"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Excellent ideas in theory...

A technique that GEB often recommends is having kibble in cups throughout your house, so you can reward quickly and work in quick training moments.

Having spent a good amount of time picking kibble out of the sofa bed and vacuuming deep within its bowels to make sure I got all the crumbs (lest Nettie develop a yen to climb on it), I still think it's an excellent idea -- but one that probably works better in houses that do not have 6-year-old boys.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Update on Murphy request

Well, OK, I am a worrywart for no reason. I heard from our coordinator and she said that Murphy is fine, no problems at all, this is just part of GEB's ongoing research and tracking.

Whew! I guess we never quit totally worrying about them, right?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Worrywart alert!

I got an email tonight from our regional coordinator saying that GEB is "relooking over some of our pups on program that have graduated" and would like to see any tapes/DVDs I have of Murphy. It was sent to me and the raisers of another pup.

So, has anyone had this happen to them or know what the deal is? I am hoping that this does not mean Murphy is having problems. I did get one letter from Murphy's owner, back in August, I think, and it sounded like everything was good then. But I am a worrywart!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Changes, changes

Well, now I have an actual IFT date for Nettie (note, I'm not saying 'official', just a date).

Feb. 2. Which I believe is actually a Saturday, so maybe that's the pickup date. I don't know. Quite different from April or May, for sure. We'll see. Certainly this is more manageable, and if it holds, I may still raise Nettie more, with Nina giving me breaks now and then.

It's like that old saying about the weather .. if you don't like it, wait and it'll change. (GEB raisers will understand my mild snarkiness here.)

Anyway, we're just getting ready for evals -- oh, wait, I mean "Walk & Talks" (oh, more snark again!) -- next week. I took off work early today to make up for two very long days last week of commuting to Boston for a seminar, and met Nina and three other GEB pups and their raisers for a mini-session. Nettie ended up spending the day in the crate in my car while I was at work, and that actually went well. I went and got her at lunch and we went for a walk/work session the. At our "class," she was barky at first, so we slipped the gentle leader on for about five minutes, and then she settled in really well. She played very nicely with Ivanna, a 4-month old pup.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nettie speaks

Hi everyone,

Mom had to go to Boston for a seminar today, and she says she's too tired to write, so it's my turn, I guess. Geez .. she just sat around all day, what fun is that? Maybe it's this "baby" thing they keep talking about. I don't know. She's starting to look like she's been hitting the treats too much, if you ask me... but I'm cranky because she put me on a diet because she and Nina decided I'd put on a little weight myself!

Anyway, I'm back home. I had a great time last week with Nina and Sal .. we did lots of fun things and I had some puppy playdates with Nancy, another GEB puppy. But I was glad to be home, too, even though that prissy black & white cat poofed up and hissed when I came in. And I didn't even lunge at him! What's his issue? He acted like he thought the house belonged to him or something.

After my buddy Andrew went to bed, I hung out with Mom. I sat there with my head in her lap while she was on the computer, and then napped at her feet. I stayed right with her all evening and was really cute and loving.

Smart me!! That's because I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and barked for 10 minutes ... hey, I was awake and it doesn't hurt to try to see if anyone will come play, right? Luckily I didn't wake the guys up .. just Mom, and she'd been up at 1 a.m. with Andrew, too. So what's she complaining about? It's not like she came down to see me when I barked at 4 a.m. for 10 minutes either. Sheesh. Then the two cats got into a fight in her bedroom at 5 a.m.

Honestly. You wonder why she claims to be tired tonight. I really must start long-lining her and walking her more often to build up her strength.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A LOT to catch up on (Now we'll see who's really paying attention)

Well, it has been very eventful around here, and that's why I haven't been posting so much.

Here's what's been happening. Nettie had some good working adventures when my parents visited for Andrew's birthday. We went up to Freeport and met Nina, our AC. We took Nettie and Kessler, who is about a month older than her, into the L.L. Bean flagship store for the first time. They were awesome! Both of them were so quiet and well-behaved. The biggest obstacle to working them was the number of employees and shoppers who kept coming up and complimenting them. We tried a Gentle Leader on Nettie and it made a huge difference for her. She still "takes notes" but I think it really helped her focus and not have to think about reacting to everything. She had begun to have some issues with pulling, so we wanted to nip that in the bud.

Nettie was, of course, very excited to meet my parents, but they couldn't believe how quickly she settled in and became calm in the house with them. Of course, they remembered Murphy's exuberance! We threw a birthday party for Andrew, with five 6-year-old friends visiting, so Nettie got to spend that Saturday with a sitter family in our area. She would NOT have liked to have been cooped up during the party, and she would not have been a good addition to the festivities. Why? This shot of playtime at my house gives a hint, I think.

I had several great outings planned for Miss Nettie last weekend, including a trip by ferry to Peaks Island, where we'd meet up with another raiser and her pup. Unfortunately, my girl had other ideas and went into her second heat last Friday. Argh! So instead we stuck close to home.

At least she can pose and look pretty in her jacket.....

Now, the other big thing that's been going on ... I alluded earlier to the fact that, much to our shock, Nettie won't go IFT until April or May.
The complication is that I'm pregnant, and the baby is due April 6! Which of course we are all thrilled about, even though it means that my puppy-raiser days are going to go on hiatus post-Nettie. What we're going to do is that Nina, our AC, and I will co-raise Nettie as of about December or so. We'll just see how much I can handle. The one big worry is that I probably won't want to be trying to handle Nettie in February, when it's icy and I'm 7 1/2 months along. I am not the world's most graceful human anyway, and that's asking to fall down. But we'll figure it all out. Nettie is actually over at Nina's house right now, as we're going to take a vacation for a few days. Nina has always adored Nettie, and Nettie loves going there. Nina has a release dog, Sal, who was released from GEB because he was going blind. (He's now totally blind.), and he and Nettie are great buds. I'm just so relieved Nina can help us out; I would have hated to just send MissNet off to NY and to someone I didn't know .. and we'll still have her a lot, too!
So .. did I live up to the headline?