So, anyone who knows me or is even remotely acquainted with me will by now know that I am the proud owner (indeed I am the Registered Owner, I have a certificate and everything) of a twelve-week-old blue whippet bitch called Ludo (we’ll ignore her slightly embarrassing religious-themed Kennel Club name for now). Here she is as a tiny pup, before we’d even met her, at her breeder’s in Torquay:

We had to wait an agonising three months between making the purchase – while she was still in the womb – and when we were allowed to go and pick her up. Indeed, she was the last of her litter to be dispersed apart from her sister Gracie, who’s staying with the breeder.

First thing we did – no, I tell a lie – the first thing we did was accumulate many hundreds of pounds worth of treats, chews, toys, leads, bowls and the ubiquitous small black biodegradable bags which I could barely look at for the longest time – much to B’s amusement, I bought a special spray that freezes poo for easier handling. I have never used it.

I have also become extremely au fait with pee pads – like a handkerchief crossed with a nappy – and several forms of anti-bacterial household cleaning product. And we spent weeks arguing over what to call her. My suggestion , which I argued for quite fervently, with zero traction, was “Dracula“.

Anyway, first thing we did was take her to Burger King, if I’m being accurate, on the way back from Devon. She had a Whopper. But I digress.

So, the first thing we did was get her vaccinated (part 1 of 2 – part 2 happened only this morning, though it’s still a week before we can let her run free and unfettered around other dogs and their various doings) and weighed. She was 4.25kg as a ten-week-old, and she’s put on 800 grams since then (she’ll probably be 10-12 kg when she’s grown up). Mostly, I expect, thanks to that one occasion where she got into a big bag full of pup treats and ate a bucketload – although she was pooping practically on the hour for a while thereafter, so maybe not.

She’s living with B at the moment while we hunt for a place to live (I’m sure there’ll be a blog post on that bundle of laughs at some point), and it’s a tiny flat for a very energetic puppy. It’s made it absolutely clear to us that we need a garden – we both wanted one, but now we have a third creature to think of it’s become an obligation. Which makes it that much harder and expensive to find somewhere that’s right.

Over the last couple of weeks she’d become a bundle of energy and enthusiasm – she was so meek on the first day we had her, but it seems that was fear and nervousness. Technically she’s in the phase when pups become most fearful, and when we take her outside – in a bag like I’m bloody Paris Hilton or something, as she’s not allowed on the ground yet – she does sometimes get wide-eyed and shaky. But she seems to quickly come to terms with her surroundings, no matter how loud or busy, and I think/hope she’s going to love it when we can start taking her to the park, for proper walks and runs and all the things dogs, especially whippets, are supposed to do.

We’re also taking the training thing semi-seriously, with Tuesday night puppy classes in lovely Brentford. We’ve only been to one so far, but Ludo was, of course, the cutest dog there (and I’m not just being biased – there was a universal sigh of longing from each of the other pup owners, no matter how cute their own dogs were!). It seems really well organised by the very sympathetic Emily Mazon, and the results are quickly visible – it’s a bit of a revelation compared the bundle of bitey energy we deal with at home.

Ludo’s behaviour is pretty much either feast or famine – when she’s in the mood, she’s mental (and we do need to get the biting thing under control – even in the last week she’s become so mouth-obsessed during play, and her teeth and jaws are getting that much stronger), but when she’s relaxed, she is horizontal, literally – though she seems happy to kip at pretty much any angle. It’s such a pure joy to sit or lie with her, stroking that fine, smooth fur and feeling her warm little body breathing, her head resting on your lap or in any convenient hollow.

I’d never had a dog before, or any kind of pet, and the responsibility is a bit of a jolt – most nights I’m having puppy anxiety dreams, and once or twice I’ve had horrible “what if…” thoughts about my beloved pup. But the good bits are so fantastic, even now when she’s a mischievous, unpredictable beast with an inconvenient body clock and limited house training, and I love her utterly and unconditionally. Puppy!

For more Ludo-themed pictures, please have a look at my Flickr set – it’s public, so I hope you don’t have to be a member to view!

    • Writer
    • August 17th, 2010

    You bought a contraption to freeze poo?? But you still have to pick it up no? Jesus!

    • Esther
    • August 17th, 2010

    Cldn’t you get a poo Hoover?

  1. I’m thinking the poo freezing could be useful for when one of my many sprogs has an accident!

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