Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Little Girl Suddenly Seems Grown Up

Today is Katie's 18 month birthday. Since around the age of 6 months she has been slowly starting to settle down and mature. In the last month since Louis has been home I have seen her mature much more rapidly. I think it's because she is such a good big sister and mother figure to Louis. She seems to concentrate so hard on that job that she doesn't have as much time to be a crazy puppy herself.

Lately I've been able to walk Katie most of the time without her training collar (she just wears her leather buckle collar). She is listening to me so much better and paying attention for the most part during our training sessions. Last night she kicked booty in Rally class and it was all because she is learning to pay attention.

Last night I took Louis outside to use the bathroom around 11:00. Katie was with us as usual. She heard something outside our gate and let out several very deep and loud warning barks. Katie rarely barks and when she does she means business. She was sending a very clear message to whoever or whatever was out there. "Don't come near me and my family or else you will have me to deal with and it won't be pretty." The three of us went back inside, turned on the security system and went back into the bedroom. After I got Louis settled in his crate, Katie walked to the bedroom windows which overlook the front yard. This is the same direction she had been barking outside. She stood there at attention looking out the windows with a very quiet growl coming from the base of her throat. After several minutes she laid down and went to sleep. I figured the danger, if there was any, had passed, so I followed Katie's lead.

I had no idea when I got a Newfoundland that I would be getting a watchdog. I figured that they were all too friendly to fill that role, but Katie has been showing protective tendencies since she was 6 months old. Now I have heard of other protective Newfs. It's really the best of both worlds to have a dog who is protective yet loves meeting new people.

I love my grown up Katie girl. She is such a lovely young Newfie lady.

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