Amber is a yellow Labrador Retriever. She was a year old in March. We weighed her at the vet’s office last month and she weighed 93 lbs. We HOPE this is it for growth, but we’ve been told she won’t be fully grown – physically OR mentally – for another 11 months.
We’ve accomplished a lot since we first brought her home last May, at 16 lbs and 10 weeks old. To say that everything has changed in our lives is one of the biggest understatements ever. It’s a good thing we got started when we did. We’re definitely getting a bit long-in-the-tooth to tackle trying to train a ‘puppy’ this size.
Amber is still a dog of ‘very little brain,’ but she’s very smart in dog years. We’re in a contest as to who is training whom. She is infinitely creative, coming up with something else to try our patience each time we let our guards down. Two days ago she started playing in her water bowl again. It’s on the tile, but it’s aggravating to go for a refill on our coffee and have to stop and sop up the ‘lake’ before going further. We’ve tried changing water bowls, only putting a little bit of water in it, watching her like a hawk and trying to ‘warn’ her with the zapper that goes with her shock collar, etc., but nothing is working well yet.
She has taught us that unless we want everything outside to end up in the front yard completely destroyed, we must take her out, walking with her and monitoring her closely, and then bringing her in. She loves being outside, but has finally taught us that, for the foreseeable future, she can’t be trusted to simply be let out.
We have taught HER –
- HURRY UP
- WALKING WITH US ON A LEASH
- ETIQUETTE OF RIDING IN THE CAR WITH US
All of this is forgotten in a flash if anyone comes to the house, of course.
She has taught US –
- To take her out when she uses her nose to flip our arms up when we’re at the keyboard. If we’re slow to do her bidding, she now sticks her nose firmly in our arm pit, trying to flip us up from THAT angle…
She still thinks she’s a lap dog, insisting on getting up in my husband’s lap when he’s in his recliner for a good hug each night. She has taught me that if she looks at me with a gleam in her eye while in my husband’s lap, I’d better leap up immediately and prepare to be boarded on the couch and hugged. If I don’t react, she threatens to leap from my husband’s chair to mine.
Happily, she and Molly, our elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, get along fine now. We monitor things and give Molly a break when Amber gets TOO exuberant, but they play together and will lie on the same dog bed together now. Amber understands that Molly actually gets to eat twice a day, just as she does, and that bulling her way to Molly’s dish is not acceptable.
Much of our lives revolve around Amber’s needs. Acting like a bull in a china shop does get people to pay attention…..