Pets & Visitors

Dog Training

We have an exuberant yellow lab who will be 2 years old at the end of June. She is still a puppy, according to people who know Labrador Retrievers. The pandemic was hard on pets as it was hard on humans. For a while, early in the pandemic, her doggie day care shut down. We only occasionally used this for her socialization with other dogs, but still it was something she missed until they reopened.

A moment of peace while Molly sleeps! © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021.

During the year of social restrictions, Molly ( our lab), did not get used to people stopping over. So, when someone did – it was excitement all around! She was jumping and licking and wagging her tail. Luckily, she very rarely barks. But, as a person who was formerly afraid of dogs, I knew how it felt to have a big dog jump on you when you did not want it.

In April, we decided to sent her to doggie day training. She went a total of five times over 2 and a half weeks. The trainer was outstanding, meeting with us in a consultation view first to assess what we saw as problems and what we wanted her to work on with our dog. At the end we spent a half hour with the trainer being “trained” ourselves on some commands they had worked on. These were loose leash walking, heel walking, come, sit, stay, and the big one – “no!”

The training ended the third week in April and we are now about three weeks out from the end consultation. Molly is doing so well! Although she listened to some commands before like sit and place, she now listens to no, let’s go, come, and sit very regularly. We’ve had people come to the house and she does not jump on them. Still we have furious tail wagging but that’s okay! She’ll stop when we tell her to stop and come when we tell her to come. Things like coming in the house or stealing socks are no longer a game. She knows we mean business when we give her a command.

Next week Molly will go for her mini boot camp, stay and train sessions where she will stay five days at the day care and continue her training. It’s been well worth the time and money to have a well behaved dog. We love her so much and want others to know how good she can be!

Dogs and Cats

We are also watching our son’s cat for three weeks. He is going out West with his Aunt to visit some national parks and needed a cat sitter. Since the cat, a male named Peanut, has visited before, we did not hesitate to offer to watch him.

Molly is unsure of Peanut. On the last visit, Peanut struck Molly on the nose which has resulted in Molly being very wary of the cat. It’s funny to see an 80 pound dog be afraid of an eight pound cat! Slowly, they are getting closer and closer without any hissing from the cat or running away on either of their parts. The dog and cat both take their turns at assuming a submissive pose. But, for the most part they are staying away from each other.

However, the cat is very curious. He is comfortable being with us. You can tell because he’s eating well, sleeping a lot out in the open, and purring almost every time you pet him. Yesterday, I had my ultrasonic jewelry cleaner going and he was very interested in the sound that makes! He’s loving the patio screen door, letting in the smells and sounds of the outside, too!

Most of all, it’s been funny to watch the dog and cat maneuver around each other. I think eventually they will be friends. At least, I hope.

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