Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, July 31, 2006

We Could Learn A Lot from Our Dogs

Today I received an email from one of my dog-loving friends. Turns out we could learn a lot from our dogs such as:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
  • Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout! Run right back and make friends.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • And, when someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Top of the Class

Saturday was Adler's last day of training. She graduated with honors and we couldn't have been prouder. The teacher at Call of the Wild, put the dogs through various tests. The first one was coming to the command "front" while the owner called from another room and the teacher distracted the dog with treats. Both times when Adler heard her name and the command, she stopped eating the treats, ignored the other dogs/owners, and bolted to find one of us. She was the best in the class.

The second test was showing what tricks your dog could master. Tom showed the class how well Adler could wait by a food bowl until he gave the command "okay" for her to begin eating. This works wonders at meal time. But what suprised us was that there were only two dogs in the whole class who would give their paw or shake. Of course Adler learned this at a young age so when the "tester" -- a girl of about 8 years old came over to greet Adler with "paw," Adler promptly responded to the command. We were so proud.

Of course I already want to sign her up for the next session of classes as I think it's a great way to interact with your dog while both of you are learning. Tom doesn't think she needs it, but it's not about her needing it, I think of it as quality time with our dog.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Adler Had Me Running

Last Saturday at training class at Call of the Wild, we had a substitute teacher who also happened to be the owner of the company. She was great. Really strict with the dogs and even let them off-leash which I love. I think the teacher really liked Adler because she was always complimenting how well she did most things. That is until the end of the class.

We were supposed to walk at different paces and using only a hand signal and no words touch the ground for our dogs to lay completely down on the ground. Of course, Adler mastered the down command and the hand signal for down since she was a young pup, but unfortunately it wasn't the same hand signal that we were now doing (yet another reason why you should continue training when your puppies are young). Anyway, Adler could not get the hand signal, and the teacher decided to make a spectacle of us for 10 minutes with me running around the room touching the ground. I think I got more of a workout than she did! Halfway through our exercise, well at least my exercise, Adler decided it was time to play and snatched hold of the leash to play tug of war. This went over real well with the rest of the class as they burst out laughing.

Finally as I was just about out of breath, Adler laid down. Determined not to let this happen again next week, we went home and practiced this command all day. Needless to say, she's an expert now at laying down no matter what hand signal or words are used.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Dog Days of Summer

Well the heat has finally broken. Good thing because Adler wasn't making it even around the block without begging to go home in her usual fashion - laying down on the sidewalk, pulling me back to the house and finding shade in the doorways of other people's houses. This dog can't take 90 degree days. In fact, even when the temps are pretty mild and we can open our windows, we leave the air on because of Adler. Talk about spoiled. Anyway, Adler's praying for summer to be over and fall/winter to get here quick. She much prefers rolling around in the snow.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pets of the Year

This week, I received the Anti-Cruelty Society's Pets of the Year brochure. I mentioned in a previous post that sending me info on helping animals has me whipping out my checkbook to help. I seriously am a sucker for pets. As I read through the stories of the four pets of the year - two dogs and two cats who were blinded, maimed or suffered brain damage, I thought of how dependent these animals are on us humans. Once again it really tugged at my heart and my purse strings. I thought of volunteering at the Anti-Cruelty Society, but honestly I don't even think I could handle seeing the condition that these pets come in and I think that I would grow too attached. So for now, I'll just keep writing the checks. You too can contribute to a good cause in more ways than one and as more and more pets flood shelters this summer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fireworks Aren't For Dogs

Yup, you guessed it, Adler hates fireworks just like most dogs you know. She refuses to go outside and when you finally coax her into going outside she pulls you right back to the door. She likes watching all the colors in the sky, but just can't get used to the sound. Our usually happy go lucky dog, turns into an afraid little animal, cowering between Tom and I, her little heart beating like crazy.

I thought she wouldn't mind the fireworks considering she's a city dog and is used to loud noises, but there must be something about dogs' ears that makes the loud boom ten times louder to a dog. At any rate, my dog will be happy when the 4th of July weekend is over, and I will be happy when I can open up the windows, take Adler for a walk at night and not leave the radio on all day to muffle out the sounds of explosives.