Cassie has been with us almost 3 weeks now so I thought this edition of the Friday Five should be about her.

#1     We are still working on separation anxiety. She has super-bonded with my husband which is both nice and sad. It is nice because of course I like to see both him and Cassie happy but it is sad because I want her to bond with me. She loves me, but since he is home with her most all day it is different. When I am home with her and he is gone she whines for a long time and sits in the dining room facing the front door. It is getting better but it is a lot of work on my part to build the relationship. I am the person with the best (translations – stinkiest treats) and I’m the only one who feeds her scraps of meat that she gets to take from my mouth. I do a lot of the play/training with her so hopefully it will all add up. I realize we may have this who thing in reverse when we get a male dog down the road.

When we are both gone she has to go in the crate. This does not make her happy.

She does not like the crate at all. The trainer suggested we set up a video camera to see how long she freaks out when she was in it so we know how serious it is.

#2     Things happen for a reason. Remember all those big piles of dirt and decomposed granite in the backyard? Cassie loves them. She loves to climb to the top and dig in like a pile of sand. She likes to take a stick and lay on the top of the hill. She likes to crane her neck back so she can watch the planes go overhead. So now we are replanning our backyard design so that we can make a hill for Cassie.

For the longest time that was about all she would do outside, run to the hill and sit down. Now she is learning how to play. Outside she likes to gather sicks and run puppy races. When we first brought her home she really didn’t know what to do with many of her toys. She liked things that squeaked though so we got this little beehive that has three small bees inside. They all have a different kind of squeak. She has to get them out of the hive. She loves it.

The trainer that we are working with told us that we should add tricks in now, at the same time we are working on obedience, and Cassie is loving it. She isn’t 100% consistent yet, but she is getting there on SHAKE, SPIN, and CRAWL. She is also learning to ring the bells hanging on the door to let us know when she wants to go outside.

#3     She does not like the ocean at all. We took her to Aptos to see the ocean and this was as close as she would get and she wasn’t happy about that. There were dogs all around her racing into the water but she squirmed away. She does however like her wading pool in the backyard. She won’t go IN it but she likes to dive underwater and pick up things on the bottom of the surface. And she likes to remove all the leaves from the pool. We are surmising that someone used a hose to scare her in some way because whenever I water the plants she moves away. We are working on me having the hose on the ground next to me and having her come close for being touched. Tonight I was watering in the courtyard and she actually walked over to me of her own even though water was coming out of the hose. We are constantly amazed at how quickly she is progressing for a rescue dog.

#4      She loves meeting new dogs and is wonderful with all of them. She met several new dogs at the beach. She meets new dogs on her daily walks and is great with all of them except for the little yappy dogs, like daschunds, that come toward her. Those she is afraid of which makes us think the probably with the people who adopted her from the pound were the little dogs. Sigh. We were charged by a Beagle, barking and growling and ready to bite and Cassie just sat down and waited.

Her favorite playmate is her cousin Crice, my brother-in-law’s three-year-old Shepherd. They love to play chase.

#5 She loves going everywhere with us, even out to dinner. We went to Ma Maison in Aptos for dinner and they allow dogs on the patio. They even brought Cassie water in a porcelain bowl, the same kind of dishes we had on our table.

We just gave her a bully stick and she was happy.

I’d forgotten how much work a puppy was, even an older pup like Cassie. She sleeps all night but gets up way too early, no matter what we do and someone always has to have an eye out for her so I can’t ever relax. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.

In the midst of all the crazies going on in my life right now, most especially the waiting at work as the merger goes forward with plans to close toward the end of the month and the layoffs in huge numbers due to come as soon as possible after the merger closes, well, puppy kisses make it all bearable.