Friday, May 27, 2011

dog party preview

next weekend is our first doggie party, and we are sooooooo excited. it's been a little crazy trying to plan for both people and dogs, but i love a good hosting challenge. i actually kind of live to host to parties and if i had the time and money--and tireless guests to attend--i'd host a party every weekend. so attempting to entertain two species is my idea of a good time, even with all the stress of the preparations.

we have a really cute activity idea planned, but we don't know if we're going to wind up having the time to actually get the supplies and set it up. i really really really hope we do, but it's at the bottom of the list of things to do, unfortunately. i will say no more, for now, but whether we do it or not, i'll share what we had in mind after it's all over.

we're lucky that our yard is L-shaped (this marks the very first time i've said that!), because we can more or less separate the humans area from the dogs area, but still have easy access and a full view of all the pups, while allowing lots of room for doggie playing and running.

decorations for this party will be kind of low-key, since we don't want pups to have too many things they can snatch away or knock over, but i couldn't resist these adorable supplies:

this guy lives on some small plates

gotta have party hats, right? notice how they're similar to the blog background and our twitter background. you have no idea how much that pleases me.

there are more, of course, but this is a preview after all.

we have requested that doggie moms and dads BYOT (bring your own toys), in case there's something extra-special that the pup can't leave home without, but we bought an agility course beginner kit from that we're hoping turns out to be a big hit. it has a tunnel, a jump bar, and weave poles. if we have a chance to practice some with desmond, we will. so far, we've only busted out the tunnel, since it's small enough to be used in our house. he sort of gets it, but often goes around it instead of through it, that bum. we're working on it, though!

also, i will be making a special treat for the canines. it's a homemade version of frosty paws (have you seen how much money frosty paws are? what are people, crazy?). i've never made it before, so it should be interesting. i hope it comes out OK. i am not a good baker at all, but i'm an above-average cook (not much above, but still), and this recipe isn't really cooking or baking. what can go wrong?

food will be provided for humans, but this time we have finally learned our lesson. having a barbecue is not as easy as it sounds, especially when you have more than around six people to feed. the executive decision was made to have no hot food at this party. we want to both be able to keep an eye on desmond and other DBFFs and enjoy the party with our friends. at the moment, we have about eight dogs coming and about 20 people, so there will be some chaos for sure. bring it on. this time, we're not going to be standing in front of a fire for hours or running in and out the house every five minutes to get something from the kitchen. all food is going out at the start of the party. maybe people will learn to show up on time if they arrive and the hero is soggy and the salad is wilted. ;-)

because we have the dog run so close to the house, we have requested that our doggie guests meet us there about an hour ahead of time. this is the best way to get all the pups together in the same spot on neutral territory. this will allow everyone to perform doggie handshakes and get properly acquainted or re-acquainted before unleashing in our yard. we wouldn't want any angry surprises or to have desmond feel like his land is being invaded by aliens.

we're still trying to find an old-school, hard-plastic kiddie pool. why is this so hard to locate? we have not made it over to toys r us yet, so i am crossing my fingers that they will be the saviors. i want the pool for not only watertime fun and the ability for the pups to cool off, but i also wanted to use the pool for a bobbing-for-treats game. at this rate, we may be spraying the dogs with the hose or pulling out the lawn sprinkler--though those things could be fun in their own ways!

dear mr. pool, where can i find you? i'd really like to make you a member of our family. i wouldn't mind if you came with that cool doggie as well. let me know if you're available before next weekend. thanks so much! love, lola

Thursday, May 26, 2011

early morning dog run fun: the sequel

howdy, folks! this is just a quick update to share some pictures with you from one of our morning trips. i am hoping to get a real post in sometime tomorrow morning, before we leave for camping trip #2 (hopefully this one will go better!).

i told you guys it was sunrise and we were the only freaks there

sniffing around

still sniffing

even more sniffing, but at least he's on the ramp

"mmm...smells like beagle foot."


peeking through the underside of the ramp

"wait. why are you up there and i'm down here?"

"i'm coming, mom, don't worry!"

this is one of the gorgeous views we pass on the way to the park. i love my town. it's like being on vacation every day.

and these are the beautiful flowers and shrubs i was talking about. i had to take a pic of them. just so nice.

i also have some video of desmond making a fool of himself with the ball in the sand--and i have figured out how to get video on here! but i need a youtube account and to have the video file on-hand: two things i'm lacking. we're getting there, though! eventually.

in the meantime, while i'm posting pictures, here are some random extras that are semi-relevant...

when aunt jane & uncle tim were over with luca & jax, jane alerted me to the fact that we have three lilac trees/shrubs in our yard. by the time we moved in last year, in june, the flowers were gone from the plants. either way, all i knew was that we had some pink and white trees in the yard now. :-)

so i cut some lovelies for myself
and made a happy little cluster for myself to admire. the green and pink cuttings in the middle are from another tree/shrub in the yard. i've been trying to identify it for weeks, but i'm not having any luck.

Monday, May 23, 2011

doggie play date time!

a couple weeks ago, we had aunt jane, uncle tim, and DBFFs luca and jackie over for some puppy love.

luca's about four years old and jackie's still a puppy--and they are both much bigger than desmond, as you can maybe sort of see here:

that's luca in the front and jackie in the back, hanging around on a recent lazy day at home

i swiped this from uncle tim's FB page, so i'm not quite sure when it was taken, but i think it's a bit older

he looks absolutely malnourished next to these big girls! i guess that's what hangin' around a cane corso mix and a french mastiff will do to a guy. not that he minded--he totally enjoyed playing with them, especially jackie. i think he may be in love. (and i think miss kona is going to be none too pleased, seeing as how he is her man to mount inappropriately! should be fun when those pups are all together at our dog party next month.)

jackie, while a puppy, wasn't as hyper during playtime as kona or nala, so i think she was more on desmond's level as far as speed and energy reserves. luca, on the other hand, seemed a bit disinterested in the whole charade, unless she was acting as "fun police" (like aunt jane predicted she would). in any case, there was lots of running around and even some playing with toys. not that i can prove it, because i completely forgot to take any pictures. my camera sat in front of me the entire time, but i guess i was having too much fun to care. yay for fun, but boo for lack of photographic evidence of fun.

luckily, aunt jane snapped a pic of the kids in the car as they were leaving...

mom, we're tired. can we please go now?

and i later snapped some shots of the delicious, wonderful, homemade treats they gifted us. desmond goes bananas over these. i must get the recipe and give it a whirl. maybe aunt jane will grace us with its presence if we're nice to her...

she packaged them in this adorable container, which i will absolutely reuse

she made a bunch of different shapes, like animals and bones. i believe this is the kitty.

and this is a mouse, i'm pretty sure. the cookies smelled so good, we were tempted to eat them ourselves.

we also had one of these treats for each pup, which desmond gobbled up happily.

AJ & UT also brought desmond a fancy new shirt that miraculously fits him well. i don't know how they did that, but i need to learn their secret. it's the first garment we haven't struggled with, and it doesn't bother him at all. some of the other stuff is loose in the back by his skinny butt, so the fabric touches his sides sometimes and he whips around to see who's there. funny for me to watch, but i'm sure he doesn't appreciate it.

nope, desmond did not magically change into a different doggie. i just don't have any decent pix of him donning the shirt yet. and, yes, that shirt says, "My Dad Rocks" and has a guitar on it. desmond can wear it when joey wears his beatle boots and/or leather jacket.
here's a picture from the camping trip. this is the best i can do at the moment.

desmond was completely exhausted after his play date, even into the next couple days, but he definitely had a good time. it's so nice to see him loving the company of dogs. i truly can't wait to get him a friend to play with every day at home. i think about this all the time. all. the. time. one day...

Friday, May 20, 2011

thunder or the bones?

desmond has been going potty in the house this week. we're not entirely sure why, because he's never really done this before, and he's trained to go outside. we have a theory, but the problem is that there are too many variables.

it's been stormy in long island this week, so the thunder definitely could be to blame--and our trainer thinks that's what it is. however, we also tried giving him food/bone chews in the morning to give him something to do while we were gone, in hopes that he would have less time to redecorate.

sidebar: i know there is much debate about rawhide and similar chews. the shelter told us don't give him any; the vet actually gave him some in our presence. everyone's got an opinion, but if the argument is in regards to it being a choking habit--and you have a dog who chews the crap out of everything--aren't most things choking habits? we're confused and spent much time debating about leaving the chews. we did not just toss it and go, carefree.

so the problem we are left with is figuring out whether he was leaving presents for us because of the thunder or because of the chewing/eating that was going on for the first time. plus, neither of us are even in long island when these storms are coming through. the weather in manhattan (or queens, for that matter) and the weather in our town are rarely the same. we don't know exactly how bad the storms were or when they hit, and we haven't been home with him during a storm yet, so we have no previous behavior to judge on.

if anyone has a clue what's more likely going on, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

this is the chew we left him: RedBarn filled knuckle bone

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

early morning dog run fun

my draft post has reappeared!! this is it! well, actually, this is it but with a bunch of editing. and i have since taken some better pictures, but i didn't upload them yet and i'm too excited to wait to post this. wooooo! (it's the little things)

desmond goes out for a walk three times a day, and i'm his morning pal. we wake up together at 5; he eats, i have coffee, and then we're out the door. i have been getting up at 5AM for over four years now (previously to work out); so i'm used to it, but desmond didn't seem all that thrilled when he first started his life at the forge house.

at this point, he wakes me up before my alarm goes off--sometimes by as much as a half an hour (bad dog!)--and is ready to make moves. we have worked our way up from walking only to being able to run or jog almost the entire time we're out (anywhere from 30-45 minutes). this allows us to get over to the dog run in bay county park and still get back home in time for me to get ready for work.

we took our first morning trip last week, and it was a bit anticlimactic considering how much he has loved the park in the past. first of all, no one is at the dog run at 5:45AM, and i was kind of bummed out. for one, it highlighted how grossly early it was (and how possibly crazy i am); for two, it meant that desmond didn't really know what to do in there.

this is an old picture, but this is pretty much what it was like, except there were no people or cars or dogs anywhere and the sun was just coming up.

he started sniffing quickly and with vigor. he walked all around, head to the ground, sucking in as much air as he possibly could in each spot before hurriedly moving on to the next. i seriously think if we had the time, he would have sniffed every single spec of every single thing in that dog run before finally coming back to me and sitting down.

the sniffing action kind of looked like this but with more intent and urgency and a face closer to the ground

i called his name. no response. 

i tossed a ball his way. no response.

i ran past him. no response.

i ran up behind him and stopped short. no response. 

desmond was on a mission, and i wasn't invited to help. i had treats with me, though it's only now occurring to me that i could have tried to get his attention with them and bribe him into physical activity. oh well. i figured that mental exercise would have to do for that day and made sure we ran or jogged all the way back without stopping.

a few days later, i decided to give it another go. he seemed particularly energetic that morning, and he was well-behaved the whole time we jogged over. during the jog, we passed a house whose front bushes had bloomed all at the same time, and it was gorgeous. i cursed myself for not taking my camera. the past few weeks i've been wishing i had my camera almost every morning, because there are so many fun things happening outside: the sunrise and the birdies and the blooming; desmond doing something ridiculously cute; and sometimes other people are throwing away some sweet furniture that i think we could refinish and i'd like to snap a pic for the husband in case we really do want to drive over and swipe it. alas, i suck and forget it every time.

on the block before the park entrance, there's a bunch of grass along the side of the road, on which a couple of cranes were hanging out. i cursed myself once again for not having the camera and braced myself for desmond's attempt to run away and capture/smother/lick/chew on/eat/love/play with the cranes, but he didn't even notice them.

not the cranes but some cranes. sandhill cranes, to be exact.

as we got closer to the actual dog run, desmond seemed to get really excited about being there, but once we got inside he just started sniffing around again. lame! we were again the solo visitors, but i was determined to get him to play and run around.

this time, i tried running away from him after strolling alongside his sniffing path for a while and this seemed to get his attention. he chased me. i tossed a ball past him and he ran right after it. (we're still not really fetching, exactly, but we're getting there). then i got him to chase me up the ramp, and from that point forward it was total playtime. excellent!

he was so into it that i was able to get him to run up and over the ramp after that without having to run onto it myself. then, i started tossing/rolling balls over to the other side of it, and he bolted after them. he even leaped up onto the ramp and off of the ramp a few times when he didn't feel like going around. the best part of the whole thing was when he tried to pick up the tennis balls. the dog run is all sand, and he was having a hard time, so he kept trying to use his paws to help him. unfortunately for him, the almost-digging movements he was using were pretty much pushing the ball down further into the sand. he would start using more and more force, sometimes popping the ball out and away from him. then he'd jump around and try from a different angle. at the end, his face was all covered in sand. it was glorious.

i had a hard time getting the pup to jog back home--which was troubling as we were passing Crane Land, and one of them was out in the middle of the street--but i was hoping he was really tired and therefore he would not spend the day trashing my house. although, part of me realizes that his being tired is because of his legs, not because of his energy. the trainer explained this to us after we asked about desmond's behavior when he plays with other dogs (how he gets bored with it pretty quickly and goes to lie down). he said that it's not boredom with the activity, it's that desmond simply doesn't have the stamina of a normal dog. his legs leave him no choice but to take a break. sad face (kind of like his perma one, seen below).

actually, that looks like an angry face. that face says, "if you don't stop taking pictures of me right this instant, i am going to bite you." i used the cell phone for this shot at the dog run. will post better pix soon.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    camping teaser & other things to come

    i've come to the conclusion that my draft post is gone forever (and that i probably should draft in a word processor from now on--not that i'm doing that now or anything, but it's nice to tell myself i won't let this happen again), and i've gotten over my disappointment about it enough to get back to the blog. i'm not going to attempt to recreate the post that i lost, because that's going to serve only as a great frustration, and i'm trying to remain positive this morning since i am a tad worried that desmond is going to go nuts in our house today.

    we went camping for the first time with him on saturday. our version of camping involves a campground with amenities and a trailer. years ago, we were tent campers at the campground, but we upgraded and it's been lovely to have a bathroom and a refrigerator. so i don't want anyone to think we packed up the pup and ran off into the woods. desmond's dad would love to do that, but desmond's momma ain't havin' it. we will eventually take desmond hiking, but we're not there yet, so i won't get into it now. let me give you a better idea of the situation. we camp here:

    Nickerson Park Campground... this:

    yup, that's how we roll!

     that pic is actually from four years ago, and we have since gotten a bigger trailer and bigger deck, but it's still in the same spot. anyway, we were at nickerson for approximately 24 hours, and our prima donna doggie was not a happy camper (OK, you knew that was coming at some point, so just be glad it's over with). it did rain the entire time pretty much, so we are hoping that had a lot to do with his displeasure. i'll post a full story with pictures at a later date.

    for now, i'd like to give you a list of things to look forward to aka upcoming posts:

    • play date with DBFFs luca and jackie
    • training sessions #3, the down-stay, and #4, the come command
    • study of desmond's sleeping positions
    • doggie party sneak peek
    • Wacky Wednesdays
    • early mornings at the dog run
    • and the rest of the camping story

    Friday, May 13, 2011


    i spent over an hour yesterday writing a post--that most definitely did save--and then blogger went down. ok, fine. blogger's finally back up and now my draft post is completely gone. i. am. so. mad.

    officially, blogger has this to say, so perhaps my draft post will return, but i don't have high hopes. it was a really long one, too. now i'm also sad. 

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    dog's ten commandments

    a little something from auntie jane. pardon if you've read this a billion times.
    (for the record, the second half of #4 turns me to mush and makes me want to get up and quit my job the instant i read it.)

    Dog's Ten Commandments 

    1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years - any separation from you will be very painful.

    2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

    3. Place your trust in me - it is crucial for my well being.

    4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment...You have your work, your friends, your entertainment... I HAVE ONLY YOU!

    5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when you're speaking to me.

    6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll NEVER forget it.

    7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hands but I choose NOT to bite YOU.

    8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I've been out in the sun too long or my heart may be getting old and weak.

    9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old.

    10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch it" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for ME if you are there. Remember that I love you.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    desmond destruction update, or why i am doomed in real motherhood

    desmond's penchant for being unpredictable about when he will go on a damage binge and what he will choose to victimize has become a habit. he'll go for days without an incident, and then we'll come home to something like this:

    desmond has finally put that plant out of its misery...

    and successfully made a huge mess of our floor and rug

    that is the same large plant that lived in the corner of the room and had become an interest of his, seemingly out of nowhere. this was a definite case of third time's a charm. regardless of what anyone thinks, i do still feel bad for the plant. i can't help it.

    this time around, desmond not only moved the plant out of the corner and all the way over to the couch, but he also managed to take both the plastic pot out of the clay pot and then the plant out of the plastic pot. lucky for everyone, the clay pot did not break and is all safe & sound.

    during this outburst, desmond also got his new monkey involved along with two things you can't see. one is a round, black place mat that we use to protect the console table or dining room dresser from the bottoms of vases, large decorative plates, etc. this place mat is amongst the debris on the floor (near mr. monkey). it was on the console table prior to that, and it now has bite marks on it, so we can only assume desmond moved it there himself.

    appease all you want, but it won't bring back mr. plant!

    you think you feel bad, skinny butt? how about the plant?? how do you think he feels?

     the other not-pictured item that was messed with is one of our large CD cases. we keep all of our cases (travel cases, not plastic cases for individual CDs) in the TV stand for our own easy access. desmond's, too, i guess. he decided to pull one off the stand with his mouth, via the trusty handle. it seemed otherwise unharmed, but it was definitely on the floor, far enough away from the stand that it could not have been an accident. perhaps he really wanted to hear some britney.

    on a separate day, we came home to this lovely renovation, which was actually revealed in a previous post's photos (though i didn't discuss it at all):

    who needs curtains, anyway?

    the left side was hanging by a thread screw

    crumpled on the floor. doesn't desmond know how hard joey worked to make these last year?

    what's left of the curtain rod/hanger thing on the right side. for the record, i had never seen curtain hangers like this before moving into the house. not sure if we'll just put up the same ones or finally make the switch to something more rod-like.

    the cross bar and left curtain hanging out of the wall. guess we'll have to add those holes to our list of things to patch up, thanks to pranciepants over here.

    after both of these discoveries, there was a series of reprimands and angry stares and long silences and ignored whines/whimpers/cries. some whines, whimpers, and cries were suppressed--by me. i truly cannot take it when we need to yell at the dog and try to make him understand that he's done something less than awesome. the whole time it's going on, i feel heartsick and like i'm the one who has done something wrong. the puppy-dog eyes and "guilty" presentation kill me. i realize that these emotions do not make for the world's best dog leader, but i don't see why joey can't be "the bad guy" as long as i don't do anything to contradict him or confuse desmond.

    why can't i just quietly stand by my husband when he reprimands the dog and then while we clean the dog's mess. it's not like i'm calling desmond over and telling him it's OK and petting him or anything like that. i absolutely understand why dogs need leadership and structure and rules and consistency. perhaps i will be able to ignore my own feelings about it one day, and then this will be a moot post, but at the moment, i just feel awful and want to get back to snuggling on the couch almost as much as desmond does.

    the ears of a dog who wishes you'd stop cleaning up with your angry face on

    this is a troublesome situation for me, overall. with each day that passes, we are closer to our eventual human-baby parenthood. newborns, seemingly, have to turn into little people who will need to be yelled at and corrected and punished along the way to becoming big people. this makes me very nervous. i like to think i will run a tight ship, seeing as how i'm very much a fan of rules and structure and planning ahead and thorough research and my purse-sized monthly calendar and respecting your parents, and thinking about consequences of my actions, and all of those kinds of boring things.

    not to say that i am no fun whatsoever, but i generally am more interested in being a responsible adult than i am in doing whatever whenever, and this is something my future child will be forced to live with by default--unless it all goes to crap as soon as i see my son or daughter noticeably upset about having upset me or his/her dad. i always say things like, "my kid will be well behaved, because he/she will know better, because i will make them know better." then i have experiences like this with a doga flippin' dog, how am i ever going to stay mad enough at my own child to teach important behavior lessons?

    furthermore, whether we are having issues with desmond or not, i still find myself just staring at his cute face way more than is likely normal. often, i am so overcome with love in these moments that i kind of want to burst into tears. what the hell is going to happen to me when i'm staring at a baby--a baby that i created with my husband, a baby that came out of my freaking body? is my heart literally going to break? is my brain going to short circuit and/or explode?

    i can't fathom this in any realistic way, but i feel confident that i am going to be a mess of a person. thank goodness my husband is normal! don't get me wrong: he's madly in love with desmond as well and spends much of his time with the dog in a state of permanent cuddle. joey's heart is not impenetrable by desmond's sad face (eerily-similar-to-his-happy-face as it may be), but at least he knows how to act like an in-charge adult when it's time to be bad cop. i just hope that he can keep it up once there's a baby involved, because i'm toast. if he can't, then we'll have a mini-us running the show around here. not good. desmond can be a bit duh sometimes, but he's certainly not stupid, and it won't be long before desmond figures out they should team up and take us both down. 

    sun-&-cuddle time with daddy. what lengths will we go to for a non-furry child's outdoor comfort?

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    microchip drama

    desmond came to us with a microchip already living somewhere quietly in his body. or so we thought. when we first went to the vet, she couldn't locate it on him. the vet tech gave it a go as well, without success. i did a little inside-my-head panic dance about all the days that had already passed with him not having a chip. not that it mattered, since he obviously has been fine and did not run away or anything, but this is how my brain works. then i realized we wouldn't be able to get him a chip for another couple of weeks, due to scheduling issues, and i continued my solo internal worryfest.

    why did this dog not have a chip? who really knows. ruffhouse rescue thinks that there must have been a mix-up at animal control or before that. it's a bit of a mystery, but everyone thought he had a chip. they had all the paperwork; he was registered. he at one point had his little yellow tag with the chip ID on it, but that got lost in the chaos of his trip to pittsburgh (when he was originally supposed to be adopted). the night we took him home, the shelter staff gave us all his files and told us to get the info on the chip changed right away and order a new ID tag.

    there are lots of cute options for these tags, but we went with the plastic one to act as a buffer between his mets ID tag and his rabies tag. too much jingle jangle for me!

    i took care of it on the phone and ordered a new little yellow house. weeks go by and nothing ever comes in the mail. in the meantime, we took our trip to the vet and learned he was chip-less. frustration, panic dance, etc.

    eventually, we get an envelope from the ruffhouse that has his original new tag in it. that's right, the tag i ordered on the phone went to the ruffhouse instead of the forge house. wth is wrong with people? how can there be so many folks who cannot do their jobs well? the guy even went back over the info with me on the phone. very annoying. plus, the ruffhouse probably think we're idiots for not changing the address, which isn't the case. oh well. also oh well? we couldn't get our money back for the tag, because it's useless to everyone. not to mention, i have no idea if there is a dog running around having an identity crisis because his chip is actually registered to desmond at the ruffhouse. it's all very strange.

    i'd say that's pretty confusing. probably more so than an identity crisis.

    in any case, all is well with the chip now. he got a new one at the vet on saturday along with the rest of his vaccinations for running around in the outdoors upstate (and acted like a champ, from what daddy told me), and we got all the confirmations and whatnots to go along with it. it's a big relief for me. not that we aren't very careful with him, but you never know. he could see a gum wrapper bouncing by and bolt, taking the leash with him. crazy greyhound brain. we really need to get him a mechanical lure for the yard. one day...

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    obedience training: lesson 2

    our second training session was pretty short, because we focused on the sit-stay command, which can only be practiced for so long. we ran through the same drill as we did last time with "walk around and then sit" but added in the part where we make desmond stay in his sit for anywhere from three to five minutes (or was it seven? i can't really remember...).

    before you do anything else, put the dog on the leash. don't say anything to him, just do it. and if he's protesting...

    "no, dad! no! no working on commands! i want sleeping on the couch!! i command you to stop right this instant!"
    you just ignore him and start the walking. drag him along if you have to.

    desmond has a bit of a leash biting issue but thankfully is pretty quick to drop it when we ask him to. otherwise, we just ignore him. there are other random times when he starts getting bite-y with our hands, whether from stress or wanting to play, and we've been kind of just finding a toy to shove in his mouth instead. this has also worked to introduce him to a bunch of toys he previously cared not a whit for. weirdo.

    anyway, you make the dog walk & sit twice and then on your third walk & sit, you ask the dog to stay. then, you walk away about a leash length, but you need to ready to jerk the leash if your pup comes out of his sit.

    we mean business, and he seems to know that

    he's allowed to pivot around to see where you're going, and he's allowed to relax and lie down, but if his butt comes off the floor, you have to correct him and then start over, no matter how long he was staying in his sit before he lifted his butt. it's important to always keep your hands down and relaxed when you are holding the leash (and to keep in mind the right way to hold the leash to begin with), whether you're hanging out next to the dog or you've moved away.

    we were encouraged to distract desmond while he was staying--we threw toys, jingled keys, moved our ottoman, opened and closed the front door, sat down on the floor, walked near him and then away again, etc.

    opening the door for no one. so much for desmond not knowing that door exists!

    we threw the monkey from cousin-aunt jamie into the dining room. he turned to look, but never lifted his tushy.

    once mr. puppy has successfully stayed for at least three minutes, you can release him from his command. this is done by going back to his side, looking at him, and praising him. if he gets up before you let him (meaning, when you walk over but before you tell him it's ok), you have to start over.

    the moment after desmond was released

    the drill is not done yet: you have to run through one more walk & sit. you don't make him stay again, just sit. if done well, you can not only praise but also pet him and remove the leash. the workday is finished!

    do you like how we keep it real with the socks?

    there are a few details that i'm leaving out that are key to this training method, but i'm doing that on purpose--and i did it with the previous lesson's blog post. first of all, i'm not a professional, so i wouldn't want anyone to think that this is instructional. it's something i thought i'd share to help me run through the methods in my head and also to give you an idea of what exactly goes on at a private, in-home training session. second of all, we did pay for these services, so i feel like i need to keep some of the information to myself, which may be twisted logic to some, but it makes sense to me. the last reason i'm not telling all is because i don't want to anger the trainer, should he ever come across this blog. yes, i realize how delusional that makes me sound (are there more than maybe three people reading this?), but i like to be on the safe side. it's how i roll.

    forgive me if you have heard some of that before; i feel like it's worth repeating. 

    at the end of all that work, we gave desmond his very favorite reward: cuddling with daddy. 

    who sits like that??
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