Archive for August 2012

Reunited, and it feels so good!

August 17, 2012

Miss your dog when you go on vacation?  We sure did!

That old famous Peaches & Herb ditty became our family anthem when we got home from vacation:  “…We both are so excited ‘cuz we’re reunited, hey-hey!!

First of all, we would not have been able to go away without “Team Cookie” so a huge THANK YOU to our dear friends Leonora & Marty for petsitting; our amazing dog walker (and so much more) Rebecca, and the awesome folks at Wipe Your Paws doggy day care.  You took amazing care of our puppy (and her pet siblings) while we were away and we are grateful.  

Even though we knew Cookie was in great hands, it was hard not to think of her constantly.  To roll out of bed and not have to dash off for an immediate walk was weird.  So was having Cookie’s panting and whinnies and barks being removed soundtrack of my day.  To pass other folks walking with their dogs and not to have ours with us made me downright wistful.  Like sand slipping through our fingertips, many moments were passing full of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that I knew our puppy would have enjoyed.  One morning, walking with Sophia on the beach, I shared a memory with her: a day when she was a baby and I left her for the day to fly to a rare, out of town meeting for work.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and as I looked outside from the conference room where I was situated, I had the thought of how strange it was to be there inside, and not outside pushing Sophia around in her stroller, which was something I always did, each and every day.  Those feelings then were being mirrored now in this moment: it was strange not to have to take care of Cookie’s needs personally right then.

One of the best things about our vacation for me was that I learned how deep my feelings run for Cookie.  Rather than relishing my freedom from required walks and scooping poop and checking for ticks and all the other new daily responsibilities we now have for our puppy, I simply missed her.   Given that she has been a part of our family for only a few months, I can only imagine how I will feel during upcoming separations in the future as our  years together pass.

We all need breaks to relax and renew.  And dog-friendly vacation spots are not the most common.  So I know of course there will be more of these vacations from Cookie, along with the rest of our other cares, in the future.  But I also know that our reunions will always be very sweet, and that I will  appreciate even more with each one just how much Cookie adds to our lives everyday.  Warmly, Diana

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Lounge Hound!

August 7, 2012

The couch is a no-no….but outside furniture is okay.  Raising a puppy means figuring out your rules as you go along. 

We have three couches in our house currently.  Two are well-worn and have survived the messy infancy and toddler-hoods of both our kids. So while Cookie wouldn’t do much damage to those, it was our desire to NOT have her jump on our nice new light-beige (!!!) couch that we’re quite fond of that cemented our belief Cookie should stay down on the ground when in the house.  We also want her to have good manners when visiting other people’s homes as well.  Don’t feel too sorry for Cookie though – she has two very plush doggie-beds and many doggie mats around the house to relax on.

Other rules we’ve had to figure out: To feed table scraps or not?  (We really avoid giving her our food, but are pretty liberal with the doggie-treats and peanut butter.  We’ll make an exception at times like Thanksgiving.) Is it okay to let Cookie bring her plush toys to play with outside?  (I let her win that one and then occasionally throw them all in the washer and start them over again back in the house.) How about chewing old shoes and socks we really don’t wear anymore? She so enjoys that!  (Same thoughts as the couch-logic, no, because impossible for her to discern which shoes and socks are okay to wreck and which ones are not.) 

My take on my 7-month old puppy is that she does have a pretty good idea at this stage in the game what the right behaviors for her are in most situations, and that she knows from our reaction when she’s made a mistake.  But like a very young child, it’s often hard for her to exercise the self-control to be good.  So it’s up to us to continue to show her the way, with lots of love and consistency in our messages to her.  

How about you, fellow dog lover?  What are your rules for your pup, and the ones you are willing to bend?   Would love to hear from you!

Warmly, Diana