"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Girl and Her Dog

A couple of weeks ago, as Elizabeth was petting Heidi, I heard her singing, "Oh doggy, there's something special between you and me." (adapted from Charlotte's Web)

Elizabeth is definitely correct. Although we are still trying to stop Heidi's biting (it is pretty bad at times), she tends to be very good with Elizabeth. Heidi is getting better about not jumping up on Elizabeth. She also still lets my little girl pull her tail without reacting (I am trying to stop Elizabeth from doing so). Elizabeth doesn't think twice about putting her food in the dog's mouth and, when told not to do so, pulling it right back out and putting it in her own mouth (ugh). She also likes sharing her water bottle with Heidi...I do mean sharing.

As a character in a movie that we watched recently said, "The outside of an animal is good for the inside of a child."

September Picture Book Basket

Every Autumn Comes the Bear

I intended to share this list last September, but I wanted to write a little something about each book. I still haven't had a chance to do so; however, I have decided to share anyway. Hopefully, one of my children or I will have a chance to write a little something about the books one of these days. 

Raccoons and Ripe Corn (Reading Rainbow Book)Fall

Fall by Ron Hirschi

Little Patron of Gardeners: The Good Saint Fiacre by Catherine Beebe (September 1)*

Miss Suzy by Miriam Young

Mother Teresa by Demi (September 5)

Now It's Fall by Lois Lenski

Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert

One More Acornby Don Freeman and Roy Freeman

Raccoons and Ripe Corn by Jim Arnosky

St. Jerome and the Lion by Margaret Hodges (September 30)

Miss SuzyThe Busy Little Squirrel
One More AcornNuts to You!

Autumn Story (Brambly Hedge)

Now It's Fall (Lois Lenski Books)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Heidi: Our Golden Retriever

On Friday, July 29, our lives changed when we purchased a lively, seven-week-old (born June 10) red Golden Retriever puppy named Heidi. There were some lighter puppies in the litter (the mom was red and the dad was light), but most of the children wanted "the red one". I think that red Golden Retrievers are beautiful.

Heidi is very good with the children, especially my youngest. I often find her watching and then trying to imitate what they are doing.

On Saturday, Heidi was watching Elizabeth walk up the stairs (something with which the dog was somewhat unfamiliar) and soon bounded up behind her, trying to get between Elizabeth's legs. On Monday, Heidi watched Finnian climb up the slide and she immediately tried to do the same. She ended up sliding down, but is still attempting to get up the slide. She also climbs in the kiddie pool with the younger children and splashes around with them.

Heidi rarely has an accident during the day, but night time is a different story.  She likes to sleep on a sheet on the floor underneath Bernadette's bed and has never wet it, but she does wander off of the sheet and wet the carpet. She also likes to sleep in her crate. Unfortunately, she will wet in the crate before making any noise. Hopefully, she will be able to hold her bladder for more than 4 hours soon and/or she will start whining or barking before she has an accident in the crate.

The other issue that we are working on is also typical of a young puppy. Heidi is mouthing (or biting) us. We are obviously trying to stop this behavior and Elizabeth seems to have the most success at doing so. She holds a Nylabonewhen playing with Heidi and puts it in the dog's mouth whenever Heidi looks like she might bite.

On Monday night, I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the couch and watching Elizabeth and Heidi (Finnian eventually joined them) playing sweetly on the floor together. I am amazed when I see Heidi calmly permitting Elizabeth to pet her from her head to the tip of her tail.

In addition to playing with Elizabeth, Heidi enjoys having her belly rubbed and often falls asleep as we rub it.

This is the first puppy (first dog) that we have owned which obviously means we need a little help in the puppy raising and training department. We are receiving this help from the Monks of New Skete's books, The Art of Raising a Puppy and How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend.I highly recommend these titles to prospective dog owners and owners who are having issues with their dogs. I think that we would be lost without these books. Of course, the employees at our local Petco have also been very helpful in responding to questions and I am sure that the Golden Retriever books that I have on hold at the library (per the Monks' recommendation) will also be of some assistance. I am also planning on taking Heidi to puppy training classes when she is around three months old.

We are thrilled to have a Golden Retriever!

Update: The day that I wrote this, Heidi started to whine in her crate in the middle of the night to let us know that she needed to "go potty". She usually runs to the door during the day when she needs to "go potty". So far, we have succeeded in crate training her. She also allows us to do all of the dominance exercises described by the Monks of New Skete. We are progressing with housebreaking, "come", "sit", "stay", "fetch", and leash training. We are still struggling with "NO BITE", despite consistency. In trying to find out when the puppy biting will stop, I discovered All About Goldens which is full of helpful information.
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