This month has been nuts...Not only has Brees entered my life, I changed positions at the shelter from volunteer coordinator to kennel manager...except that they haven't replaced anyone to fill the VC position, so I am doing both until they do. I am working to become SAFER certified (the ASPCA's canine temperament test), started teaching 2 new classes, taking Gimli through competitive obedience class and am working with a new therapy dog team. Brees is great and rolls with my schedule like a dream. We have a training session every morning and evening and I am able to come home at lunch (the shelter is only 1.5 miles away from my house) every day to let the dogs out for a good romp.
Next week Brees and I are going up to Appleton ME to see Suzanne White, the herding instructor, and a flock of ducks (pictures to come!)
The following week he starts puppy kindergarten with my good friend/trainer Liz Langham ( I believe that even trainers should take their puppy's through a puppy class!). Once my classes end in December, I plan on taking a 6 week break from teaching. For now, as long as there is coffee flowing, I am good!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Fall is the best time in Maine. Once the tourists leave the beaches open back up to dogs and the locals come out of the wood work to walk together. Many long term human friendships have been formed just by strolling the many dog friendly beaches. My favorite is Ferry beach in Scarborough. Its not a big beach but its the best beach at low tide and somewhat of a local secret. It makes me feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful place. This morning I met my friend Jill and her 3 Golden's Tally, Finn & Copley at 7am to watch the sunrise and let our dogs romp. Jill and I actually met at Ferry beach a few years ago where she fell in love with Gimli and took pictures of him. We have been friends ever since. This morning was a special one as it was Brees's first visit to the beach. He had a great time meeting new people and dogs. He came home one very tired and happy puppy!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Its been almost a week since Brees came home, and I couldn't imagine like with out him! He is everything I wanted in a puppy and more. Teaching puppy classes and looking after foster pups has nothing on this! He is a fun puppy to be with..smart, attentive, playful and easy going.
I know..I know..it could change. I know that this is the honeymoon period. I know this and still look at him with complete perfection.
I have been keeping this week a quiet one. No big adventures other than neighborhood walks. I wanted him to get settled and get the routine established. This weekend we will hit the beach or the fields..depends on the tides.
The only sucky thing is that my camera has disappeared. I haven't seen it in over 2 weeks and it totally bums me out. So I am left to my cell phone for now. I am hoping that my friend (and professional photographer) Jill will come out with me out this weekend and get some shots.
Monday, October 18, 2010
After what seemed like the longest drive ever, we made it home on Saturday at about 6pm. Gimli and Liam spent the night with Jill and the Golden's giving Brees some time to settle into his new digs. The long day didn't slow down his need to play! He was a little fussy in his crate, but over all, he had a restful sleep. The big dogs came home Sunday, and although I wish they were a little more excited about his presence, they didn't hate him either. He is learning proper dog manners and respect. He was 'yelled' at when he bit Liams tail. He reacted with a big yelp and recovered quickly. He now knows not to bite the big dogs tail! Gimli has been softer and they have rubbed faces and lay together. I don't think it will be long before they start doing the corgi 'layering' during nap time.
This morning Brees went on his first walk with his brothers. He did well, and was understandably worried with going far from home. But chasing the big dogs was worth the worry. We have worked on the name game (he responds beautifully! Thanks Holly!), recalls, leash work and play, play play!
Today he will spend some time at home alone (well...not completely alone), as I venture off to Target to pick up a better baby gate (not sure why I wasted the money on the cheap one..takes me forever to snap it on the door frame, and it keeps falling) a few more puppy supplies and batteries for my camera.
So far, he has been a very easy puppy. I know I have already cursed myself by saying that out loud.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Yesterday we went to the state fair. The only reason I like to go is to see the farm animals...pigs, chickens, cows...I love them all. I always envied the 4-H kids who get to hang around the barns in lounge chairs with their carhartt work pants & boots earning ribbons chatting with the other 4-hers. Growing up in suburban Colorado Springs, my dad had the same dream of owning a working ranch. We moved to Colorado from NY when I was 7 years old in part because my dad had a love affair with the west. He wrote stories, poems about the west and spent his spare time dreaming about his cattle farm , which he was going to name the K-bar-T ranch.
My dad passed the dreamers torch to me and although I don't ever think I want a 'working' farm, I do think a small 'gentleman's' farm with chickens, ducks, turkeys a few sheep and maybe a pig would be nice.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
After a long drive to Averill Park, NY on Sunday, I finally met the newest love of my life. We chose the name Brees (currently known as Thomas) after the New Orleans Saints quarter back. We aren't football fanatics, but we are in love with the city of N.O. and were visiting when they won the Superbowl. We watched how that victory lifted an entire city, and Drew Brees became an instant hero who is not only an athlete, but has a deep compassion, dedication and loyalty to the people of New Orleans. I imagine that just like 'Brady' is a popular name in New England, many newborn boys in Louisiana will carry the name Brees.
It was great to meet Holly, Leonard and of course the rest of the Visions pack. Holly was wonderful at helping me choose my little pup, and I left feeling confident that the right one will be coming home.
Yesterday I received my latest Dogwise delivery of The Focused Puppy by Deb Jones and Judy Keller and the Crate Games DVD by Susan Garrett. So my day was spent on the couch in my PJ's catching up on my reading, which is a perfect way to spend a Monday.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Today my friend Amy and I will take a 4 1/2 hour trip to NY to meet the Visions puppies. Oh boy...I am dying for a dose of puppy breath! I feel like I have been waiting for 'puppy-time' for forever! Its funny how my once 'why don't you have any human children' relatives are now' send me pictures of the puppy!' I still have a few (primarily my in-laws) who tag me as the weird dog-lady , but most are supportive and have embraced our alternative family. As I look at my living room and the dogs rest in their respective spots, I wonder how they are going to feel about their new pack member. I think Liam will love and nurture any puppy who crosses our door. I worry that Gimli will feel a little put off once he realizes the puppy will be a resident. But he loves meeting and playing with other corgis, so perhaps I underestimate him. In any case, we are as excited as any new parent could be, and count down the days before the little kiddo comes home.