Thursday, November 26, 2015

4 Months Old

Nelson's Notes:  I am the champ.  I am self confident, no fear and take on everything with joy.  There has been so much going on this month I don't know where to start.  I am now 35 pounds of awesomeness and everyone is shocked that I just keep getting bigger.  I thought this was cool too except I can't fit under my favorite pantry shelf anymore.   I am about the same size as the big dog but I still let her think she is the boss, most of the time and even let her drag me on the ground.  Cause I am cool like that.  I got a new bigger kennel at work and I like having the room to spread out.  I am getting used to the routine at work and like the opportunities to show off all of my learning.  I am happy to get "dressed" and hop in the car (surprisingly jumping in still challenges me) and go to school each day.  Everyone loves me there!  That is because I am the champ.

 Lia's Notes:  Champ? I guess.  I hate to admit it but I like the little champ the best of ANY of the dogs we have ever had.  I look forward to him coming home at night.  I like to play with him, including games of chase and tug-o-war. He came home with a booboo the other night and I had to lick him, just to make sure he was ok (he was).  I let him lay near me and don't tell but I know he is not allowed on the couch or bed so sometimes I lay on the floor just to be with him.

Susan's Notes:  He is a CHAMP.  This has been a long month and I keep making his training a little harder but he meets each challenge with a smile and really does not give me much trouble.  (Though I do have to admit it was embarrassing when he broke down the baby gate at 4:30 one day as our staff meeting ran on and on and just basically announced "I'm done, time to go home!") He also has a lot of character.  He loves to cuddle, and his absolute favorite toy is the bear which has a little squeaker in it.  He will play with it most when he is bored and as the days get too long at work he will sometimes squeak it in an alarm like fashion saying "let's go home."  Shake is actually a challenge for him as he wants to do more of a high five and we need to work on slowing him down.  He "gets" what I am asking and looking for and has started to try to anticipate my wishes, because of course he loves his treats.  I had a conference before Thanksgiving and he got to stay with two different experienced puppy raisers and this was great for him because he got to experience training from someone different.  He did play with new friends (top picture in the garden) and get REALLY spoiled with new toys (top picture with all of the toys) but they said he was very good.  They even helped me get his nails trimmed.  This is something we are struggling with but I think it is more me than him.  I am also excited that he is now fully vaccinated, got his big boy cape in the mail and is now free to visit public places.  We need to start slow and with the Christmas shopping season upon us we may not get too crazy but we will start sneaking him in a few places.  Let's hope he continues to show the world what a champ he is!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 months old

Nelson's Notes:  I am getting so big but I am not sure I like this getting older idea.  So far it just means that I have to work harder each day and wear that awful gentle leader that I don't like.  I have to practice "self-control" and I am not sure I like that.  I want to run and play, jump on the kids and lick them ALL OVER.  But..... I do not because I also like to hear "good dog" and "yes"  and make my human smile.  I also like the treats.  I get treats when I do tricks!  I can sit and lay down.  I can shake and the other day I mastered "car"!  I am working on stay and making my sits and downs longer...... but that is hard.  My human dressed me as a Hero for this thing called Halloween (when all the monsters came to take our candy.....I wanted to jump on and lick all the monsters too!  They did not scare me one bit.)  and being a Hero sounds cool, but I also just want to play.  I think I will enjoy being a puppy for as long as I can!

Lia's Notes:  He keeps getting bigger.  I don't like it.  I can't knock him over anymore and playing "Who's the Boss"  is not as fun anymore.  I am trying to teach him quiet games and I am shocked at how good he is.  For a pup that reminds me of the energizer bunny sometimes, if I start a quiet game.....even if I do it just to make him get bored and go away,  he settles down and plays.  He just wants to be with me, ALL, the, TIME.  Sigh.  I guess that is not so bad.  He is not so bad.  He might be an ok puppy after all, but I wish he would stay small(er).

Susan's Notes:  He IS getting big!  We went to the vet the other day and he is almost 30 pounds already.  He can be a speedy little guy and is pretty camera shy, so I can never catch him smiling......but rest assured he DOES smile.  Plus he makes me, and many that he meets, smile.  The other thing I can't capture on camera is the wag of his tail.  That goes and goes.  We had two little girls come in to the office to talk with me and his tail just started, they had to ask "what was that noise?".  Each day he prances into school (part of me does not want to curb that though I know I should), and then dances into "his corner" of my office.  He will play and sleep all day, no matter how many kids come to "Nelson's Window" and peek in.  He will come home and run around for a few hours before collapsing, but overall I am so happy with this puppy.  Sure we have accidents and have a LOT of learning to do, growing to do and steps to take but he can only get better and I can't wait to see how great he can get, even if his great is a HUGE great.  :-)

Bonus Note and Pictures:  I FINALLY got a LONG LONG LONG awaited book in the mail today and I could not be happier.  Laura Numeroff (author of the "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" series, and the "Jellybean" series and so many more) was turned down when she wanted to write "Raising a Hero" (learn more about that here).  This author did not give up, she found another way:  Kickstarter.  When I heard, I jumped on board and became a backer.  Unfortunately it was not funded the first time, but did she give up?  In the words of Pete the Cat "Heavens No!".  She regrouped and tried again.  I again backed and shared the project and..... it worked!  The project was funded and the book went into production.  I followed her blog and social media, suggested names for dogs in the puppy kindergarten class (she did not pick ANY of my great suggestions, so I will have to keep them for my own dogs), celebrated every update and waited anxiously for it to appear on the doorstep.  When it did not make it before Nelson did, I asked my own students to write their own versions of "How to Raise a Hero" and their rough draft stories were WONDERFUL and so sweet.  Final versions are due at the end of the year and I can't wait to see what the kids come up with.  About a week ago we FINALLY got the box we had been waiting for.  I have read it several times to our Kinder classes and it really helps them understand Nelson a little better.  They love the story, laugh at the names Laura picked for the puppies, and I am so glad to be able to share it with them.  I ordered an extra copy from Amazon for the library, and if you do not have a copy yet.....go grab one!

My name suggestions: Pokey, goldilocks, Cindyella, Peter, Ace, Amigo, Dobby, Ocheo, Seuss; Reed, Story, Paige, Booker. CC (for Canine Companions or spell it differently); also noted that Every Hero needs a Sidekick. What about sidekick? Or on that theme: Tonto, Robin, Chewie (Chewbacka), Friday, Huck or Finn, Ron or Hermmy, Watson, etc.