Category Archives: Winn

Happy Birthday Baby Winn!

From the very beginning, Winn has loved to rummage around and bring me things. She proudly shows off her treasures and while it’s tricky,  I’ve tried to get a picture whenever possible.

What could be a better way to celebrate her growth over the past year than to take a look at her answers to my constant question “what’s in your mouth”?

She quickly discovered that the recycling bin held all kinds of fun items from containers:

to boxes:

She loves to chew on the food and water bowls and string them around the house. I’m trying to train her to round them up and bring them to me so that I can fill them. That isn’t going so well.

She likes to bring me socks:

and random s**t she finds around the house:IMG_3832


My all time favorite was when she snuck upstairs, busted into the guest room, broke into the closet and pulled my sewing basket off the shelf.  She rummaged through all of the spilled contents until she found the perfect item and ran downstairs and posed by the treat cabinet ready to make an exchange. There was a long trail of ribbon behind her as she proudly waited for me.IMG_5186Last but not least, day 364, yesterday. She chewed on a huge box that I set outside to and then tried to hide the evidence in her jowl when I opened the door.IMG_5788She’s a character and has brought an unlimited amount of joy to our family.  Happy Birthday baby Winn, you are getting to be such a big girl but you are still such puppy at heart! Can I still call you my puppy and tiny baby now that your are one year old?IMG_1857


Rainy Day Swim

Thursday morning we woke up to pouring rain and a flooded yard. While the dogs like nothing better than wading through the standing mud puddles, I’m not a big fan when it’s time for them to come inside.

Instead of letting them frolic and play in the yard, I hurried them into the car and we set out for one of our favorite places, a pool set up just for dogs!

We all still got wet (even though I didn’t get in, it’s impossible to stay dry when they shake off), but at least they weren’t muddy as they worked off their excitement in the clean water!

We are really looking forward to beach weather, but until then, this pool is pretty darn good!

CGC for Winn!

Winn and I did it! She got her CGC!

CGC stands for Canine Good Citizen. She and I met with a CGC evaluator and we had to pass several requirements without the aid of treats.

This was our second attempt, the first time, well that didn’t go so well.

Winn and I enrolled in puppy school when she was about 12 weeks old.  She proved to be a quick learner.  She really loves treats and rewards, making her very responsive when learning new commands.  After we completed the course and she passed her AKC S.T.A.R. puppy test, we moved on to basic obedience classes.   We quickly progressed up through the levels and after about 8 weeks, found ourselves prepping for the CGC test.

We took  several practice tests, each time she did really well.  We were so ready for this test and I had no worries about passing!

That day, when we walked in, I was so confident of success but Winn had a different idea. There was so much distraction, and I wasn’t allowed to regain her attention with a treat.  Once she realized there were no treats, she completely checked out and was far more interested in watching and meeting all of the dogs that were being escorted in and out of day care. Mid-way through, after failing 3 of the first 5 tasks, I grabbed my treat bag and we continued on, using it as another training opportunity.

Did we over train? Did I push too hard too fast? Did I expect too much? I decided to let it go for a while. We enrolled in a rally class which allowed us to continue to bond as a team while we practiced and learned more obedience tricks.  We had fun together and she continued to impress me with her willingness to learn.  We entered a couple of rally trials and did really well, even getting her AKC Rally Novice title!IMG_4419Then, we went back to training and worked a little more.  This time, taking it more slowly, mixing in our rally class and keeping a sense of humor.  After 7 weeks, I scheduled another test.  Two days before our test she went into heat!  I checked with our trainer and she could test as long as she wore “feminine protection”.  I knew this might be distracting for her but I decided to go.  I figured  if we didn’t pass, we still had one more week on our training package, we could review and try again.  If we still didn’t get it, I’d just put it aside for while.

I left Winn in the car while I filled out the paperwork for the test.  I didn’t want to bring her in until our evaluator was ready for us. We were quickly whisked into the private training room, walking by the main training ring that was filled with a beginner obedience class.  Instantly there was a chorus of barking and howling dogs.  I caught the eye of the trainer in charge of that class and she had a look of surprise about what had just happened.  As the door was closed behind us, I burst out laughing.  It really is a thing, a girl in heat will drive the boys crazy!IMG_5321I was a little nervous but Winn was calm, cool and collected.  One by one, she performed each task perfectly.  I went in knowing we might fail, but she proved me wrong and made me so proud.

These are the some of the components of the CGC test (these pictures and videos were from our last class before we scheduled the test for the first time, about 4 months ago):

  •  Meet and greet a stranger: she has to sit and stay by my side while I meet someone and then do it again and let them pet her and touch her ears, mouth and feet.  This was generally pretty easy but a couple of times when she was tired she barked at the stranger.  She is still a puppy, even if she is a big one, so we kept working on it to make her more comfortable. After lots and lots of practice with strangers, we are both finally confident about this task.IMG_3662
  • One of the most challenging steps was approaching another dog and owner, sitting quietly while we talked and then walking away without lunging or approaching the other dog.  This was the hardest aspect of the test for Maisie, Winn did pretty well in practice but often times she tries to kiss the other dog. She passed this perfectly, meeting a dog we had never met before.  I was so proud.
  • Winn had to sit and stay (this can also be done with a down if that is easier for the dog) while I walked away and remain sitting while I walked back towards her and returned to her side.  I walked away again and then called her, she should come quickly, then she must stop and sit in front of me without mowing me down and finish with a sit on my left side.
  • One of the most important aspects is loose leash walking. With a dog of Winn’s size and strength, leash manners are a must.  We work together on and off leash, and she is such a good walker, in training sessions and around the neighborhood. For the test, we had to follow commands called out by the evaluator and also had to walk with a loose leash through a crowd.IMG_3671IMG_3674
  • The final component is supervised separation.  I needed to leave her and be out of sight for 3 minutes.  She can’t panic, bark, whine or pull away.  She had no problem with this and waited patiently for me to return.

IMG_3999So here we are with our CGC ribbon, another wonderful accomplishment for this amazing girl!IMG_5332

What are sisters for?


To share their wisdom of course!


“A well dug hole feels great on the belly.” Winn missed the part that it should be in a cool corner somewhere, preferably behind a bush.  Holes in the middle of the yard get filled in so that no one falls in and breaks an ankle.IMG_2941.jpgIMG_5079“If you wait till they leave the room, you might find something yummy lying around”IMG_3340.jpgIMG_2998.jpg“Mealtime is the best time of day!”IMG_2972.jpg



“The beach is the best place on earth!”IMG_2728.jpgIMG_3046“This is how we run with the pack.”IMG_3037IMG_3036“After the beach, we get a bath.” and “When the hair dryer turns on, we get treats!”IMG_3058IMG_3064IMG_3085

Winn’s fist road trip (in pictures)

IMG_2351Iowa has really beautiful rest stops.

The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, NE.

First time staying in a hotel.

IMG_2429Loving the rural setting among the corn fields.

We visited old friends and found the Richthofen Castle in Denver, built by the uncle and godfather of “The Red Barron”.  It is alleged to be haunted due to an onsite TB sanitarium and a sensational murder in 1911.

IMG_2575Winn had her first patio dining experience.

We did a little shopping and were mesmerized by all of the western style boots.


She was very patient in between stops,


and sat up periodically to gaze out of the window.

IMG_2578Our final check out before heading home, we are all ready to sleep in our own beds!

Next up: The purpose of our road trip and painting with a puppy.