Well, this morning I opened the sliding glass door a crack to let a fly out, and before I knew it she had flown out the door and was out in the front yard. She was like greased lightning! A dog friend was passing by, and thankfully she was focused on meeting him and didn't take off down the street.
Once we cajoled her back into the house and got her on a leash, I looked at Molly and said "I'm writing a thank you post to dog trainers right now." When I found Kanga last November, I was convinced that we should get her and her sister, who we were going to call Roo (after the characters in Winnie the Pooh). When I announced the happy news to this community, several dog trainers posted publicly and also wrote me privately with their concerns. They talked about how in a "wild" pack the puppies would be separated from their littermates and taken into the pack as a whole. They would learn to be part of the pack, separate from their family. This helped them to become fully responsible adult dogs. In a human family, two puppies, especially littermates who are already a "family," could skip this developmental process. Instead of integrating into the new "pack", the puppies might "stick together" and not bond completely or properly with me and Molly. The trainers all said that training could be not just twice as much work, but ten times the work. (That made me sit up and cock my head to the side.) They emphasized with great compassion that while this situation could work out fine, it was a lot of hard work. They suggested we get one puppy now and bring in another puppy when she was older. We were pretty excited about two puppies, but when four dog trainers all contact me, I pay attention. We called a dog trainer friend and asked our vet, Dr. Dressler, what they thought. We did some research and read some articles online. And then we decided to take the advice. I'm so glad. As you know, having a new puppy is a lot of work. But this teenage thing is even more! I can see that if Kanga had a sister she "listened" to more than she listened to me, she would be even more likely to be badly behaved. This morning she probably would have trotted off down the street with her sister and ignored our calls altogether. I was thinking about getting a new puppy this winter when Kanga turns one. Now I'm thinking to wait until she's eighteen months and a little bit more adult. We don't want a puppy to learn from her, at least not this week. :-) We'll have a little bit more patience and make sure we're a stable pack before we add another little one. I'm not saying this is the only way to do things, but I for one am glad that K9Krazy and others - I wish I could remember all of you specifically - advised me so well. For me, this is the right thing to do. And in the meantime we will be taking her for an extra walk everyday to drain that extra teenage energy. PS: Thank you for all the suggestions and calls about the book - I am still negotiating with the distributor and will let you know ASAP!