We’ve had Lily just over three weeks now, and we’ve had our highs and lows. She is a great dog 75% of the time – following commands, learning new ones, being so very patient with the kids, playing well with friends’ dogs, and being a great running partner.
But that 25% of the time when she is jumping up on the counter to eat the lunch I just made for the girls, getting off her leash and running down the block into traffic, and knocking down friend’s children (and then jumping on them once they are down and crying) makes it hard to be patient.
Yes, she is a puppy (10 months old), and yes she was allowed to get away with all of this at her old home, but honestly Tom was on the fence about getting a dog at all, and I’m fighting an uphill battle to convince him not to make an Executive Decision about rehoming her. We do not use Executive Decisions lightly (my last one was when I demanded we homebirth with Alice; Tom’s last one was on quitting a job he hated five years ago despite having no Plan B), so when one is put on the table, it’s only fair to get on board.
I don’t want to paint Tom in a bad light – he’s training with her daily as well, and would really like to keep her, but when she nipped at Becky’s feet (puppy playing, but after we had told her to leave it, and go lay down), ran out the door to jump on a passing neighbor, and chewed up his glasses right before an important meeting, that The Most Laidback Man on Earth found the limit of his patience.
When we are home, and she’s had her daily exercise, she is such a great dog. I love having her here, and feel like she is a great fit for our family. But add in a new friend, an opportunity to be off leash, or any separation from us, and I just have no control over her, and that is not going to work. We’re training with her hours a day at this point, and while she is making progress in the house, we’re still dealing with a lot of off-leash wildness (trying to get her inside the house when she goes out to pee at night would be comic if it were someone else…), and at this point I’m unsure how much to ascribe to puppiness, and how much is behavioral.
So, off to obedience class we go. We start this week, and I am both really hopeful, and really dreading it, since new place + new people + new dogs = a scenario that is sure to find us both at the end of our ropes.