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The puppy has finally collapsed on the couch. Thank god! He’s worse than a toddler because he’s faster and stronger than a toddler. I’ve got to keep a constant eye on him in order to make sure he doesn’t get into something, have an accident, or get after the cats. (Although the cats are doing a great job of taking care of themselves when he gets too nosy.)

Crate training, proper walking technique, sitting, providing treats without giving too many, appropriate discipline, learning to think like a dog, trying to make sure I’m a pack leader … these things and more have been continuously on my mind for the past week. It’s like I’m receiving training by immersion, only I’m not learning a foreign language. Wait. Maybe I am. I’m learning the language of dog.

And I haven’t had so much consistent exercise in years. The last two morning I’ve been up early in order to walk the dog before crating him. We also have been walking in the evenings. Young Son and Hubby walked Aleksandr last night while I was at a class; tonight it was Young Son and I doing the walking. Young Son is a natural at dog walking, although he makes light of it. “You just have to walk. That’s all there is to it,” he says. If it was so easy, society wouldn’t need Cesar Millan. Just sayin’.

Aleksandr is pretty good at walking, but he was a bit skittish this morning and did more pulling than he did the previous morning. I could feel it in my shoulders. He does not like yappy little dogs and I don’t blame him. They’re startling. Aleksandr wants to back away and tugs like mad on the leash. This morning I walked Aleksandr across the street in order to avoid a yapper. Tonight Young Son confidently walked Aleksandr right past three yappers behind a fence. That’s the best way. Get the puppy used to them.

I keep telling myself, “Stay confident and relaxed and the pup will stay confident and relaxed.” Honestly, who’s training who here? (I know just what Cesar would say to that.)

Time for a potty break. For the dog, of course.

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