As if life could get any crazier, Astro has been with me for almost two weeks now. He is my major buddy-pal and an absolute sweetheart, but we are deep into training to help us get off to a strong start and moreover, to try and remedy some of the guy’s fears and stresses after three years in a Pennsylvania puppy mill. I am capturing Astro’s first year here in a 365 days set over on flickr, updated with his progress daily. His big accomplishments in our first 12 days together: No more accidents in the house… he learned to go up and down the stairs right away… after some training, he now goes out the side door to do his business by himself … he will “sit” very nicely… and he will leap our dining room steps down on demand like an agility champ. Our big challenge: After some initial success taking walks, he has become super afraid of being outside and just shakes like a leaf when we try to walk on a leash. We think he may have been in a cage or very confined quarters most of his life. I’m working with him several times a day to help him overcome the fear. I am confident we will make good progress, but it will take time.