Sunday, May 07, 2006

6 Months Old!

I'm thinking that I may not be posting every single week from now on. The summer season is beginning and that means everyone gets crazy busy. I will still update Savage's site very often, and share everything (!) that's going on with my puppy.
The other day someone made a comment about me living so close to the road, and wondered if it was safe for the puppy. Well, this is something I've been really careful about, though I've never tried to expressly teach him not to run onto the road, since I actually don't know how to teach him that. However, every time we begin our walks from here I put him on leash before we cross the road, and while walking along it, I don't let him cross the white fogline on the shoulder. Which is all I can figure out to do. So when my friend made that comment, it made me really think. Somehow, little Savage figured out that he's not allowed onto the road when I'm not next to him holding his leash!Which is amazing to me; that he just picked that up without me actually "telling" him.The reason I know that he won't go onto the road is that when I let him run around the yard he goes as far as about 20 feet from the paved road and stops, doesn't seem to know he could cross it. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt by letting him outside and staying indoors. Of course, I keep an eye on him constantly through the windows and he will not stray across the road, or even near it. I am aware that it would only take seconds for him to get in trouble, so I never let him out of my sight, and he recalls really well lately. We walk on leash a short distance across the road to go play in the lake, and he knows how to get there, but doesn't try it on his own. Maybe that's not a big deal, but to me it's impressive, and makes me feel he's the smartest puppy in the world.
We've been walking a mile in the morning and a mile before I go to work at 5:00. That's his main exercise, and then we have playtime with his friends, and splashing in the lake, and chasing softballs behind our house.Sometimes I worry that he's not getting enough exercise but he seems in excellent shape and the exercise he does get just wears my little doggy out. He is a pretty lazy guy, which is how all the great danes I know are. R. calls him "furniture art" since his main concern seems to be taking up as much space as possible on any available surface.
Sava is growing so fast that I don't think he's really used to his size. He has no idea where his big feet are at any given time, and isn't aware of the importance of putting on the brakes. A few days ago we were playing behind the house and he was tearing around like crazy when I called him over to me. He charged across the yard, ran full-speed into my legs, fell over on the gravel, and started moaning. Turns out he had sprained (?) his front foot, and was limping pretty heavily.Then, after a rest of about 1/2 hour he was good to go again, no limp whatsoever. It's just that he's so damn clumsy right now sometimes I'm scared he's going to really injure himself.
He's getting great at "stay"s, especially in the truck, where he is only allowed in the back seat, and has to wait for the door to be fully open before he piles out. Other situations where I want him to stay, it's like he understands me, but can't help himself. When I'm cooking human food I want him out of the kitchen and he understands "out" when I point, so he moves onto the carpet. But if I don't do that every 20 seconds he starts sneaking back in. Then, since I started it and don't want to give up, I have to keep saying "out" and pointing and backing him out of the kitchen. Ends up being a strange little dance ritual, but I don't want to give in once I tell him something.
I'm seeing more mosquitos now, so I bought him some heartworm preventative. Keeping with the all-natural, I got a dietary supplement that is intended to internally cleanse him of any intestinal worms. The directions say to sprinkle 1 teaspoon on his food and we'll be starting that tomorrow. I'm a little wary of the effectiveness of the powder, which is basically a bunch of ground herbs, including garlic and cayenne pepper. I guess time will tell if this works for Savage.I took his ear-tape off today. I had just the upper half in tape, still with foam supports, but didn't feel the need anymore to actually rest the foam in his ear canal, since the tips are the only problem. I tried taping only the tips without supports, but it just didn't work out. He still needs something semi-rigid to hold up everything but the lower 1/3. They look spectacular and I'm so excited to leave him tape-less forever soon.
The pictures are of Savvy having a blast splashing around after sticks in Poplar Lake and getting crazy on the shore. Still won't actually swim, but is in no way frightened of water. He even took his first boat ride last week. R. said he was a little scared at the beginning but calmed down enough to have fun. I'm sure it was the outboard motor starting that initially made him nervous. I'll be adding more pictures to the Photo Gallery soon so check it out!


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