Thursday, January 31, 2013

Steady progress...

Yet another heavy thunderstorm last night.  Lexi remained unpertubed. Thankfully, she is not over-sensitive to loud noises, but is rather blessed with a natural curiosity.  

I spent some time with her the yesterday introducing her to the broom.  Many dogs are scared of booms, so it's important to give them a good first experience.  I let her sniff it first, then allowed her to watch as I gently dropped it a few centimentres onto the tiled floor. (noise)  Constant rewarding did the trick and soon, I was dropping the broom from 20cms with her watching comfortably from a distance. 

"Good Lexi, well done, Lexi!" 

 She remained happy and confident, so I left it at that. It's better not to push things too quickly. So far, so good.

Her introduction to the vacuum cleaner, tumble dryer and hair dryer have all been positive.  My only concern is her fixation with leaves; all shapes, sizes, states, types.  
Lexi simply LOVES leaves! 

She turns her attention fully to a leaf whenever one is in her path.  Flowers too...nips them off like a real little lawn-mower.  I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle this one (yet).  There  are plenty of leaves around, sticks, flowers and different grasses too.  There's also my veggie garden.  (I've removed the onions - very dangerous for dogs!).  But  I'm just nervous that she'll unearth something unsavoury somewhere and then get sick.  Then again, she's a Golden Retriever, and one has to allow them to explore.  It's a difficult dividing line - when to stop them and when to let them be.

But all her activity is supervised at this stage.  (I'm really tired at the end of the day - bending down constantly to reward this little mite for behaviour that I want) She is small enough to bypass all my temporary barriers at the moment, so I have to be aware (at all times) of where she is.  This has rendered me rather home-bound too.  Hopefully once she's settled and safe, I'll be able to venture out more.  Yesterday was a quick dash to the shops, while she was sleeping, to try and replenish my empty pantry.  Although I know she's safe, I still worry... she's still a very little puppy and so vulnerable.


Weigh-in yesterday: 
5kgs.  (Hopefully she'll remain a small stature little Golden..I'd really like that!)
Eats like a Golden puppy should be eating - wolfing down her food without restraint and sporting a round little tummy.
She responds nicely to the early commands of  'come','sit' and 'down'.  She's learnt to look at me and sit before she gets her food.  It's amazing how quickly puppies learn.  We did some lead training today (simply walking around the garden with the lead attached - wherever Lexi wants to go - and rewarding when she is close to me). All in all - excellent grades for my young pup.  Formal puppy socialisation begins on the 2nd March.

In a bid to speed up Lexi's toilet training, we brought in a few blocks of instant lawn and laid them out on the bricks of the atrium off our bedroom.  It's not aesthetically pleasing by any means, but does allow for a quick response during the night when she needs to 'Potty'.  These blocks will be lifted in a few months time when toilet training is entrenched.
I think the idea is quite novel and it's paying off... we've had very few accidents in the house.

Relationships with Toby and Tammy:  
Also excellent!  Tammy has moved into closer proximity now, but is still not actively playing with the puppy.  She has let out one or two loud barks when Lexi comes too close for comfort. Ironically, if I acknowledge Tammy when she does this makes for a happier 'Aunt Tam'. There is no aggression, just canine vocal discipline.  If I know our Tam, give her another 2 weeks...and she'll be playing with the pup. All is good.

Lexi loves cuddling up whenever she can with her big brother Toby.  Last night it was next to my bed with the small pup almost on top of him.  

He loves it! He is revelling in all the 'puppy exuberance' and also in the 'innocence' of this new little baby.  

It's funny to watch him interact with her.  He'll always take away her toys, but then immediately lie down and offer them back to her...

... as if to say, "I'm in charge, but I'm open for a game, anytime!"

This little pup is a gentle soul who is not entirely happy with being sealed up in her crate while her siblings have free roam in the bedroom  So, I've moved her crate closer to my bed now, kept it open and am hiding kibbles amongst the blankets so that she can settle in there naturally.  I found her sleeping in there, unprompted, this morning...progress!

As for me, I feel like a new mommy.  There are so many demands on my quadraceps...I'm aching, lol!

But I wouldn't change this for anything!
Sending lotsaluv


kks said...

such a beautiful little golden girl! i can imagine the softness of her fur and the puppy breath!!

Berts Blog said...

OH, this makes me miss the puppy days with Bert. Such a cutie.


How Sam Sees It said...

She is so adorable! She reminds me of my Cisco as a puppy. I think she will outgrow the leaves, maybe distract her with a toy here and there.


rottrover said...

What a little golden doll!

Scout and Freyja said...

Her little toes are darling and - those eyelashes - who in the world could resist her charms?

MySpecialDoggies said...

Sweet Lexi - what a cutie you are!

Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

Mary Lou said...

My Rose is terrified of brooms. And mops. And our Swiffer. And long sticks.... ;)
"One has to allow them to explore. It's a difficult dividing line - when to stop them and when to let them be.". Yeah, I have yet to figure this one out!! Hee, hee, hee.... ;-D
All dogs--puppies included--have need adjustments to their new home. Give little Lexi time!! ;)
I love the instant lawn idea!! Neat!! ;-D
Love, Raelyn.... Plus Rose, my BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE "Mystery Dog"!!

Millie and Walter said...

What a doll she is. I love how you describe her interactions with the other dogs. Tammy is telling her she is too young and she would rather not be bothered right now and Toby is being the perfect mentor. Keep the updates coming as they are so fun to read.


My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom...awwwwwww

Tweedles -- that's me said...

sweet little angel baby-- is loved so much.

Bouncing Bertie said...

Lexi's interest in leaves reminds me of when I first let Bertie out in my back garden and all he wanted to do was to see what the plants felt like in his mouth. He wasn't actually eating them, just mouthing them. An early indication, come to think of it, of an ongoing oral fixation!
PS Re Bertie running off when out walking with my friend Marie-Therese. She always walks him on a lead and I had, ill-advisedly it turns out, been encouraging her to give him more freedom. My theory is that because I always have allowed Bertie to run free whenever possible, its not a big thing for him to be off the lead, whereas when M-T (who is a much more panicky person than me, it has to be said) let Bertie off the lead he thought "whee, at last, I'm going to make the most if it, it might not happen again". Or maybe you have a different theory?
PPS It would be lovely to see Lexi via Skype.