...lead him around with it. Finally, got him into the house by carrying him. He had to wear diapers, since he wasn't housetrained and we hadn't gotten the leash thing down real well, either. He would throw himself and go into a panic, so didn't want to encourage that. After a fashion, he got housetrained, crate trained, and goes potty on command and has a certificate of completion at obedience school. This email below is from his new Mom.

Heidi S. - Brinn's Owner

Hi Leana, We are still here and doing well. It has been busy with end of the school year activities and family happenings. We so enjoy having Brinn as part of our household and he continues to have lots of new experiences. He sure does know how to bark when he wants our attention, but he does not bark all the time, or even every day. He seems to be selective about his barking. Sometimes he will bark at the door when he wants to go back into the house, even if there is someone outside with him. And, one time when we had many people here to eat, we had him partitioned off with a child safety gate and then he barked and barked. The kids took him out in the backyard. That was an unusual situation for us- lots of people here. Usually when we eat at the table we let him roam. Everyone has been instructed to completely ignore him- not even any eye contact or speaking to him. It has worked really well- he does not beg or bother, mostly he’ll just lie down quietly and wait.

Here are some Brinn experiences:

Annika wanted to go see a movie in Duluth with 2 friends. We had to use the car, and Michael and Brinn were along also, so a full car. Brinn had to ride in the back seat with 3 thirteen year old girls- sitting/laying on their laps. He thought it was great and they thought it was great.

The “household” of people we had a few weeks ago was all of Alan’s siblings and some of their families who were getting together up here to put his mom’s ashes in the ground at one of the cemeteries. Brinn was a big hit, especially with all of the females who like to give him lots of attention. He tolerates the males but definitely seems to like the females better. It was a busy weekend and Brinn did well.

I had to be gone for a week at the end of May. Since my dad passed away a year ago, my parent’s farm in Illinois had been for sale. Now it has sold and my mom and I had to go through more things there. So Brinn was here with Alan and Annika. Alan said Brinn was pretty subdued, definitely more animated when Annika was around. They kept up with normal stuff, especially walking twice every day. He was sure happy when I returned.

As far as playing with dog toys, that still remains mostly whenever he feels like it, which is pretty infrequently. Sometimes, out of the blue, he will pick up a tennis ball and walk around with it, or drop it ,and pick it up, and drop it again and pick it up again. Just this AM when I was pulling on my sweat pants, he was in a playful mood and grabbed the bottom of one of the legs with his mouth. Maybe I’ll get a tug for him.

Also, just recently he has started to come over next to me on the couch and lay his head on my lap or lay right by me. That was very endearing as he had not done that before and it makes me glad to know that he must be feeling more at home.

Coming up:

This week Alan and I will take the truck and a trailer to Illinois to pick up a few last things at the farm. We will be gone for four days, no kids, and we’ll take Brinn with us. It’ll be interesting to see how the long ride goes, but I feel he’ll do fine, he is going to have that whole back seat to himself!

In July we’ll be traveling to Alan’s brother’s lake place over by Fergus Falls. Big family get together, other dogs, water and swimming, new people. That will be a new experience too.

All in all, I'd say things are going quite well. It’s fun to see his confidence growing in small ways. We have no complaints and are just happy to see him get more comfortable with life. Hope all is well with you, Heidi

UPDATE 10/31/07

Hi Leana! I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that we have not fallen off the face of the earth! We are all doing fine, just very busy. I'm taking a few classes at Lake Superior College in Duluth, so far it is going well, but some things get put on the back burner, like writing e-mails! Brinn is doing great, he likes to ride in the car, be where ever we are, and especially enjoys going for walks. He is very attached to me and usually stays close by, but when he hears the kids up to something in the house somewhere else, he is just too interested to not see what is going on. I call them the three teenagers. I think he has settled in so nicely and we certainly have no complaints! Actually a few of our twin cities nieces have been so enamored with him that we may point them in your direction. Thanks for all the updates on the new organization, it is fun to take a peek at the website every once in a while. I hope things continue to go well with it. I'm sending a few pictures, the other dog is Freddy, a big old Boxer that was at my brother's in Duluth. My brother was dog sitting for some friends. Brinn has been around a variety of dogs and he really seems to enjoy the canine companionship and interaction, especially playing. Well, that's all for now. We are done with our very dry summer and our very w et fall, we'll see what winter brings this year. Hope all is well with you. Heidi and Brinn