Over the summer, a woman in our neighborhood organized a pick-up volleyball game in the park. We went in an attempt to meet more neighbors. Within minutes we realized everyone (and I mean everyone) already knew who we were. “Ooooh,” they’d say. “You live in the red house. Say, what kind of dog do you have in there?” Hmmmm. We knew Lucas barked a lot – at the mailman, the UPS guy, the neighborhood maintenance people – and we know he goes berserk whenever someone comes to our door. I worked on it passively, really only addressing the situation when I happened to be in the same room when he started in. However. Finding out that everyone in the neighborhood knew exactly who we were due to his barking… well, that upped the ante. Then today, I saw the perfect motivation on That Mutt: a 30-day challenge.
So I’m laying it out here, so I have the internet to hold me accountable! Here are my two goals: First, by the end of the month, Lucas will go to his “place” after the doorbell rings. Second, I will retrain the “enough” command so that when he does bark at the mailman, UPS guy, neighbor’s dog, other neighbor getting her mail, etc., I will have a tool to get him to stop! So, to achieve those two goals, for the month of October, I will work with Lucas for 20 minutes every day – probably in two 10-minute increments. And I’ll keep you posted on the progress!
A few other updates:
1. Great news! Emmett had his first leg check last Friday. My stomach was in knots the entire drive to the vet’s office. Our amazing vet examined his leg, checked him over for anything else suspicious, and gave him a thumbs up! No new bumps, nothing unusual at the suture site. I struggled to keep from bursting into tears of utter relief. Next step: Leg check on October 16, then his lung x-rays in November.
2. Last week, when Harper and Bella arrived, Bella eyeballed us pretty suspiciously. Slowly, though, she’s warmed up. It started with a tail wag, then she’d come over to get patted, then she started playing with Lucas, and last night she picked up a toy and played for about 10 seconds. All great strides! I think she’s starting to feel comfortable with the routine, she and Lucas have come to a truce – all in time for her people to pick her up on Thursday! The only setback? She’s terrified of our toaster. The second the piece of toast pops up, she high-tails it upstairs. It’s sort of funny, actually…
3. I have, once again, changed the design of the blog. I’m finally happy with it, though I need to update the left-side including updates to the blogroll with a few more awesome dog blogs I’ve come across. While I get that updated, if you have any suggestions for others to check out, please let me know!