adventures of beck

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm not exaggerating.

You'll think I'm exaggerating when I say this. You really will. Sonar is growing like a weed. You think that's an expression, don't you? You think I'm being clever and that I don't really, honestly, truly mean that her growth matches that of the most tenacious, driveway-crack, overnight thunderstorms 3 nights in a row, laughs in the face of weed killer, thorny-leaved, snarly rooted, resembles-a-dandelion-on-steroids-WEED. Well, it does. Want proof? On a Wednesday, not so long ago, she weighed 19 lbs at her vet visit. Another Wednesday passed, and after that we went to my parents. On Saturday, so 10 days later, she weighed 25 lbs. That is 6 lbs in 10 days. That is a weed. That was last weekend. Today is Wednesday. She weighs MORE. Significantly. Like 2-3 lbs. I know. I carry her outside to pee. She laid down next to Kayak today, and she is approaching his length. He is 4 years old. She is 4.5 MONTHS old. Dear Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into? I've been playing chase games with her, and she's getting close to catching me in a straight-away sprint. (She chases a toy on a tug rope, not me.) She now knows the following commands, in order of ability: sit, heel (follow me while I walk backwards, sitting when I stop), down, shake, and staaaaaaayyyyyy. This last command consists of me rocking my weight back half a step, very very slowly. It is a hard thing to learn when 5 seconds earlier she was following me, eyes locked on the cheese in my fist. Wait, now you're moving, taking the cheese with you but you DON'T want me to follow? Weird.

Two days ago, I realized what was really driving me bonkers about her: she didn't really CARE that much what I wanted, while Kayak, being a very independent dog, still keeps himself up at night, worrying about what I might want next week. (Ok, now that IS and exaggeration.) And then I realized that we weren't being strong leaders. We forgot about the doorway thing (humans go out first) and the restricted access to the house thing (new dog stays downstairs only) and that walking nice on the leash is a task that takes TIME to learn. Ohhhh. That's right. She has the attention span of a gnat. Also, we weren't touching her enough. In our quest to do EVERYTHING RIGHT, we had forgotten that she was a cute, fuzzy puppy, and we weren't bonding enough. So now, when she brings the chase toy back, we spend time rubbing her belly on the ground (very good, since that puts her in a submissive position.) I also started being very firm in commands, but very very happy when she gets them right. Kayak can understand more subtle variations, even conversational tones. "Kayak, c'mere" and he'll come right over. "Sonar, c'mere" and she'll not even flip an ear back. I was initially really worried a couple days ago that she was trying really hard to be top dog, queen of the world, but after a couple days of structure with lots of attention and affection, she's back on track, better than ever. She's much calmer in her crate, and I think she understands that I'm leader now. Plus, she knows I know where the cheese is. Shoulda named her "Colby-Jack."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you can find a suitable jockey for the next Kentucky derby....
you definitely have a horse there.
Ma kettle

11:18 PM CDT


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