I've been busy. West has been busy. Archie's been busy!! It's spring, finally!
West and Archie have been spending several hours at a time loose together inside the past week or so. This is a huge step from the "West is not permitted to breathe, blink, or otherwise move at any time" policy Archie had kept in place. The biggest difference that I can tell is that Archie got a new bed, and the cats moved outside, so the bathroom is now opened up with his bed there. West and Archie even play together occasionally, though there really is NOT room for that! Silly boys.
Anyway, this is great news. It certainly means both dogs can have way less crate time, and way more fun! It's also less stressful for me to not be worrying that Archie will snap at any moment. Good boys!
West has come such a long way. He came to Claudine's, and was car sick again for the first time since he quit many months ago. My mom brought him into town for me, and she didn't know how to get his thundershirt on, so he only had the neck piece on. That's the only difference, as far as I can tell. He recovered quickly and wasn't sick on the way home, though.
West played with Claudine's dogs a bit. Mostly, they were more interested in other things than playing with him. He took cheese from Claudine and got some cuddles. He saw several people walk past the yard, and a couple even stopped to chat with Claudine, and he did not bark. He was stressed a couple of times, so I called him to me, but he coped very well. Craig was a bit too much for him, we'll have to go more slowly with that. He had a hat on, and has facial hair. I really need to find a group of dog savvy 17 year old males. Anyone? ;)
Connor is young, which means little/no facial hair, less deep of a voice, and not so "scary" to West. I expect that's part of why he did so well with him. Great steps! Especially since there wasn't really any effort to help West adjust.. he just decided Connor was okay, on his own!
West got along fantastically with Wendy. He was quickly leaping on her soliciting pets. I've got a reaction twice now from people who know West's story from the start, and that's "Is he gonna bite me?" The answer basically is no. It's not quite that cut and dried, but believe me, you'll have LOTS of warning before he bites you. Unless he's playing tug. Sigh. work in progress. But basically at this point, I can REALLY EASILY tell when West is too stressed, and he ALWAYS barks/snarls/woo's to let people know, so it's obvious even to non-dog savvy folks. This doesn't happen hardly ever anymore though, really.
West also played with Wendy's pup, Ruby. They are great friends, and we're meeting them for a hike this week, I hope. Wendy's just got the Agility bug, so she's become very interested in learning about dog sports! :)
That's pretty much it. I got a toy to review in the next few days, but I'm at a Stacey Peardot-Goudy conference this weekend, so I'll be busy. Maybe I can get it up, but if not, it'll be next week. Any guesses as to what the toy is? ;)
One more little thing, West is FINALLY putting on a little weight! I think it's mostly the diet changes.. I've been feeding him a couple times a day, and after his "real" meals, he gets some kibble to top it off. Good boy, West.