Hi Mary,

Hi Mary, thought I would update you on Liza’s progress. She has grown so much, it’s unbelievable, to me anyway, but I’m sure you’re more used to seeing puppies change so quickly. What a joy she is, and her puppy antics are also calming down (ripping up paper etc – but she’s never been destructive to anything other than paper bags, toilet paper etc). I’ve started taking her to a small, fully enclosed and friendly dog park close by, and she just loves playing with the other dogs, and it releases her boundless energy. It is so fun watching her, she has a wonderful temperament and socializes so well with all types of dogs. The only problem I’ve encountered is that she has started guarding the big pan of water under the spigot at the dog park, so we’re working on that. She thinks it’s her private wading pool, like at home, and has occasionally yipped at other dogs trying to get a drink. From the beginning she has always loved her water bowl and often slept with her feet curled around it. And when she drank, she wanted to tip it over and play. She will graduate from the AKC STARS puppy program next week (I’m sure she’ll pass her test!). For her trick, I’ve started her on sound training and she nudges my hand when a loud portable timer goes off. However, she loves being around the dogs in class so much, I hope she will pay attention. We will move on to Super Puppy classes in early October. Everyone just loves her, I’ve heard so many people say that she is the most beautiful German shepherd they’ve ever seen, and so calm. She goes with me into stores and even a couple doctor’s appointments (though I’ve had to anchor her leash, she’s still working on staying down for a longer time, but getting there!). She seems to know that when she’s wearing her vest it’s an important time and she needs to be on best behavior. Liza is so incredibly intelligent and aware of all her surroundings every second. We were in a store the other day when she stood still and focused on the ceiling. I asked the clerk if anything was going on, and she said there was some bleeping from an overhead intercom. Good girl! She is also so very stable, some kids around here have been shooting off firecrackers at random times, and while she barks once, she immediately settles down and focuses on it for just a few seconds and then we go on playing in the back yard. And I was so impressed with her today, I have a floor heater vent cover that has a scroll pattern. It’s next to my bed. Somehow Liza got her foot/toe caught in one of the small spaces. All of a sudden I heard her yelping and running around the room, I had no idea what had happened. Then I saw the vent cover attached to her foot. I finally caught her and with difficulty extracted her foot, she was squirming so much. I thought she would be traumatized, but I calmed her a bit, gave her a treat and put the vent cover back in, and she was just fine, even came over to investigate it, no residual fear at all. She has such an incredible temperament, like you predicated. I have recently rented one of my rooms to a young male Chinese student going to the college nearby, a friend of mine knows him. He adores Liza and plays with her often and takes her for walks. I think it’s good for her not only because of the play but because she is not only adjusting to a male presence but one who speaks with an accent. She has been sleeping in Baewulf’s big 48″ wire crate, but it’s been so hot lately that I’ve let her sleep outside of it, and she’s done so well. She doesn’t get into anything (until I get up and she wants some attention). I’ll attach a few pics of her from last week, one with her nose in one of my shoes while I was getting ready for work and she didn’t think I was paying enough attention to her. She doesn’t damage anything, just her way of saying, hey, look at ME! What a sweet, beautiful girl she is!! Okay, enough talking your ear off, although I was happy to hear that Jacob came down to visit you and that he is planning to get a pup next spring. He can’t get enough Liza loves when we go into the pet store. Thanks Mary, I’m just so happy with Liza, she is even more than I could have wished for.

Danielle 9/11/2011