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:

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

Sheldon Collins Dornak.

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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

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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.

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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.



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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: Lilly Edmond (May 11, 2013)

“Look deep into my eyes”  

 

Lilly staring

Lilly Edmonds

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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

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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!  

Pet of The Week: Quinn Cross (March 30, 2013)

This weeks Pet of the Week is a recent graduate of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers   (ADPT) Canine Life and Social Skills program at Narnia. C.L.A.S.S., or Canine Life and Social Skills, is an educational program to promote training focused on the use of positive reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine companions. You can work towards a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph. D., in this program.

He now has bragging rights to a prestigious Masters degree. Way to go Quinn!

Quinns C.L.A.S.S Masters ribbon

Quinns C.L.A.S.S Masters ribbon

If you are interested in being able to exclaim “My Dog Has C.L.A.S.S.”, the first step is to study the student handbook.  Then give Joy a call over at Narnia and see when the next session starts.  The program is educational, it allows you to bond with your dog, offers them an opportunity to show off their smarts and gives you both bragging rights at the dog park.

logo-main

Now back to our main dog of the moment, Quinn Cross.  His Guardian’s are Steve and Andrea Cross. He is practically new to the world at 1 year old, recently celebrating his birthday on March 21st with older canine sibling Vixen who is also a Standard Poodle.  The family is rounded out by the lovely Angelina, age 10 and dapper Andrew, age 9, both human and both awesome. Quinn is now a degree carrying attendee of the C.L.A.S.S. program and his favorite sports are stalking and chasing cats and playing keep away with Vixen.

Upon be asked the first question of the interview this was his response: “If I spoke out loud, the first thing I would say is, ‘Where’s the food?’ and I would sound like Barry White in doing so.”

This is how I wait for the kids to get out of school..and I don't move when they get in the van either.

This is how I wait for the kids to get out of school..and I don’t move when they get in the van either.

Without  further ado, I present 15 Questions with one cool cat, dog Quinn Cross.

1.  How I picked my family:   My family was looking for a friend for Vixen.  When Vixen’s breeder did not have any Standard Poodles available, the breeder referred my mom to a friend that had pups.  Mom, the kids & Vixen came to meet me and a few other litter-mates and chose me because they specifically wanted a black male and I was so dang sweet and cute!  Mom was really impressed at how much the breeder worked with me – I knew not to jump on people and was very used to human contact.  It was love at first sight – I sat in Mom’s lap for quite a while and thought Vixen was fun.  I am very well-mannered and hope to be a therapy dog someday.

2.   My best friend is:  Vixen!  She is so much fun!  She nips at my heels in the backyard to get me to chase her.  She plays tug of war with me as well.

My sister Vixen being sassy.  She won Diva of the Month with this picture.

My sister Vixen being sassy. She won Diva of the Month with this picture.

3.  My favorite playtime activity:   Running the “Poodle 500” in the backyard with Vixen.

4.  My favorite toy:  My Kong or my bone.   I wish I had stuffed animals, but Vixen tears them to shreds!

5.   If you asked my family they would say I am:    Very sweet and handsome.

6.    My nickname is:  Quinnie McQuinnster or Mr. Handsome

7.   The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is:  For the treats!  I will do anything for food!  And, I have Mom’s full attention (Vixen stays home).

 8.  The biggest mess I ever made was:  Running around in the backyard with Vixen and we got all muddy after a rainstorm.  Mom was kept busy for a few hours bathing and drying us both!

This is Vixen and me after romping around the backyard after a storm.  Those are our paw prints on the glass...we have no shame. :)

This is Vixen and me after romping around the backyard after a storm. Those are our paw prints on the glass…we have no shame. 🙂

9.     The one thing I can’t resist is:  unattended food on the counter top!  Last week, I stole a raw sweet potato off the counter top, ate it, and then yacked it up on the carpet.

 10.  My favorite quote is: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

 11.    I think my siblings (canine/human) are:  Vixen is crazy but I think she is the coolest! I like to cuddle on the couch with her. The cats are just prissy jerks that like to hiss at me.  The one with all his claws took a swipe at me a few times, but I still like to mess with him.  Mom is the BEST because she makes me look good, calls me her handsome man, and lets me sleep on the bed.  Dad is great because he takes me for nice, long walks and plays hide and seek with me.  The kids are fantastic because they feed me and cuddle with me.  I really like being loved.

Me sleeping with the kids.  We had a blast outside and we all conked out!

Me sleeping with the kids. We had a blast outside and we all conked out!

12.    I am really good at:  stealing food!  I have stolen waffles off the kitchen island and even snatched a crab leg off Dad’s dinner plate and he had to chase me and wrestle it out of my mouth!  I try to get the kids’ food when it is in their hands, but they have caught on and usually protect it.

 13.    I sometimes am afraid of:  being without Vixen.  If I am in the backyard without her, I feel lost.  She is awesome – we are a great match!

Talking to the neighbor dogs.

Talking to the neighbor dogs.

14.      My toughest challenge so far has been:  to resist a Cheerio and come when called during a test at Narnia.  Food is GOOD!

15.      Why my name was chosen:   Breeder’s kids were calling me Quinn, so they just kept it.  Mom thinks the name sounds smart!

Me at my first obedience class at Narnia!

Me at my first obedience class at Narnia!

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

Quinn has been such an awesome pet.  We used to do some pet sitting, but whenever the dog would go home, Vixen would cry and be so sad.  So, we decided she needed a buddy.  We love the standard poodle breed – I fell in love with them while in grooming school.  Vixen is light colored, so I like to dye her pink a few times a year and try other creative stuff on her.  I really wanted a black male, because they just look so neat.  We loved how calm he was, even as a puppy.  He does get excited now and then – especially if he sees other dogs outside or if Vixen gets riled up.  When that happens, we send them out back to be “crazy poodles”.  He makes funny sighing noises when he lies down.

Thank you to Steve, Andrea and Quinn for their participation in this weeks interview.  Best of luck to Quinn in all his various pursuits.

You can find more information on the poodle breed on The Poodle Club of America website.

A reminder from the club:

Buyer Beware

Puppy mills and pet shops, and/or those who exploit the popularity of the Poodle in order to make a fast buck, buy their dogs in litters, usually by mail, as early as they can be weaned. They are not concerned with temperament, hereditary faults or quality. They are simply interested in so many puppies that they can sell for so many dollars. They do not bother about medical care. They are not interested in what happens to the dog after it is sold. Although the puppy may be accompanied by a pedigree or AKC “papers” (eligibility for registration with the American Kennel Club), this is not a guarantee of health, disposition or quality.

You can research breeders on the club site as well as contact them for information regarding poodle rescues at: poodleclubofamerica@yahoo.com.

Please be a responsible pet owner and do your homework prior to adopting a new family member.  Once you are ready for the big move, grab a copy of “A Sound Beginning” and start your new lives  down the right path.

Of course Narnia’s trainers are here to assist in whatever way possible in building the bond between you and your dog companion.  Narnia where Good Dogs Start….like Quinn Cross.

Pet of the Week-Cooper Holman (February 23, 2013)

Cooper at 6 months

Cooper at 6 months

This weeks Pet of The Week is an adorable one year old Boxer Mix named Cooper Holman.  His mom, Leah adopted him from the Wright-Way Rescue of Niles, Illinois.  He attends Narnia’s “Manners and Self-Control” class.

Not much is known about his beginning other than he arrived in the Chicagoland area via the rescue along with 11 other puppies.  The rescue volunteers called them the “Vegetable Litter”, Cooper was originally named after the herb Parsley.

Choosing a name for your new family member can be very trying for some people and in this case for Leah as Cooper explains.

This was very hard for my mom. She spent the whole ride home calling out names until she was near tears because she couldn’t come up with anything. Initially she wanted to name me Draper, but I wasn’t suave enough. Then she tried Sterling, but I’m not a silver fox. Next, you guessed it (If you are a Mad Men fan), she tried Cooper. When she took me out of the car for my first vet visit a wonderfully nice lady asked my mom what my name was. My mom replied, “I think his name is Cooper.” Tears swelled up in her eyes as she knew in her heart that I would be her Cooper.

The story of Cooper and his Leah is a triumph of the heart.  A illustration of the adage~

Adopt...Save A Life

Adopt…Save A Life

I proudly introduce to you Leah and Cooper Holman~15 Questions with a Dog You Should Know

1.  How I picked my family:  My mom says that for her entire life she HATED dogs but for some reason, as an adult, she made up her mind to get a puppy. Having never had a dog, let alone a puppy, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. After months of searching pictures of available pups on the internet she finally settled on her breed: Boxer. One day, her search found two purebred boxers available at my rescue. When she inquired about those two puppies, she was told they were already promised to other families but that my litter of boxer mixes was still available. She chose me from a set of pictures on a Tuesday and got to meet me on a Friday. As soon as the rescue worker placed me in my mom’s hands, I knew that I would be going home with her. I let her know this by falling asleep on her chest as she held me close.

Cooper being cute at 6 months.  When I grow up I want to: Be able to catch a Frisbee.

Cooper being cute at 6 months. When I grow up I want to: Be able to catch a Frisbee.

2.  My favorite place to sleep is: I love to sleep on the floor right by the head of my mom’s bed. That way when I wake up in the morning, I can stand up and give her a sniff. No kisses. Mom doesn’t like those. But a good sniff wakes her right up!

Christmas 2012 11 months-Cooper. My favorite holiday is: I loved my first Halloween when all of those little monsters came to visit me.

Christmas 2012 11 months-Cooper. My favorite holiday is: I loved my first Halloween when all of those little monsters came to visit me.

3.  My best friend is: Anyone who will give me good pets and scratches. I especially love to visit with humans that let me give kisses.

4.  My favorite treat: So many to choose from! Beef liver, lamb lung, bully sticks, and my mom’s homemade sweet potato chips.

First Dag Bone - 7 months-Cooper

First Dag Bone – 7 months-Cooper. My favorite toy: I love interactive food toys. My favorites include the Kong Wobbler and the Tricky Treat Ball.

5.  My favorite playtime activity: My favorite playtime activity is to run around with the neighbor dogs that are my size and energy level. Every time I go outside I make sure to check the spots where I normally find them.

10 weeks - My tiny baby Cooper.  My nickname is: Coops, Pooper and Stinker.

10 weeks – My tiny baby Cooper. My nickname is: Coops, Pooper and Stinker.

6.  I look really cute when I: Sleep. For about the first 11 months of my life I didn’t know how to lie down and rest. I was always walking around and sniffing. As soon I got comfy on the floor, I was up walking around again. Now I have found “my spot” on the rug and I’m pretty sure my mom just stares at me while I sleep.

Who can resist a sleeping  puppy!? 10 weeks-Cooper

Who can resist a sleeping puppy!? 10 weeks-Cooper

7. The biggest mess I ever made was: My mom calls her car a $25,000 chew toy. I thought I was just adding character.

8.  The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: My mom knew my time with plush toys was over the day I decided to chew off and swallow the head of a brand new one. She says that many of my toys are deaf or hard of hearing because I like to rip off the ears.

Cuddling with mom - 11 weeks-Cooper. The one time I was a hero was: The night my mom brought me home. I know that I have changed her life forever with my unconditional love.

Cuddling with mom – 11 weeks-Cooper. The one time I was a hero was: The night my mom brought me home. I know that I have changed her life forever with my unconditional love.

9.  The reason I love coming to Narnia for classes is: The trainers at Narnia give me treats and love. Plus they teach my mom fun things to do with me at home so I can learn to be the best dog ever.

10.  I am really good at: Looking cute. People stop and tell my mom how handsome I am all the time.

Sitting pretty at 7 months-Cooper.  I sometimes am afraid of: Most recently, snowmen.

Sitting pretty at 7 months-Cooper. I sometimes am afraid of: Most recently, snowmen.

First night home 8 weeks-Cooper.   The one thing I can’t resist is: Standing between my mom’s legs for a good chest rub.

First night home 8 weeks-Cooper. The one thing I can’t resist is: Standing between my mom’s legs for a good chest rub.

11.  My favorite television show is: Television? Who has time for that when there are so many other fun things to do!?

Forget about the TV! Let's go outside! 11 months

Forget about the TV! Let’s go outside! 11 months

After the first walk - 3 months

After the first walk – 3 months

12.  My favorite season of the year is: Fall. Man, those leaves get me every time! I can’t wait until next year!

13.  My favorite trip was when we went to: My mom and I love to go on “adventures”. We have only been on local adventures so far. I really like it when she takes me to the Riverwalk in Downtown Naperville. There are so many things to smell and people to meet. I don’t recommend walking by the soda machines, they scare me every time!

Kickstand position at 5 months-Cooper

Kickstand position at 5 months-Cooper

14.  My toughest challenge in life thus far: When I was four months old my mom had to take me to the vet because I had two patches of hair loss. She was very nervous. She thought she had done something wrong. Turns out it wasn’t my adoptive mother that caused the problem, but my birth mother. I was diagnosed with Demodectic Mange. Several vet visits, skin scrapings and medication increases (I was growing at a rate of about 12 pounds a month!) later I was given a clean bill of health. I have been mange free for several months now and just finished my last dose of medicine. (We mixed the bitter tasting liquid medication with coconut oil. It was easy to mix and insure that the entire dose was consumed.)

15.  Leah on what adopting Cooper has meant to her: I never knew that I would experience as much joy as I have with Cooper as a part of my family. I may have added expenses, a more rigid schedule and extra messes to clean up, but I know that my boy Cooper eagerly awaits my arrival any time I leave him behind.

One of my favorite feelings is the excitement I get when I’m only a few blocks from home and know that within minutes I will get to see my boy. And when I see the delight in his face, body and tail when I open the door, I know that I made the right decision to bring him to my family.

From Narnia’s Trainer Notes: Kim and I nominated Leah and Cooper because they are a fun pair to have in class. Leah has taught Cooper some cool tricks, and they really seem to enjoy learning together. We loved that Leah told us when she brought him home from the shelter, she used to say she was “Hanging with Mr. Cooper.”

paw in hand

Thank you to Leah and Cooper Holman for participating in this weeks interview.