Ziggy Tails: Sometimes three is a crowd S1 E6
So far so good, another great week with Ziggy at my side. We even ended the week without having to do the dreaded puppy-hold. Nothing supper exciting, comical, or tramatic to report though this week. I guess that is a good thing. No tears, no accidents, no destruction in or out of the house. Just more great puppy stuff and improving behavior.
Last week we introduced two new members to our household, cats, one kitten and one adult. After a weekend of high stress from everyone, mostly the four-legged kind, we opted to re-home the kitten. Sometimes three is a crowd. A dear friend was more than happy to take the little fur ball. The kitty seemed over the top anxious to be here at our house. That, coupled with the fact I was feeling no emotional connection to her, solidified the decision to give her away. Five minutes in her new home eliminated any guilt I was having about surrendering her. She was completely changed and not the same fearful kitten, even though her new home was even crazier than here. I guess she wasn't "feeling it" either at our house.
Not only did little kitty have a change in temperament, so did big kitty. Mommie cat no longer had the need to be protective of her baby and she immediately became more comfortable here, even with Ziggy. She was always a sweet thing, but she was vicious whenever Prince Ziggy came within eye sight, no matter how far away he was. By the second day, Mommie cat (she still doesn't have a name we like) was exploring the house and not hissing or growling as much at the puppy. In fact, by Friday, the two were tolerating each other quite well.
All Ziggy wants to do is play with his new sibling. The cat keeps her distance, but seems to show a slight interest in the puppy. She doesn't run from him. She even seems to tease him by walking just out of his reach and or hopping up onto something high like the counter, then peers down at him. I think eventually they will be best buddies, only time will tell.
Ziggy showed great will-power not to chase his new friend. He was on a loose leash that allowed him to go where he wanted but, he respected her and backed off.
I cannot believe that he will be 15 weeks old on Tuesday. He is learning and growing fast and enjoys all our time together training. What used to be difficult for him now seems effortless. We have increased our hiking to about 2 miles, not every day, but several times this week. We explored stores and scary things. Bribing with kibble and yummy treats, he is learning that those scary things aren't all that scary. Just like human life. Sometimes life can be so intimidating and daunting but with the right motivation and encouragement one can do anything.
I swear he has springs in his legs.
You'll notice in the house he has a tether, but outside on our hikes he is free, seems kind of backwards. Prince Ziggy cannot be completely trusted inside yet, even though this was the first full week without an accident. We keep the tether on him inside so we can grab him quickly if needed for one reason or another. On our hikes his recall is fantastic right now, so we give him the liberty to run. Most of the time he stays by my side or slightly in front until we get close to home as in the video above. There he loves to race down through the woods. Shortly after that, I leash him so he doesn't dart into the camp road.
We continue to work on basic training. He has learned a few neat tricks for fun, but we keep the focus on building a solid foundation for good behavior, like manners, impulse control, brain games, and more. The best thing he learned this week was "place". Our original trainer touched on this and our new trainer really showed me how beneficial this is and how to expand on it. Ziggy picked this new skill up so well, a few times I told him "place" and I actually forgot about him because he stayed their for several minutes. When I quit zoning out, I realized, there he was just staring at me waiting for the next command or to be released. How cool is that.
Above is one of those "place" times.
Ziggy has reminded me of the power of consistency, a skill I lack. I am like a squirrel; darting here, there, and everywhere. But when I focus my energy and attention, great things can happen, Iike the results I am having with our new puppy so far. I can't take all the credit, he is one smart cookie with a long genetic line of intelligence. So is it nature or nature? I say both. But both are a product of consistency and also of good in equals good out. Now I just need to apply that to what goes between my lips.
We have had Ziggy for 7 weeks, almost half of his life. I haven't been to good though at taking progression pictures to show his changes. These are the closest I have. I do think we are bonding. I just hope he loves me as much as I love him.
Emily and Ziggy