Sunday, January 9, 2011

Approaching Normal

I believe really strongly in letting dogs decompress and recharge when they come from a stressful situation. This is what I've been doing with West until fairly recently. Most of his first month or so was just existing, being with me, dealing with Archie, and existing. He's had a good dose of R&R now, and has shown me in the past few weeks that he's ready to do more.

We've done several car outings now, which have mostly gone very well. He's registered for classes starting on the 20th (hoping to get some video of those for you guys!). He's spending more time in the busy house... and that's what this post is for.

Tonight, I brought West into the house when there were other people moving around. This was a first. He's been into the house 3 times. The first was when everyone was gone and he played with Benji (the crappy video). The second was when Vikki and I made popcorn the other night. The third was tonight. I brought him in and he was eager to go, so apparently he liked the popcorn!

He entered the kitchen, which was empty. Mom, Chris and my grandmother were all sitting in the living room. There is a gate between the rooms, so he could see them, hear them, but couldn't get to them. My mom came into the kitchen wearing her very deep purple shiny pajamas. I have no idea why or what West thinks, but he's pretty darn sure she's not 'normal' in that suit! A couple little barks, but she gave him some cookies and he was fine after that. Watched her closely though.. gotta keep an eye on those purple ones!

I sat down to eat in the kitchen and he investigated the livingroom happenings a few times, but settled with me quite well. My sister came home, and I fed West cookies while she came in and set her things down. He reached a point where he was to worried to eat the cookies, right before she came to see him. It's been a while since that happened. Same procedure, minus the barking. She gave him some biscuits, then got her supper and sat to eat at the table with me. Mom came in and out of the kitchen a couple more times.

Once dinner was over, Chris went into the bedroom. I took West into the living room to meet gramma. She is VERY afraid of dogs, and knows I have West cause he's a fear biter. She was SUPER nervous, but once she started petting him and realized he wasn't going to eat her, all was well. West was very very good with her. He seems to like women far better than men.

We spent about 30-45 minutes chatting with gramma, doing some tricks in the living room. Purple alien monster (aka mom) walked by and West barked at her. Approached and took treats, and was fine once he sniffed her. Silly pup. We'll have to work on people in different outfits.

Total time was probably a couple hours. He did very well and I'm very happy with his progress. He didn't like the sound of cupboards closing (ours are old fashioned wood, so they make kind of a vacuum sound with a clunk when they close) and noticed his reflection a couple times in the TV. And, of course, he's SOUND asleep now after a huge drink of water and a huge pee. He's such a stress drinker.

Overall? Success. Tomorrow should be a quiet day to rest. For him, anyway.


  1. Thanks for all that info Courtenay. And after reading backwards and seeing that West came to the house door after being let out, he clearly is getting happier to be there, even with the purple monster. Maybe he is anxious to be a part of the whole family. I can't wait to hear about his training after the 20th!

  2. Hehe. I really hope he doesn't want to be part of the whole family, since I sure don't!! I'm sure he can find a balance though :)