Bartlett's first birthday is next week.
It couldn't come too soon, even though it's always sad to see puppyhood end.
But this puppy was a pogo stick, a motorcycle, an escape artist. Hard to handle, unpredictable.
To all my wise friends who suggested I'd have a rough time of it, and then she would begin to mellow out, you were right. Thanks for the advice.
Her maturation, plus the incessant training we give her, have produced a nice dog. She will come when we call. Stranger (and better) still, she will wait when we tell her to. In the middle of whatever she's doing, she'll stand stock still and let me pick her up for nuzzles. She finally figured out that the nuzzles were far better than the joy she got from being defiant.
She's not perfect. I suppose no dog is.
But she's nice. Smart. Athletic. Cute. Cuddly.
She doesn't beg for human food, because we never give her any.
She has only slept in one place since we brought her home: our bed.
She has developed a gentle independent nature, where she will just wander off into another room and chew on a stick, alone.
She is comfortable staying by herself when we go out. We zip her into her playpen and she goes to sleep. Easy.
She thinks we really like her poo, because she watches us wrap it up in a napkin and put it in a "special place."
She's a big girl.