16.2.17 Walking has made a world of difference to Lola.  Possibly, walking combined with aging.  Lola is now over 12 weeks old and I can see lights going on in her brain.  She is trying really hard to understand what is required of her (except for when she is ‘walking’, better known as sniffing or running, when she might well know what is required but she really doesn’t care as sniffing is much more interesting).

IMG_0699I think walking has made a world of difference to me as well.  I’m finding looking after Lola much easier as she is using up some energy in walking (I’ll call it ‘walking’).  She only really bites my dressing gown to get my attention, and is easily diverted, via the forcible opening of her mouth and removal of my dressing gown, into biting a toy.  She doesn’t need to go out to the toilet nearly as much, so I’m down to just one trip out at 5am before Charlie’s shift starts at about 6 and he takes her out at about 6.45.  It’s getting lighter, which is also greatly helping my mood, so the hours when the children can take Lola out are extending.

I’ve also realised that I don’t have to get up at 5am for Lola.  She always has a wee on her puppy pad – I suspect as I come down the stairs -, anyway, and doesn’t seem too desperate to go out.  I even managed a 5.45am start on Sunday.  So now I’m getting up at 5am mainly to get on with my bits and pieces, like food shopping or doing the finances.  I’m back to working from home during the day so I’m squeezing other things in in the margins.  And Lola is calm enough that I can do that.

20170302_090426Yesterday I launched the next phase for Lola, which was going back to my old routine of sitting on a bench outside the church near the school after school drop off and having my quiet time, when I read the Bible and pray.  I’ve bought Lola a 5m lead so she potters around on that.  She actually seems quite happy sitting near me and watching the world go by (not much world goes by in Greatham, she’s easily pleased).  It’s just how I hoped things would be.

We still have our moments.  Lola had a poo on the kitchen floor yesterday afternoon.  I think it was because our routine was a bit shuffled up due to Amelia being at netball and us going for a walk around a muddy field with Charlie’s friend Daniel, before bringing him home to play Fifa 17 for a bit while his mum coached Amelia in netball.  When Lola has had a poo inside it has generally been after kerfuffle.  She even had a wee on the floor after playing with Amelia after Guides (9.30pm), just as I was about to take her out.  I’m sure I’d even told her we were about to go out.  I put her (Lola, not Amelia) outside in a huff as I cleared up.  When I went outside Lola was peeping round the corner of the house, looking uncertain.  She recognised that something wasn’t quite right.

IMG_0702Today I tripped over Lola in the kitchen, carrying a jug of water to the coffee maker (#1stworldaccidents).  Amazingly, the jug didn’t break, although water went everywhere.  Lola stepped back and sat down in a pacifying way, looking vaguely apologetic, and definitely concerned that something wasn’t right, as I lay sprawled on the floor.  I’ve read that dogs can’t feel remorse, but calm concern will do for me.

I think Lola is looking beautiful now.  She has a lovely profile.  She isn’t perfect yet.  She does get overexcited with Charlie, and he gets fed up with her biting him.  She still has a grab for Amelia’s legs in the morning as well (Amelia wears socks instead of slippers now as her slippers were too enticing).  We haven’t really cracked the walking thing but I’ve got high hopes for when she is three months old and we can crack open the hard core treats (puppy snacks for 3 months+).  I have been working on ‘sit and stay’ and that seems to be starting to work, but I’ve read that Golden Retrievers are very food oriented and there are only 2 treats she can have at the moment, one of which she literally wouldn’t get out of bed, or, at least, go to bed, for.  So my next great hope is the world of tasty treats as a more successful bribe.  And training starts on 2nd March, which I’m also really looking forward to.

I’m already feeling much happier that we’ve got a puppy and I’m cancelling setting up my ’10 reasons not to get a puppy’ consultancy.  I know we have to get through adolescence but having an 8 year old, an 11 year old (tomorrow) and a 12 week old puppy, we’re definitely enjoying some calm before the storm.

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