The Adventures of Otto aged 12 Weeks

Week 4 (20th – 26th August) 12 weeks

This week we had a terrible tragedy when my lovely old horse who has been with me for 18 years got sick and died very suddenly.  The vets could do nothing and I couldn’t quite believe he’d gone so I went and checked on him lying dead in the field several times until it had sunk in.  Otto came with me and bounced around on the rugs that were covering him without any idea of the devastation I was feeling.  At one point after I had come in, I looked out of the window and Otto had gone out to where he was lying, just sitting with him as if waiting for his big friend to wake up and play. 


In the days that followed, Otto was a lovely source of joy in all the sadness.  It’s really impossible to be sad in the morning when he struggles up onto the bed so he can put his head and neck over yours and then settles down to sleep.  He’s always at his most sweet when he’s a bit sleepy.


In the days that followed, Otto’s first walks were a good distraction.  He went to a big heath where he meet sheep that didn’t run and that were much bigger than him.  And he went to city parks where he learned about pigeons and children running and shouting in their play area.


I’ve been working hard on never letting him jump up by keeping a finger in his collar to prevent it when he meets new people or making sure people that know him get their faces close to him when greeting so he doesn’t need to jump.  Now he doesn’t really even think to do it but all my hard work paid off when I took him to a tea party in aid of charity on the bank holiday afternoon.  There were many children and a trampoline set into the ground as well as people with tea and cake.  I kept him on the lead for a while and let him off when he was settled.  I’m proud to say he didn’t jump up, knock any children over, nip anyone, or steal any cake!   He did enjoy jumping on the trampoline though and the children enjoyed bouncing him.  I was very proud of him.


I’ve started his isolation training by leaving him alone in either a room or his play-pen when he’s just been fed, been out to toilet and is really sleepy.  I can hear him whining a little but he soon settles down alone and then when he’s deeply asleep I open the doors so he can come and find me when he wakes up.  This week, I’ve gradually built up the time he spends alone, never going faster than he can cope with and he can now tolerate about 20 minutes as long as he has lots of chews to keep him busy.  I decided that exercise might improve my mood so I decided to leave Otto and go for a short run.  I was out about half an hour and when I came back, I crept around the back of the house and looked through the window to see what he was doing.  I’d left him on the sofa with him at one end and the cat asleep at the other.  When I returned, he was fast asleep, snuggled up as close to the poor cat as he could risk without getting hissed at!

Otto the puppy at 12 weeks old and a friend