Remember how I used to describe Gus as a calm and mellow puppy? He sure had me fooled!
It's been a week since our newest "baby" joined the family. A week of often-interrupted sleep and constant surveillance of a puppy who's not yet house-trained.
In his time with us, Gus has gained a pound and a half, growing from nine pounds to 10.5. He desperately wants to be the alpha-male to someone, and I fear it will be Sydney. The rest of us are perfectly comfortable putting him in his place when he misbehaves, but Sydney squeals and freezes, allowing him to nip some more. Today we convinced her it's okay to swat at his nose and yell "back off buster," so I'm hopeful she'll "out-attitude" him yet.
I've often said there's a reason God made puppies and babies so cute. It's so we don't strangle them in frustration.
Gus has definitely grown more comfortable in his new home. That's a mixed blessing. His new-found confidence also means he's more curious and interested in exploring.
He's also more aggressive, gnawing on anything and anyone he can wrap his jaws around: table legs, toes and - when all else fails - his own tail.
The breeder had described Gus as a real spitfire. It so conflicted with the quiet puppy we brought home, I figured she must tell that line everyone.
The breeder was right.
He's quick to come running for praise after going to the bathroom outside. (Hopefully the neighbors haven't heard my enthusiastic cheers, "Good job, Gus. That's how the big guys do it.") But he's equally independent. When he wants to sleep, he wants to be left alone. He'll happily lay next to you, just as long as he's not touching you.
And like all puppies, Gus has a total inability to pace himself. He'll run around the backyard like a mad dog, nipping at our feet and doing everything he can think of to goad us into playing with him. And then, just like that he plops flat and falls asleep.
Gus is going to be featured in the next issue of Living North. I just finished writing the article today, ending it with, "He's no Maggie. But he's an awesome Gus."