Last night Winn and I completed her puppy training class. Of course she passed her test with flying colors and has attained her AKC S.T.AR puppy certificate. (I will send in her paperwork and get an official certificate from AKC with her full name and some bling she can wear when she’s feeling fancy.)
S.T.A.R. stands for socialization, training, activity and responsibility and is taught by a certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) trainer. It is basically CGC pre-school, and on Wednesday we will start new classes to continue training with that goal in mind.
Maisie passed her CGC test a couple of weeks ago. It took longer than I anticipated because I was out-of-town for most of February and all of April. My absence took a toll on Maisie, and we had to work together slowly to rebuild her confidence. We started training in December with the hope that she would be CGC and Therapy Dog certified before Winn joined the family. For now, I need to focus on Winn and then Maisie and I will decide if Therapy Dog seems like a good fit for us as a team. We still sneak away together when we can and she loves our walks along the lake. She is so well-behaved when we are out and about, which is really the most important thing.So cheers to Winn, let the advanced training begin!
We’ve come up with a new saying. When something turns out to be harder than it should, “That’s like painting with a puppy.”
We packed the car and hit to road with Winn to go to my mom’s house in Southeast Colorado. She lives in a very small, rural town and wants to sell her house, downsize and move closer to one of her children.
Her house is a beautiful, old, brick Georgian style home that needed a fresh coat of paint on the interior along with some other repairs. We had a very long list to accomplish and I’m happy to say that we got almost everything done but I had to repaint a few areas several times because Winn would be right behind me rubbing against it and licking it.
When I was on the ladder she was always right beneath me.
When she got bored, she would start to cruise around, taking things she knew I would need in order to get my attention. She grabbed my gloves, paint rollers, garbage bags, my empty coffee cup, and as often as possible, a roll of paper towels.
Since she wanted to always be near, I finally tied her to a radiator pipe so that she could see me but not disrupt my painting progress.
I took lots of breaks when she was feeling restless and was most productive while she napped. She loved my mom’s yard, romped through her lily patch, played in the sprinkler and ran around when she got the zoomies.
It took a week but we accomplished what we set out to do. Her house looks beautiful and is ready to show!
I have always loved exuberant eaters. Babies, kids, adults, dogs. Bailey loved food so much that she would race through her meal hoping for seconds. Charley became a fast eater because he didn’t want Bailey to get his food. Even though it was entertaining, it’s not good for them so I was very relieved when Maisie did not do this. In fact she is the opposite, she’s the first dog I’ve ever had that will walk away from her bowl when she’s finished even if that means there is still food left!
Now we find ourselves back in a familiar situation. Annie loves her food but she doesn’t have all of her teeth so that slows her down to a healthy rate. She generally finishes before Maisie, but will stand patiently by her side and wait to see if she can claim any leftovers. I would put Winn in the fast eater category. Recently she seems to be speeding up so that she finishes first. I’ve caught her shoving her head into Annie’s bowl, obviously this not good for so many reasons. (Maisie now eats in her crate because she didn’t like the pressure of having the other two watching her after they were done.)
I’ve always been terrified that one of my dogs will get bloat. It’s a deadly condition that primarily happens in big dogs and eating too fast is thought to be one of the causes. You can read more about it here. It’s such a concern that my vet was telling me about a technique that can be done to tack her stomach so it won’t twist if she does bloat. I need to do more research about this and it would be done while she has her spay surgery but we won’t be doing that until she is over a year old so I’ve got time to decide.
Eating slowly is better for dogs. A slow eater is at less risk for bloat and obesity. One of the ways to slow down a fast eater is with a puzzle bowl. I first noticed them a couple of years ago and wished I had gotten one for Bailey. Since I want her to have healthy habits, I got one for Winn. This bowl style challenges them and allows them to eat like they would in nature by using foraging techniques.
So far I would call it a success. This morning Annie finished eating and let herself out and Winn was still eating. It doesn’t seem to frustrate her. She uses her nose and tongue and spins around to change angles. I just hope she doesn’t get too dizzy while she eats!