Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We Live Here, More or Less

After a weekend of hard work, we're making our house feel like a home, slowly but surely slowly.

The vast majority of the painting is now done, and while I love painting, I am never painting the ceiling ever. again. Thankfully, it looks awesome - the space just feels so much more expansive in a light, bright color. And we are blessed with awesomely high ceilings, so it's fantastic. I can't wait to get started putting in the trim!

Finishing the painting also meant we could hang the light fixture in the dining room (which was a $30 score from the local thrift shop - take that, Pottery Barn). We even got to put the switch plate covers back on.Which basically means we now have exactly one space in the house that looks more or less finished, and I will murder anyone who dares to put junk or tools there.

I'm not messing around here.

We also got out a lot of the trash and the boxes this weekend, so now we can actually walk around (at least, in most of the rooms.) And I no longer feel like a horrible neighbor for junking up the porch with boxes and donations and lord knows what. Hooray!

The bigger issue of the weekend wasn't the house, but Hermione herself. If you have a lot of experience with adolescent dogs, please share your advice! I thought she was doing really well with the move. I know it's very disruptive, despite the efforts we made to get her used to the space before we moved in. She's also at a sensitive age - 6 months. But she's been her normal, happy-go-lucky self, and she's already found the spots she likes best in the house and yard to sit, eat treats, and disembowel her toys. Well - until this weekend.

But I'm so sweet and innocent!

Hermie has rarely barked in her life, and when she does, it's usually in play. Since the move, we are now near a busier street, so many more cars and pedestrians go by, and she's started to bark at some of them. That doesn't seem aggressive - more like she wants to go play with them. Also, several of our neighbors have barking dogs, and she barks back at them when they get going. So maybe she's learning to bark from them, or maybe she's just finding her voice as she gets older. It's a little annoying, but not really worrisome.

So this weekend we took her with us when we went out for a quick breakfast. (We're currently doing all our dishes in the bathroom sink, so eating out is really appealing.) We sat outside in a busy but not crowded eating area, with pedestrians and several dogs. She was doing fine, exploring and attention-mongering, until a woman walked by with a black poodle. Neither the owner nor the dog approached us, or even paid any attention to us - no reason for Miss H to feel threatened.

HOWEVER. She suddenly started barking her head off, aggressively. She was loud, insistent, and even tried to lunge at this dog. (We always keep her on leash, so there was no actual danger.) We couldn't get her to stop - she totally ignored all her normal commands. Ultimately I just picked her up so the other dog and owner would feel safe, and held onto her until she calmed down.

She relaxed, and didn't bark at the other dogs that walked by or that were sitting nearby. Then, about five or ten minutes later, the same dog walked by again. Again, Hermione started barking very aggressively and wouldn't stop, despite the fact that this dog was not very near us or even looking our way. At that point we just left to get her out of the situation.

Now I'm nervous to take her out in public, since I'm not sure what triggered her or if this would happen again. I know she needs to keep socializing, and that this is a difficult age and a rough transition for her, but eek! What to do?

I'll probably be calling a dog trainer for a private session...

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