Monday Musings: Puppy Update, You Can All Decorate for Christmas Now, and Writing Progress

I think it’s time for a puppy update. 🙂 We took him with us when we went to our daughter’s in MA last weekend. We had our big Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, as that was the best day for everyone’s schedule. It gets harder every year to work around those things! The BaldMan’s family came from NY, so there were a number of new people there, as well as two dogs. He’s played with Nikki (Chihuahua/Toy Fox Terrier) and Molly (Great Pyrenees) before, but it was a few months ago.

Saturday was a bit rough, what with new people and dogs and a new house and yard to deal with. I kept him on leash all weekend, just so I could keep him under control. He was a bit excited on Saturday, and tried to play with Molly every time she came into the room. He was also a bit on the rude side with the people- some jumping and just excited behavior. Still, he’d listen to me, and I could get him to settle somewhat next to me. By Sunday, he was a bit better, and would settle much more quickly, although the dogs still excited him a bit. I took him for walks, and I had brought his long line so he could run in the yard a bit. I don’t 100% trust his recall yet, so I didn’t want to just let him loose since the yard is not fenced. By Sunday night and Monday morning, he was pretty calm and acting very much like he does here at home. He even ignored Molly most of Monday morning. Yes, he spent a lot of time in his crate, but he doesn’t really mind that. He settles very well in there. He also got lots of praise, treats, and reinforcing of good behavior.

All in all, this is what he needs: to get out with more people and dogs, and other stimuli, so he learns to stay calm and focused no matter what is going on. I’m glad we brought him. It was a good experience for both of us. I was a bit apprehensive, I admit. I had visions of trying to control a wildly jumping, lurching, pulling wildman all weekend, and that didn’t happen.

The other progress we’ve made is that the other day, he let me trim the nails on all four paws with very little resistance. He got much praise, petting, fussing, and good treats for that! I do have to keep up with them every couple days for a bit, now. It was a struggle for a while as we tried to condition him to allowing us to handle his feet, so his nails are still a bit longer than they should be. But trimming a bit every few days will cause the bloodline to recede, and we’ll get them to a better length. Plus, it will give us more practice for regular trimming.

It is December, so you have my permission to put up your Christmas decorations now. I am one of those cranky folk who do not like seeing Christmas before Thanksgiving, and don’t even mention before Halloween!! I will wait until December first, but I’ll grudgingly allow right after Thanksgiving, if you must. Our outside lights go on December first. I put the wreaths up today, and the window candles, although I do need more batteries to finish those. The tree went out on the front porch, as well. I discovered I need to change all the lights on the back deck railing. One set is out and I have all white out there now, but in the whole storage container of light sets, there are no more solid white. And putting one multicolored one with the white- just no. So I’ll have to go out and pull all the staples and redo the railing lights. Oh, and no, my lights do not come down after Christmas. They stay out there all year. I am not pulling the staples and redoing them every year. They come on December first and go out after Twelfth Night, but they stay out there all year.

On the writing front, I am back to the novel I finished drafting in October. Revising is not my favorite part of the process, but it is, of course, necessary. I have some good feedback from alpha readers for the first part of it, so I can work with that and with luck, it will be ready to go in the first part of the year. I’ve gone through the first two chapters so far, and tightened it up a bit, and fixed a few things. I’m also working on some short stories for another project, and I have one to write for an anthology later in the year. That all should keep me busy into the new year, I think.

That’s my world at the moment. Cold, snowy, and busy!