Chapter 2

In which Plato comes home

The Trip Home

On October 30, we got to bring Plato home. He was initially nervous about being out in the big wide world, but quickly became accomodated. Jeff helped Charlie put on his collar and leash. Plato was hesitant for moment, but was then ready to scout around.

The ride home went fine. Our neighbors had spoken with us about when they brought their puppy home (now a very old dog) and how she cried and puked all over the car. Plato did great. He slept on Charlie's lap about half way home and when we stopped, performed his duty as if on cue.

On the way home, we talked about what we should give Plato as his 'official' AKC name. We're currently leaning toward 'Platonic Harmony of the Spheres', but I'm not sure there's enough space on the form.

The First Night

As soon as he found his crate, he seemed right at home, although he was a bit nervous about exploring other rooms in the house and about being left alone. The first evening, he spent a fair amount of time just sleeping -- mostly on me! I put him in his crate at 1am. He cried at 1:30 and I went down to comfort him for a few minutes, but after that I got to sleep until 5:30. Not bad for the first night.

The second night we put him to bed at the same time as the boys. Charlie wanted to sleep in Plato's room, so we got out his sleeping bag and he moved in, although he bugged out sometime around midnight. At 1am, Plato cried and Lucy got up with him for a while, but then he was fine until 5am, when he cried and I got up and got him his breakfast.

Daniel & Plato

Daniel is just ecstatic to have a doggie in the house. Plato is also excited to have someone who doesn't just tower over him. Plato clearly sees Daniel as someone special and warmed up to him instantly. Plato and Daniel are clearly going to be close companions. At the same time, however, Daniel also notices that people are paying attention to something other than him. He has some competition in the 'cute' department for the first time. We've been working hard to make sure that Daniel doesn't feel neglected.

Plato particularly loves the little fuzzy ball in the picture behind Daniel and loves to catch and shake it. It was actually a children's toy from the Waldorf School that is supposed to be 'natural wool'. Our kids always hated it -- they just want toys like the ones you get from McDonalds. Plato obviously just has better taste.

Two of a Kind

Sometimes I think Plato and Daniel seem like two of a kind. :-)

People say that getting a puppy is like having another baby, but that's not really an apt analogy. Babies just lie there. It's much more like having another toddler -- puppies go all over the place and get into stuff. So far, however, we haven't had many difficulties. It just makes everyone confused to have something else to try to keep track of.

Last night, Alisa put him in his high chair while he was eating some Halloween M&M's. One of his shoes was untied and Plato spotted the shoe laces and started playing with them. I should have intervened more quickly, but it was hysterical to see Daniel trying to figure out what was going on under the high-chair tray, shaking his head and saying "Hmpf! Hpmf!" with Plato jumping and pulling at his shoe laces. Alisa finally came and rescued him.

His First Day

By Sunday morning, Plato was starting to feel a lot more confident: bowing to invite play and romping. He also has a cute little bark. Having the puppy has thrown the whole household into disorder. Charlie wanted to bring a couple of friends over to see Plato and it became a comedy of errors. Charlie was having a snit because another kid had tagged along that Charlie hadn't wanted to invite. Then the kids arrived when Plato was sleeping in his crate. Alisa was watching the kids and I left the door to the crate open and went to talk to Charlie. Plato came out and peed on the doormat, because no-one was there to let him out. Argh!

In the Yard

By afternoon, Plato 'owned' the whole yard and felt comfortable chasing balls and running through the grass and leaves. I've been busy finishing the fence and haven't had time to rake properly. It was wonderful to have a nice warm day for him to spend a few hours in the yard. Not that he spends more than a few minutes doing anything. He still only tends to be up for half an hour at a time. Then he needs a nap (preferably sitting on someone in the recliner).

Doing Great

So far, he seems to be adjusting extremely well. Plato seems a lot calmer than other boxer puppies I've met. He romps and plays just as enthusiastically, but he doesn't seem squirmy or hyper. It has all gone much better than I had imagined it would. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I had feared it would be much worse. Mainly, we've just need to train ourselves to establish good patterns and habits of mind. Plato is quickly learning the household and soon will fit right in.

Revised 11/1/99 Brewer