We rest in the evenings and let the puppies play. This is way more interesting than any reality TV shows.
When we enter our hotel room after dinner and unclip leashes, Harper circles the two queen beds, sniffing corner to corner. He fixates on one bed, pushes his head under as far as he can with his rear end wiggling above. He races from one side to the other, stretching with his front paws, scratching against the tightly woven plaid-like carpet of burgundy, green and pale yellow. (Why are hotel carpets so unnattractive?)
"There mus be a ball or something under there," I say to Tammy. Neither of us is anxious to take a look.
Copo is busy sniffing, too, and when he starts circling I snatch him into my arms.
Tammy and I have discussed the pros and cons of raising a "winter" puppy. While it is true that taking a puppy out to park in the cold helps quicken the process, it is also true that bundling up while holding a squirmy puppy before heading out can be a challenge. Having a friend hold the puppy while you tie your boots is a real advantage.
|FLD Copo crosses his front paws in Tammy's arms while I bundle up to take him outside.|
Our room was on the second floor. When a puppy this young has to park, you carry him out. He can practice stairs with an empty bladder.
I set Copo down in the snow far enough from the door to be polite. Another advantage to parking a puppy during a snowy winter is that he will pee anywhere. A burst of wind throws a football sized clump of snow down from the eave; it lands with a muffled poof! and covers him with snow-tsunami. Copo, not fazed at all, finishes his business.
Copo takes the lead back to the entry door on a nice loose leash. He scratches at the glass. "Hold your horses," I say, struggling with the electronic key. Finally, we're in. I stomp my boots. Even this doesn't bother the confident pup.
We approach the stairs and I let Copo decide what to do. He hops up one step. Then another. He sniffs a little, but hops all the way up to the landing. At the second flight he pauses, then makes his way to the top.
Back in the room, Tammy holds up a torn and well-chewed tennis ball. "Harper finally got this out from under the bed," she says. Who knows how long it had been under there. She drops the ball into the garbage can, which we had proactively put on the top of the television stand when we first arrived.
|With the temptation of the ball gone, Harper enjoys an elk antler chew. Copo wants in on the action.|
I don't count how many times Copo and I repeat the parking process, but on the last time out for the night (hopefully), Tammy and Harper join us. The routine is the same - I carry Copo out, he walks back up the stairs. This time, however, he pauses on the top step, sits down and rests his chin on the landing. He sighs, as if to say, "Oh, that was so hard and I am so tired!"
After a moment's rest, the little trooper muscles up the rest of the stairs.
Back in the room, I sit on the floor with Copo snuggled between my legs. I massage his ears. "You hypnotized him," Tammy says as he melts across my thigh. I place him gently into his crate.
It is a good thing that Tammy sets the alarm because the puppy lets us sleep all night.
|A hypnotized Copo.|