Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Puppy Update Post

Okay, so I'm sure you all are dying to hear about how our puppies are doing (pahaha) so I thought I'd dedicate an entire post to my dogs.

(I'm just sayin' y'all... Wait 'til I have kids!)

Leia has been with us for a little over two months now and she's really such a joy! I couldn't have imagined a dog better-suited for our home. I always wanted a lapdog and, although Luke would love to be in our laps 24/7, he's just a wee bit big. Leia loves cuddling, which melts my heart, and she loves her big brother, which makes having her here that much more of a perfect fit. They really are an amazing pair.

So here's how it's going:

Leia is slowly but steadily picking up potty-training. Homegirl has to be on a set schedule or she has accidents. I forgot how tedious crate-training was but she's bringing it all back to us! Except I feel like with her it's harder because we like having her out with us to play with Luke (and, let's face it, to cuddle with me on the couch) and being out of the crate more = more accidents. But we're retraining ourselves to make more frequent trips to the yard for potty time and she's getting there. She definitely is exactly like Luke in that she goes potty almost immediately after getting to the yard. We don't have to wait around for her to go, which is lovely (especially now that it's getting colder!).

BDR took this picture shortly after she came to live with us. He took her out to potty and this is what she did instead. Such a silly girl!

We've been a little lackadaisical about trick training her, much more so than we were with Luke. By the time Luke was her age he could sit, speak, shake, lay down, and who knows what else. With Leia, we haven't been as on the ball so I'm trying to use this break from school as an opportunity to really pack in as much training as I can. We have only taken her on 3-4 walks on the leash. We use a leash every time we take her outside to potty, so she knows how to walk on one (although she does tend to pull when she's excited), but she hasn't had much experience going on walks around the neighborhood. I discovered recently on a walk with her and Luke that she is a barker. Dogs we pass behind fences in yards can bark at Luke 'til they're blue in the face and he'd never even look their way... That is not the case with Miss Leia Girl. She stops in her tracks, barks right back, and gives them what for! I will say, she does continue walking immediately after she gets a few barks out, but this is definitely something new for us because Luke never responded to dogs we pass. We also recently took her on a walk without Luke into town to see how she responded to passing cars and people walking around. She did very well and didn't seem insecure around the traffic or pedestrians, so that is nice. As far as tricks, she's still focusing on the basics (sit, stay, speak, shake, and down) and one that Luke never could get the hang of: roll over. Her and Luke pray together at every meal, not going towards their food bowls until we say "Amen" (I really should record that on video soon), and they sleep together every night in their crate.

They love cuddling together.
There was a pretty big halt in trick training Luke also. I don't think we'd taught him anything new since before he turned 1 (which was in May). My MIL bought us a book for Christmas called 101 Dog Tricks (by Kyra Sundance) which gives step-by-step descriptions with pictures on an insane amount of tricks. I've been dog-earing them (pardon the pun) so I can teach Luke and Leia as many as possible. So far, with Luke, we've worked on roll over again (which was a fail... again. Dude just doesn't like being on his back, and we're cool with that). We also have started work on "crawl" and having him tap which hand a treat is in with his paw. He is so incredibly smart... He was able to do both of them at least three times in one day! He really does pick up things fast... I hope his little sister is as quick to learn new things as he is! 

We are some proud parents, that's for sure. Our babies are pretty phenomenal, and they keep my heart happy and my mind busy until we're blessed with [human] babies of our own!

I mean, really, what's not to love?

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