Tuesday, March 12, 2013

UPDATE: LEXI's training and the Golden trio ...

Hello there to all our friends and followers around the world.

LEXI is 14 weeks old now ... and there is so much news to tell you.
How time is flying!  
She's growing by the day, loves her food and weighs in at a whopping 
11.4 Kgs.

 In the past six weeks I have applied myself diligently to orientating her towards her new life and home.  She has adapted well and is totally settled into our household.  She is loved by all our family members too.  Occasionally we are gifted with the odd 'accident' - left on the carpets - but her house-training is virtually complete.  "MY LITTLE SUNBEAM" is bringing plenty of sunshine into our lives.
(Above: A very wet Lexi sneaks into the house)

I am really grateful to Marycke Ackhurst at 
 for entrusting this little pup to me. 
Lexi's relationship with the other dogs in the household is fabulous.  Toby and her are truly an 'item' and play for hours, while Aunt Tam looks on, graciously.  Where they get their energy from, I have no idea (Oh yes, it must be their 'Hills' diet), but they exude vitality, naughtiness and happiness.  The enjoyment we get from their interactions almost makes up for the many muddy pawprints left on our floors.

I have learned, over the years, that this early stage of a puppy's development is crucial to the ultimate disposition of the adult dog.  They are like little sponges - absorbing and learning every minute of the day - 24/7 - whether we are aware of it or not.  There is so much to explore -noises, smells, tastes, environmental conditions, moods and the people/animals/creatures.

   Like all puppies, she is  also a master at reading body language.  When it gets close to supper time, she practices her vocal skills with gusto.  Thankfully, when the actual bowl is presented, she is calm, sits nicely and is starting to offer her paw.  I am most impressed.

My goal of introducing Lexi to "200 people before the age of four months" is well on target.  I have lost count of the actual numbers of folk she has met.  We've been on car trips, to shopping centres, walks, etc, so we should be hovering comfortably around that figure. 
 Below: Yes, Lexi, those are children!

Lexi has commenced her puppy socialisation classes and enjoys them immensely.  She is a cautious, observant pup who develops confidence quickly.  This week she showed a lot more confidence  - venturing to interact more with the other pups (as opposed to using humans as her shield).  She is vital and energetic and  loves the 'Tunnel' at dog training. (Indeed she broke loose at one point to dart through the tunnel a second time - much to the delight of one of the crew members.)  
Lexi absolutely LOVES swimming and retrieving objects from our pool at home.  She throws herself into the water with absolute abandon.  She's a very brave and athletic little doggie!  
Diving in with carefree gusto...
 Admittedly, it's hard to divide my time between the three dogs with their very different needs.  In terms of pool retrieves however, there is already a competition developing between Toby and her as to who should be fetching the toy. 

TOBY, our "Sweet Hooligan" diving into the pool. 
 Above: Somewhere, in there, is a dog!

I think it's wise to set up some routine with pool games too: Toby gets his turn and then Lexi gets hers.  I need to be aware of situations which could potentially provoke jealousy.

During the day, I spend quality time with Toby - walking him around the neighbourhood and practising his own obedience commands. Once that's finished, it's Lexi's turn.

 She's doing very well with her basic obedience commands too.  She knows: "Sit","Come",  "Let's go", "Down" (Hand signal too - most impressive!) and we are working on the "Stand" command. 

I am aware that we don't have children at home, so today, I started taking her to the local primary school to get her accustomed to "miniature humans". 
  I am so thankful to have been invited to bring Lexi to a Grade 3 class of 35 learners towards the end of this week. (We look forward to that visit) Lexi appears to be very comfortable with the environment.  There were so many little ones who came to say 'Hello!'  

All-in-all, we have a happy, vital and well-adjusted puppy in our midst.  I am so enjoying spending time with her. 

 But I am also aware that we have three Goldens in our family - each with their own specific needs.  

Phew, what a task! But it's one I wouldn't swop for the world! 

Sending lotsaluv to you all,


rottrover said...

Lexi is coming along so nicely! What a beauty, and what an athlete! Yes, 3 dogs with different needs...lots and lots of walks going on here!!

Bouncing Bertie said...

Lovely photos.
But 11.4 kg? That's more than me already!
Oh and you know what? Gail is always saying to me "Bertie, I think you are breaking the laws of thermodynamics, I cannot imagine how otherwise you produce so much energy from such relatively small amounts of food."
Toodle pip!

The Life of Riley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Life of Riley said...

Lexi is growing up fast! It is nice to read that things are going well for you all.

♥ Helen said...

I just love these puppy photos you share with us ♥

Two French Bulldogs said...

We were wondering when you were going to go for a swim
Benny & Lily

Millie and Walter said...

Thanks for the update on your little sunshine and the rest of the pack. I love the picture of the soaking wet Toby and Lexi playing together. She is really blossoming under your great care.


Mary Lou said...

I've been a stranger in these parts of Blogville--again!!--it feels so good to be back!! ;-D
I love the diving/swimming pictures!! Too cute!! ;)
"Miniature humans"!! That's great!! Some of my closest friends have been children. I like to call them "short people". Affectionately!! Because I like short people!! ;op
Love, Raelyn.... Plus Rose, my BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE "Mystery Dog"!!

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom, you're doing a great job. Lexi is one happy pup.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Just look at you Lexi- your growing so fast and learning so much!

Ziggy Stardust said...

What a beautiful family!!

Loveys Sasha

24 Paws of Love said...

Sounds like Lexi is an added joy to your dog family and is everything you could ask for in a puppy.

May all of you be blessed. Thank you for sharing all about her. :)

Molly the Airedale said...

We just love that last picture. Lexi is loving life is coming along beautifully!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

MySpecialDoggies said...

Your last picture is awesome with the 4 of you! We're so happy to read that Lexi is growing up and enjoying her life with Toby & Tammy. Sure wish that Neeli & Elle could come for a visit!

Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

Emily and Laura said...

Do you have guide or service dog schools in South Africa, who use the services of puppy raisers? Because what you're doing with Lexi sounds almost exactly like what puppy raisers do -- take a pup from a few weeks to 18 months and socialize them to just about anything imaginable: children, noise, machinery, shops, traveling, etc. etc. I could see any guide or service dog school absolutely thrilled to have someone with your wonderful skills helping to raise a dog that could then go on to provide independence or support for a needy individual. It's just a thought, but if you were in the US I bet you might already have been recruited!

Maxmom said...

Hi there Isaac, Emily and Laura,
(I've tried to find your email address - to no avail - so I'm replying here to your question):
Yes, we do have Guide dog and service dog training in South Africa: http://www.guidedog.org.za/
Indeed, I have a number of friends who give of their time and expertise to this wonderful organisation. You may want to read one of my blogposts about this:


I've given the whole concept careful thought over the years but, quite frankly, I would have great difficulty 'returning' the dog to the centre after its puppy months with me. It's just one of those things...I give back to the dogworld in other ways. :)
Thanks for the compliment though. I appreciate your comments and your faithful following.
Please feel free to email me if you like: carylmoll (at) yahoo (dot) com.
Sending lotsaluv