Molly has been a member of the Ruggles' family for a week. We all celebrated her 5-month birthday. She is learning a lot. So are we.
I'm being religious about housebreaking her. We go out every four hours and she does her business. But, like any learning process, it's three steps forward and one step back.
Yesterday, a half hour after she was out and did her business, she found a spot to christen on the kitchen floor. No one said this was going to be easy, or quick.
Our trips outside are an adventure. For a 5-month-old who spent four-and-a-half months of her life in a cage in a puppy mill, every experience is new. Cars passing by, birds chirping, squirrels that run up trees and even leaves blowing down the street make her stop and sometimes give chase.
I don't know why dogs roll around on the grass, but our vet says it's okay and natural. I keep worrying she is going to roll in something another dog left behind!
Molly has an array of toys that people have given her. She guards them and chews on them with great relish. She has also found there is great joy in chewing up the old Christmas cards that sit in a basket by the fireplace. We've moved the basket.
Our biggest fear was how Molly the dog and Morgan the cat would get along. Morgan, by the way, is a 20-pounder. That's twice Molly's weight. Morgan just stayed upstairs for the first couple of days after Molly arrived, but finally came down to reclaim his turf. Molly thinks it's great fun to run up to the cat and lick his ears. Morgan puts up with it and when he's had enough, he lets the dog know who's in charge.
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At the end of week one, the family room was covered with dog toys. I remembered all the work and responsibility that goes into owning a pet. And I remembered how great it feels to have my four legged friends sitting quietly at my feet while I read the Sunday paper.
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