I do believe we have achieved a state of total bliss. Well pretty darn close. We discovered Doggie Daycare.
I used to think that doggie daycare was for people who just didn't have time for their dogs. In my biased and judgmental state, I thought if you have a dog, you should make the time to spend with it. I mean come on, Lassie couldn't have saved Timmy from the well if she was off in doggie daycare, right?
So we are still adjusting to the ADD, and all the other fun things that come with puppyhood. Reuben has embraced them all. We, however, have had a bit more trouble embracing - it's hard to embrace when he's jumping at me, biting my legs, ripping my sweatshirt and running like the Tasmanian Devil.
We have a terrific trainer in John Brown. I've said how wonderful his methods are - and again, shameless promotion ahead - but check him out. I've had dogs for all of my adulthood and I've learned to look at behaviours differently and am more confident in training Reuben. But he is "rambunctious" as he has been described by John and others (hmm, funny. Our granddaughter Bella who's 2 has been described the same way at her daycare . .)
John suggested maybe taking him to doggie daycare for a couple afternoons a week to help expend his incredible lab energy. Pups Paradise is associated with John and in the same building where he does our training. So I put my bias aside and said it can't hurt - anymore than those baby puppy teeth are killing my hands.
Then - Nirvana! We have a new puppy! He still looks like Reuben, plays like Reuben and acts like Reuben but he's calm! I jokingly said to Ron, owner of Pups Paradise, that I wasn't sure if they did a scared straight program there or what, but man, what a difference (btw, he assured me they didn't!).
Reuben has been going a couple afternoons a week for four hours. It is affordable (only $10), he comes home tired, happy and calm, but most of all HE LISTENS! Now all that wonderful training we've been doing is actually working. He still gets into things, runs after the cats and is puppy-like but he listens to commands, comes when called and is calm and gentle with Bella.
We are so happy. We feel like we are now getting a wonderful companion to share our lives with - who doesn't feel the need to show his love to me by biting every available body part he can find and attempt to jump to my face to hear me.