- Having pillows, shoes, books, sheepshins, the TV remote, cell-phones on surfaces higher than he can reach. This puppy is a thief, and thinks it's a huge game to steal such objects so that we'll chase him around the house, out into the backyard. We were trying treats to lure him for a while, then closed the dog-door (and unfortunately forgot to re-open it at night, causing him to have an 'accident'--mea culpa!), and now are simply ignoring him. It seems to be working.
- The way he wants to play all day, every day. He just doesn't seem to have an 'OFF' button. There's sooo much energy in a five-and-a-half-month old puppy. I'd forgotten. It wears all of us out, including Jamaica who's used to morning, afternoon and evening naps. Either I've forgotten, or he's MORE energetic than our other dogs. It might be the Ridgeback in him. But it also might be the male hormones cursing through his growing body.
- Related to that, his desire to play with Jamaica. Pouncing, pounding, pulling at her constantly. She plays until suddenly she stops. Then she snaps at him and he backs off for a moment or two and is back at it.
- Also related, those male hormones. He's a growing, adolescent male dog. And we still have at least a few weeks to go before we can take care of this issue. But trust me, as soon as we hit the six-month mark, he's going to see "Dr. Snip-it," as Beve calls it.
- He loves to play tug-of-war with his sticks and frisbee, and I have the scars to prove it. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body, but sometimes when he changes where he's holding the stick with his teeth, he lands on my hand, which, as you might guess, is not a very pleasant sensation. I've got to do something about this habit.
- He's really, really adorable. His coloring is amazing. It's hard not to smile at his face when he tips his head the way dogs always do.
- He's really, really smart. He learns things quickly. Too quickly in some ways, but also has been easy to train. When he came to our house he ate like a 'hoover' and now knows he has to sit and wait for the 'okay' signal to eat. And he'll stay when I'm playing fetch the stick with him (though not when he's stolen something, of course, because of those dang treats--again my mistake). And three days ago we brought out a dog bed and told him that was where he was to sleep at night, and he has every night since. Yep, really, really smart.
- He's decided I'm his person. I haven't had a dog do that since my beloved Jemima, and am surprised Kincade chose me in this houseful of people. But he has, and that's that. Though he doesn't slink to the ground when he's been disciplined the way Jamaica or Jemima, he always wants to climb on me for affection afterwards, and he's already getting pretty big for a lap dog.
- Jamaica's a different dog with him around. More comfortable with everyone--people and dogs alike. Of course, having so many people come and go this summer has helped too, but significantly, she no longer barks like crazy when Beve walks in the door after work because Cade doesn't. You can't imagine the difference this makes in our home. Peace, sweet peace!
I have to remind myself of the joys of having him because some days (like today) it just wears me out. Why in tarnation did we do this anyway? And I find myself thinking of how easy it would be to take him out to my brother's place and leave him there. BB needs a dog, right? And we could still have visitation rights. But I couldn't do it. He's ours. For worse and better.