A few months ago I started a new blog just for the pups and Linus kitty. So if you enjoy reading about our cuddle bunch join us at Two Pups and a Kitty. We are also on Facebook at Two Pups and a Kitty.
This blog will mainly be for posts about the other areas of our life.
Thanks for reading!
My Say What? moment came last year. My Pastor had asked me to lead the adult Sunday school class in his absence, he suggested that I share a devotion from one of the online devotionals I receive daily by email.
I agreed although was I was filled with doubt, Prayerfully I started looking through the devotions I had saved over the years and narrowed it down to two of them. One I really wanted to share and the other because I felt the nudge that I was supposed to share it. I fought that leading tooth and nail for nearly a week as I continued to prepare for the class. It was too hard, the subject matter would offend some of those in the class, I wasn’t equipped to share and lead on that subject. All the classic “No God, I can’t be hearing you right and just in case I am these are my reasons why I can’t do this thing you want me to do.”
The night before the class I had both devotions in a folder in the middle of my dining room table, Bonnie one of our golden retriever puppies who was very proud of her new found ability to reach things in the middle of the table, grabbed my folder and carefully pulled out and chewed up the devotion I wanted to share. The devotion that God had been nudging me about was untouched even though it had been right next to the one that Bonnie snatched. “Ok God, I get it, you want this devotion shared with the class, I don’t know why, I am not sure I can do it but Yes, Lord I will share this devotion.”
The next morning the Bonnie pup story started the class out on a humorous note, I then went on to share the struggle I had had regarding sharing this devotion, and the class began. After the devotion about sandpaper people and ways to deal with them had been read, everyone around the table and I mean everyone even those who never say much had an experience to share. Then one of the ladies who was only in the class because she didn’t have a class to teach that day, quietly said “I needed to hear that today” and went on to tell her story, about a difficult situation she is daily living with, when she was finished sharing there wasn’t a dry eye around that table, and the class time turned into a time of prayer for her and her situation.
Immediately I could see why God had wanted that devotion shared, This sweet lady who is always there for everyone else needed to talk and she needed prayer.
My only regret is that it took me so long to say yes to what God wanted me to do. Since then I have been working on saying yes faster and trusting that He will equip me with what I need to do what He wants me to do.
Nanny Belle staying close
Always room for one more
Last Sunday Linus a 7 week old kitten joined our family. Lucy kitty has been moping around since Pete cat died a few months ago. So we thought it was time to add a kitten to the mix.
Linus is just a little thing but he apparently hasn’t gotten that message. He holds his own with the pups and has gotten the best at least for now of Lucy kitty.
Belle has appointed herself as Linus’s Nanny, wherever he is she isn’t far behind, he gets lots of kisses from Belle. Bonnie would rather play with Linus and when he meows it sounds a lot like a squeak toy so Bonnie might think that Linus is just a really fun toy we aren’t sure.
Linus has joined the morning snuggle ritual with Greg and the pups, There is always room for one more.
Linus is living in the front room so he has a break from the pups. I figured when he was old enough to climb up the child gate separating him from the pups (and the rest of the house), he would be bigger and better equipped to handle said pups. Guess he feels big enough, after living with us for only 3 days Linus climbed up and over the child gate. So now the gate is about 5 inches from the floor high enough for the kitten to walk under but low enough that the pups can’t get under it although they certainly try.
This morning Greg used the kitten as a “leave it” training tool for the pups. I just hope Linus doesn’t start thinking his name is Leave It! The pups did really well. It was very hard for Belle she wanted to lick Linus sooo badly but she listened like a good girl as did Bonnie.
And what of Lucy? Well they hiss at each other then pretty much leave each other alone. This morning during their daily hissing match Linus let loose a loud meow, so loud in fact that Lucy was startled and ran upstairs. I am sure given a bit more time Lucy will realize that Linus is not a threat to her life at all. We will keep reassuring her and she finally get the message that there’s more enough love for all of them.
“Please, just one more!”
Bonnie Puppy hugs
The pups are finished with their Continuing classes. It’s going to seem strange to not head to class come this Thursday night but just because we aren’t going to class doesn’t mean we are done working with them. The next step is to get them ready to take the Canine Good Citizen test.
During our last class the pups worked with several types of obstacles. A tunnel, an exercise trampoline, a small swimming pool, a hurdle and a couple of tents among other things. Bonnie after the initial “what is this” response had a lot of fun with the obstacles. Belle was a little more cautious and didn’t make it through all of them but she gave it a good try.
We took the pups to the park on Saturday and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We walked the walking path and Belle clearly was not happy until she was able to catch up and walk next to her Greg. There were quite a few new sights and sounds. It was a windy day so the flag was whipping around pretty good which caught their attention. They also heard a train for the first time. We discovered at least for that day while Greg was the pups security when walking across the wide open spaces, I was their security when the train whistle blew.
We took the pups up the jungle gym and across the swinging bridge. Bonnie even went down the slide with Greg. Belle liked the bridge but neither one of us was up for the slide. We did however go through the open spaces in the climbing wall. Bonnie has been wary of the squeaky swings so Greg and I sat for quite awhile on the swings so she could get used to the movement and sounds. We’ll see on our next trip if she feels any better about them.
The pups continue to be loveable mischievous little stinkers but the older they get it’s obvious that they are starting to “get it” and are doing a much better job listening to us. We’ve got quite a ways to go but they’ll get there and in the meantime we’ll just keep on loving them.
This morning when the alarm went off at it’s normal 5:00am Bonnie added her bark alarm just in case we didn’t hear that it was time to get up. I made my way downstairs to start the day, let the pups out of their crates and say good morning to Lucy kitty who was letting me know about everything that happened during the night while she was keeping watch.
Bonnie was sitting up in her crate saying “please let me out, it’s morning, but then in true Bonnie pup fashion when I opened the door she still sat there as if rethinking if she really wanted to get up.
Belle was laying down in her crate and looked at me as if to say ” no, it’s toooo early” which is similar to my wake up style. I opened her crate door and she rolled over for a stretch and a belly rub then Bonnie joined her in her crate and nudged her as if to say if I’m up so are you.
When I was through making the coffee and getting Greg’s cereal out I realized that they were being awfully quiet, which is usually an indication that they are up to something. I checked on them and they were both laying on the couch quietly playing with one of their toy foxes.
A little while later both pups joined me in the kitchen wanting to be loved and petted which I was very happy to do when came the slow squeak of the upstairs door indicating that Greg was up. In a flash the pups went from” love me, pet me” to “Outta My Way! there’s Greg!!!” They then proceed to fall over themselves trying to get to him first. This is an every morning ritual and I never get tired seeing their happiness or hearing Greg’s morning greeting to them. Hopefully one of these days I’ll even be awake enough to record it.
I apologise to those that receive this blog by email. I was just starting to write this morning when Lucy kitty decided to walk across the keyboard and before I knew it she had added to the title and posted the first sentence. She wasn’t happy with me when I deleted her post. Maybe next time Luce.
We started our third set of classes last night. The pups were introduced to a whole new set of dogs and their people. Because this is a continuing class all the dogs are at a different level so we were cautioned several times to not compare the dogs with each other. I really needed to hear and listen to that. We have such a long way to go, I know we will get there but.
The writing of this blog is interrupted to answer the gotta go out chime rung by Bonnie and a quiet but heartfelt “please throw the tennis ball for me” from Belle. But of course when I tossed the ball for Belle, Bonnie forgot that she wanted to go out and stole Belle’s ball. Oh Puppies!
Ok back to business, the short of it is we have a long way to go and will need to continue finding the patience buried deep inside. We worked on sit, down and stay. Bonnie had her stubborn on and looked at me as if she had no idea what I was talking about. A few minutes later in her timing, (I think she has been taking lessons from Lucy Kitty) she did what she was supposed to do. For something fun we worked on tricks, spinning around only one revolution so the dogs wouldn’t get dizzy and rolling over into a stand.
The hardest task of the night was doing the sit ect while there were distractions. Ok so this was a no win from the get go. The girls get distracted very very easily. So when a squeaker was squeaked Bonnie was like “where is it where is it!” When the toy push cart was pushed by her she was “What’s that? let me see, let me see!” The pups both liked the bubbles although they weren’t sure exactly what they were the looks on their faces were priceless when the bubble popped. True to their personalities, Bonnie rammed into the bubble, and Belle gently nudged it with her nose. It was so funny. One of the challenges for Bonnie was when an umbrella was opened and closed she was totally afraid of it and first wanted to go the cool dog in the next space over for protection then when I wouldn’t let her do that she got behind me and leaned in to my leg to save her from the umbrella, I assured her that it wasn’t going to hurt her but she didn’t believe me. Greg said Belle did fine with the umbrella, loved the bubbles and wanted to go find the squeaker.
So class showed us what we need to work on. We have been taking them to Rural King for outings but now that the weather is getting better we will have a lot more options open to us that will help the pups become more comfortable with new experiences.
I see trips to towns, parks, and riverbanks in our future.
This morning while working with the pups on a 1 minute sit their different personalities were very apparent. I was working with both of them at the same time, they were right in front of me. and both were as different as night and day.
Belle was like “Sit? you want me to sit, ok I’m sitting, do I get a treat? Where is my treat?Can’t you see I am sitting, Hey wait, maybe I won’t get a treat this time. Oh! what is that on the floor? Oh that’s right I am supposed to be sitting. Did you say I was going to get a ah there it is a treat! Finally a treat. Oh yeah I am still sitting but….don’t I get another… wait what’s over there? Oh that’s right…ah another treat. Isn’t it almost time to get up?Please, please, PLEASE can’t I get up? Ah there’s the all done!
Bonnie on the other hand: ” Sit you want me to sit, hm, well I don’t know am I going to get a treat if I sit? Well maybe I could if it’s for a treat that is. Ok I am sitting, so where is my treat, like come on, I am doing what you want me to. You said I was going to get a treat, oh there it is. ok sooooo do I get another one I’m still sitting you know even though it’s really boring to just sit. By the way are you ever going to say “all done?”
And again and again and again! Tonight’s class wasn’t a success or was it? The pups didn’t do what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it, so in that sense it wasn’t a success. Their people, at least Bonnie’s person (that would be me) got flustered and forgot simple commands that were learned several weeks ago. So that wasn’t a success. The treat bags got tangled up in the handy dandy pouches purchased specifically for class and could not be easily retrieved. They definitely weren’t a success.
There were a lot of distractions tonight, there were several meetings going on in the building and people were walking in and out while the class was going on.
Belle smelled something fascinating on the floor in her area and that held her attention for at least the first 15 minutes of class.
Bonnie was equally fascinated by all of the other dogs that were there and wanted to go and play with them.
When we got home Greg made the observation that we experienced a huge learning curve tonight. After thinking about it he was right and that’s what made it a success.
We learned that while the pups do pretty well consistently following commands here at home where it’s just us, them, Pete cat and Lucy kitty, they can still be easily distracted when away from their normal environment so we need to get them out and about more often.
We learned that we need to keep rereading the command instruction sheets so that the steps will be easily remembered at class and we will be less likely to confuse the pups.
We learned that the handy dandy pouches really don’t work as well as plain and simple pockets.
We learned that we can have a night where nothing goes right and that’s ok, we’ll just take a break and try try again until we get it.
On a lighter note, when we got home the girls relaxed with their peanut butter stuffed kongs. The pups rang the “gotta go outside” chime but they weren’t too sure about leaving the kong inside while they went out. I found myself saying to them as I took the kongs from ” You’re the ones who rang the bell and want to go out, I will put the kongs right here and you can have them as soon as you come back in.” They looked where I put them, seemed satisfied with what I told them and went outside. They then collected the kongs again as soon as they came back in the house.