We have a new/slightly used 4-month-old black lab named Gracie. She and the Hoove have been having big fun in the back yard as he teaches her the finer points of playing fetch and smelling every corner of the yard to make sure she knows who and what has been there.
Gracie also got a big surprise in our kitchen. She noticed Hawthorne, and he noticed her. As she got closer and closer to smell better, he gave her a hearty “HELLO!” which startled her so much she backed three feet away from him in a nanosecond.
She’s a good learner – so far she’s working on the “release” part of playing fetch fairly successfully, and she has no problem being subordinate to Old Man Hoover, who is not all that bossy anyway. She’s social and shares well. We do have to stop a few of her bad habits, though. She jumps onto people and slobbers in their faces very enthusiastically, neither of which are really all that friendly, when you think about it. No problem – Hoover was the same way.
Puppies are good teachers, too! Today I learned that we have too much crap and most of it is on the floor! Good thing she’s made such headway on “bring it to Mommy” and “release!” We had a very zippy morning; so far we’re up to seven different shoes, one lost highlighter, a crossword puzzle book, three pieces of paper, and a large wad of Hoover hair I couldn’t get to with the broom.
She likes to be helpful. This morning she helped my sleepy children out of bed by first leaping on Bunny and slurping her face, “AAAAGH! Good morning to you, too, Gracie!” Then she assisted in rousting the Doodle by snorting in his armpit, and, when he lurched straight upward, hooting, “Noooo! Down!” she grabbed his shoe and dashed off.
Gracie made sure Spawn didn’t miss his early college class by sneaking into his room when he slouched off to the bathroom and stealing one of his aluminum cans. She then flung it repeatedly on the tile floor for that audio component of waking-up cheer. Like I said, good thing she’s getting better at “Release!”
I also learned that she needs to go out more often than anyone other than me is willing accommodate. We will be exploring her reactions to a vacuum cleaner and a mop shortly.
She likes a good game of tug with a knotted rope toy, and we had fun playing indoor fetch with a squeaky fabric pig. Rawhide helps the itchy, teething gums, and, like most puppies, when she’s tired, she falls over and sleeps like the dead for a half an hour to recharge her batteries. She’s a cuddler and a quick learner, both good things.
She’s just a busy, sweet, curious puppy who is very eager to learn how to be a good dog. I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun getting to know each other better.