Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Time flies…


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.

Day 229 - Wednesday, August 18th 2010

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.

Day 241 - Monday, August 30th 2010

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.

Poor Pup!
Post-neuter, doped-up pup!

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 at Thumpertown Beach

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.

Day 261 - Saturday, September 18th 2010

He’s also got a new, hand-knit sweater to wear this winter!

Day 268 - Saturday, September 25th 2010 - Simon's Sweater

5 thoughts on “Time flies…

  1. Simon is such a cutie! He sounds like such a great fit for you and Gist.

    I don’t have dogs, so I don’t know if this works, but I saw a dog who loved to bark at other dogs on a show once (Maybe “it’s me or the dog” or something equally silly?), and the trainer recommended giving the dog a special toy to play with on walks, that he only gets on walks when there are other dogs present. It really helped to distract him and calm him down. Of course you guys have probably already tried this, but I thought I’d mention it just in case it helps 🙂

  2. Such a cutie! I can imagine after cats it’s quite different.

  3. Hey! He looks like he’s doing really well and is super happy! You need to call me to tell me more about him! I’m very intrigued about this doggy camp thing.

    We’ve found a doggy that we’d love to adopt, just waiting on the application. Keep your fingers crossed please!

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