Sunday, April 9, 2006

Jacey learns stairs...sorta

How much trouble can a dog who's lived in a kennel all the nearly-three-years of her life get into in one day in which Mom is gone from home for more than 10 hours? And if she's abetted by a nearly-six-year-old who's been in a home for three-and-a-half years and knows where all the goodies are hidden?

Apparently, not that much. But the poor girl went upstairs--probably followed Sam up there--and couldn't figure out how to get back down. Racing greyhounds don't know stairs at all, and the stairs here are spiral stairs--open ironwork, and terrifying even to dogs who know traditional stairs. So I got home, Sam met me at the door, I called Jacey, couldn't see her anywhere, but heard a curious thumping noise from overhead. (It was her tail against the wall.) I went up, took her by the collar, and just said "Here we go," and led her down the stairs. (Down is always more difficult to teach than up.) Now, both dogs are curled up on the sofa, half on each other. Jacey's taking up more of the sofa than Sam. She's learned the joys of a soft bed to sleep on--rather than concrete or rubber-mat-over-concrete--and she's enjoying the sofa.

Jacey is fascinated by shoes, which is not going to be a good thing. We'll have to work on that. But since she hasn't had any sort of obedience training, I'm not sure she even knows what "No!" means. But she is turning to look at me when she hears her new name, so that's a start. I'm going to have to hunt out my clicker and the training manual and notes. I'll work with both dogs, and maybe Sam will finally learn the difference between "Sit" and "Down." (He does one, and if no treat is forthcoming, he'll do the other.)

Okay, now the confession: I'm the one who slept on the dog bed last night. We started out with me at one end of the sofa, Sam next to me, and Jacey on the other end. (I decided to sleep downstairs because of the issue of getting Jacey up the stairs, which I had tried unsuccessfully. I wanted to be near her if she needed to go outside.) Jacey hasn't learned to curl up tight on the sofa, and at one point her head was off the sofa, onto the dog bed that's in front of the sofa, and she started sliding off. She got down, and Sam immediately moved into her space. I told her to lie down on the dogbed, and started to join her there. (It's a big, soft bed, and probably more comfortable for my back than the lumpy sofa.) I put pillows on the bed, pulled down an afghan to keep warm, turned back around and discovered...Jacey had gotten up on the sofa in the place I'd just vacated. And when I tugged on her leash, she nestled down more into the sofa cushions. So I let her stay there, and I took the dog bed. But after her experiences today, I'm going to assume she can handle going upstairs tonight. I'm sleeping in my own bed, and the dogs are welcome to join me there...or sleep on one of the two dog beds on the bedroom floor.

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