It's been very, very VERY quiet around here these last few days. The baby Labrador has gone to my friend Kirsten's home for a few weeks to polish her manners and her leash skills. She's the 5th one of my dogs that Kirsten, a genuinely gifted trainer, has worked with over the years. It sounds like a lot but we have two dogs at a time, plus we lost Daisy last year to a rattlesnake bite.
Little Teddy is on Day Three of her three-week stay. She's a true pandemic puppy. The extreme isolation we all faced meant she met only a handful of new people in that brief window during which puppies are pretty much fearless. It's made her wary of strangers and that's one of the things Kirsten is working on.
By the time the training period is over, my dogs don't want to come home. They live with Kirsten and her family, go on daily hikes or walks or swims with their fellow trainees, and basically live their best lives. They get taken to restaurants and stores and cafes and hotels to learn about the big, noisy, unpredictable world, and return relaxed and calm and so easy to live with.
The amount of detail you're getting about Teddy's training is in direct proportion to how much we miss her. (Well, not Walter yet. But he will.) The kids here play with her toys and hang out in her crate and insisted we can't move her daytime dog bed, except to vacuum. Later today we're going to make a Teddy advent calendar so we can cross off the days. She comes home on June 3.
Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of a swallowtail in the woods in Solstice Canyon a few weeks ago. You don't see many of them any more, and this one was very shy, wouldn't let me get close enough for a decent shot.