Winnie the New Puppy

Winnie :
This is Winnie, a black and white Border Collie, at six weeks.

This afternoon Winnie the new puppy arrived. Earlier this morning, after some rollicking Beethoven piano duetting, I bought puppy chow, puppy food, a small collar and a lightweight lead (for when she's a bit bigger). Then I came home and weeded nervously, expectantly, waiting for Non-Gardening Partner's car. Winnie had two long flights from Whangarei, way up north.

Friday 26th September

And then, of course, the weeding was put aside as the puppy scampered around on the grass, exploring, cuddling, getting used to her new home, her new people, and the new big dog, Rusty. A couple of cats watched, mildly analytical : Hmm... Definitely not a cat, too small for a dog, too furry for a crawling baby. Beats me. Never seen one of these before.

 Winnie the puppy meets Rusty the big dog.
The Dogs Meet

We've just been for a slow walk around the house gardens. Winnie would very much like Rusty to play with her - a bit of gentle rough-and-tumble, please. But he's chosen to be aloof and boring, and she's a tired-out pup who keeps flopping down on the grass. She can hardly keep here little eyes open. Dear puppy. She's now sound asleep in her crate.

 Dear little dog!
Winnie on her first walk

So begins a new phase in my journal writing - the chronicles of Winnie the black and white Border Collie, with every new trick detailed, every new day's activities recorded. Hee hee. This is going to be so much fun! Tomorrow morning I'm staying home on puppy-watch (instead of going swimming). I'm planning to dig and plant the new Lavender garden around her outdoors dog-motel.

 A border collie.
Winnie the Puppy

Saturday Morning, Early

Well, I woke up when the birds started tweeting, and got Winnie the puppy up. She squeaked rather a lot. It must be quite an adjustment to leave six brothers and sisters and be physically all alone. Lots of cuddles are required! I'm happy with the indoors dog crate, in which she's asleep at the moment, safe and sound.


Hmm... Gardening with puppies is interesting. One has to be measured and careful, because the pup always ends up in the wrong places. Anyway, I had fun. Winnie's lavender garden is dug and most of the stone edging laid. I haven't planted any of the plants yet. Then some of my friends arrived to sing madrigals. Fa-la-la-la-la we went while Winnie slept soundly in her crate. What a good puppy!

+5+5I am very proud of big Fluff-Fluff the cat. He is interested in the puppy, and they have nonchalantly sniffed noses. Lilli-Puss, too, is OK, and Tiger the tortoiseshell is positively laid-back. Histeria, on the other hand, spreads herself sideways, fur standing on end, to look as big and ferocious as possible. Percy has been noticeably absent, though he's been happily leaping in and out of the cottage window all night long.

Sunday Morning, Early

And so Winnie, like me, is learning! I get her up at six, when the birds are busy chirping their early morning songs. I have my cup of tea, she plays for a few minutes (with that collie dog stalwart, the tennis ball), then trots on her own over the Frisbee Lawn to Rusty the dog's kennel. Her best friend! Time to get up!

 Spring daffodils.
Fluff-Fluff in the Garden

Now she's outside digging a small hole, while Rusty is bored already, waiting for Non-Gardening Partner to appear. It's spring daylight saving, so even an hour earlier than usual. This morning I will plant the Lavenders. Slowly, being extremely careful with the spade. And patiently, remembering the sedate pace of puppy-gardening. Then at lunchtime today big brown Escher (a chocolate labrador german pointer cross) is visiting. Three dogs!

Much Later...

Well, I didn't do very much gardening, but I did my best. I've planted the Princess lavenders, plus three purple Stoechas ones. I've spread topsoil and compost all over the soil, and everything is ready for the Lavatera and the other lavenders. So both my dogs will have lavender gardens. Nice!

 Cordyline in a pot, and blue forget-me-nots.
Winnie the Puppy in the Garden

Escher is a big and bouncy dog, but very nice natured. So he'd charge past the puppy, careless as to where he was going or what he was potentially treading on. Whoosh! Winnie would take cover, but then out she'd pop to follow the big brown dog. It was heart-warming to see how quickly she gained confidence.

 A really pretty pinky-purple colour.
Princess Lavender

Monday 29th September

OK. My first real day of puppy-gardening. I am learning fast. The spade is out. Grrr... Fight the spade! Gloves on the hands are tricky, too, so I've been flitting here and there doing little bits of different things. I don't want her nipping at my moving hands, either, but she's too tiny to be told off. Distraction is the answer!

I was busy cleaning gum leaves out of the Lavender Garden when - oops! Where was the little puppy? She'd put herself to bed inside her dog kennel, and was sound asleep. So I left the door wide open and have 'enjoyed' nearly two gardening hours without puppy-interruption. I've planted her garden properly now, I've taken cuttings from her new daisy (a splendid deep pink), and I've watered and weeded nearby. Fluff-Fluff approves of my puppy-less state, too.

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Not such a focussed afternoon. Rusty the old dog has sniffed out a creature in one of the garden woodpiles - probably a rat - and has been barking incessantly at it These aggressive noise signals have confused young Winnie. I've been trying to rake up garden rubbish. Aha! Grr... Fight the rake! I've also trodden on her paw once (I felt so bad). Really, I have to walk so carefully, doing the old-lady-in-slippers shuffle. I can do this!

Puppies certainly sleep a lot. She's back in bed, in her indoors crate. Mind you, Winnie is a young pup, coming up to nine weeks old. Just a tiny tot, really.