Mischa's puppy class graduation was tonight. She did very well (alarmingly so) at the Loose Leash Walking trial, including giving several successful "sit"s when we stopped (genius), and she did ok at staying in a sit, staying in a down, etc. Gave a high five when asked, touched her nose to the palm of my hand when asked, and really was very focused and enthusiastic.
We know that having the big dogs here has probably done as much for her behaviorally as the class did. I mean, we learned TONS in the class and it was sooo worth the money and I highly recommend it to everyone. But I think we also just have to know that boredom and loneliness were contributing to the most of Mischa's behavior problems. Now she is just exhausted in the evenings, after running laps with her mouth around Bridgette's head all day. Before she was a complete spaz and wouldn't leave us (or poor patient Charlie Murphy) alone when we got home from work.
So what does that mean now? I think we've officially decided that Ingrid is going back out to Dad's after he gets home from Florida. She's more comfortable out there, I've said it many times. And probably Bridgette should go as well, right? Of course. For one thing, she is a Destroyer of Yards. She has found every random bit of plastic in the yard (bowls, tupperware that once held dog food, planters) and shredded it. She digs. She has TRAMPLED my lavender and I'm worried it won't recover. She should stay with Ingrid, they are good friends and Ingrid is a good mentor for her. But Mischa is in loooove with Bridge. The truest love. I'm very worried about how Mischa will respond when her pretty yellow friend goes.
So the way I see it that we have three options:
1. Send both big dogs back out to Dad's and deal with the consequences with Mischa, making more of an effort to keep her active and applying all the training we've learned in class to help her make the adjustment.
2. Send Ingrid back to Dad's and keep Bridgey and see how that goes for a while.
3. Send both big dogs back out to Dad's and get a new dog (I can't believe I just said that out loud...).
I guess the phantom option 4 would be to keep all three dogs up here, but I don't know if Dad will stand for it, or our grass.
Ingrid is snoring happily in front of the door. Bridge is in the middle of the floor, almost under the coffee table, and she's extra pretty when she sleeps. Mischa is SACKED out after all the excitement of graduation (liver brownies! a diploma! pictures with Mom and Dad!) laying across my (Guinness-slippered) feet. Charlie Murphy is on his throne (formerly Mackenzie's throne, but whose fault is that?). Kenzie is in the doorway of the bedroom, vocally pointing out several discrepancies in her food-bowl fill line policies. Corvinius is licking the blinds in the blue room. Because he is Odd.
I have been working on the be-all, end-all post about how I'm feeling right now regarding children and parenthood. Having the house full with all this animalia, and being very happy about it, makes me feel like my current position (kid free for the foreseeable future) is the right one. This is a good place to be.
P.S. I'm thinking of holding a benefit/fundraiser/donation campaign to finance a Return Move to Nashville for Badness and the Redbeard. I miss my Sous Chef, and christmas cookie season is upon us! I'm going to issue a release demand to Chicago and see if I can't get their indentured servitude canceled.