Monday, June 29, 2009

We're on a boat!

The last few days have been HOT around here! I'm enjoying it immensely, but I'm not covered in black fur like Raelyn. Since it was so warm yesterday, our bi-monthly puppy club meeting was held at a leader's house who had a pool. Raelyn wasn't sure what to make of the pool at first, but soon was having a great time carefully jumping in after toys and swimming laps. It was surprising, but most of the other younger dogs in our group weren't that into swimming. Raelyn is totally fearless and doesn't give a lick about anything or anyone.

After the puppy meeting, Raelyn and I went over to Amity's house for more swimming and dinner. We learned at the puppy meeting that we can't let Raelyn and Amity play roughly and run around. The interactions need to be controlled so that the dogs learn how to behave and not to become preoccupied with wanting to play with other dogs. So this time we let the puppies play and interact, but in a much more defined matter and didn't let them get out of control. Raelyn and Amity had a blast swimming and romping around in the lagoon. They also enjoyed swimming in the nice warm swimming pool. Raelyn was jumping in after a floating plastic duck while Amity was a little more reserved, but eventually ended up enjoying swimming with her life jacket on.

After swimming but before dinner, we went for a little boat ride around the lagoon. Raelyn did fantastic! She sat on the seat or the floor and didn't care at all about anything. She looked around and was interested, but then decided licking herself was more important. She really is fearless about most situations as they don't seem to bother her one bit. Crazy puppy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Total Water Dog!

On friday, we went on another fun outing with Amity and her raiser. We took BART from Millbrae up to downtown San Francisco. We walked around Union Square for a bit and had some snacks. Raelyn did fabulously! She didn't pay attention to people at the BART station. She didn't have any problem with the shiny reflective surface of the tile. She plopped right down on the floor of the BART train and didn't mind the noise or anything during the ride. She did fantastic. Once we got downtown, she walked around terrifically. She still pulls a bit, but she's getting better. She didn't have any problems with the crowded sidewalk and didn't try to pick up anything nasty from the ground. Once at Union Square, she was quite intrigued by the pigeons and wanted to play with them, but she finally figured out that was not in the game plan. We hung out for a bit and got some snacks and drinks and then went back on the train. Both Amity (11 month black lab) and Raelyn were so good during the whole outing, so Raelyn and I went to Amity's house after the train ride and they got to run, wrestle, chase, and play with each other in their backyard. Both of the puppies had a totally blast. They were so funny to watch. Even though Amity is about double Raelyn's weight, it took Amity a while to figure out she could push Raelyn around. Raelyn has finally met another dog that will put up with her energy and craziness! Yay for puppy friends! :)

Raelyn has Amity pinned on the ground, for the moment. Finally a puppy friend that can match Raelyn's excitement for wrestling.

Raelyn (sideways dog) playfully nipping at Amity as she zooms past. Amity is a crazy fast runner.

Amity's raiser lives on a lagoon on the San Francisco Bay and has a little ramp that goes into the water. It was a little warm, so we decided to let them go for a swim. I wasn't sure how Raelyn was going to act as she has never seen water before and isn't too crazy about the hose. Boy howdy did she take to the water like a fish. She was jumping and splashing around and swimming all over the place! She LOVED every minute of it. Now that we know Raelyn is a water dog, we'll have to find other opportunities for her to go swimming! :)

Raelyn the eager beaver!

Amity getting a head/body up on Raelyn while the two wrestle in the water.

Yay! Raelyn chasing Amity in the water. How fun! A puppy friend that never got tired of Raelyn's relentless chasing.

New Favorite Things

Raelyn is totally fascinated with the toilet. She loves to watch it flush and then drink out of it. Needless to say, we have to keep the lid closed now!

She also loves licking toes. Apparently my toes are tastier than Dales...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy times in Puppyland!

All is well in puppyland! It has been a while since I have been able to sit down and reflect on how things have been going since the last update.

Raelyn is doing really well! After her two weird episodes of pooing in the kitchen, she decided she wasn't into that anymore and promptly stopped. So no more poo in the kitchen. Hurray for puppy!

She has been losing more teeth. She has lost all her front 8 teeth. She hasn't lost her canines or molars yet, but those should be coming out soon.

She is growing like a weed! Her legs are so long. I need to bug Dale to get the latest pictures, so I can post them! She is still a skinny girl even though we upped her food to 4C a day per the vet's suggestion. She is just a little bit on the skinny side of what Guide Dogs wants, so we are okay. Better this way than have her be too plump.

We stopped training her during meal times because she is pretty food obsessed. She will do anything you want for food, but then not be very interested in following commands when you don't have food around. So we are just feeding her out of a bowl and then training during play times. That is going pretty well. She is terrific on Sit, Down, Stand, Come, Stay, and Wait. She is a bit resistant on the Go to Bed command, but she eventually acquiesces.

Raelyn is still a whiner. If she can't do what she wants to do then she will complain about it. She likes to be in the same room with you ALL the time, but is getting much better about dealing with not being able to always be with you. She will still whine a little bit, but quiets down pretty quickly and doesn't throw fits anymore. Which is fantastic! She doesn't bark. She was trying to get Shadow to play with her the other day and couldn't figure out how to get the kitty interested in playing with her so she tried barking. All that got her was the end of play time and in the crate. Bummer. I think she got the message.

Raelyn SO badly wants to play with the kitties. She will not leave the poor kitties alone. She will follow them around and stare. Go up to them. Try to get them to play with her and chase her around. Raelyn just doesn't get the message the kitties aren't interested. Both cats will growl, hiss, and smack at her. I don't think they have used claws, so puppy is creeped out and jumps back when they lash out, but just goes back in for more. Shadow finally has grown some balls and can become a truly terrifying cat. She can look just as lethal as Daisy and sound just as mean. We just try to manage the amount of irritation the puppy does to the kitties by not letting her run loose around the house much. When she does we keep an eye on her and pay attention to the interactions. It is good that Raelyn has the attention span of a gnat, so that she will finally stop bothering the kitties. Maybe puppy will just have to learn the hard way.

We have been out and about quite a bit. She is very well-behaved in public. She walks well with the head collar and doesn't bother anyone or anything on shelves. She is a bit antsy, but will sit still if we are waiting in line.

Raelyn is SUPER friendly with everyone and wants you to pay a lot of attention to her. Overall, she is a good puppy. She has a hard time calming down and sitting still. She is easily frustrated and doesn't have a lot of patience, but luckily she can figure things out quickly so she doesn't get too upset. We still have a ways to go, but she is coming along really well!

Monday, June 15, 2009

So many places to go

As part of our monthly puppy report, we keep track of all of the places Raelyn has been. In the past month, she has visited: Target, Old Navy, Safeway, REI, the library, an outdoor mall, Starbucks, a hardware store, friends' houses, soccer games, Macy's, and a farmer's market via the bus.

She been on great behavior (most of the time) and impresses everyone! We look forward to visiting more places this next month. :)

Raelyn at 4 months

Raelyn has some how made it to 4 months without driving us completely batty. She continues to be super smart and a fast learner. She impresses everyone in public, at meetings, and her puppy sitters with her calm demeanor and good behavior. Ha! Boy, does she have them fooled! Just kidding. She is overall doing extremely well and we are happy to have her around.

We just went for her 16 week shots and vet visit. She is about 30 lbs and a bit under weight, so we are increasing her food to 4C a day, but now only feeding breakfast and dinner. No more lunch. The vet said she is looking good and things are going well. There are a few things to keep an eye on, like her teary eye and dirty ear, but other than that she is great.

4 month update:
- She knows all of her commands (Sit, Down, Stand, Come, Go to Bed, Wait, Stay) and performs them perfectly whenever food or a fun tug play toy is around. She normally follows commands pretty well, but if you have something she wants then she follows directions much more promptly. She likes getting verbal praise, but not that much.

-She is eager to please when you have something she wants.

-She is impatient and gets easily frustrated. If there is kibble stuffed in a kong that she can't get out, instead of chewing and chewing to try to get it out she gives up after she realizes she can't get it and leaves it. Sometimes she will whine in frustration, but then quiet down.

-She is WHINY as all get out. She stopped doing her crazy whiny/barking fits and now has just gone back to being whiny.

-She has pooped on the kitchen floor twice in the past few days! Not a good puppy. So she has been back in her crate most of the day and we only let her run free around the house when we are closely monitoring her. We'll eventually graduate up to the tie down, but we are still working on the crate behavior.

- She okay with being in the crate now. She doesn't flip out at all. Just whiny if you leave the room.

-She may have slight separation anxiety as she whines and gets frustrated when you leave the room and you are far away from her. We are working on this and it seems to be getting better.

-She LOVES to play with thick plastic jugs. She will pick them up, run around with them, drop them, try to pounce on them, chase them, and generally go crazy. Super funny to watch.

-She lost her first 4 puppy teeth.

-She is great out in public. She doesn't pay much attention to people walking by if they don't approach her. She is quiet and calm, for the most part. She won't relieve on outings unless she really, really has to go.

-She likes riding in the car and looking out the windows. She stopped trying to climb onto the backseat, so she will just sit like a good girl on the floor of the backseat and stare out the window or stick her head between the seats to see what you are doing.

She has her issues, but she is a lot of fun and is a good puppy.

Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Over the weekend, Raelyn lost 4 teeth! They are the front top 2 and bottom 2. Over the next few weeks, she is going to lose the rest of her puppy teeth. Let the chewing commence!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Clean up on aisle 2

Accidents. Accidents are never a good thing...usually something bad or messy happens. The past few days have seen a few accidents from Raelyn. She is normally so good when we go out places since I never take her anywhere unless I know she is an empty puppy. She can hold it, but doesn't have extreme bladder control yet. A few days ago, we went to REI and after picking up my goods we walked around the store to practice good behavior. Somewhere near the bicycles, I noticed Raelyn stopped and squated. OH NO! And boy she did have to go. I don't know where all the pee came from. Luckily it was on a hard surface and I always take supplies with me, so it was easy to clean up. No one saw anything so we promptly left! I guess it was bound to happen eventually. This was the first time she relieved in a store and there is a first time for everything.

Then yesterday at home the back door to the porch was open and she usually goes potty on the porch without incident. She was hanging out on the porch and I was in the kitchen and she comes back in near the dining table and starts going poo! WTF! On the kitchen floor when the back door was wide open! I grabbed her by the collar and yanked her outside, but she was already done. Needless to say, she spent most of the day yesterday in her crate. Sad puppy. I couldn't believe it though as it was so strange. She has never gone poo in the house before, ever. Even when she was 8 weeks old. And she has gone out to the porch before and relieved herself when we weren't next to her. So weird that she would be on the porch and then come in and decide to go poo. Hopefully she is just testing and will learn that is not okay quickly. Else she will be a sad puppy and be stuck in her crate.

Other than those 2 incidents, things are great! She is doing all of her commands now: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Wait, Go to Bed, and Come. She is still testing and is a giant whiner, but she has stopped going ballistic while left alone in her crate. Now she just whines without escalating it. Crazy puppy! She does great when out and about in stores (when she is not relieving herself). She doesn't grab anything off shelves or try to solicit attention from people. On our walk today, we discovered she is fascinated by people on bicycles. She perks right up and wants to run after them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mexican standoff without the Mexicans

Well the puppy and kitties have finally come to a mutual understanding. Raelyn has figured out that the kitties don't want to play with her, but will tolerate being smelled up close as long as it doesn't involve any sudden movements. If she does get in their faces a bit much, then a warning meow-growl and threatening paw will come up. Raelyn will quickly back away and then start again, but approach slowly. It is great to see that the kitties don't hate the puppy anymore and will allow her to get close to them and they will willingly walk inches away from Raelyn. It isn't perfect harmony, but it is getting there!

Project Raelyn Tantrum update

Well, it seems like the conniption fits Raelyn was having may have been a phase. We think she may have been testing to see if they would help get her what she wants. We have been practicing by having her in the crate instead of tie-down when we are home. I have also been keeping her in the crate downstairs while I am upstairs doing things and she has quickly figured out that all of the complaining and moaning isn't getting her anywhere. We have also worked on going into the crate for short periods of time and then letting her out again. It seemed like what works the best is being strong and just outlasting her. She will still whine in the crate sometimes, but it doesn't excalate like it did before. She may still have some separation anxiety, so I'll keep leaving her downstairs in another room once in a while to nip that problem in the bud.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today I took Raelyn with me to the local library. She patiently waited as I returned my book and was very well behaved when we went inside. I didn't let her meet anyone, so we just walked around the different book shelves and paused every so often. She was totally great! She didn't pay attention to people, didn't try to illicit any attention, didn't try to eat any books on the shelves, and obeyed the ultimate rule of the library by being totally quiet. This trip bodes every well for taking her there on future trips!

I also had to stop by a pharmacy in an outdoor mall. Once I did my shopping, we walked all the way up and down the mall and practiced walking by people and then letting them meet her. She did fantastic! There were some stairs that kind of creeped her out. She went down them super easily, but on the way back up they threw her off her game as the stairs didn't have backs to them so you could see through the individual stairs. Going up was a big challenge, so we took it slow and went up a few at a time and then went back down again. Went up a few more and then back down. Pretty soon she was able to go all the way up and down without any hesitation! Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The wheels on the bus

I have been totally slacking, but I finally am sitting down to write!

On Wednesday, we went on a fun adventure with a 10 month old guide dog puppy, Amity, and her raiser, Sandy. Sandy planned out our entire excursion and we decided to take the puppies on the bus to a local farmers market.

Raelyn and I met up with Amity and Sandy at their house and Raelyn was so excited to meet another puppy! Their little tails were wagging furiously as they sniffed and tried to jump on each other. After we let them meet, we went on a walk down to the bus stop. Raleyn did really well on the walk and didn't pay too much attention to Amity. She calmly waited for the bus and when the bus did arrive, she climbed right aboard! The steps are big and steep, but they didn't faze her in the slightest. We sat at the front of the bus and Raelyn sat right down and quietly looked at the other passengers and watched out the window as we drove. She eventually became bored, so laid down and went to sleep! I was totally amazed. I wasn't sure how she would do on the bus and she was great!

We finally arrived at the farmer's market at the College of San Mateo, but first we walked a little bit around the campus. To get down to the farmer's market we had to walk down a LONG, steep flight of stairs. At home, Raelyn is a little skiddish about going down stairs, but by following Amity's lead, she just cruised right down the stairs and without a care in the world!

The farmer's market was really nice. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and people milling about. It was a fantastic place for Raelyn to be on good behavior and learn to be patient. She does pretty well. She does a good job of ignoring people for the most part when we are walking. When I stopped to look at produce she would get a little antsy, but not too bad. She makes shopping a bit more difficult as she isn't totally mellow yet, so you have to pay attention to what she is doing and try to get her to do what you want her to do. When she was able to meet people she had great manners, so we are making progress!

The outing totally tuckered her out, so on the bus ride home she slept the entire way...I wasn't sure if she was going to walk on her own once we got off the bus. Luckily for my back, she drowsily sauntered back to Sandy's house. We put Raelyn in the outdoor kennel as she didn't relieve the entire time we were out and about nor once we got to Sandy's house. This way she wouldn't have any indoor accidents. Sandy and I went into the house and as soon as Raelyn realized we were out of sight, she didn't like that one bit and started on one of her fits. Luckily for the neighbors, she calmed down when she saw us walking around the house. We still have work to do!

All in all, it was a fantastic outing and Raelyn surprised me yet again. She is becoming calmer out in public and is starting to develop the "on/off switch" so that when we are out she "on" and is all business.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Raelyn at 3.5 month pictures!

Raelyn loves to run free around the fenced in tennis courts. Here are some pictures of our latest outing! She is growing like a weed.

When we get back from running around the tennis courts, we can all relax on our awesome new set of patio furniture! :)

OMG won't the puppy just shut up already!

Holy cow. Raelyn has been having total conniption fits. She has decided being in the crate is not fun (again). She will whine, whiny bark, bark, dig around, and just generally go crazy for more than 30 minutes. I know she doesn't have to go potty, so is just being difficult. It happened on Friday when I was home and had her in the crate downstairs for a bit. She wasn't having any of that. However, I left her down there and finally she went to sleep (after about 30 minutes of complaining loudly). This morning was a similar thing. She didn't want to be in the crate and wanted me to come let her out. Too bad sucker. She had to stay in there despite being very convincing that she was in throws of agony. Now she has finally given up and gone to sleep.

I think the problem is 3 fold. First, she doesn't like doing things she doesn't want to do. Second, she can be stubborn as all get out. And thirdly, she may have some separation issues. To combat Little Miss Sassypants' first 2 issues, we will just keep making her do things she doesn't like and just outlast her stubbornness. This is a total pain in the ass as she is so annoying. And we will work on the separation issues by having her in the crate in a different room from where we are. We need to get her used to being by herself and being okay with it.

Wish me luck! :)