We are a week into our trial with Heart, and things are going quite well. She is way more comfortable around the kids, and today I saw her stand, unflinching, as Amy whizzed by her at her usual breakneck speed. She doesn’t like loud, sudden noises, and will still run if we clap or bang something, but she’s definitely getting used to the sounds of our household.
We’ve had a few people come to the door, and she never barks. Nor does she run downstairs. She stays near Greg or I (she’s definitely more confident if one of us is around), slinks down a bit and then slowly makes her way toward the person. If you ignore her, she’ll come up to you even more quickly.
She’s super affectionate, and often comes up to us and puts her head on our leg, or on our shoulder if we’re on the ground. And she loves to be patted.
I worked from home all last week, and she was very easy to have around. She basically curled up on her bed and slept while I worked, and would get up and follow me when I had to leave the room. It was during these days that I realized we are not ready to have a puppy. Heart may come with a few quirks, but it’s nothing compared to the work involved in raising a puppy. Perhaps in a few years.
She definitely likes to be in the same room with you, which can get a bit annoying if you’re moving around a lot. And when we’re playing in the kids’ rooms she likes to be right in the action. Which is problematic because the kids’ rooms are small, and when you have at least one adult, two kids and a medium-sized dog in them, it gets squishy. If we close the door or close the gate at the top of the stairs, she whines to get in. I’m hoping she’ll get more comfortable with being separate and get through that, but I think I can live with it if she continues to do it.
What I won’t be able to live with is separation anxiety when we’re not home. We haven’t left her yet, but we’re going to start with some short periods tomorrow and work up to a few hours over the next week or so. She’s been in the car alone a few times, and today was alone in the car for about 2.5 hours with us checking on her periodically. A few times she was sitting up looking around, other times she was curled up in her bed, seemingly content. I am hoping that the whining she’s doing when she’s separated from us is because she can still see/hear us, and that when we’re really actually gone, she’ll be okay. She whines for a few seconds when Greg leaves for work in the morning, but then is fine.
I let her off leash for the first time today, at the local middle school field. She was really good. A bit tentative at first, but when I started to try to get her to play, she ran around a bit more. Then she started sniffing a lot, and would run to catch up to me. As soon as she caught up to me, she’d stop. No running ahead, which was kind of nice, and I felt like she was really aware of where I was. And when I called her she would come right away.
So…we’ll wait to see how leaving her alone goes, but everything else is looking positive.