Wednesday, July 06, 2011

the squidgey edition

Soo.... Demonspawn Anklebiter McNoseyboots is growing up... from a dainty 2kg when she first arrived the little madam is now double and a bit that size.  She has been keeping up with her 10 new people, 1 new place, 3 new things a day for the most part aside from when I've been too ill. She goes with us to club and thinks the place was designed for her admirers to gather.  The vets and all around town and bush walking are other favs.  We're working on most of the same things we established as a little tyke, keeping their practice up and waiting till she's a bit bigger to push out duration further in most cases.  She has fun playing with the flyball box, playing stalky Kelpie dog (in her mind she is a rough, tough cowdog) and generally being a little ball of energy.  She is learning calm, control and her on-and-off switch - even when you are watching the other big dogs play flyball and run in agility and your mum won't let you.  (Life is DREADFULLY unfair - we are SURE we could do it even better if only we were allowed!) 
"Yep, with these ears I almost CAN take flight!"
Proving undoubtedly that she is one of MY dogs - and therefore both weird and ruled entirely by her gut - at her vet visit when she got her vax she never paused in chewing her treats.  When she got the thermometer (and no, vets aren't progressive enough to use those nifty little ear thermometers kids get - this is the old fashioned thermometer up the bum) it merited barely even a glance.
"That's right dear, just pay attention to the nice yummy bribe... pay no attention to the man who is about to do... yes, that... here have some peanut butter."
When it came to the microchip needle however, which is fairly BIG as needles go, she alternated between yelping and chewing in a sort of oddly crunchy yodel. *yel...crunch...elp...crunch...YE...crunch...LP..gobble*  Now that is impressive dedication to your grub!

All that didn't really slow her down much however. Or, y'know... at all.
She's still her nutty self.  The only that that continues to surprise is what a comfort hound she is.  Honestly I'm pretty sure she is an Italian Greyhound in a Kelpie/Border jacket.  She loves the heat blanket, she burrows under doonas like a seasoned pro, she shivers most pathetically if required to go outside sans a coat and is generally just a bit whussy about the weather.

And I am still loving having a dog I can put a pretty collar on and SEE it!  LOL  (Please note: Rin is actually wearing a pretty collar -just even with her minimal coat you can't see it!)

Surprisingly, among the dogs it's not just Rin who is finding having a puppy a great blast of fresh air - Sierra has taken on the role of patient teacher and is Kiah's most sought out (and endlessly pestered) friend.  They have endless play sessions and mock-battles teaching her to recognize and listen to her native (body) language, rehearsing recognition and responses for HOURS every day. They practice and rehearse apologizing and making amends, taking turns negotiating resolving issues and defusing situations, approaching, inviting games, making requests etc. It is beautiful to watch how elegant and deliberate they are and how they teach and learn! I am reminded of watching a Cade and Bella teaching a baby Sierra many years ago and later all of them teaching a cheeky and irrepressible baby Hopie. 
When a response is correct Sierra will bow and invite a game, wrestle or settle in for an ear grooming session (a legacy from Bella I suspect, who was obsessed with ensuring puppies had clean ears) or such before setting back up and inviting another rehearsal. Hope and Rin get in on the act as well, both particularly love to teach play skills - how to respectfully approach an adult to ask for some of their chewie or to play with the toys they have, how to take turns in playing chasing and wrestling games.  They will take the toy and dangle it clearly in front of her to entice, prancing and showing it off before taking off at a slow run for her to chase and guide her into being both the chaser and chased, signaling that it's just play or practicing calming down skills.  Hope will bring a chew right to her and of her to practice polite approaches and requesting skills.  When she gets it right they pointedly and deliberately give her what she's requested, walking away, "I'm done, all yours!" After a few moments they'll inviting her to come away - occasionally having to show another toy to get her to drop the first, pick it up and inviting another round.  Bless her, she is such a fantastic little member of our family I don't think we could have picked better!

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