Friday, November 23, 2012

Let's Not Forget About Fern

Fern playing The Foot Game

The "big puppy" continues to make my life interesting.

I can visit the "little pups" every few hours, pick them up to admire their beautiful faces and how quickly the nose trim is moving, and am constantly amazed at how fast they are growing.  Holly appears to have plenty of milk and is a very attentive mother, so the babies are all clean and plump.  I check them out whenever I feel like doing so.

The big puppy however DEMANDS my time.  Fernly is quite the character and has turned everything into a game.  If I sweep she plays with the broom, if I try to read she drops toys on my lap, when I tell her to sit she offers to shake hands too, and when I am working in the kitchen she taps my foot so that we can play The Foot Game.  I pretend to step on her foot, and she taps my foot with her paw, leaps away or mouths my slipper.  Hopefully I don't regret this game, but so far she has only carried, never chewed, my slippers.

With my hand finally healed we are back to training, doing lots of show stacking in a variety of places.  Because she was a foot mover, it took some patience, but things are going well.  She's very sound and well put together, especially for such a baby, so it's fun to stack and admire her in shop windows when we are out walking.  (So what if the people inside think I'm crazy!)  Fern needs to get back to class too, as she sometimes still startles and barks at new or unusual things - and at odd things she does not understand, like boots and high heels.  She's incredibly visual, so she notices absolutely everything.  It was tough to take her places when I was one-handled, as she gets so excited, but she did get out, just not as much as I would have liked.  We'll be making up for that.

As a companion Fern is doing great.  Excellent in the house, plays with her toys, good in a crate, perfectly house trained.  She's pretty good on leash too, although last night when walking in her first snow I thought I would lose my arm.  She LOVED it.  Because she's not bothered by the cold, I'll find a place today where she can run off leash in the snow.  I particularly appreciate the fact that she comes really well off leash, something I still reinforce by always having a pocket full of extra tasty treats.

When we start having puppy visitors, all the extra socialization will be good for Fern, but she'll probably be too rough to interact with the pups, especially since she's inclined to clobber the other dogs with her foot!

Am I happy with Fern?  Yes indeed.   She pleases my eye and makes me laugh - that's what I love about good Dals.

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