I just realized I haven't posted anything at all lately on Timber! He is doing great. This dog grows like a freakin' weed, I tell ya. One minute he's smaller than Daisy, next he's the same height, and then in a blink of an eye he's shot way up past her! This long-legged boy now weighs, no lie, THIRTY ONE POUNDS, at the age of 3-4 months.
This dog is going to be mammoth.
(But isn't he SO handsome???)
He's been a handful, I must admit. There were some days at home (and in Timber's defense, I do have to say I've been so short on patience with him) where I would snap at Daryl, "This dog will NEVER make a good guide dog! He doesn't LISTEN!"
But that is so not true.
I went with Big D and Timber to the puppy class last Saturday and I was not only surprised, but very, very impressed with Timber. About 2 or 3 of the nine puppies were misbehaving a little bit so the instructor said, "Don't worry. Most puppies behave great at home and horribly in class."
Daryl and I turned to each other with widened eyes and it was all I could do not to laugh. Our puppy is an absolute TERROR at home and then behaves perfectly each week at class, go figure!
Anyway, Timber listened so well, and did what he was supposed to. And at one point the instructor said, "Okay, we're going to work on 'Stay'. Drop Timber's leash."
So Daryl dropped his leash and the class all watched as Sue, the instructor, lured him into a sit (they still "lure" the puppies into sit/down right now and then treat them with cheese and a "Good sit/down!" to reinforce the behavoir) and then she told him to 'Stay'. Knowing she had a piece of cheese in her hand, Timber dropped to a sit, barely blinking, and watched her intently as she backed a pace away. Each time she did this, he 'stayed' and was rewarded.
Sue turned to where we sat, looking mildly surprised, and said, "Have you guys been working already with him with 'Stay'?" And I modestly replied "Eh, just a little bit." Which was the truth, we really had only started doing it with him like a day or so beforehand. After that, she wanted a puppy that didn't know the 'stay' command.
This is how class seems to go each time: Sue brings Timber up front to show the whole class how to do something. He either picks it up immediately, or even already knows how to do it since we started working with him at home. Then Sue will hand him back to us and go to a misbehaving puppy to show us. It's hilarious! And believe me, I am not (nor is Daryl) taking all the credit here.
Timber is just insanely smart!
I have no doubt, he will be a fabulous guide dog for the blind someday. It makes me puff up with pride, at the thought.
Don't let this picture fool you, above. Even though it may LOOK like Timber has the upper hand, he does not. Tucker (who, by the way, is about three years old and eighty five pounds) and Timber love to play together and when the puppy starts to get too rough (which is like always), Tucker will lay the smack-down. He will either (gently, but firmly) mouth him around his neck until the puppy is laying down on his side, or Tucker will throw a big, meaty paw at him to knock Timber off of him.
What's hilarious to watch though, is Tuck is usually such a sissy (he is the submissive one in the house to bitchy, dominant Daisy, the twenty pounder) but he is finally asserting some dominance. It's like watching him "grow up".
They'll be wrestling, and we'll suddenly hear Timber squeal (not becuz he's hurt, don't worry, it's usuaully cuz he is so frustrated that Tucker is stronger and has the upper hand!) and be put to the ground, and immediately Tucker will look up at either myself or Daryl with one of his, "Oh shit! What did I do! Am I in trouble?" looks on his face. We then congratulate him and tell him what a good boy he is for letting the puppy know who is in charge (Sue told us to keep encouraging Tucker to put the puppy in his place).
All in all, things have been going well. Crazy, but well. Some days are harder than others, but then after a particularly good puppy class, or a love-fest where I get lots of puppy kisses and lovin', I realize what a good thing we are doing and how much I appreciate what this crazy little dog has brought into our lives! He helps me to appreciate the fact that I'm healthy, and happy, and I am grateful for that!
Good dog. :-)