Monday, March 24, 2014

Cinder Size & Cinder-Sized

     Firstly, for those following my blog posts via Facebook, I'm sorry for spacial oddities, gaps, and lack of pictures or videos in these blog posts. Facebook doesn't import pictures or videos within the blog. Where there are gaps and spacial oddities, it is likely due to the missing pictures/videos Facebook doesn't upload with the content. If you want to see the pictures or videos I include, you'll need to visit the blog. 
     On to Cinder's latest adventures:  

     Last week Cinder had several new adventures. She went on some off-leash cross-country jaunts with the big boys at the barn; she met some chickens up close and personally; and she met a few more of the draft horses, one of which stomped at her and scared her (goodie, I want her to stay away from the horses). She did quite well with everything, even a few long-distance recalls and a sit-stay with a chicken wandering by!

     Cinder remains uninterested in balls and frisbees. To me, this is a sad thing to say about a Border Collie but, it's okay that she has her own personality and interests. Maybe she'll develop more interest in them later. Her real passion seems to truly be jumping.  While we've managed to rein her in from jumping on and off the furniture, she displayed her honest love of jumping repeatedly on our cross-country jaunts.  She was was working her way through a thicket with a nice opening over or under a huge grape vine-she jumped the grape vine. She  later breezed over a smallish tree limb across her path and without even a second of hesitation. She ran through the woods with many opportunities for her to walk around or under things,or climb over things but she never considered less than jumping her way over everything in her path.  I guess we need to take different routes so she won't do that so much. 
However, a puppy in a natural setting that's jumping small objects with landings on soft ground is much different and less problematic than jumping off furniture onto hard floors. None-the-less, she seems to LOVE jumping and hesitates at nothing. I hope that transfers to agility later on! She also got to play in a small creek, learning to scale steep banks and forge through the water. She loved playing in the creek, but I think she enjoyed climbing the banks as much or more!

     Over the last week, we have really noticed that "Cinder size" is 
changing by literal leaps and bounds. It's amazing to look back just a few weeks past and see how much she's grown in such a short time! Everything about her is bigger, including her play with the big dogs. She's getting the hang of true life lessons through playing with the older boys. She's becoming far more assertive and aggressive in how she plays with them and is large enough now that she's becoming a formidable adversary. We have seen her out-think them numerous times, resulting in gaining an upper hand on them. I think it will take some work for the boys to stay ahead of her as she continues growing and learning. Things will be very different in the way they play by the end of this summer! I think we'll be seeing the boys (and maybe we humans) often being bowled over or manipulated by her, which we will call being, "Cinder-Sized!"
     Last week I was quite surprised to see another potential skill set to develop with Cinder: she ran to the bedroom and barked when my alarm clock went off.  I have a special alarm clock for the Deaf and hearing impaired. It can be set to a loud, audible buzz and/or the flashing light. Often I change the settings and sometimes I accidentally switch it to the buzzing alarm setting, which is not audible to me without my hearing aids or when I'm out of the room. Apparently it was on the buzz setting several times and each time, Cinder raced to the bedroom and barked at it.  To most people, that may be very annoying, but for me, it's very helpful because I may never have known it was on had she not done that. So, she got high praise for alerting me to the noise.  I will always encourage and reward her for alerting me to noises I may not notice.
     Yesterday, Cinder had her nails trimmed. I was able to do it by myself and she didn't fuss at all. I am so glad she continues to be good about nail trimming because many dogs are not. Good grooming behavior is a must for Cinder-especially if she goes on to any form of competition or pet therapy.
     Trick training has been waylaid by my injured back and a sudden burst of demands on my time. However, even though we haven't been doing any dedicated training sessions, we have continued spontaneously doing some or all of her tricks randomly when we have only a minute or so to do something. We did add "push door" (which will become "close door") when she began doing it on her own when we went outside and she was ready to come in and started pushing the door to come in. She's doing pretty well with it and has shut a few doors randomly without prompts! Her leash training is going well despite two different versions of it: one being the normal leash training as for obedience and daily living; the other being attached on a harness by a 25' long line for jaunts on which I approve some distance for her to have fun, but don't want her racing off beyond that.  She does quite well with both and seems to understand the difference already. On her flat collar, she's developing a nice, brisk but controlled walk beside me with a crisp "sit" when we stop. For only doing it about 6-8 times, she's doing amazingly well.

   Once again, this brings everyone up to speed. Thanks for checking in and/or following us as we continue the adventure of raising Cinder. We think she's special and hope you enjoy our successes and even our failings as Cinder grows and we endeavor to provide her a good life and a lot of love. It aint all purty but it is all real!


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