Day 125

We have had Dexter now for 125 days or just over 3 months.  Within the last 2 weeks, we have been able to give him more 'freedom' within our home.  This freedom includes his dragging and lead so we can snatch him if needed.  And of course, it is 'eyes on target' at every minute.  He is a walking nose and ready to activate mouth at all things that catch his interest....which is basically anything that he can readily snatch.

Also within the last two weeks we have graduated to his sitting on the couch with us in a respectful way.  Yes, it had taken almost 3 months to get him calmed down enough to do something so simple as sitting with us.  It still requires a 'pacifier'....something that he can chew on.  He is the most oral dog I have ever owned.  When he gets to the point where he is unmanageable (which happens fewer and fewer times), we simply put him in his puppy lair--his comfortable spot in my office.

Dexter in his puppy lair.
The metal thing behind him is to save the window sill from further chewing (which you can see to the left in the sill behind him.  He has a vinyl-wrapped steel cable that he is attached to.  Access to fresh water, and a view from the window.  My SIL asked, "Why don't you crate him?"  He was crated for about 2 months at night, and during the day for short periods.  However, it was clear that the crate was causing him stress.  I put him in the bathroom, with the idea of giving him more space--but that was not something that he cared for.  For Dexter, being physically separated is troublesome, and I really don't feel that I have to teach him that lesson when I have a reasonable alternative.

Confining him this way, he has reasonable freedom; my stuff is safe; he is comfortable; and he is not fully sequestered from his family (human and canine).  I had considered getting him a larger crate for longer-term crating (during the day), but I decided against.  This way he can stand up, get water, see his sissies in the other room, let his sissies come visit him. He has only urinated inside 2x and defecated 1x the entirety of his time with us.  His hygiene is exceptional as is his destructive capacity.  But he is a very smart dog, and he wants to please.

There is a safety issue--and it is the same one if he were inability to seek any type of safety in the event of a fire--though he may be able to slip out of his martingale collar, I doubt it.  So I'm mindful not to leave the dryer running, etc.

It is a new-found joy, then, to have our buddy sitting with us on the couch, which he can now share with one of his sissies, without engaging.  We simply ask him to get his bone--which he does by habit now--and then he visits while happily chewing on his bone.  He is so much like a toddler--it is as if his bone is a pacifier.  And just before he is ready to go to 'winkie-land', like a toddler, he has this burst of energy, and then he is down for the count.

It has been a long few months...but we are being rewarded by a really cool dog.


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