Monday, January 07, 2013

This is what progress looks like


Jack, our high-spirited Australian shepherd has never had the run of the house.

That’s mainly because he grew so quickly that, driven by his puppy enthusiasm, he was able to counter surf in the kitchen and grab all manner of things that he shouldn’t touch. Even now, at 16 months, he grabs the first thing he sees when he gets loose and runs merrily around the house expecting us to chase him. If he can, he’ll take his prize and escape to the back yard where he runs gaily in circles, shaking it and taunting us.

That’s what he did a few weeks ago when Morgan left a Ziploc bag of about 500 jigsaw puzzle pieces on the living room floor. Jack snatched the bag and bolted into the back yard, shaking it open and scattering the pieces all over the lawn.

We want him to be a calm, trustworthy house dog who doesn’t have to be in his kitchen kennel whenever he’s indoors, so we’ve been leashing him and bringing him into the living room to sit with us while we watch TV in the evenings.

These episodes always begin with him leaping onto the couch and having to be wrestled into submission by me or Maria, but happily the wrestling matches are becoming shorter and shorter.

He rolled over onto his back and dozed at my feet last night while we watched ASU win the Go Daddy Bowl game. (That gnarly thing next to his neck is a rawhide that he stole from Samantha.)

Jack loves the attention and seems eager for the leash when I bring it out. We’re hopeful that our efforts, coupled with the calm we hope comes with maturity will give us a dog who can relax and enjoy our company as much as we enjoy his.

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