Puppy 102

Chloe the sweetheart labradoodle is sleeping at the moment, but that’s rare because she’s usually busy doing something… chewing, digging, chewing some more, chasing a toy, jumping up and down hoping to be noticed.
She likes to play and my husband Peter can get her to take a walk all the way downtown, about a mile, but she doesn’t want to walk with just me. She keeps stubbornly wanting to walk around the yard, but not actually cross the street and go somewhere. So in another week or two, I’ll have to bite the bullet and enroll with her in a training class.
Housebreaking? Well, she is pretty good, but not perfect. Everything is okay as long as we take her outside every hour. But I’m not certain she would think to remind us to take her out if it was up to her. Still, she is adorable. So soft and happy to see me in the morning.
It’s that time of year again– tax season. I told myself I was not going to wait until March and that I would have it all done by February, or almost done because tax statements are still arriving. At any rate, I am determined to clear my desk for once and for all and be done with it! So, if anyone out there is wondering why I’ve been remiss in blogging, you have your answer.

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Puppy Life Lessons

This morning we were greeted by a thin blanket of snow on the ground. 12 week-old puppy Chloe has seen and walked on snow before. I worried about slipping on the icy steps. She sniffed and pounced on tree roots and dug under the snow to find dried leaves. My intent was to see she did all her “business” outside and her intent was to hang around outside in pursuit of something good to chew on.
Chloe is definitely in the teething stage and wants to bite on everything, including my sweaters, stocking feet, and hands. Substitute toys don’t always seem to distract, so this morning I gave her an ice cube. She really liked that.
What she also likes is my company, my presence in her “safe room” which in our house is the tiled and heated side porch. I don’t always want to be sitting out there because it’s not the most comfy room in the house, but Chloe will be lonely if we don’t spend time together. Often she is content to play while I write on the computer.
We talk in generalities about the importance of being present to support others in our life, as well as being present in the moment to savor and enjoy what we have. The youth and exuberance of a young puppy lasts just a few months, so even though she got me up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I’m appreciating Chloe and her fresh perspective on a walk in the snow.

Puppy 101

My new puppy Chloe is now 12 weeks old and she is growing quickly. What a chow hound. As soon as she sees her food bowl coming, she starts jumping frantically in anticipation. While I know it is good training practice to reinforce the concept that a dog should settle down and “stay” before starting their meal, she is just a little puppy and evidently VERY HUNGRY. We visited the Vet last week an he recommended her food intake and reminded me her real growth spurt begins at 4 months, so we a have a few weeks to go before she needs to bulk up and its important not to let a dog get too overweight. I read it is a good idea to feed a puppy in their crate so that they associate the crate as their little home. That all seems to be working fine. So far, she has not messed in her crate once. Her dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. and no water after 7:00 p.m. Bedtime is around 11:00 p.m. and I’m running downstairs to her “safe room” at 6:00 a.m. to let her out of her crate and take her outside.
She has had a few peeing accidents, so we rushed out to buy that special cleaner that breaks up the enzymes in urine. Yesterday no accidents. It does help that I am home to check on her each hour and to make certain to take her outside at least every two hours if she is not in her crate.
My hands, however sport numerous little teeth marks, as she is still learning that difference between a bite and a lick. Shoving a chew toy in her mouth works sometimes, but not always.
Her favorite game is run and fetch. I throw a toy and she brings it back again and again.
What a good dog!

New Puppy & New Magazine!

2012 got off to a wonderful start with the arrival of Chloe a beautiful Labradoodle puppy (now 10 weeks old). While I did have every intention of adopting a Golden Retriever rescue, fate had other plans. And perhaps with all our strong memories of our beloved Grace of Naptown, it better that we have switched breeds for an entirely new dog experience. For those readers unfamiliar with Labradoodles, these dogs are a hybrid breed created originally to work as service dogs in place of Golden and Labrador retrievers in households with allergies. These dogs are a cross of poodles and retrievers and thus have the kind obedience of a retriever and the cleverness and non-shedding coat of a poodle. Chloe is third generation, so both of her parents were Labradoodles. Both her parents weigh between 40 and 45 pounds, so she will be large but lean.
She is being crate trained and is sleeping well through the night. Of course by joining our family she gets plenty of exercise. We have not taken her for a downtown walk yet, but she has taken plenty of walks in the neighborhood to investigate and become accustomed to the sights and smells of the Murray Hill neighborhood.
This past week in media news Jefferson Communications signed and agreement with HDJ publishing to purchase the Annapolis area lifestyle magazine Taste of the Bay. Jefferson Communications will begin publishing the former Taste of the Bay as Chesapeake Taste in April and I have been named as the new editor! I’ll be working with Karen Gaspers, who has been doing an excellent job of managing both the calendar, resource books, and Chesapeake Family content for Jefferson Communications along with new hire, Betsy Stein who will be leaving her previous editor’s post at Maryland Family where she worked since 2002, winning numerous awards in her field. Betsy will be putting her primary focus on Chesapeake Family. This means I have about one month to strongly focus on Chloe before there will be a radical change in my daily routine and I’ll be back working in an office other than the one in my home.
THANK YOU to all my friends and colleagues who offered encouragement and support during my rocky times during the closing months of 2011. While I still have some reduction in mobility in my neck and back from my injuries, I continue to go weekly to P.T. and try to do all my exercises faithfully. I have not been cleared to resume pilates but I’m hoping that eventually I will be able to return to my previous fitness routine. There will be, however, no horseback riding for me. I will be very content to do my trail exploration on foot.

My new puppy!

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Adopting a Dog is Serious Business

I have now been officially approved to adopt a Golden Retriever from either of the two local rescue organizations: GRREAT (Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training) and Goldenheart. These are two excellent volunteer organizations which work hard to make certain that Goldens that are abandoned, lost, or displaced find good lifetime homes. They take pains to screen both the dogs and the families, to make certain that everyone is completely aware of potential issues that may arise with the dogs behavior or the owner’s habits.

P.S. If you are wondering about the puppies I’m holding in the photo, they belonged to our previous Golden Retriever and member of our family, Grace and were born in 2005. All went to wonderful homes and were spayed or neutered, so no descendants. Awfully cute!