Guest Post: Plays With Puppies!

I’m delighted that this month’s guest post is from Patti, author of the excellent, entertaining, educational and resourceful blog
Plays With Puppies.
Thanks for the great post!

I am honored to write as a “guest blogger” on Jenny’s blog. In keeping with the flavor of my own blog, plays with puppies, I decided to offer a glimpse
of “a day in the life” of a puppy-raiser. Or, “what I went through so my puppy would behave at a Lions Club meeting.”

I am currently raising my 4th puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind, a black Lab/Golden mix my husband named “Scout” (after the narrator from To Kill a Mockingbird).
Future Leader Dog (FLD) Scout is about 3 ½ months old and like all my other FLD puppies, she is a sweetie-pie.

However, as you will read, sometimes raising a puppy, even a sweetie-pie, can be a challenge!

In the end, the effort is always worth the trouble. FLD Scout learned a lesson, my patience and persistence were reinforced, and together we were able to
express our gratitude to those who so generously support the mission of enhancing the lives of the blind and visually impaired.

HERE’S MY POST:

Rain. It started the night before and continued all day. Hard to get the puppy out for exercise, but I needed a “good” puppy that evening. If I’ve said
it once, I’ve said it a thousand times—A Tired Puppy is a Good Puppy.

Future Leader Dog (FLD) Scout and I were giving a presentation about Leader Dogs for the Blind that evening to a Lions Club “zone” meeting—a gathering of
local Lions Clubs. And Scout was acting like it was a full moon, even though it was almost new.

The corner of the blue dog bed in the living room that she’d been “suckling” now had a small hole in it, just enough for her to pluck out a bit of stuffing.
She’d become fascinated with all the computer cords under Andy’s desk. Although she wasn’t getting up on the couch anymore, she could still sometimes reach
the pillows.

I don’t wonder anymore how my mother always knew I was in to something, even though she was in the other room and I thought I was being quiet. Raising a
puppy means that sometimes you just can’t get anything else done.

So. Taking a long walk wasn’t attractive on this wet and windy day. I opted for obedience work inside. A couple of 15-20 minute sessions with Scout on-leash
practicing loose-leash heeling, stairs, sits, downs, stays, and come should have done it. Nope.

At about 3:30 in the afternoon, I braved the cold wet woods in an effort to really tire out my puppy. Base layers under rain gear topped with my Tilly hat
and we were off. An hour and a half and maybe only two miles later, drenched and finally tuckered out, we were home.

Andy was ready to send out a search party. He said, “You left and it was raining hard. Then it rained harder.”

“Miss Scout and I had a significant event,” I said.

I don’t know if she didn’t want to go back into the woods (the day before Andy and I took the dogs for a long, leisurely hike), or if she didn’t like the
rain (it never bothered her before), or if she just wasn’t interested in behaving, but most of the time I was either walking backwards or standing still
as Scout flailed against the leash and argued, sometimes flamboyantly. I thought our little noisemaker had learned to shut it off, but I was wrong. Squeals,
whines, barks, moans, howls—more than once I wondered if our pack of coyotes would appear to investigate!

It didn’t matter that we turned around to go home; Scout was just as unhappy. Somehow, I stayed calm and collected until FINALLY, up our last hill home,
Scout settled into an easy heel, leash loose at my side. Yay! Good puppy!

Once inside and dried off (somewhat), Scout waddled over to her mat and curled up with heavy eyelids.

Mission accomplished. 

LATER

It was still raining when we arrived for the Lions meeting, but FLD Scout “parked” and trotted comfortably next to me into the hotel and through the halls
to the conference room. She amazed everyone, and me too, when she greeted each Lion calmly enough to be petted.

I shared my experiences as a volunteer puppy-raiser and fielded thoughtful questions from the group. During my half-hour talk, FLD Scout settled in at my
side (after whimpering a few times under her breath).

“That’s her pouting stance,” I said as she sprawled out on the floor with her chin between her paws.

It was great to have a chance to thank the Lions Club members for their strong support of Leader Dogs for the Blind. FLD Scout and I will have another opportunity
soon—members of the Hale Lions Club took my contact information.

I only hope it isn’t on a rainy day! 

LINKS

To learn more about the Lions Clubs and Leader Dogs for the Blind, visit this page:
http://www.leaderdog.org/lions/history.php

Here is a link to my blog post about “A Tired Puppy is a Good Puppy”:
http://playswithpuppies.blogspot.com/2010/04/tip-for-tuesday-tired-puppy-is-good.html.

To hear my little noise-maker when she first came home with us, visit my blog post here:
http://playswithpuppies.blogspot.com/2011/09/tuesdays-training-tip-be-quiet.html.

If you are interested in what a “Tilly hat” is, check out this website:
http://www.tilley.com/The-T2-Cotton-Duck-Hat.aspx.

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Plays With Puppies!

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