Dispatch @ 5 weeks, exploring among the giant elephant ears I had that year.
Did I mention my husband spoils Dispatch too, he spoils both dogs, Mugsey goes almost everywhere husband goes when he's not working. My husband was raised without dogs in the house and was determined our dogs would stay on the porch if we had one, his mom and dad had an enclosed one where the dog slept, really like part of the living room. We have no porch in this house and when we got Dispatch he was supposed to be a poodle and we promised we would keep him inside, was OK with ME! So when we got this little puppy he was only about 5 weeks old but the lady who had him said he was ready to leave his mama. I think he was a little young, he was the strangest puppy I'd ever seen, he wasn't that interested in eating or being cuddled. Little did I know I was creating a monster. Back to husband, we kept Dispatch in the garage which was the family room/office, picture carpet on the floor, paneling on the wall but still had a garage door @ that time. Dispatch was so little I would put him on the chair to sleep and he couldn't get down, I'd put a newspaper under him and a towel or blanket for him to snuggle in but he would NEVER potty in the chair. I was home almost all of the time and he was like instantly house trained although I used newspapers on the floor for when I was gone or outside without him for long periods of time. He decided the white area rug in the living room was possibly a newspaper also and it became the place he would go if he couldn't get my attention. Sometimes it still is if he is sick and just can't get me to wake up, but it's still white so that tells you how easily he was house trained. Anyway we had had Dispatch maybe 3 nights or so and my husband was home, he'd been away on a business trip and he said don't you think he is lonely out there all by himself (meaning the little dog in the big family room) so I went and got Dispatch and he has slept with us ever since. Preferably by my head but he's gotten too big for him and me on the pillow. He used to try to sleep between us when he could and would feign instant sleep if he could just lay there between us, was the funniest thing I'd ever seen, instant sleeping dog. He doesn't like to get up in the mornings and doesn't wake up well, if he was out in the wild he'd be soooo eaten by wild animals it wouldn't be funny.
I kept him on my lap constantly @ first, partly because he was so small, partly because he didn't seem to be bonding with us as fast as I was used to puppies bonding. I spent most of the day on the computer or the telephone, we had a trucking business, and Dis was like THERE. He was weird in that he watched the computer screen too. I had a screensaver that would make everything on the screen get bigger in jumpy increments and then start over. Dispatch did NOT like it, especailly if there was a picture of a horse or something on the screen or another dog. He finally figured out if he moved the mouse the stupid thing would go off, that's when I wondered how much he did understand? When he was all OVER the guy who had had him when he was a baby puppy and hadn't seen him for two years I wondered even more? So Dispatch was used to being with me constantly, like glued to me. Which I wanted him to act like he was my dog but this was ridiculous. He HAD to sit in the chair with me, after he got too big to fit between the keyboard tray and my lap (he weighs like 17 lb now) I leaned forward and he sat behind me, not the way a computer chair was meant to be utilized but hey that's how it is, I tried to break him and he will now sleep in his bed or on the couch if I'm on the computer but if he's insecure or feels he needs me there is no hope. A great recipe for backaches I might add.
When I would leave the house I sometimes would think he was crying, he gets this shocked look and sits or stands stock still. I thought he was putting on and then I knew he was when he started raising his paw like he was hurt if I showed the slightest inclination that I might take him? He gets this look when I take out my coffee mug in the mornings, I wear certain clothes to work and when I put them on he seems to know I'm leaving.
At first he ate puppy food, we had a cheap plastic bowl because of course he was a dog. (he's on my lap and resting his chest and front legs on my left arm now, preferred position for pre sleep, doesn't do much for the typing, we have to bond again, he just went outside). He took to dragging the food bowl around if it was empty enough for him to drag when he was a puppy, so I got a heavy ironstone bowl and that's what he's eaten in ever since, that or a heavy metal one that clangs when he moves it. The eating the puppy food soon quit when my husband found out the dog could dance for his food. Actually the dog can walk about 20 ft on his hind legs and go backwards, getting him to do it on command is another thing. So the dog started eating people food. Then the dog started having to have his own food if he didn't like what we were having, I would feed him those Pedigree soft meals in the pouches if I didn't feel like cooking him a chicken breast and he would eat them if he got hungry enough. Dry dog food??? It could sit there for hours and maybe days and he would pick @ it, maybe and it had to be little tiny chunks. I gave up. Then my husband was gone on business for like 2 weeks in 2005, dispatch was 2 years old and I didn't cook meat much for myself. Dispatch soon learned to eat dry dog food. He also learned to eat vegetable soup if he couldn't get anything but dry dog food. He's been eating dry dog food ever since. Old Roy, kibbles and chunks, he just eats the little pieces but hey it's better than soft dog food for him.
Spoiled dog is resting comfortably behind me right now. More later, my laundry is calling. BTW, this game is I'm bigger than Mama, or kill foot game. He latches onto my shoe or pants leg and I jerk him around and he pretends that he is growling. He was less than a year old when this picture was taken, we hadn't figured out he was a bichon yet, just thought he was a weird poodle.