Blocks of time to write have been scarce. I feel like I’ve been on a treadmill the last two weeks with interruption after interruption.
Things have been moving fast and furious, plus I hit a housebreaking snag about two weeks ago.
Leia is progressing with simple obedience commands and adding a few of her own.
One of her newer ones is called “the leash flop.” She desperately wants to run and play with Heidi in the yard. But after she took off towards New Road last week, I’m not taking any chances until I get a fence installed. So she is now going out into the yard on leash to toilet. We proceed outdoors, and she will take a few steps until she decides that she’d rather not be tethered, and she flops. While it is annoying, it’s also funny to watch. It’s the Leia version of playing dead! A dead dog doesn’t need to be leashed! However, I think we’ve come to an understanding. Dead dogs also don’t get treats! She doesn’t do “the leash flop” anywhere except in the yard.
Interruption: transfer dog laundry to dryer and start my own laundry
The surveyor was here last week to mark my property lines, and the Invisible Fence guy came out to flag the underground wire lines. The township authority and Verizon have painted an abstract in my yard with orange, blue, and green paints. Everything is now completed, and I’m waiting to hear from the fence people when they’ll be out to install it. I was hoping it would be done by the end of February, but now it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen due to the weather. There’s so much rain predicted in the next week.
Interruption: Verizon arrived to mark underground cables prior to fence installation
Leia has graduated to riding in the back seat of the Honda CRV which has been designated as the “dog car” OR Canine Riding Vehicle (CRV). She outgrew the crate I borrowed, so I decided to give her a chance to succeed in the back seat, and she’s done very well. I had a crazy Deb inspiration and installed a baby gate behind the front seats to keep Leia from venturing into the front of the car. It works!
Interruption: take Leia out to toilet
Along with riding in the back seat of the car, Leia has progressed to off leash walks in a few of my favorite safe places where I know we won’t run into other dogs. I believe Heidi is enjoying Leia’s company, and they take off romping and playing in spurts. Because Leia is so young, I am mindful to limit the time we are out and the distance we walk. Normally Heidi and I walk 2 or more miles when we go alone, but that’s too hard on young puppy joints at this time.
Interruption: delivery from Amazon
On one of our walks after a heavy rain, Leia discovered the joy of water. She crashed into a huge belly-deep puddle and took off running and leaping and splashing. She reminded me of how Hannah went nuts when water was involved. Heidi just dipped her toes in the water; she’s not as much of a water dog as Hannah was or Leia appears to be.
Interruption: Leia gets lunch. . . and so do I!
However, the biggest challenge has been the housebreaking snag I hit a few weeks ago. Suddenly Leia started soiling in her crate. Naturally I blamed myself at first – I’d increased the size of the crate too soon? – I wasn’t paying close enough attention? – I wasn’t getting her out enough? You name it. I was berating myself to no end. Then I started trying to get a sensible perspective on the problem. I had a vet appointment in two days, and I was now suspecting there was a medical reason. Sure enough, diagnostics showed a severe E coli UTI, and Dr. Jackie prescribed antibiotics for a month.
Obviously a UTI affects frequency of urination, so that forced me go back to square one and treat Leia’s toileting like an 8 week old puppy. Out and in repeatedly, including getting up once in the middle of the night. The challenge was not only to keep her from soiling her crate, but to try and break the bad habit as well. Dr. Jackie urged me to toilet her frequently in an attempt to help flush the infection from her urinary tract.
Interruption: Leia out to toilet
So that’s where we’re at folks. Leia is now a beautiful 14 week old puppy. She’s smart, loves people, and holds court in the local hardware store. I know once we get through treatment for the UTI and re-establish the ground-work for keeping a clean crate, things will get lots easier.
When I have my moments of frustration, I repeat my current mantra, “This, too, shall pass.”