Last week my horse came up with an abscess in her hoof requiring my attention so my time for blogging was pretty limited. Brian being home to puppy-sit Cinder has freed me for a few minutes to catch up.
You may recall my post regarding Cinder playing among the kitchen chairs, weaving between all the chair rungs and generally considering them like her personal monkey bars for Cinder tricks. Those days are already history since she's already outgrown even fitting under the chair seats without ducking. However, it doesn't stop her from trying to do it, only to be frustrated and leave the kitchen frustrated that her kitchen gymnastics equipment no longer accommodates her growing size. This discovery was hardest felt when she got stuck and I had to rescue her because she couldn't lift her back legs over a rung without hitting the underside of the chair seat. Growing up is hard sometimes.
We added a couple new tricks to her repertoire: "crawl, up, and roll." She caught onto each one fairly quickly but hasn't quite got enough balance to actually sit up, but she has the idea and tries very hard. Oddly, rolling over has been easy to teach with a treat, but I'm not sure how she'll learn it as a command or sign quite yet. This week we'll work on honing all the tricks she's learned so far and start putting a little distance between she and I to build toward working on sit and down stays in a few weeks. Otherwise, she's been doing quite well for just turning nine weeks old. She's decided to learn a new trick on her own and learned how to climb onto the loveseat and jump off. That's a trick to be discouraged for at least a couple months since she really shouldn't be jumping down onto the hard floor so young. Aside from the jumping, it now means leaving things on our end tables has to stop or she'll soon be chewing things like our TV remote and books (about training dogs, which we need)! Her other self-taught trick is continuing to find creative ways of getting her toys out of her toy crate. She isn't happy having only a few toys out at once and MUST get ALL the toys out. I'm sensing that teaching her to put her toys away will not be so easy either! But, she is a puppy and if she's playing with her toys she's not eating furniture.
Last week Gilley and Buzz decided to venture out to endure their luck being outside their safety zone in our bedroom to see how much they could take of the Cinder the munch-mouth monster. I think Gilley's thrilled to see that she loves Buzz and Buzz apparently likes her enough to spend significant time with her. Buzz has been obsessed with Gilley since we rescued him, always butting his way into everything Gilley does. I think Gilley sees Cinder as a welcome diversion for Buzz, freeing him to be able to do what he wants without Buzz on top of him. Buzz has been spending more and more time patiently allowing Cinder to brutally bite, jump on, and drag him across floors by his tail until he just can't take any more. He endures a good deal of brutal puppy chomping before he finally snaps at her, but even when he snaps and growls, Cinder yields very temporarily and the cycle starts anew. However, Cinder is learning when she's pushed the limits of her puppy license and is starting to recognize when Buzz really means "LEAVE ME ALONE or I WILL EAT YOU FOR A SNACK."
Buzz attempts playing with Cinder, but he's so huge and she's still so small that it's very hard
for him to play well with her and not result in being a little too rough sometimes. Cinder takes it in stride, but I try to keep a lid on the real rough play until she gets a little bigger. I'm waiting for Buzz's signature move he used on our Corgi: she'd bother him and he'd simply put his paw on her forehead and pin her head to the floor for a minute, then bark or growl in her face and let her up. I think he'll eventually try that with Cinder and it'll be interesting to see if it's as successful with her.
|Buzz shows Cinder the snow-free route|
Gilley is finally starting to be more assertive with her in his time with her but still only snapping at her when I tell him to "get her Gilley." He's starting to realize he really can get a little edgy with her and he won't be in trouble for it so long as he doesn't actually hurt her. I still maintain that when Cinder's bigger and can really start to run and play, Gilley will come to love romping with her. Gilley loves to swim so I'm also hoping he'll teach Cinder to swim this summer. Until they can get out and do those kinds of things, Gilley sees her pretty much as a waste of his attention, choosing to retreat to the bedroom after a brief time with Cinder. I guess Gilley just doesn't remember that growing up is hard to do.
Brian's been more involved with Cinder this week. He's helped quite a lot and he's starting to learn more about dog training and making rules that are more concrete and less wishy-washy. He's made a batch of new training treats and per my request he made them very tiny so I don't need to break them any more. He split the batch into two kinds-peanut butter and parmesan cheese. He takes a lot of pictures and sits with her in his lap or beside him on the loveseat quite often. I think he's got a case of real puppy love! He's quite pleased that she selects curling up between his feet to sleep almost as often as she curls up between mine.
Overall, we've had Cinder two weeks and one day and it's hard to imagine that we would not want her forever. She's already made our lives more busy and full keeping up with her, but she's also added more life and fun back into our house. There's no way I'd ever say my older boys are in any way boring-they are not. They're wonderful but older and more settled-until now. Cinder is contributing to their quality of life by contributing to their mental and physical fitness too. While she has not been completely accepted by the boys, she is growing more so each week. Spring will help solidify her role in our lives and the three dog pack. Meanwhile, we look forward to more fun and mayhem that is part of raising Cinder.