Between writing a novel through November and welcoming a new dog into the house just two weeks ago, I haven’t had much chance to pause and reflect on flux of changes happening around here.

“why yes, i would luv to go fer a walk!”

We are just a couple short days from the best kind of vet visit, the kind where a new puppy’s final vaccinations clear the way to a life of exploration beyond the confines of the house and yard. In other words, the era of increasingly long walks has nearly begun. We have been collar training and harness training, and have walked up and down the sidewalk in front of our house (a low risk area for a puppy) and avoided contact with other dogs, but already the girl knows that the front door means a fun (if very short) stroll, and is a walk-eager dog.

“yer fingers are mine!”

There were a few days of trying to get the typical biting and nipping phase in check over the last week, too. She took to my hands as her personal plaything on her first day, but now that she’s comfy cozy in the house we figure it’s time to put more work into moving that focus over to toys and other chew-appropriate objects. She spent a day quite pouty at me for no longer allowing her to nip my knuckles, but the attitude seems to have faded into a leveled-off toy focus.

“i’m just gonna sit here and wait, k?”

And finally, some work has been done on basic training. We watched a video on teaching all those basic commands .. like “SIT” … and within a day our super-smart pup had figured out that plopping her butt on the floor earned her a treat. The trick for us humans is getting her to consistently sit after saying the word “sit” and when the demonstration in the video showed that this was linked to a hand movement that lifted a treat up and over her nose, forcing her to lean back into an easy sit, the rest sort of fell into place. Of course she figured out quickly that sitting equaled treat… even when we hadn’t asked her, however… so there is still a lot of work to be done.

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