A Pixie Update
Pixie, our "Eskipoo", has now been with us for over a year and she has turned out to be a wonderful dog. Last October, we enrolled her in obedience school where she attended an evening class one night a week for 10 weeks with 20 other dogs. Although she was quite young, she was a fast learner, and when her training was complete, she was tied for "best in class" with one other dog. Actually, there were only 6 dogs that persevered to finish the course. She learned the basic things that we were hopeful she would master. She learned the verbal and hand signal commands to "sit", "drop", "stay", "front", "come" "leave it", and "all done". She also learned to heal with and without a leash. With this basic training, we have been rewarded with a dog that comes when called, drops to the floor and stays for 30 minutes at a time when we are eating, and sits so that we can fasten and unfasten her leash. She walks by our side when directed, andleaves interesting smells or other dogs alone when asked. This might all sound like she is perfect, but sometimes her masters forget to enforce the training and she is smart enough to take advantage of that at times. But, she has now become a complete member of our family and she knows what we expect of her and rarely gets into trouble. She was totally potty trained when she was 6 1/2 to 7 months old and has not had a single accident since then. And, we are able to leave the house at times for most of the day and then come home to a dog that is happy to see us with no signs of any mischief taken place. Also, she is very quiet and rarely barks. Only at certain times when we play hard with her will she let out an excited bark, but she does not bark at strange noises, other dogs or people. We are absolutely thrilled to be so lucky to have this dream dog, and good friend to us both.
Pixie loves people (and especially children) and sometimes that is a problem, but we have been working with her on that. We have been trying to expose her to as many people as possible and to large crowds when we can. Her action when she would meet someone new was to get terribly excited with emotion, crying, and wagging not just her tail, but wagging her whole body out of control. Now, she still gets excited with someone new, but she is a bit more restrained, especially when told to "sit" or "drop". But, we have to watch her at those times because her emotional patience is short lived. So, our training continues, but she is steadily improving and it looks like she'll outgrow this.
Pixie also loves to play until exhausted. She has a bed full of many toys and will bring them out to us, one by one, so that we'll play with her. Some of them are "squeaker" toys, and she will find the squeaker within the toy and then lean against us while making a loud racket. Then she'll play "keep away" as we grab for the toy while she squeaks it even more. When we are out in the back yard, she'll come to us with a playful growl and expect us to chase her. When we do, she'll race as fast as she possibly can in giant circles around us as we try to grab a touch of her. Then, our roles will be reversed as we try to run in circles to avoid her, but that does not usually last long because we get exhausted way before she does. Sometimes we take her to the dog park in Seattle, near the Cascade Bicycle Club, so she can play with other dogs. One section of the park is set aside for younger or smaller dogs, but she is not always successful in finding other dogs who are as interested in running and chasing as she is. Most would rather sit, walk, or sniff her back side.
It has been interesting to watch Pixie's fur coat grow and develop. When she was new to us, she was just a round, white, little fluff ball with apricot ears. When she was about 5 1/2 to 6 months old (when she started obedience training), she started to lean out and started loosing some of her fur. She actually started to look a bit ugly, maybe a better word would be "straggly". She really did not look to us like the dog we had imagined she would turn out to be, and to us it was not a pretty sight. There was her sparse baby fur, about 4 or 5 inches long which overlaid her newer but short adult fur which was about an inch long. Well, her adolescense did come to an end and soon her newer adult fur grew out, and the baby fur thinned to nothing. At about 9 months she regained her former beauty, but now with a luxurious new long hair coat that was not shedding. In fact, she started to look a bit chubby, except when Diana would give her a bath and her long skinny legs would be revealed. For the summer, we decided that she would be more comfortable without that long fur, and so she experienced her first hair cut. Now, she again had a new look, but now she looked a little more regal with some real stature and authentic long legs, almost like the poodle she almost is.
(Click on pictures below to enlarge)