Venna, sit!

      “Venna, sit. Good girl!”
      “Venna, down. Venna, down. Doooooown. Venna, do- Good girl.”
      Down, she hasn’t quite mastered. Sit, she’s got down fairly well, as long as I have her full attention.
      I think the biggest challenge for training this little fuzzy, floppy, funny puppy is that she doesn’t seem to really “know” her name. We say “Venna” and she doesn’t look up. I’ve never run into that before. If I say “Zoey” and she’s within earshot, Zoey’s little ears perk up and she immediately looks to find out who was talking to her. Emy is the same. And Keiko & Reeka knew their names. Skeeter did. Heck, even little Duke did, right away.
      …frankly, so did Azralat and Anaïs, and they’re just kitties!
      I’m not sure where we went wrong teaching Venna her name. Maybe its because we have so many nicknames for her, though I am pretty sure we preface most comments with her name on its own. C’est la vie. I’ve got some training books and web sites to offer advice. If I ask on Facebook, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of suggestions as well.
      So, before we can work on any other tricks or commands, I need to get her responding positively to her name. I have this little roll-on stick of chicken flavored “treat” and when we’re out in the backyard, I frequently uncap it, call her, and when she comes to me, let her have a lick. I wonder if I can use the same just to get her to focus on me when I say her name…
      Anyway – the other training obstacle of the day (potty-training aside, which is going well!) is walking on the leash. Up until this point, she hadn’t had all her shots so we did not take her out for “walks”. The only thing we have done on the leash is go out in the yard for supervised urination & bowel evacuation. Usually, she bounces at the end of the leash. It is taut.
      But when walking, we’ll want her to have a loose leash, to walk at our side. So now she is vaccinated and ready for the mean streets of Middletown, I guess that’s one more thing to start working on!
      Right now, I’m just glad its 4:30 a.m. and she’s sleeping peacefully in her crate while I toss and turn and cannot get back to sleep. What a good girl…

Signed, Josie

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