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 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!  🙂

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!

Brave Little Lady

Yesterday was a day full of more ‘firsts’.

I was so happy watching Sadie dragging her toys into her crate and playing with them… on her own.  This was not prompted by me at all.  There was a little sigh of relief from me… this is going to be ok, she likes her crate.  🙂  Yeah!

Sadie also met her first visitors yesterday.  And she loved all the attention.  My “oh, sorry” moment – Sadie picked up a friend’s shoe and ran off into her crate with it.  I guess she was showing them how much she loves her new crate, and shoes!?!

After the exciting morning, Sadie settled into a nice afternoon nap.  She really loves to snuggle up next to you and subtly roll over, asking for a belly rub.

I left Sadie down stairs while I ran up stairs to put the wash into the drier.  I’m still working on building her confidence in being alone.  When I turned around with an arm full of clothes, she was sitting next to my feet!  She has been too little/scared to climb the stairs by herself.  Apparently, she got over the fear!

She demonstrated her new knowledge for me when I took her back down stairs.  I think she loves being able to use the stairs!  We also practiced going down the stairs.

This is a little scary, Mom.

She got a lot more confident going down once Dad came home from work.  She charged down the stairs after him… ‘hey, wait for me, Dad!’

I am really glad I bought these stair rugs.  I ordered them a few weeks before Sadie’s arrival, knowing she’d struggle slipping on the hardwood treads.

I am tired this morning.  Sadie got all riled up before bed last night {blame Dad} and she was a little upset when it was bedtime.  She settled down after a few minutes of crying, but we need to build in a ‘quiet time’ before we go to bed so she isn’t so hyped up when she goes into her crate.  I’m struggling with our schedule.  I think we play too much in the morning and she sleeps too much in the evening.  She sleeps for a few hours after bedtime, but after her first potty break, she seems ready to be up for the morning.  She’ll go back to bed, but wakes up every hour starting around 3am.  I get up around 5 am with her for breakfast and a she plays with her toys.  I want to change this to more like 6:30am, but it’s hard listening to her cry after 5, knowing Marcus has to go to work in a few hours.  It’s funny seeing her sleep right now… this is what I was craving at 5 this morning!