"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it along to someone else." Mitch Albom

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A visit to the vet

    Churry had her second visit to the vet today for another round of shots and a check-up.  She is up to 13.7 pounds.  On her first visit, which was a couple of days after I brought her home, she was 9.2 pounds.  She's growing fast!  The vet thought she looked fantastic though.  In 3 weeks she goes back and will get her last round of puppy shots and her rabies shot.  I'm excited for that, because after that she gets her cape and we can actually go somewhere! 

   Churry has shown a great distaste for a couple of things this last week.  I don't think it's fear, but a definite distaste.  The vehicle and the stairs.  So tonight when we got home we hung out at the top of the stairs for about 15 minutes.  I gave her a couple of little pieces of food to get her to sit there with me and pretty soon she started to very slowly creep down them.  She got all the way to the bottom.  I was proud of her for overcoming the fear so quickly!  We will have to keep working on the vehicle.  I really think it's just too hot for her taste when we first get in and she'd rather go back inside.

    I took Bailey and Churry on their first walk TOGETHER last night.  They did wonderful.  They both do really well on the leash individually, I just wasn't sure how it would go together because they like to play.  Churry changed from walking right beside me, which is where she generally prefers, to walking out in front beside Bailey, which is where Bailey prefers.  She had to trot along very quickly while Bailey was walking really slowly.  Churry kept on looking up at her as if she was looking for her approval for walking so well.  It was pretty cute!  I do miss the workouts that Bailey gives me with her normally quick pace.  She doesn't pull on me at all, we just walk fast.  Bailey has been getting her exercise with runs out back instead of walks so I guess if I want a workout, I'll have to go on two separate dog walks until Churry can keep up with us.  I also decided it was time to get rid of her puppy "playpen" because I'm tired of my house being clogged up with our dogs' furniture.  So I'm using a trick I learned this weekend to keep track of her.  I have her hooked to my beltloop.  It's working really well!  She's much happier being right by my side.

     I wanted to post some new pics, but when I went to download all of the pictures that Pat took of her last night, I saw he didn't have a memory card in the camera, so I'll have to take more this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Churry's Big Week!

    Churry has had a big weekend!  We started off the weekend with an outing on Friday night.  We went over to our friend's the Garrett's for a remote control car race.  Now, Churry has been around Pat and Jacob's cars a lot in the yard.  In fact, she even did "sit" and "down" the other day several times with the cars racing right by her.  I was very proud!  But, I wondered how she would react to all the people, kids, and lots of cars racing around the track...She did fantastic!  She just sat and watched them for awhile, then decided it would be time for a nap.  She stayed at my feet the whole evening without tugging on the leash or trying to be Wild Churry.  She was even very polite to the toddler who liked walking her, etc.  She had a great night.

    We then got up at 4:00 the next morning to go to PUPS days at KSDS.  She didn't get sick on the long ride this time and she didn't even have to "go to jail" in the back because she rode very nicely on the passenger floorboard.  Yay!  At PUPS days she was very well behaved while we learned a lot of valuable information.  It was wonderful listening to the trainers, the vet, and get grooming advice for Golden fur, which is MUCH different than Lab fur!  The result of that was me coming home and ordering a new grooming kit just for Churry...SSSHHHH!  And Churry learned to potty on rocks while we were there.  That may seem silly to celebrate, but Bailey sure wouldn't do something like that! 

   I met so many wonderful people while I was there and it felt good to hear how well they thought Churry was doing.  I haven't mangaged to ruin her yet!   I was also amazed at all of the wonderful donations that Lisa got for the drawings, Silent Auction, etc.  She's awesome!!!!  And I've always been very appreciative of Hill's Pet Nutrition for supplying all of the puppies' food for free, shipped right to our door.  But, I also learned that they supply the food after they have graduated AND retired!  What an awesome company!  They certainly are very generous.  For those that don't know, KSDS places their dogs with their matches at no cost to the person receiving them.  I think that's pretty awesome!  Companies and individuals that provide generous donations certainly are appreciated and help them to do this. 

    This week Churry gets to visit the vet again and we will continue working on the skills we have been introduced to so far.  Have a great week!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Early Bird!

I love having a puppy, but I sure wish that Churry would sleep just a bit longer!  I've put my foot down and decided she cannot have breakfast before 5:15.  She was getting earlier and earlier each day with when she wanted to get up to eat.  I put my foot down at 4:30.  She is learning to "lay back down" though so hopefully she'll just start sleeping until then to begin with.

We worked this week on sit, stay, and down.  She definitely knows what I mean on all of those commands, but is very choosy about when she's going to do them.  We will keep working.  I've also found something that she can practice "up" and "jump on" with.  This is important for visits to the vet and for people who need to groom her on an elevated surface.  I also think she knows "heel" but can't really tell if she knows the command or just knows that's the position she is supposed to get in when I'm ready to walk somewhere. 

She is very different from the snuggly little puppy Bailey always was.  She doesn't particularly like to snuggle when she sleeps.  If she's going to sleep she wants to get in her kennel to do it, not lay beside me.  But, she does like to lay with me when she's just hanging out.  This week she has discovered that she can squeeze herself between my lower back and the couch when I'm sitting on the floor and that has become her favorite spot. 

I'm excited to take her to the vet next week and see how much she has grown.  We have really been able to tell a difference this week.  Especially when we see Kinsey holding her.  She's just about to outgrow Kinsey's strength!  I'm really looking forward to PUPS days next weekend to see what new things we learn!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Scary Barbie Jeeps!

I think I have discovered something that Churry needs some more experience with.  Barbie jeeps are very scary!  Especially when you are sitting next to them and they suddenly take off!  Luckily, the jeep in question lives just a few doors down from us so we can revisit with it frequently until we are accustomed to it.  I'm sure it won't take my brave girl long because she was already comfortable by the 2nd time it drove by.  But, we will revisit anyway to be sure.  And those sweet girls down the way provide excellent socialization for Churry!  She gets better each time we meet a new kid. 

I also started working on Sit and Stay with her.  She is doing wonderfully!  It's been much easier to teach her than "Down" because I can give immediate verbal reprimands when she breaks the stay.  I tried to get Bailey to be a distraction after she had done it really well a few times, but Bailey also knows Sit and Stay VERY WELL and would not move when I put Churry in one.  Then when I released Churry, they both came charging across the kitchen to get the praise!  So she actually wasn't all that helpful tonight, but I'm glad she can review her skills as well.

One thing I really want to teach Churry to do is enjoy kayaking with Pat and I since that is something we love doing.  Of course, we can't do that until she gets the rest of her shots...so I wish she would quit growing so darn fast!  By the time it's safe for her to go, it may not be "safe" for me to get in a kayak with her!  I need to figure something out to get her accustomed to the rocking motion before we go. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Puppy Get-Together

Churry enjoyed her first puppy get-together today in Lawrence.  I was really nervous that she would behave horribly and bother the rest of the class, but she did fantastic!  I was so proud of her.  Even though she didn't know how to do all of the commands that the older puppies did, she got to practice on the ones that she does know.  Such as sit, and sit, and sit some more, and sit when other dogs are getting to do other things, etc.  It helped that it was her afternoon napping time, but I was proud of her anyway.  And, I must say, relieved to see that the puppies are puppies, not robots,  and are not perfect at all times.  It was really helpful to see some of the commands I'm supposed to be teaching in action, not just written in the manual. 

Churry had the opportunity to meet Pat's remote control racecar during her playtime last night in the yard.  She is so brave!  I must say I don't think Churry is really scared of anything, a bit uneasy at times, but handles it very well.  Once she got used to it for a couple of minutes, she had a ball racing it around the yard.  And she worked on "No Barking" at things.  She does not hesitate to give people and objects a piece of her mind if they are not doing what she wants!  She has a pretty high sense of self-esteem for such a little thing!  :)  I don't think I heard a bark come out of Bailey's mouth until she was six months old...and very rarely now, only if she thinks there is someone outside at night. 

We are still working on "Down" when in a sitting position and I plan to start working on "Stay" this week, too.  And, as she proved to me today at puppy class, she ENJOYS being on her back.  Apparently, just not when I try to do it, so we will work on that as well. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School

       I have always had a bittersweet time going back to school.  I truly LOVE my job, love the kids, the classroom, making lesson plans, buying school supplies, all of it!  Yes, I'm just a big nerd!  But, I hate knowing it's the end of the summer and the precious time I get to spend with my children.  And this year,  I hate knowing it's time for Churry to learn about the kennel for a few hours a day while we're gone.  I don't remember Bailey ever getting so sad when I would leave.  She would just lay down and go to sleep.  Now, I wouldn't call Churry's reaction sad...more like ATTITUDE.  She was NOT IMPRESSED with me shutting her in that thing after getting to play and get showered with attention for ONLY 2 hours this morning.  She was very excited to see me when I got home at lunch and after school, though, so at least she doesn't hold a grudge!
      And I am very happy to report that she has not had any more tantrums at night.  We moved the kennel into our room so that she could sleep right beside me.  She has slept very peacefully the last couple of nights.  Everyone is happy about that!
      Churry had her first visit to the vet today, too.  So, after being irritated about being in the crate, she got to go have stuff shoved in her nose and her butt and get a shot.  Not my way of ending my already crappy day, but she didn't seem to mind.  In fact, she LOVED the vet.  Apparently the table felt nice and cool because she layed on it and rolled on it and just generally acted like she was in heaven.  Then she got to go home and have supper and take a nap with me, which I enjoyed very much because she doesn't really like to snuggle a whole lot unless I'm carrying her.  She'd prefer to lay on the kitchen tile because it's cool.  After that she got an especially long play time with Bailey in the yard.  Hopefully, she's extra tired and will sleep a bit later in the morning. 
      She's getting better and better every day on her leash.  Her attention span is very short and she is very willful when she wants to go someplace different than where I had in mind.  But, when she is paying attention to me, she walks pretty nicely on it.  She also really enjoys the "TUG" command.  It's become one of her favorite activities.  I'm very impressed with her strength when she sets her feet and pulls.  For 9.7 pounds, she can really pull!  We are still working on using our manners when I get her food out, although she is improving every meal.  She also does not enjoy her daily grooming.  I don't know why, most females love being at the spa!  Maybe she's just not old enough to appreciate it yet.  I know I'm looking forward to my birthday pedicure this week!   I hope everyone has a great first week back to school if you're there with me or a great week otherwise if you're not.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Angel or Demon Churry? HMMM?

       I will just start this post off with I really and truly adore Churry!  She is sweet, well-mannered and a very fast learner!  We worked on learning to sit yesterday (including when meeting somebody, while I am visiting with another person, and before we go through the front door).  She is doing very well with that. 
       Now, yesterday morning during my post I mentioned the 20 minute tantrum the night before when I told her it wasn't play time in the middle of the night.  HA HA HA!  Last night she woke up at 3:00 so I get up to take her out.  She very obediently went where she was told to.  If you don't know, service dogs go on command in the spot I have selected, while still on their leash.  Unlike Bailey who spends 10 or 15 minutes looking for the PERFECT spot and refuses to go when on her leash.    Anyway, we went back inside and I put her back in her kennel expecting some whining and barking like the night before.  When it started I firmly said, "No!"  She responded by sticking her little head at me and barking LOUDER!  So I ignored her and went and crawled in bed.  (With Kinsey, who woke up to inform me my dog was being terrible and because Bailey had taken my place in bed.  She was appalled at the behavior coming from her little friend.)   An hour later, the tantrum was still happening.  So I thought maybe she really needs to go again.  So I waited for a pause in the fit.  I didn't want her to think she was getting her way.  Well, when I got her out she acted like she was absolutely starving to death and I had fed her a bit earlier than I had the night before and breakfast wasn't that far away.  So, I thought I'll feed her, play a bit, go to the bathroom again and we can go back to bed for a bit before it's time to get up.  So we did.  She got to the point where she was done playing and just kept laying down beside me to sleep.  This was about 5:30 by then.  I thought, Perfect, I can put her in her kennel and catch a couple more hours.  No.  As soon as I put her back in the tantrum started again.  And lasted for another hour.  I finally just got up to find she had gone to the bathroom AGAIN!  But, in her kennel.  While we were cleaning it up and Churry was continuing to have her fit because we put her in another kennel, Bailey just sat there and stared at her.  I think she's shocked.

And I think my puppy is training me.

Today, we are having puppy boot camp with the potty training.  It is going much better.  Of course, she's peacefully sleeping the day away or at least trying to.  I had given her too much freedom yesterday, so today she is in a "puppy play pen".  It's an enclosed "fence" that is a larger area than the kennel, but not the whole living room and kitchen, which was clearly too big for her yesterday to be responsible in.  She's been an angel!  Back to my sweet little Churry!  Hopefully the demon Churry does not visit again tonight! 

   On a more positive note, she has shown NO FEAR at all of loud sounds.  The neighbor started his lawnmower really close to us and she just looked at it.  I was holding her and she didn't even flinch.  Just turned her head to look and watch it.  I ran the vacuum cleaner and she just sat up in her playpen and watched it very calmly.  She was also a very polite host to Kristie B. and her family today.  I was proud of her behavior.  We are going to meet Heather and her girls today.  Hopefully, her manners continue over there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Welcome Home!

         We have made it through almost 18 hours!  Ventura is doing fantastic!  Picking her up gave me this overwhelming feeling of responsibility that this little life was mine to shape and nurture, teach and correct, love and play with.   She did fantastic on the car ride home...sitting in my friend, Heather's, lap for the whole ride.  Immediately upon getting her out at home, though, she  vomited!  Hopefully, her car sickness doesn't persist.  She went on another short ride later that night to drop Kinsey off for a sleepover and seemed to do great.  Then we went home and met Bailey.  Bailey is such a good dog!  She is a little mother hen to her.  If she doesn't come to me when called, Bailey would walk over and stare down at her like, "You're supposed to be doing that right now"  I let Churry off her leash for a bit so the 2 could play, but they didn't really do anything.  Bailey was being SO gentle and wouldn't run and play with her.  Churry ran along beside her while Bailey just very slowly walked along.  We were very relieved Bailey has shown absolutely no jealousy or aggressiveness.  I didn't expect any, but she's been an only dog for 3 years.  Of course, Churry has tried to sit in her leather recliner, either! 


           I had forgotten what little peeing machines puppies are!  It would be easier if she wouldn't SIT DOWN to pee!  I actually praised her last night because I thought she was very politely sitting and waiting for me to get a drink.  But, then I noticed she had peed.  It was the only accident she had had in the house though, until I left Pat in charge of her so I could shower.  In the 15 minutes I was in the shower she had 3 accidents!  Apparently, she had drank a whole bowl of water with him.  And she had just had a whole bowl with me!

        Sleeping went really well.  She put herself in her kennel and layed right down and went to sleep.  I made the mistake of waking up at 1:45 and thinking she surely had to go potty.  So, silly me, WOKE HER UP, took her out to potty.  She went like a good girl, but then had a major tantrum when I wanted her to go right back to bed instead of playing.  After her 20 minute fit, she quieted down and went back to sleep until 6:00.  So, I'd say she did really well.  I think tonight I'll just let her sleep though!

      I can't wait to spend the day playing with her today and working on some sitting!