The past few weeks have been a little hectic.
We took care of a four month old puppy for two weeks. He’s a smart puppy and eager to learn, but his home life is very different than ours, so the adjustment was a little rough. Our dog rings a bell to go out. He rang the bell to go out when he was bored and sometimes when he actually needed to, but apparently when he was really desperate he’d forget about the bell. Not my favorite thing to deal with. He didn’t mean to, and if he’d been with us longer I think the accidents would have stopped, but it reminded me why we wait a while between puppies before the memory fades enough that “cute” overwhelms the memory of “no no please don’t pee there!”
He picked things up fast, though. We taught him to shake. It was pretty funny. Nyx knows how to shake and does it on command, no problem, so I put her to my right, angled, and the puppy to my left. I had already worked with the puppy for a little while the night before, so he had some idea what I was asking. They both settled into a sit, and since there were treats involved they were very attentive.
Nyx has always been trained on her own. I said, “Nyx, shake!” and she did, so she got a treat. I said, “Mikie, shake!” and Nyx, having never really heard me ask another dog to do anything, reached out her paw for my hand and it landed on Mikie’s head. Mikie shook, too, and got a treat, and I had to work to not crack up too much. I tried again. Same result – Nyx’s rather large paw on Mikie’s relatively small head.
I decided that if I were not directly looking at her, Nyx might do better. I put the dogs facing each other, 180 degrees from each other. I asked Nyx to shake, which she did perfectly. I turned around, bent over, and asked Mikie to shake, and I felt Nyx’s paw land solidly on my rear end. I couldn’t stop laughing for a long time. Her timing was perfect, very responsive, very good, except that I wasn’t talking to her.
She did figure it out eventually, and she responded only to commands with her name preceding them. Mikie got it, too. It was an interesting exercise for me, too, because in the past when I’ve had two dogs they have already known that their name associates with commands, and I don’t remember specifically having to teach it.
After those two weeks, I am quite supportive of Xander’s assertion that we do not get another dog until we have a bigger house. Nyx is pretty laid back, but she takes up a fair amount of room. A puppy, which is what Xander wants, takes up a lot of space, not as much just in bulk but in energy and attention. Right now, a laid back dog is just fine with me.
Another thing that has been going on is that we have decided to start pursuing adoption. We both want a child, and we can’t have one biologically without rather impressive medical intervention. We’re not willing to go that route. I thought I was okay with just being someone associated with other peoples’ kids, but we ended up deciding that we really do want a baby of our own. We’ve asked friends and family to keep an ear out and pass our names along if they know of anyone who is pregnant and healthy and does not want to keep the child. It feels rather odd asking that question, but it is worth asking. We are looking into adoption agencies, too, though. It will work out eventually.
I’ve been baking a lot of bread and reading a lot lately. I’m trying not to worry about all of the various pieces that I have no control over right now. We are visiting with family over the holidays, which is good, and it means that there are a lot of people who like eating my bread. Somehow that’s comforting. I can’t do much, but I can make food that people like to eat. It’s also really nice to have the time to read a book in a day, even if it is basically fluff, silly sci-fi/fantasy. I haven’t gotten to do that in a long time.
I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday filled with good food and people you care about. Thanksgiving is by far our favorite holiday. Food, family, friends, and no pressure to get anyone anything – perfect!