Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making Much of Macha

Macha, 10 months

It occured to me, yesterday morning, that I have been highly negligent. Not just of this blog, but in failing to properly introduce the latest permanent member of my pack--not a new member, not really, but one who has been sorely overshadowed by her two brothers.

Blackthorn's Macha, 9 months

Macha, 6 weeks

Meet Macha--a littermate to the Entertainment!Puppy and a full (younger) sister to Lynx, she's a daughter of Coal and Danca born in January 2010. She's named after a Celtic goddess of war and (if you read the legends) vengeance.

Macha, 8 weeks

By 8 weeks, she had made it clear to me that I was hers and I really didn't get a say in the matter, she was staying--but I knew that my hands were full and was worried that I wouldn't be able to give her enough individual socialization, so a friend of mine kept her for about 6 weeks and taught her all the important puppy things--slick floors, things that fall and clatter, car rides, housetraining, playing with new dogs, snuggling on furniture....

She has had some major gangly stages in the past few months, and she is taller and longer than the more compactly built Musket. She's also wicked smart and thinks really hard about everything. She hasn't been as intrepid or wide-open as Musket, but she is not about to be outdone.

After watching him climb in and out of the pool via the ladder this summer, she taught herself to use the ladder too. She went in the water one day, swam over to the ladder, and climbed out--no involvement from me, no coaxing or training or intermediate stages.

Thinking dogs are both fun and challenging to train. She isn't thinking about the next step, but the next 3 steps, so while using a marker and positive reinforcement is essential, it's not sufficient. She needs to have greater faith in what I have planned.

Due to me doing mean and horrible things to her, such as putting her in the front yard or crating her, when she reached that independent phase at about 8 months, I started having to prove everything to her, also I had to regain her faith, many weeks of ...  "really, if you come here, the most horrible thing I am going to do to you is hand you this piece of salmon jerky."

Macha, November 2010

I think we're just about over that molehill, and she's starting to grow into those long legs, and I'm beginning to get glimpses of the beauty she is going to be. What's more, her drives and wicked personality are starting to resurface. And she's showing herself to be a true member of the Throw the Ball pack.