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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

A beautiful update on a beautiful boy..... an update on Ghillie, formerly known as Chess.

Hello, fellow Woof mums -- just realized I have had Ghillie nearly 2 months now and thought you might like to know how he's doing. In a word: swimmingly! Still quite timid around people and urban noises when we're out, but he has blossomed and is settling in to his new home. He sleeps with me and goes with me nearly everywhere. When I cannot bring him with me, he stays in the kitchen behind a baby-gate with toys, bed, and water, and has shown no signs whatsoever of any separation anxiety.

I'm working with a trainer using clicker training to counter-condition his fears. This is a slow, gradual process, but he has already made progress and the prognosis is good. Men remain in the "scary things" column for him, so we'll concentrate on that in a few weeks.

He's so funny and cute -- definitely not a morning person, lolls in bed long after I've arisen, and then is just a bundle of energy at night. He loves to run around the back yard, chasing squirrels and crows, and as long as there are no nearby trucks or buses shifting gears, enjoys our walks and sniffing. He now actually stops and waits for a treat when he sees a person approaching -- a very good sign. His appetite is good and I have just switched him to a raw diet. And he gets a nice marrow bone to chew on when I brush him. (And this is news since he appeared to be frightened of the brushes at first.) He's not yet ready to go to a groomer but I have a good one lined up who is familiar with Cairns and is quite gentle and patient.

He has marked a couple of times here and and at friends' homes ... so I'm still working on that (trying to catch him in the act in order to put him out right away). He has barked only a few times but growls at one of his squeaky toys. I am actually looking forward to his barking if some one's at the door -- I think that will indicate his knowing that this is is home.

All in all, he's doing very, very well and I just love him to bits and pieces. Thank you again for bringing him to me! Hope all is well with all y'all and your fur babies!

Cheers!

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