Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Fun has Begun

    A few weeks ago Cinder discovered jumping. On one hand that's cool and exciting to see her be able to jump and see how much she seems to like it. On the other hand, bad things happen to pups that jump too much when they're too young and 10-13 weeks is too young. However wrangling Cinder and keeping her from jumping is proving quite challenging as she finds new things and ways from which to jump.  
     Cinder has discovered and learned a lot the last two weeks. She began going for car rides and the first times in the back seat were less than stellar-she managed to get out of both her harnesses multiple times (BEFORE we even got her door shut); once I tried riding in the back seat with her and she threw up.  I finally got her to ride well by putting her in the co-pilot's seat up front so I could easily touch and talk to her. That worked well for about four days before we tried taking all three dogs to the barn in the car together for the first time.  I opted to put Buzz in the back seat and Cinder was paired with Gilley in the far rear area of our Jeep Patriot.  Gilley is a GREAT traveler-gets in, lays down, does NOT move until we stop; and never barks or fusses about anything.  Cinder did great riding in back with Gilley and Buzz did great riding in the back seat.  I think that's the way we'll travel when all three go together.
 Otherwise, Cinder's already grown so big that staying in the front seat is about over for her and the back seat is the best place.  Traveling is coming along well and Cinder's starting to become comfortable with it so that she also lays down and sleeps.  

     Cinder's been learning to walk on a leash and a long rope for our barn treks.  She's done quite well so far and I'm very proud of her progress. She's honing her "sit" beside me pretty well.  Her other tricks are all the same with the addition of this week's new trick: "shut door." Cinder learned on her own how to push the back door open to come in, but I decided she needs to know how to shut it again too.  So far, she's been doing very well at it and today, she began shutting the internal garage door after Brian went out and didn't close it behind him.  For her learning fun, I'm going to make a miniaturized "teeter-totter" using a piece of 4" PVC on the ground and a plywood board about 4' long.  The elevation will be minimal but enough to give her the sense of walking on something that moves.  I didn't do that with Gilley and eight years later, he still hates doing the teeter-totter in agility so Cinder's going to have some playtime equipment that leads to bigger things later.
   Cinder's been exploring more and her door opening  and closing tricks evolved out of that. First she found out that toilet paper is a fast and easy way to decorate while having fun strewing it about and chewing it up!  Cute, but messy and annoying for the hu-mom.  Next she realized that all her food and treats seem to come from the same place all the time and she now goes and sits in front of the food prep area and barks for treats when she's bored.  She doesn't get them, but she does get to work for them.  Today she discovered that if I leave my house shoes out when I'm in a hurry, they are available for serious chewing pleasure-especially the insides of each shoe.
 Luckily those were six year old, very worn out old house shoes instead of my more expensive shoes!
     Cinder's full of life and she is definitely keeping us busy trying to keep her busy with the right amount of learning, play and undivided attention.  It's a challenge to find balance, but we're getting there. She's sleeping about 6-8 hours at night now so we are back to a reasonable sleep schedule. The rest of the time, she's awake and on the move or can be found snuggling with Gilley or Buzz during quiet times they inspire.
      The dynamics of the pack are definitely different now that Cinder's been here about six weeks.  Both older boys now engage in play with her regularly, often initiating it with her.  For Buzz, that's a major shift in his life because until Cinder, he NEVER engaged in any real play with Gilley.  Seeing both the older boys engage in and initiating play is great fun-not to mention, a great break for me!
    Cinder is awake and beckoning to be released from her crate so time to wind this up!  Once again, this brings you up to speed on things so far in the adventures of raising Cinder.


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