We started our holiday celebrations with the aforementioned trip on the Amtrak to Charlottesville, VA. Orent was perfect! He slept most of the ride, and managed to make it all the way outside of Union Station before hurrying, thus saving us a major embarrassment. In Charlottesville, Orent got to meet Max's parents' dog, Lucy. Lucy does not like other dogs, but she and Orent got along OK. Eventually, she decided she'd stop barking at him and tolerate his presence. When they played out back (in the fenced-in yard - woohoo!), Lucy took the role of personal trainer. She sat down and barked at Orent, and Orent ran circles around her until he was too tired to move. Sadly, I never got a photo of that, but I do have this nice one of Orent and Max in Union Station!
On the way home, we only had one tiny issue - Orent refused to hurry next to the train while we stopped in DC for a short time. So we ran outside the train station (quite far away), Orent hurried, and then we ran back to the train and made it back with time to spare. Phew!
Back home, we took some time to wrap presents for family and friends. They lived under the Christmas tree, and Orent loved to steal the bows and go running up and down the hall with them (side note: have we mentioned how much Orent loves to steal dirty socks and go tearing up and down the halls with them. We're trying to convert that instinct into helping bring the laundry to the laundry room, to limited success). We nipped the bow-stealing in the bud quickly, by putting the xpen around the tree. Orent spent many minutes sitting in front of the xpen, staring longingly the presents... that is, until he found a toy and decided that way more interesting.
But all of this brings me to a bigger developmental change. Because Orent is older, we've been letting him wander the apartment fairly unattended, when we're home and can keep a bit of an eye on him. It's great for him, because he's learning how to control himself. But occasionally, it gets us into pickles. We have very steep stairs up to a loft, and I was wrapping presents in the loft one afternoon when Orent decided to come up and visit. The loft is a place that's strictly cats-only, but here was the little fur ball. I tried to shoo him down the stairs, but they were so steep, he refused to go down. Like 'dig-in-the-heels-and-furrow-the-brow' refused. Kibble, treats, even peanut butter couldn't coax him down the stairs. So eventually I picked him up and put him a few steps down. Seeing no other option, he followed the peanut butter lure the rest of the way down. Silly puppy getting into pickles!
The next weekend, we loaded Orent back up in the car and drove him all the way to Cleveland, where he met new family members and new pets. By the end of the visit at my dad's house, Orent was given free-wandering privileges because he'd been so incredibly good. He was well loved by my family, and was invited back again. Success! The hardest part was there was no fenced in yard, and the other dogs had electric fence collars. So Orent mostly had to stay inside to play, since the long leash just got tangled around trees and other dogs.
On the ride home, we stopped to meet my grandmother (of the Eat-n-Park adventures back in November). This time, we met at the Olive Garden. The wait staff was very sweet and let him come in, even though they were very busy. They gave us a big table, and Orent tried his best to "under", but he just kept getting distracted. It didn't help we were distracted, talking to my sister and my grandmother! The best moment was when he finally fell asleep, which fortunately came shortly after the worst moment - Orent stuck his head up on the table and licked the salad bowl! Bad puppy!
This week, both Max and I were off work, so we took Orent for a couple adventures. First, to the Rocky statue at the Philly Art Museum, where he did his best Rocky impression, much to the astonishment of the other folks waiting in line to do their pose.
We got a tip about a DIY dog wash at the Petco in Cherry Hill, so we ventured over there to make our stinky dog less gross. He was so scared of the ramp, we eventually had to pick him up and put him in the raised sink/bathtub. But he loved the sprayer, and even tolerated the air dryer. And best of all - he doesn't stink anymore!
We concluded our crazy adventures by putting on Orent's new snow boots. We thought they'd be easy to adjust to, but boy did he do funny things when we put them on him. We made a whole video to show you, because you simply can't describe how hysterical it was!
In other news, we've noticed Orent has adopted a number of Max's mannerisms, including a disdain for the mornings (he sleeps til 9 or 10am some mornings!) and a desire to look cool doing funny things:
So that's it for 2011. Our New Year's resolution - get the puppy to let us cut his nails! Wish us luck... we're going to need it.