Let’s talk about Henny. She’s a perfect example of how you can’t just train a dog and then expect it to stick for the rest of its life, or maybe just that the training is never really complete. I’m sometimes surprised by how quickly Nova picks up on something (like barking = citronella collar; collar = bad feel; no barking = no collar = happiness), but I’m equally surprised when it suddenly realize that Henny has started/stopped doing something after quite a long period. This is basically a list of stuff Henny does now that the puppy is here.
One of my biggest issues with her is that she wants/expects to be carried everywhere. This obviously isn’t something she came up with on her own — she often doesn’t want to follow me somewhere (downstairs, to go outside, usually), so I pick her up to speed along the process. But I realized that I no longer have to carry her upstairs or to bed. (Being nervous about getting to the foot of the stairs was a big thing for Henny, but seeing Nova bound up and down seems to have cured her.)
I still have to work on getting her to follow me down the stairs, though. There’s a gate at the bottom (so the dogs won’t sneak down there and pee on the rug while I’m upstairs), so she has to wait (on the split-level entrance) for me to slide it open, and something happens in her brain during that waiting time that tells her to run all the way back upstairs. Trying to desensitize her or calm her house-related neuroses is nothing new, though — I had to put her on a leash and walk her back and forth through the kitchen in the Minneapolis house, because she hated going past the table to get outside. And she eventually got over that.
Henny has become so much more playful since Nova joined us. Sometimes I feel bad, because Nova is always at my side, whereas Henny often tucks herself away in a corner somewhere (nothing new, but more obvious now that there’s another dog who is always around). I came back from running errands this morning, and the dogs were so full of beans that they wrestled for a good hour. More surprising was that it started with Henny trying to engage me in play. She would come over to me for pets and then get really goofy and dash away, trying to get me to chase her. She eventually gave up on me and stole Nova’s (mini) tennis ball, starting the wrestling match.
Another development since Nova’s arrival, one which I’ve mentioned before, is that Henny can now jump up on the sofa. Using the dog stairs, of course, but before, if she could have spoken, she would have sworn they were impossible to navigate. Now it’s no big deal to her, and she gets to cuddle on the sofa every now and then (she prefers it when she doesn’t have to share the sofa with me).
Funny little brown dog.