A Package for Sadie!

Sadie received a very generous gift in the mail a few weeks ago from Mr.Chewy.com!

A box loaded with treats & chews!  All her Favorites!

The company contacted me about a month ago to try out their services.  I wanted to give it a few weeks so that Sadie could try all of the products and we could give an honest review.  And, I have to say, we loved our experience with Mr.Chewy!

Sadie is an aggressive bone chewer and the bully sticks & flossies were a great alternative to rawhide.

The Merrick bone is holding up really well, too.  She seems to like it just as much, if not better than the antlers!  (And, I just received an email that they sell antlers, too!)

They have a wide selection of both dog & cat products that include treats & food.  They have competitive prices and free shipping on all orders $49+!

The website is very user-friendly, the shipping was fast and everything arrived in one piece.  Always a plus!

Along with the bone & bully sticks, Sadie received an assortment of treats.  We are back to practicing our training behaviors.

I mixed up the treats and put them into containers, at both doors, to reinforce good behaviors.  It is helping a lot with the come command, we still need to work on greeting guests.  (Sadie will sit for the treat, then tackle the guest!)

See how pretty her sit is!  🙂

The thing that caught my eye about Mr.Chewy is their referral program.  It just sounded really neat to me.

If you use the promotion code below, YOU save 10% off your total order AND MR.Chewy will donate $10 to the pet charity(s) they support.  They currently support 3 great organizations and I left the default set-up for my account; split all donations equally between the 3 charities.

Save 10% and Mr.Chewy will also donate $10 to charity!

Code: LAUR5660


Sadie’s new thing is to jump onto Marcus and force herself between the computer & his lap!

Marcus bought me a new camera for my birthday… crisp, clear photos to be posted soon!  🙂


The Evolution of Walking a Tight Rope {from Sadie’s perspective}

Sadie has been having a wonderful fall.

Lots of walks and play time.

We just spent the afternoon with her brother, Marco.  They had so much fun together!  I am so bummed I forgot my camera.  Boo Mom!

Sadie has discovered the fun of ‘people watching’ out the front window.  I moved an ottoman under the window sill to give her a comfortable view. Yeah, Mom?!!  🙂

Sadie has a fun trip to Michigan next week and then we start another dog training class when we return home.  I signed us up for a 6 week class to fix all those pesky behaviors, like jumping.  It’s really Mom training, not dog training.

I am really excited about the trainers we will be working with, they specialize in training for certification as therapy dogs in hospitals.  I hope they can help me shape her behaviors so she will be eligible to be a therapy dog once she is old enough.

We are also on a waiting list for an agility training class.  Yeah, waiting list!  Boo!

I hope to get back into regular postings, now that our summer travels are winding down.  Plus, we have lots of new activities to report on!  😉

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!

The Graduate!

No cap and gown here.  Just yummy biscuits, happy puppies and proud parents!

Sadie had her final puppy class and passed her S.T.A.R. test!  We crammed all weekend and the efforts paid off!

We celebrated with more puppy play!

I’m interested in continuing her training, but I want to find a closer trainer.

The puppy class was good and I liked the trainer, but it was a 45 minute drive during rush hour to make the class.

I’m going to look for a trainer in my area that offers agility classes.

Peace of Mind

Sadie has had a fun and busy couple of days.  Our walks are truly enjoyable for both of us!  NO JUMPING!  Yippy!!

I found it was most successful to distract Sadie from jumping.  Saying No wasn’t effective.  I kept taking her back to the park where I used 3 distractions.

  1. Find the birds, Sadie! She is a bird dog.  She loves to find them and chase them. 
  2. Letting her pick up sticks and walk with them in her mouth.  Sadie still likes to chew on sticks, but she doesn’t eat them, she spits out the bark.  I don’t love that she chews them, but I’m ok with her picking up a stick and walking with it.  She drops it pretty quickly in search for a better stick.  This has also helped with teaching drop it and leave it.  I’ll let her pick up sticks, but tell her to leave garbage or to drop something she picks up like the large seeds that fall from the trees.
  3. Pointing out a dog ahead of us on the path.  Sadie loves to meet other people and dogs.  Walking behind other leashed dogs has helped distract Sadie from jumping.

I have kept the park walks to 30 minutes.  The shorter walks may help, too.

We went to our new Vet today.  LOVED her!  Sadie and I thought this clinic was perfect.  The staff was great and gave Sadie tons of love & treats.  The Doctor (and staff) made me feel very comfortable.  This is just what I was looking for!

We discovered the old vet forgot one of the booster shots for one of Sadie’s vaccines, and that reassured me that listening to my gut is invaluable!  Sadie will go back next week for 2 booster shots.  We discussed scheduling the spay for the month of May.

I had a long discussion with the Doctor about why they charge so much for their spays.  I called 2 other vet clinics and the average cost was $375.  This vet is around $450.  The Doctor gave me an itemized list showing all the charges for a full spay.  I really like the transparency of this clinic.  The extra money covers an IV with fluids, a staff person assigned to Sadie that will be with her all day and all pain medications.  I am very comfortable paying this extra money.  You know the saying… You get what you pay for.  I think Sadie will get treated very well here and all risks are minimized with these extras.  I’d rather pay an extra $50 to keep Sadie’s pain to a minimum than save the money and have her suffer needlessly.  I’ve decided to skip the spa treatment I was going to schedule as a reward for the half-marathon I ran and use that money to off-set the extra costs.  I’d rather have peace of mind over an hour massage.  (For those of you that know me…. that’s saying something!  🙂  )

Sadie has a puppy class tomorrow, two play-dates later in the week and she will meet my parents’ new black lab!

Puppy Walks

Yesterday was another great day with Sadie!

We started off our morning running a few errands (drive-thru bank, dry cleaner, etc.) and then we went for a walk in the park.  The walk was even better than the last!

Sadie met a golden retriever and splashed in the stream with him.  It was a great social interaction for her.

I have to make a confession…I have been walking Sadie for 40+ minutes on our walks.  Apparently, that is too long for a dog under the age of 18 months.  Who knew?!

The trainer ‘scolded’ another parent for taking her puppy on a 5 mile walk.  She said no more than 10 minutes at a time.  What!?!  10 minutes?!?

I can see how 5 miles is a bit much, but 10 minutes?  I’d have to walk Sadie every hour.  🙂

Sadie seems to do well on our walks.  I will scale it back to 30 minutes, twice a day.  But I know she would bounce off the walls with just 10 minute walks. Let’s not forget this face!

Other than the walking times, the trip to puppy school was great!  The ‘mean’ dog was absent and Sadie played really well with all the puppies!  Sadie was used as an example, for another parent, as the perfect body for a dog.  The parent had to feel Sadie to see the difference between the body fat on Sadie and her over-weight pooch.  Sadie’s self-esteem went through the roof!  😉

The current challenge I have for the next few days is keeping Sadie off the grass as much as possible.  When Sadie & I returned home from the park yesterday, I found a man fertilizing our lawn!  Um, Hello?  Who are you?

I have been washing her paws with a damp rag when we come back into the house.  The trouble is that she still puts a lot of stuff in her mouth.  The forecast claims rain on Friday.  I’ll be going to the park again today so we don’t have to play on our yard.  Annoying, but too late to do anything about it.  Roll with the punches!  🙂

Who’s the Boss???


1. (of an immoral or illegal act or omission) Intentional; deliberate.
2. Having or showing a stubborn and determined intention to do as one wants, regardless of the consequences or effects.
Sadie just discovered the other couch in our family room.  She often jumps up and lays there.  She looks a little miffed if you sit on her couch.   This is Sadie staring me down while I sit in her favorite spot.   🙂
I officially HATE training treat bags!  The trainer told us we HAD to use one in class.  So, I bought one.  My dog is way too cleaver for this bag!  We are supposed to train with the bag and clicker.  So, I had it on my pocket today, with the clicker, while we went on our walk.  Sadie used to be the best walker… now, she is constantly jumping up at the treat bag.  I can’t walk two steps without her jumping up on my hip.  Our afternoon walk was VERY short.  I tried again in the evening, trying to click and treat for nice walking.  Nope.  It was a disaster.  I was getting so frustrated I turned around and went home after only 3 houses.  I wanted to scream, but I understand that Sadie is confused.  She smells treats, knows they are in the bag.  She thinks it’s all a game.
Look at this face!  This is what she looked like when we got back into the house and I was at the end of my leash!  🙂
I took a deep breath and took her into the back yard to play fetch to burn off her energy… and calm me down.
I am only using the treat bag in class.  No more home use.  My old system was much more effective.
And, I’m really questioning the clicker.
Banging head against wall.
I’ll leave you with a few shots I captured of Sadie during a feisty barking play session.
This is how I felt dragging Sadie home from our failed walk!  🙂

Puppy School

Yesterday was a fun-filled day for Sadie.  The results equaled 7 full hours of sleep for Mom!  Yeah!

First, I have to mention that we are looking for another vet.  Thank you Stacey, for asking about Sadie’s Bordetella shots!

I assumed she was given the vaccine because the reminder sheet the vet sent home said December 15, 2011 for her next Bordetella.  But, it bugged me that a yearly vaccine would be needed before her first birthday.  Why 12-15-11?  So I made some calls and it turns out the vet assumed the breeder gave her the vaccine.  Why?  Sadie was born 12-23.  How did she get a vaccine on 12-15?  This was after I discovered they messed up the Rabies paperwork.  Puppies get a 1 year Rabies vaccine, than adults get a 3 year vaccine.  They sent us home with 3 year tags & paperwork on Monday.  I called to make sure she got the correct vaccine and the vet verified that she did.  It was just an office error.  Fine.  But how many office errors do you excuse before you being to think they mismanage their practice?  Sadie is a family member.  I want the best for her.  I just don’t feel good about letting them spay her.  Too much can go wrong.

So, we have an appointment with our neighbors’ vet for Sadie’s second Lyme vaccine.  This vet happens to be recommended by an online pet magazine as a top choice award for local vets in STL.  My only concern is that this new vet seems to charge a much higher price for spaying than surrounding vets.  I’ll need to discuss this with the vet.  I want a competent vet that I can trust, but that shouldn’t cost me an extra $200.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂

Back to our day… we rushed over to the “assuming” vet for a quick Bordetella vaccine and then a reward trip to Pet Co.  Sadie loved Pet Co… so many treats to sniff!  🙂  We bought some training treats and some new chew bones.  I bought a pack of puppy edible Nylabones and a pack of bully sticks.   When we returned home, Sadie enjoyed a bully stick in the back yard.

She loved it and it took her about 45 minutes to finish it.  But, it smelled gross.  And, you have to try not to think about what it is – dried bull penis.  Yeah, I know, gross!

After the additional vaccine and a bully stick afternoon, Sadie was tired.  But, we had puppy class to get to.

Sadie slept in the car on the way to class.  With ridiculous traffic, it took us 45 minutes to get to class.  Fine for one class, but I’m not sure I’ll sign up for another series.

Awesome discovery – Sadie’s brother Marco was in the class with her!  So much fun to watch them reunite!  I don’t have any pictures, but I’ll try to get some next week.  The class was a little too crazy to add the element of taking photos!

The puppies had some social time in the beginning and then we practiced Touch, Sit and Go To Your Bed.  There was a disorganized discussion time and the class ended a bit abruptly.  Not sure if I love it.  It’s good for Sadie, she gets to see her brother and with only 4 classes left it’ll be fine.  There is one puppy that is aggressive and doesn’t like other dogs.  He snapped at Sadie last night.  I don’t like that he is in the class, even though I know he needs to learn to socialize.  I’m not crazy about him learning at Sadie’s expense.  I have some reservations about letting her interact with him.

All in all, it was a long day but Sadie enjoyed the experiences.  I’m off to buy her city dog license and a membership to our local dog park!

The Gift of Making People Smile

It has been a very busy week!  Sadie is growing like a weed!  We have another Vet appointment on Monday.  I’m interested to see her weight.  🙂  I’m also going to be asking about when she will get her rabies vaccine and finding out more about her spay.  I am not totally “sold” on her current Vet, so I have some more questions before I feel good about him doing her spay.

I noticed some dandruff on her this week.  I read that puppies get dry skin because their oil glands are not yet fully developed.  Brushing helps distribute their oils and reduces puppy dandruff.  I have not been brushing Sadie since I shaved her down – time to start!  Blueberries made it simple.  We also had another successful nail clipping session.  I’ve brushed her everyday.  Her coat is glossy, but she still has some dandruff.  I’m keeping my eye on it.

Tuesday night I went to our first puppy class.  It was owners only – no pups.  We met the trainer, got some basic instructions and homework for the week.  It’s a bit of a drive from our home, but I’m really happy with the trainer and her teaching methods.  I’m really excited to see Sadie meet some new puppy friends and learn the obedience commands!  🙂

For this week, I started walking Sadie on the gentle walker harness.  She was walking well on just her collar, but she was pulling a little when we were on the street heading back to our house.  The harness helps with the pulling, the leash attaches to the front and when she pulls, she gets turned sideways and looks back at me. To get her used to the harness, I put it on her and then we played frisbee.  Once she forgot about the harness, we left for a walk.  It was great!

On our walks this week, I noticed how Sadie has the gift of making people smile. It is fun to watch strangers see us walking and they instantly smile at her.  There was a woman I noticed sitting at a red light.  She looked miserable, then she looked up and saw Sadie and a huge grin appeared on her face.  Same thing happens with people we cross while walking in the park, too.  Some people stop and ask to pet her.  We spent about 5 minutes visiting with an older gentleman walking with his nurse.  He just loved Sadie.  It makes me so happy to see how such a small interaction can make both Sadie & the other person so happy.

The other “puppy school homework” was the Touch command with the clicker.

You are supposed to use a highly loved treat for the reward.  I’ll go to class with something really yummy, but at home, I’m sticking to fruits.  This week, I added diced strawberries.  Can you tell she’s ready to train!  🙂

She learned Touch very quickly.  With touch, I lower my hand, palm out, and say TOUCH.  When she touches my hand, I click, then treat.  Apparently, this is a basic command that we will use for come, sit, etc.

After our training sessions, we end with play sessions!  Off to play some more!  Have a great weekend!

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!