Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8 - Lisa's Musings (On Puppy Fear Periods) and Every Day Life

My brave and darling puppy is going through a fear period.

What this means is every noise, every bump in the night, every gust of wind is a bad, bad thing.

I knew it would happen eventually -- all puppies go through this stage at one point or another in their life.

Sometimes its lasts a couple days; other times a week or more.

And during these fear periods, it's scary times for pups.

And a pain for their owners.

Because everything that was once fine and dandy becomes The Boggy man in disguise.

Driver's fear period started last Saturday. Quite unexpectedly, actually.

But these growing up stages creep up on you without the background music that gives you a warning that bad things are about to happen.

Like in the movies.

And once I realized why he was tucking tail and clinging to me like ivy on the side of the house, I rationally attempted to assess the situation.

I concluded that the only thing that was different in the house was my new hanging baskets on the three-season porch.

If you remember, it was a bit windy last Saturday and I figured that adding those new baskets combined with the wind gusts, was the culprit.

So I closed the doors to the three-season porch in an effort to calm his frantic heartbeat while he was curled up in as small a ball as he could make himself and still breathe -- while in my lap.

Eventually, he calmed down and took a nap -- in my lap -- all 40 pounds of him.

And eventually, of course, I needed to get up.

Apparently, enough time had passed and all seemed to be right with the world.

But I hadn't closed the doors to the three-season porch firmly enough, and when I sat back down, the wind blew them open, which prompted yet another dash to my lap, heart racing, puppy clinging to as much of my body as he could.

Now, I want my dogs to think of me as their safe zone. As the one thing in their lives that will never hurt them.

I can always be counted on to be their super hero; no bad things can happen to them when I'm close by.

Of course, should they stray too far from me and something kinda yucky happens because of it, this then reinforces my Cat Woman status to them.

And this is good.

But as the week's progressed, and the wind has managed to slam doors and knock things off counters because I've had the windows open. So this has served to reinforce that wind is bad.

It does scary things in the house and subsequently, when it blows, Driver has been constantly underfoot.

Or in my lap.

And, it's become rather extreme. If the wind's blowing, he doesn't even want to step foot into his domain -- his dog yard. To go potty.

Not for love or money. Or even a dog treat.

Unless I go with him. And even then, the decision is marginally, just kinda, the right one for a few nanosecond.

But I expect this too shall pass -- once the wind calms down.

And all will be right with the world once again.

I wonder if he'll still curl up in my lap for a dog nap?

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