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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Olivia Plays in the Grass

Olivia loves playing in the grass. I couldn't help sharing!


.... Well sort of. I spent all my own money... so it wasn't quite a hopping spree in that sense. But Olivia and I had a great time today at Petsmart. First we went and ordered my contact lenses at the eye dr., then we hit the Arby's drive thru. Olivia was panting like crazy so I pulled out her pop-up bowl and the bottle of water and opened her crate with the intention of putting the bowl in her box. She came climbing out and into my lap and drank her water there instead (while we were waiting in line for my lunch). Being a drool-y thing she proceeded to spit all over the $20 bill I intended on paying with. Oh well! LOL. Olivia got pushed back in her box and I ate my sandwich on the way to Petsmart.

It's been chilly here in the morning. Like 50-ish degrees. It's August. In South Carolina. It's okay, I'm not quite sure either. So because the weather has been so hot, and because she has a smushy face and cant warm the air, and because Olivia has like 0% body fat.... she's been shivering out in the barn when we feed the horses breakfast in this strange chilly air. So. A trip to Petsmart was needed to buy her a coat/jacket/sweater... whatever I could find that fit. You see my problem is this-- in a dress or a t-shirt Olivia can squeeze into a small. But for a coat/jacket/sweater that was too tight and fit weird. I wanted something dirt and weather proof. We ended up buying a pink looks-like-down coat with a chest strap and a belly strap and a hood with faux fur trim. Not what I went in for, but it's just so cute. While we were there I had to, of course, look at all the Halloween stuff and toys and what not. So in total we got:
  • the pink coat
  • a pink t-shirt with a monster and the words "little monster" (I call her Livie Monster, so I found it appropriate)
  • a pink sweater dress
  • a pink sweater with a bling-ed out princess crown on it 
  • a green crinkle froggy-franknstein toy with a squeaker in his head
  • three bags of Blue Buffalo Bits puppy training treats
  • and some stuff for the cat
I went in and spent more than I meant too. Oops. Story of my life. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

More on puppy class and puppy tricks

I think Olivia loves going to her puppy class. This week she was playing with that same golden puppy from the orientation class I took her to two weeks ago. They had so much fun pinning each other and rolling around! It's week we learned how to walk loosely on the leash and "come". I've been dill evenly working on "come" ever since and don't go anywhere without my handy-dandy clicker or ziplock full of puppy training treats (I really like the Blue Buffalo Bits. They're the perfect size and Olivia loves them). As long as she's getting a treat, she comes running when called. Of course, like most dogs who are food driven, she knows when I don't have the treat bag and then ignores me.

Last night I put Olivia in the bigger crate we have (still small enough for potty training purposes but gives her a little more room than the other one) because she is now taller than her first crate and longer than it as well. My cat insisted on peering at Olivia though the side holes because I have the front gate covered for this specific reason and made Olivia whine. Good thing it was time to get up anyway.

Right now Olivia is sitting in her bed (big enough for at least ten of her) that she stole from our other bigger dog. She has a bunch of her toys piled up and is sitting on them. She looks super cute.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hey Mom! Look what I can do!

So Olivia's puppy class commands aren't her only new tricks. The other day while I was eating breakfast she started HUMPING her Lamb Chop squeaky. Needless to say, I was absolutely horrified.  "OLIVIA! No! Stop that!" I shouted. She looked at me and did it it again.

Yesterday she got her rabies shot and second parvovirus shot so I was able to ask her vet about it. The vet laughed and told me that I shouldn't be worried, that it's not a sexual thing for Olivia, more that she is trying to be dominate. The vet also said "it's a bull dog thing" and while technically Olivia is a terrier.... She's still sorta part of the bull dog family. Hopefully at puppy school tonight Olivia will learn so,etching more desire able... "Come" would be nice.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Happy Puppy

Olivia is always so cheerful, she frolics and hops and skips and always puts a smile on my face! Today we went with my riding instructor to walk a jumping course and we walked a good mile up and down hills, it was raining (again) and Olivia just trotted along the entire time. I told my fiancée she enjoyed herself and he wanted to know how I could tell. Her body language. You can tell a scared sad dog from a happy one. She kept picking up these massive sticks (she loves sticks) to chew on and hold while we walked.

Olivia is also really excited because I picked up her toys and put them in the toy box, making them seem new and exciting again. She's getting so much joy out digging in the box and retrieving her favorites or ones that had previously been forgotten until now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Puppy Class and Rainy Days

So Wednesday Olivia went to her first Puppy Class at my local Petsmart. She is such a smart cookie! Every time she heard the clicker she'd look around for her treat even when it wasn't me clicking. There are four other dogs in her class of varying shapes and sizes. A Yorkie mix (maybe part Schnauzer) named Kenny took a liking to Olivia right away, which was cute. He kept trying to come over and say hi!!!!!

Of course my little monster had to tell everyone who was boss and sat and barked at her classmates in a general way (she wasn't barking at anyone in particular). Her classmate's parents were amused by her very large attitude (which is one of the things I love about her, she's a little dog with a big dog's personality). She did her "watch me" "sit" and "release" commands like a little champ. My mom told me if this class goes well I should also take Olivia to the Intermediate and Advanced classes. I agree. A well-behaved obedient dog is also usually a safer dog for it. I'd also love to do agility with Olivia. She loves the crinkle tunnel I have for my cat ( she goes through it as well as jumps it) and she loves to jump over things and climb the barriers we set up for her. But in order to be good at agility she has to also be good at taking cues from yours truly.

Apparently next week she will learn to walk on a loose leash and sit politely for a greeting. The trainer also said that although it's not in Petsmart's curriculum until week four, she would teach us "come" because of how important a command that is. Why Petsmart doesn't realize this, I'm not quite sure, but "come" will be greatly appreciated here at my house especially because one of Olivia's favorite games to play is you can't catch me! Ha ha!

Yesterday my mom and I did something we should've on day one of bringing Olivia into the house, better late than never. We pulled up all the rugs and blocked the doorways from the kitchen to the rest of the house. This way Olivia has more freedom (spends less time leashed inside) and she's definitely happier for it.

Today it's monsooning and everything is flooded at our house. Olivia is not too keen on rain this heavy or our lawn when it becomes a lake. I have this really cute little rain coat for her that is red with white polka-dots (think Minnie Mouse). She's so adorable in it I can hardly stand it. Her butt sort of hangs out the back because it isn't quite long enough, but at least it keeps some of her dry! When she comes in I dry her off with our "froggy" towel. It's like one of those hooded toddler towels, it's a frog, but I bought it from an online dog boutique for our other dog, Fern. So now Fern and Olivia share it.

Hopefully the rain lets up sooner than later, although the weatherman predicts it for the next four days :/ Looks like I'll be creating new games for Olivia to help get rid of some of that energy...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Making Time For Me

So perhaps this is true with adult dogs as well as puppies, but I'm noticing that if Olivia has already spent a bunch of time in her crate but I still have do do something, say... shower, that I have to find ways to occupy her for 10-15 minutes while I shower, dry off and dress. As this was the case yesterday I went and found Olivia's pink puppy KONG and put two pieces of broken cookie in to start and then that KONG filler stuff that's sort of like spray cheese called Stuff'N Easy Treat. Now I know there are people who are going say something like this, "*Gasp* Olivia's Human! How could you give her something so processed and unhealthy?!" Let me say this. She loves it. And while I know it's not the best stuff for her, most of the treats she gets are all natural and healthy and all that, so for an everyone once in a while thing... I let her have it. Anyways, I put one more broken cookie pie in last to cap it off and gave it to her. Not a creative KONG, but it kept her busy long enough for me to get the shower thing done. I do hope in the future to make some healthier KONG stuffings for her, but the problem with that is she seems to give up sort of easy and I don't want to get stuff having to spend hours cleaning it out after she gets bored.

The other two things I'll give her to entertain her for a few minutes are Nylabone Healthy Edibles (Puppy with DHA and omega-3) they're advertised as longer lasting... but Olivia chomps through one in about 12 minutes, and the second one is Get Naked Puppy Health dental sticks. She likes them so much I subscribed to them on so I get a package every month (there are 18 sticks per pack and I get the small ones).

Of course there's always the handy-dandy crate but I try to let her stay loose (often times thats on a leash, even in the house) as much as possible. That way when I'm ready to go to bed at night she's had enough exercise (mental and physical) so that she's also ready for bed, which means going in the crate.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Puppy Orientation Class

Olivia has gotten so big since I first got her. She seems like she may be ten times that size (maybe not, but she has grown). She three months old now, has the appropriate shots, and is signed up for Puppy Class at the local Petsmart (I'm really quite excited about it). This past saturday my fiancee and I took Olivia to the Puppy Orientation class that is held every saturday. One other puppy showed up for it and it was a really good socialization experience for Olivia. She tends to be shy around other dogs so letting her get used to the Petsmart obedience class area without the chaos of a lot of other dogs was really great. The other puppy was an 8 week old Golden Retriever and he was really cute. But as I expected, Olivia thought that hiding behind my or Brian's legs was a better alternative to having to be social.

The trainer went over all the usual puppy things, potty training, biting, crate training, handling puppies around small kids, etc. Then she started introducing the two puppies to clicker training.I'd already started a little bit at home with Olivia by clicking the clicker and giving her a treat without asking anything of her so she could learn what the clicker means: TREATS! After doing this same thing with Olivia and the Golden, the trainer moved on to actual obedience tricks. She did it with Olivia first and started with "watch me" to get Olivia to make eye contact with her, then moved on to "sit" and "release" (get up out of sit). Olivia, being the little treat monger that she is, was very enthusiastic to figure out what was needed in order to receive a reward. I was so proud of her (like any parent is when their child shows up all the other little kids). The Golden puppy being much younger than Olivia and only just introduced to the clicker was a little slower, but he did begin to catch on towards the end.

These three commands are what Olivia will learn on Wednesday at her first Puppy Class, and I've been working with her at home to continue learning them. Of course, she is more interested in biting my finger off trying to get the snack than she is in "watch[ing] me" so it's a little more challenging than it looked on saturday with the trainer, but we're getting there. I think it's kinda cool that she's old enough to do these sorts of activities now, makes her feel more like a grown up :)

Olivia: The Result of an Eight Year Wait

When I was around 13 years old my middle school friends' parents were deciding their children were finally responsible for them to get a family pet. A puppy. I've had dogs my whole entire life but they'd all been rescues. The dogs my parents had when I was born, an English Setter named Cesar and a German Short Haired Pointer named Argos, were both several years old when I made my big arrival. Then when they had both passed on to doggie heaven, we started rescuing Greyhounds. Stella, Zoe, and Francesca (better known as Frankie) were all amazing dogs, and someday I hope to rescue Greyhounds myself. But I'd never had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderfully hyper, warm, crazy bundle of puppy. I argued with my mother, telling her that I was "puppy deprived". And her response was as follows: "Get through high school. Go to college. Graduate college in four years like you're supposed to, and as a graduation gift I will get you any kind of puppy you want. You'll be done with school and able to truly enjoy your new pet." I didn't think this was fair. I was finishing up eighth grade and college graduation seemed a very long way away. And in truth it was. Eight long years.

Over those years I changed my mind several times about what breed I wanted. I knew I wanted something small, "purse-sized" I would joke, something I could carry and dress up with cute accessories. I wanted a dog that would be portable and able to go every where with me. At first I thought i wanted a Chinese Crested. And that is what my heart was set on for many of those eight long years. Then I met my now fiancee's family Westie, Mac, in college and thought maybe I wanted one of those. Them being hypo-allergenic was a big turn on considering I'd since been allergy tested and had tested positive to dogs and cats, both of which I'd grown up with. Then I went back to Chinese Cresteds when I decided that a Westie would be too big. But then realizing all the maintenance a hairless dog's skin would require of me, I decided that the novelty would be short lived. Some how I decided on a Boston Terrier, a decision that was solidified by getting a new horseback riding instructor who just happened to own one.

Thus, the search began. I tried to find a reputable show dog breeder who could provide me with my long awaited new best friend. I knew I wanted a female and I wanted a black and white or brindle and white. I wanted her to be perfect and I also wanted her immediately after receiving my diploma. When the traditional show breeders didn't look like they were going to be able provide that puppy, my dad and I began looking online. He found an ad listing one brindle and white female and one black and white female four hours away in North Carolina. I called the woman up and made plans to go visit the puppies. My parents and I packed up and drove up from South Carolina. And so, Olivia was finally found.

I'd decided on the name Olivia Rose while still looking for a puppy and when I fell in love with the little guinea pig-sized, five week old, black and white (turned out to be a little bit brindle) it seemed like a sign that the mother's name should happen to be Maggie Rose. We left a deposit and we drove back home to wait two weeks until Olivia would be ready to come home.

That time dragged, and dragged, AND DRAGGED. But finally that day was upon me. My parents and I piled into the car with everything we could possibly need: a roll of paper towels, a baggie of kibble, toys (both chew and squeak variety), puppy receiving blankets, a collapsible bowl, a water bottle, a crate with a pee pad inside it.

We arrived and were shocked to see how much Olivia had grown. She'd at least doubled in size! And while the first time she was calm and learning to use her legs, this time she was trotting around happily and excitedly. She sat on my lap the whole way home and slept most of the way, it seems these four hours were enough to solidify in her mind that I was her human. And this, my friends, is how my relationship with my new little baby started.