Monday, January 18, 2010


When we first brought Hadley home we put on the pretty little pink collar we'd bought for her and promptly watched her scratch like hell to try and get rid of it. She fussed for a long time and we relented several times over the weeks. But she's been wearing it full time for a few months now and it just occurred to me that I can't remember the last time I saw her scratch at it. It comes off every week at bath time, of course, and she doesn't even resist when I put it back on. Ahh.

Over the months, several tags went on that collar (rabies, city license, tracking chip, etc.) as well as a couple of attempts at pretty charms. All were promptly chewed - she was absolutely relentless about that. I finally got her one tag that incorporated all the information as well as her name and bought yet another glittering charm. But I also finally wised up and bought a bottle of bitter apple. A few applications of the spray put an end to the tag destruction and now she doesn't even try. Ahh.

The first time we tried to walk Hadley she flattened herself on the ground and refused to budge. Splat! Tugging on her collar just left her coughing and gagging so we promptly bought a harness. That made it possible to pull her without hurting her little neck but it presented a new problem. She started pulling and made walking her quite unpleasant. Another harness, recommended by her trainer, was a different style and was designed to retard her pulling. It actually worked decently well but was a bit of a pain to put on. I'd always wanted to just be able to walk my dog with her leash clipped to her collar like other dogs. The trainer said that could happen in the future and it seems the time has come. Today, for the first time, I walked Hadley with just her collar. I brought the harness with me just in case but there was no need. She walked as well on the collar as she did on the new harness. Ahh.

My little girl is 9 months old and is, apparently, growing up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Puppy Play Date

Now I really do feel like a mom - my puppy had a play date :) On one of our walks, Hadley and I got into a conversation with a nice woman and her high energy little toy poodle. Turns out, she lives in my building, just one floor down from me. After running into each other in the neighborhood a couple of more times we decided to arrange a play date for our two little doggies and see if they would like each other. More importantly, we were looking for a way to drain some of their excess energy because, as all dog owners know, a tired dog is a good dog :)

I was a bit concerned how Hadley would respond because she's still painfully shy in the small dog run near our house. Brian was quite sure the meeting would flop but I thought it worth a try. Cinnamon, the poodle, and her mom Karly came up to my apartment so Hadley was on her home turf. Still, for the first 10 minutes she acted submissive and shy. But then, it seemed like those two came to some kind of doggie understanding. While Karly and I chatted and got to know each other better, Cinnamon and Hadley tore through the house chasing each other and playing, tails wagging furiously. A big success! Karly and I both agreed to do it again and have had several play dates since then. Both Hadley and Cinnamon really seem to enjoy it and I'm thrilled.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where'd You Get That Puppy?

Over the past 7 months, I've been stopped at least a dozen times by people wanting to know where I got Hadley. When I tell them it was from a breeder upstate, they all hand me business cards or e-mail addresses and ask me to send them her contact information. I don't blame them. Cavaliers are both beautiful and engaging and Hadley has both qualities in abundance. And we were happy with the breeder we used. She was friendly and accommodating and we liked the way she kept her dogs. She provided us with a wonderfully hearty, healthy puppy. I'm happy to oblige the people who want her name and happy to refer people to her.

In each and every case I have e-mailed people the breeder information either the same day I met them or no later than the following day. But, not one single time has the person who received the information from me responded with a thank you or even with the courtesy of an acknowledgment. Not one single time! It just drives me crazy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Snow, Shmow

On New Year's weekend, Brian and I drove out to one of the state parks so that Hadley could run off-leash. We didn't realize there would still be so much snow on the ground and it brought back instant memories of how she fussed and carried on a few weeks ago the first time she experienced snow. So, we didn't have much hope as we let her out of the car but, apparently, she's gotten over it. She happily ran and played in the snow until us humans couldn't take the cold anymore.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Making Friends

The closest small dog run to my apartment is not terribly inviting. It's on the river so it's windy and cold on all but the warmest days. It's also relatively small and has vinyl floors instead of soil or grass. Brian and I had looked at it when we first started taking Hadley out for walks and decided it was too dirty, uninviting and filled with overly boisterous dogs. Nope, we won't be putting our clean little darling in there. Well...

Kate, the trainer, felt very strongly that Hadley needed the kind of exercise she could only get by running around with other dogs and that we'd made the wrong decision. So, since I'd followed her advice about everything else, I decided to try this as well.

The first time we brought Hadley in there she was very unsure, barely acknowledged the other dogs or greeted them with her head low and rear end down. Her tail was not tucked...she wasn't afraid...but very submissive and uncertain. The other dogs were very exuberant with each other but obviously sensed her nervous energy and stayed away from her. She spent a lot of the time hiding behind my legs and I felt so guilty for not having socialized her with other dogs sooner. I determined to come to the dog run more often.

The winter weather has been uncooperative but I've still managed a few dog run visits with her and I see an improvement each time. I still wouldn't say she loves it but I'm hoping that one day she will.