Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life with Lady, Week 5

Things have settled down a wee bit, as Lady was teething pretty intensely. It is so sad, to see a puppy in distress and not be able to either explain it to her, or to help much.

Add this to the fact that she is growing very quickly, and the result is not much sleep for anyone involved.

We did find out a few very interesting things, however. Lady loves frozen raspberries, frozen blueberries and frozen cherry tomatos. Rather than going out and buying her a puppy teething ring (made from who knows where and who knows what), I started making her ice cubes with raspberries and blue berries in them. It helps take down the inflammation in her gums, sooths aches and she gets a 'treat' when the cube has melted.

I wonder how long it takes for the teething process to finish?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life with Lady, week 4

On Monday, when my husband cleaned out his garage, he found one of my son's frisbees. After cleaning it off, I discovered that it was in perfect shape, and took Lady outside in the back yard to show her how much fun it can be. She would chase after it and get so confused since it did not fly the same as when you toss a ball. It was hilarious! After a few tosses she learned very quickly to watch it and change direction as it did. I do not think it will be long before she learns to guess where it is going and start catching it on the fly.

She is now going most nights without any accidents. The only time she did was when we were so tired neither of us got up at our regular 5:30 wake-up time. She felt quite embarrassed, I could see it in her eyes.

Last night, she was cuddled up with me in my chair and I started saying 'Hello, Hello". She immediately got up and ran over to the door, looking for something. She came back to me, looking quite sad. I was not sure at first what was happening and did it again. My husband laughed and told me that I was using the same tone of voice as when I say "hello Leo" (my cat). Turns out, she was expecting to see Leo! She really adores him and tries so very hard to get Leo to play with her.

Later on, when Leo came inside for the night, Lady took one of her toys (a plush parrot squeaky toy I made her) up to Leo and dropped it in front of him. She then backed off a few paces, and layed down. She wiggled her butt a few times and whimpered. Leo just looked at her and the toy and did nothing. Lady wiggled forward a bit, and nosed the parrot towards Leo and wiggled her butt again. Leo finally batted at the parrot a couple of times and that was just what Lady wanted. Lady got so excited she barked and jumped up, and of course Leo took off like a shot! That of course started a chase around the house for a few minutes until Leo jumped up on the dresser in the washroom where I keep his food.

It does seem that they are becoming fast friends. I wonder if this summer I will find them sprawled out on Lady's couch outside, asleep in the sun?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life with Lady, week 3

Last week, Lady discovered that chasing a lid off of a coffee can or a ice cream pail is loads of fun.

I take her for walks about 3 times a week right now as I do not want to confuse her training. Since my hubby uses slightly different commands and he takes her out in the bush it is too much potential for confusion. When he walks her, she is let off the leash quite often, and he uses a longer leash. I prefer to go for shorter walks and use a shorter leash. I find it easier to control her and that is important since we meet lots of people on our walks. She has learned to stop at every intersection and sit until I give her the go-ahead. She will even look both ways at times.

Near the end of the week she managed to go 3 days without having an accident in the house over night! We were so proud of her. She got an extra treat at the end of the day (of course she had no idea why).

Lady discovered a new toy. She took possession of one of my old flower pots. It makes a lovely sound when rolled around on the floor or chewed on. She also loves to pick up one of her other toys, and put it in the flower pot and carry it around that way. I wonder if she can be trained to put away her toys at the end of the day?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life with Lady, week 2

Lady started learning to catch a gently tossed ball and to bring it back for us to toss again. She loves going for long romps in the bush with my husband and is getting over her fear of meeting other dogs. She still loves to jump in excitement although the words 'down' and 'sit' are starting to work.

We changed to feeding her twice a day now, and it was a bit easier helping her to go outside rather than just 'letting go' whenever she needed to. I believe she started to recognise the signals of when she needed to go.

Her favourite outside toy is a (very well cleaned) oil jug, that she chases along the snow. It slides so very well and can be picked up by the handle. I wonder what she will do come spring when it gets mucky?

Lady went to visit a farmer friend of ours with my husband and she had a wonderful time. He is a cattle farmer and I believe she felt like she was home again (being raised on a cattle farm). She loved playing with the cats and being able to run about in and out of the barn.

She was given a wonderful treat, a nice bone that she managed to drag around even though it was huge! It definately helped her with her teething and she was quite content staying outside in her area for hours at a time chewing on it.

She made friends with our cat Leo, and they now have an 'understanding'. It was so nice to see that they did not turn into growling fights, I was a bit concerned about it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life with Lady, our Aussie Lab mix puppy

I have decided to do a bit of a diary on Life with Lady. Mind you, it has been about 5 weeks now since we got her, so for the next little while these posts will be about what had happened then. As time goes on I will be able to catch up to what is happening more currently.

Week 1:

We took Lady to the Christmas family party on Christmas day, and to be honest I was a bit leary about it.

We had her only a week and a half and she was far from trained to go visiting. I worried for nothing however, as everyone loved her and we just made it a habit to take her outside every 40 minutes or so 'just in case'.

It went very well, she did not beg during meal time and there were no 'treasures' left for my brother-in-law and his wife.

We were still feeding her 3 times a day at that point and my husband was trying to figure out the best time for her evening meal. He wanted to give her enough time for sleep and still wake up early enough to help her prevent 'accidents' inside.

She was leash trained at this point and we had finally found an actual harness that fit her after I modified it a bit.

She had learned to play fetch by this point although we still had to work on her bringing it back for another toss. She also loved to play tug with me.

One evening she was a bit bored with her toys, so we came up with a new one for her. It certainly proved an hour of laughter, and she figured it out very quickly. We put a golf ball under a round plastic container on the floor and moved it around. Lady could see and hear the ball, and she wanted that ball! She pushed it around on the hardwood floor for about 20 minutes, and then finally pounced on it, right on the edge. It popped up and the ball rolled out. Lady was very excited about this and wanted us to put the ball under the container again. Within 5 minutes she had the ball out again.

Next, we put a lid on the container and it took about 30 minutes that time for her to figure out how to take the lid off. She then proceeded to pick up the ball, and drop it in the container and bring both back to one of us to put together again. She is such a smart dog!