We all make mistakes right? Last weekend we took the pups to Bartlett Lake. Some friends of ours were camping out and since the weather was cool (before heating up to 100 this week) and to help Raylee adjust to being away from Louie, we decided to take the dogs. While we had a great time relaxing lake side, lets just say I was more then a little frustrated and embarrassed with the dogs behavior. To be honest, by the time we left on Sunday I was just about done, with Thor in particular. Recently the suggestion of putting him on psychiatric meds has been brought up by our trainer, and after we got home I was battling between feeling like giving up on his behavior and letting him be a ‘house dog’ and starting him on meds, enrolling him in behavior classes or even a camp and taking him out to do training whether its hot or not. These feelings lasted until Monday evening when suddenly it hit me that the problems that occurred were entirely my fault, not his.
For the past 6.5 weeks Raylee’s job has been being the best mom possible to the sweetest puppy in the world. Ok, yes, I may be a little biased, but seriously look at this face!
Raylee was given to us by a friend who breeds French Bulldogs. She wanted to add another female to her program but already having 5 dogs (2 pet only and 1 stud and 2 females) she felt it may be too much to add another dog to their pack. All of her dogs are pets first- they go to the dunes, the cabin, out to dinner, and even ride in a Razor frequently so I could see how keeping track of not only 5 but 6 dogs would be overwhelming. Her dogs being pets also means that she is not going to breed them until they are done and then rehome them at 5 or 6 like so many breeders do, her dogs are hers for life. She asked if we would be interested in “fostering” for her. While there is a lot that goes into it, essentially Raylee is our dog. We take care of her day in day out, however Maria, owner of Blue AZ Frenchie, has breeding rights for her. At the designated time, Raylee will be signed over to us and will then be spayed. Ill admit at first I was really torn about the arrangement. I completely support rescue and anytime someone asks about where to get a dog I suggest different rescues I know first. However, I don’t have a problem with responsible breeders or people looking for a purebred dog.
Anyway, since I work long shifts and Maria is responsible for any puppies and can work from home, Raylee has spent the last 2 months at Maria’s home. I’ve been able to visit often, and got lots of pictures and updates when I wasn’t able to be there. I think Raylee has had a great time as well, having someone home all day, 5 other dogs to wrestle, chase, and steal toys from, and she’s even gone on trips to the cabin while I’ve been stuck at work!
Now that Louis is eating solid food and Raylee has weaned him, it was time for her to come home. Having been gone so long, I brought Raylee home expecting to capture some big dramatic home coming, and what I got was absolutely nothing of the sort. She walked in like she had simply gone to work with me for the day. When we pulled up Johnny checked us out through the window saw it was her and went to go hide his toys. Raylee walked in checked the boy’s dog bowls to make sure there were no kibbles lingering then ran over to see Thor in the dog room. I let him out and the sniffed each other and that was that. Raylee spent some time sniffing around, checking everything out and about 20 minutes later wrestle mania ensued.
While I was initially a little bummed not to get a more memorable reaction caught on film, I am so happy to know that she was completely comfortable while she was gone and that coming home she knew her spot in the family is hers forever. We will still visit with Louie a few more times before he goes to his forever home, and I know he’ll keep learning proper behavior from “his aunts” Kona and Talay who are all to eager to take over the puppy raising!
With record breaking heat waves all over the West Coast and nearly 100 degree temps here in Phoenix we decided we would share some of our favorite tips to stay cool on warm day for this week’s Wordless Wednesday!
We try to find places to walk near shallow water, or water play parks for children, to cool down during long walks.
Pool time exercise…
Sometimes you’ve gotta hitch a ride for part of the walk…
My favorite way to escape the heat? Trips to the beach!
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My “day job” is working at a busy 24 hour veterinary hospital. Yesterday both Thor and Johnny got to go to work with me and see their favorite doctors as well. Thor has had a severe allergy flair up that needed some treatment and I felt it was time for Johnny to have his teeth cleaned.
I’m a helicopter mom. Yes I know this and I’m fine with it. Hey It’s my job to be responsible for the pets right?
Happy National Puppy Day! I LOVE puppies! Although I’ll always be partial to my own, I think all puppies are these amazing little creatures and love watching them discover this big world. I think Raylee was the first puppy I have had that I actually remember noticing little changes each week. One week learning to bark, the next discovering leaves and sticks, learning her name, having those little “light bulb” moments when everything just clicks. Sure puppies bring challenges as well…. the chewing, barking, and potty training but I’m a strong believer that if you put the time in training at the beginning (either with a puppy or newly adopted dog), it pays itself off ten fold. The first two things I worked on with Thor and Raylee (and should have with Johnny!) were hand feeding their meals and socialization.
I’ll never forget Thor growling over his food bowl Continue reading
Yes, I have goals for my dogs. More specifically, I have goals for my dogs and I to work towards together. I have always had ideas on what I wanted to do with my dogs and it’s a little different for each one. For me a job for a dog doesn’t mean solely the typical working dog jobs, it means working towards something together. Building a relationship with your dog. Knowing that if you ask something of them, they will do it. I believe that having these goals and expecting things from your dog gives them a purpose and helps fulfill their needs. Dogs (like all animals) are smart, inquisitive, thought filled creatures and treating them like stuffed animals who happen to eat and drink does not do them any justice.
This blog is to help me reach the goals I have for my dogs, to stop thinking about it and start really working towards it! To help me learn everything I can about canine psychology, positive reinforcement training and to both document our journey and share this knowledge to anyone else interested in trick training, canine model/acting, or just building more of a relationship with their dog. Continue reading