Unexpected

This is Rion’s crate. Both dogs have crates in the bedroom, but neither dog goes into Bandit’s crate during the day. This is only the second time that I’ve seen Rion and Bandit share a crate, and I was astonished that they stayed put long enough for me to take the photo. Usually, Rion forces Bandit out of the crate by staring until Bandit leaves, but I suppose that strategy didn’t work yesterday.

One Year

One year ago today, Bandit came to live with us. It’s been occasionally exciting, and not always in a good way, but life has settled down recently. He is doing well in agility class.  His missing eye doesn’t seem to interfere with doing courses: his main issue has been getting overly excited by the other dogs. However, he is doing much better now at staying calm.

He has learned to sit politely and wait for an invitation before jumping up in my lap. He had some minor housebreaking issues when he arrived, but I am starting to trust him almost as much as Rion finally.

I hardly ever feel like I am trying to walk a small, uncooperative tank on the leash now.  I don’t know if we will ever break him of his counter-surfing habit, but Jack and I have learned that we absolutely cannot trust him with food when we leave the room for more than thirty seconds.

Autumn Valley

Autumn Valley

I took the dogs for a walk yesterday, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. (The downside of the lovely weather is that we are under a Fire Weather warning today.) It’s cute to watch the dogs struggle to contain their enthusiasm since they are learning that I won’t attach their leashes until all four paws are on the ground.

Basking

Basking

Today we achieved a milestone: I took Bandit and Rion for a walk together. When Bandit first came to us he pulled so badly that I felt I had a sled dog on the other end of the leash: a big sled dog. He has learned not to pull nearly so hard, and sometimes even walks on a loose leash.

Every morning I make the bed, and every morning Bandit rearranges the pillows afterward. Rion never rearranges pillows, but he will take advantage of the nest that Bandit makes.

Bandit

20160709bandit

Or as I affectionately call him El Bandido. Unfortunately, he does his best to live up to his name, and gets into everything, not just rattlesnakes. I like the way he seems to be winking in this photo.

“I wonder where…

20160714bandit

…that rattlesnake went.”

Four weeks ago, Bandit was bitten by a large rattlesnake when Jack was walking him in the late afternoon. With a lot of superb, and expensive, veterinary care, he made a complete recovery. Last night, I took him for his first walk since he was injured. We stayed far away from any areas that might harbor rattlesnakes. This the the first time that I had ever taken him for a walk, and he behaved better than I expected. He is a thirty pound dog with sixty pounds of pull when he gets excited, but he was calm except when a runner went by practicing uphill sprints. Bandit thought running with the guy would be a lot more exciting than the brisk walk I was trying to maintain.

Rion and Bandit

20160217banditandrion

Rion and Bandit are taking a break after a play session. They are now playing about thirty minutes to sixty minutes a day. I think Bandit would be willing to play more, but Rion is older and doesn’t have Bandit’s energy levels.