Select Page

The sun has come out but temps are still on the chilly side.  Spring is taking baby steps but that forward crawl is better than the 2-steps forward, 1-step back approach it was teasing us with earlier.

Holly took her first trail hike today.  We checked out a small section of the Congdon Trail, starting on the down hill end and climbing up, then returning down. Holly was on overload initially.  Nose to the ground sniffing every leaf, twig and root.  So many new smells and sights.  There was no pulling or tugging on the leash, indeed I was the one who was waiting for her and had to prod her along with a gently tug and encouragement to “Let’s Go”.   She looked up the trees, she looked over the rushing river and she carefully made her way over rocks and roots. We didn’t come across any squirrels, chipmunks, people or dogs.  I was glad her first experience was all about the woods, the rest will come in time.  She tugged more on the return hike downhill but overall was responsive to the “no pull” and slight correction.  I also worked in the words – easy, slow and wait – and she responded quite well.  She seemed to know she had to be careful for my safety.   It was a short walk, barely a half hour, but it wore her out.  There was a lot going on in her little head during that 30 minutes.

Routines are starting to gel, helpful to both Holly and I.  There is play time outside, quiet time inside, car rides, walks, more play time outside, more quiet time inside, visits with Rainie, training time, meals and bedtime.  She’s getting the patterns down nicely.  

Holly met my neighbor Dave this week.  He lives in California and comes for week long stays periodically.   He was last here when Holly was 20 pounds,  he was impressed with the 40 pound gangly girl greeting him kindly at the fence.  She acted like she remembered him but that is how she greets most everyone on every encounter. 

The 5 month mark has me thinking about Holly’s hormones.  The breeder and my vet have been educating me on the health risks involved with spaying a dog too early.  To dramatically reduce the risk of cancer, Holly should go through two (recommended) but atleast one (strongly encouraged) seasons of heat.  Both of my prior Golden’s died of cancer so of course I want to do the right thing to reduce Holly’s risk.   This will be new to me!  I am trying to think this through in advance and prepare for a 10 day stint of protecting a hormone-high Holly.  Today I ordered doggie diapers, they should be arriving soon.  In time to allow Holly to get used to wearing one, and hopefully with enough time so I can learn how to put it on her.  Again, this is all very new to me!