Michigan Fun

Sadie and Gideon had loads of fun playing in my parents’ back yard… but the real fun was going to the lake!

I was very happy that Sadie did not learn to dig with Gideon.  That is one habit I do not want her to start!

The visit to the lake started with the normal “chase me” game that Sadie loves.

Then Gideon pointed out the water…

and the docks…

and the real fun began!

Then my Dad brought out the tennis balls to toss to Gideon.  Gideon likes to jump off the dock to fetch the ball.

Ball in!

Gideon in!

Sadie charges down the dock???

and swims back to Gideon???

and then Sadie swims the ball back to shore.

This happened over and over again.  She just didn’t seem to understand she could jump off the dock too.

What did I do?

I tossed her in after the ball.  🙂  and she loved it!

One encouraging push by me and she was hooked!

As you can see, she really perfected her dive into the lake.

The only problem… I created a water monster!

She loves it so much, I had to leash her to get her to stay on shore and dry off before we left!  🙂

and then, when we got back to my parents’ house, she assumed their fish pond was for her to swim in too!


Walking, Swimming & Sharing

We had a fun-filled weekend!  I took both Sadie & Gideon on a walk (by myself) Saturday morning.  I was nervous at first, not sure how easy it was going to be with 2 dogs and 2 separate retractable leashes.  I took one quick (and blurry) picture before we left.

The walk was a breeze!  They both walk really well together and it was a great alternative to the busy weekend dog park.

Marcus joined us for 2 more walks over the weekend and they loved the neighborhood strolls!

As you may recall, Sadie has an antler chew.  She has really been into chewing it in the afternoon.  I love it because she can chew for a while with little destruction to the antler and then she walks away satisfied.

Gideon found the antler and really liked it… Sadie did not like sharing at all!  She would walk over to him and take it away from him.  It was really funny to watch considering he is 3 times her size!  Gideon really is a gentle giant.  He is so patient and tolerant of her puppy energy and behaviors.

As a reward to Gideon for his kind behavior with our little monster, I went out a bought Gideon his own (larger) antler.

Sadie took it from him!  Oh the nerve of her!

I took it back and made Sadie chew her antler and gave Gideon his back.

They both stood up, exchanged antlers and then laid back down and chewed away!

By Saturday evening, both Gideon & Sadie were “dog-tired”.

Gideon went into his crate to sleep and Sadie assumed her normal snuggle position with Marcus.  🙂

I give both Sadie & Gideon a chewy once a day.  Sadie enjoys her’s on the family room rug.

Gideon takes his into his crate.  No sharing with the puppy for this treat!

Sunday was another “heat advisory” day… hot and humid and 105.  After our morning walk, we let the pooches cool off in the pool!

Sadie was cautious at first.

And just like learning to swim, she watched Gideon splash around and then followed his lead.

She really loved the “water fountain”.

Along with standing, splashing and laying in the pool, the also dropped their tennis balls in and bobbed them out.  It was really entertaining to watch them play.  They both loved the pool!

Happy Exhaustion!

Where have you been?!?

So sorry to be MIA last week!  I was snapping pictures and thinking about the blog, but never made time to sit and blog.

I had that week were you have to get the to-do list done.

Here’s a wrap-up of what Sadie has been doing the last week.

In the background is Marcus at the driving range in Forest Park.  While Marcus hits golf balls, Sadie and I walked around the park.  She loves it!

The weather has been chart topping hot & humid.  I pack water for Sadie because our walks have been about an hour-long.  Sadie is not a fan of the travel water dish.  She doesn’t like sticking her head into the floppy bowl.

So, I went out and bought this travel bowl.  Sadie likes it much better.  Can you say spoiled?!?  🙂

I am still in the search for the perfect chew.  Sadie tried a compressed rawhide bone and a hard, stuffed bone.

The compressed rawhide was nothing special.  The downside was the mess it left on the carpet.

The stuffed bone is a keeper!  Sadie has been playing with it for the entire week.  She spends time licking the center and chewing the hard bone.  And, no mess!  It is great inside and outside!!

I also bought her bubbles.  Daisy used to love chasing bubbles.

Sadie eventually caught on, but I think the weather was so hot she wasn’t really interested in chase.  I’ll have to try again later when the heat breaks.

On the to-do list, was shopping for the cottage.  Sadie and I are going to the cottage for 2 1/2 weeks!  Yippy!

Life Jacket – Check!

I know Sadie will love the water and I’m sure swimming will come naturally to her.  But, a life jacket can come in handy when you least expect it.  We were thankful for Daisy’s jacket on more than one occasion!

Collar Night Light – Check!

We like to sit by the fire pit at night.  And, it gets crazy dark up north.  I want to be able to see Sadie and know where she is.  I stumbled upon this and knew it would be great!  It attached easily to her collar and the LED lights shine very brightly.  Great for a puppy learning (still learning) come & stay!

Funny Moment:  Marcus caught Sadie trying to jump onto the counter to get at a cheese platter I left out.

She accidentally opened the cabinet on the descent down.

On that note, here is my cottage reading material.

Puppy school was good, but I need to really practice and follow thru with Sadie’s training.  We have some skills to get better at and some bad behaviors to stop before they become a problem.

Cottage country has questionable internet access.  I have plans to buy a mobile hot spot, but I’m not sure if the cells towers will cooperate.  We may be out of touch until July.

Just in case… Happy 4th of July!

My Little Monster

As you all know, Sadie is a full bred English Springer Spaniel with an excellent pedigree.  She has all of the best traits of a springer spaniel and (fingers crossed) none of the obvious genetic problems.  But, she is still a puppy from the sporting group.  She requires exercise – daily exercise.  I’m not sure if you have ever noticed the little symbols in dog breed books that denote exercise requirements, but Sadie’s breed falls under High.  It wasn’t until this week-long rest (for her spay recovery) that I truly realized what High means.  Under normal conditions, Sadie and I spend a lot of time outside.  She is generally a very well-behaved puppy and quite happy.  This “rest week”, I saw a different Sadie… my little monster.  🙂

I’ve never understood why someone would give a dog to a shelter.  How can you say you can’t handle a dog?  Now, I know.  I would never give Sadie away!  But, I can see how, if you do not give your pet enough attention and exercise, they become unmanageable.  Sadie was feeling better as the “rest week” went on, but she wasn’t allowed to run, jump and play because of her stitches.  And, she did not like that!  Twice (when she wasn’t on her leash – Mom’s fault) she took off running around the yard and opened up her incision.   I knew she had to rest, but she wasn’t tired.

Sitting in the shade only worked for the initial days home from surgery.

So, I tried mental stimulation.  More long-lasting cheese chews.

They helped… but only for part of the day.  Sadie was a lot more nippy, barky and she even tried to be a little destructive!  She has never chewed anything that wasn’t a toy before, but suddenly she was trying to chew things that were not toys.  She was a little bored and wanted to exercise.  But, I knew rest was important, so I managed her the best I could and waited her out.  We had a few long days.  🙂

But, eventually the week was up and I celebrated with a nice neighborhood walk.  Sadie loved it!  Later that day, we went out for a short frisbee session.  I wanted to ease back into exercise.

She really opened it up in the yard.  Tearing around the corners with the wind blowing back her ears!  Heaven.

And, with the return of exercise,we have seen the very well-behaved Sadie return, too.  It really showed me how humans cause all the dog problems, one way or another.  Give a dog her basic needs and she’ll be a joy to live with.

Have you met my…


I mean cow?

I mean puppy!

I know Sadie is ready to go inside when she “finds” her frisbee in the taller grass.

See her making her way to the lush greens.

I’ve noticed she eats more grass & debris when she is tired.  She pays no attention to the stuff when play is on her mind!

Throw the frisbee, Mom.  I’m ready to play!

Caught On Tape!

Yesterday was a glorious day!  The weather was amazing and I think we’ve ended the separation stress!

I started out the morning with a play session inside and then we went on a 45 minute walk.

We played a little more in the backyard when we returned home.  Sadie was tired and went into her crate when we got back in the house.  I closed the door and watched a little TV while she fell asleep.  I got up and moved around the house doing some chores.  I also made lunch and ate it!  She watched me, but didn’t cry.  She eventually went back to sleep.  I went upstairs and stayed out of sight for 30 minutes.  Totally quiet downstairs.  She slept.

I let her out and fed her lunch.  We went outside a had a very small play/potty session.  I decided to make a quick trip to the dry cleaners.  I put her in her crate and set up the video camera.  I left the house the way I always do, but I did not shut the garage door.

When I returned 15 minutes later…. quiet.  I found a sleeping dog that was looking at me like, oh, your home?!

I eagerly rewound the tape (yep, tape… our video camera is 10 years old… we never use it!  I had to tape over a Vegas trip because where do I find VHS mini-tapes!  LOL!)  and watched the video…. Sadie slept the entire time, no whining, no crying.  🙂

A friend came over for a visit in the afternoon, and it was a good day for ice cream, so I put Sadie back into her crate and I set the video recorder again.  We were gone for 30 minutes.  This time I went out the front door.  She was quiet when I left and quiet when I returned.  The video evidence… a sleeping dog!  🙂

Around 4pm, Sadie and I wanted to enjoy the glorious weather and went on another 45 minute walk.  Sadie loved the walk and met a number of children who LOVED her!  It was funny to walk by people who didn’t acknowledge Sadie… she looked offended that they didn’t pet her and tell her she was beautiful!  Upon our return to the backyard, Sadie “played” with her neighbor friends through the fence.  We have plans to play in one yard, soon!

I decided to put Sadie in her crate one last time.  I went to the gym for 45 minutes.  Video tape recording.  This time I went out the garage door and closed the door.

She was just waking up when I walked in the door.  Very calm.  Video evidence…. 45 minutes of sleeping.  No crying, no whining!  🙂

I was on cloud nine yesterday and slept so much better… it was like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!  I’m not sure what made the change.  I did increase the walk from 30 to 45 minutes.  I did make her crate VERY comfortable.  It used to have just a towel, but when she slept better upstairs on the big comfy dog bed, I decided to put a pillow in her downstairs crate, too.  Maybe it just clicked with her that we do return.  I’m going to continue to tape while I’m out this week, just to make sure yesterday wasn’t a fluke day.  And the 45 minute walks will continue, too!  🙂  It’s supposed to be 76 degrees today… so, we’re off to spend the day outdoors!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!


Tennis anyone?!

Sadie was feeling much better as the day progressed.  Her normal energy levels were back and the swelling is just about gone.

We went outside and played with the tennis ball in the soggy, mucky backyard.

Sadie loves to sprint around the yard with the tennis ball and dive into the vines growing along the fence.

Eventually she loses interest in the ball and moves onto chewing on the vines and fallen branches.

That’s when we move the fun indoors!

Our camcorder is charging and were off for our walk.  Happy Hump-Day!

Sleepy Saturday

Sadie loves to spend time with Dad.

Sadie and I lounged around most of the day.  She had little bouts of play, but nothing outside.  It was cold and rainy.  Better snuggle weather than play.

Sadie’s big project was trying to jump up onto the couch by herself.  She even tried a running start, but she just can’t quite make it up.  Of course, we give her a boost, she is allowed on the furniture.  Frankly, I don’t think it even occurred to her that she wouldn’t be allowed.  She immediately tried to gain access to the couch when she first came home.  🙂

As we napped on the couch, I considered that maybe I was over exercising her.  She seemed perfectly happy to be a couch potato today.  She proved me wrong around 6pm.  She woke up and had dinner and was full of energy to burn.  I took her outside and she ran circles around the back yard.  We came into the house and she terrorized her toys for 2 hours.  I took her back outside twice during that period and she did even more sprinting.  Lesson learned… she likes and needs all the outdoor play I have been providing her.  It is currently 8:20 pm and she is zonked out on the couch.  Energy expelled.  Whew.

I feed Sadie her food off of a glass pie dish.  I like using this because it is easier for a puppy to eat off of a low dish, but the sides keep the food in while she pushes it around.  We used a cookie sheet for Daisy, but it was so big, she ended up standing on the sheet and getting food in her paws.

I know potty training is a little early until puppies are about 12 weeks old, but since Sadie knows she is supposed to go outside to potty, I decided to start the training now.  I want to teach her to ring these bells when she needs to go outside. They hang on the door handle and I have her hit them with her nose or paw each time we go out to potty.

Home Is Where the Dog Is

If it takes until she is 12 weeks old (or longer) to really sink in, no harm done.  But, there have been a few times she has tried to tell us she wants to go out, but we missed the signals.  She doesn’t whine, cry or bark.  She moves from one door to another to get let out.  It’s much easier to hear bells!  I will not ring the bells when we go out to play… potty only.  I am going to try to be very consistent.  I’ll let you know how it goes.