Things are finally starting to click at class for both the pups and their people. We had a private lesson last night and it went very well. Angela (the trainer) was able to see how the pups usually act and they got more used to the training room with out all the usual distractions.

We learned more about nutrition and that Belle is allergic to wheat and both pups get ansty when they eat corn. We discovered after we got home and read labels that their treats and dog food have both corn and wheat in them. So we are on the hunt for new free products.

We discovered that we were already doing some of the preventative things that will help the pups to not become aggressive and crabby with each other as they get older and learned a bunch of other helpful behavioral hints.

Tonight was our 4th adolescent class, they took the barricades down and all the dogs in the class could see each other and it went fine. We have learned a lot of helpful hints one being Kongs with peanut butter then frozen makes a great treat and helps to stimulate their minds and keeps them occupied so it’s a triple win!

I realized last night while on the way home from our lesson that I have been approaching these classes the same way I approach everything else I do. I get frustrated with myself as well as down on myself until I learn it but I learn things by doing so it takes time. Once I realized that I told myself to just relax and have fun with it. So tonight I relaxed and both Bonnie and I had fun. I only wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure that out.
As I mentioned in a facebook post last night we are prayerfully considering having the pups certified as therapy dogs, last night we found out that Angela is very active with an area therapy dog program and when the time is right she will help us decide if the girls are suited for therapy dog work. coincidence? Nope just another God thing.

I haven’t mentioned too much lately about the pups antics so to make up for that here is a doozy. Yesterday morning while I was upstairs getting dressed for work our talented pups carefully took the Sprint payment envelope out of the pocket of my purse which was on the middle of the table, (they kindly left the other 3 envelopes in the pocket that were ready to be mailed, ) and chewed most of it up. They only left enough so I could see which bill it was. My purse wasn’t even moved, they were that good!
Oh Pups, you do keep us on our toes.


Halfway There!

It’s been a busy week for the pups. As I mentioned in a post earlier this week we learned from our trainer that we needed to take steps to ensure that the girls become independent from each other otherwise by the time they are two years of age we could have real problems.
The challenge has been getting the them used to being in their own crates. Each day has gone better than the day before until this morning when I was getting ready to leave for work, they went fuss free into their crates and promptly curled up to snooze. We will see how things go tonight at bedtime.

Part of the changes include keeping the pups apart from each other at class. We had been warned by the trainer that they might bark and whine because they don’t want to be apart. So we kept our fingers crossed and were pleasantly surprised when they didn’t seem to miss each other at all, they were too busy wanting to go play with the dogs in the area next to them.

Over all class went well and we worked on a lot of new things. Bonnie had her chance tonight working with the trainer as the example for the rest of the class, she caught on very quickly to what was being taught. I realized though when she came back to me and I started working with her that she may catch on quickly to what she is supposed to do but I don’t so I need to pick up the pace and learn my part because I don’t want to make things any harder for her than they have to be.

Next week we are taking the pups to a private lesson where we will be taught how to recognize and learn strategies to handle problems that may arise from having two pups the same age. In the meantime we will work on sit, down, come, and a whole host of other tasks but most of all we will just enjoy being together.

The First Step To Independance If You’re A Puppy

Last night the pups had another first, in an effort to help the girls become independent of each other we purchased another crate, so now each pup has their own “room”.

Belle surprisingly had a difficult time with the new sleeping arrangements. She kept barking and whining to let us know she wanted to go sleep with her sister. I came down once to reassure her that if she went to sleep morning would come faster and she would be with Bonnie again. She seemed to settle down after that.

The first thing Belle did when I let the pups out of their crates this morning was to run to Bonnie and if her body language was anything to go by indignantly said “Come here, you have to see where I slept last night!” Bonnie went with Belle and walked into the crate to see where Belle slept. Then Belle ran to me as if to say “You did let me out, I did get to see Bonnie! Oh thank you thank you Thank You!!! Picture a very wiggley excited pup.

Because of the extreme cold the pups will be spending this morning in their crates, then Greg will come home midday to let them outside. I am guessing Belle is going to be vocal about the room arrangements again. I hope Lucy Kitty has her ear plugs ready.

Two Down Four To Go!

Tonight was our second adolescent class. It went better than the first class, Greg was home at his usual time and the girls had plenty of “run around and get rid of some extra energy” time.
We noticed that the minute we walk into class the pups switch personalities. Belle gets squirrely and hard to handle and Bonnie for the most part mellows out which is the exact opposite of their behavior at home. Tonight Greg and I switched pups and he worked with Belle and I worked with Bonnie.
We practiced soft mouth, (the girls have that down pat.) We also worked on name recognition, sitting, and down, all to varying degrees of success.
The trainer went around the room and used different dogs as the examples of how we were to do a task. The whole group seemed to will the dogs to understand and all had smiles when a dog would understand and do a task correctly. The trainer tested the dogs to see if they were comfortable working with her and when it was Belle’s turn she acted from the get go that the trainer was her very best friend in the whole world and “yes please may I have another treat.” Class ended before Bonnie had her turn and she just couldn’t understand why she didn’t get a chance to be in the middle. Maybe next week Bonnie girl.

There were some moments when I am sure Bonnie and I entertained the whole place esp when she pushed me back into the chair, (45 lbs of wiggly, excited pup is pretty powerful) but in reality I am pretty sure that everyone was too busy with their own challenging 4 footed family members to pay any attention to us. As Greg told me last week “the pups are learning and so are we” he’s right we are but I’m still going to be hopeful that next week will be even better than this week was.

One Class Down…

Well tonight was the pups first adolescent class. It didn’t go too bad as far as first times go, but we did realize that there are several things that contributed to tonight’s slightly challenging experience. Because it was a very rainy day the pups were in their crate all afternoon. Because Greg had a late in the day meeting at work, he wasn’t able to give them their usual late afternoon play time. So the girls had a lot of pent up energy plus they were on overload from the car ride, being in a new place, and seeing lots of (at least to them) new dogs and humans.
So taking all of that into consideration tonight went well. Greg worked with Bonnie because she is more headstrong than Belle so that meant that Belle and I were a team. Guess who struggled the most to behave? Nope, wrong, it was Belle, which was a total surprise as Belle is usually the most laid back of the pups. The trainers had all of the dogs and people sitting away from each other with a barrier in between them although Greg and I didn’t have a barrier between us we still sat a ways apart from each other and Belle just couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be by her sister and her Greg.

This week’s lessons included the “find it game” which teaches pups to use energy in a productive manner and a soft mouth an exercise which involves canned spray cheese which of course the pups thought was just awesome and the best thing since sliced bread. I will say that when it was time to do their exercises both pups got down to business and did what they were supposed to.

One class down…many many more to follow. Oops gotta go the tv channel just changed which means one of the pups just found the controller…

Expect the Unexpected

I am cracking myself up. The pups start their first class this week and I am acting like the person who cleans her house from top to bottom before the housecleaner comes.

I want the pups to be on their best behavior when they meet their fellow classmates, their people and the instructor. I want them to sit, not jump, esp not jump and be ladylike in their behavior.

Anyone who has either read my facebook posts or blog entries knows that while our pups are adorable, and very loveable they are in reality little stinkers. So you know that while they will try to be good, they are going to be really squirrely, and very silly and I am going to just have to realize that that’s ok and go with it because after all their first class is an adolescent class and (I can only hope) will be filled with other squirrely, silly pups who will be just as excited to meet our pups as ours will be to meet them.

So it’s time to put aside my preconceived ideas, and keep my mind wide open to this new experience that Greg, myself and the pups are about to embark on.

Puppies + Tennis Balls = Puppy Fun!

Who would have thought that tennis balls, simple tennis balls would bring such joy to the pups.

Bonnie’s favorite tennis ball is a squeaky one, she loves to squeak it and has figured out that she can change the sound and duration of the squeak by how she chews on the tennis ball. She has been trying to teach Belle how to make it squeak and one can just imagine her saying ” no, do it this way, here let me show you” as she takes the ball away from Belle. Bonnie likes to run and get it but doesn’t like to give it up.

Belle on the other hand loves to bring us the ball to have it thrown for her, then she will bring it back and either drops it in our hand or if we aren’t paying attention drops it at our feet. When we hear the thump, thump, dribble, dribble, dribble that’s our cue to stop what we are doing and throw the ball.

The other evening the pups and Lucy kitty were in the kitchen with Greg and I. Lucy our vocal kitty was letting us know loudly that she wanted some attention. Belle, happy to help dropped the tennis ball in front of Lucy and twice gently nudged it closer to Lucy so she could play ball too. Lucy clearly felt that playing with a tennis ball was beneath her so she ignored it. Belle not being one to hold a grudge mentally shrugged her shoulders picked up the ball, brought it to me and dropped it in my hand as if to say, Lucy doesn’t know what she is missing, let’s play!


2013, We look forward to the new year with it’s new beginnings but it also a continuation of events and happenings from 2012.

We already know that this year will bring twins to our son and daughter in law, big brother status to our youngest grandson. The start of kindergarten for our oldest grandson, and the fun of being the only kid at home during the weekday to our middle grandson.

The new year will bring lots of puppy classes for Bonnie and Belle. New job tasks to learn, continued home improvements to make, Bible studies to facilitate, sunday school classes to teach and sub for among many other things and events.

The thought of what unknowns the new year will bring can be a little frightening until I remember and rest in the fact that God already knows what joys and challenges will be placed in our lives this year. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (niv). There is comfort in knowing that nothing that is going to happen is a surprise to Him and we don’t have to handle the tough stuff alone, He is right there with us and has already gone on before us setting things in place. Now that doesn’t mean that we are puppets on a string, we have the free will to make our own decisions. That fact alone reminds me to be prayerful in my decision making since it’s important to me to stay within His will for my life.

I recently read a devotion from Dawn Wilson, in it she says “Resolve that you will obey God whenever He prompts you in any area of life. It takes off all the pressure to perform. It allows you to just rest day by day in God’s guidance and wisdom for your life.”.

That was a good reminder to me as I all too often shrug off the soft quiet voice of the Holy Spirit by saying to myself, “I can’t.., I’m not…,must be my imagination…” One of my prayers this year is to be quieter so that I can more clearly hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit and when God is asking me to do something I will answer “I can with Your help” and then with His help, step out in faith and do it.

Wishing you and your family a blessed 2013.