Wednesday, January 28, 2009


On Sunday morning, we went to Home Depot to have a look at area rugs. Who knew it would be so difficult to determine what kind of area rug to buy because of our two mover and shaker dogs. Not too light, not too much money, not too cheap, not one that encourages digging...we're still looking. Breton was very cool as you can see.

For the past six months, we've battled the crowds at Super Store on a weekly basis together. Actually, we cheat and go during the weekday so it's a lot easier than going on the weekend. Grocery shopping with a puppy added an entirely new dimension to the regular grocery shop routine. In the beginning, it took a lot more time than I was used to because of the distractions, objections and challenges. Now it seems the only work to our weekly grocery shop outing is the actual grocery shopping. Here are some of the challenges we have over come:

  • We were stopped by the door greeter every week for the first month we started going together so the door greeter lady could page the "manager" to make sure it was okay that I bring Breton into the store and of course, it always was. On one occasion, she even came looking for us in the store while we were shopping because a customer told her there was a "dog" in the store. After the fourth visit, she started remembering us and now greets us with a wide grin and asks me every time, "still training 'ey? How is she? She's a good dog?" I always smile and say, "yes, she's a very good dog."
  • The first four months down the produce isle was always the most challenging part. There was always torn pieces of lettuce, smooshed grapes and pistachio nut shells on the floor for me to anticipate and correct Breton from helping herself to. While maneuvering my cart, and watching the floor I was also watching for people who used their carts to "push" Breton out of their way. That's right, it happened, a lady pushed her cart right into Breton as if to shuffle her along! Thankfully there was no harm done, Breton didn't really notice and I was too caught off guard to say anything. Keeping her tail tucked in when she is sitting so that it doesn't get run over by a cart is another skill I've learned to watch for. These days, Breton can down-stay in the produce isle while staying focused on me as I casually shop from counter to counter. She no longer dives for pieces of food on the floor like she used to and instead just stares at it. She stays close to my leg and follows every cue (almost).
  • Unloading the groceries from the cart at the check out stand has gotten a lot easier too. There is often pieces of candy or other food on the floor that Breton used to get on her belly and try to crawl towards, or twist and pull me around for. I was always the "slow" one at check out, unloading my groceries with one hand, and holding Breton's leash in the other. At Super Store, you have to pack your own groceries, so as soon as we had everything unloaded and scanned, I would be re-loading one handed again. Yes, I was the "slow lady" at the grocery store line up that people cringed at getting caught behind. Not anymore though! I put Breton in a down-stay, I unload, load and pay and am no longer holding up the line up (except when I forget my purse in the van and the cashier tells me to "run" while she waits for me. That happened yesterday).

Yesterday we had class with Breton's sibblings, Schooner and Digby. We went to West Edmonton Mall where Maria had us practice off leash walking in the mall! We went to a safe quiet area, just in case anyone decided to bolt, but no one did. Breton did very good and stayed with me while I did left circles, walked backwards, zig-zagged and changed pace. She only left me twice to go visit her brother's who were watching from the side.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Breton has a Slide Show

Check out the bottom of Breton's Blog to watch her slide show. It's still a work in progress as I sort through photos to catch it up to present time but so far it's complete up to July. Check back often to watch it (or "her,") as it (she) grows.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Breton is 11 Months Old Today!

I can't believe we have only one more month before Breton is a year old. I was standing in the backyard last night with her, and the temperature, the silence and the snow around me felt so similar to the first night I brought her home from the airport and we were in the backyard together. Time goes fast. Her face seems to look different when she looks up at me while we are walking together lately, more mature or something. She is a strong, healthy girl and is doing very well. Her "watch me" cue is very good. We are working on her excitability and the barking that comes with that and I'm sure we will get that taken care of. As she is getting older, it's getting harder to put it out of my mind that her time with us is drawing closer to the end and I keep finding myself wondering about the next puppy we might raise. Breton is getting so mature, she's not my baby anymore, but definitely my girl. I just know that she is meant to go on to bigger things when she leaves us. It will be so sad for us when she leaves, but I can feel in my heart that she is meant to have a future partner to love and take care of. I am cherishing every moment with her for now and not taking anything for granted (even when she comes in the house with poo breath). I want her to be happy and enjoy every one of her moments with me as well, so I try to focus on that for her. In the mean time, there will be lots of runs in the park, walks, Jolly ball playing and wrestling in the backyard with her Bentley. Her favorite things. Next time, it's her 12-month update and I've heard there might be a party involved?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Doggy Winter

(Greg has become quite smitten with his Breton).

We took advantage of the perfect snow conditions today and brought the dogs out to the farmer's field behind our house for some good old fashion snowball chasing. When Greg comes along, he can throw snowball's much better than I can, so Bentley was in for a treat because chasing snowball's is his favorite winter time sport. Breton just loves to chase her Bentley (and the odd snowball) and so they both played hard! Gotta love the January Thaw!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laurier Park

Check it out, Breton is playing with an English Sheep dog. This was her first encounter with a Sheep dog since she was attacked by a different one at Terwillegar Park in the Fall. As you can see, she had no problem. In fact, she didn't show any signs of being nervous around any bigger dogs that we encountered. I had to get this on video, even though my bare fingers were subjected to the fridgid temperature and cold metal camera. I was happy to see her be herself. I love how dogs live in the moment. Way to go Breton!

Christmas Gifts

There are no boundaries as to whose hedge hog is whose.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Holiday's

Such a photogenic dog! Notice how there are no ribbons left on the bottom half of our tree. Once Breton figured out how to delicately "pluck" the ones off at her level, it was all over for the ribbons she could reach.
Christmas Morning. Who needs new dog toys when there is torn up wrapping paper to be had!
Christmas Eve
Backyard fun. Breton and Bentley got well acquainted with wrestling in the backyard this holiday. It was so cold out that it was difficult to get them out for their normal level of exercise.
Dogs with Wings Christmas Party. Christmas Photo: Schooner (far left), Breton, Clipper, Sable and Digby (far right)
Missing from the photo was Rigger and Hope (formerly known as Sydney)
After a nice Christmas break, we go back to school on Friday at Waggin' Tails and are looking forward to seeing all of Breton's littermates, their puppy raiser's and Maria.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just imagine what this special dog could do for some lucky and deserving person's life this year. 2009 Holds big plans for this much loved girl. We are so proud of you Breton!