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Ziggy Tails: A weekly diary S1 E5

Monday: What a chillin' day. Not too long ago, we had psycho puppy. Today you wouldn't even know it was the same dog. The day started out making him get out of bed, his crate. He slept through the night from 8:00pm the night before until 7am this morning. Our morning routine was the same; he went out and did his business and breakfast. Then we leashed up, I treated up, and we headed out for our normal walk. 30 yards or less up the trail and two stops already, he let me know he was not going anywhere. So we went back to the yard and played ball and frisbee instead. We did get to see the Trillium in bloom though before heading back.

After another potty break, we went back inside where he found a few toys to play with, then curled up on the floor. Weeks earlier I thought this behavior was out of the ordinary and it raised my concern. But we are realizing that he will go, go, go for a few days, then have a day full of naps and laziness. Sounds a lot like me. We are calling these types of days, his puppy growing days. My excuse is "older" age. I take full advantage of his quietness to get stuff done. If I leave him alone though on one level, he realizes I am gone and will follow me. He does like to be beside me. First time ever, we actually cuddled on the couch during one of his naps. I love doggie snuggles, it is good for the soul.

All the different spots he sat at my side or by my feet.

Tuesday: Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of Monday with the chill-behavior. I thought maybe Monday's bad weather is what kept him low-key. that wasn't it, Tuesday was sunny. It's been truly amazing. How can Ziggy have gone from bringing me to tears not too long ago to this little angel - almost - he still has a little devil-side at times. Tuesday was errand day. We went for a drive doing human tasks. On the way home we stopped by the outlet so he could experience the lake at beach level instead of rock scrambling on our shore. He also got to do some more confidence building by walking on the tippy dock.

We ended the day with more cuddle time. I knew I was feeling more vulnerable for awhile. Truth be known, since my first AT thru-hike, I have felt a change emotionally. Who would have known how the presence of this little fur ball could soothe my soul. More cuddles in the hammock as we watched the colors fade from the sky and Katahdin whispering in the distance.

Wednesday: Ziggy must have been all rested up mid-week. He was full of spice and everything nice - which meant we could go hike. Up back we went. That's all we can do right now. No long trips yet for this little guy. But I actually don't get tired of going out there. The woods is the woods. In time, he and I will exploring places new to both of us. For right now, out back is good. Our little jaunt did little to curb his energy so he helped me outside in the yard digging, riding shotgun on the Ranger ATV, and chasing a few flies away. Yeah, those dreadful black flies made their appearance. Bring on the Deet.

I know I am breaking one of the rules of good writing - what's new. I mean - just how many pictures of a puppy can one handle? Well, if you are like me, there is no limit. My goal is for you to see him grow and change.

After a busy day on the trail and in the yard, Prince Ziggy conked out. Mission accomplished. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog and a happy pet owner. Just look at that smile above. Before conking out, we did get more cuddle time in the hammock again. Life is good.

Thursday: Another rainy day. We weren't stuck inside though - off to the trainers we went. Since we needed to go to Bangor, we did more errands. Thank goodness it was cool and damp. I was able to leave Ziggy in the vehicle while I shopped. He accompanied me into Lowes for some confidence building. There is big and scary stuff in there, and I don't mean the people. He did well. One goal I have is to train him well to be able to accompany me most places as an emotional support animal. I do hate admitting, I am liking crowds less and less as time goes on. I so love people, but not masses of them. But with Ziggy by my side, when Bruce can't be there, I have no fear.

Friday: I have gone and done it again. Ziggy has two new siblings. He doesn't know it yet. They showed up after he went to bed. And he won't know it for another day or two or even longer. We want to ease them all into the change. Right now they are separated by a door. Meet Baby and Mommie, or Kitty and Katty (Kitt and Katt), or something else. We haven't confirmed their names yet.

So Ziggy Tails is about to get very interesting. For someone who doesn't deal well with stress any more, not sure what I was thinking.

Saturday: Separation anxiety happened today. Not for Ziggy, me! Last week when I had a Zoom author talk, Bruce took Ziggy for a ride. That wasn't too bad for me since they were the ones leaving. But Saturday, I signed and sold books at a local craft fair. My initial plan was to have the pup beside me, drawing attention to my table. But the smart half of my brain kicked in and said, "Yeah, that's not gonna work." So Bruce offered to watch Ziggy. "What, you can't, you don't know what to do! Do you know the commands? Don't ruin all my hard work." That wasn't very nice of me to say. Oops, so much for building confidence. Bruce reassured me, he would not destroy all the hard work I had been doing and that Ziggy would be fine. I left home and actually had to talk myself down from a panic attack. When I returned that afternoon, Bruce and a friend were sitting at the kitchen island and Ziggy was sitting peacefully on his new "place" spot I created for him. I taught him to go there and wait while I fix his meals so he isn't jumping on me. He didn't even get up when I came in. He just sat their politely and watched me.

Sunday: Another morning of not wanting to get up, but I made him. It didn't take him long to shake off the cobwebs and he was ready to go for the day. We had our normal start of potty time then breakfast and play time. I was anxious to put him down for his first nap. But he wanted no part of it. I wanted him to rest so I could work outside. He is a handful outdoors. He doesn't take off, but he gets into stuff that could be harmful for him, so I don't get much done. But again, Prince Ziggy surprised me. He just hung around, chewed his bone and attempted to get in my freshly prepped gardens. But thanks to the spray bottle he quickly learned what "out" means. He was so good. He entertained himself, in a good way, and we got done all we wanted to do. We even almost made it through the day without having to do the dreaded puppy-hold. He has been so good this week. I am in fear it might be the calm before the storm as one ACD owner warned us about in an Australian Cattle Dog Facebook group.

I won't worry about any storms right now. Things are going way too well to waste precious energy on that. I will just enjoy this calm time he is going through. If only I could transfer that skill to other areas of my life. As much as I try to focus on the positive and enjoy the little things, I can get so wrapped up in the "what-ifs". It's those "what-ifs" or fears that can rob us of the present. But not this week. I will enjoy this calm with Prince Ziggy and who knows, maybe the storm will not come. After-all, the weather man has been known to be wrong sometimes.

Happy Hiking,



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