As I have mentioned before, Linda Lou is a new member of our family. She's now 14 months old, gaining weight (she was emacited when we adopted her from the shelter. She's a purebread Mastiff and should have weighed 115 when we got her. Instead, she weighted 88), she's now up to about 115, only 10 pounds underweight. Fully grown (Mastiffs tend to grow until they are 3.5 or 4 years old), she should reach 150 to 175 pounds. Yes, that's a lotta dog!
She seemed to be partially housebroken when we got her, so I only had to reinforce her training. I found a great article on training a dog, and I followed the instructions to the letter.
Linda does well, but her internal clock is slightly off. According to her ability to tell time, she is programmed to live somewhere about 210 miles off the coast of New Jersey. She gets up every day at 4 AM.
The program is to take the dog out to the same place each time, not to make eye contact, but if they 'perform' their duties, you are to praise and give them treats.
Has Linda gotten with the program? I think so, with modifications. Who really understands is Arnie, our 6 year old purebred brown dog.
The first modification was that I am not a patient woman at 4AM. I began issuing verbal commands: "Pee, Linda!" and of course, "Linda, poop!" Each 'act' is followed by a cheese nip cracker and verbal praise.
Now, I cannot take one dog out without the other tagging along. Arnie, with all his wisdom, joins us. His ears perk up when he hears the "Pee!" command. When he hears praise, he knows it's cracker time and runs back to get one too. Yes, the dogs have me well trained.
Last night, it was snowing. As I wandered around the top of my driveway, I wondered what the neighbors would think if they could hear me out there, giving commands.
Then I realized that if they did, the worst would happen: they would look out their windows and SEE me.
Would you like to SEE what a well trained dog owner wears at 4AM on a snowy day? Since I'm already dressed for the day, you'll have to be happy to see the components. You may never see the entire outfit on one body at the same time. I'm pretty grouchy at 4AM and might do bodily harm to anyone who aims a camera at me.
First, there is my happy flannel night gown:
The patten and color changes daily, blue one day, pink or purple another day, but the style stays the same: mid calf length.
Then, because it is cold out there, I wear Mark's terry bath robe:
Bright blue and light blue vertical stripes!
And those favorite socks:
And of course, the crocs and my coat:
Now aren't you glad you don't live next to me? Come to think of it, the only person (besides me and the dogs) that might enjoy my colorful outfit is LynnH from Colorjoy!, and that might be a little (ahem) colorful for her!
But it works...and that's what counts, isn't it?