Bandit turned nine months this past Thursday. Here's a little update of things I want to remember about the stage he's at now.
EATING: We've cut him back to a half cup of dry food in the morning, and another half cup in the evening. He was looking a little bottom heavy. In walking behind him when going up and down stairs, it seemed as if all his weight was in his rear-end. In the last few weeks we have begun to see his waist again. He gives absolutely no indication of being hungry or missing that quarter cup of food we've cut out each meal time.
KITCHEN DUTIES: When I'm in the kitchen and the dishwasher is open, and dirty, Bandit loves to lick whatever's available, so we're getting into the habit of putting knives in the back. He is still the happiest if allowed to be in the kitchen while I cook or clean up. He's very good about understanding that "scoot-scoot" means he needs to leave the kitchen altogether.
BEDTIME: A couple of months ago we purchased a second dog bed from Costco (a big cushion just like we have downstairs). Bandit no longer sleeps on our bed all night. On his own he had taken to jumping down and just sacking out on the floor. He starts out on our bed, usually chewing on a bone or a chewie. Then, he gets the sillies and starts to root around on the bed, yipping and barking. He's like a two year old trying with all his might to keep his eyes open and stay awake. Almost as soon as he starts yipping and barking, he jumps down onto his bed and is fast asleep. He turns off the sillies very quickly. Once he's out, he's out. The bedroom cushion gets pushed under our bed in the morning. When evening comes he seems to ask (with his eyes) that his cushion be pulled back out.
CUDDLE BUG: Bandit loves to cuddle! He's not happy in the long run to just lay beside us. He will usually lay his head on our chest or in the crook of our neck. Then, ever so slowly (but not always gently) his two front paws come up and over. Then, he scrunches his whole body on top of us. As long as we can breathe, everything is fine.
WALKS: He has a memory for EVERYTHING! He knows which dog lives where, which dog might pop up in the front window as he walks by, who is going to bark at him before we get to their house, and where something stinky is (like a dead squirrel or someone else's poop job) that I don't want him sniffing at. When we pass other dogs on walks, he does very well when I tell him to "leave it." The rest of the time he gets to socialize and say hello, or sometimes a certain dog will just set him off and he'll bark and bark and it's hard to get him to settle down. He walks like a dream next to us (he's only allowed to walk on our left side) and never does any tugging or pulling. If he tries to get ahead we tell him, "right here" and he knows to get back in step alongside us.
GROOMING: I'm still grooming his nails using the Pedi-Paws. It goes very well. It's still not his favorite thing to do, but it's so much easier than using nail clippers, and there's essentially no pain or blood. Bandit's hair is getting longer in places, and we've noticed that he tends to get some little knots behind his ears, so we're needing to brush and comb him more frequently now. The hair area around his tush seems to be a real area for hair growth!
WORD RECOGNITION: He absolutely understands the word "walk." He also knows that K is "Papa" or "Popsie", and he knows that I'm "Mama." I can tell Bandit, "Go to Papa" and he'll go running to K, and he'll come over to me if K says, "Go to Mama." We're currently working on him recognizing T and M by name. If we call for Simba, Bandit will perk up and look in the direction that Simba is sure to be coming from. I need to start making a list of his words of recognition. I'm pretty sure he even knows we're talking about him if we say, "Who's a smartie?" He really is incredibly sharp.
I'm hoping to add some current photos tomorrow ...