Wow, I just realized that I haven't written in almost two weeks! It's already March 10, and I have no idea where the time has gone.
Jasper is settling in beautifully, and it is so nice to have Three Pekes again. We have gone through the "new-to-the-home" issues, like excessive barking at every little unfamiliar noise, "happy peeing," and so on. He has had two classes at Petsmart U., and is doing very well. He catches on quickly, and is such a little chowhound that he is happy to work for any kind of food!
Rusty is getting over his "standoffishness" with Jasper, and they are finally starting to play together. Even though none of the dogs has asserted himself (or herself) as the alpha, Jasper realizes that he is definitely a follower, and has been very deferential with Rusty. Rusty doesn't know what to make of that, since Shasta never deferred to him in any way. So Jasper has finally figured out that if he wants Rusty to play with him, he just has to attack him...just the way Shasta used to.
And the two of them passed a milestone the other evening in that regard. I was on my way home from work, and I called Justin to let him know where I was. He was already home, since it was one of his days to conduct hearings in the field. He was totally excited when he answered my call; he explained that Rusty had initiated play with Jasper! That was indeed a first.
Jasper adores Rusty, and just wants him to play with him. They run around in the backyard together, and it is so cute...first, Rusty will run past, and then Jasper will follow right behind him, just like a shadow.
We definitely need to teach Jasper some manners, however. He is VERY impolite when goodies are being passed out; he tries to get everyone else's treats, and amazingly enough, they let him! Must be a hold-over from Shasta, because they (usually) deferred to her also. Well, Lady sometimes got into it with her, but she really doesn't with Jasper. Only when he steps on her or sniffs her rear end...that's good for a snap or a bark. All in good time, though; we'll get him in shape. He's got such a sweet disposition, and displays such funny antics, it's hard to be mad at him.
Jasper has crate-trained really quickly, which is good. We crate the two boys while we're at work, mostly for their own safety, and for house training. We have electrical cords running around the family room with our laptops, and while Jasper hasn't exhibited much of a tendency to chew on things he's not supposed to, wires can be very tempting. He's also still learning about holding his bladder until he gets outside, and the crate helps reinforce that. Rusty has always loved his crate, and we have the two of them set up so that they face each other and are separated by about five feet.
The other problem we had at first with Jasper was his tendency to bark at strange noises (everything was strange at first) at night, after we went to bed. That has seemed to work itself out, although Justin taught him the command "Enough!" which also seems to work. He has been sleeping through the night, but when Justin's alarm goes off at 5:30, he is standing up against the side of his play pen and whining to go out. And boy, does he snore! Jasper's face isn't quite as flat as Shasta's was, but it's close. He's bigger though, and so he's even noisier than she was. One night, he was so loud, I had to put earplugs in my ears to sleep, and I could STILL hear him through the earplugs!
Jasper is a real cutie, though, and we love him. We still miss Shasta terribly...there will never be another dog like her...but this little bundle of hairy energy is helping to mend our broken hearts.
Until next time...