Sometimes it's easy to take Baxter for granted. He's so constant, so trustworthy. He has his moments, certainly, like when he insists on digging a hole behind the bushes where he knows he's not supposed to go. But for the most part, Baxter is dependable, the kind of dog you can trust.
Kirby is just earning his stripes in the trustworthy department, so allowing him to roam freely while we're home is still an act of faith on our part. Since my last post, however, Kirby has proven himself to be quite trustworthy. I don't know if my semi-hysterical approach to finding the puddle finally got the message across or if that was, indeed, an accident where a well-meaning puppy just accidently let go while ringing the bell. Anyway, that's water under the bridge (so to speak). Kirby has been quite well-behaved ever since. He's ringing the bell, doing his business outside and even going to his crate and staying there to sleep while I'm in the shower -- without my having to close the crate door. That's a big one.
I think he does rise to the occasion most of the time. When we trust him, he works hard to maintain that trust, which is a sign of maturity. I'm not holding my breath...accidents do happen. And it's just like a teenager to seem grown up one day and a child the next. Of late he's been the more mature Kirby and I think all of us (Bax included) are relieved.