For the past 9 and a half weeks, I’ve been lost in my job as papa to my new pup, Shadow …
Somehow, I’d forgotten just how difficult it is to raise a puppy. It’s not my first rodeo with a Malamute either. Kenai my former pet, was an amazing little girl when I got her at 5-weeks. Her mother died shortly after delivery, so I got her early, and bottle fed her for a few weeks. Once she had become fully weened, and even several years later, she still had the adorable habit of suckling my neck in search of a teat, giving me little dog-hickys. Too sweet. We had 15-years of loyal, loving kinship.
Now, some 20-plus years later, I’m at it again–and it feels like my first time. She consumes our entire world. We can’t find the heart to leave her for long so we’re resigned to stay home mostly, spending the past month limited to potty training and care for an animal that’s too young to know how good we are to her.
Shadow is much more willful and likely smarter than any dog I’ve ever had. At 9-weeks, she was nearly potty trained and for the past few nights, has made it till dawn in her kennel before needing to be let out. What that means, is that since we got her a month ago, I’ve not slept restfully through the night at all. I’ve had the “luxury” of spending every hour of each day, schooling this little creature who, up until recently, had me second-guessing why I would even want another dog. I know there’s no comparison to a human baby, but since I’ve never had children, this puppy parenting is about as difficult as anything I can imagine.
Poo is poo and when your whole world revolves around how to deal with shit and keep it out of your living space, it’s far from a piece of “cake.”
At 10-weeks however, the breakthrough came. My wife and I decided to take Shadow out into the wild, where the beast and the best in her, could come out with all that poo, and not do any damage. The gallery below is of our recent hike around the majestic Green River Lakes and a few shots of her first attempts at swimming in beautiful Fremont Lake, closer to home. Tonight, it’s off to White Pine Mountain where a local, summer concert is taking place.
We may not be flying around the world as much; nor motel’ing it in Vegas as often, because this little girl is not going to live in a kennel like a lot of dogs do. For us, the plan is to take her with us wherever we go. If we can’t take her with us, we won’t go, ’cause as I said, it’s just we and our Shadow, as it should be.
On a friend’s carpet, without an accident. Victory at 9.5 weeks.
Shadow’s first attempts to swim at Fremont Lake, Wyoming.
Meeka gives shadow a lesson on chasing sticks, but Shadow chicken’s out at the last second.
First step into the water …
Tentative to come join me.
Our hike begins, around Green River Lake in Wyoming.
She’s great at sitting, coming and eating everything in sight, including all things dead.
Towards the end of the 6 miles, she kept up like a champ.
This is why we can’t resist her.
My two girls.
Maritess and Shadow at Green River Lake, WY.
Lunch break by the lake.
Square top Mountain in the background.
Just a mile to go …
Creek crossing at the finish line.
Great day for a hike.