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July 22, 2010

Greta... Still "GREAT," still adorable... snuggly... sweet...

So, here she is!  Just wanted to share a few more pictures... Last night she was snuggling in bed with me and was FAST asleep in my arms... It's always so wonderful when a dog sleeps that deeply with you — eyes closed up tight.  I could sit up in the middle of the night, look over at Ptolli, and she'd be looking back at me.  I'm not sure that dog ever slept.  When Greta first arrived, she was a little jittery and I would expect her next transition to be like that again—until she settled in.  She's certainly proven she CAN settle in!

This one I call "100% Berner, 1% Border Collie — don't ask ME how that math works!"  We have her pedigree, so we KNOW she's a full-blooded Bernese Mountain Dog, but she's got a bit of "farm collie" look to her... One day I took her with me to a garden we share so I could pull some weeds.  I put her on the run there and first she did what I would say was a typical Berner thing.  She protested by going to the end of the leash and then leaning backwards against the leash so her head was straight up.  She went with that approach for a little while and then decided to be collie about it instead—went to the other end of the run and laid down in the shade in some nice cushiony ground cover.  And there she stayed while I pulled weeds for an hour.  Good girl!

This one just says, "Turn the A/C back on already!"

And this one was just so you could see her soft, sweet expression and that she's not afraid of the camera.

When I walk the dogs—most mornings, if the heat hasn't yet reached extreme levels—I leash them all and we walk to the baseball field at the end of our street where I turn them all loose.  The three dogs zip around and get their business done.  She's learning to check in for cheese.  She's relaxing with Tosca and Jago and enjoys racing around and barking a bit with them, as well as with the pair of labs (one black, one chocolate) who often join us there.  Then back on leash for a walk downtown.  In addition to exercise, I'm hunting small dogs for her to react to.  Today we "passed" one small dog and "failed" a larger dog.  But as has been true all along, her reactions are quite manageable and DO show some improvement... If I didn't have the other two dogs in hand as well (and Jago would LOVE to join a fracas), I might be able to practice this a bit better.  But still, we walk on and I have the cheese out and she doesn't completely lose her mind... It's definitely the confinement of the leash that contributes to the problem (but of course the leash must be there!).  There used to be a lady in this town with a lunatic boxer who would say "it's the leash!" and suggest that we should all just drop our leashes and everything would be fine between our dogs.  No thank you, Ma'am!  And definitely NOT on Main Street!

At home, she continues to be a wonderful companion, following us everywhere, seeking out everyone for snuggles.  I love that I didn't have to explain to her where the right places to "toilet" were—she just recognized that my "middle yard" was the "dog yard," and she dashes right out there. I shall definitely miss her when her forever home is found, but I'm hoping she'll get the opportunity to be part of a pair—three-dog-itis is pushing her into the role of fun police here, not that she minds!  And when necessary, I'm comfortable leaving all three shut in our bedroom with the A/C running.  They seem to take turns on the big bed.

She's been a terrific dog here, really quite easy.  We've boarded dogs that we counted the hours until they went home.  NOT this one!

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