I find that sometimes I blog a lot about something, then move on without leaving any explanations. I'll try to amend that today.
First, there's Jake. He'll be 12 weeks on Friday. He's fully immunised and has had a couple of play dates with friends' dogs. I think he'll be a beta dog. He tends to be submissive when he meets up with other dogs. I walk him down to the beach, where I take him off his lead. He's very good off the lead. He'll run ahead, then stop and look for me. If I've gone a different direction, he'll run after me. He obeys the sit command fairly often. We need to work on Stay and Come. He gets tired and starts whimpering so I don't take him too far. When he's on the lead, he's a different story. He strains, trying to go faster and faster all the time. I try to control him and keep him on my left at all times. When he gets a bit out of hand, I stop. This forces him to stop. I then tell him to sit. I won't move until he does sit and I'm trying to teach him that he doesn't go again unless I go again. I also make him stop each time we come to a street we have to cross. He gets scared by the traffic and big trucks (lorries) and I'm trying to get him used to the sound of the traffic.
At home, he can be a little stinker. Literally. The other night he got into some onions and decided to have a snack. He's chewed on some furniture a bit, but nothing drastic. He still jumps up and still nips a bit. I tried the spray bottle suggestion from Laurie. Turns out he loves to be sprayed, and would open his mouth the second he saw the bottle. So now we try ostracism. Either he goes in another room or outside or we leave him alone. But then he gets into onions.
I've promised pictures, but my daughter doesn't know how to upload them from her phone (or can't be bothered) and the only photo we got before my husband's camera packed in is an out-of-focus one with the kids.
Now, my mother. As you might recall, there was a bit of a crisis with her in the summer before I went to visit her. She had hurt her knee pulling my stepfather out of a chair. She was depressed and fed up and ready to move in with my sister. Then my nephew and his daughter and my niece and her three daughters came to visit, and everything got worse. By the time I got there, my mother was exhausted. I got a woman from Social Services to come out and talk to my mother and stepfather about what services are available for them. They each got a personal alarm ("I've fallen down and I can't get up.") and a cleaner comes twice a month now. My mother's knee has healed, she sounds so much better on the phone, and she is NOT moving in with my sister, who doesn't have the room anyway as her three sons, one son's girlfriend, one granddaughter and one grandson-to-be are all living with her now.
About my son: I had a lot of angst over the past year about my son. Where we live, children can take an exam called the 11-Plus to determine what secondary school they go to. If they pass, they get a place at a grammar school, which tends to be single-sex and more academically oriented than comprehensives, which are co-ed, all-ability schools. In primary school my son hadn't exactly shone. He was always a borderline pass, at best. But he did pass the 11-plus. He has proved himself to be organised and confident. He ran in an inter-form race in September. The first week he finished 33rd out of 150 boys, with no training whatsoever. The next week he finished 7th. The night we got Jake, we also got a phone call from the man who heads the cross-country team at his school inviting him to join. He did, and has made decent finishes ever since. I don't think I have enough words to express how proud and relieved I am.
About my daughter: We survived the birthday party. She continues to be self-engrossed, which is probably par for the course for a 13-year-old.
If I've left anything out, please let me know.