Well, after quite a bit of asking around and looking into stuff (in spite of one commenter’s belief that I was going to slack on this, this has been the plan since the beginning) we have found a well-respected local behavioral consultant/trainer who will do a private session with us and Bella. Since living on a boat, in a marina, is an unusual situation, we felt we needed some personalized help. After that we’ll probably look into a group class so she can socialize with other doggies–but first she needs to learn not to throw herself at everyone, canine or human, like a furry canon ball (and, y’know, some other little issues need to be addressed).
She and we are improving quite a bit just with us trying to be consistent about commands and other signals, not letting her off the hook when she doesn’t follow a command or acts up, and trying to pay more attention to her body language so we know when she’s actually distressed or in need of a “widdle” instead of simply bidding for more attention (she really dislikes Mr. Kat hugging me since it means no one is paying attention to her, so she tries to jump on us.) She’s been very good today, though we didn’t make our stair climb because I dropped my heavy office chair on my foot Saturday and had a massive, swollen bruise that really interfered with walking for a while. It’s blue and green, but OK today (hurray for ice packs!), but I think it’s going to need the rest of today off so it doesn’t get un-OK.
Meanwhile, I’m still struggling with starting Book 7 and I finally realized why: I’m information-coordinator for about three different crises at the moment as well as having to watch my diet (gallstones = fat free diet–it’s harder than it sounds and I thank the gods for Trader Joe’s Fat Free Merengue cookies) so I don’t feel sick constantly. It’s really hard to concentrate on Characters and Plots when you’re interrupted by phone calls and e-mails and feel like you’re going to throw up most of the time. The more stressed I get, the less-tolerant my system is, so… rice and grilled chicken are my standard dinner right now, cereal with non-fat milk for breakfast, lunch… usually leftovers.
But the upside of all the dieting and walking the dog is: I’ve lost 3 pounds. Not that you can tell, but I can.
And I have the world’s greatest dog.