Thursday, June 23, 2011


Chalcy turned one year old on Cinco de Mayo! I realized, we brought her home a year ago on June 15th. A year ago today, I took this picture:

Now here's one of her with J, from a few days ago:

We like Chalcy. She's pretty good, except when people come over. We're working on that.

For Chalcy's first birthday, we bought her a Big Girl Bed, which she really likes. Periodically we've done trials to see how she will do if we leave her out of her kennel at night, and she has usually failed. Months ago she chewed a bare spot into our bedroom carpet when we tried to let her sleep in our room. A few weeks after that we tried to let her sleep in her room (aka. the guest bedroom) without closing her kennel, because it has fake-wood floor instead of carpet. She chewed the edge of trim around the window. So, even though she is kind of too big for her kennel, she kept having to sleep in it anyway. Lately, we've tried letting her sleep in her room on her Big Girl Bed and it works. She does just fine! So we tried letting her have access to the whole house at night. That works a little less well, because she will come stand outside our door, and just stay there. Her favorite place to sleep is on the floor by my side of the bed. When I get up, I have to watch out or I'll step on her. During the day she sleeps there a lot too.

Chalcy is almost always silent, which is nice, because I don't really care for barky dogs. She does alert us when she sees a strange object or hears an unusual noise. There have been a few times where she's started barking in the middle of the night. We always help her investigate, until she is satisfied that everything is okay. Otherwise she'll keep barking for quite a while. When she does bark, she is very loud. This last weekend, our city had "Country Days," which is the annual city festival thing here. As we were falling asleep, we could hear the country music from a few blocks away. That was fine. After that was all over they started doing fireworks. Fireworks make a loud "BOOM" sound, and it concerned Chalcy. She started barking and barking from her room. So, we brought her into our bedroom and opened the blinds, and showed her that the fireworks were the cause of the noise. She stopped barking right away, and we all sat there and watched the entire firework show from our bedroom window. Chalcy was fascinated.

Chalcy still knows tricks. She is still good at all of her puppy preschool stuff, usually. We've taught her a few other tricks too:
  1. J taught Chalcy "Back!" which means "You're too close, scoot back." Chalcy has a different concept of personal space, so it isn't unusual for her to come up and lean against us or put her face right up close to our faces while we're sitting down (because we're her height!), etc. "Back!" has been a fantastic trick because Chalcy gets so excited when people come over that sometimes she's a little too friendly. We tell guests they can tell her "Back!" and she'll scoot away, and they try it out, and it works, and it makes them feel a lot more comfortable to know she will leave them alone if they want her to. It is also a good way to remind her that she is not allowed to be near us when we're eating.
  2. For Jessica's birthday I taught Chalcy "Giddy up!" which means, "Come through my legs so that I'm standing over you like I'm riding a horse." Every time Jess would come over, she would always try to stand over Chalcy, because it kind of looks like you're riding a horse. Chalcy always backs up, though, instead of just standing there. So I taught her this trick because I thought it would be funny. And it is.
  3. Chalcy knows "Jump!" which means, "Jump!" This is pretty impressive and amusing, because she is massive and she'll jump up (not just forward) and get her back legs off the ground too.
  4. We taught Chalcy "Speak!" which means "Bark!" Since Chalcy is so quiet, it is my secret hope that if we wanted her to defend our house, I could motion to her to bark without the invaders noticing me, and then she would look fierce. Actually, though, an invasion would most likely be pretty unusual and it would be enough to get her barking anyway. Chalcy was surprised and a little confused when I taught her this trick, because we also taught her "Quiet!" because she used to bark if she wanted to come inside, or if she wanted to come out of her kennel because people were over. Now she just stands by the door when she wants in or out. So learning "Speak!" was kind of like teaching a kid to eat cupcakes on command, or something. (REALLY? You really want me to?)
Those are the extra ones (in addition to sit, wait, watch me, drop it, leave it, lay down, come, etc.) Most of them go along with hand signals, because she learns hand signals faster.

Chalcy also knows some "tricks" that are not really tricks.
  1. We discovered this one when my brother was over last week. If you pat your lap, Chalcy will come put her head in your lap, where you pat. That's how I usually tell her she can cuddle with me that way. I didn't realize it was a trick, though, until I was demonstrating to Jason how to get her to put her head in his lap and she came across the room to put her head in my lap instead, because I'd just pat my lap. It seemed impressive. Then the next time Jess came over she wanted to see that trick. Uh, she's always done that. It isn't a trick. But it kind of is.
  2. Chalcy is polite about being fed. It started because I didn't want her to rush me when I fed her, back when she was a puppy. Here's how it works: I fill her food dish, and put it where it goes. I tell Chalcy to sit, and she does. I tell her to wait. I go fill her water dish, and put it where it goes. Sometimes I'll make her "wait" a little longer, and then I tell her "Okay" and she'll go eat her food. It's a pretty strict routine now, so I don't even really have to tell her what to do. I bring food out, she sits down. I get water, she waits, and she'll only approach her food after I give her permission. It's nice.
  3. Chalcy goes into her kennel very readily. This isn't an exciting trick either, but it is useful. Our main command is "Kennel up!" and that means "Please get in your kennel, and if I don't look angry you are not in trouble and you will get treats for getting in your kennel" or it means "You are in big big trouble because you did something you knew was wrong, and the only way that I will be happy with you is if you go into your kennel, RIGHT NOW. No treats." She always kennels up, immediately. Very good. There are also a lot of other things that mean "Kennel up"--"Time for bed!" and "Back to bed!" and "Sorry!" all mean to kennel up. Plus, if I put my shoes on and pick up my purse, Chalcy will go get in her kennel, because she always has to be in there when I leave (and I'll give her treats).
Chalcy still loves Paley. When we go into the hall outside and Paley is there, Chalcy wag wag wags her tail and puts her mouth on Paley, or licks her. Paley rubs up against Chalcy, too. But, if I call Chalcy to come inside, or go outside, she'll still obey. So that's just fine.

Chalcy loves toys. Any toy we give her is the Very Best Thing she's EVER seen in her Entire Life (!!!!!). It's really cute. She tears stuffed toys apart really quickly though, even "durable" ones, so she doesn't get many of those anymore. Chalcy also loves tug games and fetch games and play-rough games, and basically any game you can think of. She also likes sticks and bones.

Chalcy loves people. All of them. She wants to be near us all the time. And preferably, very close. She is very affectionate. Also with our guests.

Chalcy likes dogs. Especially little ones because puppy preschool had puppies in it, and they were her friends, and I don't think she realizes they grew up too. Big dogs are more intimidating, but Chalcy is not aggressive at all; it just takes a little time for her to warm up. When dogs bark at her she looks at them, but she doesn't bark back. This makes me proud of her when we go on walks, or to the dog park.

Chalcy loves chickens. They squeak and have feathers that fluffle all over, they flop around really cool when you shake them in your mouth, and they run on their own--until they stop. We raised a few sets of chicks inside, and that helped Chalcy realize that we do NOT put our mouths on chickens. EVER. Except, when we're outside with her, occasionally she forgets and starts chasing a chicken until we remind her not to, so now she just doesn't get to be where chickens are unless she is under close supervision.

Our puppy is probably pretty close to full size now, and I'm looking forward to her rabies booster shot this summer (who looks forward to that??), because when we visit the vet we can find out how much she weighs. Can you imagine if she were to continue growing at the same rate next year too?? She won't.

Anyway! We like our dog. That's all.


Optimistic. said...

"Giddy up!" is probably the greatest trick in the history of this and other worlds. Love it.

Ashley & The Dogs said...

I. Love. Her.!

She is super cute and super fun and SUPER smart.

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