Flicker’s Lair Blog

Aspen update

by Heidi on March 24th, 2009
 
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I am always being asked how Aspen is doing and a proper update is long over due. It has just been so busy around here lately! He is doing well. The progress is slow so there isn’t often anything to ‘write home about’, but it is progress. Aspen has been getting better with me, but is still terribly afraid of Steve, to the point that if Steve tries to get him out of his crate or put a leash on him he pees.

So we sought more advice from the Maremma expert – Jackie at Windance farms ….

“Just a few tips for Steve. He should do all of Aspen’s feedings and not you any longer.” “It should be Steve who holds Aspen’s lead when you go for a walk.”

Aspen - our Maremma sheepdog

That led to a change in the routine, with Steve feeding them before leaving for work in the morning and then again when he gets home. The walking was trickier as it was dark before Steve got home, but now that the clocks have changed, I take them out for a walk at lunchtime, and then we take them out together in the evening.

Aspen - our Maremma sheepdog

At lunchtime I use a horse lunge line (same thing as for dogs, but much cheaper!) when I walk Aspen, which I tie around my waist. It lets him have more of a run about, while still being safe. He has slowly been showing me his more playful side and is getting more and more confident with me. When I go up to the glass door to their room to take them out, he is there at the door to greet me with his tail up and wagging and a smile on his face! He is still a little nervous when I move toward him, but he doesn’t flinch so much and I am allowed to scritch his head! It took him longer to get confident outside, but now he will, most of the time, come up close and ask for a treat.

Aspen - our Maremma sheepdog

When we take him out in the evening, Steve has him on a shorter leash so he gets used to being close. He is getting better and is starting to look almost pleased when Steve goes in the room. When Steve has some fuss time with Zeus and Winnie, Aspen will come up close and almost join in. Like I said, it’s progress, it’s slow progress, but it’s progress nonetheless.

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2 Comments

  1. Good for you and Steve and for Aspen!!! Job well done… .and thanks for posting the update!!! :)

    Comment by Lindsay — March 25, 2009 @ 6:53 am

  2. Aspen is so cute! I’m so happy to read about his progress!

    Comment by Emily — March 27, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

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