Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Haddie!!!

On June 24th Haddie turned 1 years old!  WooHoo - what a big girl that has learned so much in twelve months. We are looking forward to seeing where she will be on her second birthday. At CCI waiting graduation?!?!  She'll have an exciting future no matter.
We spent her entire birthday on a one-day road trip in search of warm temps and sunshine. We found it just two hours away and it was perfect! We had both pups with us, our fishing poles, lots of relaxation, and laughs. 
Juggling a Beagle and a Lab was no big deal since my sidekick claimed Cora as hers and was responsible for her all day. 
That left me to train Haddie with walking slowly on a leash (work in progress). That was her only "big deal" yesterday. New sights, new smells. If you keep a normal walking pace she is fine, but she needs to learn that walking at a slow pace is equally as fun and rewarding. 
It was a beautiful day as a family with two amazing canines. Home to baths for all the dirty, furry, four legs, and bed. It was a full, wonderful, road trip Birthday!!!
We Love You, Haddie Rosa!!!!  Happy 1st Birthday, Haddie!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Evening in the Park

Our CCI 4-H group had a class field trip this week. The good news was that we were headed to a park to expose the pups to some wild chickens, and bunnies. The bad news was the chickens were dead, and no bunnies were found. The result was a class field trip to the playground.
Kinda bummed as I was really looking forward to the chicken exposure to Haddie with the help of our Trainer by our side. Apparently this park had dozens upon dozens of chickens that would hang out and run wild. We were told to bring "all your gear, and every high value reward" for our dogs.
Our high valued rewards were put back in the fridge unopened when we got home. Haddie didn't need a high valued treat, and instead got a regular Natural Balance Tillman Treat (another favorite, but not high, high valued).
I like these photos that show Haddie's leap. It was more fun to watch Live than to stare at these photos, but I think she has good form. What that'll do for her future, I have no idea, but it was entertainment.
This series of photos are just funny. I asked my hubby to come with us because he could take photos of the "chickens with Haddie", and instead just got me saying "Will you take a photo of me with Haddie?".  This series shows my sweet dog ... awww, how cute.
Oops - what happened?! Devil Dog showed up when I wasn't looking!!! Hahaha - this makes me laugh! Great capture, Hubby!!
The behind the scene's story on this is that Haddie was hacking up a Tillman Treat during the photo shoot and he captured it. All was fine. She lived.
While it was a bummer that the chickens died and it turned into a traditional adventure at the playground, it is always fun to be surrounded by our 4-H team of kids. This sweet boy has his own service dog, but loves to visit with all the dogs in class. He is very social and so very cool. I am so happy to have these photos of this particular cute boy with Haddie. Memories for us when Haddie moves forward.

A great evening in the park.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, Crackers!!

I was rushing from one event to the next on Saturday and happened to spill the remaining crackers from a box that fell out of the pantry upon opening the door. Haddie was right by my feet while this all unfolded. I quickly told her to sit ... and ... she did.
From there I grabbed the camera before proceeding to clean up the mini mess very slowly. Allowing her time to break her sit command if she chose to disobey. I walked behind her to grab the mini broom and dustpan from under the sink. I took multiple trips to throw the now garbaged food away, and disassemble the box for recycling.

All the while she sat with out a crumb upon her lips. Good girl, Haddie!!!

Now, if Cora had not been wandering in our backyard, and had been in the house instead, well ... let's just say the entire mess would have been cleaned up in 7 seconds!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012


We had a busy Sunday in celebration of Father's Day! Haddie was up and out early right alongside us for the entire day. Thankfully, she was her amazing-self and didn't create any surprises in behavior. Overall, I think she is doing very well.

My son surprised me and wanted Haddie's leash while we had breakfast with my cousin. My cousin had been in town for a portion of the week for a business conference, and it worked out that we could meet her for breakfast before she headed home.

Haddie got a little celebrity-star struck and posed perfectly in this photo!! Some may recognize my cousin as she has had many appearances and successful final wins on Food Network Cupcake Wars. A little plug for her Gluten Free Bakery - visit Crave Bake Shop in Lake Oswego, OR! Yummy sweets you will not want to miss.
Because my son and I were on the opposite ends of the table, I really had no idea how Haddie was behaving. But since my son continued in the conversation with all of us, I figured it was all-good. He at least wasn't making it obvious that he had a dog parked under the table.

I asked him later how she did and he said she passed. She slept for a little bit, otherwise she was just watching people. Her only naughty was brushing her face with the gentle leader against my son's leg.

We had a woman that was dared by her family to come over and ask questions about our puppy in training. Very cute. They were visiting from Maine and have a Change of Career dog from a Search and Rescue Program (I think, that's how I interpreted what she meant anyway). She was fascinated by Haddie and our volunteer role, having received a dog that didn't pass but was equally as amazing, she wanted our "side of the story." Very fun, quick conversation.

After breakfast my cousin traveled home and we went to the big city to take Haddie to her first Major League Baseball Game!!  The benefit to this whole adventure was that we had to walk a long and stimulating distance to get through the parking garage, the streets, an overcrowded team store, and the stadium before we reached our seats. By then Haddie had had her exercise and was ready to chill-out.
It is a new adventure going with a pup to an environment that we had been to a couple dozen times prior. No more escalator use that dominants crowd control with ease of moving people, we had to find and use the ramps and stairs. It really showed how the stadium was designed, as everyone was on the escalators, no one used the ramps. We were the only ones.
Which meant that I could easily stop to provide some water for Haddie, and work on her slow-walking. I must say our hour long working-walk last week paid off already! I was able to hold the leash very loose in my hand. As soon Haddie passed me, and the leash was naturally slipping from my hand due to her getting to far out, I would say "With me" and Haddie would look at me and slow down quickly back to my side. So excited! It was a very controlled, yet testing way to see if Haddie would have been able to walk with us in that environment with out a leash at all. Of course we would never do that, but meaning she really was listening and managing herself.
Our Seats. Haddie held her Under and Down position for the entire game (minus one bathroom break back outside the stadium). She held her down in that she continued with all four paws, legs, and belly on the ground, but she did army crawl from under one chair to another with in our family. The cute little girl and family in front of us adored Haddie, but were kind enough to provide the perfect amount of distraction, with out being obnoxious to Haddie's need for self-control. So Adorable!!
We spied at a lower level seating area a working CCI graduate! I was watching that dog carefully to judge the behavior of Haddie - to see what we were missing, or what she needed to be doing. Other than Haddie belly surfing under our seats to get comfy, the two dogs were identical. They. did. nothing.
The loud noises, the music, the loud speaker, the smells, our eating lunch in front of her, peanut shells scattered on the floor around her - nothing phased Haddie. I was hoping for a Home Run from our team in order to get the fireworks in use, but no such luck. But we did win the game!  Yay!
After spending all day in this new, highly stimulating environment, we found the team mascot roaming around at the end. I took the chance to get the "Meet someone in Costume" checked off Haddie's List. Oh my goodness - you would have thought she was meeting the biggest stuffed animal dog toy in the world! She was in heaven!!  Haddie received plenty of "Oohs and Awws" from the Security Guard that follows the mascot, and others standing-by, and we got a Thumbs Up Paw from our Mascot. YAAAAAAY!!!
A successful Father's Day!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

That's It?

I have this little issue with Haddie. She is over-powering Cora (pet Beagle), and when I think of the time between today and Feb 15th's turn-in it seems like it will take forever to separate these two. It is a love-hate relationship that has been escalating and not getting better.  Haddie loves, Cora hates.

Realizing that what I had tried was still not working, I sent a note to our amazing friend in the CCI Puppy Raiser group. He hosted Haddie last December while we vacationed to a mountain destination, so he had familiarity of her character. However, he had never met our Beagle.

Rather than training via email, he offered to come to our house to see the dogs in their own environment and to get to the bottom of the issue. He arrived after school yesterday. We chatted while Haddie chilled out in a down command after her excitement of seeing him in our house, and Cora was in her kennel in a different room waiting to be released.

When the time came to observe the dogs together it took less than five minutes to get Haddie to submit to our command of leaving Cora alone. Can everyone say, "Dog Whisperer"? 

His amazing calm demeanor captures the attention of animals. He is definitely alpha, yet best friend too. He commands attention by his confident, calm manner. One area that I am lacking that I wish I knew more about was animal behavior. How to read a dog's body language (any books/dvd's/online anyone knows of that are valuable for this?).

In the end, Haddie was leaving Cora alone and trying to find a hiding place behind my legs. He did absolutely nothing to harm her, he just provided a "mother's touch" to getting her to listen up; a quick yet strong tap. It was so subtle, if you were not watching close enough you would miss it. And it worked.

Jealousy runs among both the girls when it comes to me providing either dog attention. I have two hands, and can provide the love equally at the same time, but the dogs never seem to get this concept. They want all of me, all of the time.

So then it was time for me to try out the correction with Haddie. Bending down to love on my 12 inch beagle, Haddie was conflicted on whether to get involved, or wait her turn. Eventually she chose to get involved and a quick tap from me was the reminder for her to wait.  Haddie backed down.

Eventually Cora started running in the house (yes, we have allowed that due to her tiny size, and because she has been solo dog for so long), but instead of Haddie joining the chase, race, and chaos, Haddie watched. Amazing. She did not go towards Cora until the very end, and then she did a bow-stance to stop Cora from running. Cora did, and jumped up on the couch. That was it. No mouthing, pouncing, dancing, chasing, twirling, hopping, annoying occurred from Haddie.

Since this was yesterday, and Robin did not move in with us, how is Haddie continuing to fair with Cora? She has maintained positive behavior. In fact, the two have been roaming around as I have typed. And I have noticed that Haddie is now "checking in" with me ... before pouncing on the cute fur of brown and black, Haddie will stop, volunteer to make eye contact with me, and then walk the opposite direction. She knows. She is processing, "Wait. The last time I pounced it didn't turn out so good for me." 

It will be something that I will need to continue to monitor throughout our next eight months together, but I now have the wisdom on how to stop the behavior before it ever escalates.

Thank You, R, for being the amazing and inspiring Puppy Raiser that you are! Your dedication to our volunteer position is truly exceptional and beyond the call of duty. We appreciate all that you do for everyone in this community of raisers. The pups adore you - it truly shows. Oh, and Haddie says, "Frisbee?!" =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Feed Stores to Music Stores

Haddie and I ventured back to our home Feed Store. I love this store way better than any commercial pet store. The ambiance is so much better; more friendly, professional, and the lighting is more tolerable creating a great western-style ambiance. Love it.
Haddie, she loves it too. Almost too much. That girl can pull like a wild horse when in the store. I know I have said it before, but I really need to go back even more frequently. I know the employees would not mind a daily visit. They get it - one of their employees is a previous CCI Puppy Raiser too. They know the drill already.
Two employees greeted me with, "Are you finding everything okay, or are you here just for training." Ahhh, I felt totally at home. They already knew the drill, and the importance. Browsing through the store while having Haddie do "non-traditional" commands, over other pets who were there just being cute, puts the atmosphere of the entire experience more at ease. They all know that if my dog is going up and under, in and out of their displays, that they can just move along and ignore me.
Haddie has her sit and down command under her vest perfectly. When she gets really out of control with pulling, I will just make her do one of the two to chill-out. It lets her nose continue to work, with out her brain going crazy and wanting to see everything NOW!

We did a lot of turning in circles, sits, and downs all around the store and back again to get her to settle down. We worked on slow walking, and brisk walking. We ended on a brisk walk all over the store as that is her favorite; brisk walking. She will maintain a loose leash and that is how I wanted to end the adventure.

Today took us to a music store. With the amount of piano lessons that Haddie has attended this year, she felt right at home in this store. There was NO pulling. I could have dropped her leash and she would have continued to walk right beside me. It was so perfect.

When I was browsing the music books, she held her down command and ... fell asleep. Yep, we were there awhile. But it was so refreshing after our working-walk on Monday, and our Feed Store on Tuesday. I felt like she had already graduated; I could see a little glimpse of her life after us. Awww, I hope she graduates!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sun + Haddie = Happy

We have been in a slump of cold weather, downpours, and grey sky. Today, however, the sun has graced us with lots of yellow and we are in love!

I am on a summer break from Piano as of the first Monday of June, so that means today feels like vacation. My hubby goes into work every Monday, otherwise he works from home. Knowing that the "good car" is with my hubby, I have things on my agenda at home with Haddie.

First, when I say "good car" I mean that it has easy access in and out for Haddie in the cargo area because it sits much lower than our other car (and it is a much, much newer car). Jumping in by herself is a relatively new concept for Haddie. She has only jumped in our "good car". Today, she will practice and learn how to jump in our "other car". If I have the guts.

I know that emotions run from top to bottom of a leash, so if I am not feeling confident enough to give this a try, then Haddie will have to wait for another opportunity. It just seems SO FAR to jump.

Which brings me to my other agenda for the day. Walking Haddie s-l-o-w-l-y on a looooooose leash. She can walk at a normal-to-brisk pace, and prefers it that way, while maintaining a loose leash. She can match pace with me and walk slowly, but it is a real challenge for her to maintain for any length of time.

After dropping the kids off at school, I decided to go for the double whammy. A walk around the neighborhood, loose leash, no gentle leader, and slow. In the end, what would have been a 30-minute walk, turned into a 60-minute walk. I was serious about walking slow. This photo was quickly captured as my hubby was leaving and we were coming back.
Getting started was rough. It took a lot of focus on both of our parts to maintain a slow pace and a loose leash. I gave her the mini Teddy Bear to hold in her mouth, and she did for a very long time! It was adorable, and I think it helped her with the stress of the corrections that I felt I needed to keep making with her. She did a lot of turning around and starting over. And a lot of sits to break the cycle of pulling.

These are the moments when you wonder if you really messed and missed the opportunity when the pup was just starting out to get this one down. Haddie was a lager when she first started on the leash. It was all I could do to get her to move. Now, I can't get her to slow down. Figures.

Nine months into training and I am questioning my own ability for my first Puppy In Training. I know I have worked many hours with her and have given her great opportunities, but being my first time around I am starting to question if I really get it.

I would certainly do things differently on my second go-round. And my third, and fourth. I know every dog is different, but at least I would have a few tricks and tips under my belt from my own experience. At least I would like to think so. Maybe it is not like that at all. First timing perhaps is the hardest. But then again, maybe every pup feels like you are starting from scratch. We'll see ...

The perk so far today was that I really found that Haddie does recover quickly. I've seen it before, but I believe it now. We met the garbage man coming up the biggest hill in our area. His truck produced a great whiiish of air and noise right next to us. I don't think he did it on purpose, but if he did, thumbs up! Haddie was in a sit, and startled up when the noise occurred. But she sat back down and looked up at me. The truck continued on and continued to make those noises and she held her sit.

We met the truck later up the street and Haddie passed by as it was dumping the garbage and making lots of racket. She didn't mind the noise this time.

By the time we had turned around to go home, she was tired and walking very loose next to me. Perhaps, she had worn herself out just trying to get us to the turn around spot. Either way, lots of praise all the way home for her good walking skills.

If we don't work on the Car command with our "other car" today, we certainly will be spending it outside with Frisbee.  We'll see where our day takes us.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


We love to exercise Haddie until her tongue goes sideways. Her favorite release pastime is catching her big holey ball, or catching Frisbee's (not too high, as we've been warned no jumping until a year old). Haddie will play f-o-r-e-v-e-r, as long as she gets chances to dip her entire face in her water bowl to cool off before the next series of catch.
Love this happy puppy!!

*photo courtesy of my girl who was responsible for this tongue-sideways-exercise

Friday, June 1, 2012

Merry-Go-Rounds and Grates

Yesterday Haddie and I met my sweet friend for a Mall adventure. The weather has not been cooperating, so our original thought of a park outing got switched to a Mall outing. However, we jumped at the chance to walk the perimeter of the Mall because the sprinkles and rain had stopped by the time we met.

We sat inside the Food Court to start, after all my friend and I had to catch up first, and sometimes walking and talking is hard! Haddie was good at holding her Down, until time had past long enough for her to be bored and she kept popping up. It was about that time for a bathroom break anyway, so we headed outside.
From there we walked for about an hour around the Mall a few times, and out on the sidewalk of the busy street and intersections. Large trucks and lots of new noises for Haddie in this town she's never explored before ~ and she was fabulous.

Proof that I am not making up Haddie's stellar performance, my friend commented about how well Haddie was doing with out me soliciting for a comment. And my friend is a good source as she's been around enough animals to be well qualified to do this volunteer role herself! (Yes, another shameless plug to her directly - you would have so much fun!).

We came across this large grate and we decided to see how Haddie would perform. No problem. She walked across it, Sat, and did a Down on top.
The humans were hungry by the time our walk was over, so we headed back to the Food Court for lunch. By this time Haddie was done with walking too and held her Down at our feet and snoozed. We had a few nice, older women stop by at random times during our lunch to compliment Haddie's behavior, and to view her beauty up close.

A final round inside the Mall before we left proved to be a fun experience when we had Haddie on the non-moving Merry-Go-Round. She didn't hesitate going up on the platform, and the horses too. What a sweet face she has! Makes it so easy to fall in love with her.
Haddie slept all the way home, happy to have had another successful adventure with our friend.

Thanks, JH!!!! Always a fantastic day with you!