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!


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!  🙂

Walking in Forest Park – Take 2

Sadie did a much better job walking through the park on Saturday.

I left the treats and clicker at home.  She did a little jumping from time to time, but not nearly as bad as Friday.  I know it will continue to get better!  The park distractions were really helpful!

She loved the water.  I let her prance around the stream, but I kept her out of the big pond… I wasn’t prepared for a wet dog.  🙂

I think she is going to love the lake!  She almost jumped into the big pond, with all of the water fountains, going for the two ducks.  I stopped her just in time!

We met some more dogs and following them really helped her walk normally.

Big Sigh…. it was a truly enjoyable walk!

The Half-Marathon was great!  Sadie was alone for almost 5 hours and she did a good job.  She still chews her bedding, but it’s not in a destructive way, just more teething.  Her bedding is a sheet & towel, so no mess to clean.  She was calm & quiet when I came home, no screaming.  Yeah!

I rewarded Sadie with an afternoon of backyard play and bully stick chewing.  She loved it!

Today & tomorrow we are practicing new commands and tricks.  Sadie is in a growth spurt and loves the extra fruit!  😉

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!  🙂

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!!


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.