Here is my journal entry from Sept 9, the third day that Molly was home:
“Molly’s first day alone while we were at work. I put a baby gate up in the stairwell to give the cats some peace and restrict Molly’s wandering a bit. The dogs have the living room, kitchen, dining room and bar to themselves. She did fine in the house yesterday for several hours while we worked on the fence, so I trusted her to have a bit of room. If she would have shown destructive tendencies I would have gated her in the bar or kitchen. I walked both dogs at 7 am (getting yanked down the sidewalk the whole time!) and the neighbor came over at 3 to give them a potty break (thanks, awesome neighbor!). Molly chewed a few big chunks off her Twist n’ Treat and tore the ear off of Sprocket’s stuffed chipmunk, but her destruction seems to be directed to dog toys, so I can’t complain too much. I do wish that she’d gotten more than one use out of the Twist n’ Treat though! Lesson learned, she can only have toys made for power chewers unless she’s supervised. I like to give the dogs their breakfast from a puzzle toy, so it will be a challenge to find tough toys that she can be alone with.
I bought her a Gentle Leader Head Collar on the way home from work (as well as a big rubber ball, which she loves) and although it took a few tries to get it fit correctly, she was very patient about letting me put it on. We took a short walk to get her used to it and she did well. She pawed and scratched at it a bit, and once or twice laid on the ground to rub her face along it, but she was easily prompted to keep walking (good girl!). I think she’ll be fine after a few more walks with it.
Tomorrow she goes to day care for the first time. Sprocket and I have obedience class (yes, even trainers go!) after work and it would be a long day alone. I also figure that Sprocket could use a day alone after 3 days of high energy crazypants Lab. Both dogs (and the hubby) are snoozing right now, I need to wake them up for dinner!”
Sprocket had this chipmunk for an entire year and it still looked brand new until Mol got her mouth on it!
She’s keeping her eyes on the cookie that my husband is teasing her with while I adjust the straps on the head collar. Some people have misconceptions about head collars. They’re not muzzles, and they’re not painful for the dog to wear. Fitted properly, they allow the dog to open her mouth completely, so she can pant, take treats, and drink. Most dogs do fine after getting used to them, and there are ways to create positive associations so that the dog enjoys wearing it (more on that in a later post!). They’re great tools for strong dogs that lunge and pull.
The next day’s entry, after a long day of play at daycare:
“Molly’s report card from daycare (thanks Auntie Angie and Auntie Jessica!) was all A’s. She played all day and was pooped when I picked her up at 7.
We played with her ball in the yard for about 10 mintues when we got home and now she’s really and truly tuckered out. She’s sleeping like a log right now. Bubble and Bark daycare, FTW!”
Sprocket had an even busier day, daycare in the morning and obedience class at night!