Thursday, August 5, 2010
Catching up on catching up: Sheba
I have recently realized that I forgot to write about Sheba! She is our second Old English Sheepdog puppy.
One morning Greg's mom called and said she had seen some Old English Sheepdog puppies for sale in the paper and they were half the price of what we had paid for Milly. I said that I wasn't interested in another dog right now, as I was just getting ready to start Milly's obedience training, and she was finally starting to get the idea of housebreaking. I didn't feel I could handle another puppy, and didn't want to "start over" yet with housebreaking.
Well, when I told Greg about it, he thought getting another puppy was a great idea. He especially liked the thought of not having to pay so much for one. I was skeptical about the "cheap" price. But, after much "discussion", I finally agreed to go and see them. That was my first mistake!
We drove to Des Moines on Memorial Day to see the pups. They were all white-headed and so cute! There was only one little girl left, so I gave into my heartstrings, and we bought her. We named her Sheba Coconut Cupcake di Cavalli.
I knew immediately she was going to be tough to housebresak. She had never been outside, and had been kept in a pen where she could go on carpet in her bedding area. She did not just go on the floor, she wanted to go ON something. A rug, a pillow, a blanket, anything that might be laying on the floor, she would walk over to it and go right on it. She would go in her kennel at night, even go into it in the day time just to "use it". Not only that, but Milly even reverted back to going in the house again for a little while. I was so frustrated. I don't know how many times I regretted giving in and buying Sheba.
Milly had just started sleeping through the night most of the time, too. But once we got Sheba, that was over. And Milly had never needed to go out more than once per night. Sheba wanted out every couple of hours! I was not a happy camper about this.
They drove me crazy with their constant "playing". It seemed more like fighting to me. They would tear through the house, bowling over anything that got in their way. They knocked the fan over so many times that they broke one of the blades off. Then, if Milly was chewing on something, Sheba would lay next to her and bark...that high-pitched puppy bark! It got on my last nerve! I couldn't walk anywhere in the house without the two of them "herding" me! I was sure I was going to break a leg! And forget about training Milly! Sheba would cause such a ruckus while I was trying to work with Milly...it was just too distracting for her. Oh, and Sheba turned out to be a little Houdini escape-artist and a dare-devil!
Well, things have gotten better. Sheba actually was housebroken quicker than Milly was. Not before Milly was, but she didn't take as long to get the idea. Milly will now "sit" on command MOST of the time. They both come when called. Sheba will sit on command sometimes (if she thinks she's getting a treat). We are working on "stay" with Milly, but she doesn't have it down yet. They'll both go to their kennel on command (for a treat, of course). Sheba doesn't like the kennel, so she sometimes needs a bit more coaxing, but Milly will go in, sometimes even when she decides on her own that it is bedtime!
They still fight some, but will settle down or go outside if I tell them to "knock it off". Their bark has gotten deeper, so it is not quite as annoying as it was. They are not chewing things up as much now, so I can trust them alone a bit more. At one point they were trying to eat our house! They did a good job eating away the wood around the bottom of the front porch posts! Milly still likes to peel the paint off and chew on that, though.
We have started letting them run free around the farm now, since they will come when called. But, only when we are out there with them. That seems to get out a bit more of their energy so they do not tussle in the house as much. And they are getting acquainted with the other farm animals. The sheep are very curious about them, and the chickens don't run for cover like they used to when the dogs got near their fence.
Milly still likes to dig holes and eat mud, so her face is always dirty. The top of poor little Sheba's head is always dirty, too, since Milly is forever putting her dirty face on Sheba's head!
I still think I would be a lot farther along with Milly's training if we hadn't got another dog yet. But Sheba is so sweet and so cute, and I have fallen in love with her. I wouldn't give her up now for anything. And we'll get there. Sooner or later they will both be trained...and then it will be time to get a male!