To celebrate Father's Day, Maisie and I went to see my parents out in the suburbs. Since Maisie has uh, marked her territory on their carpet in the past, I was nervous she might have another "accident." She actually behaved like a perfect little lady this time, though precautions had already been taken.
First, I got Maisie groomed the day before to reduce her seasonal shedding and to present her in the best (aka cutest and cleanest) light possible. Next, my mother used a blanket to cover the nice couch in the "living room," which in reality is a room in which we do no living at all as it is primarily for guests...real guests that is, as opposed to me or my brother. Maisie loves that couch because she usually gets it all to herself.
Third, I always bring a blanket or towel (or in this case, a bathmat) as a "home base" for Maisie. She is trained to "go to your bed" when necessary...for example, if she begs for food when friends are over, becomes too riled up during a Mr. Peepers play session, or gets overly excited when the dog walker arrives at the office. It's a very handy command, and I used it with the mat yesterday as we were eating appetizers on the (other) couch in the family room and when I just wanted her to lie quietly nearby. Finally, I brought an antler along to keep Maisie occupied and provide an appropriate chewing outlet should she get bored.
The bathmat served its purpose quite nicely, though it was too small to completely contain Maisie all stretched out in frog mode!
It wasn't long before my brother beckoned her onto the couch next to him for some pets and scritches.
A little later, my mother and I took Maisie on a leisurely half hour stroll around the neighborhood while my dad and brother watched baseball, then the humans gathered around the dining room table for dinner. Maisie took full advantage of the newly vacated couch and hunkered down for a post-walk snooze.
All in all, it was a very successful parental visit with no negative incidents whatsoever. Could it be that Maisie really is becoming a better behaved dog on a fairly consistent basis? Or is this all just part of her evil plan to make me let my guard down? Only time will tell...
Edited to add: Maisie totally snapped and lunged at some random guy when I turned my back to close my umbrella as we entered the office building this morning. So while she has definitely shown improvement, her behavior is still somewhat unpredictable and she can't be trusted 100% (at least, not around strange men). Disappointing. :(
If you have not yet "liked" us on Facebook, I sure hope you will! You'll know right away when there's a new blog post, and the Facebook page will feature extra photos to help you get your Maisie fix even more often!