Sunday, September 19, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

I was going to write yesterday telling Hardy that we loved him and that he was a good puppy but that we weren't liking some of his behavior and it wasn't that he was bad ... just some of what he did was not-so-good. (I remember being very careful with our children to let them know that no matter what they did, we loved them and working to not make them feel like "bad kids", even when we weren't happy with something they had done.) 
As a reminder, Hardy is 23 weeks old (5 months and one week) and has definitely hit adolescence! Generally, though, he has been a biddable, calm, balanced young guy! Until yesterday, that is, when he woke up a butt head (hopefully, calling him that won't give him an inferiority complex because he heard it quite a bit for one day). We have some friends (Patsy, Bennie and Patsy's mother, Ruth) visiting with us from Atlanta for the weekend. Hardy had done beautifully meeting everyone Thursday evening. He said hello pretty politely and then laid down by my feet until we went to bed. Yesterday morning, though, he raced out of the bedroom to leap onto Ruth's lap (of course, he selected the oldest person with the most tissue-like skin). Thankfully, Ruth wasn't hurt and is a good-sport - she just expressed surprise that he licked her in the face. That particular indiscretion earned him an immediate "time-out" to his crate, instead of any sort of warning. Having begun the day in such a spectacular way, Hardy went on to try "counter surfing" for the first time ever - I don't think our reaction was exactly what he was hoping for; then he went cat hunting for awhile, paying no attention when we reminded him that if only one party is having fun, it's not a good game; and he generally spent the day testing limits and checking to make sure none of the rules had changed. 
Then this morning, from Hardy's point of view, of course, it was a new day so we worked at letting yesterday go as well. Brent, Hardy and I had our 2nd AKC Puppy STAR class over at Fortunate Fido. We stopped on the way and picked up my partially repaired power chair. Hardy got out of the van and did a great job of peeing on command. During class, we worked on "four on the floor" greetings; handling, particularly with clipping/grinding toe nails; sending the puppies to take treats away from us and using a toy as motivation. Hardy did a super job - he was a little star! On our way home, we stopped at our local MetroParks (North Chagrin Reservation) and took a walk around the lake at Sanctuary Marsh. Hardy was absolutely amazing - for almost the entire time, he walked beautifully on a loose leash and worked well with left and right cues. He even walked confidently on a loose leash past a German Shepherd who was barking at him. It didn't matter whether Brent was in front or behind us, Hardy kept the leash loose. I must admit that not only was I delighted with my big brown puppy but I was absolutely amazed!
A friend of mine stopped by with her service dog - the first time a dog has come into Hardy's home. When they met, Hardy was pretty polite - he wasn't overly enthusiastic but when he went to sniff her butt, she objected in a pretty dramatic fashion. He backed right off and for the rest of the visit, he offered her toys and play bowed several times but from a distance. When his advances were ignored, he came over and laid on my feet. Hardy also interacted much more politely with our company today! All in all, Hardy was great! My, what a difference a day makes!


  1. I'm glad you were able to keep your sense of humor about it! I've had days like that first one (usually with BOTH puppies choosing to participate) and wanted to tear my hair (and their fur) out! :)

  2. Kai has been doing a lot of that.

    As he gets taller and taller, he keeps discovering places he didn't know he wasn't allowed to be. "Hmmmm. I didn't know there was a top to the counter. I wonder if they meant that I can't take things from it too? I'd better check just to make sure."

    He's still convinced that the cats really would like to be greeted in dog fashion. (Nose up the butt.) It's hard to make the "No." rule stick as our male cat seems to take it in stride. It could be that it's just too much work to actually complain...