Insert “Rocky” Theme Music Here

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Gentle Reader,

So we’ve come to the point in the summer when It.  Is.  Too.  Hot.  Too hot to eat (even the puppies are ambivalent about eating).  Too hot to do the dang laundry (we are ALL ABOUT the sartorial creativity around here lately…) (luckily it’s so hot that “pants optional” is a TOTALLY LEGIT choice right now).  I have plans of cooking (I have some random craving for spaghetti sauce, because sure.  July in Texas.) but they evaporate by about 9:30 AM and once again I determine that sliced tomato makes a balanced dinner and if we need protein we can scramble an egg.  It’s all about trying to keep the puppies from going totally crazy, moving as little as possible, and maintaining close proximity to the air conditioning at all times.  So the preceding whinge is why I’ve been blogging nada lately.  I like y’all too much to make you read that every day.

But a few developments on the puppy front that bear GREAT EXCITEMENT!!!!

1.  They swim.  Most of you saw the photographic evidence, but I don’t have it on this computer so I can’t repost.  But Brix has become QUITE the water dog-she hops in, swims around, and then when she gets tired (usually about one lap around the pool) she GETS UP ONTO THE POOL FLOAT AND LOUNGES.  BECAUSE OF COURSE.

Monsters.  I have created monsters and now the circus won’t take them from me.

Our (exceedingly awesome and generous) neighbors let us use their salt-water pool, and it has really brought out the curl in Brix’ fur and makes it so soft and shiny.  It’s adorable.  Her daddy has the curly hair and supposedly it will blend into her fur as she gets bigger, but I love it so I’m hoping it kind of stays.

Backus, on the other hand, is a tougher sell on swimming.  He’s our thinker (and believe me, I use that term loosely), usually doing stuff a week or two behind his sister.  Right now, he will swim to the steps when he “accidentally” falls into the pool, but as my cousin Laura points out, it’s less swimming and more “flailing wildly toward shore”.  But when the rest of us are in the pool, he hangs out at the edge and whines and thinks about getting in (you can totally tell that he WANTS to get in, he just can’t quite muster the brave yet) and howls about the injustice in his life.  Or, his friends Willie and Cooper (our neighbors’ dogs, who also care not for swimming) and he play in the yard under the deck getting nice and muddy.

(Honestly, the boy will PUT HIS HEAD UNDER THE WATER in his water pan.  Why he won’t swim is beyond me.)

2.  They are doing MUCH better on house-training.  This has been the big surprise in raising two puppies together, all the time.  (The Boys were together on the weekends, but separate during the week.)  Training is much harder with the two of them at once.  It’s a slower process, and a much more intense process.  Totally worth it and awesome, but it’s worth noting should you, too, LOSE YOUR EVER-LOVIN’ MIND and want to get two big dog puppies at the same time.  But they are becoming better citizens and members of the family now, and this is a relief.

Crazy, often violent, family members WHO NEVER GO AWAY, but family nonetheless.  (The Fella sat outside my bathroom door the other night and HOWLED while I was inside.  I may never be alone again.  Ever.  For anything.)

And 3.  And this is the one about which I am most proud.  Leash training.  We started that late last week.  I take them out separately (Because I tried taking them out together and that was wildly unsuccessful, other than proving physics wrong by showing that, indeed, two puppies CAN travel in seven different directions all at once.) and we go short distances.  Backus performs absolutely just as well as you can imagine a beginning Lab would.  He is totally on-grade level.  I took video, but I like y’all, and some of you might have inner-ear issues or be prone to motion-sickness.  Rest assured, no aspect of Backus’ route remains unexplored.  And when we see animals, all bets are off.  Except our thinker doesn’t quite know what he’s supposed to do.  He knows he is supposed to do SOMETHING, and he knows he DOESN’T LIKE THESE THINGS, but beyond that he gets a little confused, evolutionarily speaking.  So he sits and howls.  Which is kind of becoming his default setting…  Obviously the deer and zebras are terrified and stand there observing this scene without so much as flicking an ear.

But The Girl.  The Girl is a CHAMPION ON THE LEASH.  Trots along, at heel, never pulling, doesn’t stop to explore (even zebra poop!), just looks up at me to see what she’s supposed to be doing.  Smiling, happy, tongue hanging out to the side.  I’d have captured this on film already but I foolishly assumed her video would look a lot like her brother’s video and didn’t see the point. Sigh.  Anyway-Brix?  Aces.  She rocks the leash.  We walked way down to the other end of the street, saw friends two- and four-legged, the aforementioned zebra recycling, birds, deer, everything.  Homegirl is fantastic on the leash.

When we got home from that first session, I was tempted to run around, Rocky-style, convinced of my own awesomeness as a dog trainer, but then someone tinkled on the floor so I figured that might be a bit premature…

Have a great week!



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