One thing that hasn't changed is his enjoyment of visitors. We continue to have visitors to our house and he has started to make house calls, too! In the past few weeks he has been over to friend's houses, in stores, the vet's office, my office and to my knitting group in a yarn shop! I haven't been as completist as I would like to when it comes to documenting visits, but I did catch pictures of a few more!
Sally and Mike visited a few weeks ago when Uli still fit nicely in a cross-legged lap. That is, he fit until he got really comfortable and flopped over the edge. You can see a peak of Fanny coming over for affection, too! She is getting a lot more confident around Uli.
Sarah and I biked home from work together one day last week so she could meet Uli. Yes, I said BIKED! That was possible last week. Sadly, this week might be too wet to keep up the track record I was building. Not too sad, though, because our soil desperately needs the water.
They say that puppies should meet at least 100 people in their first 16 weeks of life. Uli just turned 12 weeks and has met well over 100 people already. We are doing what we can to make sure he is a confident and sociable dog in a wide variety of situations. He seems to be a natural so far!
We have been working on lots of training with Uli, including trying to capture his attention in distracted environments. So far the environments are more interesting than we are, so we need to find a high-reward treat to entice him. We found out he REALLY likes meat when Paul was prepping raw meat for a beef stew. I am going to go ahead and draw the line there. This vegetarian will not be walking around with a pocket full of raw beef. I might have to have some kind of meat, though, because he isn't that smitten with our other offerings. Maybe hot dogs?
Speaking of hot dogs...Uli still enjoys laying on the heating vent whenever the heat turns on. He is quickly outgrowing his first and favorite vent, so he has been trying out other ones.
This one is too much in the middle of everything for him to really relax and soak up the heat. Keep looking, Uli!
This one is tucked out of the way in the bathroom but most of the time we don't let him in there. When the door is open, he takes the opportunity to lay on that vent (and play with the garbage can lid that springs back when he noses it! Such fun! And, also the reason he is barred from the bathroom most of the time.). The vent is a little smaller, so you can't even see it when he lays on top of it. There is a better option to be found, but for some reason he hasn't tried that one yet. I vow to keep you posted on these important developments.
When he gets more used to the world and all of its crazy sights and sounds, I will really miss these head cocks. The photo above shows you what he looks like when puzzling out something new. The tilted head/wrinkly forehead combo is one of the major selling points of puppies, if you ask me.
Example A: They play so intensely! They are made of sharp teeth and claws! They do not yet know how to control either of those weapons effectively!
This weekend, Uli sliced my lip open with one swipe of his claw. One second he was cuddly and sweet and the next he got a surge of energy and flailed in the direction of my face. My lip was in the way.
Just look at those eyes. There is crazy in those eyes.
Example B: Puppies do not respect your bubble.
If you get low to the ground, BEWARE! Puppies will spot you...
And then they get tired and melt your heart with their grogginess.
When Uli gets really tired and/or overstimulated, he groans. Repeatedly. We have learned that is his way of saying, "I am all set. Take me home to my bed, please!"
Since the weather has been a bit nicer, we have started to take Uli out to the front yard. We live on a busy street, so one afternoon I took him out there to witness the hustle and bustle. While we were outside, he encountered, for the first time:
- large trucks
- city buses with noisy breaks
- loud cars
- pedestrians that pass by without petting him (he was really not sure how this could ever happen...according to his experiences thus far, all people exist to pet and play with him)
- leaves blowing in the wind
- and probably lots of other things I take for granted that are brand new to his eyes
He is growing bigger and bigger. He has graduated from his tiny collar and tiny tennis ball to a larger collar with a tag and can now fit a full size tennis ball in his mouth. Movin' on up!
His snout/face shape has also changed a lot in the last few weeks. He is starting to lose the flat-faced puppy look and moving closer towards how he will look as a grown dog.
Paul has been doing a fabulous job as primary Uli-raiser/caregiver. Paul works from home a lot now so he has been the one to meet Uli's needs during the day (except for the small stints of alone crate time we are imposing so Paul can go into the office for meetings). Paul has also been the one to get up for the overnight potty breaks. Happily, those have all but disappeared recently.
They already have a pretty remarkable bond!
In order to shift some of the burden, give Paul more time in the office and even out the bonding time, I have been taking some time off of work to spend with Uli, too. Even with that, I had some concerns at the beginning about not having an equal role and the impact that might have on behavior in the long term. One evening, Paul and I were talking about it while Uli was chilling out in Paul's lap. At some point in the conversation, Uli got up out Paul's lap, walked over to mine and settled into it. Pretty comical timing! I took it as a sign that he is finding room in his heart for both of us even if I am not home as much as Paul.
|photo credit to Paul|
I hope this pup of ours gets to live a long, happy life because he has definitely taken up a spot in my heart next to Jack and Tchazo. Even though we have only shared our home with him for 5 weeks, he feels like family now.