Sunday, May 10, 2015


Gunnar's left ear went up today. We've been wondering and waiting for awhile, we thought we might have a one ear up, one ear down, sheepdog. (Which was very cute too) He's growing so quickly it's hard to remember how little he was when he first came home. He is getting blond highlights and more chocolate brown touches to his coat. His final stool sample was free of coccidia and he's back on track with his vaccinations etc.
Gunnar - down
Gunnar - up
We think Gunnar is a really special guy. He is much loved and admired and almost too smart for his own good. His main challenge is training the people in his life. He loves running and playing, he's created a puppy slip and slide on an old tarp. It hysterical, he runs at it full tilt and slides through the water again and again. Stuffed toys don't stand a chance, except the flower you gave him. We just replace them because he enjoys them so. You won't be surprised when I say he wants to not only be with his people but keep them all together as a flock. Watching the kids get on the school bus or Steinn walk to work brings out his herding instincts. We have a friend who has a flock of Icelandic sheep, he has kindly said Gunnar can come out when he's older and we'll see if he has the instincts to work them.
It's interesting, Gunnar pretty much ignores squirrels and rabbits but watches and will chase birds. He especially watches crows. Last night he met a cat, stayed next to me and didn't bark or chase, even when the cat came over to him to hiss! While we wait for the final fence parts to arrive some neighbors have offered their dog free fenced gardens so Gunnar can explore and play and totally let loose and run as much as he likes, but I'm always there and he checks in every once in awhile.

Our main challenge currently is Gunnar's complete rejection of his crate and puppy enclosure. He will stay contained in our kitchen but under no circumstances will he go into the crate or puppy area! Treats and games are refused, and don't try just putting them at the back of the crate because he will outsmart you and get them anyway.  I know this has its roots in those first days when we stayed with him because he was ill and we didn't want him staying in a fouled kennel so we were frequently cleaning. We are working on it.

Already Gunnar is a treasured member of our family. He gets me moving, even on painful days. Watching him play with Steinn is a joy.  He loves the kids and hangs out doing homework after school on the bed. There are people who try to schedule their walks or come out just to greet him. He offered puppy love to stressed students during finals week!  We do these things in quick bursts then go home to rest and not get overtired. The only dog bed he will use is the king size one that used to be ours! Otherwise he seems comfortable almost everywhere on the floor. Remember how he used to sleep as a puppy with his head back in that torturous position? He still does sometimes.
Gunnar, Steinn
How are you and the rest of the pack? Is Totty back to enjoying her freedom? And you? You were correct about the addictive nature of the Icelandic Sheepdog, I already would like another, but we will wait until Gunnar is a bit older and trained so he can be the role model he was meant to be!

Anneliese, Steinn, Asta, Diddi, and of course Gunnar.

PS the kids say to tell you Gunnar is the best puppy ever and there is NO WAY we would return him so someone else could raise him. (When they heard how many people still wanted puppies they got worried.)

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