Friday, November 15, 2013

Lake Ontario in the Late Fall

Although it was windy, the weather was mild enough yesterday for a long walk down to the lake shore. Bumble has learned to enjoy the shore even when it's rough like yesterday, but it was clearly Willow's first experience being next to a large and noisy body of water. Bumble was calm and that apparently gave her some confidence as she ventured near the edge. Our little pack slept well last night.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sweet Willow Adjusts

We could not have asked for a better weekend with our newest addition, Willow. She has settled right into our lives, and snuggled right into our hearts. She slept on the bed instead of in her crate for the first time last night, and she didn't move all night. Even when Bum decided we should all get up this morning she stayed with us until we got out of bed. I had visions of her chasing after Bumble but it did not happen. She can be a couch potato.

Currently we sleep in a queen sized bed, and thankfully we are getting a king for the new house. 2 big people and 2 squirmy dogs requires a king!

Part of this success is because we let Bumble establish his alpha position. Willow will now play keep-away with the toys, but once Bumble catches her she lets him have the toy. We were concerned about him letting her on the bed, but he seems comfortable and not jealous at all. It seems like as long as everyone knows their place in the pack then there is harmony. 'Kinda cool, actually.

~ clearly feeling comfortable with this new family (filters courtesy of Instagram)  ~

~ helping write this post ~

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Willow's First Week

We are in love with our new little girl! We spent the week getting to know each other, and having Willow getting used to her new life. She is adjusting so well, and Bumble seems to love her, too.

This sweet mutt appears to be a Jack Russel/Daschund mix. She is cream colored with some light freckles of brown, and she is long with short legs and perky crooked ears. I have discovered that she is affectionate, smart, feisty, sweet, and precocious. She loves to chew on anything in her path, and she snores when she sleeps. She sometimes sounds like a snorty little piglet when she is itching herself (no fleas but maybe allergies?) and she has already tried to dig a hole in the yard.

Willow is doing very well on the leash as long as her prong collar* is on, and I can walk her and Bumble together perfectly with Bumble on my left and Willow on my right. Cesar would be proud ;) She has already learned to sit when we stop on our walks, and she will now "wait" for her food and treats until she is given the okay to gobble. She is highly food motivated and has an excellent appetite.

Have I mentioned her energy level? Extremely high, and clearly that is why she has been rejected multiple times in her brief fifteen months of life. Managing that energy is a challenge but necessary to help her become the good dog she really wants to be. Our controlled walks do wonders for both her and Bumble, and their constant wrestling and playing also helps to burn off some hyperactivity. They will wrestle and play until neither one can move, and then they both go to the water bowl to drink together. After a few minutes of rest they are at it again until I give them crate treats so they can have a break and we can all take naps. Once we move into 1776 I will train her on the invisible fence, and having an acre to run madly in will help enormously, but right now all this loving structure is exactly what she needs.

Today was their first joint car ride and it went perfectly. Bumble assumed his position with his hind paws on the back seat and his front paws on the center console, and Willow was happy sitting nicely in the passenger seat. Today was also Willow's first trip to 1776 where contractors are feverishly trying to wrap up the trim in time for the painters, carpet and appliances that are coming in next week. There are saws and nail guns and banging and loud music, and both pups were uneasy but did okay "watching" the boys work.

I have never loved Bumble more. I am so proud of how he is responding to her high and unstable energy, and how he hasn't yet hurt her despite her constant chewing on him. He is listening to me and obeying even while she ignores me, and it reminds me that he has come so far in the last couple of years. He was very similar to the way she is now, and he used to chew on my old lab Mari non-stop. I have been telling Bumble that this is what Karma is all about.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that Willow was meant to join our family. She is far from perfect but she is a darling dog that just needs someone to love and train her, and we are honored and blessed to be that someone.

first car ride

with Mommy in her new scarf from her thoughtful friend Liza :)

watching Larry measure

hearing scary loud noises but we have our Mommy here to protect us
*Prong collars do not hurt and are not cruel if used correctly and the dog responds to them as they should. I couldn't use one on Mari because she pulled hard despite the collar, but both Willow and Bumble instantly become submissive and do not pull. In the right hands these collars are an invaluable training tool.