The summer has been hot and dry, another drought.  The Newfs are taking a walk with me in the mornings, and if it is cool enough late in the day, they spend some time outside.  As hot as it has been, both girls want to stay inside.  Banner will look at you like you’re crazy to ask her to go outside during the day.  She can “hold it” now for a very long time, or unless you take her out on leash.  Needless to say, under these conditions, there is not enough exercise or mental stimulation for a young Newfoundland.

To add to these conditions, the central air conditioner that was installed in 2005 failed for the second time this summer.  Since demolition is expected to begin within the next few weeks, we pulled a window air conditioner out of storage and installed that in the bedroom.  This makes for a small zone in the rock house comfortable enough for Newfs.  So I have the Office Manager and Apprentice all day every day at work.  For the most part, they sleep during the day.  But then they wake up with unused energy.

When she is outside late in the day, Banner sprints at top speed across the lawn in one direction, then another, like she is a Quarter Horse practicing for Ruidoso Downs or an upcoming barrel race.  This would be good exercise, but she likes to practice close stops too, and in Jade’s case, she likes to test her landings.  Managing a young Newfoundland requires a lot of attention!

To entertain them, I take them with me on errands.  They love people-watching, gazing at the changing scenery as we pass and the possibility of treats at stops.  This weekend, we will be able to take them swimming for the first time in a long time, as construction demands have prevented water training this year.  They will be very, very excited!

As Banner has grown up, I have noticed so many similarities between her and the boys, and I’ve been very pleased.  She has her own quirks and variations – she is her own unique self.  But there were so many similarities, and one missing:  I thought she did not possess the internal timeclock/calendar that the boys had.  At one year of age, I wasn’t sure that this would be one of her traits.

On weekends, we do some fun things with them, beginning on Saturday mornings.  This must be the start of the 7-day Calendar-programming, when boredom reaches an apex, followed by a day of fun.  And in these weather conditions, boredom builds throughout the week.  So, throughout the week, things went from a little girl dismayed that Monday was here to Thursday, when her cup of self-restraint began to overfill.

The girls are left separated when we are not in the house or I am not in the office.  Last Thursday, she had begun looking for ways to taunt Jade, who loves to play and is still easy bait when someone else dares her to be naughty.  Her response:  I’ll take your dare, and can you top this?!  Jade was in the living room that evening, and Banner was in the kitchen area.  This had been going on earlier in the day, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to walk in the back door in time to see 150 lbs. of Newfoundland just as she jumped onto the sofa and spun to jump off.  I may have distracted her at a bad moment.  The rugs have been cleaned and packed, and the “responsible” one had been left in the living room.  But as I spotted her and she jumped down and turned, her feet went out from under her on the hard floor, and she crash-landed.

The next day, she was limping front and rear on one side.  Banner was also sore from some of her antics.  Boredom can be expensive!  They spent Friday recovering from their “party hangover”, then we had a nice Saturday, followed by a nice Sunday, while Newfoundlands slept it off and humans worked on the new project.  When Monday arrived, there was that look on Banner’s face again.  I commented to Greg that I thought she didn’t feel well.  He said, “It’s Monday.”  Then I realized with joy that we have another calendar-minder!

And true to form, her cup was overflowing by Thursday this week, and today she is lying in the office but not sleeping, checking periodically for signs that I may be ready to do something.  The humans have work to do today, but tomorrow, the girls will be excited beyond Newfie imagination!

Happy Friday from the Bigfoot Club!


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