Friday, May 2, 2014

Our Puppy

I mentioned in my previous post that I have a little more time off now, and it allows me to do more things during the day. One of those 'things' is to spend more time with our puppy, Pepper, and he is just so adorably cute at times, it's disgusting. At 7 pounds, he is going to remain that cute forever, and will probably remain as yappy as he is now.

His cuteness is a topic that crops up far more frequently than it really deserves to, especially since the dog has no idea what cute is, or that he possesses it in abundance. Here are a few of the ways in which our puppy oozes cuteness:

1. His mad skills. OK, that's silly. We have taught him a few tricks though, and when he does them (i.e. when you hold a treat in front of his nose), he is super-adorable. So far, he knows 'sit', 'lie down', 'high five' (which is really more like high-ten, but whatever), 'roll over', and 'stay'. He knows the command 'kisses' when Lily says it, but has selective hearing when I say it. 'Kisses' means stop whatever you're doing, sprint into Lily's lap, and cover her face in kisses. A good pick-me-up for days when Mommy is sad.

2. His head-twisting. I think every dog I've ever met tilts their head when asked a question they don't understand. Our dog does it repeatedly in a row, which is hilarious to watch, and he likes to alternate sides, almost as if he were doing neck stretches.

3. When our dog is upset, he barks. Loudly. We have tried ignoring it, but he seems to feel this is an invitation to bark louder and more frequently, because clearly, his owners can't hear him. One method I've employed with moderate success is barking back at him. This, too, has its consequences. The most effective method so far is to yell "Hey!!". This seems to momentarily stun him. He will invariably bark again, and I will yell "Hey!" once more. At this point, he will stare at me intently, then bark again, but quieter. I will say "Hey!" to him in a slightly lowered voice. He and I will continue barking and saying 'hey' to each other, getting more quiet each time. Finally, he will make a noise that sounds like 'hmph', then admit defeat and be quiet.

4. Eye contact. My parents have owned three Labrador retrievers, and while they would look at you from a distance, if you tried to make sustained eye contact with them, they would quickly look away. Pepper, on the other hand, will gaze into our eyes for long periods of time and has often won staring contests with us. Some dog trainers suggest this is because the dog is looking to us for information about food, but if that were the case, the Labradors would have never stopped looking at us. Whatever the case, his soul-searching gaze into his parents' eyes is super cute.

5. His tail. Most Yorkies have their tails clipped shortly after birth, but Pepper's was left intact, which we love, because it's unique. It's like a little Swiffer duster on his back, and it somehow makes him even cuter.

6. His vampire teeth. With a big dog, you can see almost all of their teeth when they pant, or eat food, or whatever. Pepper's teeth are so small, you can really only see his two bottom incisors when he eats or barks, so it looks like he's a little vampire. Again, cuteness to the moon.

7. His human qualities. Pepper has a few characteristics that make him seem eerily similar to humans. The first, as mentioned, is his grumpy 'hmph' bark when he is frustrated. The second, and the more adorable, is when he sighs. It sounds just like a human would do it, and he makes it sound like the entire world is on his shoulders when he does it. I think his cheeks even puff out a bit.

8. Last, but not least, is the way he lays down on Lily. Sometimes on his back, with his legs in the air, and sometimes curled into a tiny ball; either way, he is the epitome of cute when he is snuggling/guarding his Mommy.

He is a super cute animal, and whether he knows it or not, he has burrowed his way into our hearts.


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