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free range puppy

one of the big concerns I had prior to moving to our new home was the whole puppy situation. in cincinnati we had a fenced in yard, sidewalks for our morning walks, a routine for potty training and lots of indoor space. I couldn't help but to get a little anxious when I realized all of those structured supports would disappear with our move.

moving + downsizing with a full bred springer spaniel of the ripe age of 10 months was definitely an experience. now that we're about a month into our new life I'm happy to say we not only survived but it seems like forrest is thriving.

I was dreading having to manage a long lead with all the activities he likes to join us for...yard work, hanging by the fire, lounging on the patio, chillaxin' with neighbors and hanging out on the dock.

turns out forrest is embracing the free range puppy life pretty good. for being just a year old he stays around us pretty well and we don't need his lead much at all. he does love to go visit anyone new he notices. but after a short hello he's typically headed back towards our direction.

I think having smaller living space helped solidify his iffy potty training. we were able to keep track of him better and could notice when he was needing to go out. glad to say he's fully potty trained.

my worry about him not being able to sleep with us in the loft is gone. it actually gets pretty warm in the loft and this dude has a lot of all three of us are content with him sleeping downstairs. he happily greets us every morning.

one of the cutest things is the friends he has to play with. his bestie is bean. she's a nine year old pit mix and we could watch them play together for hours. she tolerates his puppy energy so well and she'll put him in check when he's getting to be a little much...typically its with a full body bump-check.

he also has two boxer friends, luna, who's also nine, and mostly watches from afar. but the other boxer, ella, is the same age as forrest and those puppies are non stop. they're gonna be inseparable come summer time. rough housing in nature sure beats walking on sidewalks and definitely wears him out quicker.

for being bred to flush birds and retrieve ducks this pup is a little hesitant of the water still. we took him to the dock and he was curious but not intrigued enough to jump in. once the water warms up a bit I'm sure he will be joining us in the water but for now he's content just appreciating it.

when he's not running around outside doing whatever he wants he's always sure to be helping us with our tasks. my absolute favorite thing is when he's keeping my toes warm. he likes to supervise meal prep and help with laundry a lot. this pup can sniff a sock out of anywhere.

he's currently in drill training, where he gets treats to not bark when we are using the drill on projects. and if we have anything slightly looking or sounding like cardboard, we just consider it destroyed by him.

he's quite the stick monster and I guess he's in the perfect setting for this obsession. the other day bob was so happy with how good the yard looked after raking all the fallen sticks. and then about twelve minutes later forrest and bean had brought so many sticks from the neighbors' yard and sprinkled them all over ours. sorry bob. he was helping the neighbor clean up sticks the other day and I have to remind him frequently that sticks are not to be brought inside.

we've also learned that when he's free ranging too far, the sound of the golf cart gets him sprinting back. he loves golf cart rides and isn't particular about who's cart he's jumping on. it was helpful the one time I went looking for him and our neighbors brought him to me after he joined their golf cart ride.

we love having forrest as our pup to join us in all of our little adventures. and it seems he's slowly becoming a social butterfly around the lake. just the other day we were drinking coffee on the patio and he inserted himself on our neighbors walk. they stopped and asked for his leash and he joined them for the rest of their two miles. she's now getting him treats for when he visit their house.


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