I am having a hard time believing that tomorrow is October 1st, especially as it is currently very warm and muggy here in Lowell. I know that most people like to hold on to the warm temperatures of summer for as long as possible, but I can’t wait to see the snow!
This past month has been all about adjusting to life with Simon. Gist and I are both so in love with him, but living with a high-energy dog has been quite a change for us. We’re up and out for our two-mile morning walk by 6:30 am, we head home at lunchtime to give him a brief walk/bathroom break, and we generally take another 1.5 to two-mile walk in the evening.
One of my favorite parts about all this walking (other than spending time with Simon, of course) is the fact that many of our walks now take place in the state forest. For years I have been talking about wanting to spend more time walking in the state forest – that wish has been granted! We started out walking on the roads in the forest, but we have since moved on to exploring the trails. It’s so lovely and I am always looking forward to spending some quality time there.
Gist and I both thank our lucky stars that Simon came to us already housebroken and crate trained. Simon was neutered in August and has started manners classes and goes to doggie camp one day a week. Manners classes are to help him get along in the urban world and doggie camp is to help him socialize with other dogs.
The classes have been going pretty well: Simon is smart, stubborn, motivated by treats and praise, and loves to do things his own way. That means that he has learned how to sit, lie down, take it, and leave it in record time but whether or not he chooses to do those things is a totally different matter. We’re using a completely praise-based training method coupled with NILIF, nothing in life is free, and it is working pretty well. Simon sits before he goes in or out, eat, plays, etc.
Simon loves to bark. He doesn’t bark in the house, unless he is incredibly excited that one of us has come home, but he loves to bark like a maniac at other dogs. We are working on finding the thing he loves more than barking at other dogs and we’re also working with the folks at doggie camp to help him get de-sensitized to other dogs.
Simon has done a great job with all of the new people and places he’s seen in his short time with us. He’s been to the Cape and Connecticut for weekend trips, he’s been to birthday parties and BBQs, and he’s met many of our friends and family members.
He’s also got a new, hand-knit sweater to wear this winter!