I’m suffering from a serious condition. It’s called infantem canis cerebrum.
Otherwise known as Puppy Brain.
And I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever get my regular brain back.
How To Catch Puppy Brain
You need two conditions to cultivate a severe case of Puppy Brain.
First, you need a puppy.
Second, you need an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and an unwillingness to clean up pee or poop.
With both these things you’re guaranteed to develop puppy brain.
Puppy Brain Symptoms
People with Puppy Brain may seem normal to people outside their homes. It’s their family members who suffer the most from dealing with the sufferer’s symptoms, which include
- shifting eye gaze as the Puppy Brain sufferer constantly turns her attention back to the puppy to make sure she doesn’t need to go outside yet again
- paranoia caused by the puppy’s inconsistent behavior because, well, she’s a puppy
- hyper-alert hearing that can distinguish between the sound of chewing a Nylabone compared to chewing the zipper on a dog bed
- argumentiveness which results in petty statements like “What do you mean you had to go to the bathroom? You can’t go to the bathroom while you’re watching the puppy.”
- an insane adherence to a schedule of walks, meals, naps, and training sessions
Fortunately the symptoms lessen as the months go on.
My Struggle With Puppy Brain
I should recover from Puppy Brain in a little over a week, when our foster puppy, Zoe, returns to the Tompkins County SPCA adoption center to find her forever home.
In some ways, this case of Puppy Brain has been worse because Zoe is such a good puppy.
What do I mean?
She’s read the book on house training. If I take her out every time she eats, finishes playing, or wakes up from a nap and watch her like a hawk when she’s not in her exercise pen, she’ll have no accidents in the house.
Unfortunately, Zoe only naps for an hour before she needs to go outside. Which means that every hour I’m taking her outside for a pee break. Or more often if I move enough to wake up her vigilant herding self.
No wonder I have Puppy Brain.
I’ve had previous puppies who didn’t know the rules. They’d come back from a long walk just to pee on the welcome mat outside the front door. After a while, you become resigned to cleaning up so the Puppy Brain symptoms are less severe.
Luckily, a short case of Puppy Brain is worth it because it totally results in a wonderful adult dog.
This Is Your Brain On Zoe
It was obvious from the first moment I met her that Zoe is a very special pup.
She’s incredibly smart. She bonds quickly to people. And she uses her attachment to the people and dogs she loves to give her courage to explore the world.
She’s a normal puppy—curious, active, and occasionally annoying (just ask Honey whose tail looks like a floofie tug toy). But Zoe is quite mature as well.
Zoe sleeps most of the night through. But her Australian cattle dog genes show through when play time with Honey, followed by a walk and a short training session only makes her tired enough for a 45 minute nap before she’s up and ready to go again.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Australian cattle dogs have dingo genes after all.
The SPCA staff and volunteers will work hard to find the right adoptive home for Zoe. But I’d love to see her adopted by someone able to give this smart and active girl a job. I suspect she’d make a wonderful agility competitor (at 3 months old, she’s nearly as fast a runner as Honey).
The SPCA has occasionally approved out-of-area adoptions in the right circumstances. So if you’re reading this and have room in your heart and your home for a smart, active girl and don’t mind suffering briefly from Puppy Brain, drop me a line. I’ll be glad to pass your information on to the SPCA.
The Cure For Puppy Brain
There are two cures for Puppy Brain. The case I had with Honey disappeared as she grew up.
With Zoe, all my Puppy Brain symptoms will wash away with the tears I shed when she leaves us in little over a week.
I guess I’ll be glad to have my brain back. Or not.
Puppy Brain is a small price to pay for meeting such a special girl.
Your Turn: Am I crazy or is there really such a thing as Puppy Brain? Have you experienced it?