Well, the three wee strawberries have been eaten. They were fantastic. There are now several more beginning to flower. I consider this a fine crop, not having any previous experience with growing strawberries, a situation I will remedy next season, God willing. The new crop looks like this at the moment:
We are expecting a scorcher today, temps in the high eighties and low nineties. With that in mind, we are giving our puppy some outside time this morning, before it heats up. She is settling in fairly well:
We are still learning her personality, but here's what I've noticed so far:
1. Her favorite chew toys are the ones with ropes and something hard to chew on, like a hoof, combined in one. That way, she can carry it by the rope and shake it around a bunch, then drag it to her place of rest and quietly chew.
2. She loves it outside and will fake having to go pee just so she can get us to take her outside. Clever girl.
3. She now settles into her crate at night with no whining or barking, and will stay there quietly until we take her out in the morning. She will often check it during the day to see if the "treat fairy" has been there. We only use it for sleeping at night or for short periods when we can't supervise her, and if we use it during the day, we make sure she has something delightful to chew on to keep her happy and appropriately busy.
4. We're working on the separation anxiety by placing her in a large puppy playpen just outside the living-room door for one-hour periods throughout the day, while we go about our business. She whines or barks for a short time once she realizes we are leaving her there alone, but quiets fairly quickly. We always leave plenty of water and make sure she has some interactive toys to play with.
We always make sure she is calm and quiet before we take her out. If she barks or jumps on the bars, she gets ignored.
5. If she suspects there is a delicious treat involved, she will be the most angelic, well-behaved, perfectly sitting puppy EVER. However, when there is no treat involved, she is clueless. My solution? I have treats stashed everywhere and in all the pockets of my clothing, so that I can catch her doing something good and reward her immediately in the way she prizes above all else. Often, I reinforce this with the clicker, but she is not exclusively clicker trained.
My new clematis is finally flowering:
To my delight, it is exactly the color of the one I planted years ago, but is 7-petaled instead of 4, and is smaller. I think it will make a lovely compliment to the large 4-petaled version next to it. My only challenge is actually getting it into the ground. I simply have not had the time or the weather has been too hot to plant it in its (hopefully) permanent home. Maybe I'll have the chance to plant it this Sunday, after Mass.
I may not be on-line this weekend, as the youngest has a basketball tournament in a neighboring city, which will monopolize our time.
If I don't see you all, have a wonderful weekend.