Getting to know the moon

21 Sep

It has been a week and a half since bringing Luna home.   She started out a a dog who was at my side the first few days.  I mean literally.  If I stood up to get a book of the shelf in the same room, went to the bathroom, filled my cup, etc she was walking with me, often touching my leg.  I nicknamed her my “Luna-bone” because she was an extension of my ankle most of the time. When I sat down she would fly up onto my lap before  could even fully sit.  If I then put her on the floor she would frantically try to get back up ( no matter if Brodhi was in the room or not).  If I shifted my eight in the chair, as thought I may get up she would pop up and be ready to follow me. I had to go out into the yard every time for potty breaks ( which was fine as I wanted to reinforce her for doing the jobs outside). She would go only a few feet from me to do her business then would be right back at my feet.

Naturally she did not like to be alone. The first time I left her alone as for an hour and a half in a crate.  She pawed at it a few times, did not stay settled, and whined and howled intermittently.  The second time was later the same day, I left her loose in a room with Brodhi for the same period.  She was less vocal  but still did not really settle.  She is uncomfortable, but not that anxious. She is easily managed.  I have instilled independence training from me while I am home, keep my departures and arrivals low key (which I do anyway just even more so now), and leave her with a super stuffed kong when I leave.  She is loose in the house.  I have found she does best when she can watch out the window for me.  She settles within 15 minutes and stays curled up looking out the window until I come home.  I need to set up a video again to see how those first 15 minutes go, but she has been eating what I leave anyway.  So overall going well.

The first few nights she was protective of us and our space but completely fine when left alone with each other (based on video). If Brodhi came into the room and we were home, she would get up from her bed on the floor and come over to stand by us and give him an ugly face and growl.  All we did to change the behavior was get up and walking away from her or if she was on the couch we put her on the floor.  After 3-5 days of this, that  behavior has stopped completely.  Now all of us can make a dog pile on the bed, couch or chair and both dogs stay soft no matter who was there first.

No issues with food or resource guarding. They can eat together and each uses appropriate body language if the other is being inappropriate.  For example, when I have them sit for the food bowls, after I put them down, Luna often takes a few bites then leaves her bowl to approach Brodhi who is eating (they get the same food but it is as thought she needs to check his bowl out).  He just ever so slightly puts his head a bit closer into the bowl and looks at her up over the bowl and she runs right back to hers and resumes eating. He only tries to eat her food once she leaves hte bowl and has left some in it in which she lets him eat it.

She is fearful of new, loud, or fast things but recovers quickly. On walks the first few were difficult as cars go by fast and sometimes close.  She panicked and tried to bolt when they passed. She started taking high value food though and she is much better already.  She will still stop walking when they pass and look at them, but the panic seems to be subsiding.

She is quiet.  She seldom barks except as  an alarm and quickly settles. I love this feature! She doesn’t chew,dig, or try to escape. She is extremely social with people and very food motivated. Time to get training! The only formal training I have done is targeting which I am already able to use on walks.  I think she is settled in now that I am ready to start teaching her more cues so she can have even more freedom.

They have not directly played with each other yet.  Brodhi has done play bows on many occasions but her first response was to run away as though it startled her.  Not sure she has lived with big dogs before.  Now she doesn’t run away but doesn’t engage yet either.  I can play with them each side by side with toys and Brodhi will try to solicit her to play with a toy with him, but she only plays with us in those cases and ignores his solicitations.  I think that will come with time.

She is snugggle-bug!  She loves to cuddle at night under the blankets and will sit behind me when I am working in our overstuffed chair and lean her head against my back or shoulders (video here).  For the most part I limit the snuggle time during the day as part of her wanting to learn independence. She has to sit now before being invited up on the couch. She would then want to lay across my lap and be on me.  So when she is allowed up, I ask that she be on the cushion beside me. Many times I just  guide and reinforce her to sleep in her awesome dog beds on the floor rather than being up. She is so much better than she was. It is actually hard to get a picture of her doing anything but sleeping or resting.  She is an easy dog, which was what I wanted. She is well within Paul’s ability to manage her, walk, and train too.  I am so lucky on so many levels.

Luna’s transformation has been impressive so far. She now not only goes outside to potty on her own, but even uses the doggie door even if it is dark outside all completely on her own.  I have not had a single accident in the house which is hard to believe.  She is comfortable sleeping in a dog bed on the floor.  She no longer needs to sleep under my feet when I am working at my desk, but quietly sleeps on her dog bed in the same room and more recently I will find her on the overstuffed chair in the adjacent room. On walks she is more confident in general.  Her tail is no longer between her legs but often comes up a bit and she carries herself with  spring in her step (vid here).  We have been taking her off-leash on fenced-in properties and she is more and more confident each time (one of her earlier vids here).  On Sunday we let her explore an orchard that she had never been in and she zoomed away several times, running through leaves and pouncing on insects, acting like a much less fearful dog than I had seen since I brought her home.  The first few times she was not in the room with me I was concerned as I wondered what she was doing.  One time, I did n’t find her in the house at all and got concerned.  I went outside only to find the two dogs sunbathing in the yard together (vid here). She is doing so well and has made so much improvement in such a short time.

She is so much fun and fits in so well here.  I am so relieved and so happy to have found her.

I am considering doing the DNA test on her once I had a bit of extra money.  But what breeds do you think she is???


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