Autumn approaches

It was determined that the xpen training method was not working for Isis, so we’re now concentrating on the parallel on-leash walk. We had a tough, but ultimately successful session with our trainer Monday, ending with us both thinking, “It will be fun to work with the dogs this way, walking them together.”

Then we had three nights in a row when it rained and got dark before Rob was done teaching. In theory, we could fit 60 seconds to 5 minutes into our morning routines to practice, but it can be really stressful, making sure we have no reactions from Isis, so we’ve only practiced once since our session.

Last night, after dark, we walked them up the hill in the yard and back down. The plan was to do that once, and if it went well, do it again. Then end. Isis was obviously stressed after the first lap though, so I said brightly, “OK, we’re going in!” At which point she growled, barked and lunged mightily. Sigh.

I put her in the house for a time out. I think the instruction was to leave her for 10 minutes, then try again. But we just ended.

We can do it again tonight after dark, and then during daylight hours tomorrow through Monday. After dark Tues-Thur. In daylight Friday and Saturday, and then we meet with the trainer again.

My dream, my dream, is to have these dogs tolerating each other enough that we can take a family portrait by Christmas.

Leo has lost both his top canine teeth. This after drawing blood on Rob a few times. He bled quite a bit when losing the second one. During our walk yesterday, I noticed blood on his tongue, having dripped from around the baby tooth, which had a new tooth peeking out next to it. A little while later the baby tooth was gone, leaving behind a bloody hole. Poor Leo! That makes me forgive him for being so mouthy. It must have hurt!

Despite the injuries to Rob, I think Leo actually has learned some bite inhibition. He has spazzy bitey moments, which earn him time outs, but he hasn’t wounded me or torn my clothes lately.

With the exception of the jacket I got Rob for his birthday in 2005. I borrowed it for a walk over the weekend. Leo jumped up once and tore the sleeve. Boy did I feel like a jerk for wearing that jacket. I sewed it up with a matching thread and everything. But it looks like crap. I know what Leo’s getting Rob for Christmas.

Lots of exciting things coming up at the end of the month. Leo starts prep school on Saturdays when Rob can come too. I start a writing class. Both book clubs meet. Then it’s October and I’m 35.

I can’t wait for the trees to start looking like they’re on fire. Damn. I need a Halloween costume.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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