I have two Japanese Chin dogs. One is nearly 6 years old and is a well-behaved, laid back dog, very good at being a couch potato. That’s Ernie, who has an eye problem but is getting better. The other one is something else entirely.
Ralphy is an 11-month old puppy. I emphasize the “puppy” aspect of Ralphy’s personality. I had forgotten how much work a puppy can be. He is at the chewing stage. I buy him Dingo rawhide and meat bones to chew and he loves them so they are all over our house. However, that doesn’t stop Ralphy from chewing almost everything he can get his teeth into. I have to do a better job of puppy-proofing the house. In that, I am at fault. So far, he has devoured a number of pens (I have to hide them so that I can find them but he can’t because I use them so much), he has emptied out the dog box shaped like a bone where I keep scarves, a coat, extra collars, and I kept a monkey that you could carry a cell phone in and strap on your shoulder. Not any more you can’t. He has dismantled the monkey from its strap and decided he likes to play with the monkey.
He has a number of squeaky toys–a carrot, a cow, a squirrel–and every so often I will hear a loud squeak or squawk from one of these toys. Could be in the middle of the night, could be any time at all. He loves those squeaky toys. He also likes to chew on books. The Bible that was on my bed (I had neglected to put it back on the shelf) has chunks out of the top and bottom of the spines. He also has nawed on the Sufi book I am reading and commenting on for a friend, so the top and bottom of that book is a little chewed up. It’s still readable (thank God) but I should have known better than to leave it on the bed overnight.
Ralphy has a great appetite. I have two different kinds of dog food because Ernie will only eat small bits of kibble and bits. I accidentally bought a bag of large bites and decided to give that a try. Not for Ernie, but Ralphy actually prefers the larger bites and eats all of them first, leaving the small bites for Ernie. So it all worked out for the good.
You must understand one thing about Japanese Chins. They are puppies for almost 2 years. It takes that long for their real fur to come in. Right now, Ralphy has soft puppy fur that is tan and white, so he is classified as a sable-colored Chin. Ernie is the more traditional black and white. Chins have a problem with house training like a puppy for a long time, so we will be working on that. I have no idea when the chewing will stop but it doesn’t look like any time soon.
Ralphy also has a habit of removing decorative objects from low shelves. I have learned that the hard way. He has devoured an Easter sculpture, any stuffed animal that happens to be around, anything on a table that he can reach when he stands on his hind legs. He has pulled books and tissue-holders off the coffee table, and the garbage of course is always locked up. The latest thing he ate (or attempted to eat) was a sticky wand that picks up dog hair. How ironic.
He is a dear, sweet, affectionate dog. A little too affectionate at times. He tends to want to chew on my chin, my neck, my lips (especially when I’m sleeping), my ears (also when I’m sleeping), fingers, toes (which he likes to lick more than chew). He is getting better at night about the chewing after I have screamed “No!” numerous times. I think he has gotten the message that I don’t want a French kiss from a dog (a person would be another matter entirely). He leaves Ernie alone at night, which is good and they play together well, except when Ernie had to wear “the cone of shame” to protect him from scratching his eyes. Now they are back to playing quite nicely.
Another thing that Ralphy is very fond of is my underwear. I am constantly picking up soiled underwear from everywhere in the house that he has taken out of the laundry basket. I finally got the hint and did laundry today (which was desperately needed). Now he has no undies to flitch.
I hope I have given you a good picture of Rajphy. He’s a good watch dog, barking when someone comes to the door or if someone with a dog is walking in front of our townhome. He is very alert and loves to sit on the window sill which is low and watch the activities in the neighborhood. He was barking at the children in the area, but has realized they are harmless and stopped yapping (actually more of a “woo-woo”) at them. He is really a good puppy, but he is a puppy. I’ll be glad when he’s a little more settled down and laid back the way Chins usually are. He’s a great companion for Ernie and a great companion for me. I love my Ralphy.
This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.