Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Letter from Pepper & Mum

Hi Sarah and Paul,
Pepper is an absolute delight and it feels as if she’s been with us for much longer than just 11 days! 
I’d let her off the lead after only two days as she was coming back to me immediately I called her, and we played lots of hiding games just to make sure.  To make things easier our ‘borrowed’ sheep moved on to their next holiday home so she now had an extra 4 acres to play in and she could happily go into the garden unsupervised; not that she’s out there for long anyway without wanting our company.
Having had five unbelievably quiet nights, she suddenly became anxious in her crate on Saturday night, yelling out and shredding her bed and anything she could get hold of.  I got up thinking she may need to go in the garden but she started fretting again as soon as I left the room, so I tried the ‘ignore’ tactic but to no avail. On Sunday day she was perfect again and not destructive at all. We briefly put her in the crate a couple of times during the day on Sunday after exercise and she was quiet when we were with her, but then cried again that night. I tried to analyse what may be happening - had we overdone the bonding bit?  Did she need the radio on?  Should I try the crate in the bedroom?  Should I just ignore it?  Well who knows – but after 2 pretty much sleepless nights we left her on her sofa in the kitchen – and not a peep – not even a wrinkle on the bed!  And so it has been ever since, so the crate has now been packed away.
On Monday she met the elderly folk at mum’s Red Cross group. It was great to see her ‘working the room’ and having a cuddle with everyone.  On Tuesday we had to leave her alone for the first time for about an hour and she was brilliant. On Wednesday a friend came over with her 7 month old labrador; they belted around the field for a couple of hours and got on famously. She’s beginning to walk really well on the lead slightly ahead of me without pulling and I’m happy with that.  In between going out she’s been learning all about gardening and helping to clear up the field of fallen branches and twigs.  She’s a very inquisitive and confident girl and nothing seems to rattle her; she’s comfortable with everything both in and outdoors, including the bird-scaring bangs in the fields. She doesn’t bark at people or dogs (only horse neighbours have to be barked at) and even introduced herself to the postman the other day!
Today she encountered two different kinds of lawn mowers, both of which had to be barked at until she retrieved the tasty treats I’d hidden on them! And tomorrow we’re going to Lynne Davis’ training class which I’m sure she’ll enjoy – I’ll let you know.
By the way – the cough disappeared so I’ll return the pills to you in the post.
So, I hate to gloat given that some rehomed dogs seem to have so may problems, but our little Pepper is just amazing!
More pictures to follow as soon as I’ve worked out how to sync them from my phone!
Best wishes,
Edna, Marianne & Pepper

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