It is hard to believe that Eli is approaching one year of age.
At last check, Eli weighed in at eight pounds. He seems to be staying right around eight to nine pounds so I am pretty sure he is as big as he is going to get.
Eli has been incredible with doing his job. He certainly cannot demonstrate his willingness to do so any more than he does. He does not want me out of his sight. Eli is definitely the cutest babysitter I have ever seen and absolutely the favorite of any babysitter I have ever had in my life.
It has been suggested that Eli is muzzled when we are in public. At first I thought that was a good idea to protect others from being nipped. However, the more I give thought to it, the more I do not like it. People SHOULD NOT be reaching for Eli. It aggravates me a lot when people just reach out to touch him when we are out in public. Eli is supposed to help me feel more confident living with my disability and I should not have to shy away from situations for fear of how Eli is going to be treated. The more important reason I am uncomfortable with the idea of muzzling Eli is that he uses his mouth to alert me to symptoms. I feel as though he and I would have to do some retraining with the muzzle, but I am nervous about how he would react to the device. Eli is not able to stop me as a bigger dog would be able to. All Eli has, really, is his mouth. A muzzle would handicap him, I feel.
We are working on Eli being able to potty outside under the supervision of someone other than me. It is important for Eli to be able to take care of himself out of my presence. Right now, he barely goes out the door if I am not. When he does, he stands on the porch right at the door waiting to be let back inside. This needs to be worked on. Of course, I need to have others' cooperation with this part of Eli's ongoing training.
Eli does tend to test his limits out of doors, although he is getting better with his outside obedience. I am not sure if I can give credit to obeying my requests or if he just goes on his instinct to have to stay with me. In any event, obedience in a distracting environment needs to be strengthened and I have really been looking forward to agility classes to help with this. Unfortunately, I keep coming up short of the finances to be able to attend.
Eli does change people's views of his breed. Not a day goes by that I do not receive compliments on how smart and well-behaved Eli is. I know part of it can be attributed to the hard work and devotion I have given, but not every dog has it in them to be a working dog. It just so happens that this tiny dog has the drive to serve. <3
(?..? (?..` ? God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them.*??)
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