This Blog Has Moved!

I moved my blog on New Years Day, 2010. If you haven't come to see my new blog, head on over HERE now. This blog will be available for archive reading but I won't be posting here anymore. I hope you'll join me at my new bloggy home!

p.s. I am slowly but surely moving all the blogs I follow over to the new blog, so if I haven't come to visit you for a while, my advice is to leave a comment on my new blog, so I don't miss you in the shuffle!

About Me

My photo
I am a bereaved mother and wife. I began this blog to help me look for the "good things" in life after my daughter, "Babybear", died in July 2005. Three years later, her daddy, my husband, "Bear", died in November 2008. (You'll find a link to their stories on my blog) And now, as difficult as it is, I continue to look for the good things in my life as I learn my new normal with my pup, "Furrybear", at my side. And the angels on my shoulder...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bringing Violet Emma Home (and an Update)

We had met a few dogs and did not feel a connection with them. They were all adorable and I wanted to take them all home with me but neither of us felt like any of those dogs belonged to us.

Then the Humane Society Lady tells us there's a pup that we haven't seen yet. She's younger than what we were originally going for, and bigger too. Would we like to see her? Of course we would.

A few minutes later, she comes in carrying this pup with long legs and ears bigger than her head! Once on the floor, the pup begins to dart from one side of the room to the other, under one bench to another. Oh, it made me laugh in a way that I have not laughed since before my daughter died. I had tears in my eyes because I instantly felt a connection with this little hyperactive pup!

I sat on the floor and the pup came up to me, and climbed into my lap. She didn't stay there long, but she seemed to know that I was meant to be her mom.

After about 20 minutes of sitting in the room, my husband and I decided that we wanted to take this little one home with us. We were told that we were the only people who stayed in the room with this pup longer than a few minutes.

She was four months old and had been in the Humane Society most of her short life, since she was found wandering our cold winter streets alone.

She had the misfortune to be named Violet by the Humane Society, and we knew this name did not suit her. We went home that night and started thinking through names.

Upon coming across the name Emma, I immediately liked it. When I saw the meaning of the name - healer of the universe - I knew this name was perfect, for she would be the healer of our little universe.

When we went to pick her up the next day, I looked at her and I asked her if her name was Emma. She seemed to respond in a way that said that it was indeed her name.

We signed all the papers and walked out of there as proud human parents of a pup named Emma.

That was one year ago today.

Happy Anniversary, Emma!

Here are a few photos of her first day with us:

A little update on Emma:

You may recall that we did some puppy obedience classes last fall. They went alright, but Emma was always distracted by the other dogs.

Well, we recently started an in-home private lessons. We had one session last week and the next session will be on July 20th. There are five sessions all together, or maybe six. So far, we have seen a dramatic change in our household.

Session one deals with reverting back to "puppyhood" and acting like Emma is a new puppy in this house. We hand feed her all of her food for the next couple weeks as training with "puppy push ups" "kennel/come" "passive mat" "active mat" and "come back and forth". The Mommy in me worries that Emma is starving. I hope that she is getting enough food, especially when she refuses to eat (even if she's following the training, eg. sitting/laying down on command).

To cure her "guard dog" bark and to keep her from doing things we don't want her to, the trainer suggested we make noise cans. The noise cans are simply cardboard cans from Pringles or juice concentrate, that have been filled with pennies and taped shut. We are to shake them and toss them at her, gently but enough to get her attention,as we say "Ach!" which is to show her there are consequences for her actions.

I worried about this hurting her or scaring her but it has been helping, especially with her "guard dog bark".

We are also supposed to keep her in her kennel for naps and throughout various times of the day. It doesn't really work well for us because she is in there when we are at work. You may remember me previously posting about her eating through the baby gate that kept her in the kitchen when we first got her, and busting her way out of her metal kennel. Now, she is in her other kennel (which we originally were only using for bedtime). So far so good, but the other two were good for about a month each before she decided to break loose. Since the kennel incident we have been leaving her loose while we have been gone and she has done well with that. But the trainer says we should keep her in the kennel because she is not getting enough sleep otherwise. We'll continue to do this throughout the duration of the training and go from there. In her notes, the trainer says that this is how it should be for at least the first 2 years to establish alpha mode.

We are now kenneling her at night. We did this for a while, and it was fine. But we had the kennel in our room, which the trainer says is a big NO NO. So, now it's in the kitchen. However, we were granted an exception to the rule because my husband leaves for work at 3 or 4 in the morning, depending on his shift. When he leaves, he takes her out of the kennel and brings her into the bedroom, so that should there be a fire, Emma can wake me up. I will not hear the fire alarm otherwise.

The next session, I believe, is the start of covering walks. I am looking forward to being able to walk with Emma and not feel like my arm has been ripped off! However, I am a bit skeptical as she uses pinch collars. I do not want my puppy to be hurt! But it was explained to me that these collars only pinch the scruff of the neck where a momma dog would pull on her baby if the baby was doing something naughty or getting away from momma dog.

I will have to see for myself before I make a decision about weither we will continue this part.

Apparently, by the end of this training, we should be able to have Emma off-leash and have her come back to us with no problem.

Watch for updates...


Anonymous said...

ahhh that is a great story. Tyler and I can't have pets now because we live in an apt. but we have already decided that when we can have them we will get them from a shelter. There are so many sweet animals that deserve loving homes. I'm glad that Emma got her's.

Denise said...

Wow, I can't believe that it has been a year since you got her. It is great that the training is working for her.

Dawn said...

The training sounds like it's going really well. I like the fact that you have it in your house instead of in a group. We definitely need some training for our dog but I've hesitated taking him somewhere because he freaks out around other dogs. Maybe we'll have to check out in-home training.

Sarah C. said...

Happy anniversary to you two & Emma!! :) She's such a pretty girl. Sounds like the training is off to a good start. I think this is why I have cats - they train me. ;) haha

Shea said...

She is cute! I wish your trainer could come train my MIL's golden. She cannot/will not be walked!

Shirley Fyfe said...

This is the first time I've stopped by your blog and I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed reading your posts! Great photos too!

Shirley Fyfe said...

This is the first time I've stopped by your blog and I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed reading your posts! Great photos too!

Sarah C. said...

Ter, popping back in to let you know I tagged you on my blog HERE :)

Jo said...

Awww.... great story! I can't believe it's been a year either! I remember when you first got Emma. She's been such a good thing for you :)

Happy Anniversary Emma, Ter, Bear and Tyla :)


Teri said...

How sweet! Isn't the healing power of animals amazing?

PS - next time I'm up in Canada, we'll be sure to meet up for a game of Skip-bo! haha :)

DanaDew said...

Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you've had that lil girl for a year already! Wow...time flies! I didn't know the story of how she found you either. Yes, SHE found YOU! You needed that precious soul to enter your life...and you've all done each other some good!

Good luck with the training. I'm eager to learn how it progresses. Just remember, as with anything, you can pick and choose what works for you and your family.