Santa Paws Has Come & Gone


Our house was full of excitement on Christmas morning, not with the excited screaming of children, but with the happy curiosity of five dogs waiting patiently to see what was in their stockings. Over the past month Huib and I have done a lot of shopping for them all, filling their stockings with toys, treats and other things we knew they would enjoy. With this being our first and only Christmas with Aiden we made sure to spoil him and to make it a memorable day for us all.

We got each dog to lie on a red blanket with their full stocking in front of them for a picture and then emptied it in front of them for another. Each dog was very interested in what their stocking contained and each dog found at least one thing inside that they wanted to check out immediately.

Aiden’s stocking contained: 2 stuffed toys that squeak (a person wearing a santa hat that said naughty on one side & nice on the other; an organge monkey with a santa hat), 3 ginger snap cookies, a bone filled with beef rollover, and a new Frisbee for the summer. He was of course interested in the treats, but after having one he took the orange moneky and ran down the hall squeaking it as he went.

Cessna’s stocking contained: a naughty or nice person (same as Aiden), a small orca whale that she can play with in the water, a treat dispenser called a chill pill, a small football, 2 cinnamon bun cookies, a package of snausages, and a stuffed frog that squeaks and has rope arms and legs. She was most interested in the cinnamon bun cookie and ran off to the bedroom to eat one when she was done.

Phoenix’s stocking wasn’t as full as the others, but he was given a new bed for Christmas and absolutely loves stealing the toys from the other dogs so we weren’t as concerned. This year his stocking contained a new treat ball (he now has 4 different ones) and a stuffed turtle that squeaks and wears a santa hat. Of course being his usual food motivated self he was eager to have us fill his ball and was off pushing it up and down the hallway with the others not far behind.

Libertie’s stocking contained: a stuffed bear wearing a santa hat, 3 ginger snap cookies, a brown leather collar, a rope toy, a squeaky tennis ball, and a bone filled with turkey rollover. She quickly ate a ginger snap cookie and then took her teddy to show her brother. Sadly teddy lost his nose within only five minutes, but she still loves to play with him just as much.

Aspen’s stocking contained: a brown leather collar, a knuckle bone, a rubber toy called a Little Devil that you can put treats into, a blue stuffed penguin that squeaks and wears a santa hat, a stuffed duck that also squeaks, and 3 ginger snap cookies. She swallowed 2 of the ginger snaps whole and then went off with her Little Devil.

All in all our dogs were spoiled. Some were given a little more than others, but in the end it all seems to even itself out as they all share and all get a variety of things throughout the year. Just looking at the money I spend each year on my dogs for Christmas makes me wonder what I will be like when I have children to spoil as well.

First Birthday Already!


Today is Aiden and Libertie’s 1st birthday, where did the time go? I remember when we got little wrinkly faced Aiden at 10 weeks of age and now looking at him I wonder where those days went. He has grown up to be such a handsome young dog, with such a patient and loving personality. With this milestone though comes the knowledge that soon he will go for training and we will no longer wake up to his nose and tongue in our faces – eager to get the day started. He is so much like my old boy Phoenix that it makes me sad every day to think about his upcoming departure from our home.

Libertie has now been with us for a month and a couple of weeks. She has learned so much and has pretty much settled into the routine of living in our home. She has mastered: sit, down, come, and is wonderful about waiting for the “ok” command before going to eat her meals. She has learned to take treats gently and is well on her way to learning how to stay and settle down (with the use of a tie down or crate, but soon she will no longer need these either).

I am not sure why our personalities seem to clash, but I find myself often wondering whether she really likes being here. I will give her a command and she will keep walking and when I make her obey she will stare at me with her sad eyes because I guess in her mind I am a mean person not allowing her to do what she desires. When her sister Amber was with us for a short time she would often give me that same look. I wish I could allow her to do what she wants, but I also cannot stand having a dog who ignores authority. Maybe in a little while she will begin to understand that I am not being cruel, but only trying to teach her what I know will help her become the dog I know she can be. My sister and her seem to have a wonderful bond with one another, maybe it is because Brandi does not force her to obey all of the time, but seeing this relationship helps me to see that she will have a great home for life if she does not stay with us.

Aiden and Libby had a great day playing with their buddies and with their new presents. Aiden absolutely loves his stuffed monkey with rope arms and legs that squeaks and Libby loves her new cow hoof filled with rollover. Soon they will have even more new toys to play with as Christmas is not far away.

Eleven Months


Today Aiden and Libby turn 11 months. It hasn’t been long since Libby arrived, but it has been almost 9 months since Aiden came to our home. He has grown so much and matured even more. Given his size and maturity level people often think he is over a year of age. We had a bit of a rough period, but he seems to have gone through it and is moving along in his learning now.

We are not yet sure who our little guy will help in the future, but we believe he will make a wonderful companion for a young child. He has such a calm and laid back disposition and his personality is full of charm. I sometimes wonder what he will be like as an adult, seeing as he is already so mature and well behaved.

I am glad we will have Aiden until after his first birthday, but I also know that January is not far away. If for any reason he does not make the cut though, he will be welcomed back with open arms.

Libertie Belle Has arrived



On Saturday afternoon Aiden’s breeder arrived with his litter mate, we have named Libertie Belle or Libby for short. Libby is a very petite girl, very slender for a lab. She is the colour of vanilla ice cream with carmel mixed into different spots like her ears, the lower part of her bum, and somewhat on her back. She has a pink nose and light brown pigments around her eyes and mouth (I think). Libby is so different looking from her brother who is dark caramel in colour, very tall, long and thick. They get along beautifully though, she doesn’t allow him to push her around and he doesn’t protest when she wrestles him to the ground.

Libby has been with us for just over 24 hours now and seems to already be settling into the group. She doesn’t bother the older ones and she understands that enough is enough when Aiden climbs up onto the couch or under the desk for a nap. It is so cute to watch Aiden and Libby play together and I am sure after a while the others will begin to join in on the fun.

For now we are working on leash manners and not jumping up on people, but soon we will move on to learning some of the basic obedience commands such as “down” and “stay”. She already seems to know “sit” and “come” but they too will need to be worked on in order to make sure we can firmly trust that she knows them. Even though it has only been a short time since she arrived I can already tell that she will be a good student and with her high desire to please I think she will be very successful and a wonderful companion for us.