First, I have to start out with my picture, which is of life co-existing in the Robart house. Here are Wayne, Luke, and Hillary all taking a nap together. You can just barely see Hillary up against my pillow on the right side of the picture. Ah, bliss, when they are all asleep and I have the house to myself!
We have had some bright spots in the story of Luke’s house training. Yesterday, we were working on three full days of no accidents in a row until a little glitch right before bedtime. The problem is that Luke likes to go out in the evening, so there had been a series of false alarms when he rang the bells (yes, he finally got that) to go out and we took him out only to watch him trying to catch bugs. It’s too cold out now for bugs at night, so he waited in vain and so did we. To be fair to us, at some point he stopped ringing the bells and just stood near the doorway and hinted. He does this a lot when he’s not serious about it, so I kept an eye on him, but didn’t take him out after I had done so four times in a row. Next thing we knew, he was peeing on the carpet.
But our breakthrough came when our trainer told us that it was nonsense about not scolding your dog after he’s had an accident because we didn’t see it. She said “He knows what he’s done. He can smell it.” We had been following that “wisdom” and just taking him out after he had an accident, and he was so sneaky about his accidents that we hardly ever saw him. But he sees going out as a reward, so I feared I was teaching him to go in the house to get to go outside. Now, when he has an accident, he gets scolded and goes straight to his crate, which he dislikes, and interestingly enough, we have had much more success since then.
We have also started letting him go off leash a few times. He is already getting brave enough to wander far away when we are out with him but too timid to stay out if we are in. However, I know that at some point he’ll want to wander off our property, so I don’t think we should do this too often until he learns to come when called. He isn’t very good at that except when he has his training collar and leash on, when he is a star at coming. Yesterday, when we walked down to the pond with him off leash, it didn’t take too long before he was up to his knees in mud. If I hadn’t captured him, he probably would have gone right into the water.
Last week I didn’t go hiking because my hiking partners weren’t available. I tried to talk Wayne into taking Luke for a walk in the park after Puppy Play and Train on Wednesday, which is when I’m usually hiking. But that morning it was so cold and gray that I was shivering and Wayne complained of his knees hurting (although he complains of that whenever he doesn’t want to do something, which is often). We decided to go the next day, which was beautiful, but predictably enough, Wayne cancelled on me.
I am almost done with my painting, I think. My teacher told me to start thinking about what I would like to do next, but I have no idea. I painted the base coat of all my flowers this week. Some of them need more work, but she said one was done, so after that it is just whatever improvements we want to make.
Other than a trip to Costco, nothing much happened this week. The weather has been unseasonably beautiful. It is gorgeous today. Many of the leaves have changed colors, and it is sunny and bright and a little warm.