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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ballet Class with Thunder!

        Nope, not bad weather.  But, rather, the ballet teacher's yellow lab that roams the studio every evening.      He's a perfect unofficial Social Dog!   PERFECT MANNERS!   I've had several conversations with Miss Linda about being a puppy raiser.  She has such an ideal job to raise a puppy at.  And looking at Thunder, she clearly knows something about raising a dog well.  I prodded some more tonight...hopefully, in the future I'll see her with a little puppy in a blue KSDS coat!!

      I have to share about Thunder tonight, though.  It was seriously the funniest thing I've ever seen.  The class was in a circle doing their stretching.  Thunder went and joined in the circle.  First, he was sitting like they were.  Then, they got on their tummies.  So did Thunder.  Then, they got up on their knees with their bottoms in the air.  SO DID THUNDER!  I about died laughing!  I don't know if he always does this routine, if he was doing it on purpose or if it was a coincidence, but I would have done about anything for my camera.  It was probably much funnier in person so you may not think this is very funny, but I promise it was.  He is such a good dog.  Kinsey always tells stories about him and his antics.  It always strikes me as funny in general to see this very classical ballet class going on...black leotards, pink tights, hair in buns, etc.  and this big old yellow lab hanging out with them.  But, tonight, just really made my day!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Silly girl

      After an exhausting trip out to eat and to Wal-Mart (sense my sarcasm), Churry is passed out at my feet.  She always makes me laugh when she jumps out of the vehicle upon arriving home.  She rolls around in the grass for at least 10 minutes as if she's trying to rub her fur completely off.  I need to get a picture of it one of these times.  She's a bit of a drama queen about it!  What does your puppy do when they get their cape off?

School Social

       As I was reflecting on Churry's outing tonight, I thought back to the time prior to picking Churry up  and beginning this adventure called puppy raising.  I couldn't imagine the work that went into the puppies to get them to be so calm in any situation and I really didn't know if I'd be able to do it.  Yet, somehow, along the way it has happened.  I don't feel I've really "worked" at it, it's just happened.  She's such a good puppy!   I really thought that Churry showed off her wonderful manners tonight at my school social at the bowling alley.  I have really been looking forward to taking her to it because the bowling alley is definitely not a place we would just decide to go as a family.  And, I THOUGHT it would really be a challenge for her on a Friday night.... loud, tons of people, kids, food smells, balls rolling, etc.  I was dead wrong.  She could not have cared less about anything other than sleeping.  How she could sleep was beyond me.  While I wasn't expecting her to cause trouble or be anxious, I at least expected her to be interested!  We walked in and had to walk through every inch of crowds of people and lanes as the ones they had reserved for us were in the farthest corner from the door.  She very professionally walked through everyone on a nice loose leash without trying to say hi to anyone.  I stood and visited for a bit while she sat beside me.  Then, I showed her the table I was going to sit at and asked her to lie down next to it.  She immediately did and didn't budge the rest of the night.  I think she sat up once to check in with me, but then laid right back down and went back to sleep.  My friends were laughing at her at one point because she was apparently dreaming about chasing something.  Hopefully, her lack of interest in her surroundings and mellow personality means she is really focused, really comfortable in about any situation,  and is not a sign that she's just so lazy that a tornado could be going on around her and she would keep on sleeping!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Groceries are hard work!

     Churry has been in grocery stores, Wal-Mart, etc. countless numbers of times.  But, when I go for our family of 6's "big" weekly trip I usually go alone or with my husband.  No dog, no kids.  I hate the weekly trip with a passion and it takes every ounce of concentration to get all of our needed items and stay on budget.  I've been thinking recently that while Churry has been on little grocery trips with me frequently (for the items we ran out of  or were missing despite my careful planning) she probably needs to be accustomed to the marathon trips as well.  Her future partner may have a large family like us!  She did beautifully beside the cart, ignoring people, etc. as usual.  What I did learn is how glad I am that she has pretty much mastered "right" and "left" because it certainly helped that she would maneuver herself while I pushed the heavy cart.  It made me understand how important some of these commands are!

      I have also been feeling guilty that I haven't been exposing her to restaurants as often as, perhaps, I should.  We rarely eat out and when we do, it is my husband and I's date.  Again, no dog, no kids.  I've tried to keep that special alone time for us to focus on each other, not what the dog is doing under the table.  She has been to restaurants, but not very many times at all.  It's something that's on my radar to focus on more.  So last night for our ice cream date, along came Churry.  She did great.  I didn't have to focus my attention on her at all because she was perfect!  I didn't even notice she was down there other than the fact her sweet little head was keeping my feet warm.  Ice cream in cold temps is maybe not the best idea!

    And here is what she did while I was cleaning house today...you can't practice food refusal enough.  Especially with this little piggie!  She ignored it for a good hour at least!  After the first hour I added some kibble to the crumbs, but forgot to take a picture.  She ignored that for another hour or so, too.  I think she just likes to prove to other people that I'm making up stories when I'm telling about her being a crumb/floor licker!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Does it really take this long to drink coffee?

      I've been talking a lot on here about adding new challenges to Churry's work day at school.  This week as I was standing with her I realized that even though she has seen the buses many times, stood in front of them while they all pull in very close to her with the kids being very loud, been right by the doors as they "whoosh" open...she has never actually got on one.  It doesn't really strike me as something that should be that hard, but we are talking about my puppy that I'm still lifting into the vehicle.   So Friday I asked one of the drivers if it would be okay if we got on.   I inserted myself into one of the lines and we boarded the bus.  She wasn't sure at first, but quickly realized that they were just steps and walked right up.  I was proud of her because school buses are VERY noisy and she couldn't see where all the noise was coming from down at her eye level.  If you've never been near one, they also smell a little different.   It's the little things that I keep looking for to make sure she is willing to do before she goes back.  I wanted to practice several more times, but I don't think anyone would have appreciated me holding up the buses on a Friday afternoon!
     On Saturday morning there was no slacking off for Churry, either.  We got up and met a friend at a coffee shop for a chat.  She did a pretty good job of settling in by my chair and patiently waiting.  It was a good exposure because we were not in a booth.  Instead, it was more of two "comfy" chairs with a table in between us.   After an hour and a half, though, she thought surely I should be done with my coffee and was ready to go.  Only come to find out, I also expected her to shop with Jordan and I for a couple of hours for a dress.  She is now napping peacefully hoping her day's work is done.  She feels she deserves time off, too!

    Here's a picture of her being read to in my classroom yesterday.  The kids thought it was hysterical that she got herself a pillow with her paws and lied down on it like a person.  The child that was reading to her didn't want to snuggle and she did a really good job of letting them have their space.   I wish I had it this rough at work!

This picture is of Churry and Kinsey hanging out after school waiting for me to be ready to go.  Her "work" was over.  That's why her cape is off.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Creating Bigger Challenges at Work

      I've really been working on finding more difficult challenges for Churry when we go on outings and to work.  She has learned right where she belongs at work and is quite content lying there the ENTIRE day snoozing.  In fact, the last time I had her there she would give me an irritated look whenever I would wake her up to go somewhere.  While it's awesome that she doesn't cause a bit of a distraction while she's in my room, I didn't want her to start thinking that she just gets to sleep whenever she's at work.  So I've been thinking up ways to keep her mind busy in addition to staying "unnoticed" while at work.   Today she had to sit in a couple of different places other than "her" spot.  These spots were much closer to the kids, which took more self-control on her part to be still and ignore their adoring looks!

    She also attended her first assembly of the year.  Last year, she was very well behaved, but every time the kids applauded, she would jump up, just sure they needed her for something.  Today, I was very pleased that she didn't budge from her spot after multiple rounds of applause.

    She also accompanied the kids to PE class.  Always an adventure in ignoring distractions!  Today, they were bowling.  Loud Music, Loud Kids, Bowling balls and pins...lots of distractions!  And great preparation for an upcoming social event she will be attending with me. 
Right away this morning she found her spot and settled in.

In a stay on an elevated surface in the background.

Sit and Stay while the ball rolls past multiple times.

She got bored and broke her sit, but at least stayed there.

And her favorite part of the day, being read a story!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Indoor Recess

      It's that time of year where we have a lot of indoor recess at school, and for Churry, a lot of creativity with getting out some energy inside at home, too.  It's hard to go on outings when she comes in caked in mud every time she goes outside, so I've been trying to balance short outdoor fun with some indoor games to keep her entertained and happy.  One game that I played a lot with her last year is a "listening" game.  I started off with throwing a ball and making her "wait" to be released before she went and got it.  Then, I made it more difficult by putting her in a stay, walking away from her, throwing it, and then having her do some sort of command going AWAY from the ball before she could go retrieve it.  It took a lot of work last year and I was so proud of her for learning the rules of the game.  I hadn't played it with her for a long time, so yesterday when I didn't feel like going out with her I decided to play it again.  I was pleased that she needed no reminders of the rules.  You could tell she knew she was going to get "tricked" so she was listening really carefully to what I would say.  But, it wasn't challenging for her at all.  So, I need suggestions for indoor games to keep her brain busy!  I'm out of ideas!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Churry enjoyed bringing in the new year with a couple of inches of snow.  She LOVES it!  She was begging to go outside all day and each time she did go out she was VERY stubborn about coming back in.  She was having very selective hearing!  My pictures do no justice to her joy.  We had more snow than this, but these are the shots I took early in the morning before the rest fell.

She rolled and rolled in it as well as dove nose first in it as many times as she could.

You almost can't even tell, but Bailey is on the other side of her having a stand-off.

These two had a blast!

Still don't know whose glove she dug up!  Maybe when it thaws someone will claim it.