What the FRAP was THAT?

 

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CODY

Puppy Cody’s dog license renewal came in the mail the other day.  Wow, it’s been a year already?

You all will remember when I found my puppy at the SPCA and brought her home.  You will recall how her name was determined.

But what you don’t know is what it was like during Puppy Cody’s first year (well, maybe you do [sort of] if you’ve ever raised a puppy yourself.)

Raising a new puppy is not for the faint-hearted.  Nor is it for those who are meek, short of patience, or fanatic about cleaning.  Trust me.

I’ve raised a number of dogs over the years.  But not one of them has been as difficult as Cody [she’s full-grown now, so I guess I should drop the “Puppy”].   Even the border collie mix and the German Shepherd were easier.    Many times I wondered whatever possessed me to go to the SPCA that day anyway?

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Yes, that’s a tarp – but she still managed to eat the carpet.

The first few days, Cody was an absolute angel – stayed right by my side, played quietly on her new blanket/bed, never did her business in the house.  In fact, the first day she didn’t do any business at all for nearly 36 hours – I actually found myself calling the vet to see if that was normal, or did I bring home a defective dog.  I also did extensive internet research to see if anyone else ever had this problem with a new puppy.  All sources said, basically, just be patient and let nature take its course – once the pup feels comfortable in her new surroundings (and once she just can’t hold it anymore), things will normalize.

And they did.

It was the dead of winter.  Cody would only pee or poop on top of the highest snow drift on the side of the house, and took her own sweet time.  Since I had to keep her on leash for the first few months, I froze my ass off.

Inside, Cody began to explore her surroundings and discovered:  socks, shoes, books, the wooden bookshelf,  the edges of the carpeting, the chair cushions, the nice chewy couch skirt, and anything else that wasn’t hidden, nailed down, or taken completely out of the house.  Yes, she ate part of the couch – the carpeting –  the walls.  I found myself buying any kind of chew toy or chew treat I could find, just to give her something appropriate to sink her tiny growing teeth into.

Like all new puppies, Cody needed to exercise and stretch those tiny legs, and it wasn’t easy the first few months when she hadn’t yet been vaccinated and could not be taken on walks.

“FRAPs most often happen in the early morning and early evening. Racing around the house, rolling on the rugs and careening off the furniture are all normal parts of the canine FRAP. When you can, sit back and enjoy the brief show.”

(excerpt courtesy of Pedigree: “Dealing With Your Dog’s Energy Bursts”)

I vaguely recall Morgan and Riggsie experiencing FRAPs. But Cody took them to a whole new level.   Every evening, usually sometime between 7pm to 8pm, she would suddenly explode into absolutely insane activity – running full speed from one end of the house to the other, up and down the stairs, snarling and growling. She would launch herself from the middle of the living room floor and hit the wall three-quarters of the way up to the ceiling – usually flying past my head as I sat on the couch waiting for the period to end. Many times I thought that snarling Tasmanian devil would take a chunk out of my face, but somehow she always pulled back at the last possible second.

All the books, however, said that puppy aggression must be controlled – the owner must become alpha. So, when the FRAPs seemed to be turning into one of her “I am going to eat you” episodes, I would often catch her in mid-air and put her onto her blanket/bed at my feet. This went on for several weeks, until one day I not only put her onto her bed, I also put myself on top of her and just stayed there until she calmed down. After that, she seemed to consider my attitude BEFORE she began the bad behavior, and it was never quite as bad. Although it didn’t stop completely until she matured a little more.

Cody112914aI will say this, though: No matter how bad Cody was behaving, once I had enough for the evening and decided to go to bed, she immediately calmed herself and lay down on the floor next to me. It always amazed me that she could turn herself around that quickly. Never once did she cause trouble once lights were out, and she always lay quietly until I got up in the morning. Even on weekends, when I like to sleep in a bit, she would patiently await my entry back into the world of the living. Maybe that’s why I ultimately decided she was worth the effort – a bad dog wouldn’t adjust so willingly to her owner’s schedule.

Then there was the house-training issue. Like most new owners, we used the crate method. That method had worked well with all our previous dogs.

Cody absolutely hated that crate, no matter how enticing I would make it. I would put nice, soft bedding in, special toys, a treat or two. Sometimes she would go in voluntarily in the evening and sniff around, until she discovered the edges of that nice soft bedding. I don’t know how many crate pads and blankets I had to replace before she accepted the crate as her domain.

We developed a routine whereby I would throw a treat into the crate when it was time for me to leave for work. Cody would happily follow the treat in, and I would close the crate door and leave the house without further fuss. Then Cody would suddenly realize her owner was gone, and the crying would start. It could be heard halfway down the block. It broke my heart. But like any new baby, Cody had to learn to calm herself. I tried to make it easier by returning home at lunch time to give her some time out of the crate, but putting her back in became a battle.

It didn’t help that Cody seemed to have problems learning to do her business outside. After her initial angelic period, she discovered well-scrubbed (I thought) spots in the house where the previous dogs had accidents as they aged – and Cody began do her business on the same spots. We tried to train her the same way we had every other dog, by taking her outside the very second it looked like she was about to do something, then praising her lavishly if she did. Have you ever had to stand outside in sub-zero weather, crooning, “Go peeps. Go poopsy. Oh, what a good puppy!”?

When it became apparent that Cody wasn’t house-breaking normally (and after coming home to find the crate filled with loose poop, to the point that we had to throw everything out), we finally contacted the vet. After a stool sample was tested, we learned that poor Cody had hook worms. She could not control herself.

Two courses of hook worm medicine later, she finally got herself under control, for the most part. Although she would still pee or poop in the house if she got overly stressed or excited. But most puppies do that, so it wasn’t surprising.

Then, Cody turned 9 months old (seemed a lot longer while reading this, didn’t it? I know it sure seemed longer to me!).

At 9 months, Cody suddenly decided she was a BIG DOG NOW. And she became the perfect canine companion. She stopped destroying things (other than her own toys, which is allowed); she stopped all wild or aggressive behavior; and she completely stopped having accidents in the house. I began leaving her out of the crate for a few hours at a time while I went on errands. Then I left her out of the crate when I went to work, returning at lunch time to put her back in. Then I began leaving her out of the crate for the entire work day. After just a few weeks with no further issues, we took the crate apart and stored it in the basement.

Cody122114Cody is, in fact, a big dog now. She’s 44.5 lbs and one of the most cuddly dogs you’d ever want to meet, although at the same time, she is a very good watch dog and perfectly capable of taking down an intruder if she feels it necessary. While I’m at work, she seems to spend her day either lying on the couch (that was one battle I eventually lost), or watching out the front window. We close off the doors to the bedrooms and bathroom, but she has freedom to go anywhere else in the house she wishes.

Which, if you’ve been following this blog, you know isn’t always a good thing, especially if I happen to leave my computer on while I’m away.

Would I do it again? I can’t answer that. I’m not sure I would have the energy to catch flying puppies again.

But right now, Cody is here and a significant part of my life. When I arrive home after a stressful day at work, it is just so nice to be greeted by that wagging tail and slobbery face. And during this unusually cold February, it is so nice to warm my hands on that soft furry belly.

And the best part is, that my husband – Mr. Why-the-Hell-Did-You-Get-That-Dog-Anyway? – seems to have grown to love Cody as well. When we discovered the new leak in the kitchen, his biggest concern was that the leak might hit the refrigerator and Cody might get electrocuted, so he moved the fridge and blocked off the kitchen.

Yes, Cody is here to stay. Now if she could just stay the heck off my computer!

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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35 Responses to What the FRAP was THAT?

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Hilarious! Heart warming! You made me rethink a dog…

    Like

    • Dogs are wonderful companions, and protectors, for kids. But like kids, they never really grow up – Cody grabbed one of my bras out of the laundry last night and made a run for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elyse says:

      A first dog with a family and a career? Don’t start with a puppy! Seriously. Don’t. I am a lifelong dog fan — I need one in my life like oxygen. But each time I get a puppy I know I’m in for about a year of hell. Two months to go with Duncan…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Victo Dolore says:

        Right. Exactly why I needed to read this. The boy is giving me that pleading look every time he sees a dog. You know how hard it is to resist those puppy dog eyes? Kills me. Now my resolve is strengthened!

        Like

        • Elyse says:

          There are lots of older dogs who just need love — the shelters are full of them.

          Puppies need training. And patience. And for you not to kill them when you really really really want to.

          But as a kid, there was nobody who understood me like my dog. They love unconditionally. They never get mad at you. They are never disappointed in you. You can go to them and tell them anything and they will not betray you. And when you come home they make you feel like the sun just rose and you made it happen. They are the antidote to all the things you as a kid think are hurting you.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It doesn’t have to be a puppy. My daughter is currently fostering a really sweet lab/boxer mix who needs a forever home. Unfortunately, we’re not in your area or I would be helping your kids make their plea.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I agree about puppies, Elyse. However, there are numerous rescue dogs of an age and temperament appropriate for a family with young children. I know of one in our area right now who’s looking for a forever home.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Cody sounds very much like Maddie. Well, except that Maddie is about 18 months old and still hasn’t really settled down yet. Dog are the best though. I enjoyed reading this and now I have a word for Maddie’s nutty periods.

    Like

  3. Elyse says:

    I had just taken one of my shoes from 10 month old Duncan when I clicked on this. It was like looking in the rearview mirror. FRAPS? I have experienced many but never knew they had a name. I think it applies to the milkshake that is whirring around in the blender, though.

    Duncan is coming along. Laundry and shoes are his issues. He does not/has not eaten any furniture although since my husband works at home he doesn’t really have the opportunity. He will be a great dog. Someday.

    Whose that snuggling on my lap …

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  4. Been there. Done that. Over and over again. Some of us are gluttons for punishment, I guess. I had one dog that learned the whole poop and pee outside thing in about five minutes, but never in her life stopped destroying anything she could wrap her jaws around. For 14 years, we lived under siege. It took us years after she passed to leave something out where a dog might get it and not expect to find it destroyed — sometimes in mere seconds. Tinker was really good at destruction. She was also the smartest dog I’ve ever known and possibly the most neurotic. Maybe those things go together?

    Like

  5. Jim Wheeler says:

    We had a somewhat similar experience with our little Yorkie, Winston. The kids had gotten him for the grandkids and gave up after about a week. One would think they would have known better at that period of life because we always had a dog when they were growing up, but no. The difficulties were all absorbed by us, unperceived by the end-users of the upsides of dogdom. Pet stores sell hard work disguised as fantasy.

    Winston had difficulties with house training, but the crate (actually, a fence) method worked and that’s where he sleeps to this day, without complaint. He’s 6 now. He’s not the brightest bulb in the carton but he makes up for lack of smarts with loyalty, affection, patience, playfulness, and bravery way beyond his 6 pounds. The main complaint about him these days, and it really isn’t one, is his propensity to try to bury the occasional bone under the sofa cushions.

    Like

    • Cody buries stuff, too. I’ve totally given up on claiming the couch as my own!

      I’m so glad Winston didn’t have to go back to wherever he came from. It’s so sad when people buy puppies on impulse without realizing how much work is involved. We are experienced dog owners, and II went into puppy adoption with eyes open when we got Cody – I just didn’t expect her to be quite so rambunctious.

      Like

  6. Paw waves! Big Paw waves! (That’s big waves from Molly’s big paws) Cody adopted the right people. So much of this sounds soooo familiar. Not sure rescue teenager Molly Malamute had ever lived indoors before. As this is hurricane country, we had to condition her to potty quickly on cue in case of evacuations or being stuck inside someplace. (Hadn’t believed it possible really, but that Dog Whisperer….) The dog crate cries are so pitiful when we had to leave.(and we knew she was ripping up everything in there…how many beds and pads have there been)
    Once they settle in, you just can’t imagine life otherwise.
    Enjoyed the post. Thanks for the smiles (dog pictutes!)

    Like

    • “Paw waves” – I love that phrase. I may steal it from you!

      I had a Siberian Husky once – another dog that was a wee bit stubborn as a pup but then became an angel. I’ve heard Malamutes need experienced owners, as well. Kudos to you for raising her well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve had some tough rescues before, but this one who’d had a rotten start in life and been through a few homes with caring, but exhausted people almost did us in. Huskies and Malamutes are really close in temperament to wolves. Make great sled dogs and survivors as they are quite independent thinkers and smart. But us without a sled and not able to run as fast anymore. You had one, so you know. Stubborn is an understatement with these 2 breeds. Finding a place with big fenced fields where she could run off energy and bump and crash into other big dogs of like minds made a huge difference. Much more settled and knows she’s here to stay…and find snuggling with people almost as good as a dog pack. As you say, dogs are good for everyone. Paw waves and waggle tales are made to share.

        Like

        • I had my husky back in the day when you could still just open your door and let a dog run, and I lived in an apartment that backed up to woods. She was in her glory.

          I’ll never forget the day, however, when I let her out and she went right toward a family with very young children. I thought I would have to jump off my balcony or something to get there fast enough, and that poor mother was petrified. But all my precious girl did was flop herself down in front of those toddlers and wait for a belly rub – she absolutely loved kids.

          Many paw waves to you!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul says:

    Touching post CM.

    Like

  8. Archon's Den says:

    So, you’re not the only one in the house who manipulates folks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:

    Playing on my computer while home sick today (nasty flare-up, not that you need to know that), I discovered this post from 2015. What great timing! Cody’s dog license renewal for this year came in the mail just yesterday. How could I not re-blog this post? If you’ve ever had a new puppy, this re-blog is for you.

    Like

  14. Nicole Roder says:

    LOL! Love it! My Lucy Goose is 11 now, but she did this exact same thing as a puppy. I’ve never heard it called a FRAP before. We always called them blitzes. She would literally zoom so fast around the house, we could barely see her. I’ve been trying to convince my husband to let us adopt a new puppy. I wonder how 11-year-old Lucy would react to another puppy blitzing? HAHAHA!

    Like

    • Puppies are fun, aren’t they, Nicole? Cody used to take a running start, bounce off the couch and nearly hit the ceiling. Then she would walk on top of the spinet piano which was next to the couch. I wish I would have thought to take videos!

      Liked by 1 person

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