My dear MIL asked about my puppy Phoenix, so I thought I'd better do a quick update on my "girls." Phoenix is approaching 7 months old (on the 28th), and she's getting ready to graduate from the beginning/intermediate obedience class. We go on Tuesdays for our girl-time at the local pet store where her classes are held. She's one of two German Shepherd Dogs in the class. The other is a male 6 month old, Sam, who is a black and gold color. He's absolutely gorgeous, and if my DH wouldn't shoot me, I'd beg the woman who owns him to sell him to me. However, there's the whole three large dogs issue! There are a couple of Shih-tzus in the class (same owners), a poodle (who Phoenix tried to eat this week...well, not really, but she did try to bite her head, so I think that probably would have caused the same stress on the owner). There's also a beagle and a Sheltie. All very nice dogs, but unfortunately, they're not as smart as Phoenix. It's true. She only missed nine points on her "pretend examination." Since we're leaving to go to OKLAHOMA (and texas..yes that was intentional), she's going to hopefully graduate next week instead of the week after. So far, she's learned to heel (we're still working on the automatic sit), sit-stay, drop-stay, come from a distance, and stand-stay. She also has pretty good manners, like sitting before the door is opened for her to be let out. She also apparently likes Ju Ju Bees since she lets him lay all over her. I even heard him trying to tell her to "come," and apparently, she's no dummy because he had a treat and she came right to him!
Now, my other girl is Layla-girl. SWK calls her "our princess." Whenever we come home, Layla runs to greet us (Phoenix is left inside when we're away), and SWK makes over her like she is, indeed, a princess. A big, hairy princess, but nonetheless. She's never been a ball-driven dog, and that's always frustrated DH. Part of the issue when she was younger is that our neighbors had a dog who loved to fetch. He didn't like to bring the fetch-ee back, but he would always run after whatever it was we threw for Layla. So, Miss Priss, being the submissive one, would let him get it or if she did get it, she'd give it up to him.
So, tonight I was playing ball with Phoenix, and Layla would start out after it like she wanted the ball, too. She'd be about halfway across the yard when Phoenix would get to the ball, so Layla would turn around a have a smile on her face. I could see the wheels turning, and I think she was thinking, "Oh good, someone else to get the ball! I'd rather have a back rub!" And she would run back to me and sit on my feet and lean into me until I would rub her back.
The boys say they like Layla better because she's a nice girl. I think once Phoenix grows up a little, she'll be a nice dog, too, but she's a little, okay a lot, more active than Layla has ever been. Here's a picture that completely illustrates the differences in the two dogs. Phoenix is our guardian and Layla is our laid-back girlie. Layla will bark, but don't expect her to back it up whereas somedays I'm afraid Phoenix is going to eat the UPS man!