose smudges on windows and doors. We’ve learned to never leave jewelry laying out for the taking. We’ve learned to live with holes being dug in our manicured lawn. We’ve also learned never leave the cat’s food unattended. To Baylie, cat chow is a delicacy. However, we’ll never, ever get accustomed to scooping poop in the backyard!
Border Collies are exceptionally intelligent dogs as are Great Pyrenees. But, Great Pyrenees are known to have a stubborn streak. Combine the two breeds, and you have Baylie!
As we went on our nightly walk late last night, with Baylie now heeling closer to my side as we walk rather than taking ME for a walk, she looked up at me with those big soulful eyes as if to say, “see, I knew we could make it work“!