Saturday, January 16, 2010

A fine taste in shoes

And so it begins . . . puppy teething. Micron will be four months on January 23rd and right on schedule for starting on the adult teeth. We all thought it was oh-so-cute when he lost his top two front teeth and then we noticed his new attraction to leather shoes. Well, all shoes really, but leather is always a puppy's favorite it seems. Ok, so shoes and table legs and door frames and well, you know, anything that will fit inside that adorable puppy maw is at grave risk of dental imprinting. We are now on Puppy Alert Level of Yellow-Elevated. And he is answering to the sing-song call ringing throughout the house of Micron-Whatcha-Chewin'-On?

That's him in the pic at the top carrying both of Derek's size 12's around the living room. His snout is completely inside. One of the cardinal rules of dog training is that you can't laugh when giving a correction. Not a problem here; he couldn't see a thing.

On a bit more positive note, we've turned a corner in his obedience training. Things are starting to click in that cute little blonde head of his. Micron's maturing out of his little furball stage into a young pup. A couple of weeks ago I was getting a blank stare for "shake." Today, it's a solid paw slap into my palm. Good stuff. We've introduced the CCI commands of Sit, Down, Wait, Release, Shake, Heel, Kennel, Let's Go, Car, and the ever important command of Hurry for toileting on command.

So with that training arsenal in place, we began puppy classes at Dayton Dog Training this week. I strolled in there fully confident that I had a star pupil on the end of that leash. And was immediately and completely humbled. Inside that intelligent puppy brain is, of course, a puppy. His thought process for the next 60 minutes included things like, hey-hey-hi-i'm-a-puppy-are-you-a-puppy-too-wanna-rassle and hey-hey-what's-that-smell-yow-gotta-pee-hey-there's-another-puppy. Right. I'm taking some better treats next week.

For a closing, I'm including a couple of frosty nose pics from that last big snow we had.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The holiday season is a time for reflection

So I was thinking about Micron's name. If you added his dad's name to his, it would be Micron Blaze. Adding my last name would make it Micron Sword. If this makes you wince a little, you probably enjoy healthy and logical thoughts most of the day. If instead you're thinking either of these name combos would make a great name for a rock band or even a comic book superhero, then perhaps you have a creative streak. But if you're actually sounding out the name Micron Blaze Sword and writing it down so you can name your avatar for Diablo III when it comes out in 2010, then I would welcome you to my happy world of Geekville. Just something fun to think about. I'll be going back to my job in finance on Monday to think normal thoughts again.

Micron had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas holiday with family and friends.The live tree has survived so far with only one ornament casualty. So I will state that it is indeed possible to have a six foot Christmas tree in the same room as a 3 month old puppy. It's helpful to not have any ornaments within easy puppy reach and we did have to be mindful to keep him out of the sap water. After encouraging Micron to understand the difference between inside and outside when it's time to do his business, you gotta wonder what a dog thinks when you bring a tree in the house.To his credit, it didn't occur to him to water the tree for us. That's what the carpet's for.

Micron opened a brand new Kong on Christmas morning. The long suffering Jager had asked for the same thing that he wanted last Christmas -- a bowl of water that doesn't have Lab backwash. He got a stuffed frisbee instead. And a couple of tuff tennis balls for the two of them to share. They spent the morning taking the frisbee away from each other and ran manic circles around the Christmas tree while I cringed.

We had a vet appointment this week for vaccination boosters. Micron is going to a new veterinary clinic, Brookville Animal Hospital. I've been very pleased with the choice, with both the care and the follow-up calls by the staff. For our friends local to this area, I would have no hesitation in recommending this clinic; it's very clean and the staff is first rate. Dr. Judd gave Micron a good report. I was glad to be able to confirm that he's a healthy pup and his weight is where he should be at 28 lbs.

Photos for this post include Micron posing under the sparsely decorated tree (top photo), the two dogs opening Jager's Christmas gift (above left), Derek introducing Micron to the dog hand puppet that barks to the tune of three remarkably annoying Christmas songs (above right), and Micron getting a nose boop from young Beckett, who "doesn't like dogs." (below).

Wishing a happy and blessed New Year to all. Have fun, be safe, and make good choices this coming year. It's gonna be a good one.
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