Tag Archives: puppy love

Day 155: lovemore monday :: chew on this

4 Jun

As you know, I entered this year determined to be fearless. But, I don’t want more fear or less in my life.  I want more love.  So I made up a new word, lovemore!   That’s why Lovemore Mondays are here.

Today’s Lovemore Monday is a love story about chew on this

I’m not sure what to take from this moment I captured this morning:
Brady is happily chewing the back cover of my new Good Owner, Great Dog book.

I invite you to make up your own headline for this one… I’m sure there are a few good gems out there.


My new manual, meant to show me the puppy dog ropes is now slightly ripped and torn — and a corner is completely missing somewhere inside the belly of Brady.

It’s my fault.
I left the book on the floor last night, dropped on the floor beside the bed, which is what I always do right before I fall asleep reading.

It’s more than ironic.
It’s hysterically appropriate — learning the puppy dog ropes is teaching me that there is no sleep walking through life and love.  No room for leaving nice, juicy morsels on the floor, on the table, or just out of reach.

It’s a good reminder, and I think it applies to all of us — the human, canine, feline or other kinds.

That’s why… 

I. Love. It.

Day 150: chill out, love -or- how to train your puppy

30 May

I love the word YES.
But, I have become the Queen of No.

We saw some of our favorite people this week.  One, was my college roommate, Laura, who conveniently lives right off I-95 in Wilmington, Delaware.  We are so lucky to see her every spring and fall on our trek between north and south.

This time, however, I felt like we arrived with the traveling circus in tow.  Our dogs.  One broke a lawn chair. The other ate all the sticks in her yard.

I suppose if you are a dog person you can easily nod your head in a “been there, done that” sort of fashion.  Laura’s family owns a cat, but she seemed to be very understanding of our canine mayhem, just the same.

For the record, we paid her for the broken chair and left with our tails tucked between our legs.  Good thing Laura has two children and a really big heart — and has known me for over twenty years!

Our next I-95 stop-over was with our favorite vet, and cousin, Brian.

This was Brady’s first time meeting Brian and he was, of course, on his best puppy behavior, which he proudly displayed by immediately sniffing out rat poison in the yard and gulping it down.

Did I mention Brian is our favorite vet?  He took control of the situation immediately with a little peroxide solution. Brady made it through just fine.

And, then, this old dog learned a few new tricks.

Brian explained the subtle nuances of dog training.
And, it’s all about LOVE.

Puppies don’t respond to “no” commands. They respond only to positive ones.  (Don’t we all?!)

Brian instructed us to ignore Brady when he cries, makes a fuss, turns into a puppy nightmare — because all he wants is love and attention — even if he has to throw a form of tantrum to get it.  (Sounds like all well-meaning two-year-olds to me.)

Which made me realize I have been doing everything ALL WRONG. 
I have been the mothership of “NO” — “STOP” — “DON’T DO THAT!” — in hopes of showing Brady the ropes, and laying down the rules.

Turns out, I have been talking HUMAN and Brady only understands DOG.  But, there is a language that connects the two, and it’s called…. yep, you guessed it, LOVE.

Some tips from Brian included this: find Brady when he is doing exactly what we want him to do — like, laying down, nice and quiet and relaxed — and reward him with our attention.  Approach him with love and praise and say, “Chill Out. Good Dog.” in a happy, loving way.

“No” goes unheard because it is meaningless.
Love is actually training.

So, we have a new rule around here.
No more NO’s.

So, far, it’s working well. For one, I find myself saying much more positive words. I am also wiring myself to be on the lookout for positive behavior.  I can’t help but think that I must sound like a drugged out slacker, talking like The Dude from The Big Lebowski all day long with, “Chill out, good chill out!”

The good news?
So far, we have mastered a “SIT” on command without food involved! (Not me, Brady.)

And, I have ordered the book Brian suggested, Good Dog, Great Owner by Brian Kilcommons, in hopes of becoming a better purveyor of puppy love.

Of course, all of this doesn’t take the puppy out of the pup.
He just ate Justin’s ear phones for dinner.

But, I am looking the other way — or at least looking for other positive behavior to reinforce.  Like… “Throw up the wiring you just ate! Good doggy.”

I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it sometime soon.

Until then, I am reminded about the power of love.
No matter the question, or behavior, or the relationship, be it between humans or dogs …the answer is always love.

Now, excuse me while I go chill out. 

Day 78: oh, puppy love!

18 Mar

Our family grew today, by four paws, a button nose and two floppy ears.  His name is Brady and he is an eight-week old Vizsla.

This is Brady’s first official blog post.

When Brady was born into this world he was the king of the litter.  As the biggest male he was swooped up right away and paid for —reserved for another owner.

At that owner’s request, Brady’s tail was not docked (it’s very common for Vizsla’s to have their tail cut short soon after birth).

But, somewhere along the way, plans changed.

The breeders had AKC papers on Brady’s dad Riley, but couldn’t produce them for Brady’s mom Bailey — because her human owner died soon after they bought her.

Without proper papers on the dam, Brady’s owner backed out. More inquiries came in for Brady, but none of them seemed to follow-up, follow through or work out.

Now, there was no home for Brady.
And, it was also too late to dock Brady’s tail.

On Friday, Justin found Brady’s listing online.  
And, today, we brought this little puppy home.

It was so easy.
There was no struggle, no contemplation, it just happened.
As if it had always been “meant to be.”

I do have to admit, I have a little fear popping up in me about becoming a puppy owner for the first time since I was eighteen, because back then my parents took care of all the training details.

But, as I sit here with Brady on one side of me and Pup on the other, I am reminded that life is supposed to be fun and easy.

Things are supposed to flow and to grow with ease.

Just like the way Brady landed in our lap.

He looks like a miniature version of Pup, he has many of the same mannerisms as Pup, and he has the same long tail as Pup — both never been docked.

It’s as if they are supposed to be together.
As if they were meant to be brothers.

Welcome home, Brady. 

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