Nimble Is Eight Months Old!

She’s 36 weeks old, and she weighed 29.8kg on the vet’s scale.

It was a hot Christmas, and we had a full house too! Guide-Dog-in-training Patrick got to come home for a bit of a holiday, and my parents’ dog Topolino (a fox terrier cross) came to live with us as he kept killing my brother-in-law’s prize chickens.

 

 

 

Nimble and the other dogs enjoyed the cool of our air conditioned bedroom and the tiled bathroom, and Nimble likes sleeping in the shower – especially when it’s damp!

  

 

She’s far more relaxed in the car – in the front footwell and on the back seat, sometimes even falling asleep.

We had a training outing with a few other puppies in early January, and Nimble did very well in the mall we visited. After the walk we popped in at the Wimpy for a cooldrink and the puppies were all very well behaved.

And just ‘coz it’s so cute, here’s a picture of Nimble and her favourite playmate Patrick.

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Nimble Is Seven Months Old!

She weighed 27.25kg on the vet’s scale on Monday morning – an 800g gain on last week!

It was another really hot week, so we didn’t go out a lot – the car turns into an oven if it’s parked anywhere in the sun for more than a few minutes. We had one VERY busy day, we started at PartySpot, popped in at Makro – and left soon afterwards because it was SOO busy, then we stopped for fuel, drove to Kadies, and then popped in at Pick n Pay before heading home. Nimble was an absolute superstar, despite the heat and the crowds!
We had one really fun outing too, at another puppy raiser’s house. Nimble joined GDA puppies Purdy, little Sterling, Ivy, Juliet, Kendall and Lego, and a few non-GDA dogs and they had a wonderful time in a puppy pool – though Nimble preferred a smaller shallower pool to the big one, and they got to see sheep, chickens and cows.
The dogs had a ball, and I got a sunburn, and Nimble was quite exhausted afterwards!

She’s definitely well into her adolescent phase, not responding to her name when she’s outside, barking at new noises, digging holes in the garden (with our Penny’s encouragement and assistance), and jumping on the bed!

She’s far more relaxed in the car – in the front footwell and on the back seat, sometimes even falling asleep.

And here is a little Nimble cuteness for you.

chewing on the 4Eva ball

we don’t put the loo paper on the roller ‘coz our cats unroll it every time – and this toilet roll fell on the floor

keeping me company while I bake

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Twenty Two Weeks With Nimble

She’s almost 29 weeks old, and on Monday she weighed 25.65kg.

We had a nice training walk last week, at a small mall with a few other puppies, and Nimble was very well behaved. We rode in an elevator, and climbed an enclosed staircase, an open staircase, and a spiral staircase!

We had a few new experiences at home for her too – we had a handyman come to fix a leak in our roof, so having men up on ladders and on the roof was an interesting thing for Nimble to see, and we had a plumber come around for his “annual” visit – we have a pipe that gets blocked by tree roots at least once a year. The plumbers working was very interesting to nimble, with the metal drain “snake” and the noise they were making.
Nimble was curious but not afraid of any of it.

She’s definitely into her adolescent phase at almost 7 months old, barking at new noises and digging holes in the garden!

She’s much happier in the car- in the front footwell and on the back seat though she is still not completely relaxed.

And here is a little Nimble cuteness for you.

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Twenty Weeks With Nimble

Isn’t she beautiful!

She’s 27 weeks old, and she weighed in at 25.45kg on the vet’s scale this morning
She’s eating 270g of Bob Martin puppy food twice a day, and she finishes all her food in one go without choking herself or gulping it down.

We had a bit of a training outing last week with our Puppy Development Supervisor at the kid’s party venue we’ve been to – the one with a little farmyard. Puppies Paige and Purdy joined us and they had a wonderful time.
Nimble was a little wary when we walked in the gate, but she remembered she’s been there before and I think she would happily have jumped into the enclosure to play with the donkey. Then we went for a little walk and our Puppy Development Supervisor is very happy with her progress, even her dog distraction is minor.

We visited a nursery school with several other puppies-in-training where we spoke to the preschoolers about puppy raising and Guide Dogs.

We also went on a couple of training walks at the malls near us. We went on one walk with a little yellow Lab named Scotty, and we did another walk at a different mall with black Lab Annie (remember she stayed with us for a while) where Nimble and Annie got to try out a kiddy’s jungle gym – neither of them hesitating to climb the steps and go down the slide!

Our training sessions are going well, and she responds really well to the clicker. We are working on food distraction – she is learning to ignore treats I drop on the floor while I prepare the treat pouch for our training sessions.

She experienced her first real rain storm too, and she loved it!


And here’s some Nimble cuteness, just because!

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Nineteen Weeks With Nimble

She’ll be 26 weeks old on Sunday, she weighed in at 24.2kg on the vet’s scale this morning, and she’s 52cm tall at the shoulder.
She’s eating 250g of Bob Martin puppy food twice a day, and she finishes all her food in one go without choking herself or gulping it down.

She’s happily jumping into and out of the car, the front footwell and the back seat, and whilst she is still not sleeping in the car – not completely relaxed – there’s no more “whale-eye”, and she no longer looks as if she REALLY wants out.

With the heat we’ve experienced in the last couple of weeks, we haven’t gone out a lot. Nimble has a longer than average coat, thanks to her Golden Retriever mom, and she gets really hot – moving into the shade every chance she gets. And hot tar or paving is no joke on bare puppy feet.
We visit out usual shops – Pick n Pay, Clicks, Kadies, Checkers – and whilst she is tempted to greet the children she sees, she listens when I tell her to “leave it”.
She is also definitely showing signs of entering her adolescent phase – she’s not a barker unless she gets really excited during a game, she has started to jump up on people who greet her, and she displaying some selective hearing at times, luckily SA Guide-dogs told us about this stage of puppy raising.
:D
Our training sessions are going well, and she responds really well to the clicker. We work on STAY, SIT, DOWN, WATCH, STAND, SIT-STAY, DOWN-STAY in our sessions, and we work on food distraction- she is learning to ignore treats I drop on the floor while I prepare the treat pouch for our training sessions.
We continue to work on loose-leash walking and dog distraction, but as with our other pups this is something I battle with. :( I am trying the exercises our Puppy Development Supervisor showed me, and when she’s wearing her Gentle Leader she’s a star.

And here’s some Nimble cuteness, just because!

snoozing in her crate

:D caught her red, er… pawed?

cool bathroom tiles

HOT DOG!

“Please can I stay outside… It’s so much cooler in the sand!”

pretty girl, no more puppy in that face

trying to convince Penny to play with her

a damp towel on the bathroom tiles is perfect in the heat

Our garden is so dry and dusty with no rain and water restrictions, so wherever the dogs sleep they leave dusty patches on the floor. This is Nimble’s favourite corner.

It’s funny to visit the vet!

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Our Volt is Four Years Old!

Our first Guide Dog puppy, Volt, celebrates his 4th birthday today!
Volt was quite an experience as a first time Guide Dog puppy raiser – he is super smart, super strong, super fast, and super intuitive!
He’s a working Guide Dog now, and a very happy one with his owner in the Cape Province.

 

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It’s Been A Year With Patrick

If you remember, Patrick joined our family when he was already 37 weeks old, so we didn’t have any puppy pictures – and his first mommy very kindly sent us a few, and by pure fluke – we also gave Patrick a red collar!

He’s been part of our family for a year now!

Was he cute or what!!

And here are some recent pictures of our boy, who has now been in training for 6 months. He is still a wonderfully affectionate and lovable dog, and he’s happiest if his bed is right next to mine so he can rest his head on my knee or on my mattress.
He still loves riding in the car, and recently discovered a new use for the armrest in our car!

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Seventeen Weeks With Nimble

She’s 24 weeks old and she weighed in at 23.1kg on the vet’s scale this morning.
She’s eating 240g of Bob Martin puppy food twice a day. She would still have been on 3 meals a day, but she wasn’t finishing her lunch! All Nimble’s baby teeth have been replaced by her grown up teeth, and she doesn’t look much like a little puppy anymore at all. We are biased, but she is beautiful.

Our car work has improved, she isn’t completely relaxed in the car but she’s lying down more than not which is good. She’s not drooling, and she’s not whining, but she doesn’t want to be bribed either – not frozen, stuffed hooves, not pup-sicles, not treats. I’m also trying to ignore her when she’s uncomfortable so as not to “reward” her restlessness, and it is better.

 

She is SO clever! And such a live wire!
Our training sessions are going well, she responds really well to the clicker, and we’ve added STAY to our SIT, DOWN, WATCH, and STAND commands.
We’re working on loose-leash walking and dog distraction, but as with our other pups this is something I battle with. :( I am trying the exercises our Puppy Development Supervisor showed me, and when she’s wearing her Gentle Leader she’s a star.
Our puppy classes are now finished, so from now on it will be group training walks at malls with our PDS and home visits.
She’s experienced the very noisy floor scrubbers and polishers when we were in a mall one morning early, she’s seen the forklifts at Makro in action, and she went to a meeting with me where she had to lie good and quiet under the table even though there was another puppy there.

And here’s some Nimble cuteness, just because!

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Check out my Facebook page for regular puppy updates: A Pup’s Life

My Kitties Are Unhappy

I desperately need help with our Twister…

He’s on a special diet, so the crystals in his urine have cleared up, but he’s still peeing everywhere, and spraying!
I don’t know how to fix it.
I’ve tried different litter, adding shredded plastic bags to the litter ‘coz he’s peeing on any packet he can find, I’ve tried closing him in my shower with a litter box to force him to use it! But we need to use the shower. And while he’s out- he pees! And I have a huge problem with ants invading my shower. I don’t want risk him getting bitten by ants, and I can’t have him in there with ant poison.
I don’t have any other place that’s crate-like to isolate him in.

He spent his first few months as part of our family in our bed, in our room, because the other cats weren’t very welcoming of a new kitty. He slept between my husband and me at night. He napped on top of my hubby and followed him around…

And now I can’t bear to have him in our bedroom because of the peeing! My curtains, bed, towels, walls, bags, the dog beds… Even us! He has even sprayed me, and my husband!

Everything gets pissed on.

I’ve taken to calling him “pister” instead of “Twister”, and I keep chasing my sweet, talkative, lovable kitty out of my room.

It doesn’t help the rest of my house, though… Which reeks… And Minx and Magic are constantly in the wars with Twister because he literally chases them around! Minx spends all her time on top of the fridge or the bookshelf, ‘coz Twister can’t get up there.

I am THIS close to wanting him out, but I don’t want to get rid of him because we love him. And I cannot even consider finding him a new home unless I have done everything in my power.

What can I do!??

Snuggly Nimble

Nimble loves company!

When Patrick comes home on weekends, then Nimble has a dog to snuggle with! Our own dogs are allowed on the beds and couches, so unless Riddick is napping on the floor, she doesn’t have a puppy to cuddle. As far as Penny has come since we adopted her, she doesn’t like to snuggle at all.

sharing her crate with Patrick

Patrick (red collar) and Nimble on the cool bathroom floor

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You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter
Check out my Facebook page for regular puppy updates: A Pup’s Life
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