Sunday, October 18, 2015

12 Weeks Old

Nelson's Notes:  I am the chewing master!  Listen to all the things I chewed on this week:  my toys, my bones, my crate, blanket on the floor,  the big dog, towel, the rug, shoes, a check, sticks, and entire pretty bush, trash, a tennis ball, dirt, my tail, the big dog's tail, and that is just the stuff I REMEMBER chewing on!  I just keep growing and getting better.  I do this because I am just SO curious!!  I get these tricks my human wants me to do pretty easily and I just chill for the most part, but sometimes I get bored and go looking for something to chew and it is amazing what I can find!  I don't get why the human makes me drop or ignore most of it though,  I am only allowed to love and chew a few things, but I do that really well.  I got curious and explored the whole library by myself on Friday afternoon (that did not last long though) and today I figured out how the big dog is getting outside by herself!  I am just learning so much!

Lia's Notes:  He is learning too much.  He followed me outside today.  Outside, on a beautiful fall day when I just wanted to relax in my sanctuary----but no, he learned how to follow me and of course just wanted to chew on things.  Including me.  Sigh, the things I put up with.  I like when his chew toys come out, because I like those.....and he is good enough about sharing but then he starts chewing on ME, even though there are several other toys he could chew.  I left him the "best" ones.  Bottom line:  he is a little annoying and I am too cool too be bothered with having to teach him everything.

Susan's Notes:  He is learning sooo much!  He IS a pretty smart guy and this means that I have to think one step ahead of him,  try to think what he is thinking,  and try to keep him from being bored and going to look for his own adventures.  For the most part he is a good dog, and I control his environment so he can't get in too much trouble.  I say that and I will turn my back to weed the garden as he plays and suddenly I no longer have a beautiful Texas Sage bush, I have a pile of pretty silver leaves.  The wind blows a check from a table to the floor and goodbye money (luckily I had already cashed it!); or he will try to chew on the towel--the one I am WEARING as I get dressed.  However, I am the teacher and that is when I remember DISTRACTION.  It works almost every time.  I was so proud of myself when instead of getting frustrated and angry after Nelson tried to eat the towel (yes the one I was wrapped in), the clothes I left on the floor, the clean ones hanging in the closet---I instead threw his little elephant (ok a little in frustration) and said "FETCH" and for the first time he actually did it!  We spent 5 minutes playing fetch in my closet and it reminded me why I am doing this.  He is getting better at sit, down and walking with me (his hardest one), and is also starting to pick up on shake, stay and leave it.   He is getting better and better at school too.  He made it to a meeting this week AND into the very loud gym at dismissal, all without blinking.  Some of the kids try to 'sneak' in a pet as we walk past and I am proud when he continues to pay attention to me.  I know focus is really hard for a puppy to learn when there are so many fun alternatives to explore.   Puppy class is next weekend, Halloween is coming up (wait until you see our costumes!) and I can't wait to see what we learn next.

Monday, October 12, 2015

11 Weeks Old

Nelson's Notes:  I am the best little dude.  I am so awesome I am the youngest student at school, and I made it a whole week!  I am still not sure what I think about this whole school thing.  Part of me LOVES it, I get so much attention (which I love) and I get extra time to practice and show off all I am learning but on the other hand it is really hard.  I have to be good all the time, but that is not that hard for me.  The hard part is ignoring all the kids and the smells and following my human.  There are SO many times when I want to go in a different direction, say hello to someone, chase a smell or pick something up off the floor and I am told no, pay attention.  Paying attention is hard!  I think it might be worth it though because I had special guests on Friday.  I think it was a treat because I had been working so hard, I had kids come and read to ME!  I loved it.  The last stories were so good, they even put me to sleep.  I am going to try to be good again next week so I get more treats like that.

Lia's Notes:  Ok, this puppy is getting old (and bigger by the day).  I think I am over him.  He exhausts me, quite literally.  He forgets daily the lessons I have given him over and over about who the boss is.  I am ready to just give up on him, but then when I try to ignore him.........he always seems to lure me into playing.  He is sneaky like that.  I also don't like how he gets so many treats, and for such EASY things.  I do what our human asks right away, trying to get his treat but it does not work.....he still gets the treat.   Sigh.  When is the puppy leaving?  

Susan's Notes:  Nelson is SLOWLY making progress, but it is a slow and steady race.  This past week has been a VERY busy and intense one for him and I am proud of how well he has done.  He started school and is settling into a routine.  Right now he is practicing walking on a leash, paying attention to me but ignoring everyone else (which is really hard for everyone else too!),  and a few other tricks we are introducing.  At 11 weeks I do have to remember that he is still a baby and does MUCH better when he gets his rest and naps.  He will quietly go into his corner and play during the school day.  He will even put himself in the crate and just fall asleep there.  On Tuesday I had a late meeting and he charmed everyone.  He played quietly, but then rolled over and started playing with his cape and trying to eat it.  I told him no and gave him my best teacher look, and he was stubborn:  he did not give up the cape (if you look closely at pic on the left it is still in his mouth) but he did stop chewing on it and just fell asleep, even worse he started SNORING, during my meeting!  Thank goodness he is cute.  In some pictures you will start to see a blue thing on his nose.  This is his gentle leader.  He is getting better and better at wearing it, which will be useful in his advanced training.  He also went to his second puppy class, which he liked because he got to show off and see other dogs but when he did not get play time like last week, he was a little disappointed.  He would do a DOUBLE class if it meant getting playtime.   On top of all of this, he had his first visit to the veterinarian.  Everyone loved him there and they gave him a glowing report.  Lets hope that the good times just keep rolling!

Monday, October 5, 2015

10 Weeks Old

Nelson's Notes:  I am exhausted, just constantly exhausted.  You don't understand how hard I am working, how much I am DOING each and every day.  I feel like I wake up running and just crash in the middle of the day.  I do, I just reach a point where I can't keep going.  First and foremost I am working hard at TRYING.  I am TRYING to make my human happy and do what she wants, but I am a fun loving puppy and I love EVERYONE and it is sometimes really hard to do that.  My human does not seem to understand that I want to run free, play with everything, chew on the good stuff and make friends with everyone I meet!  I was doing great when I could just stay home and sleep all day, but lately we seem to be constantly running from one place to the next and that just means new places to run free in, things to play with, stuff to chew on and LOTS of new friends to make.  I think I like going to these places, but sometimes because I am working so hard, and don't always get to do what I want.....I am not sure about the new places.  Plus some of these new experiences are a little scary and I am still not sure about them.  However, I will keep TRYING and who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Lia's Notes:  It is quiet during the day again and I can enjoy the peace.  I actually have started looking forward to the little guy coming home.  I also like to teach him things.  I wanted to teach him how to use the dog door and bark, but the human told us no.  So I am reinforcing lessons about who's the boss and teaching him to share all of the toys.  I am also teaching him to just chill.  At first he was REALLY really bad at this.  He wanted to jump, and run circles around me but over the last few days I think he is catching on.  I just don't understand why he sleeps in such funny positions.  He can be a strange little dude sometimes.

Susan's Notes:  Nelson is making SUCH progress, it is hard to believe that he is only ten weeks old or only been with me about two weeks.  I am crossing my fingers and knocking on wood and say he might just be house trained.  We have thrown him in the deep end, expecting a lot from him and he continues to rise to the challenge.  He is grasping new tricks and loves to try new things.  He WANTS to learn and make me happy.  He is also such a calm little guy, I almost feel too lucky.  He wanders off and normally with a puppy this spells trouble, but with Nelson he is either playing nicely with his own toys or sleeping.   The sleep might be due to our BUSY schedule!  His progress has lead to him joining me each day as I go to work.  He has been to school for 3 days and he has not been perfect by any means (he has a LONG way to go).....but he has far surpassed my expectations for a 10 week old puppy and I hope that he just keeps getting better.  He starts the day with our announcement crew and then if we can, continues on to Kindergarten storytime.  I tried to do more, but I learned he is like a toddler and if he does not get his naps he gets worked up.  He has lots of visitors during the day but he happily sleeps or plays through all the visits.  He finds it REALY hard to ignore the kids and teachers, and they do too, but we will have to keep working on it so he can get to the point that he CAN focus on his work.  Friday was our longest day because after school Nelson went with me to my second job: babysitting. He was pretty good.....except for wanting to clean their floor for them (we have to work on that!).  I even took him to his first after-school meeting today which made me a little nervous but he was pretty good.  His worst fault was falling asleep on his back and starting to snore! I think HIS favorite outing this week was puppy class.  At puppy class we BOTH learned a lot.  I learned how easy it was to clip dog nails, and how to get him to walk nicely with me (a chore for us both) and while he got to just act cute and show off his skills he also got to see his sister Nia and enjoy some playtime.  We ARE running a lot but he is doing great and I think he is just beginning to show me what is to come.  I can't wait to keep learning with him.

Note:  Search Twitter for #MalvernExplorers to learn more about Malvern's first Explorer Challenge in Nelson's honor.