Monday, October 06, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Remy!

Remy - 2 Years - Newport, Oregon (29 Sept. 2014)

On September 29, 2014 Remy turned two years old. He was almost my birthday puppy -- Remy's mama began delivering pups on September 28, 2012 and I had my fingers crossed for a birthday puppy. Alas, the whelping went on into the wee hours of the next morning and that is when Remy came into the world. So we share a great "24 hours" of birthday. This year we spent our birthday weekend in the coastal port town of Newport, Oregon in an apartment that overlooked the harbor, complete with NOAA ships, fishing boats and dozens of noisy sea lions on the rocks to watch (and listen to 24/7).

Remy - 2 Years - Newport, Oregon (29 Sept. 2014)
While being the ripe young age of two might signify adulthood with many other dogs, Griffs maintain at least some of their gonzo puppy energy and attitude well after two. It's just part of their charm. Remy is no exception. He still has that teenage-puppy joie de vivre, that unbridled enthusiasm for all things and a playful spirit that, I hope, will never leave him.

In terms of the big things, though, he really has matured into a nice, adult dog. (Note: I am only half-jokingly knocking on wood as I type this, because making the following types of statements in the past has seemed to almost invite trouble...)

I'm pleased to report that, at this point in his young life, Remy is pretty darned trustworthy. He doesn't counter surf (thank heavens). He doesn't mess up the furniture (though I do believe, based on the mysteriously rumpled afghan and warm dent in the pillow, that he occasionally gets up on the "invitation only" sofa while we're gone...).

He no longer chews on shoes. We made an early attempt (10 mos. old) at giving him freedom to roam about the house while we were gone for short periods. We had left him inside while we were out working in the garden or on a short trip to the store and he managed to stay out of trouble, so we began to trust him. Let is suffice to say, with the humans having lost the heels and insoles on several favorite pairs of shoes and Remy having major abdominal surgery to remove an 18" long rope toy that was lodged in his gut (a discarded rope toy he pulled from a wastebasket I might add), we decided he wasn't ready for that level of responsibility.  Remy spent a few more months being crated every time we left the house.

Eventually we mustered up the courage to try again for longer and longer periods and, I'm happy to report, he has proven himself to be very trustworthy. No more chewed shoes or missing toys. No evidence of wastebasket surfing either. He doesn't like it when we go without him, I'm sure, but he gets it. When we start putting on our shoes he gets all waggly and hopeful. Then we turn on the music or the TV and puts on his best hang-dog look, walks over to the rug and lies down, usually with a big sigh. And every time we come home he greets us with that full body wag and look of pure joy.

He is learning patience. He waits for the "go" sign before rushing out the door (usually) and before diving into his food bowl (always). He doesn't jump on people (ok, there's the occasional overly-enthusiastic greeting, but he seems to know the difference between people he can jump on and people who would be horrified by such an act).  He treats my 88-year-old mother like the queen of the house. While he bounds through rooms on window deer patrol, at times running into us and stepping on our feet, with Mom he slows down and gives her space. And when she's home alone with the dogs, Kirby keeps watch by the door while Remy lays at her feet like a protector.

There's more to work on, for sure. Like consistent recall (particularly at the beach). But more on that later.  In honor of Remy's second birthday, I just want to express how very proud I am of the wonderful, responsible dog he is growing up to be!


Kathy Stirner said...

Remy is a beautiful boy! Enjoy your blog.

Wildflower Farm said...

He is a cutey! If you want puppyhoods that last forever though you need a border collie. :)