This post is a collection of updates about how things are going with Felix, my new Japanese Chin puppy. Some of you may have read some of these before, as I have posted some of them on various platforms. But some of it is new (like the picture at the end!).
Felix has been settling in pretty well. I am amazed by his smarts and bravery. He figured out our magnetic screen door on his first try! He is already good at untangling himself from the leash. And on this morning’s walk, he walked on a manhole cover unprompted and unfazed, explored a storm drain with rushing water without fear, and stood and watched a large semi moving-truck pass us. On the way back, he stopped to sniff the (now turned off) moving truck.
In the mornings I’ve been pouching him while I prepare my breakfast. This is to get him used to being pouched. I’m not sure how he feels about pouching. He doesn’t love it, but he also doesn’t seem to hate it.
Today for the first time I tried him on my lap while I ate my lunch. Up till now we’ve just been working on him ignoring food. He did pretty well today being on my lap, though he much preferred sitting to lying down. He made it through almost a whole meal (I eat fast!) on my lap!
Really the only downside has been breakfast time. Without Brad there to help (he is sleeping during puppy breakfast) I am struggling to feed the pups. If I crate Felix, he barks and Alice won’t eat when he’s barking. If he’s out, Alice won’t eat because he’s too close. Felix is also not very interested in food himself, so that’s a struggle, too.
Alice hasn’t been happy Felix joined our family. The first day he was home, she hid in the bedroom and didn’t eat at all. She’s slowly gotten better day by day. She still doesn’t like him much, but is able to be close to him without any problems so long as he doesn’t sniff her too much (she is now allowing occasional small sniffs).
Over the past couple of days, he has lain down next to her a few times and she’s been fine with it. But tonight was awesome! Felix and Hestia were already sleeping on the couch, and Alice came up and lay down on her own a few inches away from Felix! He woke up and they sniffed each other for several seconds before both going back to sleep. I got a picture of that!
I’ve also been able to walk all three dogs together. I tried that out this afternoon. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I think it’s entirely doable to walk all three together. I will just have to stop to sort out leashes more often, but it’s not a big deal. Despite Felix never having been on a leash before 4 days ago, his leash manners are really really good!
So overall things are going well. I think Felix has what it takes to be a service dog. If we can just figure out breakfast and get Felix and Alice to eat more at all meals, then it’ll be smooth sailing!
Below is a picture of the pups sleeping on the couch together. Hestia is in the foreground, curled up next to me. Felix has his butt against the back of the couch and is lying against Brad’s thigh. Alice is on Brad’s footrest with her head facing Felix, about 2 inches apart. All three are Japanese Chin. Hestia is black and white, while Felix and Alice are sable and white.