Mom takes me for walks and I have been doing a great job walking on a loose leash in the neighborhood. Well, except when I see a squirrel or a chipmunk. And then dad saw a mink in the yard - I just had to drag mom over to check out its trail the next time I was outside! Woof!
mink in our yard
Mom has had some trouble lifting me into the car, especially now that I weigh 60 pounds. She asked  Trainer lady about a ramp, but she said she could teach me how to jump into the car. Mom was very happy as ramps cost about $100.00! All week we have been practicing. Mom asks me to step up and put my paws on the tailgate and then she gives me a treat. 
Next, mom throws a treat into the car and picks up my back legs to boost me in. Mom smiles and says it is easy and so much lighter for her. 
Trainer lady said soon I will learn how to do this all by myself! Yea! I'm a good dog. (wag wag)
Trainer lady gave mom some great ideas of what to do with the box I learned to carry. Mom had me "stay" on my kitchen rug and she took the box around the corner. She came back and told me to "find the box". I trotted off and brought it back and put it in her hands. Yea! Treats! The next time she put it in the dining room. I like this game.  She started moving it further away, which was pretty confusing at first. I really thought it would be in the same place each time, but after she gave me a clue by pointing to the next room I got better at looking around and didn't need any more help. This morning when we played, she put it in the hall. I had it in my mouth but got distracted because the living room gate was down. (Did I mention the construction workers are finally finished and as of yesterday the living room was back to the way it was before?) I ran into the living room to sniff the cat and dropped the box. I went back to mom in the kitchen and she said "where is the box?" Oh yea, I forgot. But I remembered where I dropped it and trotted off to get it for her. She thinks it is great fun to play hide and seek with me and little girl is very impressed.
Well, the cats helped. Shadow cornered the mouse but when I heard the commotion I ran in there and scooped it up in my mouth. Mom saw the whole thing. I start prancing around with a wiggly mouse tail sticking out of my mouth. Mom ran and got a bucket and told me to "drop it", so I did. The mouse was pretty soggy. I watched her flush it down the toilet. We started sniffing around on the mouse trail, but the cats were very agitated and hissed at me. I guess they didn't appreciate my help. Mom gave me a chew to help me relax. I wonder if I can catch another one?
Mom is trying out Karen Pryor's game of 101 things to do with a box.  She put a small box on the floor and clicked/treated when I looked at it. By then, Mr. Marbles the cat arrived and showed us knew what to do with a box - paw it, push it, stick his legs in it and tip it over to try and crawl inside, all in about 15 seconds. Mom laughed and put him in another room.  So I looked at the box again and she clicked/treated. Hmm, this must be important I think. So I go over to the box and sniff it. Click.  I put my nose in it. Click. I put my nose in it again and no click. ??? I went to my rug and pouted. I don't really understand what to do.  Pretty soon I looked at the box, click. Alright, I go back to the box. I push it with my nose. Click. I put my mouth on it. Click. Hmmm. I pick it up. Click. I drop it to eat the treat of course. I pick it up again and bring it right to mom. Click and treat party! Woot!  She says I invented this game and it is going to encourage my creative problem solving. Later she brings out the box again and I go over, pick it up and bring it right to her. She laughs and gives me a treat. The thing is, this is not 101 things! She is going to ask trainer lady what to do next. 
I'm tied out in the back yard since the construction started. I like it there because it is new, even though there is not as much room to run or squirrels or people to watch as my 30 foot tie out in the front yard. I do get to watch the chickens, but they have no interest in playing with me.  Actually, they are pretty boring. Mom likes to go in the coop and cuddle them. I barked at first, but soon decided they rank with the cats and tortoise for her. I'm sure she loves me best since she spends way more time with me.
Hello there chickens!
I'm kinda getting used to people banging around outside the house. While I'm not all that happy, I'm not barking a warning to my people about the banging and strangers as much. Like this guy - a man in a hazmat suit making a big hissing sound right outside the window! I barked a bit, but mom said it was OK so I stopped. This morning the roofers started at 7:00 a.m.  At least since everyone was up I got my walk and breakfast early! :)
Wowie zowie, life is sure interesting. There are people coming and going that I don't get to meet and mom  keeps putting up gates to restrict and change my space. They talk about something called ice dam repair:  drywall, painting five rooms and roofing. Oh my. I guess this is why mom is taking me to the dog park several days this week. 
Where is my crate???
Currently my crate is on the porch, along with piles of other stuff. 
I'm sleeping on the porch!
Even my outside space is different. I'm only allowed out when the workers are gone. My cable keeps getting caught on that stack of stuff and my squirrel view is compromised with that big box! Woof!
Construction stuff
I got to go to the doggie park! My stitches are healed and I'm so ready to play. I now can run and jump and twirl. Mom took me on Tuesday, but yesterday they couldn't take me because of some cement floor work at the park. Mom is trying to keep me busy out of the house because of construction at home too. So yesterday she took me to a trail park and I even got to play in the creek. We walked past a family having a picture session on the bridge.  It was a small space and the photographer kept making funny noises to make the babies smile, but I walked past without jumping. I wanted to sniff everything on the trail and mom kept stopping when I pulled, but she noticed I was much calmer and walked with a loose leash when we turned around and followed the familiar  path to the car.  Today I got to play at the dog park again. I have more energy than the rest of the dogs there, but am learning about how older dogs need breaks and rests. Right now I'm zonked from all the running about. ZZZZZzzzzzz
It is official. I've spent more than half my life with little girl's family. My first birthday is coming up on November 16. Mom is amazed at all the things we have learned together. When I first came here I was jumping on everyone and chewing on the furniture. Now, they all think I have nice house manners, although I still get very excited and jump on new people. I even get to go into the living room after dinner and watch TV with mom and dad! On the couch! If I start to chew or chase the cats they make me leave, so I try really hard to relax. Mom still puts a leash on me to visit the playroom or little girl's room. I have learned how to bop with my nose to ask for things and show them with my eyes what I want (like treats, the door or a specific toy).  I've learned many tricks with trainer lady's help. Look at this list! I can sit, lay down, come, leave things, play fetch, twirl, go through hoops, play a piano, figure 8 through mom's legs, tap a target,  push a ball and wait/stay. Oh, and I'm an expert at stealing erasers at homework time, although I give them back when asked. ;)