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Category Archives: Yaxley

What is the plural for Abacus anyway?

dog in office
Your phone was ringing.  So I killed it.
You’re welcome.

So does it feel like it’s been twenty years?, asks a colleague.

No, not really, I say. More like twenty five.

Aw, just kidding. Like I’m sure the boss was just kidding when he said I should be good for another fifteen or twenty more. I worked out the math on that one and didn’t care much for the resulting sum.

Sure, I’ve been working at P&G Pet Care for a cool two decades, but it’s not like it’s been a quarter of a century or something. But hey, if I put in another twenty years, I’d be that much older too. I can imagine bags under my eyes sagging at the mere thought.

Yowza.  In dog years I’d be … well, let’s say getting kissing-cousin close to the Golden Years. Or what I would prefer to think of as my Margarita on the Beach Years.

And to stay true to any old-timer that’s been around the block enough times to wish there was a park bench halfway through, I have indeed seen a lot of change at our workplace.

Oh, but first allow me to start off here with a gentle, yet firm, smack-down on you smarty-pants out there and let you know we did actually have desktop computers back in the early days. We didn’t use abacuses.

Abacusi? Abaci?

Whatever. It wasn’t any funnier the first time I heard that accounting joke from some young new hire than it was the umpteenth.

Ok, so we didn’t have laptops when I started at Iams. Or Microsoft Office. Or even [cough] email. And maybe I did have to type out purchase orders on an IBM Selectric (that’s a typewriter, you know). But progress trudged onward and we tried like heck to keep up.

dogs in office
I taught her everything I know.

Today in the workplace we still use phones from time and again. Mostly though, mine sits silent on my desk and serves only as a prop to hold up documents for me to read. I don’t get snail mail anymore either. No, instead we have the technology of instant messaging to track each other down like ear-tagged wildlife. And I said instantly, right? As in, whatever you’re doing right now just stop it and pay attention to me because Ima pinging you here. On a good day, you’ll see five or six of these thingies flashing on the bottom on your monitor. Yay, Progress. Keep on keeping on, brother. You rock.

And of course I was around for the P&G acquisition of The Iams Company and experienced the growing pains of doing business as a large corporation instead of a privately held company Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, y’all. But it is different.

Setting all this talk of change aside, there is a particular job perk in our workplace culture that we continue to enjoy.

Our pet friendly office atmosphere.

And it’s been awesome, people. Not gonna lie.

All that stuff you hear about dogs lowering blood pressure, providing a calming presence and being therapeutic just by the good luck of being a dog … it’s all true. Our campus is ridiculously huge. Really, people get lost just trying to find a conference room. Still, we have folk stop by to spend a moment with Micron and they don’t work anywhere within a quarter mile of my cube.

puppy in crate
Puppy Micron power trains for his napping skills.
Level: Expert 

He’s like a guru on the mountain, this dog. What’s the true meaning of life, ask those sojourners who seek peace of mind.

Naps, says Micron. Lot’s of ’em. Rub my belly, oh yeah that’s it, and I’ll tutor you in the ways of nirvanic relaxation, young grazzzzzzzz  [snort].

And sure enough, Micron is a calming influence. All the dogs I’ve brought into the office have done their part in supporting the health and well-being claims of their ilk.

But still.

We’ve had the occasional burp, so to speak.

Jack burps

Right, burps. Remember earlier this month when I was going about all nostalgic about Jack the Wonder Dog and his Incredible Intestines? Perhaps unrelated to his culinary indiscretions, who knows really, a geriatric Jack found himself in need of a splenectomy.  That nasty spleen just had to go, says the vet. So post-surgery, I was worried about my old dog and decided to bring him into the office with me for a quiet day of observation. We were sailing along quite nicely, no problems, for almost a whole hour. Bored with the lack of drama, Jack pads behind me to the coffee station where a grab a cuppa refill.

Um, Food Lady, says Jack. I don’t feel so g … braaaack. I instinctively step back as my poor old dog empties his stomach contents onto the carpet right in front of the men’s room. Huh, was he really outside long enough to eat that much tree bark this morning? Oh, there’s his antibiotic pill, too. Better save that, I think.

But holy St. Ralph, people, the sound of it. It was all so … well, juicy. At nine in the morning, the office has suddenly taken on an after five o’clock feel. There is not a peep from anyone. No keyboards clacking, all conversation has stopped.

I’m apparently on my own here.

Ok, here’s the prob. Jack the Wonder Dog has just performed his favorite magic act – he made food. Experience tells me I have to clean this up real quick-like before he starts digging in. Yeah, and before anyone comes out of the men’s room and plants an unsuspecting penny loafer in the quivering mess. The same aspic gel that’s starting to leak under the restroom door like a scene from The Blob.

Gotta clean this up. Can’t leave the dog. Have to open the men’s room door, lord help me.

Now this was years before my puppy raising experiences made me a master of making canine bio spills disappear before you can blink twice. Think …think … what to do, but the obvious? Yes! I overturn a trash can, pull out the plastic garbage bag and just go to town, scooping up the most heinous part.

Whew, I say, wiping my brow. Disaster averted.

When’s lunch?, asks Jack the Wonder Dog.

No, I got this. Really.

This next story goes way back, too. No, keep going. C’mon back … c’mon back … there! We’re circa mid-’90’s and I’ve just met the new Vice President of Canine Communications for The Iams Company. A fresh young thing, she is. Petite, blonde and a just a day short of being fully housebroken.

Kersee, a namesake of the athlete Jackie Joyner Kersee, is just a pup on her first trip to the office. Sure, now I’m a veteran of pets in the workplace, but back then I admit I was taken aback when the pup dropped a package in front of my desk.

Sensitive to my open mouthed reaction, a colleague grabs, of all things, a paper plate and starts to scoop.

Ok, here’s the prob on this one. My new friend and co-worker is pregnant and very much so. Once she leans in start the cleanup attempt in earnest, she begins to gag.

We pause here with a question for you. What would you rather have in front of your desk: a fresh dog pile or a co-worker’s reflux gone wild?

Right. Neither. The correct answer is here, let me take care of this, ok? You go sit down for a minute.

Stop, Drop & Roll

service dog as puppy
Yaxley in his “Before” photo.

Are all these stories going to be about stuff coming out of dogs?, you ask. Because I have an root canal appointment or something I have to get to. 

Hahaha, I say. No, no we have another story that doesn’t involve such things. 
This might have been deer poop.
A cautionary tale of what happens when you start feeling uppity about your dog training skills, we share with you the story of the young Yaxley in A calming influence.

Clicking the link above will take you to the harrowing tale and its dramatic conclusion. No spoilers here, other than I will tell you that I’ve learned my lesson about pre-bragging.

Best to wait until after all is well and done.

three dogs playing
Yaxley, Micron and Karsen share the frisbee.
Or try to King Solomon the thing into thirds.
One or the other anyway.

It’s only slobber

Ok, ok I hear you. Let’s go into the lesser of the dog liquids. Dog slobber’s not so bad when you get down to it, right?

Especially when it’s coating a tennis ball. That’s not gross, people. It’s Good Times slime.

Embracing the knowledge that a tired dog is a good dog, our furry charges get playtime during the workday too.

Another bonus to the pet friendly office is that they have friends at recess. No sitting on the swings all alone for these fellas.

We don’t really call it recess, of course.

Nope, we’ve got a special command for our pups in training. We know and they know – it’s all business in the office for our dogs. Rules to be followed; manners to be perfected; biological events to be internalized.

But in the play yard, they sit and wait. Say it, say it, say our dogs. Please.

Dogs, we say. Release!

dog crate training
Inga and Naoko share a quiet moment in the crate.
Where is the rest of Naoko’s body? you ask.
I don’t know, I say. But it does appear Inga owns the fella.

service dog and puppy
Why. Won’t. It. Sleep?

Wordless Wednesday: Fur Fur Baby

dog fur

If dogs formed a band.

The little guy in back is the drummer.

_________________________
From left: Karsen & Kel (houseguests), Jager, Yaxley and Micron

BP_Wordless_wed_Hop_Logo_2014

Happy Birthday to the Yax Man

The soulful Mr. Yaxley just
before his third birthday

So who remembers staring back into those old soul eyes of this fella?

Longtime followers of Raising a Super Dog may get a hit of nostalgia as they meet the gaze of our former pup, the ever handsome, Yaxley. We raised Yaxley for Canine Companions for Independence; the third pup in this puppy raising gig we’ve got ourselves into. After a month in Advanced Training (Service Dog college, so to speak), Yaxley was released by CCI and began his new career in the field of Change of Career Dog.

Yaxley, and his fellow Yuletide Y littermates, celebrate their third birthday today. Each dog has been working in their chosen career field for the past few months. Some in the working dog field of Assistance Dogs and Medical Alert. Others are fulfilling their destinies as beloved pets.

What about the Yax Man, you ask? Our sensitive boy chose the natural career path of a stay at home nanny to a young boy. Just this month we had the pleasure of a visit by his adoptive family and were completely jazzed to see the love and commitment they show for each other.  What a blessing for all.

Yax at two months and fourteen months. Those eyes.

So on this day of celebration, I’d like to share some of my favorite blog posts of our journey with the Yax.

Out of the 70 plus stories on Raising a Super Dog from our year and a half together, these are the Yax-style posts that I still turn to for a smile.

The post for Yaxley’s first birthday is worth it just for the videos. With thanks to Susie, the Y’s breeder caretaker, we can sit back with a cuppa and enjoy watching these little hamsters on their first morning in the world. About three minutes of newborn puppy bliss.

Then we jump ahead in time in the second video to see the Yuletide Y’s experience their first solid meal. Our little Yaxley has a starring moment in this one. It’s an adorable awww moment with a snort giggle.

At the post of A calming influence. And not so much. I share a cautionary tale about showing off. You’d think I’d learn. I don’t.

And finally at Fortunate One you get a dose of the kind of wisdom that comes from Chinese takeout.

Read on … and enjoy our Yaxley puppies memories with us.

Happy Birthday to all the Yuletide Y’s!

Euka, Ella and Yaxley meet for a playdate.  Euka says, hey Yax, I think
your kid is stuck to me or something.
Happy happy.

Not all sunshine and rainbows, y’all

Got toes?

It wasn’t a loud scream, but was heartfelt nonetheless.  More like a vaguely verbalized noise that could have been an Oh!  Quickly followed by that scared me.

Micron! I admonish the then young dog who has moved his head under the partition to look into the next ladies room stall. Quit peeking, you perv. 

Because a bit of humor can diffuse an awkward situation. Right, sometimes it can. But humor is not always a horse you can bet on.

I don’t know how effective this attempt was either. It’s not like I was privy to any resulting gesticulations or facial expressions going on the other side of the TP wall.

Mistakes are made.
Lessons are learned.

Heh, did you see what I did there?  Privy? Ladies Room? hahahaha [snort].

Yeah, so anyway I was just reading the latest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Alex at Help on Four Legs. Alex has that magic blogging trifecta of being frank, funny and fearless. Where anyone scanning my adventures-in-puppy-raising posts will experience pretty much sunshine and rainbows and puppies riding unicorns, Alex is here to remind y’all that life can be very real sometimes. Her insightful stories of sharing her life with service dog, Bright, brings us into her world for a minute or two.

From my view as a volunteer puppy raiser I count on people like Alex. I do.  Those folk who are open about their personal experiences with a service dog at their side? It keeps me grounded in this puppy raising thing.

Alex recently posted Things that are awkward with a service dog. A knock on the head to remind me that my efforts in puppy raising are not all sunshine and rainbows. Maybe it’s time to fess up on a couple of … well, misadventures in puppy raising.

Here I’ll share with you just a few examples of how, as a volunteer puppy raiser, I took one for the team. So to speak.

Dogs on airplanes

Yaxley fits comfortably at my feet in the regular seat
on the flight back home. My feet had a less
comfortable experience.

When pup-in-training Yaxley and I flew to a conference in Washington DC a couple years ago, we talked about this trek at When dogs can fly and With the wind at our backs.

Nobody claiming a clear mind enjoys the airport experience, right? That whole thing with hurry up and wait and messed up connections. Now add in the logistics of toileting a puppy, a face off with an energetic bomb sniffing dog and Hurricane Irene messing up the flight schedules. I was pretty darn proud of Yaxley, who was a rock star right up to, during and after the TSA pat down in DC. I, however, struggled with the kindness of strangers.

I don’t usually engage in animated conversation for a full hour with my close friends, nevermind someone I just met. Say, like the flight attendant who bumped the paying customer from the coveted leg-room seat at the front of the small plane to allow the pup and me residence. Yaxley had a safe spot, I had reasonable leg room if I held them suspended straight out, and the FA had a jump seat. Right in front of me. Nose to nose we talked dogs.

For an hour.

Sure, I see you shaking your head.  I agree that’s not so bad, really.  Even a devout introvert like me can survive something so basic as friendly conversation.

So let’s move on to an edgier topic, shall we?

The Poop Walker

Excuse me, she said.  Did you see what your dog just did?

Here’s a quiz question for you.  How many times does it take for your pup-in-training to drop a hearty steamer while walking for you to tag him as a Poop Walker?

One. The answer, of course, is one.  After that first time, every single outing with your puppy is stalked by those sisterly black clouds of Doubt and Insecurity.

How this puppy, no names mentioned but his initials are Micron, could pop out a well-formed loaf without even breaking stride is a enigma for the ages. A natural skill that’s deigned to make lesser dogs jealous.

And this amazing feat marked the first time I considered a rear view mirror for our outings.

Micron has since outgrown such embarrassing outbursts, so to speak. But we do still deal with things like …

The dog can’t hold his licker

Oh, it’s ok.  I don’t mind if he licks my [blank].

That fill-in-the-blank answer might be hand or face or even small child. But rarely is this sentence completed with the word toes.  Seems that’s a boundary not to be crossed.

A boundary that’s hard to explain to the mighty Micron.

We puppy raisers go through great, and sometimes frustrating, effort to teach our charges not to lick folk. A challenge brought to a new level when big-hearted dog lovers encourage such behavior. And when we have a pup that considers their destiny directly in line with tasting folk, we’re tasked with the near impossible.

Micron, who we once considered less than a problem solver, was able to avoid corrections by sticking his tongue out of the side his snout. The side not facing me.

It’s simply not becoming of a service dog to lick people. Actually even more important, it’s a behavior that distracting them from their most important job of all.

To pay attention to their handler.

It’s that important.  And speaking of distractions . . .

Stuffed animals are his kryponite

He’s unpredictable in his unpredictability.

Ball?

That was the verdict on Micron, the definition of why this otherwise amazing dog was not meant to be a service dog.

I wish I could say this surprised me.  After all, I’m certainly no expert in the actual training of a service dog. I leave that important work to the professional trainers at CCI. Instead we puppy raisers are tasked with socialization, proper public behavior, some intermediate level commands and such.

But before Micron went off to Advanced Training at Canine Companions for Independence, I had some indication that he might not have the proper work ethic.

You may not actually need the red arrows to show you the object of Micron’s attention, but I stuck them in there for the less attentive readers.

Those of you truly on the ball (get it?) in dog behavior may also notice the tell tale self-defense position of Snoopy’s paws.  Ok, fine. Snoopy’s entire body is one of please don’t grab me and carry me around in your mouth.

How does a puppy raiser train out this fixation behavior?  I have not a clue. I still have to keep a close eye on Mr. Therapy Dog lest he grab a stuffed teddy bear from the gentle ladies at the assisted living center.

When your well-behaved puppy is the bad guy

After a while in this puppy raising gig, you learn to let some things just roll off your back like water from a duck.

Taking a pup-in-training into the public venue is a whole nuther kind of animal. Socializing the pup in places where dogs are not expected to be, or worse,  not permitted to be, is an experiment in polarization.  People either love it or hate it.

Many times the two teams are identified by facial expressions as obvious as colored jerseys.

In our local grocery super store I’ve seen kids fingering their noses before snatching a free grape in the produce section. One young girl was methodically poking holes in packages of chicken breasts with her index finger. A toddler is making up for a lack of a microphone by screaming full strength while his mom shops from aisle to aisle. Well handled and smooshed items are snatched from a child’s desperate grasp and replaced on shelves.

Meanwhile I’m getting skunk eye for having a dog with me. And when I catch these glances, I admit it does irk me a bit that the CCI pup is better behaved than some kids.

You know how the grocery puts the high value items right there in the checkout line?  Yikes, it’s hard enough for us grown ups to deny ourselves the ubiquitous choices in chocolate goodness. Saying No to our kids is even tougher.

A little girl is denied her chocolately reward by her dad. She throws herself into a neat little tantrum. When this is ignored, she uses toddler logic in her decision to run off at full speed.

And comes to a screeching halt to find herself eye to eye with a puppy the same height as her.

Cue in the total meltdown. Freak out. Fright fest. The screams, the horror in her eyes. The pup stands by my side, exactly as trained. Doesn’t even flinch.

What happens next, do you think?  Go ahead, give it a guess.  Right, the dad swiftly lifts up the little girl, clutching her to his chest like she was just rescued from a rip tide or something. Oh, then the best part comes next. He looks at me, giving me a glare like this was all on me.

How dare I?

Like I said, sometimes it’s water off a duck.  And then other times? This kind of stuff just raises my hackles. But I smile anyway, closed mouth.  No harm done, dude, my eyes say.

Jerk, my inside voice says.

That other critical job

Well, some of that is off my shoulders.  It’s good to step off the rainbow once in a while and just share some real.

There’s more, of course. So much more. We’re out there doing stuff with our dogs where other dogs fear to tread. Or something. Anyway, we puppy raisers are doing what we can to knock down some barriers for the future handlers of these dogs. It may not be much. It may not even be enough.

But people, we know it’s better than doing nothing. Puppy raising is not for the meek.

It’s for those folk who love other people. And of course, we love these dogs.

Yeah, and adventure. That’s good, too.

And that other thing that’s not in the puppy raiser manual, but we do anyway?

We puppy raisers chronicle that pivotal first year of the dog’s life. Whatever the destiny of these amazing creatures, we alone know the whole story of their puppy lives.

Oh, and the side benefit of all this memory making we’re collecting …

We got these dogs photo ready for y’all. These furries are no stranger to a camera.

Over the shoulder, you say?  Like this?

Yeah, you’re welcome.  Oh hey, actually … it’s our pleasure.

It really is.

Five Things I Stopped Doing After Becoming a Volunteer Puppy Raiser: The Rerun

Posted on

We’re working on a big project this week that does not involve cloning.  Which is too bad, really.

Because if multiplicity of one’s self were possible, I would be able to knock out some never-before-seen photos of Euka II doing something clever and cute.

But not today.  My energies, as they are, must be funneled into another realm of my fur covered existance. It’ll all be worth it in the end.  I do hope.

Anyway, on today’s Story Sunday I’m serving up a popular blog posting from last fall for your reading pleasure. 

___________________________________

It was four years ago that I began this journey as a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. On September 5, 2008, we welcomed the lovely Inga into our lives as an eight week old cotton ball. In these mere few years there’s certainly been no shortage of opportunities to learn something new. Always those helpful life lessons on how to do things right.

But you know, there’s the other side of the leash as well.

And today I share with y’all . . .

Five Things I Stopped Doing After Becoming a Volunteer Puppy Raiser

 

1. Wishing I had three arms

We human beans been granted the brain power to multitask, but frustratingly enough, we’re a little short-handed, so to speak, on the body parts. This was especially apparent to me as a young mom carrying a fussy toddler in one arm and rummaging across the bottom of the purse for enough change to buy Tylenol because anything stronger needed a prescription. How many times did I wish for a third arm those days.

Kid munching on Cheerios in the highchair, dog strategically positioned with maw open like a moat gator catching the crumbs, dinner on the stove, pots soaking in the sink. You know the rest, the phone’s ringing, the man wants your attention for some such thing, and the washer buzzes that the load’s done. Those days it would have been nice to have one hand on a magazine, the other in a delicate grasp of a glass of chilled white. Instead my greatest wish was to have an extra appendage to just expedite the evening.

Um, speaking of needing a hand here

It’s different now, my mindset on this. Puppy raisers learn to do it all with only one hand free. Oh! Don’t even try to make that dirty, now. Honestly, people. I’m trying to be all serious here.

When folk ask me, would you like me to hold the dog while you do that, I politely decline.

You see, I wonder what it would be like if I actually had limited mobility. With this pup in training, how much can I trust him to hold a command, to stay still by my side until it’s time to move along again?  Can distractions be ignored? The best way for me, a fully physically able person, to determine this is to limit my own range of motion in some way.

So, I’m learning. Do you want to leave the pup with me while you go through the buffet line?, asks the Husband. Naw, I say. I’m good. I’d like to walk her near the food and reinforce her self-control.

With the leash in my left hand, I balance the plate and its mounded deep-fried buffet goodness in my dominant right. The pup is at Heel and totally solid. In tune with my movements, she answers every Let’s Go and stops to sit when I pause. We’re like dance partners. It’s beautiful.

Oh ugh, the sour cream is stuck to the spoon. My attempt to give the spoon a sharp shake to dislodge the clotted mass goes terribly awry.  The dairy glob takes a right turn at Albuquerque and bypasses my baked potato. Instead it smacks squarely on the pup’s cape. She looks up at me to ask what she should do about this.

Well, I say. Shit. Which I know is totally unacceptable at a buffet.  Even Golden Corral, the Wal-Mart of buffets. But in my defense, I kinda forgot myself, not having the previous life experience of slapping sour cream on a dog in a buffet line. How does one react to such things, anyway?

2. Asking my dogs to follow commands

Say it like you mean it, I tell co-workers. He’ll sit the first time. We dog lovers want to be gentle and caring with our furry family members. We want to be kind, we do.

What do the dogs want? Well, consistency is a good start. Ok, we say, you can lie on the sofa next to me, but not if you’re muddy. Yeah, that kind of thinking doesn’t chug well through a dog noggin.  And if you want them to sit, you tell them Sit with that tone that makes clear there’s not really an alternative option here. If you ask them kindly to sit and they just stand and look at you, you going to have to ask a second time. Or even a third. By the fourth SIT! with your hand pushing on their butt they will finally plant it. So now your dog knows that he doesn’t have to do anything until you ask four times. And that’s consistency.

So I don’t ask my dogs to do things. I let them know what behavior is expected and what will get them praise and possibly score them a cookie.

An assistance dog must be responsive. These dogs love having a job to do and want to do it well. And we want them to feel good about themselves, after all.

3. Leaving offerings to the food fairy

Did you catch that gaping maw moat alligator mentioned in Number One above? Ah, there was a magical time in my life that I didn’t really clean the kitchen floor all that much. I had a dog.

A friend with small children was lamenting about how her otherwise adorable kids had taken a carton of eggs out to the living room and cracked each one open on the carpet. A dozen eggs!, she cried. How do you even begin to get that out of the carpet?

You know what I’d do? I said, calmly sipping my coffee. I’d just let the dog out there. Better than a wet vac, in my experience. A Labrador would suck every trace of that egg slime out of the fiber, now wouldn’t he?

Oh, but it’s not the same with an assistance pup in training. An assistance dog cannot walk into a restaurant with his handler and be hoovering the carpet all the way to the table. And this starts with the puppy raiser.

With three dogs in the kitchen as I work at the cutting board, food flying everywhere like it has super powers or something. A potato morsel lands next to a dog nose, but no matter. These furries are being trained to ignore food on the ground.  Their goodies come from their food bowl or a dog cookie from my hand.

Why didn’t I do this before I was a puppy raiser? Never again will I have a begging dog at the dinner table.

So, whatcha eatin’?

4. Panic over a torn dewclaw

Or other such small things. Just like kids, the more dogs you have come through your house the more relaxed you get about minor emergencies.

I was a Cub Scout leader for a few years. I’d hear things like, Mrs. Sword! Bobby poked me in the eye with a stick! And I’d ask, Is it bleeding? Still got the marble in your head? You can still see? Then get back out there and play capture the flag, kiddo. Come back if you’ve cracked a rib or something.

Before puppy raising, we just had Jager as an Only Dog in the house. My sister went on a long deserved vacation and I’m keeping the kids for a couple of weeks.  The two kids are playing fetch with Jager in the backyard when he gets so excited he somehow rips a dewclaw. Holy cow, but do those things bleed.  I try some basic first aid, but the dog has ripped the thing at the root and there’s tissue damage as well.  Fine, no prob. Ok, maybe a little bit of a prob. I’m just a bit rattled.  I pack the kids and the bleeder in the car (Direct pressure, kids. Elevate that leg). and we head off to the vet for a stitch or two.

Jager can get a wee bit intense when playing

Problem is, I left all the bloody gauze and smeared blood all over the kitchen floor without nary a note of explanation. The Husband comes home from work to this CSI crime scene. Which one was it, he wonders. The wife, the niece or the nephew? Well, at least I answered my cell phone to What the hell is going on! to keep the police out of it all.

Since then, I’ve taken a Red Cross first aid course for pets. I’ve not had the opportunity to put a dog snout in my mouth to give CPR respirations, but I’m ready for it should the need arise.

With this gig of raising valuable dogs that aren’t even mine, well, I want to do the right thing to keep the furries safe, sound and healthy. I do feel more confident about handling certain canine emergencies. But still hoping to avoid the CPR dog snout thing.

5. Forgetting the camera. Again.

You just can’t plan for this kind of adorable

A pup in training is a 24/7 photo op. After about a hundred and two times of wishing I had a camera to capture the moment, I finally starting carrying a permanent purse camera. I was thwarted in the attempt to save money by buying an inexpensive model and had to replace the cheap little piece of electronic waste with another purse camera. And for serious stuff, I have my beloved Canon to capture the pretty portrait shots. It’s entirely possible I might have more cameras stashed about the house, too. Theoretically and all.

So, how many cameras do you have, asks the Husband as he observes me pulling equipment out of the camera bag like it’s a circus clown car. Oh, I don’t know, I admit. Isn’t that like asking how many pairs of shoes I have? [sigh] says the Husband.

Raising a puppy is a 24 hour gig. I want a camera to be there for all the adventures.

Awesome isn’t something that you can plan. It just happens.

That’s it, Micron!  Work it!


And in volunteer puppy raising, awesomeness happens a lot.

Wordless Wednesday: Help it or eat it?

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I don’t know, says Yaxley.  It’s rolling around like it banged its big toe or something. And those noises! I can’t tell if the critter is laughing or saying naughty words in Dothraki. What should I do, Food Lady? Do I try to help it or maybe just eat the thing to end the suffering?

Yaxley, my love, I say. You leave it.

A never-before-published photo from the puppy raising archives has Yaxley observing a battery-operated toy in Cracker Barrel’s strategically placed gift shop. You know their floor plan, right? It’ll be a fifteen minute wait, says the hostess.  Feel free to shop around until your table’s ready. 

And the photo above is not a demonstration of how to torment a pup, but instead just another training exercise. We have a novel object that is doing its level best to appear like injured prey, with all the squeaky sounds and twisting about.

And Yaxley held tough, the good boy.  Showing us some nice self-control here, our little yeller feller.  Which reminds me to advise you to not waste any time looking for photos of  the mighty Micron performing this task.  They do not exist for our impulse-control challenged guy.

Wordless Wednesday: Caption This #7

You hafta wipe your paws, Yaxley! reminds Micro.  Neener neener!

Ah, it’s been too long between Caption This challenges. Here’s a shot that makes me laugh every time I look at it.

The expressions on the dog faces just are too precious.  Micron with his neener neener attitude and Yaxley looks like aw, man . . . just let me in.

Any other ideas for a caption?

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