All my whining and moaning about Stella's tummy issues aside, she is doing a wonderful job of getting used to the noise and chaos of the city. Stella no longer pancakes on the ground when I take her out for walks. She used to go flat and refuse to move when I tried to get her out the door; twelve days later, she no longer bats an eyelash about going outside, and doesn't even need to be bribed.
A few days ago I decided to start taking her to our local dog park. These visits had to go on hiatus after just a few stops -- Stella's getting spayed next week, so no exercise for a while, and there are rumors of kennel cough going around the park, so it's probably not a good idea to expose a pup of Stella's age -- but before we stopped, she was starting to relax and play a little more.
Improving Stella's confidence will be an ongoing project for some time, and it's something that her eventual adopter should be prepared to continue. We've made enough progress now, though, that I have begun teaching her the basic commands (Sit and Down so far, the diarrhea put a crimp in my plans to teach Stay) and working on loose-leash walking. In a couple more weeks, with any luck, Stella will be ready to go on to a real home.
Meanwhile, Pongu's going to start his freestyle class tonight. I am nervous for my little goofymutt and expect that he'll be stressed and unable to focus in this session, since it will be his first time in a new environment. But I'm hopeful that he'll recover quickly and be able to participate soon, and I am further hopeful that I'll learn some things to improve my training skills and help him out at home between classes.
It's a small class -- only three other dogs! -- and I don't quite know what to expect, since I've never taken a class dedicated to any specific dog sport before. But I guess we'll find out soon.