The Pure Joy of Swimming

Cottage creatures… what’s the saying… where there are frogs, there are snakes!

Try not to think about it… that’s what I do!  🙂

Sadie really loves the water!  If she could, she would swim all day long!

NO FEAR!  JUST FUN!!!

Notice the Kong toy in her mouth?

Where’s the toy?  Sadie is not really into fetch.  She loves to chase after toys, but she tends to leave them “out there”.

After a while, Sadie would literally swim right over the toy, but would not bring it back.

That was when we discovered she just wanted to swim.

I know this picture does not really show much, but it makes me laugh just thinking of what it is!

Sadie wags her tail, under water, while swimming!

It is the funniest thing I have ever seen.  She absolutely loves to swim for the pure joy of swimming.

Sadie would jump in and swim back and forth across the lake.  Love her!

Temperature did not bother Sadie, either.  We had a few cloudy, cool days.  See me?  Dressed for fall.  I’m watching Sadie swim!

Sadie loves looking out windows.  We have low windows at the cottage and Marcus got a great picture of Sadie watching the bunnies!

It was sad to close the cottage up for the winter, but Sadie is looking forward to some spring, polar bear temperature, swimming!

Fresh New Toys!

Sadie chewed thru the top of her puppy Kong, so I stopped by the pet store to buy her a new Kong and I left with a bonus Kong toy!

What did you get me, Mom?!?

She is old enough to have the red “dog” Kong.  She likes the harder rubber of this toy.  I am sure it will get a lot of use in the coming days.

I also bought this Kong Knots toy.  Sadie loves to play tug and it felt really durable.

She LOVES it!!!

It has rope knots inside the body, instead of stuffing.

And, it has handles on each end to tug with.

Sadie and I each give it 5 stars!  It’s a buy!  😉

Sadie and I have a visitor… Gideon!  He has come to stay with us for a few weeks while my parents go on vacation.  Sadie is over-the-moon!

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!!!!!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has been a roller-coaster of a weekend.  I didn’t post yesterday because the weather was so beautiful that I spent the day playing with Sadie.  Love the blog, but the blog is nothing without spending time with our lady!  🙂

The Good

Potty training is going so well!  Sadie is ringing the bells to potty and rarely rings just to play.  We have been accident free for days, maybe even a week!

Sleeping at night is so much better, too!  Sadie is sleeping well in her crate and will respond to my sleep command if she tries to wake too early.  I usually hate Spring Forward (day light savings) because you lose a very precious hour of sleep.  Not this year!  It tricked Sadie into thinking it was 5am when it was now 6 am!  I have big plans for 6:45am tomorrow!  🙂

Walking on the leash is going very well.  Sadie loves it and with the gorgeous weather, we take 2 or 3 walks a day!  As her confidence builds, she is surging ahead and I see pulling in her future.  I’ll have to get on the training for nice leash walking soon.

I just registered Sadie for puppy school, it starts in a few weeks.   Lots of training to come.

The Bad & Ugly

Sadie is not doing well when we leave.  She has some pretty intense separation issues.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the crate.  I have done everything you are supposed to do to get your dog to like being in a crate.

It is comfortable.  It has toys.  I put this cover over the crate to make it den-like.  I feed her food inside the crate.  She gets treats for going into the crate.  She gets treats for being quite in the crate.  It is not the crate.  She likes the crate.  She’ll go inside the crate while we are home, she sleeps well in the crate.  She HATES being alone.

I left her for 2 hours today to go and train for the half-marathon.  Before I left, we went on a walk and played in the backyard with the frisbee and tennis ball.  She was tired.  When I left, the crate looked like the picture above.  I left the TV on, playing classical music.  I left her with a Kong stuffed with a Kong bone.

When I got home, I decided to sneak into the house through the front door.  I parked in the driveway and immediately heard Sadie crying!  Oh, boy.  I pulled into the garage and braced myself for what to expect.

Sadie had chewed up the crate cover.  She untied some of the ties and destroyed other areas.  Not sure if you can tell, but there was a little blood on the fabric from her chewing… she lost 2 baby teeth in the process!  She peed a little in the crate and turned over her bedding.  She ate the treat, but only until it got difficult to get more.  Once the piece sticking out of the Kong was gone, she gave up.  It should have kept her busy for a while, but she didn’t keep at it.  She had drooled a ton!

When I let her out, she ran straight to the water bowl and then we went outside.  After a hello and play session, we went upstairs for me to take a shower.  Sadie was so exhausted, she walked into her crate and went to sleep!

After the shower & lunch, she went back into the family room crate and finished her treat.  I let her, so the crate continues to have good associations.  Now she is sleeping inside THE crate, minus the cover.

I’m at a loss.  We have a vet appointment tomorrow for Sadie’s next round of vaccines.  I’m going to talk to him.  I don’t want to feel trapped at home and I do not want Sadie stressed out for hours while we are gone.  I am thinking about letting her have the family room while we are gone to see if that is better.  Marcus thinks that is a bad idea… he repeats, “it’s not the crate, it’s the separation”.  He said she’ll destroy our family room if we leave her out to roam.  I think he may be right, but what next?

I’d give you a ‘Fistful of Dollars’ to solve this problem!  🙂

Wanna Go For A Walk!?!

Yesterday I was losing the stick eating battle.  Sadie was more interested in eating sticks than playing with the frisbee or tennis ball.  Not only is that a dangerous habit, but it wasn’t burning off her energy.  I had big plans for her crate training and a better nights sleep, so exercise was a priority.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to put the frisbee in her mouth and see if she would walk on her leash down a few houses.

As you can see, Sadie was excited for this new adventure.

She actually dropped the frisbee after a few houses, but did not pick up anything to replace it.  She was really into the walk, so we continued down the street.  She walks really well on a leash.  She does not pull or lag behind, we walked at a good pace with her crossing a little in front of me.  A great starting point. We ended up walking a square block.

When we returned home, I put Sadie in her crate for a crate training session.  I stuffed her Kong with a slice of frozen banana.  She loved it, and it was a pretty successful session.

We went on two more walks that day with another crate training session in between.

A reward for being quite, I gave Sadie a piece of sweet potato jerky.  She really liked the treat.

I fed Sadie both lunch and dinner in her crate.  We are making good progress.

We were both exhausted around 9pm last night and headed up to bed.  The comfy bed in the full-sized crate went very well last night.  She was a sound sleeper for 4 solid hours.  I actually woke up at 1 am and decided to take her potty, worried about how large the crate was.  She was asleep.  She went potty and I offered her water and she went right back to sleep.  She did wake up at 2:30am.  I took her out because I gave her water… not going to do that tonight.  🙂  She went back to sleep, but woke up around 3am.  I decided (right then and there) that I was training her, she was not going to train me. I knew she really didn’t have to potty and I was comfortable that she is doing well in her crate and responds to my commands.  I told her no and to go to bed.  She did!  She tried to wake me up again a few more times, but quickly responded to my no commands.  At 4:45 she woke me up and I knew she wanted breakfast.  I was laying in bed, thinking, if I don’t nip this in the bud, she’ll push breakfast to 3am!  🙂

I took her potty at 4:45 and put her back to sleep.  She didn’t love it, but went to sleep.  This lasted until 5:15.  Still too early for me.  I told her no, she cried a little, but went back to sleep.  I woke up around 5:45 and decided to wake her up.  I wanted to get up on my terms, not her cries, so I didn’t want to push my luck.

I know this sounds dreadful, but it was actually a very positive night.  I feel more rested today and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I should mention that although Marcus didn’t say anything this morning about the crying, he did turn up the white noise machine at 4:45.  🙂

The weather is supposed to be 60 and sunny today, so Sadie and I are headed out for a nice, long walk.

Puppyhood Struggles

Yesterday was a soggy and sloppy play day.

I love spring, but I’d like it more if the ground was dry.  🙂

Sadie had a few very fun and muddy play sessions in the back yard.  Giving her a bath seemed like a waste, since she would just get dirty a few hours later.  I used this old towel to clean her up and some puppy bath wipes on her paws.  They are sort of like baby wipes, but formulated for dogs.  They get the job done for days like today.  Sadie is very agreeable to being towel dried, you just have to watch the need to chew.  I usually put a toy in her mouth and it makes for faster work!  She is very compliant with being on her back, letting me play with her ears and feet!

I went to the pet store yesterday and bought a puppy Nylabone and a traditional puppy Kong for Sadie.  The Nylabone went over very well for the first 15 minutes.  It was the shiny, new toy.  🙂  Then it faded into the back ground.  I was hoping it would be loved like the rawhide.  Not quite.

I bought the Kong for a longer treat while she is crated when I run errands.  I filled it with peanut butter and put it in the freezer.  We gave her the Kong while we went to the gym last night.  I made a few “first-timer” mistakes.  Go figure.  🙂

I wanted it to be a special treat associated with the crate, so I waited until right before we left to give it to her.  I tossed it in the crate and she jumped in and we were off.

When we returned, it was clear that she did enjoy it for a while.  She licked it half way down.  Her bedding (towels) was overturned, which tells me she did some crying and digging after she lost interest in the Kong.

My mistake was in not teaching Sadie how to use the Kong.  I read about that this morning in searching about Kong stuffing ideas.  But, it turns out that was a bit of a blessing.  You shouldn’t fill the Kong with just peanut butter because that amount of peanut butter can give them a tummy ache.  This morning I played with Sadie and the Kong to get her interested and to show her how to chew it and squeeze the yummy stuff out the end.

I am going to try again today with a new stuffing recipe.  I plan to put her dry food (lunch) in the Kong and “seal” it with some mashed banana.

I am hoping, with a daily routine of me leaving, she will get more comfortable being alone (and learn we will come back).  Daisy loved the “oh, they’re leaving” treats.  Hopefully, Sadie will too.

Our sleeping schedule is still a little off.  She goes to sleep great and sleeps for a few hours.  Then a potty break, no problems there.  The problem is that she gets up every hour or so starting around 3 am.  I know she doesn’t need to potty, but I take her outside, she will go pee, and then right back into the crate.  I think she just wants to be with us. I am torn with letting her cry at 3 am.  I don’t want to ignore potty cries and if I don’t let her do anything else, I’m hoping she will outgrow this phase – sooner, rather than later.  But, part of me thinks she likes the contact with me.  I should let her cry, but Marcus has to actually function at work the next day… so I try to get her to quiet down.  I think Friday will be the night I see what happens when I let her cry it out.  If she keeps us up, at least it’ll be a Saturday that we are exhausted.  Who am I kidding, I am exhausted!  🙂

She has been running into the family room and laying in her plush dog bed when we first get back into the house from the early am potty breaks.  I’m going to try to put that in her crate to sleep on tonight.  It’s a long shot, but maybe she’ll be more comfortable and let me sleep.  🙂

The catch is that the divider needs to come out of the crate to fit the bed.  She is not peeing in her crate, so fingers crossed it stays that way!

It’s funny how you block out the puppyhood struggles once your dog turns into an adult.  I need sleep!

Sadie hopes your day is ‘rawhide’ good!