Joni has come a long way from the photograph of her that you see at the beginning of this album. Not only has she grown so that she looks almost adult, but she is (mostly) obedient enough to be able to walk with us off her leash, in the woods and on the beach at least. She doesn't exactly walk to heel (not at all, to be honest unless she is on the leash) but she runs and walks a little way ahead before pausing and turning to see if we are coming along behind her. She will wait if I tell her to and will even sit when I ask, even though I am not nearby. If she thinks she knows where we are going she will sometimes run too far ahead, so this is something we have to work on, but generally she is getting better and better all the time.
Here you see her at 9 months old, sitting up on the top of a bank in the woods. As part of the obedience exercises I practice with her, she will run up the bank and sit and wait until I tell her that she can come down and carry on along the path. The way I taught her to do that was by running up and down the bank myself until she caught on. I leave you to imagine that. She has been running through the damp fields and woods as you can see, but that is what a dog loves to do.
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