One adventure I wanted to write about was about Bella digging holes and baths. One afternoon, we went ouside to read and take a break. I wasn't paying attention to the puppies. Tanker's medicine alarm went off at 5:30 and everybody came running except for Bella. I called her and called her. Finally, she came running up the stairs covered in mud. I made everybody wait outside and I brought Tanker's meds out. I then picked up Bella and carried her straight upstairs into the shower. I found Shiloh and decided to bathe her at the same time.
We live in America. We live in a pretty lenient country when it comes to punishments. However, on bath day, I felt like we were living in a third world country where executions are witnessed by other people . We have a stand alone shower with glass walls. It sits next to a big garden tub. While bathing the puppies, I looked up to find the rest of the zoo crew gathered around to watch. Sweet Pea and Little Bit were sitting on the tub. Topher was sitting outside the shower door. Tanker was laying on the tile. I felt like the village people had come to watch the execution of Bella for the crime of trying to escape to China through the backyard.
Even worse, me, the president of this third world zoo, took pictures of the punished and am publishing them on the internet. What kind of cruel home do we live in?
There you have it, folks. We take property crimes seriously here. Dig holes and you are getting a bath. No questions asked.
Define "mess." What do you mean we made a mess? Please tell me we're not getting another bath.
Enough about puppies getting in trouble. Let me tell you the progress they've made. They know sit and are proficient at it. They know it by command and by hand signals. They now know that they have to do something before getting rewarded. They must sit before getting their food. They must sit before going outside. They must sit before getting turkey when Tanker gets his medicine.
Potty training is going well. They get it 85% of the time. We have been taking them out about every hour, after they eat, and after naps. They go potty when they are outside, but haven't completely figured out they need to go outside to go potty. They have had a few accidents, but overall, we are pleased with their progress.
Puppies need supervision all the time. The downstairs has now been blocked off to only allow them in the family room and kitchen.
This is puppy prison. See the mess? That's why they are in prison.
I hardly ever talk about the cats. The cats are an integral part of puppy training. We have had Sweet Pea for almost nine years. We have had Little Bit for six. They are used to us bringing other cats and dogs into the house. We've had fosters, strays, neighbor's dogs when they went out of town, etc. Overall, they are pretty dog friendly cats. They have their boundries though and are not afraid to smack a dog across the face when it acts up. Yes, they are declawed.
Little Bit waiting for the dogs to come back inside. Please ignore my filthy door. Lots of puppy nose prints. Cleaning doors and windows have not been a priority lately.
Back off, puppies. I am not afraid to smack you!
Topher is very in tune with me. Australian Cattle Dogs are keen listeners. They are bred to herd cattle and work very closely with their handlers. Topher can read me like a book sometimes and he looks to me for direction. I have never had such a sensitive dog in my life. Lately, he has been noticing that I have been getting frustrated with the puppies. Wes and I are both tired from all the volunteering we've been doing and raising two puppies. Topher senses that and he has started to keep the puppies in line for me. He has never herded cattle before to my knowledge. Before getting puppies, I didn't think he even knew he was a cattle dog. Now, when I call out Bella and Shiloh's names to quit doing something, Topher will run over to them, circle them, and herd them back inside. He now keeps his eyes on them to make sure they are behaving.
Laying under the bay window and intently watching the puppies, ready to jump up any moment that they mess up. He is such a cattle dog!
Life is not always serious. We have fun too! Being a dog is all about having fun! We have been...
Going for rides...
And going for walks...
To top it off, we got our new roof and gutters installed...
In addition to all that fun and excitement, Topher and Tanker volunteered at the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, volunteered at Snowden, and the puppies got shots. Life cannot get any more exciting than that!