Join Date: Jul 2015
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Photo Submissions 63 Times in 62 Posts
Shama is 18 months old today
Just wanted to give an update on Shama as she is 18 months old today. As the groomer predicted, she mats less at 18 months than she used to. I think we may be able to keep her in her long coat after all! She still writhes about when I try to put in/take out a top knot, so for now we're just letting her hair grow out, and (in theory) I'm working on getting her to allow me to work on her top knot hair. Today, we put in a clip for the photo shoot, but she usually just looks like a mop. (In fact our nephew suggested that would be a good Halloween costume for her. Just add stick.) She goes in her ex pen for the day when we leave for work at 6 AM. (2x6-foot Pupperton; I've posted several photos of it.) She used to have a training tray in her ex pen, but she doesn't anymore. Now she has her crate and a cushy bed as well as her water and food dish if she doesn't eat right away. (She receives her meals around 5 AM and 5 PM each day. She doesn't always eat either/both meals.) After getting spayed at 13 months, she started spending nights in her cushy bed instead of her crate. Her dog walker, a local college student, comes over at noon each weekday to take her out in the back yard and to play with her. We all (my husband, the dog walker, and I) ignore Shama for a few (2 to 10) minutes upon coming in the house and before leaving the house so that she doesn't think of comings and goings as big deals. (We were very concerned about her developing separation anxiety, but I think we've avoided it.) She only gets petted/let out of the pen if she's sitting and quiet. Our dog walker got an amazing selfie with Shama today. I don't know how he held her with one hand and the cell phone with the other and got her to look at the camera. We always use treats during our photo shoots. We get home from work at around 4 PM. Then she hangs out with us until bedtime at 9. On weekends, we sleep in as late as 7 or 8 (compared to 5 during the week), and she doesn't usually wake us up by barking to go out. She's a good little sleeper (again, in her ex pen). Speaking of barking, she does bark more than we expected, considering she's a Havanese. She's pretty good about responding to the command "Quiet" until about one second after she receives her treat for being quiet . . . She stands by the door when she wants to go outside, and she scratches at the door for emphasis. She is pretty good about asking to go out, but she still has an occasional accident. (Can't remember the last time, however.) She's doesn't go on tons of walks as she's not even eight pounds and can run around the back yard and the house for exercise. She's therefore not that great at loose leash walking, although she usually pulls only at first then tires out quickly and walks next to me. Sometimes when we do go on a walk, she sits partway through the walk as if to say, "Enough of this. I'm tired." Then I carry her for a while. I am addicted to classes as they're fun, and they guarantee that Shama and I will practice our skills at least once a week. We've taken 11 classes so far (three puppy kindergartens, two basic, two practical, one agility, one clicker training, and two other basic types). She'd be truly amazing if she had a handler who practiced with her more regularly. I still dream of her getting her Canine Good Citizen title and becoming a therapy dog. The only thing that causes us some concern is that she still paws at her face when she's not getting her way (i.e., when I groom her for too long or work at the top knot or even hold her when she wants to be down on the floor running around). A trainer friend has told us to never look at her when she's pawing at her face (because that would be rewarding the behavior) and to give her lots of attention when she's not pawing at her face. Sometimes, but not often, the pawing at her face leads into a transe-like trembling. That's what's most concerning to us. That only happens in a grooming situation, however, and it's never happened with our actual groomer, only me! Sorry this has been so long, but I thought some of you might be interested. She still loves her orange ball (video link in another post - playing with it as I type) and is a delightful, playful darling. We are WILD about her! Thanks for all your help in the Forum and for all the fun posts (and photos - my favorite!) Sorry I don't always manage to comment on your posts. When I have time to read them, I really do enjoy them. Take care!