Tag Archives: playtime

Winn’s first beach day

We have a wonderful spot nearby that we can take the dogs and let them swim.  It’s one of Maisie’s favorite places and she has been going since she was a puppy.

Maisie swims, runs and romps around. She loves to chase other dogs, especially when they are fetching a ball.  Sometimes this is OK, sometimes not, so she is very carefully supervised.  img_3325

We introduced the beach to Annie about 3 months after she had joined our family.  She didn’t leave the yard or house for several weeks and getting her into the car was a major ordeal, so we were very careful about making sure we were following her own pace when it came to new a new place and experience.

Annie prefers to walk the length of the beach, back and forth.  She likes the sand and sometimes dips her feet in the water but she won’t go in unless one of us walks out with her. IMG_2757

It really takes two of us to properly supervise them, one with Annie and one with Maisie so I decided that for Winn’s first time we should probably leave Annie at home so that I could introduce the water and see how she swam.

I read a couple of articles on hot to introduce a puppy to water for the first time and was so excited to see how Winn would respond to the beach.  She has already started to show some skills in retrieving and had played in the kiddy pool in our yard so I was pretty confident that she would be comfortable in deeper water while discovering her swimming instinct.

When we arrived we took some time meeting other dogs and letting her explore the sand and water.

Then we ventured into the water.  I guided her toward me, then a little deeper so that she swam a few strokes, then around me and back to the shore so that she could feel the sand reappear under her feet. On our first attempt she went between my legs which was a bit awkward.

Our next few tries went a lot better!

After doing this several times we took off the leash and let her do whatever she wanted.  She loved it, we loved it, and I look forward to going back and watching her spend more time in the water. We have another beach dog!


Weekly photo challenge: Nostalgia

I have so many happy memories from the years before my children were school age.  Several times a week we would pack a lunch and head to the park.  Sometimes we would meet friends, sometimes it would be just the 3 of us.  To this day, whenever I drive past a park a get a little pang in my chest as memories flash by. It was a time before schedules and places to be.  We could decide each morning what we wanted to do.  My daughter loved go places and my son loved a “stay at home day” so I did my best to accommodate both their wishes.

I decided to take Maisie and Annie for a stroll down memory lane and we went back to some of the parks where the kids and I spent so much time. Obviously we didn’t have fun on the swings or slides and I was careful to keep the dogs away from areas where little ones were playing, but I did enjoy making some new memories with the dogs and remembering those fun times when the kids were little. And yes, I still had pangs of nostalgia.

What’s with the barking?

Recently I’ve been feeling like Maisie might need some one on one time.  Annie has demanded a lot of our attention since she came into our lives and Maisie now has to share our time.  She thought Annie would be a new playmate, and even though Annie has no desire to play with Maisie (or any toys for that matter) I love Maisie’s determination because every day she tries to get Annie to play with her.

Newfies are working dogs, and they have natural instincts that need to be stimulated.   Maisie is a very active Newfoundland. She’s a “petite” Newfoundland weighing just under 90 pounds and she loves to run, the faster the better. She also loves to jump.  She has been the easiest dog I’ve ever trained (aside from the fact that she doesn’t like to put things in her mouth–she doesn’t like to retrieve, won’t bring in the paper, pick things up or help bring bags in from the car.  All jobs my other Newfie loved and needed to do every day).  I have reached the conclusion that water rescue work is not in the cards for her (because it involves putting things in her mouth) but I think I have found the perfect activity for us.  3 weeks ago we started a beginner agility class!


To say that she gets a lot of attention in class is an understatement.  The trainer has worked with dogs of all sizes, even a Great Dane, so he knows what her limitations may be and gives us great tips for success but I think he is surprised by her willingness to try everything and how well she is doing.  Everyone we see is completely entertained by the fact that she is in the agility class. She shoots through the tunnel with absolute joy and she’s doing really well with the weave poles.  Granted these are beginner weave poles that are akin to a child’s bike with training wheels vs. a racing bike.  She loves it and we are having a lot of fun.  So much fun that this week I couldn’t control her barking.

Maisie has never been a barker.  She only barks when she wants to play (and when she’s watching TV but that’s another post) and that may be once or twice and then she’s on the move. We have trained her not to bark at other dogs when we are sitting on our front porch and we haven’t had any issues with that in a very long time. This week in class she was beside herself with excitement and started barking to distraction when the other dogs had their turn. None of my usual methods worked and she was an absolute nuisance!

The tunnel was set up close to the edge of the ring where we were sitting and every time another dog went through she was uncontrollable. She loves the tunnel and wanted to join them so badly! I finally walked her all the way over to the other end of the room and that only helped a little bit.  It really put a damper on my experience and this week our homework will be dedicated to correcting this.  Hopefully next week she won’t be so loud, after all, we still have lots of tricks to learn!