Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And a Happy Snow Day to All, and to All a Good Day!

It is our first snow-day of the season! And I'm glad they finally closed things -- I went out to get my paper and promptly fell on my butt. This is definitely not a good day to go anywhere in a car. It's supposed to continue snowing through tomorrow, which is no doubt when they will finally decide to do something about the roads. They usually don't do anything until after it stops snowing.

The puppies are loving it. Betsy still is trying to eat all of the snow. I'm not sure why, but apparently, it's more fun than just drinking water. She eats chunks of ice, too. Oh, and Adagio gets to come live with us after the holidays! Her family is moving, and they can't take him with them. I was going to hold off before getting Betsy another puppy to play with, but I can't let them put Adagio in a shelter. They're such good buds, they'd miss each other a lot if they were separated. Adagio's been staying over the past week in an effort to get them used to living with each other.

It seems to be going fairly well. Betsy's still getting used to the idea that Adagio is now allowed in the house. There haven't been actual fights, but Betsy's making a concerted effort to keep me to herself. If I pay attention to Adagio, especially in the house, she will try to start a game with him to get him outside. She then sneaks back in, while he's outside. This is getting less, though. Adagio doesn't seem to mind this at all. He does whatever Betsy wants him to. He's so easy-going, he'll let Betsy chew on his ears all day, so long as he gets his head patted on occasion! That's a retriever for you! So far, my solution is to call Adagio over to me and give him pats, and if Betsy interferes, both dogs go behind the gate in the kitchen. They come in when both are calm and Betsy's allowed Adagio back through the dog door. If Betsy does not interfere, both dogs get pats. If they are both lying quietly in the same room with me, I periodically give individual pats.

Adagio has also been getting some remedial training. He's surprisingly good in the house, for as much time as he's spent outside. He is house trained, and does not get on furniture, nor does he steal things off counters or tables. His main problem is that he just gets so excited about everything, especially human contact! He knows "sit," so he'll sit at you until you pet him. By this, I mean he sits so close to you that if you're not careful, your knees will buckle. He pushes with his head, and prances all four feet (a strange sight, while he's sitting!). If this fails to get your attention, he jumps up, and actually pushes at you with his forefeet. In an approximately 60-65 pound dog, this is not good. (Yes, he outweighs Betsy by a fair amount, but they're about the same height. Betsy weighs under 50 lbs.) So Adagio and I have been working on the jumping up, and it is getting better. Ignoring him is the easiest way: when calm, he gets pats. When excited, he does not! He's not stupid, he's figuring it out. Anything for attention!