Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s catch up on Raising Cinder! Cinder continues growing by leaps and bounds. She is so big that we had to “up-size” her crate and gave her Buzz’s (since we never use it). She’s now big enough she no longer has to jump on the furniture because she can easily climb or hop up without a running jump. Cinder is now 15 weeks old and she’s already about half grown I think! Her paws are as big as Buzz’s and bigger than Gilley’s! I was hoping to have a little lap cuddle-bug for a while longer, but she’s already outgrown being a lap sized girl. Although she appears long and lean, she has fairly dense bone. She eats like a ravenous wolf at every meal and it’s truly, “Gone in 60 Seconds!”
Last week Cinder and Buzz had a big fight in which the end result was Buzz got mad atCinder during some rough play and suddenly made sure we all knew it. I had to pull him off her at the right moment to keep him from going too far and probably seriously injuring her. It was a good thing I was there to stop him, but he did enough to scare the heck out of her for a while. Luckily, she escaped unscathed but her little feelings were hurt –for at least that evening. They were playing together again the next day. I’m sure she’ll push more of Buzz and Gilley’s buttons as she grows, but that first big fuss was all I needed to get my heart jumping! She learned that her puppy license has limits and Buzz WILL enforce them.
Cinder’s visits to the barn, or as she has learned it from our neighbor children, “the horse house,” are increasing; but require structure and limits to learn essential barn rules. Now that spring is finally here, getting the horses and equipment cleaned for our horse driving season and preparing for horse activities is a big time suck so Cinder’s going to have lots of “horse house” adventures. She met the two newest additions to the horse herd: two BIG, black Percherons arrived to become part of the Finch Creek Farm and Logging string. They were in a small turn-out when we went to examine them and Cinder met them up close. She barked and tried her best to fend them off, but the end result was the big boys gave us some friendly nuzzling and slurpy licks, which Cinder didn’t care for much. The upside to taking her to the barn is that she gets worn out so when we return home, she’s quite content to lounge and play quietly – most of the time.
Cinder seems highly sound sensitive. Luckily, the noises that seem to bother her are things like alarm clocks and timers - things which are supposed to be annoying. Since I have profound hearing loss, it’s nice that she’s sensitive to those noises and goes directly to them, sits and barks at them. In fact, that’s exactly what Hearing Dogs are supposed to do. I miss having my Hearing Dog for such things so I am fostering that behavior since it’s something she does naturally which is very helpful for me.
Cinder’s play in the creek is fun to watch! Most recently at the creek, Cinder discovered jumping off the bank into the water. Adding to her newfound fun was a moment in which she spied Buzz, oblivious to her, wading and lounging in the creek about 10 feet from she and Gilley. I knew the moment I saw her look at him that he was about to be pounced. Sure enough, she jumped off the bank and onto Buzz, knocking him down and taking him under water (luckily only about two feet deep). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they both flailed about and resumed play without any more surprises. Despite all things, Buzz is very tolerant of Cinder’s puppy antics.
It seems the pack dynamics are evolving already. Cinder’s puppy license seems to be intact for now, but the limits on it are growing. I suspect her puppy license will expire this summer, when she is big enough to be truly adversarial in her games and female enough to punctuate her intentions. Currently, Gilley seems to be the primary educator of tactical strategy and maneuvering while Buzz seems to be the “test dummy” on which Cinder attempts to apply the lessons. Cinder is still baby of the pack, but becoming more assertive with each week. Ultimately I think Cinder will rein as queen and pack leader-in about 14 months.
That brings you up to speed on everything that we've done for the last two weeks. As I said, nothing exciting, but it is all part of our daily life as we continue raising Cinder.