Happy Mother’s Day to all our Guardian Mom’s!

golden-mom-and-pups

Thanks Mom for making us part of your family and in some cases looking past our faults, our disabilities, our illness’s, our odd combination of mixed breeds and our dark pasts.

Thanks for reading the ingredient labels on a dozen different bags of dog food in the store before choosing one for me and then going back and reading them all again, when my tummy grumbles that night after dinner.

Thanks for telling me to “sshhh” two dozen times without a timeout when I bark at the same rabbit in the front yard and only giving me a 15-minute time out when by accident I knock the lamp off the table in the living room when I spot a squirrel instead.

Thanks for holding my paw when it is time to get my shots at the vet’s office.

Thanks for patching up my favorite stuff toy repeatedly each time my little sister tears it open and spreads the stuffing all around the family room.

Thanks for not becoming hysterical when I ate the padding out of your shoes or when I ate the laces out of dads.

Thanks for all the cuddles when I am having a case of the blues and I just need a hug from my mom.

Thanks for all the awesome toys, soft blankets, warm beds, gentle collars, harnesses and leads.

Thanks for wonderful human siblings to love, protect and have as playmates.

Thanks for washing out my feed bowls, remembering to change my water, and keeping me well groomed and up to date at the vet.

Thanks for replanting the flowers after I pull them up from the garden, filling in the holes when I dig and not banishing me from the yard, because I act like a dog.

Thanks for the walks, swims, running, playing catch & fetch, going to school, competing in trials, competitions, shows, having play dates and socializing with friends and family.

Thanks for understanding that although I would love to be all that you dream, “the perfect dog”, in reality I am not. In the end, you love me with all my faults. The barking, licking, tail whacking sniffing, sneezing, scratching, squirrel chasing, puddle pouncing, grass rolling, drooling, toilet bowl drinking, poop eating, counter surfing, shoe stealing, sofa hogging, hole digging, and nose and paw printing, get into everything and anything whenever possible dog.

On the other side, I will be your never leave your side, loyal to the end, breath my last breathe for you, be part of your family like no other, best friend, love you to my end dog.

Thanks Mom, you are the best!

PS) Thanks for not minding that we shed a bit more than your human kids do too.

happy-mothers-day-to-pet-moms

Pet of The Week: Xena Alexander (April 5, 2014)

 

Xena_Warrior_Princess_COLOR_by_vest

“I wanted to name her after a female superhero and Xena seemed to fit.”, Stefanie Alexander

 

Cute!

Xena Alexander

 Dog Name: Xena

Guardian’s Name:  Stefanie Alexanderimages (1)

Dog Age:  1 year & 10 Months, will be 2 in May

Dog Breed: Rottweiler

Siblings:  3 feline step sisters, and I live with my mom at Grandma and Grandpas house.

Classes attended/attending: Attended puppy kindergarten, currently attending Manners & Self Control

Sports I participate in: Running outside, chasing my sisters

Show Competitions I am in: Competing for the most attention in the house

 

Being named after a warrior princess is very fitting as the Rottweiler  ancestors were the drover’s dogs accompanying the herds the Romans brought with them when invading Europe. The controllable herding and guarding instincts were recognized by the Germans, and dogs were selectively bred for these traits.

Robust and powerful, the Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform. His intelligence, endurance and willingness to work make him suitable as a police dog, herder, service dog, therapy dog, obedience competitor and devoted companion. An inherent protector, the Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. He must be medium in size and his coat is black with rust to mahogany markings. (AKC Rottweiler Page)

Ball!

Ball!

 

my favorite things

My favorite place to sleep is:  In my mom’s bed

My favorite holiday is: The one where my mom goes to the pet store, she always comes home with a new treat or toy!

My best friend is:  My old roommate Micki

Me and Old friend Micki

Me and Old friend Micki

My favorite treat:  Peanut Butter

My favorite toy:  Kong!

My favorite television show is:  The Walking Dead, I love to bark at those things wandering around!

My favorite season of the year is:  Winter, I love to chase snow balls!

My favorite playtime activity: Tug of war, chasing bubbles

Tug rope time!

Tug rope time!

 

Ball, again!

Ball, again!

Squirrel!

Squirrel!

 

 

 

images (1)

 

                XENA… Narnia’s Pet of the Week

  1. How I picked my family: I crawled into my mom’s lap and would not let any of my brothers or sisters up, then could not stop kissing her face.
  2. When I grow up I want to be:  Grow up?  Hah, I will always be a puppy at heart
  3. My nickname is:  Z, Donkey, Dog Face, Z Girl…  I have many nick names
  4. I look really cute when I:  Want something from my mom
  5. The biggest mess I ever made was:  I was just playing outside in the mud with my roommate, I was so proud of how dirty I got I wanted to go inside and show everyone in the house.  My mom didn’t like that very much…

    Muddy dog!

    Muddy dog!

  6. The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:  I didn’t know there were things I’m not supposed to eat!  But I sure did enjoy my Grandma’s lasagna once, she even left it out on the table and everything for me before she walked away!
  7. The one time I was a hero was:  When I picked my family
  8. The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is:  I get to meet so many new people!!
  9. I am really good at:  My Chewbacca impression
  10. I am sometimes afraid of:  The hairdryer
  11. The one thing I can’t resist is:  Getting a good belly rub
  12. I think my siblings are:  My family is great, I love each and every one of them.  I like my step sisters until they swat me in the face and run away..

    Christmas!

    Christmas!

  13. My toughest challenge so far has been:  Learning to “drop it”
  14. If I spoke my voice would sound just like  Milla Jovovich and the first thing I would say is: “Why do you have so many names for me?!”

 

Snow Dog!

Snow Dog!

peqycorto....lindo

we are family

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

I have re-learned the joys of owning a dog.  We had a family dog when I was growing up, and after having to put him down due to old age, I was not sure about getting another dog for awhile.  But then I realized how much I love them and along came Xena.  She is not only my pet, but a companion as well.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

I learned that I just have to have patience with her, and that we make a pretty good team.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?

One thing that I love about Rotties is their faces and the expressions that they can make.  Also, I like how loving they are, and that they are sometimes a big klutz.

My puppy days!

My puppy days!

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?

​No one told him that he’s not a toy breed, so at some point he’s going to plop onto your lap for a cuddle. Because of his original job as a super-smart and confident guardian, though, you’ll need to put in the time to train him and teach him solid social skills and harness his natural territorial instincts in a positive way. He has to know that you’re in charge, even if he is twice your size. Your hard work will be rewarded with a loyal, loving best friend. (AKC WOOFipedia)

 

Thank you to Xena and Stephanie for their participation in this weeks interview, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

 

Pet of The Week: Sheldon Collins Dornak (March 22, 2014)

For those of you who follow the Narnia Chronicles you may recall a little lady who at the time was 10 month old.  She was a cutie patootie  Australian Cattle dog…who went by the name of…PENNY.

Which bring to mind the all too familiar greeting:

dec3_penny

Now all these months later, it’s beyond fantastic to introduce you to this weeks Pet of the Week…

Sheldon Collins Dornak.

keep-calm-and-bazinga-39

Are you ready?  Get set, here he is.

Sheldon

Perfection.

 

Its all about meDog Name: Sheldon

Guardian’s Name: Kevin Collins and Jason Dornink

Dog Age: 1 year old

Dog Breed: Australian Shepard Mix

Siblings:  I had an older sister Silky, a husky that died before I came to live with Kevin and Jason.

Classes attended/attending: Beginning Obedience

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at: Hinsdale Humane Society

 peqycorto....lindo

1.   How I picked my family: They came to the humane society and we saw each other, however another family was interested in me, but I convinced the adoption counselors to talk that family out of adopting me so that I could go with Kevin and Jason.

This was the day I first met Kevin and Jason. They took me for a walk after they told the adoption counselor to start the paperwork.

This was the day I first met Kevin and Jason. They took me for a walk after they told the adoption counselor to start the paperwork.

2.  When I grow up I want to be : a magician, I have been practicing my escape tricks and they are getting really good. 

3.  If you asked my family they would say I am: Challenging, yet adorable

Relaxing with Kevin before he has to leave for work, or I’m trying to keep him  home.

Relaxing with Kevin before he has to
leave for work, or I’m trying to keep him
home.

4.  My nickname is: Houdini because I escaped out of my crate twice and also broke out of the basement while my dad’s were at work.

I do not like be left home alone and when I couldn’t escape my crate I pushed the  tray out so my paws would go to the  floor, so I could move around the room.

I do not like be left home alone and when
I couldn’t escape my crate I pushed the
tray out so my paws would go to the
floor, so I could move around the room.

5.  I look really cute when I: cuddle up with either one of my daddies.

6.  The biggest mess I ever made was: When Kevin and Jason came home from a Super Bowl party. I had a couch cushion torn up throughout the house, I chewed on a picture frame, left a remote control in pieces, and pulled parts of the plants apart.

7.  The first thing I ate  I wasn’t supposed to: a back scratcher made of wood.

Relaxing with Jason on a Lazy Saturday afternoon.

Relaxing with Jason on a Lazy Saturday
afternoon.

Don’t even think about taking my toy

Don’t even think about taking my toy

8.  The one time I was a hero was: When I came to live with Kevin and Jason, because they were really sad at the loss of my big sister Silky, a husky, that I never got to meet.

IMG_9570

This is my other spot when I’m not sleeping on the ottoman.

9.  The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: The trainers have the best treats, better than what I get at home.

10. I am really good at: Escaping out of my crate or opening the basement door.

11.  I am sometimes afraid of: Being left alone, Kevin and Jason are the fifth place I have lived including the shelter and I am only a little over a year old.

Hanging on the couch with Jason

Hanging on the couch with Jason

12. The one thing I can’t resist is: picture frames or remote controls.

13.  My toughest challenge so far has been: understanding why every other dog won’t play with me.

This is right after I got to my new home after going to the vet.

This is right after I got to my new home
after going to the vet.

14.  If I spoke my voice would sound just like (name of person) Jim Parsons and the first thing I would say is:

bazinga--big-bang-theory-bleed-art

 

Working on my Dos Equis Pose.

Working on my Dos Equis Pose.



favorite-things-logo-copy

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite place to sleep is: On the ottoman.

My favorite holiday is: Anyone that will allow people to come around and pet me.

My best friend is: Kevin and Jason

Yes? Do you want something?

Yes? Do you want something?

My favorite treat: The ones the trainers have at Narnia

My favorite toy: It’s a toss between my rope bone and my squeaky chicken

My favorite television show is: The Big Bang Theory

My favorite season of the year is: I have only lived with Kevin and Jason during the winter and I can tell you I do not like the cold.

Its rough being me.

Its rough being me.

My favorite trip was when we went to: Any time I get to go Aunt Staci’s house. I get to play with my cousins, Rascal who is a

Jack Russell Pug and Figment who is a Boston Terrier Mix

My favorite quote is: “You’re in my spot”

My favorite playtime activity: Tug of war

One of my favorite things to do, play tug of war.

One of my favorite things to do, play tug
of war.

My favorite canine movie is: I can’t sit still long enough to watch a movie. I get that from my Daddy Jason.

 we are family

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

We have only had Sheldon for a month, but his older sister was with us for 11 years and he has

filled the hole that was there when she left us. We realized how much we needed a dog in our

lives and he has become our best buddy in the month that he has lived with us.

 

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story.

Sheldon’s was originally owned by a young couple that named him Banjo. They then had a baby and moved to a place where they could not have a dog. They sent him to live with one of their parents, but they could not handle puppy energy and so they gave him to their uncle who cared for him for a while. He then moved back into the home with the young couple that originally owned him for a short time before they realized they couldn’t care for him, so they took him to the Humane Society. When we went to adopt him, another family was interested in him, until they heard his history and they were afraid they would not be able to handle him. When we heard the history, we immediately thought of his older sister who was also a rescue. We were her third home and while she did know how to behave right away, but with training and attention she became a great dog. We realized that we could do the same for Sheldon.

 

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen:

The adoption counselor described him as being really smart, but needed to learn better manners. We stopped at the pet store on the  way home because we needed a new collar, toys, and treats. While looking at the collars we saw one that said Bazinga and immediately thought of the name Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. If you are not familiar with the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is one  of the characters that is extremely smart, but does not always know how to act properly.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

Our last dog was trained by an old school methodology with a choke collar and it has been really fun taking a class where you learn to think like the dog and find out what motivates them to do good, instead of punishing them when they do something wrong.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?

We are very fond of his playfulness as well as his mischievousness. It is fun to think about what you might come home to find him doing or have done, such as breaking out of the basement or his crate.

I’m warn out after playing with my cousins Rascal and Figment.

I’m warn out after playing with my
cousins Rascal and Figment.

 

 Thank you to Kevin, Jason and the wonderfully brilliant Sheldon for participating in this weeks interview.  We wish you all the best

Sheldon and I bet before your second birthday rolls around, you’ll have plenty of friends.

Pet of The Week: Finnegan Oscar Erickson: (March 15, 2014)

I am not always this serious, but when I am, I look like this.

I am not always this serious, but when I am, I look like this.

How to get adopted by Finnegan Oscar Erickson:

1. Scope out the adopters for a “cuddly looking mom”.

2. Zero in on said looking cuddly looking mom with your baby blue eyes.

3. When you have locked in a gaze with cuddly looking mom with your baby blue eyes, turn on the puppy face.

4. Soft body and prepare to be scooped up.

5. Lean into cuddly looking mom’s body and enjoy the cuddly.

6. Slowly look upward into the eyes of cuddly looking mom and sigh, before relaxing like pudding back into cuddly looking moms arms.

7. When cuddly looking mom asks, “would you like to go home with us?”, again make eye contact, gentle sigh, and nuzzle cuddly looking mom with muzzle.

8. Wag tail like a helicopter propeller as you wait for Mom and Dad to sign papers, you just scored your new home.

9.  On way to vehicle, break out the  Snoopy Dance, you just scored your new home.

10. Sleep like a champ on the ride home, soak up the love.

"I'm ready for my close up."

“I’m ready for my close up.”

It'sAllAboutMeTshirt

 Finnegan Oscar Erickson

My nickname is: Finney

Guardian’s Name: Jennifer & Jonathan Erickson

Dog Age: 7.5 months

Dog Breed: Weimaraner (AKC page)

Siblings:  Canine: Brother Duke   Sister Jenna,  Human: Brother, Christopher

Classes attended/attending: Manners & Self Control; Beginning Nose Work

Chasing my Brother Duke

Chasing my Brother Duke

peqycorto....lindo

~Ten Questions with Master Finnegan Oscar Erickson~

When I grow up I want to be : A well behaved member of my family, I would also like to jump over everything so I’m thinking agility.

Face plant.  "Whoa, Duke, thats gotta hurt."

Face plant. “Whoa, Duke, thats gotta hurt.”

If you asked my family they would say I am: A troublemaker

I look really cute when I: Sleep

Naptime with Dad

Naptime with Dad

The biggest mess I ever made was: I stole a cardboard box out of the garbage and shredded it all over the house. I do these fairly often so I make big messes all the time!

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: A piece of my Mom’s favorite Cheddar

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I love learning new things and I get lots of treats! And this weekend I was able to play a sniffing game and I was so excited I was sniffing the closed door to get a head start.

Searching for the Great Pumpkin in the patch

Searching for the Great Pumpkin in the patch

I am really good at: Finding treats and tearing up paper/cardboard of any kind.

I am sometimes afraid of: Loud noises

The one thing I can’t resist is: Jumping on my brother Duke when he comes in the house

My best imitation of Dumbo!

My best imitation of Dumbo!

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: Fabulous

My future is so bright I have to wear shades

My future is so bright I have to wear shades

My toughest challenge so far has been: Laying down when my parents ask me to.

Its a furry pretzel, its a pile of laundry, its Finnegan!   Sleeping in his favorite spot.

Its a furry pretzel, its a pile of laundry, its Finnegan!
Sleeping in his favorite spot.

A Few of My Favorite Things

My favorite place to sleep is: In bed with my Mom and Dad.  I look so cute sleeping.

A moment of peace

A moment of peace

My favorite holiday is: Not sure yet, I’m still kind of young.

My best friend is: My brother Duke, I kiss him and hug him and steal all of his toys, I like to snuggle with him when he lets me.

"Look Mom, I am almost all grown up."

“Look Mom, I am almost all grown up.”

My favorite treat: I really like Peanut Butter

My favorite toy: Anything that I can tear the squeaky thing out of.

"Not me.  Did you ask Duke?"

“Not me. Did you ask Duke?”

My favorite television show is: Dawson’s Creek because when mommy watches it we can snuggle on the couch.

My favorite season of the year is: Winter, I don’t have much fur but I love the snow.

Whoa!  Move out of the way...Super Puppy coming through.

Whoa! Move out of the way…Super Puppy coming through.

My favorite trip was when we went to: Goose Lake Prairie near my house, I get to run around and smell all sorts of new things.

My favorite quote is: What’s a quote?

Is this space taken?

Is this space taken?

My favorite playtime activity: Playing Tug with anyone, anytime.

My favorite canine movie is: They make movies with dogs?

we are family

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: I wanted to name him Oscar and he was called that for a few days but my husband didn’t think it fit him so my next favorite was Finnegan. I was just looking through names and it jumped out at me, really seemed to fit him.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia? Having fun while training is very important. I researched other training methods and they did not seem to fit Finn he is very sensitive and needs positive reinforcement and patience while training.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Finnegan has an amazing personality, we love that he is always happy and loving. He is very intelligent so we have puzzle games to keep him occupied on days when his energy level is on the high side.

Will this be posted on Instagram?

Will this be posted on Instagram?

Thank you to  Finnegan, Duke and Jennifer & Jonathan Erickson for your participation in this weeks interview.  Congratulations on your selection as Pet of The Week, we wish you continued success in all your endeavors.

Pet of The Week: Tasha Witt (March 8, 2014)

Sheltie's Removed From Home

Sheltie’s Removed From Home

MONTGOMERY COUNTY – It’s being called the worst case of animal hoarding some have ever seen.  More than 30 dogs and 111 exotic birds and eggs were found in a home described by officials as unfit for anyone or anything to live in.

The headline flashed across Indiana television screens and internet news feeds on September 5, 2013 as animal welfare workers, sheriff police, Montgomery Health Department and students from Purdue University exotic animal studies worked to remove the endangered animals from their unsafe environment.

The 35 dogs total were taken into custody by the Animal Welfare League in Crawfordsville, Indiana for medical attention and evaluation.  The birds and unhatched eggs were released to the Parks Department in Frankfort, Indiana.  Following a two week waiting period, a dozen of the dogs went into immediate care at the home of the Indiana Sheltie Rescue presidents home with the remaining dogs being relinquished to the care of Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue.

A sad story being told all too often these days as hoarders, backyard breeders, puppy mills and even fight rings are discovered and shut down. Large number of animals living in abusive, neglectful, deadly environments in need of immediate rescue, medical attention, rehabilitation and homes placing a strain on the local animal welfare sources.

Thankfully the community came together in support of these animals with donations for their care while in the custody of the Animal Welfare League and word was put out through the National Sheltie Rescue organization that there were dogs in desperate need in Indiana.  Fortunately for this weeks Narnia Pet of the Week, she was entrusted into the care of Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue who stepped up to the challenge of ensuring the remaining shelties were given their second chance at life.

First I am going to introduce you to the little princess via her intake photo back in September of 2013.

Number 5

Tasha's Intake photo at Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue

Intake photo at Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue

Although she is still working to overcome fears and build trust, the love, care and training she has received from her foster family and now forever family has worked wonders to in returning number 5 to a healthy Shetland Sheepdog.

And here today , Pet of The Week, Ms. Tasha Witt

Can't Contain This Much Cuteness

Can’t Contain This Much Cuteness

images (1)

Dog Name: Tasha

Guardian’s Name: Teri and Ward Witt

Dog Age: 2

Dog Breed: Sheltie, Shetland Sheepdog (AKC page)

Siblings:  canine siblings Prince and Toby

Classes attended/attending: Beginning Obedience

Sports I participate in: chasing my brothers in the yard and jumping on them

Sporting/Titles I have earned: My Mom and Dad say I have the ACDE (absolute cutest dog ever)

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at: Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue

My brothers Toby and Prince

My brothers Toby and Prince

favorite-things-logo-copy

My favorite place to sleep is: The couch and in the big bed with my Mom and Dad.

Naptime

Naptime

My favorite holiday is: so far Valentines Day is the only holiday I have spent with my family. That was great because I got a pretty valentine heart on my collar and a special cookie.

Sweet Little Valentine

Sweet Little Valentine

My best friend is: Toby, he is my crazy brother and we like to jump on each other and wrestle.

My favorite treat: baked hot dogs are YUMMY.

My favorite toy: My fish that my Auntie Sherri gave me.

My Favorite Toy

My Favorite Toy

My favorite television show is: The show Nature. I also like the beginning of Downton Abby when that big white dog wags his tail.

My favorite season of the year is: Not sure yet but Winter has been fun playing in the snow.

My favorite trip was when we went to: I’m not much of a traveler yet. Trips frighten me for now but my family and I are working to make it better.

Dad handing out treats

Dad handing out treats

My favorite quote is: “Dogs, for a reason that can only be described as divine, have the ability to forgive, let go of the past, and live each day joyously. It’s something the rest of us strive for.” -Jennifer Skiff

My favorite playtime activity: Is playing with my canine siblings.

Playing chase with my siblings

Playing chase with my siblings

My favorite canine movie is: Hmm.. I better have a talk with my parents I haven’t seen a canine movie yet.

My Dad Thinks I'm Cute

My Dad Thinks I’m Cute

If you asked my family they would say I am: A sweetheart.

My nickname is: Pup Pup

I look really cute when I: Beg for food.

The biggest mess I ever made was: Shredding a paper towel.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: One of those little brown things the bunny left in the yard.

The one time I was a hero was: when Mom told me to “COME NOW” boy did I get lots of treats!

Practicing my sit at Narnia Pet Behavior & Training

Practicing my sit at Narnia Pet Behavior & Training

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I get lots of treats from Mom and my teachers. They make a nice fort for me to train in with privacy.  It helps me feel safe.

I am really good at: Being cute.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

I am sometimes afraid of: Riding in the car.

The one thing I can’t resist is: getting attention from my Mom and Dad I do my best to shove my brothers out of the way so they can only pet me.

Photobomb

Photobomb

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: Fun

My toughest challenge so far has been: Learning to settle.

If I spoke my voice would sound just like: Marge Simpson’s sister Selma and the first thing I would say is: Let’s play!

Toys, Toys, Toys, what's a girl to do?

Toys, Toys, Toys, what’s a girl to do?

we are family

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

To not rush fearful dogs. Take training and introductions slow to not overwhelm her. She is such a sweet girl and even though we have only had her a few months she means so much to us. She has help cheer up our family after recently losing our dog to heart failure. She has been through so much in her short life and has a way to go to overcome her fears. It’s wonderful to see her becoming a silly, playful dog now that she feels comfortable in our home.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: Tasha’s foster dad named her when she came into rescue. He is a Star Trek fan and named her after one of the characters.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia? That with time and patience Tasha can learn new things and overcome her fears.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Shelties are very sensitive, loyal, affectionate, intelligent dogs that want to please and stay close to their special person.

peqycorto....lindo

A big thank you to all the animal welfare workers, volunteers, rescue volunteers, Tasha’s foster family, her trainers and of course her family for their commitment and dedication to seeing Tasha healthy, both physically and emotionally.  She is one lucky little princess, wishing you all the best Tasha as you continue to blossom and enjoy life more and more each day.

~~~Thank you to Tasha, Terri and Ward Witt for their participation in this weeks interview. ~~~

Tasha, Toby, Prince and our friend here from the National Mill Dog Rescue want to remind you to set your clocks forward on Sunday, March 9th.

Set Your Clocks

Pet of the Week: Buffy (January 18, 2014)

Our Pet of the Week is a lovely young lady that goes by the name of Buffy.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

No, no, no.  Not her.  Although she was a very popular vampire slayer and a lovely young lady, ours has four legs, a body covered in fur and a tail.

Buffy

Buffy

Yes!  There she is, isn’t she a beauty?  Only 2 years old and already perfecting the head tilt.  Do you know the reason why your dog tilt’s its head when you are speaking to her?  Find the answer here.

Narnia’s chosen one is a Labrador Retriever Mix with a sparkle in her eye and a constant bounce in her step.

The Basic 411images (1)

Dog Name: Buffy

Guardian’s Name: Sarah and Jason

Dog Age: About 2 years

Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever Mix

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other): Cousins are Gracie and Sadie

Classes attended/attending: Beginner Obedience and beginning Manners and Self Control

Sports I participate in: Wrestling with Jason, Chasing the Laser Pointer, and Eating Snow (these are not official sports – yet!)

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at: 3DR Disaster Dogs, which has sadly closed it’s doors at the end of 2013

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~15 Questions with Pet of the Week Buffy~

1.   How I picked my family: I rolled over and immediately asked for my belly to be rubbed. I also barked, and since my bark is so unexpectedly mean sounding (I mean, look at my face!), they fell in love. I got along really well with my cousins, too, so that didn’t hurt either!

Buffy

2.   When I grow up I want to be: A certified therapy dog

3.    My best friend is:   It’s a tie: Ollie – my 2-year-old yellow lab boyfriend or Shane, my human 3-year-old best friend that I love to pieces every time I see him. I also love Jenny, my 4 month old human friend, but she’s too small to play. Sarah doesn’t have to tell me this, though – I just know to only sniff her.

4.     My nickname is: Buffypants (I’m not sure why – I think my guardians are a little “off”)

5.     The biggest mess I ever made was:  I’ve torn up dog beds,crate trays, toys, blankets, pillows, even CARPET!

Buffy

6.      The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: Carpet, followed by dog poop

7.      The one time I was a hero was: When I saw Sarah and she knew she had to adopt me. I helped her heal from losing her previous dog.

8.      The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I’m really good at learning! It keeps my mind active and makes me feel productive!

9.        I am really good at: Listening to Sarah when there are no distractions around. Also, snuggling. I’m really good at snuggling.

10.       I am sometimes afraid of: Loud noises, umbrellas, and the front door of Sarah’s apartment

11.       The one thing I can’t resist is: Exuberantly greeting every single being that comes near me – human or canine – I want to jump on them all and tell them all how happy I am to see them!

12.      I think my siblings (canine/human) are: Canine: Gracie and Sadie, Human: Jason and Sarah 

13.      My toughest challenge so far has been: I get scared when I think I’m in trouble, and then I try to run away from Sarah and Jason.

Buffy

14.       If I spoke my voice would sound just like James Earl Jones (based on how low my bark is!) and the first thing I would say is: I love peanut butter, I love cheese, oh, look, my tail, I love my chicken, JJJAAASSSOOONNNN, ooh bunny!

15.       I look really cute when I: All of the time, but especially when I’m confused and I turn my head to ponder what’s in front of me.

favorite-things-logo-copy

My favorite place to sleep is: In front of a roaring fire, or in my bed at the foot of Sarah’s bed

My favorite holiday is: All except Halloween. I hate when Sarah dresses me up in costumes.

Buffy

My favorite treat: peanut butter

My favorite toy: my rubber chicken that only lives at Jason’s

My favorite television show is: Anything on Animal Planet, or any show where a dog barks.

My favorite season of the year is: In summer I like to run outside, in fall I like to run outside, in winter

I like to run outside (just not when the wind chill is -50F – I don’t like that), and in spring I like to run

outside.

Buffy

My favorite trip was when we went to: I always love going to see Gracie and Sadie and run around the

backyard with them

My favorite quote is: “I LOVE EVERYTHING!”

My favorite playtime activity: Wrestling with Jason or Ollie, squeaking any squeak toy possible

Buffy

Family

We Are Family…

Buffy is the happiest dog I have ever met, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that diminishes her level of happiness. She has taught me this unending joy, as well as how important consistency is. She is a wonderful dog, but needs consistent rules and consistent training to maintain her wonderful personality. She is so eager to please her humans that I want to be just as good to her as she has been to us.

She is also so gentle. She plays very rough with her canine friends, sometimes too rough, but is so gentle around kids. My best friend has two kids, a 3-year-old and 4 month old, and Buffy cannot get enough of the kids, and even will lay around the 3-year-old sometimes, almost looking as though she is trying to protect him.

Why the dog’s name was chosen: Buffy comes from the tv show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jason and I wanted a strong female name that also made us laugh. Buffy is a perfect name for her, especially since she has been Buffy the EVERYTHING Slayer!

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?  That strengthening the relationship through training is so important. Our relationship strengthened so much during and after training.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Originally, I was not a huge fan of labs, but Jason really wanted one. I figured I would love any dog I got, so I adopted Buffy. What a wonderful ambassador she is for her breed (the lab part, anyway). She is happy, energetic, playful, strong, loyal, cuddly, and so very friendly. I couldn’t love her more.

Labrador Retriever Lover

Thanks to Sarah and Buffy for participating in this weeks interview, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

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Pet of the Week: Tessie Sparks (January 1, 2014)

This weeks Pet of the Week is Tessie Sparks, the beautiful and proud Catahoula Leopard dog mix of Steve and  Lee Sparks.  Theirs is a special love affair, as Tessie is a special needs dog and waited well over a year in the shelter.  As is the case with many special needs dogs, the challenges and the costs of their medical conditions makes it difficult for them to find homes.  Family’s are unable to commit to the added responsibilities of caretaker, financial costs or heartbreak of a dog with a chronic illness. However, when the match does come along, when the connection is made and the bond between dog and guardians is forged, these pet parents know they have been given an amazing gift in their new companion.

Showing off my new winter coat while on a car ride
Showing off my new winter coat while on a car ride

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

We had another dog that we had rescued until last Christmas time. Zena had been the pet that our kids grew up with and we all loved her dearly. She had cancer for at least the last two years of her life and we all worked hard, with her vet, to keep her as long as we could keep her comfortable. On 12/27/12 we had to let her go and spent the next several months in mourning. Beth and Quin were probably ready for a new dog before anyone else but since it is our house Steve and I had to be ready too. As the summer came round I knew I wanted another dog but we needed to work around some family activities to make sure to have the best transition possible for another adoptee. We spent the summer watching the ADOPT web site and Tessie caught my eye there. She had been with them for over a year due to a chronic respiratory condition. By their description she was sweet and loving but the fact that she had a health problem – probably for the rest of her life – was making her a little tougher to place. I fell in love with her pretty quickly and kept checking back, guiltily hoping she was still there each time I looked. Luck was on our side – Tessie was still there when we were able to go in late August. She seemed to think we were an acceptable family too. In fact, when we loaded her comfy bed into the back of our van she jumped in there too and refused to get out again. During one of our classes someone said that they thought it was fate that Tessie had been at ADOPT that long. She needed us and we needed her – I think I believe that!

Pet of  the Week: Tessie Sparks 

Dog Name:Tessie Sparks

Guardian’s Name: Steve and Lee Sparks

Dog Age: 4 3/4

Dog Breed: Catahoula Leopard Hound mixlg_artwork

The Catahoula originated in North Central Louisiana in the geographic area around the Catahoula Lake from which it got its name. The word Catahoula is of Choctaw Indian origin and is translated into English as “sacred lake”, just as the Choctaw word Choekahoula means “sacred home.

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other): Sister – Beth (based at home), Brother – Quin (based at college),

Classes attended/attending: Have taken Beginning Obedience and Manners and Self Control

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at: ADOPT

A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter is located in Naperville, IL. We are a private, “no-kill”, non-profit organization that provides temporary shelter and care to dogs and cats in search of their forever home. Finding homes for our voiceless animals is a priority for us.

Please visit our ADOPTIONS page to view our dogs, puppies, cats and kittens available for adoption. We update this page often, so check back frequently!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABLE CATS & DOGS

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Tessie adopting us Tessie adopting us

How I picked my family: I made the ADOPT people write a wonderful description of me and put some good pictures and a video of me on their web site. My people saw that and they fell in love with me before they ever came to meet me. Then to seal the deal I behaved so much nicer than all those other crazy dogs at the shelter. They took me home that day!

When I grow up I want to be: In charge of the food!

My nickname is: Tessie Bessie

The biggest mess I ever made was: getting into a full bathroom wastebasket.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: was some of the fluff from my toys.

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I get lots of attention and treats.

I am really good at: I listen to “off” so good

I am sometimes afraid of: sudden loud noises are the worst but I also don’t like it when other dogs start barking.

The one thing I can’t resist is: belly rubs!

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: the best!

Tessie with Quin (on right) and Quin's friend Jimmy at Thanksgiving break

Tessie with Quin (on right) and Quin’s friend Jimmy at Thanksgiving break

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favorite-things-logo-copyMy favorite place to sleep is: I like to sleep on soft things near my people. At night I go on my puffy bed in the hallway upstairs by all the people bedrooms. During the day I usually sleep on the family room sofa with lots of pillows and blankets.

My favorite holiday is: I like any holiday where there are extra people and extra foods around. This Christmas thing has been pretty good but I kind of like Thanksgiving too!

My best friend is: My sister Beth is my favorite person to play with but Quin comes in a close second– he’s just not around as much. Of course, Mom is the one who feeds me and that makes her pretty awesome too. I don’t like dogs very much – some are ok but most are just too noisy. I think I might like a cat but Mom can’t have one cause she’s allergic. I’ll have to settle for studying them whenever I can.

My favorite treat: I like most people food just fine but I go especially bonkers for green beans and for asparagus. They are delicious!

My favorite toy: I have two right now, I have a pink stuffed pig (with squeakers) and a blue stuffed lamb (also with squeakers). The lamb matches my eyes, according to Mom. Mom calls them Hammie and Lambie. I call them fun to chew on – sometimes I chew so much Mom has to take them away and sew them back up.

Tessie and Hammie taking a nap

Tessie and Hammie taking a nap

My favorite television show is: Mostly I sleep through television. There was a show on the other day that had a leopard. I thought it was pretty cool – Beth told me it was a very big cat. I like cats.

My favorite season of the year is: I didn’t like winter when it was just cold but now that the snow is here it’s kind of fun. I go in the back yard and eat snow – sometimes so much that it mixes with my runny nose and when I come in Mom says I have snow snots. She laughs.

My favorite trip was when we went to: I like to go to the dog stores cause everyone there loves on me. I also liked the only long trip I’ve taken so far, going to see Grandma and Grandpa in Michigan. The drive was TOO long but I love seeing them.

My favorite playtime activity: I love to tug and fetch with my stuffed and unstuffed squeaky toys. When I really get going I will run very fast to another room and then come back to the family room and jump on one of the furnitures. One time I jumped so good I knocked the settee over with me on it. I also love to jump from one bed to the other in Quin’s room.

My favorite canine movie is: I just saw Balto the other day. It was ok, but I would have liked a movie about a cat better.

familybw1800x1200we are family

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn fromyour class time at Narnia?

Even though we haven’t had her all that long, when she is feeling anxious she turns to her family for comfort and reassurance.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? I hadn’t ever heard of this breed before Tessie. We tend to prefer large dogs – especially if they think they are lap dogs and Tessie certainly fills the bill.

Thank you to Steve, Lee and Tessie Sparks for their participation in this weeks interview.  All the best to you in all your endeavors, may you have many happy years together.

Tessie wants to remind everyone:  Brrrr….Baby, it’s cold outside.

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Pet of the Week: Laci Roxanna Larsen (December 28, 2013)

Narnia proudly presents this weeks Pet of the Week, Laci Roxanna Larsen

Laci Roxanna Larson

Dog Name: Laci Roxanna Larsen (I was named Roxanna after my Boxer sister who went to the Rainbow

Bridge in May. Mom and Dad say I act an awful lot like her.)

Guardian’s Name: Jeff & Michelle Larsen

Dog Age: 5 months as of December 11, 2013

Dog Breed: Great Dane

Laci playing in the yard Sept. 3, 2013

Laci playing in the yard Sept. 3, 2013

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other): Fur-Sister: Lexi, 12 y.o. Siberian Husky

Classes attended/attending: Basic Obedience (Graduated December 17, 2013) Manners & Self Control

Class starting in January 2014

Sports I participate in: Are tug-o-war or annoy my fur-sister sports?

My best friend is: My sis Lexi and of course, Mom and Dad

Laci and Lexi playing Tug

Laci and Lexi playing Tug

There were 8 pups.  Of the 8, 3 were merle. Laci was the only mantled merle of the bunch and it was love at first sight.  She was the pick of the litter. 

TheseAreAFewOfMyFavoriteThings

My favorite place to sleep is: In the middle of the bed, right between Mom and Dad. I try to keep them

from getting up in the morning for as long as possible. (I achieve this by laying on them.) I love to sleep in.

Puppy Picture from  7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

Puppy Picture from 7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

My favorite holiday is: so far, CHRISTMAS!!!!! I got lots of new toys and yummy treats! (and I got to

shred the paper all by myself too!) I went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the day. It was a blast! I

really like my Grandpa. Mom and Dad laughed about that saying that Roxi adored Grandpa too.

Laci with Santa at Narnia

Laci with Santa at Narnia

My favorite treat: Spiced Apple Cookies my mom and dad make!!! I really like all of them, but go

especially crazy for these! (Okay, okay, between you and me, if it’s food, I’m going to do whatever I can

to get it! I’ll even listen!)

Baby Laci 7.29.2013

Baby Laci 7.29.2013

My favorite toy: I like to snuggle with my stuffed Garfield that I brought with me when I came home for

the first time. I love to play with my new crinkley loofa dog that Santa brought! (Dad says it has a bottle

in it that makes all the noise. I don’t know what that means but it sure does make lots of noise when I

pounce on it!)

Laci and Lexi Christmas

Laci and Lexi Christmas

My favorite television show is: Bears football games! Mom cheers and yells a lot. She gets super

worked up. It’s really fun!

My favorite season of the year is: I really liked chasing and barking at all the falling leaves in the

Autumn, but this white stuff is pretty fun too! Lexi sure seems to like it. She calls it “snow”. It’s a little

cold on my paws and belly, but Mom and Dad don’t let me play outside for too long. Snow is really

yummy.

Two Weeks Old

Two Weeks Old

My favorite trip was when we went to: I haven’t been on many trips yet, but so far going to Narnia to

see Santa was pretty awesome! Mom even made me my very own tuggie-toy! Dad kept telling me what

a good girl I was. Going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas was a great time! I got lots of love and

yummy treats.

Car Ride Home

Car Ride Home

My favorite playtime activity: Chewing on elk antlers, then pushing them under the chair and couch so

Mom has to get them out. What a fun game!

My nickname is: Punkys or Thud-Thud (My parents call me that when I’m running through the house)

Finally Home

Finally Home

I look really cute when I: –the real question here is when do I NOT look really cute?? Dad and Mom tell

me all the time how cute I am! Mom is always taking pictures of me.

Laci playing in the yard Sept. 3, 2013

Laci playing in the yard Sept. 3, 2013

The biggest mess I ever made was: Shredding my crate pad. I was only trying to redecorate my room.

Boy, were Mom and Dad mad!!!

Laci 10.5.13

Laci 10.5.13

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: the TV remote. (Dad caught me before I could finish it

off.)

Laci Crate Shred

Laci Crate Shred

The one time I was a hero was: when I got these neat cold things from the refrigerator door for Lexi and

me! I played with them for a while but they disappeared.

Puppy Picture from  7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

Puppy Picture from 7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: TREATS!—Er, I mean, learning. I love coming to Narnia

to further my education! Not the treats. Just forget about that part.

Laci's Graduation at Narnia

Laci’s Graduation at Narnia

I am really good at: Waiting for my kibble. Dad says I have a great “sit and stay”.

I am sometimes afraid of: Loud noises.

I think my sibling (canine- Lexi) is: a lot of fun but she can be pretty grumpy sometimes. Dad says I need

to be nice to her because she’s an old lady.

Christmas Morning 2013

Christmas Morning 2013

My toughest challenge so far has been: Settle. I’m only 5 months old! It’s way too hard to settle when

there’s so much to do!

Two Weeks Old

Two Weeks Old

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Baby Laci

Baby Laci

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: After seeing pics of Laci when she was two weeks old, we put

together a list of about 10 names we liked. Once we got the pics of her after her eyes opened, none

of the 10 fit. Laci popped into our heads and it stuck. Her middle name, Roxanna, is in memory of our

awesome Boxer girl.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from

your class time at Narnia?

That she will do just about anything for a treat. J We’ve learned to be more

patient with Laci and try to look at things from her perspective.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Laci is our first Great Dane. We were

drawn to the breed because of their goofy nature, their tendencies to be cuddle bugs and their energy

levels seemed to match our lifestyle. We do a lot of outdoor activities in the summer and wanted a

dog we can bring with us. (Lexi, our husky, doesn’t exactly like to be out of the air conditioning in the

summer.) We were initially hesitant based upon their rather short life-expectancy and revealed this

to a Dane owner. She changed our minds with one comment: “Even if they lived to be 30, it would not

be long enough. Enjoy them while you have them.” She was right. Her insight along with her beautiful

Dylan, a mantled Merle Dane girl, erased our last hesitations. We couldn’t be happier.

Homecoming

Homecoming: a girl and her dad

Puppy Picture from  7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

Puppy Picture from 7/29/13 to 8/9/2013

Thank you to Michelle and Jeff Larsen along with Laci and Lexi for participating in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to you Laci in all your endeavors in the years to come.

Laci and Lexi would like to remind everyone that the shelters will be overflowing this time of year, please open your hearts to helping by fostering, volunteering, donating and adopting.

Pet Of The Week: Sandy Burkhardt (December 21, 2013)

This week we celebrate Sandy, who’s part of the growing statistic of the number one most popular breed in the United States.  The Labrador Retriever known for it’s good nature and loyal companionship making it a natural fit for most family’s.

~Proudly introducing Pet of the Week, Sandy Burkhardt~

Dog Name: Sandy

Guardian’s Name: Bob and Linda

On my way home.

On my way home.

Dog Age: 7 months

Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever

My first day home

My first day home

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other): Bobby, Lauren and Zach

Another day at the beach

Another day at the beach

Classes attended/attending: Obedience and Manners

Sports I participate in: Swimming and Fishing

When I grow up I want to be: A well mannered dog

Practicing my "Look at ME".

Practicing my “Look at ME”.

A Few of My Favorite Things

  • My favorite place to sleep is: On the couch
  • My favorite holiday is: Everyday is a holiday!!

    On my new bed.

    On my new bed.

  • My best friend is: Riley
  • My favorite treat: Cheese

    Did you say cheese?

    Did you say cheese?

  • My favorite toy: Snake Toy

    With my favorite snake toy.

    With my favorite snake toy.

  • My favorite television show is: Blackhawks Hockey

    Blackhawks WIN!

    Blackhawks WIN!

  • My favorite season of the year is: Summer Time

    Sunbathing.

    Sunbathing

  • My favorite trip was when we went to: Minocqua, Wisconsin
  • My favorite playtime activity: Retrieving my yellow fish toy

    Caught my first fish.

    Caught my first fish.

  • My favorite canine movie is: Marley – of course – my idol-see favorite canine hero
  • My favorite canine hero is: Marley

    There are no fish in this lake.

    There are no fish in this lake

  • My favorite trick to perform to show off my skills is: Roll over

I think all dogs should have the right to play all the time.

Must scratch right there...

Relaxing after class

If I had my own reality television show, it would be named: Marley and Me

What?  Like you haven't tried it.

What? Like you haven’t tried it.

I look really cute when I: Sleep on my back

The biggest mess I ever made was: When I chewed a hole in the wall

Another fine mess.

Another fine mess.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to – the wall!!!

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: The trainers are so nice to me

Training at Narnia with Dad.

Training at Narnia with Dad.

I am really good at: Rolling over

I am sometimes afraid of: garbage cans

Walking on water.

Walking on water.

The one thing I can’t resist is: cheese whiz

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: fun

Posing with my siblings.

Posing with my siblings.

My toughest challenge so far has been: staying calm while greeting people

Yoga.

Yoga.

Questions for the family:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

We need more energy!!!

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: Color of her coat

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from

your class time at Narnia? Consistency

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Good nature

Fall Fun!

Fall Fun!

Thank you to Bob, Linda and Sandy Burkhardt for their participation in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to you Sandy in all your endeavors.

Sandy would like to remind everyone to be diligent in protecting all animals who may be in danger from the winter elements due to neglectful guardians.  One phone call can save a life.

Dogs Winter Elements

Pet of The Week-Charlie Erwin (October 19, 2013)

Charlie's Mugshot @ the Shelter

Charlie’s Mugshot @ the Shelter

Hi, that’s a photo of me, my name is Charlie Erwin.  I’m a hound dog mix and I was living at the shelter when that photo was taken of me.  I don’t look very happy and that’s because I wasn’t.  There I was a 8 month old female puppy, all alone in search of my forever family in a  place filled with other dogs of all ages and breeds searching too.  The older dogs tried to tell me to not be afraid that puppies have a better chance of “getting out”, but all I knew was I sure did miss my mom.

Then one night, she came in, yep her, Kesley.  She decided she wanted to be my new mom, my very own human guardian, best friend for life.  She filled out a bunch of paperwork, said that I was going to be her FOREVER dog and she would be back for me the next day.

Charlie and I the night before I adopted her

Charlie and Kelsey the evening before the adoption

Sure as the sun rose, Kelsey arrived at the shelter to pick me up and take me to my new home where I now live with her and together we are family.  Check out this photo of us now, Mom and I like to snuggle, look how happy we are,  that’s because we are family and family loves one another.

Snuggle Time

Snuggle Time

Charlie’s Basics

Dog Name: Charlie (I’m a girl)

Guardian’s Name: Kelsey Erwin

Dog Age: 8 months

Dog Breed: Hound Mix

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other) none

Classes attended/attending: beginners obedience and going to start manners and self control on 10/1/13

Sports I participate in: Squirrel chasing

 

Just chewing on her bone

Just chewing on her bone

   Narnia Pet Behavior and Training Proudly Presents Questions with                          Pet of The Week….Charlie Erwin

How I picked my family: Well, as I was sitting in my cage quietly one day a volunteer came in and just kept staring at me and finally came in and sat on the floor with me. I decided she looked decent so I threw myself in her lap and gave her tons of love. I knew she couldn’t resist how cute and adorable I am, so I knew she was the one for me.    

When I grow up I want to be: Either a Chief squirrel chases or a model. I haven’t decided because I love squirrels but I also think I’m cute so I just cant decide, maybe I’ll do both.

Hanging out at the dog park

Hanging out at the dog park

My best friend is: What a silly question, my human of course!

If you asked my family they would say I am: a ball of energy

My nickname is: Char

I look really cute when I: When I just gaze with my golden eyes at my human

 Does this make my nose look big?

Does this make my nose look big?

The biggest mess I ever made was: tearing up my bed, and the next bed…

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: Cheese off of the counter

The one time I was a hero was: my mom says I’m her hero anytime she’s sad and I cheer her up

Nap Time

Nap Time

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: tons of fun things to do and lots of treats

I am really good at: learning new tricks

I am sometimes afraid of: the vacuum

  A night at the river walk

A night at the river walk

The one thing I can’t resist is: any kind of food

My toughest challenge so far has been: potty training

 Posing for a picture like a model

Posing for a picture like a model

A Few of My Favorite Things

My favorite place to sleep is: In my mom’s bed

My favorite holiday is: I haven’t spent any holidays with my family but I hear you get presents on this day called Christmas, and I’m always up for presents.

My favorite treat: marrow-bones filled with anything yummy!

My favorite toy: anything that I can rip into a million pieces, including but not limited to tennis balls, my bed, anything with fluff, etc

My favorite television show is: I guess I’d have to go with Law & Order: SVU, or at least my mom loves that

My favorite season of the year is: I love summer because I get to lay on the balcony and sun bathe

My favorite trip was when we went to: I haven’t really been on any trips with my family yet, I’ve only been with them for 2 months

My favorite quote is: Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.

My favorite playtime activity: tearing up anything I can get my paws on

My favorite canine movie is: Homeward Bound

 

Charlie and her Narnia graduation certificate

Charlie and her Narnia graduation certificate

I am really good at: learning new tricks

I am sometimes afraid of: the vacuum

The one thing I can’t resist is: any kind of food

My toughest challenge so far has been: potty training

If I spoke my voice will sound just like (name of person) Tommy Pickles (from Rugrats) and the first thing I would say is: Thank you for being my family.

 Charlie sleeping in my bed

Charlie sleeping in my bed

Questions for Kesley:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.: Charlie has reminded me what it’s like to love a dog. She means so much to me. She has taught me how it can be hard to remain calm and patient but it’s a must and even through that love is endless.

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story.: She was found running stray in Indiana and put into a shelter there which is a high risk shelter. She luckily then was transferred to the Naperville Area Humane Society where I found her.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: Charlie was chosen mainly because we thought the You Tube video of “Charlie bit me” was hilarious and the name just fit her.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?: That you must always we calm and patient and that your dog is going to trust you more than anyone

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?: I never picked her because of her breed, and so there isn’t much that I am or am not fond of because of it.

Charlie and I before my job interview ( I got the job :) )

Charlie and I before my job interview ( I got the job 🙂 )

Thank you to Kelsey and Charlie Erwin for participating in the Pet of The Week interview, you both have amazing loving spirits and it’s easy to see why you make such a wonderful family.  Best of luck to you always.

Charlie would like to remind everyone if you are thinking of adopting a dog this holiday season to please remember…

Forever Dog PSA

Another time Charlie was sleeping in my bed

Hug your dog, Love your Dog, Peace Out——-Charlie

Pet of The Week: Sophie (October 12, 2013)

Right Breed for You?

The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. His short coat is low-maintenance, but regular exercise and training is necessary.

You might be surprised to learn that some of America’s most beloved dogs are considered bullies. From large-and-in-charge boxers to small and stout Boston terriers, there are a variety of dogs that fall under the category of “bully breeds.” Many of these dogs have unfair reputations for being dangerously aggressive — especially pit bull breeds like the Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and American pit bull terrier — but they actually make for very loyal and loving pets. So how did these canines get the title “bully breed” in the first place? Let’s start at the beginning.

What’s in a Name

The term “bully” can invoke a sense of terror and intimidation, so it’s no wonder many people believe these breeds pose a danger to society. However, the term actually has nothing to do with the dogs’ temperament or behavior, and everything to do with their origin and history. Bully breeds all come from the same root stock called Molosser, which is a breed that originated in ancient Greece. Molossers were big dogs with large bones and muscles, pendant ears and short muzzles. The bullies that we know today were created as a result of Molossers combining with other breeds, like the Old English bulldog or mastiff breeds. Though they were originally bred to protect livestock and property, some breeders and owners began to use the dogs for other, unsavory purposes. For example, during the 19th century in England, they were used in blood sports like bull baiting, and some believe this is where Molosser descendents first came to be known as “bully breeds.”

American Heroes

At the turn of the 20th century, British parliament established laws to outlaw blood sports and more immigrants traveled to the United States, bringing bully breeds with them. Once in America, these pups began serving in various professional roles. For example, a pit bull named Stubby became the first American war dog during World War I, when he served with a platoon in Germany. There, he saved countless lives and became a decorated war hero upon his return to the U.S. This early example of a bully breed’s heroism and loyalty helped catapult bullies to the status of beloved household pets. Their popularity continued to grow throughout the mid-1900s, and a bully breed dog’s image appeared on pro-America propaganda materials during World War II. There’s no doubt bully breeds had become America’s dog by the 1950s. So what changed?

Unfair Rep to Loveable Pet

You could probably trace the beginning of bully bias back to the 1980s, when gangs began using pit bull breeds for protection or as status symbols. According to the ASPCA, another probable cause is the media’s misidentification of dogs involved in attacks. One often overlooked fact is that any dog may attack if it’s neglected, abused or trained to be aggressive.

Bully breeds are normally gentle dogs when they’re cared for properly, and they have many qualities that make them great pets for active people with lots of time to give. They are very social and extremely loyal to their owners. Thanks to their athletic bodies and exceptional intelligence, they are very energetic and generally excel in agility. Believe it or not, bully breeds are very good with children, too. As with any dog, you should supervise bullies when they’re around strangers, children or other pets. There’s no doubt bully breeds have been given a bad name, but many animal lovers are dedicated to restoring their image and proving they deserve to be among America’s favorite dogs again.

Sophie

Proud to introduce this weeks Pet of The Week…

Sophie

Guardian’s Name:  Keith & Cathy

Dog Age:  2

Dog Breed:  American Staffordshire Terrier

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other)  None currently living with her.

Classes attended/attending:  Attended Basic Training / currently enrolled in Manners & Self Control

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at:  Animal Welfare League

Sophie

A Few of My Favorite Things

*My favorite place to sleep is: On the bed

  • My favorite holiday is: All of them I love to party!

*My best friend is: My people

  • My favorite treat: Cheese

 

*My favorite season of the year is: summertime sunshine

*My favorite trip was when we went to:  Indiana

*My favorite quote is:  “Are you going to finish that? “My favorite playtime activity:  Tug o war

*My favorite canine movie is: Turner & Hooch

Sophie

How I picked my family: I was very quiet in my kennel, but wagged my tail every time they walked by.

When I grow up I want to be : A big sister

If you asked my family they would say I am:  A very loving Brindle

My nickname is: Lula Bell

I look really cute when I: am awake or asleep

The biggest mess I ever made was: enjoying a feather pillow

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: dads baseball hat

The one time I was a hero was: when the grand-kids come over, I am very gentle.

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: Lots of treats and seeing the other dogs

I am really good at: coming home when called

I am sometimes afraid of: the overhead garage door

The one thing I can’t resist is: plush toys

Sophie

Who could NOT fall in LOVE with Sophie? Look at those beautiful eyes!

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: gonna love me

My toughest challenge so far has been: Moving away from  my fenced yard.

If I spoke my voice would sound just like (name of person) Sarah Silverman and the first thing I would say is: Lets play!

Sophie

Questions for the family:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

Patience and unconditional love

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story.

Sophie was at the shelter then adopted, but was returned three months later,  She was there a few

months before we found her and gave her a forever home.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen:

She responded well to the name Sophie when we adopted her. Her previous name was Bella.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

Sophie is very smart and interested in learning.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?

Smart and loving.

Sophie

Thank you to Sophie, Keith and Cathy for participating in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to you Sophie!

Pet of The Week: Lil’ Luke-C (Oct. 6, 2013)

I am very fortunate in this week I am presenting my foster dog Lil’ Luke-C from Chicagoland Lab Rescue.  The trainers, Rebecca Cann and Bonnie Benton were wonderful in helping me prepare to bring Luke into our home.  I cannot praise Rebecca and her co-authors on their book A Sound Beginning enough.

Kathie Hayes as Luke’s Behaviorist and class instructor held his paw and my hand all the way through whether in class or on the phone as he was suffering a set back.  Nivin Wynn was nothing short of a guardian angel, the gentleness and acceptance of Luke was greatly appreciated.  No one likes to be the parent with “that kid” in class and she made it bearable until finally he wasn’t “that kid” anymore.

Sara Swan and Joy Rittierodt always available with moral support and answers. Thank you.  

When I was preparing to take Luke into our home I was calling around to trainers looking for answers, hoping for someone to give me a simple solution as to how to help this dog.  I hadn’t even had a pet canine companion up until 2 years ago.  I managed to win the counsel of one of nations respected behavior adjustment trainers and I told her I had planned on utilizing Narnia for as many different services as I could manage.  She told me if that was the case then Luke would be in the best hands available as Narnia has some of the finest trainers in the nation.  She was correct. (Thanks Charmaine)

 

Lil' Luke-C posing with his foster sibling Cyrus's Doggles

Lil’ Luke-C posing with his foster sibling Cyrus’s Doggles

Lil’ Luke-C’s road to Narnia’s Pet of the Week is one less traveled in that he is a rescued dog who hasn’t found his forever home as of yet. Lil’ Luke is in foster care and has been since January 9th of this year after being surrendered to the Chicago Animal Control Center on Christmas Day in 2012 at approximately the age of 1.  The intake form at the shelter was blank in the response section to the question of “reason for surrender”.

The shelter staff tagged him with the name, “Santa’s Little Helper” and he went on the adoptable’s list.  On January 9th, 2013, Chicagoland Lab Rescue pulled “Santa’s Little Helper” from CACC, becoming “Shadow” under their custody and placed in a foster home.  He was adopted out twice and returned twice the reason noted, “aggression”, the real reason no doubt was his “OCD” when combined with “BARKING” can become INSANITY” to live with for the human residents.

The rescue was newly formed and with no fosters available to accept and work with him, he was placed in boarding for two months. During that time he regressed and towards the end of his stay showed severe signs of Kennel Syndrome.  Loss of weight, lack of appetite, refusal to leave the kennel, aggression one moment, lethargy another, confusion and muscle atrophy in his hind legs.

On June 24th, new volunteers joined the rescue (us) and “Shadow” became “Lil’ Luke-C”, he left the boarding facility and began a new life in a new foster home.  Part of his new life started at Narnia with a Behavior Evaluation, followed by Obedience Training Class and then Adolescence Training & Manners with Kathie Hayes and Nivin Wynn.

During the combined 12 weeks of classes Lil’ Luke had to have a barrier of walls around him to obstruct his view of the other dogs in class to enable him to focus on task and not attempt to journey over to the other dogs.  His barking at times was distracting and instructor Nivin Wynn had to come to the rescue to aid in calming him.

First Day in Foster Care

Second Day in Foster Care (my collar donated by Two Bostons)

The Basics

Dog Name:  Lil’ Luke-C

Guardian’s Name: Foster Guardian’s, Cynthia, Amanda & Jill

Dog Age: 21 months

Dog Breed: Labrador Mix

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other): Foster Siblings: Jeb, Eli, Cyrus, Francesca

Classes attended/attending: Obedience Training, Adolescent Manners

Sports I participate in:   I am practicing to start K9 Nose work

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at:    Chicagoland Lab Rescue

A professional photographer took my photo in August.  I was a featured dog at Labrador.com

A professional photographer(Kristen Hellstrom) took my photo in August. I was a featured dog at Labrador.com

And now….Presenting Lil’ Luke-C

When I grow up I want to be: A inspiration and positive influence for other rescued dogs to achieve their goals.

I look really cute when I: am running across the yard with my ears flapping, tail wagging with a smile on my face.

The biggest mess I ever made was: when I followed Francesca into the garden and we made gigantic mud shoes for our paws.  We had to be carried down to the laundry room wash tub for baths.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: the baked mostaccioli sitting on the counter.  I think it was the second week I was living here.  I haven’t ever done counter surfing again.

The one time I was a hero was: I went in front of all my classmates for the 1st time and performed the graduation game.  Big Day for the little reactive dog!  My classmates parents  cheered and clapped for me.  I was so proud!

Amanda, Luke and Nivin on Graduation Day

Amanda, Luke and Nivin on Graduation Day

IMG_20130925_113423The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is:  to see Nivin, she always tells me I’m a good dog.  She smells like liver, teaches me lots and rewards me with special treats.  Ms. Kathie said that I could do it and I did, she helped me from day one when I first met her in her office when I was so scared.

I am really good at:  sniffing and searching.  I am going to be a super sniffer star in K9 Nose Work.

I am sometimes afraid of:  big trucks, lawn mowers, new people and other dogs.  My Doggie Super Cape helps me.

Luke in his Thundershirt, we call it his "Doggie Super Cape" protects it from all things bad.

Luke in his Thundershirt, we call it his “Doggie Super Cape” protects him from all things bad.

The one thing I can’t resist is: apples.  I try to eat every apple that falls from the tree in the backyard.  My foster family has to block me from them and then hurry and pick them up.  I would eat apples all day long if they didn’t stop me.  When I’m not raiding the apples, I go for the tomatoes and then the strawberries.

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: good examples. They tell me about all the things they have accomplished at Narnia.  I see all their photos on the wall in the sun-room of their lives since they were puppies, they have had good lives since being rescued.

My toughest challenge so far has been: controlling my barking.  I become obsessed and can’t stop.

If I spoke my voice would sound just like (name of person)__________ and the first thing I would say is: _______________________

“I would sound like Joe Pesci and I would say, “You think I’m funny? Funny how?, Funny like a dog with big ears and tiny tail funny?”

Lil' Luke-C  right after we arrived home on the first day of school at Narnia.

Lil’ Luke-C right after we arrived home on the first day of school at Narnia. He was almost too tired to sit up and eat lunch.

 

My best friend is: Amanda is my best human friend, she shares her room with me and let’s me sleep in her bed.  She even gave me one of her pillows to put my head on and let’s me cuddle with her puppy fleece blanket.  Francesca is my best canine friend, even if she’s says she is NOT.  She let’s me follow her around the house and sometimes she let’s me sit with her and look out the front window to watch for rabbits and cats.  She is a very bossy girl and even though I’m a couple months older, she still doesn’t respect me.  Don’t let this funny advertisement fool you, she’ll miss me like crazy.

 

My nickname is: Lukey Luke, Lucus Patukiss, Saint Luke

Favorite Things

My favorite treat: Nivin Wynn’s Puppy Pup’s , These things are out of this world!  You can buy them at the Narnia Pet Store.

My favorite toy: My Kong filled with cheese, peanut butter and coconut for a night-time snack before bed.  I don’t play with toys, but I do like to play with the Wobbler Kong or practice Nose work.

My favorite television show is: 1950’s-1960’s television, Amanda and I watch old school shows while we fall asleep.

My favorite season of the year is:  I love them all.  I am an outdoors guy.

My favorite place to sleep is: in Amanda’s bed.  Right in the center with a fleece puppy throw and my favorite pillow.

My favorite holiday is: I don’t have one yet.  I hear this Halloween is a big event at my foster home.  I might like it, because there are apples involved with the treats.

My favorite trip was when we went to:  Not when we went anywhere, although I love going to Narnia, Petco, McDonald’s, Dr. Simon’s Minooka Animal Vet Clinic, running errands, but when I left boarding to come to my foster home.

My favorite quote is: We are all the hero of our own story.

My favorite playtime activity:  playing in the backyard, doing the dog thing, i.e., chasing birds, looking for bandits, eating strawberries, tomatoes, apples, peppers, peppermint, laying in the grass, makes mud shoes for my paws,  running from Francesca.

My favorite canine movie is:  101 Dalmatians.  I love happy endings!

Questions for the family:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

Lil’ Luke-C has reminded us how much extra patience is needed in working with a dog who suffers from abuse, neglect or behavioral issues.  Luke is a special needs dog.  He has scars on his face, but even more so, he has emotional scars that take longer to heal and in some cases longer to surface.

Luke has been a challenge to our family unity.  His staying with us has caused more than one family argument, as well as his behavior bringing about constant debates as to the best method to treat the issue.

Luke living with us has meant struggle, challenge, tears, loss and love & triumph.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen:

He was given the name Shadow by the rescue, but under the advice of Narnia’s lead instructor Rebecca Cann we were told to change the name and never call him it again to aid in his rehabilitation. The name was associated with everything bad that had occurred thus far in his life.   Lil’ Luke-C came by the name on the day before he was to be picked up from the boarding facility as were mulling over various choices.

A friend lost one of his closest friends and crew members in the sport of BASE jumping that morning by the name of Luke Chappell.  He was an Australian citizen with a quirky sense of humor and a love for life.

Co-Founder of Chicagoland Lab Rescue, Kim Kenny gave the approval and the dog once known as Shadow became Lil’ Luke-C in his memory and Base Jumpers from around the world, along with dear friends & family  donated money for his training and care while following his progress online.

What is the most important thing you learned from your class time at Narnia about your dog?

We learned that Lil’ Luke is a survivor and he that he could in fact still focus and learn.  

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?

A Labrador is the ultimate friend.  He doesn’t care what you look like, he isn’t interested in how clever you are, or how many friends you have.  You are his everything,  his whole world.  Until the end.

lukeweb_DSC0037

Lil’ Luke-C

The Yellow Dog Project

The Yellow Dog Project

Lil’ Luke-C would like to remind everyone about the Yellow Dog Project, because some dogs, like him need extra space to feel safe.

The Nose Knows…K9 Nose work at Narnia

“When a human walks into the house we smell Grandma’s stew cooking.  When your dog walks into the house they smell onion, carrot, potato, garlic and every other ingredient.  Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors, humans have about 6 million.  The part of your dogs brain that is dedicated to interpreting scents is about 40 times the size of ours.”

If you are sitting in Sara Swan’s Introduction to K9 Nose work class at Narnia, your going to hear her speak those same lines in her opening talk about “What is Nose work?”  Let me break it down for you even more in layman terms, “Your dog has a super sniffer. Some of your dogs have a super duper sniffer’s.”

DogsSniffing

Then we have this from the directors of the National Association of Canine Scent Work  website regarding the sport itself:

About Us

Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot and Jill-Marie O’Brien founded the NACSW to ensure the highest standard of excellence for competitors in the sport of K9 Nose Work® and to cultivate a community of enthusiastic dog lovers and dog sport competitors. Together, the three founders pioneered the concept of detection-style training and competition for pet dogs, finding great enthusiasm among dog lovers for their unique talents in developing and executing canine sporting events that truly bonded dog and human, and were lots of fun, too.

The first official NACSW trial was held in January of 2009, in Southern California, and since then there have been over 135 trials in 17 states. NACSW K9 Nose Work trials have earned a reputation for being an exciting, supportive venue to compete with your dog. Trials are all day events and require a large number of volunteers – typically NACSW members and competitors – to deliver the NACSW K9 Nose Work trial experience.

NACSW founders, faculty, and other key persons continue to bring K9 Nose Work to every dog and dog lover through workshops and seminars around the country. The NACSW is also dedicated to educating and certifying passionate, highly skilled instructors for the activity & sport of K9 Nose Work®, helping to bring K9 Nose Work to dogs and their people around the globe.

Learn more about the NACSW.

Once again, in layman terms, large groups of handlers and their super sniffer doggies gather and the dogs go up against the clock to sniff out the finds hidden by the judges.  At the end of the trial there’s a awards ceremony, dogs who passed are awarded their trial ribbons, those who didn’t have the support of good friends and have the opportunity to try again at the next trial.  The wonderful point about Nose work is that you are competing against no one.  It’s you, your dog and their sniffer against the mental pressure, the faint coiffing of scent in the air and the fatigue of a long day.

Snap!  Back to reality, before your standing there posing for photos with your dog, smiling and holding your trial ribbon, you start with baby steps back at Narnia with Sara, Joy, or Rebecca with Introduction to K9 Nose work.  First your dog will learn to put their nose inside open boxes of all sizes in search of one of their favorite treats, then different containers, then search a room, then searching a space outside.  And just when your all warm and fuzzy inside, feeling like the proud parent that you should feel like, you start over by pairing the first scent used in trial, birch, with their favorite treat in an open box.  Baby steps folks, everything is baby steps, leading up to the big show!

Personally, our family of dogs, 4 of them to be exact all enjoy the sport.  One attends Nose work training for the fun of socializing with the trainers and the challenge of succeeding.  Another is training to make a run for his Nose work 3 trial ribbon, completing the process, after three years of competing.  A third is training to go for his first Nose work trial ribbon and their baby sister has begun pairing scent in her training class and has a real love of the sport.

No matter which of the four dogs are being worked, fun times are expected as well as a learning experience for both dog and handler.  Each dog has their own individual personality and drive that comes out in the sport.  They have their own “tell” and develop their own special bond with you as their handler in working on the search to succeed on the find.  As their handler you must learn to trust your dog, you don’t know where the find is hidden and must rely on your dog to tell you.  But wait…your dog doesn’t talk, that’s right, they have to develop a “tell”, a signal that let’s you know they have found it  at which point you call “alert” to the judges.  Teamwork at it’s finest!

K9 Nose work is one of the fastest growing canine sports in the nation.  Narnia Pet Behavior and Training has been right in step, training dogs for the sport in the Midwest, hosting Odor Recognition Test events to certify dogs for trials.  Narnia instructors and Nose work clients are looking forward to 2014 when Narnia will play host to a NACSW trial event.  Narnia’s very own, Joy Rittierodt became a Certified Instructor in 2013, while Sara Swan and Rebecca Cann are certified Associate Nose Work instructors.  

Narnia has trained and continues to train dogs in preparation on their way to title in the sport.  Although the sport is not a team sport, you can’t help but feel a camaraderie with your training mates.  This fall, a NSW 3 trial will be held in Geneva, Illinois a first for the Illinois region in which (paws crossed) perhaps some of Narnia’s client’s will bring home their NSW 3 trial ribbons and join an elite group of dogs across the nation.  Or if you are looking for  a fun family sport that is a great way to bond with your dog and build his confidence, exercise and utilize his brain on problem solving skills, Nose work is perfect for you as well.  You and your dog make of it whatever you want it to be and Narnia’s instructors are there to support through each baby step along the way helping your dog reach it’s goal.

The next time you are at Narnia and see those dogs sniffing around the parameters of the building, or notice all the boxes lined up on the training room floor, it’s Nose work!  If you have a dog who is always sniffing around the house, with a lot of curiosity and problem solving skills, think about checking out a nose work class.  Trust me, you’ll be amazed at what the nose knows.

Sniff

Sniff

Sniff, Sniff

Sniff, Sniff

Sniff, sniff, sniff

Sniff, sniff, sniff

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff,

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff,

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff...Mom!!!  It's right here, call alert!

Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff…Mom!!! It’s right here, call alert!

 Super Sniffer's Train Here

Super Sniffer’s Train Here
Narnia Pet Behavior & Training

Pet of The Week: Wolfie Hunsaker (August 24, 2013)

...but the toys are better out.

…but the toys are better out.

~~~Wolfie Hunsaker~~~

Dog Name: Wolfie

Guardian’s Name:  Brian and Katt Hunsaker

Dog Age: 8 months

Dog Breed:  Crazy mix of Akita, Siberian Husky, Miniature Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier

Siblings:  3 cats, 2 chinchillas, 5 dart frogs and a geriatric mouse

Classes attended/attending:   Beginning Obedience

Sports I participate in:   Mom and Dad are teaching me to kayak, swimming, fetch, chase the kitty

Sporting/Show Titles I have earned:  Neighborhood Butterfly Control Officer

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at:   Orphans of the Storm, Deerfield

Me and Dad on Adoption Day

Me and Dad on Adoption Day

How I picked my family:    I’d already been turned down once that day because a lady said I wasn’t going to be big enough.  Can you believe it ME not big enough!  I’ve been growing this ego since birth.

Well, I saw these two really gullible people walk into the shelter, and I said, “self, I’m going home today, so we are gonna be calm and loving, and even though I don’t really know sit, I’m gonna sit for that man over and over because it makes him pet me more”. They bought it, hook line and sinker, especially the guy,  It was all part of my master plan.

When I grow up I want to be :   A hiker, a camper, a kayaker, a caver, a pawn and a king.

Wolfie

My shelter smile for Mom….”take me home”

If you asked my family they would say I am: Totally Awesome

My nickname is: Mom calls me Wolfman because I’m he superhero, and dad likes Wolferdoodle because I’m his little…(I don’t really like Wolferdoodle too much)

Wolfie

Fear the Dragon!

I look really cute when I: Get stuck trying to go through the cat door

Wolfie

I can’t find the kitty

The biggest mess I ever made was: Goustav the Fat (Kitty) and I played keep away with a roll of toilet paper.  That was fun, I want to do that again but daddy always shuts the door now.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:   Cat poop. I couldn’t help it I thought it was a snack bar.

The one time I was a hero was: My dad and I were walking and we found a baby kitty in a tree.  I stood lookout while daddy climbed the tree and got me my little brother Moto.  That was also the day I learned that baby’s come from Crab-apple trees.

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: MORE TREATS!

Wolfie

Don’t mess with my wooba

I am really good at: Barking

I am sometimes afraid of: I’m not afraid of nothing!

The one thing I can’t resist is: Goose poop! Oh, those treats in the kitty snack bar (litter box)

Wolfie Hunsaker

My Dog Shaming

I think my siblings (canine/human) are:   Delicious (they are cats remember)

My toughest challenge so far has been:   Catching the neighbors on their bicycles, they look so tasty!

Wolfie

TREAT BAG!

Favorite Things

 My favorite place to sleep is: I’d like to say on the bed but for now my dad says the remnants of what was a Martha Stewart dog bed

My favorite holiday is: WOLFIE DAY!  And they are all Wolfie days!

Wolfie

Mom, did you want this?

My best friend is: A 15 week old kitten named Morimoto

My favorite treat:   Anything the girls from Narnia have, it just tastes better when they have it.

My favorite toy: Squeeky pig, but it makes me do bad things.

My favorite television show is:   Wolford, that dog is a genius!

Wolfie

Deciding if I want to go for a walk in the rain.

My favorite season of the year is: Well, I only know two, so I guess I have to say summer because that’s when I found my family.

My favorite trip was when we went to:  Jericho Park, my mom let me sit on her kayak while we went around the lake, and I met a nice lab that taught me how to swim for dragonflies.  What a great day, I even got to get the inside of my dad’s new car wet!

My favorite quote is: Momma, the pig made me do bad things.

Wolfie

Sneaky Kitty.

My favorite playtime activity: Chase the kitty

My favorite canine movie is: It’s a toss-up between Summer School and Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

Wolfie

Me and Goustav

Questions for the Family:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

Wolfie is teaching us so much patience. Having  a dog that learned to be a dog in a dog world first (he was a stray by himself until he was 6 months old) they don’t automatically understand that they aren’t pack leader.  We had to earn his trust for him to be able to relinquish control to us.  His instinct even now if he is threatened or afraid to be the tough guy and we have to respect that and show him daily that we are there to protect him and not the other way around.  When we have a triumph it is such a huge thing for us and Wolfie.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: When we found him at the shelter they had given him the name Chopin because he was caged with an older Maltese named Mozart.  They told us he was part Wolfhound and thought that we might call him Wolfgang.  Then we saw his scruffy little face and knew he was a Wolfie, after the nickname that Constanze gave her husband Mozart.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?  The ladies at Narnia taught us a ton of new ways to keep Wolfie excited and focused on my husband and I.  They always remind us that it’s the smart dogs that can be the most resistant ones.

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? HAHA! Which one?  Wolfie is such a huge mixed bag of super alpha dogs.  But he has so many pieces of so many personalities come out, he is all terrier when the cabbage butterflies are out, all working dog when he is herding our cats, all guard dog when there is a bump in the night, and bird dog that likes to sit by the pond and just watch the ducks as still as he can be.  Most of the time he is just pure bread Wolfie who is slowly revealing more of who he is each day.

A huge thank you to Wolfie and his family, Brian and Katt Hunsaker for participating in this weeks Pet of the Week.  Wolfie asked that it be changed to the Wolfie Hunsaker Pet of the Week interview, regrettably I must tell you Wolfie, Mrs. Sara Swan said, “NO, NO WAY, NOT IN THIS LIFETIME OR THE NEXT”.  Nice try anyway little dude.  🙂

Pet of The Week: Max Griffin (August 17, 2013)

When I asked Max’s Mom the question of what is it about their particular breed that you are fond of?, she responded with a very profound answer based on the heart which we should all consider when judging a breed rather than based on urban myth and perhaps not even scientific canine behavior studies.  

If you check out their markings, Rottweiler is a beast that always smiles and has 3 hearts, one that’s beating inside and two that he wears on his chest! How cool is that? I love them for what they represent: selfless loyalty, intelligence and courage without arrogance, strength without vice and beauty without vanity. There has been a lot of bad rep surrounding this breed caused by many ignorant or violent humans. I guess I like to do my part in proving those opinions wrong. So far so good….

If you asked my family they would say I am: Handsome.

Handsome Boy- 6 months

Handsome Boy- 6 months

Handsome is the perfect word to describe this fellow.  I think we can all agree, Max is a looker and a worthy recipient of this weeks Pet of The Week.

Max’s Basic 411

Dog Name: Max

Guardian’s Name:  Justyna and Greg Griffin

Dog Age: 6 months

Dog Breed: German Rottweiler

Siblings: Gypsy is an 11-year-old shepherd mix female rescued from a pound at 7 months of age

Classes attended/attending:  Max graduated from Kindergarten Puppy and currently is attending the Self Control and Manners class

Sports I participate in: so far: Pouncing and tug of war.

Sporting/Show Titles I have earned: Nothing yet but my dreams are high.

"Yum"  11 weeks old

“Yum” 11 weeks old

How I picked my family: When Justyna, Greg and Gypsy came to meet me and my siblings they really focused attention on me and my brother. While my brother was busy squabbling with our sisters and stealing their toys, I wanted to be polite and get to know our guests. Gypsy was nice and didn’t bark at me. She even let me grab her leash and take her for a walk around our yard. Justyna and Greg were great too. I could feel their calm and positive energy right away. When Greg and Justyna were talking to my Creators, I climbed up on top of Justyna’s bag and her sweatshirt (she had left them on the ground), I looked at them and whimpered “come on, I’m ready – let’s go home”.

When I grow up I want to be : A certified Assisted Therapy Dog. Years ago, one of my cousins who belonged to Justyna, was an AKC certified therapy dog.  I know she loved visiting other humans with him. Justyna works with children at a hospital and I would love to one day start going to work with her.

MAX AND THE BALL

MAX AND THE BALL

My nickname is: Maximus Jones Griffin – don’t ask – it’s a long story….

I look really cute when I: Sleep belly up.

WHO PLAYS HARD SLEEPS HARD

WHO PLAYS HARD SLEEPS HARD

The biggest mess I ever made was: When I was very young and I tried to help with gardening.

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: Justyna’s freshly potted flowers.

I didn't do it...honestly

I didn’t do it…honestly

The one time I was a hero was: I tried to protect Justyna and Gypsy from a person wearing roller-blades and  a long pink tutu, huge pink helmet and goggles – she looked very scary!

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: When I first started I could play with other puppies. Now they don’t let us off leash anymore but it’s still fun to watch everyone – some dogs are so silly!

MAX AND GYPSY FIRST DAY

MAX AND GYPSY FIRST DAY

I am really good at: Eating, pouncing, playing with my toys, bugging Gypsy, kissing and I guess at some tricks Justyna’s been teaching me.

The one thing I can’t resist is: Stealing Greg’s socks.

I really want that bone!

I really want that bone!

I really, really, really want that bone

I really, really, really want that bone

No, I mean I really, really, really want that bone!

No, I mean I really, really, really want that bone!

 

My toughest challenge so far has been:  Not to tackle Gypsy when we are running free out in the fields and not to put everything I find on the ground into my mouth.

I am sometimes afraid of: I’m not sure what it means to be afraid…. oh, maybe a little of that loud and growl machine Justyna takes for a walk around the house, vacuum something….I still haven’t figured out what’s that all about.

My best friend is: I have many – they all hang out in the sandbox, in our park.

MAX - 20 WEEKS

MAX – 20 WEEKS

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My favorite place to sleep is: By Justyna’s feet.

My favorite holiday is: I haven’t decided yet – still have a few to live through. For now my favorite  days are Tuesdays, when Greg is home and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, when Justyna doesn’t have to go to work. The best day of a week is always when everybody gets to stay home!

My favorite treat:  Cheddar cheese stuffed hollow bone.

My favorite toy: Any toy that Gypsy has in her mouth.

My favorite television show is:  “Bones”

My favorite season of the year is: This first summer of my live has been awesome so far…

Kiddy Pool 1 - 14 weeks

Kiddy Pool 1 – 14 weeks

My favorite trip was when we went to: We’re always going somewhere but I love places with lots of children like River walk in Naperville, parks and playgrounds. I also like to go on hiking trails. Shopping trips are fun too.

My favorite quote is: “If you can eat it now, why save it for later?”

My favorite playtime activity: Tug of War.

My favorite canine movie is: I haven’t been watching much TV but Justyna keeps talking about this “Otis and Milo” story. I want to see it but I remember one time, when I was much younger, I met kittens in a pet store and they scared me with their hissing….

GYPSY AND MAX PLAYING 2 - 14 weeks

GYPSY AND MAX PLAYING 2 – 14 weeks

 Questions with Mom, Justyna Griffin…

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

Throughout the years I have been honored to own 3 Rottweilers, a German Shepherd, a Pure American Mutt and a Black Lab.  Dogs in my life have always been constant reminders of how important compassion is. In return for their unconditional and never-ending love, companionship and entertainment they provide us with, the least we can do in return is to show we care, to advocate and to educate on behalf of those who cannot voice their fears, concerns and opinions.

The therapeutic quality of dog – human interaction amazes me every day. I had a privilege of witnessing its benefits first hand after my Dad’s stroke. He never responded as good to a human therapist as he did to our two dogs, a Rottweiler and a Lab. That was the reason I certified my Rottie to be an Assisted Therapy Dog.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: Gluteus Maximus is the biggest muscle in the human body. After meeting Max’s father we knew that one day he’ll become a one big muscle mass.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

It’s been years since I was in training with a puppy and I’m grateful to Narnia for accepting me and putting me right back into the wonderful world of learning Dog. I remember from my many past years of dog training the fascination with human – dog interaction that resulted in a perfect communication without words. I strongly believe that the most important thing every owner has to learn before they attempt to train their dog is full respect for their animal’s needs, potential, limitations and, yes, their feelings. The next thing is patience. If you recognize how important those two components are you will have a lot of fun learning with your dog.

Our Family

Our Family

MAX AND BELLA

Pet of The Week: Hunter Gray (August 10, 2013)

This week we introduce you to Hunter Gray, a 4 month old Labrador mix puppy with puppy dreams and puppy energy.  Hunter lives with his mom, dad and brother Freddie.  Unlike most Labrador puppies, Hunter is a bit camera shy despite mom’s coaxing.    Of Hunter’s early life his mom had this to share, “We know that he was born in Kentucky, and brought here with the rest of his litter as a shelter transfer. He was the last puppy from his litter to be adopted, but we think he is also the best one.”  Hunter may be shy, but it’s apparent by his profile adoption photo, he sure is adorable. 

Hunter’s picture from the ADOPT Pet Shelter Website. This was his official picture when he was looking for a home.

Hunter’s picture from the ADOPT Pet Shelter Website. This was his official picture when he was looking for a home.

So Mom, how did you chose his name, “I wanted to call him Capone, because I knew he was going to be a trouble maker, but my boyfriend didn’t like the name. I saw the name Hunter on a list of male dog names on the internet, and we decided on that name instead.”

As to the most important point Mom has learned about her relationship with Hunter during class time at Narnia? “The Puppy Kindergarten class has really helped me be able to communicate with Hunter more clearly. Hunter now knows an established praise word, a soft mouth word, the word “off,” etc. This is very helpful because I am able to let Hunter know what I want him to do or don’t want him to do in a way that he understands. Hunter is a good dog, and it is easier for him to be a good dog if I let him know what I want in a clear way.”

Surprisingly Mom isn’t partial to any particular breed, she explains, “I actually like adopting dogs, and have very little attachment to one breed over another. I picked Hunter out because I think he has a very nice temperament and personality, and because I wanted the opportunity for us to be Hunter’s first and only permanent family.”

I bet Hunter makes a Labrador Lover out of Mom yet!Labrador Retriever Lover

Dog Name:  Hunter

Guardian’s Name: Stephanie Gray

Dog Age: A little over four months. Hunter’s birthday is March 20th, 2013.

Dog Breed: My boyfriend and I adopted Hunter, so we don’t really know what kind of dog he is. He is probably some type of Lab mix.

Siblings: Hunter lives with me, my boyfriend Erik, and Freddie (a four year old Siberian Husky mix).

Classes attended/attending: We are currently attending Puppy Kindergarten. We plan on attending Puppy Continuing as well.

Sports I participate in: Hunter doesn’t participate in any official or organized sports. He does like to swim.  He also likes to climb over and under various obstacles. I think he wants to be an agility dog.

Rescue or Shelter Name My Guardians found me at: ADOPT Pet Shelter in Naperville Illinois.

Hunter posing nicely for the camera

Hunter posing nicely for the camera

And now…15 Questions with Pet of the Week Hunter Gray

1.  When I grow up I want to be: I think I might like to be an agility dog, or maybe some type of pet therapy dog. I would really like to have some kind of job to do, because sometimes I get bored easily.

2.  How I picked my family: When my mom came into the shelter, she was actually looking for an adult dog, and she wanted a girl. I thought that if I was very calm and well behaved, she might pick me instead, and she did.

I was excited to go home with my mom because I knew I would also be living with my dad and my brother Freddie, so I knew I would have a lot of people to play with all the time.

 3.  My best friend is: My brother Freddie. He takes all my toys, which is annoying, but he also keeps me company when we are home alone and plays with me all of the time.

 4.  If you asked my family they would say I am: very well behaved for a puppy. I get on my family’s nerves sometimes, and I can be a handful, but my family knows that for the most part, I am a calm and well-mannered dog. Sometimes they even say that I am better behaved than my four year old canine brother.

Hunter and his brother Freddie: Take 2

Hunter and his brother Freddie: Take 2

5.  My nickname is: “Little Dog.” There is an animated cartoon show called Two Stupid Dogs, and the two main characters are Big Dog and Little Dog. Mom and Dad think it’s funny to call me “Little Dog” and my brother Freddie “Big Dog,” even though we aren’t stupid dogs. I think it will be funny when I get bigger than Freddie, and then I can be called “Big Dog.”

6.  The biggest mess I ever made was: I don’t like to make messes, thank you. I like my crate and my house to be clean and organized. I do sometimes like to rearrange my mom’s bedroom while she isn’t looking. For example, I think that her shoes belong all over the floor rather than in the closet. Also, I think her sheets and blankets look better on the floor than on the bed.

7.  The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I love to play with the other puppies in Puppy Kindergarten. During off leash playtime, I like to run and see if any of the other puppies will chase me.

8.  I am really good at: Jumping. I can jump really really high. I can get up on furniture and tables and counters and everything else in the house. I can even jump over the gates that my parents use to keep me in or out of certain rooms. I’m really talented. My parents don’t seem to appreciate my jumping ability for the gift that it is.

9.  I think my siblings (canine/human) are: a lot of fun! I love playing with my canine brother Freddie. He’s set a really good example for me with house training, and with how to behave around the house. He does like to take my toys though, and he’s not very good at sharing.

Hunter’s brother Freddie

Hunter’s brother Freddie

10.  The one thing I can’t resist is: Jumping on people and licking their faces. I know it’s not good manners, and that most humans don’t like it, but I’m just trying to show people how much I love them.

11.  I look really cute when I: want something. Whenever I want anything, I make sure to sit politely and make big puppy dog eyes. If that doesn’t work, I usually tilt my head a little bit or sit up on my back legs. I try to be extra cute, so that my humans can’t help but give me an extra toy or treat.

12.  The one time I was a hero was: I am a hero every morning. My mom is usually running late for work, and I like to help her get ready by running around the house carrying her shoes, socks, work clothes, car keys, etc. That way, she won’t forget that she needs them. 

13.  The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: One night, Dad made lasagna. He turned his back on that lasagna for about half of a second. All I can say is that I saw my opportunity and I went for it. Dad makes really good lasagna.

14.  My toughest challenge so far has been: learning not to jump on people. I try really hard to behave nicely, but I get so excited when I meet new people that sometimes I forget my manners.

15.  I am sometimes afraid of: I really don’t like swings. When my mom and dad sit on swings, it looks to me like they are hovering above the ground and it scares me.

Hunter investigating my camera.

Hunter investigating my camera.

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My favorite treat: I love food. Any food is good food. I do especially like the ones that taste like bacon.

My favorite toy: Rawhides. I don’t get them very often, but when I do, I chew them very gently so they will last as long as possible.

Rawhide!!

Rawhide!!

My favorite television show is: How I Met Your Mother. One of the characters on the show has five dogs. I wish we had five dogs. I would have so many brothers and sisters to play with. (Note from Mom: We are NOT getting five dogs).

My favorite season of the year is: Summer. The weather is perfect for swimming and long walks.

My favorite trip was when we went to: Petsmart! I love when my parents take me with them to Petsmart. I get to pick out all kinds of awesome stuff for myself.

My favorite quote is: “Don’t worry, be happy.” I don’t like to worry too much when there are so many fun things to do instead.

My favorite playtime activity: My family lives near the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville, and my favorite thing to do is to play in the shallow parts of the river. I like to splash around in the water and dig in the mud. This usually results in a bath when we get home. I don’t like baths, but the fun of playing in the river is worth it.

My favorite canine movie is: I haven’t seen any canine movies! My parents need to get on that.

My favorite place to sleep is: I usually sleep in my crate, because I feel secure there. I also like to sleep on my mom’s bed while she isn’t looking.

My favorite holiday is: The only holiday that I have been around for was Fourth of July. It was alright, but a little bit noisier than I like.  I’ve heard people talk about Christmas, and I’m really looking forward to the extra toys and treats that I will probably get.

Hunter and his brother Freddie. They don’t seem to like posing for the camera

Hunter and his brother Freddie. They don’t seem to like posing for the camera

 

Thank you to Stephanie, Hunter and Freddie for their participation in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to you Hunter as you continue your education at Narnia.

 

 

We're closer then you think.

Narnia has grown during the past 20 years to become nationally recognized and respected in the dog-training industry. Along the way, Narnia has helped tens of thousands of area pets (and their humans) live in harmony. We’re ready to do the same for you from several locations:

Naperville/Plainfield

Serving Naperville, Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, and the Fox Valley area.

Located just west of Rt. 59 and 95th Street, for most of Narnia’s 20 year history we have served the Western Suburb’s from this facility. 

Narnia Pet Behavior & Training
10143 Clow Creek Road
Plainfield, Il

Directions to this location.

Downers Grove

Serving Downers Grove, Woodridge, Hinsdale and the surrounding area.

In partnership with Happy Dog Barkery, Narnia offers classes from our newest facility located in downtown Downers Grove.

Narnia at Happy Dog Barkery
5118 Main Street
Downers Grove, Il

Directions to this location.

Lisle

Serving Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and the surrounding area.

In partnership with Lucky Dog Daycare and Boarding, Narnia offers classes from our facility located in Lisle just minutes south of I-88 near the I-355/I-88 junction.

Narnia at Lucky Dog Daycare and Boarding
1992 Ohio Street
Lisle, Il

Directions to this location.

Lockport

Serving Lockport, Romeoville, Lemont, and the South West Suburbs

In partnership with All Pets HospitalNarnia offers classes just minutes west of I-355 in Lockport.

Narnia at All Pets Hospital
200 Read Street
Lockport, Il

Directions to this location.

Pet of the Week- Kona Scrima (August 3, 2013)

Trying to hide under the bed... but we can see her! "Kona, it's time for your interview.  Come on out from under there."

Trying to hide under the bed… but we can see her!
“Kona, it’s time for your interview. Come on out from under there.”

This weeks Pet of the Week is a real cutie pie who goes by the name of Kona. Her Mom told me that they adopted her the day the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, now that’s a day that won’t be easy to forget!

She added, “Narnia is really teaching us how much time and hard work it takes to train a dog and we are up for the challenge. Because that’s exactly what it is, an exhausting, excited, and trial and error challenge. Her pregnant mother was found under a house and she had a litter of 3 puppies. 2 girls and a boy. We adopted her for her personality and spunk!”

As you see by her photos and answers to her 15 questions, “spunk” could easily be her middle name. You go Kona Girl, you represent Narnia well. Kona is proof that Narnia is where Good Dogs Start.

Kona enjoying a ride in the car on her way home from Narnia after her best week! When she was asked to be pet of the week! Proud parents we were!

Kona enjoying a ride in the car on her way home from Narnia after her best week! When she was asked to be pet of the week! Proud parents we were!

Dog Name: Kona             

Guardian’s Name: Joe and Kim Scrima

Dog Age: 5 months

Dog Breed: Hound-Corgi mix

Rescue Name My Guardians found me at: Safely Home Dog Rescue

Kona's first boat ride and she loved it! Spending time at our family summer home in Coldwater, MI.

Kona’s first boat ride and she loved it! Spending time at our family summer home in Coldwater, MI.

15 Questions With A Dog You Should Know….Kona Scrima

1. How I picked my family:

When I met them at Petco, when they were leaving I ran after them to stay and play some more. 

2.  When I grow up I want to be:

Canine astronaut

3.  My best friend is:

My mommy and daddy

This is the day we got her, June 24th the night the Hawks won the Stanley cup.

This is the day we got her, June 24th the night the Hawks won the Stanley cup.

4.  If you asked my family they would say I am:

Full of energy

5.  My nickname is:

Monster mouth

6.  I look really cute when I:

When I first see someone and my tail whips around so much that I get a wiggle butt. 

Waiting for daddy (Joe) to come home from work she can hear him outside.

Waiting for daddy (Joe) to come home from work she can hear him outside.

7.  The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:  

Goose poop

8.   The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is:

Being praised with treats

9.   I am really good at:

Puppy push-ups

10.  I am sometimes afraid of:

Fireworks 

Playing with her favorite toy.. The red Kong!

Playing with her favorite toy.. The red Kong!

11.  The one thing I can’t resist is:

Food wrappers

12.  My toughest challenge so far has been:

Learning to soft bite

13.  I love to sleep:

In my crate

Curled up on her bed after a nice long walk!

Curled up on her bed after a nice long walk!

14,  Classes I attend:

Adolescent Training & Manners

15.  Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other)

We know she has a sister named Darla, and a brother Hossa

Kona laying in the sun in our backyard with one of her favorite toys.

Kona laying in the sun in our backyard with one of her favorite toys.

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  • My favorite holiday is: I’ve only celebrated 4th of July (which I was not a fan of), but Thanksgiving sounds like a tasty holiday.

  • My favorite treat: Dried Liver Treats

  • My favorite toy: My red Kong

  • My favorite television show is:  American Pickers

  • My favorite season of the year is: Summer

  • My favorite trip was when we went to: Michigan for a ride on a boat

  • My favorite playtime activity: Chasing my tail

  • My favorite canine movie is: Anchorman. Ron Burgundy’s dog Baxter is an inspiration

    Trying to pick up a stick bigger than her on her walk.

    Trying to pick up a stick bigger than her on her walk.

Questions for Mom and Dad:

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family. We’ve learned to be more patient and understanding. She’s certainly gotten us to be more active too.

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story. Her mom was found living under an abandoned building in Kentucky.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: Kona is great city on the Big Island of Hawaii that we went to on our honeymoon. We had a blast there.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia? It takes a lot of time and work to build a relationship.

Riding in the car with daddy!

Riding in the car with daddy!

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? Her freckled belly.

Flashing her spotted belly!

Flashing her spotted belly!

Thank you to Joe, Kim and Kona Scrima for their participation in this weeks interview.  

PURPLE_DON'T_SHOP_ADOPT__37059_zoom

Pet of the Week: Guinness Oliver (July 13, 2013)

This weeks Pet of the Week is Guinness.

Guinness-Logo

No, not that one!

This one.

Guinness @ 5 Weeks Old … Wow! I don’t see “Rowdy Rover” in this face!

Guinness @ 5 Weeks Old … Wow! I don’t see “Rowdy Rover” in this face!

This weeks Pet of the Week is Narnia Trainer Bev Oliver’s dog Guinness.  As you soon discover Guinness has a whole lot of personality, her and mom have a great time together.  

Dog Name: Guinness

Guardian’s Name:  Bev Oliver

Dog Age:  6yrs 8 months

Dog Breed:  German Shepherd Dog

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other ) Guinness won’t allow them. She wants to be an only child.

Classes attended/attending:  Where do I begin? Puppy Kindergarten, Beginning Obedience. That was before I started going to Narnia. I had to see a dog behaviorist at Narnia and then we enrolled in Rowdy Rover classes, K-9 Nose Works, Rowdy Rover Reunions (we get to practice what we learned in Rowdy Rover: it’s called BAT or Behavior Adjustment Training,) Rowdy Rally Obedience, which is Rally Obedience specifically for Rowdy Rovers.

Sports I participate in: K-9 Noseworks sanctioned through NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work).

Sporting/Show Titles I have earned:  Passed the Odor Recognition test for Birch & Anise. We are going to a NW1 Trial at the end of the month. Guinness is also a Level 1 Trick Dog

Rescue/Shelter/Breeder Name:  I decided this time to find a reputable breeder and get a magnificent dog. Instead, I got a great teacher who also happens to be a magnificent dog.

Her 1st ball, our first day together

Her 1st ball, our first day together

How I picked my family: Apparently my mom had this big lengthy application to fill out. Then, after I was born and my guardians saw how my personality was developing, they matched me with my mom.  Can you say “opposites attract?”

Exploring the snow @ 3mos old

Exploring the snow @ 3mos old

When I grow up I want to be :  I don’t think I ever want to grow up. My mom says if I were a boy, she’d change my name to Peter Pan. Play, Play, Play. I could play all the time.

My mom thinks this is cool… while I’m thinking… “What the ????”

My mom thinks this is cool… while I’m thinking… “What the ????”

My favorite place to sleep is: On my bed, on top of my mom’s bed. I also have a bed on top of a big ottoman. Or, I like to sleep (with one eye open) in front of the patio door so I can bark & scare away the birds, squirrels, & critters. Sometimes I like to bark at the leaves blowing in the wind; Oh, I really like to bark at the landscapers & meter readers, or that stray cat that my mom keeps feeding. (My mom keeps telling me she’s going to bring in that cat. She calls it “Black Cat” or something like that. Really?)

My favorite holiday is: Isn’t every day a holiday?

My best friend is: My mom and all the nice people at Narnia.

My favorite treat:  Yes, I love all of them.  I only get the really good stuff, like dehydrated liver, lung , hearts… in all varieties like duck, buffalo, turkey. Yummmmmmm……

My favorite toy: I love tug toys, balls, kongs filled with stuff and puzzle toys that are filled with treats and I have to figure out how to get the treats out.

My favorite season of the year is: Winter. I love the snow.

I love the snow!

I love the snow!

My favorite trip was when we went to: My mom takes me to as many places as she can. She knows I am not fond of the groomer or vet, so I think she tries to trick me. She doesn’t know that I pay attention while we’re driving and I know exactly where we are going….

I really love the snow!!

I really love the snow!!

My favorite quote is: “Loving you isn’t always easy, but if it were, I probably wouldn’t….” wait, maybe that’s my mom’s quote.

My favorite playtime activity: Either playing “goalie” on the stairs, “fetch” with the ball, or playing tug with my mom. I think Nose Work is a lot of fun, too.

Trying to get as many toys in my mouth as I can...how do you think I am doing?

Trying to get as many toys in my mouth as I can…how do you think I am doing?

My favorite canine movie is: My mom doesn’t let me watch movies with animals in them. She says that they are always sad… even though they might have a happy ending, she doesn’t like the sad stuff. She’s kind of a wimp, that way. She does let me watch that dog training show with that nice British Lady… but I have a hard time understanding her accent, so I don’t get much out of it. (that’s why I didn’t answer the question about my favorite TV show.)

If you asked my family they would say I am: Funny. Every day, I do something to make my mom laugh!

"Um, did you want to play?"

“Um, did you want to play?”

My nickname is: where do I start… Guinnie-Girl, Buddah-Butt, Boo, P.I.T.A.-Pup (I think that P-I-T-A stands for something, because I never ate any pita bread)

“Shedding? Who, me? I don’t need no stinkin’ Furminator….”

“Shedding? Who, me? I don’t need no stinkin’ Furminator….”

I look really cute when I: I want something.  I kind of want, what I want, when I want it. My mom keeps telling me…. “It’s a good thing you’re so darn cute because….”

"I got all the treats out Mom, please refill it for me."

“I got all the treats out Mom, please refill it for me.”

The biggest mess I ever made was: I really didn’t ever make a mess. My mom always tried to prevent me from getting in trouble. However, I did steal a toy from Petsmart when I was a young pup. I was sitting nicely by my mom’s side when she was buying me a new “Kong” and I noticed a bunch of squeaky toys just hanging by the checkout. When my mom said “Let’s go!”, I grabbed one & we started to leave the store. I remember everyone looking at me & laughing. I was loving it till my mom looked down & saw I was carrying a toy she hadn’t paid for. She made me turn around & go back to the cashier, and sit, then she paid for it & we were able to leave the store.

This is the toy my mom says I stole from "Petsmart"

This is the toy my mom says I stole from “Petsmart”

The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:  I think it was… um… ”bunny sushi.” I didn’t taste it because my mom yelled “OFF!” as I was swallowing it. (My mom still doesn’t let me forget about it because we practice “OFF!” a lot.

The one time I was a hero was: Huh?

Lost the fight with the water hose.

Lost the fight with the water hose.

The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I think I’m considered a “Reactive dog” or Rowdy Rover. They really understand me there and taught my mom some really good things to help me control my behavior. Gosh, if it wasn’t for me, my mom would probably never have become a dog trainer. So, I see it as a “win-win!”

I am really good at: Barking and trying to scare everything away. I’m really good at getting the last word. I excel at getting what I want. My mom thinks I’m working for it…. (Tee-hee)

I am sometimes afraid of: Even though the list is getting smaller, I recently started barking at people with gray hair when we’re sitting at a stop light and a car with one of them pulls up next to us. I’m not sure why, but I am not fond of them, especially if they look at me. However, I used to be afraid of everything that moves… I would bark at “it” and “it” would go away. That’s when I thought I was really “tuff!”  Now, with all the work that my mom & I have done, I can look at motorcycles, some dogs, some cars, some kids and not react. It’s taken awhile, but I’ve made some great progress. I don’t even flinch at the vacuum cleaner anymore!

5 months old, one of Mom's favorite photos, I have my walking stick

5 months old, one of Mom’s favorite photos, I have my walking stick

The one thing I can’t resist is: trying to get my mom to play with me… I just try to sit and look cute with a toy in my mouth, or a couple toys…. and stare at her. If that doesn’t work, then I will sit in front of the TV and block it and stare at her with a toy in my mouth.

I think my siblings (canine/human) are: I don’t have any, thank goodness, so I DON’T have to think about them, ever!

My toughest challenge so far has been:  I guess overcoming my re-activity is pretty difficult. Or, maybe it’s getting my mom to play whenever I want to.

"Boo!"

“Boo!”

So Mom I did my part, how about you answer a few questions for the nice people.

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family. I’ve learned… to let go of expectations and to work with what you have…..

I did a lot of research and had high, probably unrealistic, expectations for Guinness; she was to be the best dog ever! Well, the irony is, those expectations were not being met, and the probability of them never being met was staring me in the face. I realized I had to work with her exactly where she is… Now, in this moment…  We have good days, and we still have some bad moments… but she always reminds me to come back to the moment, the here and now…

Why the dog’s name was chosen: I actually love Guinness (the stout) & just thought it would be a “fun” name for a dog. I had a dog named Molson, however I never tasted the beer. I guess I think beer names make good dog names?

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?  I’ve learned that Guinness’ rowdiness, re-activity, crazy behavior, whatever you want to call it, was based from being fearful. Once I understood that, I had place to start to really work with her; and with the help of very knowledgeable trainers, we’ve been able to make progress. It opened a door for me to understand my dog.  I always loved my dog, but since she was so difficult to take out anywhere, I sometimes didn’t like her. Now, I really like her…. She is my best bud!

What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? I just always liked GSD’s. I’ve grown up with the herding breeds… a  Border Collie mix, a couple lab-shepherd mixes, an Old English Sheepdog, and German Shepherd Dogs. I can’t explain it, I just love them. I think they are beautiful, intelligent, athletic and strong…

Thank you to Guinness and Bev Oliver for their participation this week.  

Young At Heart Rescue

We applaud and congratulate Young At Heart Rescue for their successes and wish them all the best as they continue to set the standard in senior rescue.  

We are a small animal rescue dedicated to rescuing senior dogs and cats from shelters in Illinois! All of our senior pets are SAFE and are with us for as long as it takes to find them a loving home. www.yahpetrescue.com
Mission

Our mission is to rescue and rehome senior dogs and cats, to educate the public on the benefits of adopting older pets and their care, to reduce the euthanasia rate for senior pets in the state of Illinois.

Young at Heart Pet Rescue is dedicated to the following goals:

-Rescuing stray and relinquished senior animals from animal shelters who have not been adopted and are scheduled to be euthanized. Young at Heart takes the animals who are considered “too old” for traditional shelters and rescues and provides them with a chance at a forever home, either with a new loving family, or through our Sanctuary Program.

-Securing a no-kill adoption center and sanctuary where rescued senior pets can be safely sheltered without the threat of euthanization until adoptive families are found for them, or where they may live out their days surrounded by the best care and love at our sanctuary.

-Providing medical care to neglected, abused and injured senior animals.
Rehabilitating hard-to-adopt senior animals and finding them loving homes.
Promoting the benefit of adopting older pets, and educating the public on the care of senior dogs and cats.

-Educating children and adults alike on responsible pet guardianship.
Creating an alliance with local open-admission shelters and animal rescues to improve the adoption rate of senior pets.

THE FUTURE HOME OF YOUNG AT HEART:

(Posted JUNE 28, 2013 to Young At Heart Rescue Facebook Page)

Future Young At Heart Sanctuary

Future Young At Heart Sanctuary

6 months ago, Young at Heart reached a mission milestone with the purchase of 8 acres in unincorporated Woodstock, IL to one day build a permanent safe haven for senior dogs and cats.

Since that day, we have been blessed with the amazing support of some fantastic people and businesses that have been working behind the scenes to help us reach our next Mission Milestone. Matthias Jans Architects has pledged to donate 100% of all ongoing architect and project management costs. John Lazzara and his team of engineers are donating 100% of the engineering, landscape design, and surveying costs. We’ve had incredibly generous pledges for donated labor and our amazing supporters raised $25,600 at Wags to Wishes towards our our second milestone goal.

Through lots of hard work, fundraisers, and our amazing supporters, we are now 50% to our goal for completing our second Mission Milestone, which includes clearing the land, putting in the driveway, adding septic and a well, and landscaping (including walking trails, pond, and memorial garden) for our future Adoption Center’s outdoor play and event space! Mission Milestone 2 is an incredibly important phase, as it marks the launch of creating a campus just for senior dogs and cats, which will include adoption headquarters where adoption events, training events, and fundraisers can be held, an on-site veterinary clinic and sanctuary housing for long-term care.

We invite you to be a part of the answer to the problem of senior pets in shelters by donating ANY amount to our Mission Milestone Campaign. As a very special Thank You, donations of $250 or more will be permanently recognized in the main outdoor play area with donors’ names inscribed on a beautiful plaque for all current and future friends of Young at Heart to see. All will be welcome to celebrate the outdoor play space when it is complete!

To learn more about the Mission Milestone campaign or to donate towards the project, please click here!http://yahpetrescue.com/about-young-at-heart/future-home-of-young-at-heart/

Thanks to you, close to 600 senior pets have been saved from death row and have gone on to be adopted into loving families. Thank you for believing in what Young at Heart does and for supporting our mission to rescue and re-home senior pets!

Young At Heart

To All The Grey Muzzles…

(Click on title or photo to start video)

To All The Grey Muzzles

To All The Grey Muzzles

This is a just a glimpse of the incredible work that Young at Heart Pet Rescue achieves for homeless senior dogs and cats. For a population without a voice or a fighting chance, rescues like this are their only hope. Thank you to the participants for sharing their personal story about their beloved grey muzzles.

Director/Co-Editor: Tonia Kim
Co-Editor: Benjamin Fingerhut

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog from the ASPCA

1. What You See Is What You Get

Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!

2. Easy to Train

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

3. Seniors are Super-Loving

One of the cool parts of our job is reading stories from people just like you who have opted to adopt. The emails we get from pet parents with senior dogs seem to all contain beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love these dogs give you—and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!

4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job

Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.

5. They Settle in Quickly

Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!

6. Fewer Messes

Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.

8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’

Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.

9. Save a Life, Be a Hero

At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

10. They’re CUTE!

Need we say more? 

Pet of the Week: Buddy Kadlec (June 22, 2013)

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”Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissing sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.”

anonymous author

Buddy when he first arrived at home

Buddy when he first arrived at home

 

Hi, I’m Buddy, “Bud” to my close friends.  My story of finding my family is very similar to the essay I posted above.  You see there I was sitting in the corral at Animal House Shelter, with all the other puppies (including two of my siblings), when I saw my family walk in. I immediately went over to them, sat down (being a good boy) and looked at them lovingly. When my master picked me up, I could not help but nuzzle my face into his arms. It didn’t take us long to agree to go home together from there. The whole family liked me and the feeling was mutual.

Allow me to formally introduce myself.  I am Buddy, my guardian is Bill Kadlec, he likes to refer to himself as “Master”, he is a bit old fashion that way.  I am a Beagle, Labrador mix, with a little bit of this and that tossed in for good measure, my fur is jet black with a lovely white crest.  I have a 18-year-old sibling-slash-guardian named Dan who lets me sleep in his bed with him when he is home which is very cool otherwise I have a comfy bed in Master Bill’s office all to myself.

My best friends or “Buds” are Master’s Bill and Dan, I enjoy going for ride’s to Petco, it’s where the pets go, I sit in my seat and watch out the window.  I  love going to Narnia for obedience class, where I enjoy receiving my favorite liver treats or Greenies.  I enjoy visiting with everyone and learning.

Buddy playing with Grandpa

Buddy playing with Grandpa

The first thing I ate that I shouldn’t was a wash cloth.   To this day it’s still my biggest challenge to resist cloth or paper objects.  One of my classmates at Narnia said admitting I had a problem was the first step.

I was asked if I had a favorite canine movie, book or television show, truth be told, the Master’s haven’t read to me much yet, and I’m not into sitting in front of the television.  I do notice when I hear a follow canine bark or cousin wolf take center stage on the television.  Perhaps when I’m older and my attention span develops I’ll check out that show the kids down at Narnia are always talking about on Animal Planet,  “Too Cute! Puppies”.

Master Bill says I’m very skilled at sitting, running along side the bicycle and laying down on command.  I am also very fond of my Kong Wubba.  I can fetch it, bite it to make it squeak (I love  to make things squeak), wrestle for it with everybody or just sit and gnaw on it.  My favorite playtime activity is tug of war.  I am most certain this is the world’s number one playtime activity.  Who can resist tug of war?

Buddy playing with Master Bill

Buddy playing with Master Bill

Buddy playing with Master Bill

Buddy playing with Master Bill

Master Bill wants to share with you a little bit about us, so I’ll turn it over to him now.  He also brought along some really cute photos of me, he thinks I’m very cute when I lay on my back with my legs up in the air all silly like.  I am sure glad I could save him.

Favorite Way to Relax

Favorite Way to Relax

Questions for Master Bill:

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story.

We didn’t really get much back story. He was one of a litter of pups the shelter took in. He was with a foster family for a few weeks before he was available to adopt. I know the foster family did a great job of starting his training. He came “pre programmed” for sit and was well along with walking next to me.

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen:

It took awhile to find a name that really fit him. He is a cute, quiet, mostly obedient  and lovable dog. We tried stately, noble, standard and even silly names. After a couple of weeks of trying different names, Buddy just seemed to fit once we thought of it. In fact, it fits so well, we had a number of people address him as Buddy even before they knew his name.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia? 

Buddy is very cooperative and sensitive. You just want to smother him in love, he brings it out of you. Everyone can’t help but laugh whenever they interact with him. What we’ve really found amazing is his awareness of how he affects you. We’ve had a number of incidents when he has accidentally injured one of us during play. It is natural and we don’t reprimand him for it. But, he has noticed and understands our “ouch” reaction. He stops, looks at you, and then comes apologizing to you, rubbing his head in your lap or chest. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that, please accept my apology, I will try not to do it again”.  It is so endearing.

 

Buddy Kadlac

Buddy Kadlac

 

Thank you to Bill and Buddy Kadlac for their participation in this weeks edition of Pet of the Week.  

Canine Service Announcement from Petfinder.com:      

Summer Awareness

Summer Awareness

The Narnia Pet Behavior Chronicles Bloggers would like to extend a very Happy Birthday to Narnia Trainer Bonnie Benton the voice between the keyboard at Narnia’s Facebook page and a key supporter of this blog.  Thank you Bonnie for all you do, may the year bring you many blessings.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

 

 

Giving Your Dog A Sound Beginning

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True story.

A couple adopts a 3-year-old Labrador.  While feeding the dog that evening, the boyfriend decides to wave and hit the dog on the snout with an empty paper towel roll as the dog eats.  The dog growls.

The couple returns the dog to the rescue stating the dog has aggression issues.  “It growled while being hit with paper towel roll while eating.”

Now I don’t know about you, but if someone was hitting me in the nose and mouth while I was eating with a foreign object, I would growl also.  If I’m being really honest, I’d probably bite if it was one of my favorite meals.

Go ahead, say it, you are thinking it, “What on earth were these people thinking?”

Unfortunately, they weren’t.  Too many episodes of  show them who’s the boss or  methods leftover from an era gone by when dogs were possessions and not family.

Thankfully, Julie Dorsey-Oskerka, Patricia Rattray & Rebecca Cann have given us A Sound Beginning from the ‘Passionate Journey’ Series.  A Sound Beginning aids you in setting the right tone for your newly adopted dog.  Giving you the tools to build a relationship and gain trust.

A word about A Sound Beginning by Narnia Trainer Bonnie Benton:

Many people want to welcome a rescued dog into their lives, but dog-human

communication breakdowns can lead to a rocky start. Many of these

misunderstandings happen because well-meaning, loving families don’t

always understand “dog language.” The book and CD set, “A Sound Beginning:

Setting the Right Tone for Your Newly Adopted Dog,” written by Narnia

instructor Rebecca Cann and fellow dog trainers Julie Dorsey-Oskerka and

Patricia Rattray, sets out a simple, practical plan to avoid the

confusion.

The authors use their years of experience in dog behavior, training and

rescue work to break down the important steps for introducing an adopted

dog to a new home. The book walks adopters through the preparations for

bringing home their new dog, such as dog-proofing and setting up a safe

place for the dog to go if he’s feeling overwhelmed. After that, it has a

day-by-day plan for successfully introducing the dog to family members,

children, the new environment. Each day has clear, easy to follow

instructions for introducing new people and things, plus important

training exercises to build the dog-family bond. As the two week plan

continues, it builds gradually to prevent unnecessary stress, anxiety or

fear while setting the adopted dog up for success at home, on walks,

meeting new people and going to the veterinarian’s office.

The book comes with two copies of the companion CD with classical piano

solos performed by Lesley Spencer. Multiple studies have shown that music,

especially solo piano arrangements with slower tempos reduced

anxiety-related behaviors as much as 80% in the home environment. Two

copies of the CD make it easy to have one in the car and one in the house!

The music can help people and pups relax while the dog adapts to his new

home.

fourlegslogo4www.fourlegsinharmony.com

There is no more passionate journey than the one we’re privileged to take with our dogs.  From the moment they enter our lives to the day we say goodbye is a time of self-discovery, mutual admiration, and unqualified love. ~from A Sound Beginning

The purpose of the book is to provide answers to the most frequently encountered situations in those first important two weeks of a new adoption, which is when the most amount of support is needed. For more information, please visit our website: www.fourlegsinharmony.com

Cost of book/CD for general public is: $19.95                                                                                             Discount prices for shelters/rescue groups:

1-19 copies – 20% discount – $15.96 each
20-99 copies – 30% discount – $13.97 each
100-499 copies – 40% discount – $11.97 each
500-999 copies – 50% discount – $9.98 each
1000-4,999 copies – 55% discount – $8.98 each

Available at Narnia Training Stores.

Thank You For Your Service To Our Nation

I AM A WORKING DOG
My eyes are your eyes,
to watch you and 
to protect you and yours,
My ears are your ears,
to hear and detect evil mind in the dark,
My nose is your nose,
to scent the invader of your domain,
And so you may live,
My life is also yours.
 Cicero

 

Memorial Day quote: “The dogs brought it all back to, you know, to the human side.”
― Luis Carlos Montalván, “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him”

We’re very thankful for those, both human and canine, who sacrificed and served for our country.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our Guardian Mom’s!

Mama and Pups

Happy Mother’s Day to all our Guardian Mom’s!

Thanks Mom for making us part of your family and in some cases looking past our faults, our disabilities, our illness’s, our mixed breeds and our dark pasts.

Thanks for reading the ingredient labels on a dozen different bags of dog food in the store before choosing one for me and then going back and read them all again when my tummy grumbles that night after dinner.

Thanks for telling me to “sshhh” two dozen times without a timeout when I bark at the same rabbit in the front yard and only giving me a 15 minute time out when by accident I knock the lamp off the table in the living room when I spot a squirrel instead.

Thanks for holding my paw when it’s time to get my shots at the vet’s office.

Thanks for patching up my favorite stuff toy over and over again each time my little sister tears it open and spreads the stuffing all around the family room.

Thanks for not becoming hysterical  when I ate the padding out of your shoes or when we ate the laces out of dads.

Thanks for all the cuddles when I am having a case of the blues and I just need a hug from my mom.

Thanks for all the awesome toys, soft blankets, cool collars, harnesses and leads.

Thanks for wonderful human siblings to love, protect and have as playmates.

Thanks for washing out my feed bowls, remembering to change my water, and keeping me well groomed and up to date at the vet.

Thanks for replanting the flowers after I pull them up from the garden and not banishing  me from the yard.

Thanks for the walks, swims, running, playing catch, fetch, Frisbee  going to school, competing in trials, and hanging out with friends and family socializing.

Thanks for understanding that although I would love to be all that you dream, the “perfect dog”  in reality I am not.  In the end you  love me with all my faults.  The barking, licking, tail whacking  sniffing, sneezing, scratching, squirrel chasing, puddling pouncing, grass rolling, drooling, toilet bowl drinking, poop eating, counter surfing, shoe stealing, sofa hogging, hole digging, and nose and paw printing everywhere possible.

To the flip-side of I will never leave your side, be loyal to the end, breath my last breathe for you, best friend, be part of your family like no other.

Thanks Mom!!!!!

PS) Thanks for not minding that we shed a bit more than your human kids do too.

 

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Pet of the Week: Lilly Edmond (May 11, 2013)

“Look deep into my eyes”  

 

Lilly staring

Lilly Edmonds

Eli Lilly Logo

Lilly was rescued from a shelter in Oklahoma by the Petco Foundation. As we understand it, Oklahoma is one of the few states that do not have strict regulations on shelters and during a short period of time in October 2012, the Petco Foundation rescued over 300 dogs and cats.

Lilly was one of the lucky ones. She had recently given birth, the puppies had been weaned and Lilly was available to be brought to Illinois. She was a bit undernourished from giving birth to the puppies. Then placed in a foster home familiar with Border Collie’s and their specific needs.  A Narnia instructor/friend recommended us and one other applicant to be consider for her adopted  family. Luckily we were chosen as her new guardians.~ Jane Edmonds (Lilly’s Mom)

Those of us who have found ourselves at their checkout know how easily Petco makes it to donate to their foundation.  It’s great to hear about a local dog who has received their generous help with the use of all those point of purchase donations.   Thanks to TAILS Humane Society, DeKalb, Illinois for receiving her and finding her a forever home.

Lilly is now living the life all dogs deserve, with parents to love and care for her welfare.  Lilly is a smooth coated Border Collie and even when all goes right in a Border Collie’s early development it takes a very patient guardian who understands their intelligence and need for lots of mental and physical stimulation.

Getting Along

Getting Along

♥15 Questions with Pet of the Week Lilly Edmonds♥

Guardians: Chris and Jane Edmonds

Siblings: (human, canine, feline, other) Lady (BC rough coat-12 1/2 yrs old) Seeker (BC rough coat 3 yrs old) Myca (Cat 10 yrs old)

Education:  Beginning Obedience (finished) Nose Works -current

1.      When I grow up I want to: herd cats

2.      My best friend is: Seeker

3.      My nickname is: Silly Lilly

4.      If you asked my family they would say I am: Goofy

5.      I look really cute when I: Tilt my head when you are talking to me and boing boing like an antelope thru the fields

6.      The biggest mess I ever made was: emptying the toy box

7.     The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: cat poop

8.     The one time I was a hero was: I let my family know people were walking on OUR street!

9.     The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I get food

10.   I am really good at: finding food and howling, my ears smile when I am happy, too!

11.   I am sometimes afraid of: Myca when she swats my nose

12.   The one thing I can’t resist is: my sister cat Myca

13.   I think my siblings (canine/human) are: fun to play with. I love to chew on my sister Seeker and tug with my old sister Lady.

14.   My toughest challenge so far has been: getting my cat to do what I want.

15.   If I spoke  the first thing I would say is: I’ll  clean the dishes don’t put them in that machine.

Lilly in the snow 2013

Lilly in the snow 2013

images

My favorite place to sleep is: on the couch or in my parent’s bed

My favorite holiday is: everyday

My favorite treat: any food and buttered popcorn while I watch TV with my mom and dad

My favorite toy: tug toys

My favorite television show is: any one where I can play or sleep with my mom and dad or sisters

My favorite season of the year is: I am not sure yet. I have only seen winter and this crazy spring…I am from Oklahoma

My favorite trip was when we went to: Fermi Lab to run free with my sister Seeker

My favorite quote is: from Cookie Monster ….”Cookie!”

My favorite playtime activity: Herding Myca and watching my neighborhood

My favorite canine book is: Lass by Phillip Keller

Lilly and Myca

Lilly and Myca

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Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family. Lilly is so full of energy and joy. Lady sleeps a lot because of her age and Seeker was following in those footsteps. NOW Seeker has playful bouts with her sister Lilly. What a JOY it is to watch them playfully chew on each other and tug on toys. Seeker chews on Lilly’s feet while Lilly is chewing on Seeker’s rough. We have a wonderful energy level in our home again!

How the dog’s name was chosen: Lilly is what she is called (she arrived with Beth but we have several Beths in our family so we added a name that sounded good with Beth and she was LillyBeth for awhile….now just Lilly. The funny thing was, that we found out later, that the foster family was going to name her Lilly if they had chosen to keep her.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog  you learn from your class time at Narnia? I have learned that I need to go slowly with Lilly. We believe she has been hit in her past because she shys away from tubular objects like wrapping paper tubes. She also reacts negatively to the word stay. We are most familiar with working with shy rescue dogs (those afraid of the world and /or people) so having a gregarious dog that shys away from a command or tubular object is different. We have had to learn different things to meet Lilly’s needs.We are building her confidence with Nose Works so that our obedience training can continue without her shying away from commands. Narnia is FABULOUS with sharing sooooooooo much information. We could never have succeeded with the dogs that we have rescued without them. They have helped us meet each dogs needs successfully.

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Thank you to Jane and Lilly Edmonds for participating in this weeks interview and adopting not shopping!

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The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals across the country since 1999. Each year, we help animal-welfare organizations find lifelong, loving homes for millions of orphaned pets, as well as fund spay and neuter efforts, animal assisted therapy programs and humane education.

Today, the Foundation donates more than $15 million a year to assist companion animals across the country. The organization is funded through donations raised during seasonal fundraisers conducted in Petco’s 1,000 plus stores in all 50 United States, as well as from Petco associates, vendors and corporate contributions.. The majority of the funds raised remain in the community in which they were raised, but the Petco Foundation is also involved in many national animal welfare efforts. More than 85% of every dollar we raise directly supports the life affirming programs of our animal welfare partners.

The Petco Foundation’s mission is to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them. The Petco Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation (#33-0845930) that supports other IRS (Internal Revenue Service) designated non-profit pet related groups as well as municipal/governmental agencies and educational institutions involved in animal causes.

Besides monthly giving, volunteering your time, donating your vehicle, the Petco Foundation also recycles your used cellphones as a way to donate to the cause.

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With the generous help of our friends at Sprint, the Petco Foundation is collecting and recycling old cell phones to aid in its mission of raising the quality of life for pets and people who need them. Proceeds from donated phones help create responsible pet owners, reduce the number of animals euthanized, rescue animals in crisis, and rehabilitate behavioral issues in pets.

Lilly would also like to remind everyone about car safety now that the warm weather has arrived.

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Pet of the Week: Penny Wilkison (May 4, 2013)

This weeks Pet of the Week is Penny, Penny, Penny Wilkison, okay truth be told she’s Penny Wilkison, a 10 month old Australian Cattle dog, her guardian is Megan Wilkison; as far as I know Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) is NOT her apartment complex neighbor.

Her trainer Bev Oliver at Narnia noted how Megan and Penny returned to Beginner’s Obedience class each week with homework in hand, check marked and notations made.  Megan showed a serious and efficient means to undertaking the training the sessions to benefit Penny to the highest degree.  Her efforts paid off as Penny made strides in her training and the Narnia staff took notice choosing her as the Pet of the Week.

Lion: This is baby lion, Penny’s beloved toy.  I took this picture late at night when she was in my bed and she was not thrilled to have me taking pictures of her.

Lion: This is baby lion, Penny’s beloved toy. I took this picture late at night when she was in my bed and she was not thrilled to have me taking pictures of her.

♥15 Questions with the Pet of the Week, Penny Wilkinson♥

1.    How I picked my family:  I was at the West Suburban Humane Society for a couple months and when my future mom came to visit, she gave me lots of treats and played fetch with me.  As soon as she threw the ball and chased me around the yard, I knew she was the one!

Hiding: For some reason, Penny loves to crawl under pillows.  I was attempting to make my bed and had thrown my pillows in the middle of my bed and when I turned around, Penny had already crawled underneath them.

Hiding: For some reason, Penny loves to crawl under pillows. I was attempting to make my bed and had thrown my pillows in the middle of my bed and when I turned around, Penny had already crawled underneath them.

2.   When I grow up I want to: I would love to compete in Frisbee or diving.  Frisbee is my favorite game in the whole world.  If I am not able to travel the world competing in sports, I will settle for competitive eating contests- preferably Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, but I would settle for pretty much any type of food.

First Day: This is the very first picture I took of Penny on the day that we picked her up the hospital following her surgery.  She was such a trooper on the ride home and quickly bonded with everyone in the family that night.

First Day: This is the very first picture I took of Penny on the day that we picked her up at the hospital following her surgery. She was such a trooper on the ride home and quickly bonded with everyone in the family that night.

3.    If you asked my family they would say I am: full of energy.  I am always running around the house or doing laps in the backyard.

4.    My nickname is: Pen, PenPen, Goob, Goober, Penny Boo Boo

5.    I look really cute when I: am begging for a treat.  I will pull out all of my tricks to do whatever I can to get a snack.

Sleeping: This is rare photo of Penny sleeping

Sleeping: This is rare photo of Penny sleeping

6.   The biggest mess I ever made was: My grandma was cleaning up and gave me some cardboard boxes to play with.  It only took me seconds to rip them all to shreds!

Or, There was a big rainstorm that left lots of puddles in the backyard and I was quite amused to jump in them and make some big splashes.  But I did not enjoy the paw soaking to clean my feet afterwards.  Getting clean is no fun!

7.   The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: my first toy that I got from my mom on the way home from the hospital, Dino the Dinosaur….my mom wasn’t too happy about that (good thing she bought me another one!)

Dino: This is when Penny was discovered after she destroyed her very first toy and love, Dino the Dinosaur.  We would leave it in her cage with her at nights, but after this incident, only non-edible bones are allowed in her cage.

Dino: This is when Penny was discovered after she destroyed her very first toy and love, Dino the Dinosaur. We would leave it in her cage with her at nights, but after this incident, only non-edible bones are allowed in her cage.

8.    The one time I was a hero was:  when I chase the birds out of the yard.  Those birds take over the yard when I am inside, but as soon as I get out; I make sure to chase them away.

9.     The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: All of the yummy food I get!  I have fooled my teachers- I found that if I lie down quietly and wag my tail, they will come up to me and give me a treat!

People watching: Since we have brought her home, Penny enjoys sitting on the front stoop and watch the neighborhood.

People watching: Since we have brought her home, Penny enjoys sitting on the front stoop to watch the neighborhood.

10.   I am really good at: running away from my mom when it is nap time, talking (or as my mom says ‘barking’), eating, find the squeakers in toys, spying on people through the front window, jumping, the ability to destroy new toys within minutes (my record is 11 seconds, thank you very much), cuddling (but only when I am tired, otherwise- don’t touch me!), digging holes in the backyard, pulling branches off of the bushes, helping feed lettuce to my cousin OX, and melting people’s hearts with my cuteness

11.    I am sometimes afraid of: the vacuum cleaner.  I haven’t decided how I feel about it.  The noise doesn’t bother me, but I don’t understand why they move it around the floor.  Sometimes I bark and chase it, other times I might cower.

12.   The one thing I can’t resist is:  all of the fun things that are in my back yard like rocks, sticks, grass, bugs and chasing birds.

Frisbee: This is how Penny will drop the frisbee for you to throw.  We painstakingly taught her to drop the frisbee so we were able get it away from her mouth (or I like to say her ‘jaws of life’, because she does not like to give up her toys!)

Frisbee: This is how Penny will drop the Frisbee for you to throw. We painstakingly taught her to drop the Frisbee so we were able get it away from her mouth (or I like to say her ‘jaws of life’, because she does not like to give up her toys!)

13.   My toughest challenge so far has been: trying to control myself when I get tired.  I don’t want to admit defeat and take a nap!

Feeding Ox: Penny loves to help Grandma feed her cousin, OX (who is a bearded dragon).  She will look on as Grandma gives OX his daily lettuce.

Feeding Ox: Penny loves to help Grandma feed her cousin, OX (who is a bearded dragon). She will look on as Grandma gives OX his daily lettuce.

14.   If I spoke my voice would sound like an Aussie and the first thing I would say is: I’m hungry, can I eat now?

15.   Sports I participate in:    Loves to play Frisbee (if Penny could, she would spend her entire day outside playing Frisbee), enjoys playing football in the house on rainy days, leaves a tennis ball in multiple rooms around the house so there is always a reason to play tennis, enjoys going on walks and is trying to learn how to run with her mom.

15.   Classes attended/attending:    Beginning Obedience

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My favorite place to sleep is: NO SLEEP! I love to be awake all day every day! NO NAPS PLEASE!  If I get really tired at night or on the weekend, my mommy will let me snuggle with her on her bed.

My favorite holiday is: Groundhog Day.  I love to see and play with other animals, so I love any holiday that celebrates animals.  I also hope that he would see his shadow so I can enjoy more snow!  I also enjoy Christmas.  Mom let me open all of my presents and I enjoyed the wrapping paper more than the presents themselves!

My best friend is:  my Uncle Jonathan.  I don’t get see him as often as I would like, but when he comes to visit, it is non-stop playtime!  And he is much better at throwing the Frisbee than my mom is…

On the run: Penny and her amazing skills during our endless rounds of frisbee.

On the run: Penny and her amazing skills during our endless rounds of frisbee.

My favorite treat: is anything that I can get my paws on!  I love my bacon training treats and yummy, yummy hot dogs (Mom says I can only have them when we are training).  I also enjoy a good stick once in a while

My favorite toy: that’s a tough question.  It really depends on my mood, but my go to toy is my baby lion, which my mom calls my binky, because it is always in my mouth.  When my baby lion has to go to the hospital for stitches (thanks mom!), I am also fond of my football or bones.

My favorite television show is:  My grandma and I love watching Duck Dynasty on Wednesday nights.  On Saturday mornings, my mom and I enjoy waking up to Dogs 101.

My favorite season of the year is: I’ve only been with my mom for 1 season thus far, but I enjoy all types of weather.  I loved playing in, rolling around, and eating all the snow.  I also enjoy a good rainstorm and getting all muddy.

Snow: Once I showed Penny that she could eat the snow, she literally would walk with her mouth open on the ground to gobble up as much snow as she could.

Snow: Once I showed Penny that she could eat the snow, she literally would walk with her mouth open on the ground to gobble up as much snow as she could.

My favorite trip was when we went to:  I like taking trips to the toy store.  Mom lets me look at the birds and then pick out my own toys.  There are so many good smells and I seem to run into my best friends around every corner (Mom’s edit: Penny thinks every stranger was put on Earth to see her, so when she meets a new person she acts like it is her long lost best friend).

My favorite quote is: ‘That’ll do pig.  That’ll do.’ -Babe

My favorite playtime activity: Fetch.  No matter the toy of my choosing, I love to run up and down the hallway.  If Mom can tolerate the weather, we will go outside and play my favorite game of Frisbee.

My favorite canine book is: ‘The Puppy Who Lost His Way’ by Chrissy Taylor

My favorite canine movie is: Babe.  Since I am a herding dog, I love to watch Babe and get some good pointers from that cute pig!

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Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family.

Patience.  Lots and lots of Patience.  I thought I had a decent amount of patience before, but it has been a long slow process of trying to control Penny’s puppy behavior.  She is doing so much better by attending beginning obedience.  It is a lot of hard work for the both of us, but at the end of the day, I love nothing more than cuddling up with her.  This is the first dog that I have had of my own and it has brought so much joy not only to me but my other family members.

If the dog is a rescue/shelter dog, please share any of his/her past story.

We don’t know much about Penny’s history.  We know that she was sent to West Suburban Humane Society with her brother, when she was only about 6 weeks old from animal control.  She then spent the next couple of months at the WSHS until we adopted her in November 2012.

Why the dog’s name was chosen:

I initially wanted a name that ended in ‘y’ and then when I found out that she was an Australian Cattle Dog, I began looking up Australian names.  Penny happens to be a popular Australian name and ends in ‘y’.  It just seemed like the perfect fit and stuck since day 1.

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

When I got Penny, she was 5 months old and was a lot more work than I anticipated.  I thought she would be a hopeless case with the biting, jumping, and the general urge to ignore anything that I said to her.  I was shocked when she quickly excelled at Narnia.  After just the first class, Penny responded amazing to the training and eagerness to learn.  I am excited to see how she grows into an adult and what the future holds for us.

Thank you to Megan and Penny Wilkison for participating in this weeks interview.  

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help-endpetcancer-1         May 1- May 31- 2013 is PET CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

help-endpetcancer

Watch. Share. Save Lives.

Millions of pets will develop cancer during their lifetimes. An estimated 50 percent of pets will die of this disease, and often the causes are unknown. Morris Animal Foundation and Blue Buffalo have partnered to end this disease and give hope to animals and those who love them.

In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month in May, Blue Buffalo will donate $1 to Morris Animal Foundation for every person who pledges and watches our video —up to $25,000.

That’s right, 1 “PLEDGE” = $1, so make it viral.

Morris Animal Foundation will use this generous donation to help fund critical research into preventing, treating and curing cancer and other diseases in pets and wildlife. Over our history, we’ve already invested nearly $14 million in cancer research for animals. Those studies have led to better diagnostics and treatments, but we can’t stop funding cancer research until cancer stops taking the lives of the pets we all love.

Please join us and take the pledge to watch the video and then share it with others who love animals. Together, we can #endpetcancer and create a brighter, cancer-free future for animals.

Click on the link below to be directed to the CAUSES page to log your view to help raise funds for cancer research through the Morris Foundation.

http://www.causes.com/EndPetCancer

Pet of the Week: Sophie Klein (April 20, 2013)

This weeks Pet of the Week is the charming Sophie Klein, a stunning  ½ German Shepherd, ¼ Australian Cattle Dog (Heeler), ¼ Keeshond mix who is easily sets the bar high in the category of:

Rescue is my favorite Breed

When Sophie’s mom, Allison contacted me, she wrote, “My goal with Sophie’s profile is to show that great dogs can come from shelters and don’t need to be purebred.”  Allison had Sophie DNA tested to have a better understanding of her temperament:

We did DNA testing to get more information about Sophie and better understand her behaviors.  In temperament, Sophie is most like a Keeshound, but is happy to go after anyone’s heel to keep them in line.

Sophie, at 20 months, shares her home with three human kids, ages 16, 13, & 10.   Lucy who is a Bluetick Coonhound (age 4 ½) and Mika the Cat, Blue Point Siamese, age 12, and Smudge Bunny who is a mini-lop rabbit.  Sophie recalls the story first being told to her, … My family was very sad when Max, the Basset Hound died at the old age of 14.  Lucy was the saddest of all.  After a year, mom decided that it was time to get another dog.  And now that the kids are older, she thought a more active dog would be good.  Plus, then Lucy would have a playmate to run and wrestle with.  Mom decided that a German Shepherd mix would be a good fit for our family.  She looked at local shelters and then on Petfinder.com and finally found me in Munster, IN.  I was in the shelter for a really long time and am glad to be home.”

Sophie Klein

Sophie Klein

As Mom, Allison explains,

Sophie was in a litter of three puppies that were rescued from a high kill shelter in KY.  She was put on the puppy truck and brought up to Munster, IN, and placed in the Calumet Area Humane Society.  While in the shelter, all three puppies, including Sophie, were adopted very quickly.  I had seen the puppies online and called to inquire about adopting one of them.  I was told they were all adopted but to come down and look at a group of puppies who had also arrived on the Puppy Truck.

I first went to see Sophie and her sisters, but then fell in love with another puppy named Beaux.  I was told that he was being tested but  I could come back the following week to bring him home.  Later that week, I learned that Beaux’s brothers had come down with kennel cough and one puppy tested positive for Parvo.  Beaux was now in quarantine and I would have to wait for a week or two.  Nearly two weeks later, I was told that Beaux was still in quarantine and would not be adoptable for quite a while.

I was told another puppy truck would be arriving soon and that I would get first pick of puppies.  I noticed that Sophie’s sisters were no longer in the shelter but Sophie was still there.  I was told the family never came back to pick her up and  she was mine if I wanted her. Yes, I wanted her!

♥15 Questions with Pet of the Week, Sophie Klein♥

1.   When I grow up I want to: Be an agility dog

2.   My best friend is: Mom

I love Mom <3

I love Mom ❤

3.   If you asked my family they would say I am:  An awesome dog!

4.   My nickname is:  Velcro Dog, because I have to be anywhere mom is.

5.   I look really cute when I: Lay on my back with my paws in the air.

6.   The biggest mess I ever made was:  I ate my brand new bed in my crate.

I'm not sure about this crate thing.  I ate this bed too..

I’m not sure about this crate thing. I ate this bed too..

7.   The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:  Lucy’s favorite toy raccoon

8.   The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I get treats for having fun and learning new things.

9.   I am really good at:  Protecting my family.  I don’t bark when I’m not supposed to but will give a “warning woof” if I hear the

garage door or someone open the front door.  If I can’t figure out who it is, then I will continue to bark and go get Mom.

I know how to open closed doors

I know how to open closed doors

10.  I think my siblings (canine/human) are: my responsibility to take care of.

Lucy and I both love our kids!

Lucy and I both love our kids!

 11.   My toughest challenge so far has been:  To not chase the cat.

12.  I am sometimes afraid of: The vacuum cleaner.  I hate it! I bark at it and lunge at it!

13.  If I spoke the first thing I would say is: “Let’s go!” (That’s what mom says when we are going to get in the car)

I love to ride in the car.  I help drive each of my kids to school every day

I love to ride in the car. I help drive each of my kids to school every day

 14.  Classes attended/attending: Attending the CLASS program, working on B.A.

 15.   Sports I participate in:  Fetch the tennis ball, Catching “flying goldfish” that are tossed in the air by my 16 year old boy or

          Tug of War with Lucy.

I love Lucy's brand new bed.  I ate the edge off so that she would know that I like it too.

I love Lucy’s brand new bed. I ate the edge off so that she would know that I like it too.

A Few of My Favorite Things…

My favorite place to sleep is: On Lucy’s bed

My favorite holiday is: Thanksgiving, because the house smells really good, and I help mom in the kitchen.

Sophie visits the nursing home pg

Sophie visits the nursing home

My favorite treat:  Goldfish tossed or dropped by one of my kids

My favorite toy: My ball or anything that bounces or squeaks

My favorite television show is:  Animal Planet

My favorite season of the year is:  Winter, because I LOVE to play in the snow!

I stole Lucy's new Chirstmas collar and hid it so that no one ever saw it again!

I stole Lucy’s new Christmas collar and hid it so that no one ever saw it again!

My favorite trip was when we went to: The Naperville Riverwalk

My favorite quote is: “Let’s Go!”  That means that we get to go in the car for a ride.

My favorite playtime activity: Playing ball with my kids or playing tackle with Lucy

Snowphie the Snow Dog

Snowphie the Snow Dog

Lesson Learned:

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog did you learn from your class time at Narnia?

I realize that it is important to let Sophie figure out what is expected of her and let her choose to do what she is asked.  This may take time and patience on my part.   Also, repetition is important to reinforce a new skill or understanding (ie, “Leave the kitty!”)

We are sitting by the garage door and waiting for mom to come in JPG

We are sitting by the garage door and waiting for mom.

This is a photo of my sister Lucy and I waiting on Mom to come inside.  We love each other.  Our forever family and especially Mom for rescuing us very much.  She put a great deal of thought into searching for us and then making the correct decision in choosing us to join the family.  I was a puppy when Mom found me all alone and forgotten in the shelter in Munster, Indiana, my sister Lucy had it much worse off than I.  Mom said this story was about me, but I seen her typing about Lucy and I asked the good people at Narnia to share how Lucy came to be part of our family too.

“I know this is not about Lucy, but she is a “dumped hunting dog” who was left in the deep woods on the TN/VA border, after what is believed to be a poor hunting season.  She is a beautiful purebred Blue Tick Coon hound who was in very bad shape when she became part of our family.  She came from CASPCA (Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA in Northern Va) We moved from Northern Va about 3 years ago.”

So you see, my sister Lucy is one of those pure breed dogs, one of those fancy pants dogs like you see on those kennel shows on television.  She doesn’t put on airs though, never.  She and I are equals.  She doesn’t judge me for being a mixed breed or for my humble shelter beginnings not even for a second.  We share everything including the best family EVER.  I know when I pass my test for my B.A. in the CLASS program Lucy will be right there at the door waiting to celebrate with me.

Shelter dogs….Diamonds in the Rough waiting for their forever family’s. Thank you to Allison, Sophie and Lucy Klein for participating in this weeks interview.  Also, thank you Allison for seeing your diamonds.

Adopt, Don't Shop

Adopt, Don’t Shop

Pet of the Week: Blossom Hill’s Northern White Cedar (Cedar) (April 13, 2013)

This is Cedar at Turkey Run on a long hike! He loved this day, hiking through the forest and climbing up the paths through the hills.

This is Cedar at Turkey Run on a long hike! He loved this day, hiking through the forest and climbing up the paths through the hills.

This weeks Pet of the Week is  Blossom Hill’s Northern White Cedar  or Cedar for short.   The above photo is Cedar posing with his mom, Elizabeth Seward, who together enthusiastically share their story.  

I think we should start off with how my mom came about preparing for my joining her as part of the clan.  It wasn’t until recently that I learned not all of my canine friends have the same start to life as I did, in fact some of them had a really rough go of it.  I’ll let mom take it from here.

“The first thing we did was research the breed, and I mean research. We read up on the history, what they were originally bred for, their temperaments, etc. That process took us several months because we wanted to be sure that we wanted a Swissy. Most of our resources told us all of the difficult things about having them, which was helpful in our decision making. For example, it is not uncommon for a six month old Swissy to not be reliable in the house – they take a very long time to potty train. Cedar was no exception and we were really glad that we were prepared for this. 
 
Next and through our research we came across the breed’s national club. Luckily, they had a list of questions on their website to ask prospective breeders and tips for finding a good one. We went through all of the questions, which were extensive. They covered common medical problems in the breed and how to tell if the breeder’s line has those associated with it, and other important questions to ask. We wrote them all down and asked them during our interview process. 
 
The most helpful thing though, was once we had spoken with a breeder (but before we had signed any paperwork or even verbally agreed to purchase a puppy), she recommended that we go spend some time with our local breed club (going to weight pulls, shows, pack hikes, etc) to get to know the dogs. We hung out with our local breed club, minus a dog for almost a year while we waited for Cedar to be conceived. During that time we got to meet the stud dog (sweet as pie) that Cedar was to be bred from, and several of his full brothers and sisters from a previous breeding. We got to meet puppies, several of his mother’s sisters, and learn what it is really like to be around these giant dogs. That time spent with the club was irreplaceable because now that our little puppy is heavier that I am, we feel prepared for how to deal with him and help him succeed. We thought about him getting big and didn’t just see these cute little puppies and forget about what they grow into.   
 
Best of all, we got to talk to the Swissys’ guardians, all of who spoke incredibly highly about the breeder we chose. They sang her praises, and now we do too. One of the things that really sealed the deal was that we were interviewed very carefully. We had to fill out several pages of paperwork and answer lots of questions about where we would train, who our vet would be, what we would do with Cedar when we weren’t home, etc. We knew that she cared a lot about her dogs and who they were going to. Another thing that really stood out to us, was that it is in our contract that if we ever do not want Cedar anymore, she takes him back no questions asked. When he was born we went down to her home and spent the night playing with the puppies. We saw where they lived and how they were raised. She said that the puppies were getting a lot of visitors, which helped us feel that they would be well socialized to dogs, humans, household noises, etc when he came home. She told us she would always be available to answer questions (which has been true) no matter how silly they might seem.” ~Elizabeth Seward
My mom’s a pretty smart lady, her and dad,  David Duke and my other guardian, Karen Brown, understood the dangers of backyard breeders and commercial puppy mills and wanted to steer clear of them.  They did their homework and my canine mom’s breeder did hers, together they ensured I was born into a safe, healthy environment and will live my life with guardian to provide a forever home.
Dog Age: 1 year 3 months Dog Breed: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Dog Age: 1 year 3 months
Dog Breed: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

15 Questions with a Dog You Should Know and Are Going to LOVE…Cedar Seward

If I spoke my voice would sound like a gangly teenage boy and the first thing I would say is: “Why’m I so big?”

Cedar hanging out in the rose garden

Cedar hanging out in the rose garden

1.  How I picked my family:

Betsy and Dave came to see me and my four sisters when I was 5 weeks old. They seemed really excited to see me and they both promised to love me for forever. My mommy told me that they waited almost a full year for me to come into the world, so I know they thought long and hard about me before I was even born!  Mommy says they looked for the perfect breeder who would raise us right and make sure that we were healthy and friendly!

Cedar trying out weight pulling on an empty cart. His first time in a harness!

Cedar trying out weight pulling on an empty cart. His first time in a harness!

2.  When I grow up I want to:

Go to work with Betsy and Dave to help people feel better and learn about all the hope and joy life has to offer! I have an endless amount of bounding joy so I think I can really help people learn to see things through my eyes.

Cedar out for a boat ride on Big Glen!

Cedar out for a boat ride on Big Glen!

3.  My best friend is: My Swissters!

My three sister Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs who I get to stay with sometimes – they’re the best and I love them so much! But I also love to run around with Twinkle and stare at her because she’s so pretty! One time she was over at my house and all I could do was pant at her and stare because she was just soooo pretty….

Cedar at four weeks licking milk off his sister

Cedar at four weeks licking milk off his sister

4.  If you asked my family they would say I am: A teenage boy who loooooves the lady dogs and thinks people are the greatest buddies in the entire universe. If you’re a person, Cedar is your best friend. No exceptions!

Cedar at 9 weeks, about to go home with us!

Cedar at 9 weeks, about to go home with us!

5.  My nickname is:

Cedar Pants, Bubba-Roo, Lil Bud

Cedar at Glen Lake settling in for a night of snuggles!

Cedar at Glen Lake settling in for a night of snuggles!

6.  I look really cute when I:

Rest my face on the bed in the morning for the A.M. snuggles and scratches.

Cedar snuggled in for the afternoon!

Cedar snuggled in for the afternoon!

7.  The biggest mess I ever made was:

I felt really really sick and had liquid diarrhea all the way from our bedroom to the back door. Whoops.  Mom and dad had to clean it up for about four hours. They weren’t mad at me, but I still felt awful.

Cedar running down the pier with his friend Wally!

Cedar running down the pier with his friend Wally!

8.  The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to:

When I was four months old I went on my first Pack Hike with our dog club, and we were camping out, so I came over to the table where the people were and there were these big red strawberries. I snuck one and it was delicious! I was a little thing then (only about 60 pounds – about half the size I am now) so no one minded too much.

Cedar’s first fishing trip

Cedar’s first fishing trip

9.  The one time I was a hero was:

When mommy and daddy were playing out in the deep water on a boogie-board and daddy kept trying to tip it over so mommy would fall in. I heard her screaming, and even though I thought they were playing, I started barking and swimming out to them to save her.

Cedar at his first swimming lesson

Cedar at his first swimming lesson

10.  The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: I get to see other dogs and I get lots of love and attention from everyone there! I love all the teachers, they always have yummy treats for me! In puppy kindergarten I remember when we got puppy play time I just wanted to snuggle the kids and other people there!

Cedar Tidbits: Classes attended/attending: Puppy Kindergarten, Manners and Self Control, CLASS BA, CLASS MA, CLASS PHD, and drop ins in Manners and Self Control

Cedar settling down in the snow after a long game of fetch!

Cedar settling down in the snow after a long game of fetch!

11.  I am really good at:

Snuggling and securing the perimeter! I always know where everyone is.

Cedar at SwissAthalon in Ohio after the confirmation class. What a great weekend!

Cedar at SwissAthalon in Ohio after the confirmation class. What a great weekend!

12.  I am sometimes afraid of:

Going into a really big group of dogs. When our club has parties, sometimes there are 20 dogs there and when I walk in, sometimes I put my tail between my legs until I sniff everyone. Then it’s time for super play!

Cedar on his first canoe trip down a river in Indiana!

Cedar on his first canoe trip down a river in Indiana!

13.  The one thing I can’t resist is:

Going outside! What do you mean I can’t go out every time you open the door????! 😦

Cedar after earning his CLASS PhD

Cedar after earning his CLASS PhD

Cedar TidBits: Titles I have earned: AKC STAR PUPPY, CGC, CLASS BA, MA, & PHD, Pet Partners Therapy Dog

14.  I think my siblings/parents (canine/human) are:

Mom is super strict and likes me to be very well-behaved, but she’s a good snuggler and always sits on the floor with me since I can’t sit on the couch. Dad is great to play with, he’s more fun then mom, and he lets me be a big ole silly dog more. My Swissters are the best! There are THREE of them, so I never run out of playmates!

Cedar cooling off after a long swim

Cedar cooling off after a long swim

15.  My toughest challenge so far has been:

Learning to ignore other dogs.

New Year’s hike on Alligator Hill

New Year’s hike on Alligator Hill

 Cedar Tidbits:  Cedar goes to confirmation shows every month or so, and loves to be admired for his handsomeness! He is preparing to participate in pack hikes, where he will carry 25% of his body weight in a pack and hike for ten miles in order to earn a pack hike title! He’ll also try his hand at weight pulling with the big dogs once he turns 18 months, and looks forward to learning agility and formal obedience in the next year! In a few weeks, we’re going to a herding clinic too! One day I hope I can compete in drafting, but first I have to get my obedience rock solid!

Cedar at his first show!

Cedar at his first show!

My favorite quote is: BA-ROOOO! I hear my brothers and sisters say it all the time!

My favorite playtime activity: Keep away! I love to grab a toy and make people or dogs chase me for it!

 My favorite canine book is: Unlikely Friendships, it’s a book about rare animal friendships, like a Cheetah and a cow! I think it would be nice to be friends with a cow. I’ve been to a barn a few times and those huge horses are pretty scary, so maybe cows would be better friends for me.

 My favorite canine movie is: Lady and the Tramp – Lady is so pretty and I lurve her!

 My favorite treat: Cheeze its! I love them so much and get super excited when mom or dad brings the box out to snack on them, because I know if I look up at them with my sweet Swissy eyes then they’ll give me one.

My favorite toy: I like to rip apart and destroy most toys, but I have let my one special stuffed pig live. He doesn’t have a tail anymore, but I still love him. He goes everywhere with me – mom and dad always bring him with when I go visit friends or when we go on vacation.

My favorite television show is: Anything with pretty girls on it! I love the girls. But when I first came home, my mom took puppy maternity leave and we sat and snuggled and watched The Office for my first few days home, so that show makes me feel warm and happy!

 My favorite season of the year is: Winter! I’m built for winter (my feet are actually webbed for snow!) and I love to run around in the deep snow and bury my face in it and eat it and chase snowballs, fall asleep in snow piles. Sometimes we go up to really remote regions of northern Michigan and in the winter there’s no one around so I can go off leash and hike through the woods with mom and dad.

 My favorite trip was when we went to: Glen Lake! I learned how to swim and got to spend almost all day lounging around with mom and dad and paw-paw and there were so many people around who liked to give me love and take me on long hikes in the woods! The more people the better! Mom and dad even took me out on boat rides and let me go on fishing trips with them!

My favorite place to sleep is: At the bottom of the stairs near the front door – so I know where everyone is and I can warn my family about anyone trying to come into the house!

My favorite holiday is: Christmas because everyone comes over to the house and I get to lick and snuggle all of them. I love people more than anything in the entire world!

Now let’s toss it back to my mom to finish up.  Remember if you plan on purchasing your canine companion from a breeder, do your research!  A true breeder will not have puppies in stock like stuffed toys at the toy store, they will have LOTS of questions for YOU, they will care more for the integrity and well-being of their mama dog, the breed itself then the almighty dollar.  We are not products, we don’t come with bar-codes.  Save. Love. Care. Be your dogs Guardian.  SCL.logo_.final_-300x187

 

Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family:

Cedar came into our lives at just the right time. He strengthened our bond with family, helped us enjoy the outdoors more than ever before, and reminds us daily about how simple and joyful life can be if we let it. Cedar taught me personal lessons about  letting go, being present, and believing that everything is an opportunity for growth and change. Cedar joining our family is one of the best things that has ever happened to our clan, and we couldn’t imagine a day without him. He’s truly changed our hearts and lives, and continues to impact our psychological, physical, social, and spiritual well-being each day. Thank you Cedar, you can’t imagine how much we love you and how much you’ve changed our lives. 

How/Why the dog’s name was chosen:

Cedar’s name was originally supposed to be Banjo – but when we went to go see him at 5 weeks, he was so serious we thought he deserved a less silly name. We picked Cedar because he was supposed to grow up big and strong and enjoy the north woods. Our breeder names all of her male dogs after trees, and all of her females after flowers. After some research, we thought Northern White Cedar would be a fitting name. As it turns out he’s plenty silly though!

What is the most important point you learned about your relationship with your dog from your class time at Narnia?

At Narnia we learned how to make training a fun bonding exercise for us and Cedar. We learned to make training as awesome as possible so that Cedar enjoys it and associates it with love and treat showers. We also learned how to help Cedar with his self-control, which has been very helpful! With the assistance of Narnia trainers, Cedar is now a Registered Therapy Animal! Thanks Narnia!

Thank you to Cedar and Elizabeth Seward for their participation in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to Cedar in all of his endeavors!  

On The Front Line: Spotlight on As Good As Gold Rescue

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Continuing with our series of spotlighting local rescues, this week the light shines on As Good As Gold, Golden Retriever Rescue of Northern Illinois.  Narnia’s Pet of the Week for January 20, 2013, Ellie is an alum of the rescue arriving from Puerto Rico and finding her home in Naperville, Illinois. Good As Gold was founded in May of 2003 the mission being two fold:

  • The rescue, care, and adoption of abandoned, mistreated and/or unwanted golden retrievers in the Northern Illinois area.
  • The education of golden retriever guardians and the general public about the importance of spaying/neutering, positive training methods, diet and exercise, appropriate medical treatment, and humane care.

Since it’s inception, the rescue has re-homed 1,560 golden retrievers, currently utilize 67 animal hospitals, 80 foster homes, and 800 volunteers/members. Executive Director, Robin Sweeney is a married mother of one, and guardian to 3 canines.  She currently resides in Wheaton, Illinois and has been working with canine rescue for 13 years in the capacities of Intake and Medical Coordinator, President and presently Executive Director.

Narnia: Where does your passion for advocating for canine’s, in this instance Golden Retriever’s stem from?  
I have always loved dogs, especially goldens. I am also a dog trainer and have always believed that we need to be the advocate for the rights of the dog.

Narnia: What factors played a role in you founding a rescue?
I had no idea what rescues were when I volunteered for another rescue in the past, I could not believe that golden’s would need a rescue.  My background in training and veterinary experience figured into my need to help the breed I loved.

Narnia: How do you deal with the fact that you can’t save them all?
I need to keep my focus on the dogs I can help.

Narnia: What are the top 3 poorest excuses you have heard for surrendering a dog? 

  • No time.
  • Sheds too much.
  • The dog is too needy.

Narnia: What is the thought process behind requiring training for the dogs following their placement in forever homes?
Greater odds that the dog will stay in their new home.

Narnia:  Many people don’t realize the effort put in to rescue each dog and then rehome them. Please break the process down into steps for the layperson.  
Every dog is assessed before coming into the program, full vetting, working with trainers or behaviorists on issues the dog may have.  Rehab for any dog needing surgery such as torn cruciate, hip problems.  Addressing all medical and behavior issues before the dog is cleared for adoption.

Narnia:  How does the rescue go about finding dogs?  Who makes the decision as to which dogs are rescued?
We get 60% of our dogs from individuals who hear about us from their vets or our website.  40% of our dogs come from shelters or humane societies.  We have worked very hard to develop relationships with our shelters.

Narnia: What are the deciding factors in accepting a dog into the rescue?  
Temperment.  We do not turn down dogs due to age or health.

Narnia:  Why rescue dogs from outside the state of Illinois where you operate?  I know you saved our Pet of the Week Ellie from Puerto Rico’s Save the Sato’s, which is a wonderful story.
We work with the other 100 Golden rescues across the country, some small and some large.  If a small group does not have room, we will offer to take the dog.

Narnia: I have read via online networking people complaining that rescues should just give the dogs away if they are so desperate to find them homes, why charge? 
First of all, people seem to value something more if there is a cost for it.  It also generates some income, but the fee never covers the actual cost we put into readying the the dog for adoption.

Narnia: When a home visit is conducted what factors are you reviewing?
That everyone in the home is on board with the adoption.
 Is the home and yard safe for a dog.  The capabilities of the family, are they novice or experienced dog owner.

Narnia: How are your foster families chosen? And what would you like to say to those who may be considering becoming a foster family?
They go through the same process as an adoptive family, they complete an application and we conduct and interview and home visit. The reward of helping a dog prepare for a loving home is one of the best feelings in the world.

Narnia:  Is there a rescue in your career that stands out in your mind as a reminder as to why it’s all worth it?
Our puppy mill mother rescues.

Narnia: Is there anything about As Good As Gold  that sets you apart from other Golden rescues?
We do not turn dogs down for age or medical conditions.  We are truly invested in making sure that the adopter finds the right companion for there lifestyle.

Narnia: What Are Your Current Adoption Fees? *information provided from AGAG site*

Special Needs Program
Dogs w/Special Needs
Standard Adoptions
Dogs 1-7 yrs old
Golden Years Program
Dogs 8+ yrs old
$150 $350 $150

What is the “Golden Years” Program?*
In light of November being Adopt a Senior Dog Month, As Good As Gold recently enacted our Golden Years Program. The program is simple – if you open your heart and home to adopt one of our senior goldens (age 8 or older), adoption fees will be waived for all subsequent adoptions of dogs 8 years old or over. We have also grandfathered in any adoptive family that has previously adopted a senior dog from us. We hope this program will encourage people to think about adopting a senior dog… many of us know how wonderful they can be! If you would just like to help us cover our senior goldens’ medical expenses, please consider a donation to Elsa’s Fund.

What are Special Needs Goldens?*
Quite often we take in goldens that may require a little something extra. This may mean medications, surgery, behavioral help, or in very special cases, a dog that will continue to need extra care for the rest of its life. Special needs dogs have discounted adoption fee of $150. We hope this program will make it easier for someone to open their hearts and provide forever home for a very special golden.

What if I Can’t Adopt?*
As always, donations are accepted for the care of all of the goldens we take in, but if you are touched by the story or needs of a particular golden on our site, and are unable to bring one of these great dogs into your home; please consider a donation to help cover the cost of their medical care. For more information on donations, please select “Donations” from the left menu of any page on our site.

Narnia:  What questions should a potential adopter ask themselves prior to filling out an application?
What are their expectations, what are the things that are absolutely important to them, look at their lifestyle, do they have the time for a young dog, or would an older settled dog fit their lifestyle better?

Narnia: What questions should a potential adopter ask the rescue prior to adopting?
Make sure they get a Disclosure Form- some rescues do not provide them.

Narnia: Over the years what is the biggest positive change you have seen in the animal welfare community?
People are starting to get more educated about where their dogs are coming from and making a decision to not buy at puppy stores or backyard breeders.

Narnia: If you could have the U.S. Congress pass one Bill regarding animal welfare, what would it be?  
Ban Puppy Mills!!!

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I would like to share with you a story from the rescues website.  I believe it illustrates everything that Robin speaks of in this interview and everything the rescue talks to in their polices and mission statement.  This is the story of a dog who suffered horrific abuse through neglect and through the dedication, commitment, faith, work and out and out love her foster Mom has given to set her on a path to a second chance at life.

When people complain why do rescue organizations ask so many questions on applications forms?  Why do they have to do home visits and have the whole family there? What gives them the right to ask what food, what vet, where I’ll take the dog training, where they’ll sleep, what collar I’ll use, ect, ect, blah, blah, blah.

This is why. Rescue volunteers all across this nation, this state, this city, have fought, cried, struggled, and worked themselves past the brink of exhaustion at times to give a dog a second chance at the good life.

If you want to take over as guardian, advocate, companion of that dog,  then you best be willing to take the time to fight, cry, struggle and work yourself past the brink of exhaustion to fill out an online application, sit through a home visit, be prepared to answer the questions regarding the care of living creature that will be dependent on you for it’s well being.

Don’t be one of those people who dumps a dog at the shelter because they have no time or the dog sheds too much or the dog is too needy, those are poor excuse’s for your inability to take responsibility and live up to the commitment you made to your dog.

Remember make smart choices when it comes to your canine companion and adopt don’t shop!

Golden Spotlight

 As Good As Gold Website


You know, the funniest, most extravagant thing has happened to me that I just have to tell you about!  First of all, I should tell you that my name is Misha, and I have suffered from skin problems most of my life.  It had reached a point where I had very little hair and my skin was raw and infected…and I SMELLED (really bad, no one wanted to be in the same room as me or touch me)….there didn’t seem to be a solution, but As Good As Gold agreed to take me in and see what could be done.  Well, here is the funny part:  it would seem that they sent me to some kind of SPA.   There have been twice weekly, luxurious, medicated baths in a steamy room, where every part of my body is attended to.  Every day that there isn’t a bath, there are soothing wipe downs. Every week, I get a manicure/pedicure and I get clean bedding every day along with a clean collar.  Every couple of days I get a massage.  Really, at first I had no clue what that was all about and I wasn’t sure what to do, but then Foster Mom started making these small circles on my neck, and suddenly I just had to give a big sigh and relax.  Since then I have seen everyone else here get massages and now I get it.  And psst, keep it under your hat, but I hear there is a masseuse coming to give us all a REAL massage and Foster Mom is hoping to learn more techniques.

Anyway, did I tell you about the gourmet menu here?  Oh, my goodness!  We eat like royalty!  And I am getting lots of supplements to help things along, too.  And here is the part that I just have to share:  I am turning into a great beauty.   Well, Foster Mom told me I was beautiful even on the first day, but now I have hair, HAIR!  Did I ever have hair like this??  YIPEE!  And it is getting thick.  And my skin is all healed.  And I feel GOOD now.  So good, that when Foster Mom dances, I just have to dance along with her.  Amazing.

Soon I am going to be ready for adoption, but first I have to have surgery on my knee that bothers me.  After the surgery, I’ll have some rehab to do, but Foster Mom tells me we’ll be doing most of that right here at the SPA.

And, the good news is all of Foster Mom’s work is already paying off.  I don’t have to have as many baths or wipe downs and I have finished a lot of my medicine that has helped me.  I am already getting better and easier to take care of.  Please check back, and I’ll fill you in on new developments.  But first, check out my pictures below.  you can see my transformation already in progress.  I tell you, I am going to be As Good as Gold’s Cinderella.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Misha-As Good As Gold

Misha-As Good As Gold

Thank you to Robin Sweeney Executive Director of As Good As Gold Golden Retriever Rescue of Northern Illinois for your participation in this weeks interview.  Thank you also to you and all your members for your dedication and hard work in the animal welfare community with the Golden Retriever breed.  Congratulations on your upcoming 10 year anniversary!

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