My parents have decided I'm ready to choose to sleep in or out of my kennel at night.  I am 14 months old this week. Mom and Dad liked that I was already kennel trained when they picked me to be their dog and they have locked me in every night so I wouldn't get into trouble.   My current dog-proof accessible area is the main floor kitchen, hall, living room and dining room, with the office supervised due to extra chew-able things like wastebaskets, books and computer stuff.   Of course they will still kennel me when they go out. However, at nap time and after dinner I like to snooze on the couch.  Mom always goes to bed first and Dad takes me out around 11:00 p.m.  Last night he said "kennel up" and I complied.  But he left the kennel door open for me. When Dad went to bed a few minutes later he saw I was back on my favorite place on the couch. He petted me and told me it it was OK to sleep there. Yea! I didn't bother my people with my usual woofing at 6:00 a.m. when the neighbor dog got put out and I didn't have to whine at the cats who tease me by rubbing on my crate.  The couch is the best pet bed ever! 
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ZZZZZZ
 
 
On Saturday we went to the big mall. Every time I go I get more comfortable with the routine. I even recognize the doors where mom takes me out for a potty break. One hallway had a man in a walker, a wheel chair, three stroller families and other folks all coming towards us at once. None of this fazed me and I didn't even flinch. When we got to the center atrium, we saw one of little sis's school social workers and she proudly introduced me to him.  He was pleased to meet me since little sis talks about me all the time. Oops, I did jump when he got too close and looked directly at me, but he backed up and I laid down when mom asked.  Next, we had a snack. The girls had a clementine and I got treats while I practiced parking.  Look how perfectly I parked under mom's legs! She told little sis when we ride public transportation I will need to know this skill. Our typical visit to the mall is about 45 minutes, after which both little sis and I are ready to go home.
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Little sis and I at the mall
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Perfect parking under mom's legs
 
 
This week when we went to the mall, mom let me wear the Easy Walk harness instead of the Gentle Leader. The previous visit, I kept dropping to the floor and trying to rub it off my nose. I kinda get obsessed about it. So I was much happier with the Easy Walk and mom thought I didn't pull any more than usual. She did grab my collar when I saw that seeing eye dog coming towards me to prevent me from visiting. And I started to jump when a kiosk worker tried to pet my head.  If these people ignore me I can stay focused on my job. I parked under the table perfectly this time while the girls had their snack. It is fun to go to the mall! Little sis likes it too. Mom commented that she rarely went out before they got me. Now little sis has the important job of hanging onto her short leash and she gets to see the world. She even brought a quarter to buy a squinky toy in the gumball machine. She is learning that all the vendor tables have cool stuff but we can window shop without buying.  I also remind her to keep moving because I can not wait very long while she looks at the jewelry and toys!
 
 
Dinner time, dinner time, din-din-dinnertime!
 
 
Mom doesn't seem to appreciate it when I eat her sponges, cleaning brushes and dishrags, but I think they are tons of fun! Mr. Marbles the cat likes to sleep in the closet and he leaves the door open a bit...just enough for me to get to the good stuff. And the dishrag sits right there on the counter.
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Yea! Sponges are so much fun!
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I'm a good dog, yes?
However, mom did foil me from eating toilet paper. First, she tried putting it in an ice cream pail. Ha! That didn't stop Rocky the Wonderdog.  I popped the lid off and ate the bucket! After that, she put it in a pretty pot on top of the tank. I haven't touched it since. 
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Mom tried an ice cream bucket first.
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I'm not really sure what is in that pot as it is above my view.
Mom also found a way to keep me from eating soggy mittens. She hung a magnet with a rope on the metal fire door. 
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Awe, no more mittens for me!
Now this one was not all my fault. See Mr. Waffles sitting up there behind the curtain? He started it! During the construction project last October the cat scratch post was moved from the corner of the couch. The cats ripped up the fabric...and I simply helped remove the foam stuffing. They put the cat scratch post back in that corner and no one really notices. Goes with the territory... pet induced collateral damage.
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Yummy couch stuffing
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See, no worries! Can't even see the damage.
So, the dance continues. I will do some yoga and think of something new to chew on!  Bwaa haa haa!
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Scratch my belly? Please?
 
 
I love  my jolly ball! 
 
 
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They put the stuff in the crate so I can look out the window.
I saw the suitcases and knew something was up. Mom clipped me to my outside cable and I watched as they put my travel crate and pillow in the car. I wasn't worried while they loaded the rest because if my stuff is in the car I get to come too! Soon everyone got in and off we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I'm a pretty good traveler now and take turns watching out the window and napping. When they stopped for a break I did my biz right away. When we got there, they put me out on a 20-foot cable so they could unload the car. I barked and wagged every time they walked past. Soon mom put me on a leash and brought me inside. She and grandma had already decided by closing the doors to the bedrooms and office I could be off-leash after my initial excitement calmed down because I don't eat rugs or magazines anymore. I did a super job! Grandma has all sorts of decorations but I only sniffed at the things on the floor and didn't even mess with the Christmas tree. They put the stuffed snowmen and Santa's up on benches and then I left them alone. The rest of the relatives came and after they greeted me I kept my four on the floor almost all the time! Mom made sure someone was watching me every minute; even big sis took a turn following me around while they got ready for pie. Later, we went for a walk and I got to play on my 50-foot rope at a park. There was another dog behind a fence and we ran back and forth to play. Back at the house, little sis read me some stories and gave me hugs. Soon everyone left and it was time for bed. Mom had put my crate in the living room but I started to whine when they left me there. It was very bright because it was snowing out and nothing felt right. So dad moved my crate to their room and I settled right down. I even let mom and dad sleep till they woke up at 8:00!  Grandma gave me lots of pats and even let me lay on a bed while she showed mom her quilting projects.  After lunch they loaded the car again and we came home. Everyone was super impressed with what a good boy I was and how I've grown calmer since Thanksgiving.