My flu has not only continued to disrupt my puppy training and socialisation plans but also Christmas preparations. Still, it's Christmas Eve and the presents are wrapped, food bought and we're all ready. My prediction is that Father Christmas is going to be very generous to Oliver. He is a very intelligent little pup which is fantastic for the plans we have for him. Despite the flu interruptions, he has already learned to sit, lie, come and wait. He responds really well to the combination of a clicker, treats and a lot of praise. Oli's little face just says 'I want to please!' Being intelligent means that he gets very bored and needs a lot of different toys and chews to keep him occupied between rest and training. A huge favourite so far are fish skin chews and a his pyramid that is filled with treats for him to rock and paw and work out how to get them to tip out of a hole in the top. He has a lot more exciting toys under the tree.
I was concerned about how behind we were with socialisation but thanks to a few trips up the busy high road, where we are staying for Christmas, he has met a host of colourful people, vehicles, markets etc including children in buggies, people with walking sticks, people pulling suitcases.... We have actually ticked off most of our list. After Christmas, we'll start some trips on busses, trains and trams. Oli has met a lot of dogs and loves Alfie the border collie/jack russell cross we are staying with. Alfie is teaching Oli the difference between playing with people and dogs and Oli is, unfortunately, reminding Alfie how much fun it is to be a pup and get away with accidents!
Wills is very jealous of the attention Oliver gives Alfie. William and Oli are getting on really well now. They pass much of the day together playing and sitting together and, as I hoped, William will break from his obsessions to play a game with Oliver or when Oliver comes to sit beside him. A problem we are having is that Oliver gets a lot of attention while he is travelling on the back of William's wheelchair for socialisation trips. While that is great for his experience in meeting people, it's difficult for William who doesn't like people fussing 'his dog' uninvited. Wills is getting more confidence talking to strangers about Oli but doesn't like them coming too close into his personal space to pet him. I will talk to the PAWS team about this after Christmas and see what they advise.
One of my greatest challenges of the week has been wrapping presents - totally impossible with a puppy in the same room! Merry Christmas everyone. I hope all doggies and their human families get the day they are hoping for tomorrow.