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Miss Independent

As I'm listening to the song on my iPod I have to being utterly independent a good thing? Mom says I was always "a joy" and I was "always entertaining." I think that's mother-speak for "you were a hard-headed, stubborn little thing and every day was a brand-new CHALLENGE!"

I think I turned out ok, but probably added to Mom's aging process significantly. Oh well - you've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, right? Mmm...omelet.

Anyway, the point I'm circling around is this: I'm an independent female and put my mother through trying times. It's only poetic justice that the same fate shall befall me some day. Technically, since I don't plan on having kids in the near future, I shouldn't have to worry yet...but then along comes Zada and WHAM! there it is.

For a German shepherd puppy, she's pretty typical. She goes through phases of all the usual actions: chewing on appropriate toys, chewing inappropriate household goods, peeing outside, peeing inside, whining, barking, being cuddly, chewing on ME...but I can see she's going to be marching to the beat of her own drum someday.

Which is fine, but hopefully she learns the rules before she gets too big. She's improved 100% since I brought her home on Saturday - remember she'd been an outdoor dog her entire 4 months on Earth - she doesn't jump up (as often) on people or counters, is VERY good at not chewing on the myriad of dangling, low-hanging objects throughout the house (e.g. hairdryer cord), and is doing excellently on the leash, as well.

I've found that since she has no concept (yet) of what "no" means, the easiest way to discipline her is to be the alpha dog (amen, Cesar). The breeder would scold her in this way, too, and it works - I show my teeth, growl and/or bark at her. Think about it, dogs are hard-wired to be pack leaders or followers. If there's already a follower of the "pack," then they fulfill the follower role. Last night, she was sitting by my feet (I was on the couch) and I was leaning in, scratching her neck (she hates her collar) and she decided she wanted to try to chew on my hair. I showed my teeth and gave one loud, angry bark and she immediately stopped and put back her ears, then laid down with a sigh at my feet.

Hopefully tonight I'll get some more pictures of my "Miss Independent"...I think she's grown just since I got her 3 days ago!