Tuesday 20 March 2012: another one bites the dust
In the space of 48 hours Jack has managed to decimate one dog pull & 2½ balls; we're now wondering whether there could be an opening for him as chief product tester at 'Indestructible Dog Toys R Us dot com'? For such an otherwise gentle-mouthed dog, he's incredibly destructive when it comes to his toys - but, tissues not withstanding, at least he hasn't (yet) attempted to chew anything that isn't his.
He had his first grooming session today, & we were pleased to find that, unlike every other animal we've ever owned, he actually enjoys being brushed. He's also now very calm about having his lead put on - probably because he's learning to identify it with trips into the garden, or, better still, walks; he had his first proper walk down the road today, & hubby reports that whilst he willingly sat at the kerb, he wasn't too good about walking to heel; hopefully this was simply due to the excitement of so many new sights & smells. He already knows where he lives, & automatically turned into our driveway. He also knows where we keep his treats, & if he isn't rewarded with one after every act of obedience, he will trot over to the cupboard & sit looking appealingly at us - what he hasn't yet learned is that he won't be getting a treat every time; even if he didn't have a slight weight problem they would still be strictly rationed, & he'll have to learn to make do with much extravagant praise.
He's becoming less anxious & more independent almost by the hour, & no longer needs to know where we both are at every second. We've taken turns at disappearing out the door, & whilst he does need some initial reassurance from the one staying behind, each time we do it he's a little less bothered; it's not feasible for me to actually 'go' anywhere on my own, so I've just hidden out of sight behind the garden door for a few minutes, but hubby went to the shop today, & after a couple of minutes Jack had forgotten all about him having gone (better not tell hubby how instantly forgettable he is!). However, we have yet to test him with both of us leaving him, & that test is going to come rather sooner than - for Jack's sake - we'd like: I have a dental appointment on Friday, which means he'll be on his own for around an hour. We have a crate (as recommended by the rescue centre) arriving tomorrow, but obviously he'll need more than a couple of days to get used to it, & we wouldn't dream of shutting him in there before we're sure he can stay calm, otherwise he could damage himself. Our best bet is to risk leaving him in the breakfast room as it has an easily cleaned quarry tiled floor, but it's also the only room in the house with wallpaper ?. ah well, we weren't that keen on the paper anyway!
Other things we've learned today
He loves having his tummy tickled; and, having discovered that his new people are actually quite good at tickling, he spent half the day sprawled on his back offering his belly to us (but obviously not at any time when I had my camera handy)
If allowed into the bathroom, he will attempt to check that you remembered to change your underwear this morning (euwww - too much information? I'd forgotten how disgusting dogs are!)
He was trained at the Fagin school of pick-pocketing: tissues being the modern-day equivalent of silk handkerchiefs, he can extract them from a pocket & have them half-chewed before you can say "Jack, stop that"
Happy as he is to have his lead put on, he's very UNhappy about having his collar interfered with at other times: I wonder what that's all about? Presumably he's had some bad experience in the past, although considering how well he was obviously treated in his previous home, we can't imagine what ?..
He saves his loudest bark for unwanted clipboard-bearing callers - good boy Jack!