Wordless Wednesday

Puppy Grooming Session

Yesterday we had a very positive puppy grooming session.  The results weren’t perfect, but the experience for Sadie was.

I learned with Daisy that the earlier you expose puppies to all aspects of grooming, the easier grooming will be throughout the dog’s life.  We have been touching Sadie’s ears, feet and mouth regularly.  I brush her every day and I clean her ears weekly.  Each session gets easier.  Two weeks ago, during one of our sessions, I let Sadie smell and hear the electric clippers.  I also touched her body with it, but did not actually cut her hair.  It was a short exposure, but positive.

Yesterday, I had plans to use the electric clippers to trim Sadie down.

We like to keep our English Springer Spaniels’ hair on the shorter side.  Many people call it a field cut or a utility cut.  Sadie will not be a “show dog”, nor will be breed her.  She is a family pet that will get lots of play time in fields and the water… that means lots of exposure to things that can get stuck in long hair.  Shorter is easier!  🙂

I watched some youtube grooming videos and read how-to articles on how to groom a dog with electric clippers.  It seemed pretty straight forward.  I have an Andis clipper kit and I use a 10 blade.  I like to use the 1/2 or 1/4 inch combs, but sometimes they pop off and it’s faster to just use the blade alone.  Daisy was very compliant with being groomed and I felt better about doing the grooming myself.  I didn’t love the regular $80 grooming costs or that they kept her for four plus hours for a shave down.


Above are the pre-grooming photos.  She was just a little shaggy.  It wasn’t about Sadie needing a trim, but about having a positive grooming experience at a young age.

We took it very slow with lots of blueberries.

I trimmed her on the ground instead of a table.  I trimmed Daisy on the ground, too.  I may use a table with Sadie, but to be honest, it is a pain to drag a folding table up from the basement.  🙂

We took a few breaks.  She did great and enjoyed the treats.  She got tired and a bit squirmy when I moved toward her chest.  I think it will be easier the next time I groom her when her obedience is stronger.

As you can see, we ended with a carrot as a reward and her beautiful ears are still there!

I was shocked at how skinny she is!  That fur was deceiving.


Pedicure for the pooch

Saturday’s spring clean up was very successful.  4 bags of sticks and leaves were set out at the curb.  Playing with Sadie in a stick free yard is so much easier!  🙂  Totally worth the hours of yard work!

Since the chores were completed Saturday, we played all day Sunday in the yard!  It was in the 80’s yesterday and Sadie loves playing outside.

Marcus commented about how Sadie’s nails were really sharp, so I decided it was time to give her a pedicure.  I could not cut Daisy’s nails.  We had to take her to the vet to have them cut.  She hated it.   So, I was nervous to try to cut Sadie’s nails.

We were outside playing while Marcus was washing the cars.  Sadie was pretty calm from all the outdoor play.  I decided to seize the moment.  I got a small dish of blueberries, a pair of scissors and the nail clippers.

Sadie loves blueberries.  They are a great treat (low-cal/low-fat) and they take a few moments for her to eat.

We sat in a chair in the backyard with the blueberries next to us.  I laid her on her back, her head on my knees.  I gave her a blueberry for letting me touch her foot.  She ate it and laid there.  I started by trimming the hair around her foot pads.  She let me trim all four feet with no issues.  I would give her a blueberry after a few cuts and then continue.

I was nervous when it was time to cut the nails.  They were long & sharp… it needed to be done.  I am really lucky… all of her nails are pink.  It is really easy to see the blood vessel in each nail.

The vet suggested nail clippers that look like the picture above.  They were comfortable in my hands and cut the nail very easily.  Sadie let me cut all of her nails with no issue!

After every 2 nails, I gave Sadie a blueberry and continued cutting.  She was tired (cooperative) and loving the treats.  I gave her 3 blueberries when we were all done and we played with the frisbee as a final reward.

Today I am going to get her used to the electric clippers.  I shaved Daisy myself after a few bad groomer experiences.  I bought a quality pair of clippers and taught myself how to give a ‘springer field cut’.  It is surprisingly easy to do and I’ve paid for the clippers multiple times over.

It’s supposed to be in the 80’s again today!  Off to enjoy this wonderful weather!  Happy Monday!

Beginning of Obedience Training

Friday was another successful day with Sadie.  She loves her walks and play sessions.  This is how I found her in the afternoon.  She got tired waiting for me, and curled up next to my shoes!  🙂

Come on, let's go play!

We started some basic obedience training today.  We have not done any formal training for sit, stay, come, etc.

I “loaded” the clicker today and we worked on sit and stay.  Sit is easy for Sadie, she does it automatically.

Good Sit!

I’m not so sure about the clicker tool.  The trainer has it listed in the items to bring to class.  We start formal puppy school at the end of the month.  I’ll let you know if we end up using it.

It was another fun-filled day for us.  During an afternoon nap, Sadie stretched and rolled off the couch onto the floor!  She put her head down and kept sleeping!!!

I’m off to Home Depot.  I’m losing the battle with the stick eater… I need some yard clippings bags and I’m sure I’ll leave with some other goodies. 🙂  I have big plans to clean up the spring debris today!

Chewing Fun

Throw it, Mom!

Watch out, here I come!

Sadie and I are developing a very nice routine.  We start our morning out with breakfast and a play session that involves me throwing the rabbit and Sadie chasing it and bringing it back to me.  She squeaks the rabbit like crazy as she runs back to me.

Sadie is teething and wants to chew.  I’ve been watching her closely and she is doing well chewing the raw hides the vet gave her.  So, for the time being, I allow her to chew a small, flat raw hide every morning while I drink my coffee.  She loves it!

Sadie has adjusted to life very well.  I think the 45 minute walks help, a lot!  🙂 Today, I HAD to vacuum.  The trees have dropped these weird seed-berries all over the yard and we track them into the house with our shoes.  {Plus, it’s been 2 weeks since I vacuumed last!} It was time to clean.  As you can see, Sadie didn’t give the vacuum cleaner a second look.  No barking, no chasing.  Glorious!

Sadie was tired from the walk, so I put her into the crate and went to the gym for a good 5 mile run.  She did great while I was gone – all sleep, no barking!  She played with her chicken while I stretched in the family room.  She just discovered how to make it squeak and loves it!  She wanted to play “throw it, Mom” with the chicken, too.

After lunch and a shower, we hung out in the back yard to enjoy the 83 degree weather.  Sadie loved the heat!  But, she started chewing sticks and I hate that, so…

I gave her a frozen Kong to enjoy in the sun.  It was filled with peanut butter & banana with an edible Nylabone stuck into the mixture.  She enjoyed it for a while, gave up when it got “hard” and after I helped her get to the center goodies, she was back at it!  Way better than sticks!

Last night we had an almost great night’s sleep.  The problem: the neighbors’ {insert profanity} wind chimes!  It was 68 degrees last night, great open window weather.  But, the wind was blowing and the 3 wind chimes under our bedroom window were loud!  Sadie slept like a champ.  Potty break 4 hours after we went to bed and then up 3 hours later for another potty.  She went back to bed and Marcus’ alarm clock woke us all up!!!!!