May 17, 2020 – Leia is 6 months old today.
She’s almost as tall as Heidi and can no longer walk under Heidi’s belly or run between Heidi’s hind legs. One of the biggest six month milestones is the major breakthrough in Leia’s housebreaking. About five weeks ago it was like a switch flicked on in her brain. Since then she has not soiled her crate or had any accidents in the house. She consistently goes to the back door when she needs to go out. I hope I don’t jinx myself by proudly proclaiming her achievement!
She now sleeps through the night; ah, it feels good to get a full night’s uninterrupted sleep.
I continue to train regularly, but the pandemic quarantine has made it impossible to do close proximity training. As a result, Leia, unfortunately, still wants to jump on people when she first greets them. She is the first puppy I’ve had that does not want to keep four paws on the ground, in spite of my conscientious training attempts from day one.
Leia and I go for outings without Heidi which is when we bond and work on leash manners. She’s a pleasure to walk on leash in public.
Then there are the days when I take both Leia and Heidi for off leash sojourns in safe venues. Some of these places have water access, and Leia wastes no time submerging herself and getting muddy. She’s still figuring out how to swim – she does a splashy dog paddle with her front paws. She is so passionate about water, and it’s delightful to watch her joy.
But . . . I still can’t trust her loose in the house.
Why? She’s still a thief!
She has discovered a box in the laundry room where I store random cleaning supplies. She loves the scrub brush, and the other day she stole a box of small trash bags. I’d gotten distracted by something and forgot she was loose. By the time I remembered, she had completely demolished the carton and was whipping a trash bag around.
She also likes to help me unload clean laundry from the dryer – unloading means stealing. She stole a sock and ran off. After she relinquished it, she rejoined me to see what else she could grab.
Yesterday she tried to swipe my mail-in voter’s ballot from my kitchen table. She claims she’s now old enough to vote. I explained that she would have to pass her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test first before we could consider voting privileges. (Note: The CGC test is administered and conferred by an examiner certified by the AKC. It is one test usually required as part of the process of becoming a registered therapy dog.)
Leia is also promoting herself as a wine connoisseur. She checks out the various wine bottles in the rack and allows the aroma to roll upon her palate. She leans towards those varieties that have notes of raspberries intermingling with traces of tartness and a buttery melody. <rolls eyes>
The puppy next door, Harper, is Leia’s playmate; they’re the same age. Harper is a female Bernese Mountain Dog/German Shepherd mix, and she’s named after the Phillies player Bryce Harper. Sometimes they get together to romp, and other times they play through the fence. Heidi is the self-appointed umpire.
Leia keeps a sharp eye peeled for an open gate so she can dash upstairs. She makes a beeline for my bedroom where she grabs my slipper and slobbers all over the L.L. Bean insignia. She would love to take permanent possession.
So that’s where its at folks – life with six month old Leia is delightful.