By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Sudie Crouch: The joy of puppy growing pains
Veronika Jorjobert, Unsplash

“How’s Mia?” Mama inquires every day.

I respond with the same answer every time, too.

“Wild. She’s just wild.”

Sudie Crouch
Wild is the only way to describe that German Shepherd puppy.

In just a few short months, she has become quite the taskmaster and letting us know she has her own ideas of how things need to go.

I like to think there was some kind of pupper conversation where Doodle told her she’d be the big dog when she got grown and Mia took that to heart. Of course, she was already a sassy little thing when I picked her out of the litter, showing her smarts at four weeks old as she seemed to understand her name and sticking close to me as if she was the one actually doing the choosing.

I’m glad we got her, too, because I am not sure someone who had never had a German Shepherd before would know what to do with this strong-willed, spirited pup.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact her name can also mean ‘spunky girl power’ even though I chose it because it means ‘beloved.’ Even the vet commented on her spunkiness during one of her puppy checks, which makes us wonder what she did.

“She probably barked if they didn’t tell her she was cute,” I said.

“They tell her she’s cute,” Lamar said.

“How do you know that?”

He looked at me. “They do. Trust me.”

But wild she is, especially when she wants attention.

And she wants attention from everyone.

Doodle braces for impact when Mia barrels towards her, full puppy steam powering her approach. Once Doodle knows the eye of the storm named Mia has calmed, she’s fine with loving on the pup, but is also eager to hide in the bathroom with me, pawing at the door and climbing in her safe space of the laundry basket.

Mia has touched noses with Sexy Frank through the baby gate, then barked at him when he wasn’t impressed. Mia has no idea why the feline is not entranced by her. Everyone comments on how cute she is, and to Mia, that list should include the mini-panther. She’s got a lot to learn when it comes to cats, including the best way to get them to like you is to ignore them.

Mia’s demands for attention are not unnoticed, even if they aren’t fulfilled. Pumpkin has kept her distance as well, giving the puppy a low growl when her boisterous behavior brings her in close proximity to the Border Collie. Mia doesn’t understand why her wild displays of affection aren’t returned.

The more attention she wants, the more rambunctious and demanding she becomes.

“Is she ever going to calm down?” I ask.

“She’s still learning,” Lamar reminds me. “She’s just a baby.”

She is learning, too; Lamar has been training her.

And Mia loves to work -- she will cry to go out and bite the sleeve or chase a ball. But there is one little word that feisty pup loathes.


Lamar has trained all of our German Shepherds in German and usually, hearing this command will even make the pittie sit down and drop her head in shame for displeasing her human.

Not Mia.

It is her least favorite word in the world, making her bark with gusto.

She will then proceed to get her training sleeve and tussle with it to show how angry she is.

She even will get so upset she will bounce off the bed to the wall and then back flip onto the bed, as if that will convince us of how serious she is.

“Are we entirely sure she’s not a Belgian Malinois?” I asked.

Lamar looked at me. “She’s a GSD. She’s just a very strong-willed one.”

“She’s too smart for her puppy good,” I said, and that may be a more accurate description of what’s happening.

I know she’s learning and she’s just seven months old. She’s still a baby. But I had visions of her cuddling and sleeping by my feet while I worked. Instead, she barks and has puppy tantrums when she doesn’t get her way.

“She’ll calm down one day,” Lamar assured me. “Just enjoy her now.”

She’s stubborn, headstrong, rambunctious, and wild. Just wild.

“I wouldn’t have her any other way,” Lamar said, as we watched her leapfrog over Doodle.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t either.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.