Thursday, January 26, 2012

Puppy Training - Class #2

To read about Class #1...go here!

So Monday of this week rolled around, and the closer it got to 6:00pm the more anxiety I was feeling.  I had debated not going back EVER, but I couldn't give up after just one class, considering there were no refunds for "drop-outs".

I put Lainey in the car and off we went.  We arrived to class and parked the car.  Before I even opened the door to let her out, I took a deep breath and tried to find a way to send positive vibes through the leash.  Lainey and I got out of the car and quickly noticed that everyone was standing outside waiting for the door to be unlocked. I quickly had flashbacks of last week and I nearly turned right around to get back in the car.  Of course, I decided against leaving and slowly worked my way up to the door to stand around amongst the other dogs and their owners.  Lainey did fairly well in the group, but as soon as we walked through the door it was a disaster.

Immediately she started pulling me towards the toy corner.  She was already draining me of every ounch of strenth I had.  We made it to our designated spot in the circle and she WOULD.NOT.STOP.PULLING!  Class hadn't officially started yet and I was already mere seconds away from tears.  Just as I had made the decision that this class wasn't going to work for us and we needed to leave immediately, one of the trainers approached me.  She asked me if I was okay and I broke down.  I explained that this class wan't going to work for me...I was too physically and mentally exhausted to put myself through another hour of torture.  She pulled me aside to discuss what was going on and I explained how Lainey becomes a totally different dog when we enter this room than what she is at home.....and that's when EVERYTHING CHANGED!!

The trainer asked me about my feelings toward a choke/pinch collar and if I would be willing to try one out for that night.  I desparately agreed to try one since nothing else seemed to be working.  IT WAS A MIRACLE!  One of the trainers held her while the other trainer slipped the collar on her.  As soon as her leash was snapped onto the new collar she became a whole new dog.  She immediately stopped pulling and sat there all prim and proper.  You could feel the tension and the stress release from her body (and mine).

Lainey was so well-behaved with her new pinch collar that the trainers were using her as the "example dog" for all of their lessons,!!!!  I was able to successfully complete every task that was given to us for the remainder of the evening.  She never barked again and not once tried to pull on the leash.  I truly witnessed a miracle!

Even the gentleman who stands beside us (who has a perfect puppy) leaned over to me and whispered, "had I not seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it".  Yes!  This is the vision I had all along and it was finally coming true.

The next evening after arriving home from work, I put on the pinch collar and took her for a walk.  It was amazing.  I was able to hold the leash with only one finger and it was drooping loose beside us.  I was now in tears because I was so happy.

I know some people may have strong feelings towards the use of choke/pinch collars, but for me and my puppy, it is a MIRACLE collar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Puppy Training

As you probably already know, we send our puppy to Doggy Daycare a couple times a week.  We've considered it a benefit as she is getting socialization, along with structured play time (not to mention she is so tired when we pick her up...and like they always say "a tired puppy is a good puppy").

I had been thinking about taking puppy training classes for about a month, so when the daycare posted that a new class would begin in January, I jumped on it and enrolled immediately.  This was perfect timing as our precious puppy was beginning to become very disobedient.  Everything she had learned (sit, shake, come, etc) had become impossible!  Not to mention that she was quickly growing and it was becoming harder and harder to walk her, because she is 50 lbs of pure muscle pulling me in every direction.  I should have known that my "bragging" about how well she does on a leash and how we did "absolutely no leash dog is the smartest dog ever"....would somehow bite me in the a$$ one day!

I was counting down the days until our first puppy training class.  You would have thought I was a little kid on Christmas morning based on my excitement as I drove to class last Monday evening.  Then we parked and got out of the car....My bubble burst just as I opened the back end of my SUV and she jumped out all the while barking her head off at the people who parked beside us.  This was just the beginning of the worst night ever!

Class was to begin at 6:15pm, but most everybody was excited and had arrived early.  We all wanted to be the "teacher's favorite"!  Unfortunately, the door was locked which left all of us (and our dogs) waiting outside.  The second indicator that this was not going to go as well as planned happened next.  My dog wanted to "play" with a few of the other dogs, so she continued to bark and get down on her front haunches in the play position.  Once my dog started barking and bouncing around, it caused all hell to break loose with a few of the smaller puppies.  They were terrified of this big lug (my puppy) and they started to bark, growl, was so loud!  Of course, my dog was the instigator to all of this madness and the evil eye was given to me by multiple people.  Great, we haven't even gotten inside the door and already I'm hated by a majority of the group.

The events that took place over the next hour will be something I will never forget.  First of all, I should have known better than to take "training classes" in the same room that my dog attends daycare.  From the time we arrived she just wanted to play.  Pulling, choking, and doing her best to get to the toy corner. At one point we were split into groups, larger dogs in one corner and smaller dogs in another corner.  She continued to pull and I continued to hang on to her with every ounce of strength I could muster.  And faster than you could blink, her collar slipped off her neck and she took off running towards the "toy corner".  It just so happened this is where the group of smaller dogs were grouped together.  Thank goodness for quick reflexes by one of the trainers.  She was able to grab her and take her to the ground while the other trainer slipped the collar back around her neck.  It was at this very moment that my first tear formed.  I was humiliated to say the least.  My normally well-behaved dog was a monster and I had no control over her.

This was probably the image those little puppies saw as Lainey was charging towards them!!!

We somehow made it through the whole class and as soon as I reached the door to exit, I burst into tears.  I was humiliated, disappointed, furious, and physically exhausted.  I cried the entire ride home.

Then to further frustrate me, once we arrived home and I started telling my husband about the events that had taken place, my devil of a dog slipped back into her angel persona.  This led my husband to think that I was over-reacting which led to even more tears.  My monster dog was acting like a perfect little puppy. be continued with Class #2 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Every morning on my drive to work I have such great intentions of writing some fabulous blog post.  As you can never happens!  I just don't have the time to write every day (or even every other day).

As a result, you are left with bullet points. 

  • I'm becoming more and more annoyed with facebook.  My newest annoyance is people who keep posting the "if you are my true friend you will like this post and copy...if not, I'll understand".  Give me a break people....can your self esteem really be so low that you are begging people to "like" you!!!

  • It's been raining for 2 days here in west Michigan and I just can't get used to it.  It is Michigan....In should be snowing!!!

  • I have 2 big home improvement projects that I would like to start, but I haven't found the energy (or the time) to make it happen.

  • I broke down and upgraded my iPhone to the new 4s.  My old 3GS still worked, but after dropping it into the toilet the sound only worked every so often.

  •  Another facebook annoyance is when people "announce" that they are going to delete friends from their list.  Again, this is just begging for people to boost your self esteem by forcing them to comment in order to remain safe on your list.

  • I just realized that I could go on and on about my current pet-peeves concerning facebook (I like you enough to spare you)

  • Took Lainey to our first puppy training class last night.  One word...HORRIBLE!  This deserves a post of it's own (to follow soon)

  • Today is the 6 year anniversary of my grandpa passing & the 3 year anniversary of moving into our house

  • Everyone I know or talk to is sick!  I can only hope that I stay healthy.

  • Like a majority of all woman...I'm addicted to Pinterest
Speaking of Pinterest, I gotta go so I have a minute to browse before my lunch hour is over :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lifes Happenings

Here are a few tid-bits of what's happening in and around my world:

  • I dropped my iPhone in the toilet over a week ago!  I immediately put it in a bag of rice to dry out, but since then, I've been having problems with my sound.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  If this was just my personal phone I wouldn't worry about it, but since it is technically a work phone, it is important that I have a ring tone to know that customers are calling me. I have the option to upgrade from my 3GS to an iPhone 4S, but I've been so hesitant to do it.  I know I will love the new 4S, but I am a creature of habit and I am (for some reason) really attached to MY phone and don't want a new one!  What to do?

  • Last month I got our electric bill and my jaw dropped to the floor!  I assumed it was because we had all the Christmas lights on in the house and all of the outdoor decor lit up.  Well, I'm still assuming that, but this morning I got our electric bill for this month and it is about $100 more than last month!  I don't know how we are going to keep paying for these.  I checked to see what my bill was last year at this time considering we would have had all the Christmas lights going last year too.  My current bill is over 150% higher this year....what the hell!

  • Next Monday Lainey and I start puppy classes.  We both need some serious training!  I've tried and tried to properly train her to walk on a leash and heel when commanded, not to jump on people when they come into the house, to sit on command...every time.  Whatever I am doing is not working.  I just hope that the classes are worth the money and can really teach both of us a thing or two.  I'm also hoping that my spaz of a dog doesn't get kicked out of class on the first night.

  • I love my kindle (as I knew I would), but I feel so guilty when I sit down and start reading.  My mind won't relax and instead keeps reminding me of all the things I could be accomplishing if I wasn't just sitting here reading.  I made a promise to myself that in 2012 I would slow down a little and enjoy more ME time, but I'm starting off the year a little rough.  Do you think there will ever come a time that I can fully enjoy putting chores aside for a little relaxation to read?

  • I'm loving this Michigan weather.  It has been near 50 degrees about 3-4 times in the past week.  And the sun has even been shining!  They are calling for some snow later this week, but until then I'm not complaining one bit.
What's been happening in your neck of the woods?

Friday, January 6, 2012


It's been 8 months since my brother passed away and I can honestly say that my heart aches more today than it did on that horrible Monday in April.

I think about him ALL.THE.TIME!!!  And on days when my heart just can't take any more....I cry!  In the past couple weeks I have cried at Target, in the car driving, on the couch watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, at my desk, in the shower, walking the dog.  I feel like I am constantly trying to hide my feelings and wipe my tears before anyone sees them and it is killing me.  All I really want is one good, loud, snot-dripping cry without being afraid of someone asking me what is wrong.  I don't like to explain my tears.  I feel like as long as I don't say the words out loud than it can't possibly be true.  Obviously, I'm not crazy and know that reality is what it is, but I really hate saying it out loud.

I'm hurting and don't know how to make it better.  I don't even necessarily want it to go away, because I want my heart to always remember....but, I can't go on like this.  I'm starting to think my grief is affecting more of my life than I would like to admit. 

I'm even so desperate that every night before I go to bed, I pray to my brother to please visit me in my dreams.  I just want to hear his voice, to know that he is okay.  But, every morning I wake up and he never came!  Which then, starts this crazy mind of mine on a whole other roller coaster with a whole other set of questions.

I'm not even going to re-read this post before hitting publish....I already know I sound like a crazy person and I'm okay with that.

I miss you!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Sister got Hitched

My baby sister got married on New Years Eve.  It was by far the most beautiful, most formal wedding I have ever been to.

But, best of all....they had a photo booth!  I'm venturing to guess that my siblings and I probably used it the most. 

Here are some of the pics we took:

Of course, hubby and I got in on the action too.....

Here are a few other family pics. 
(my sister, the bride, is not in any of these pics because she is on her honeymoon and none are being posted until she returns and gives the ok)

Hubby and I

Dad, Me, Sister Rachel, Grandma, Brother Chad

And here we are in "birth order"'s a family joke!

Some of the cousins....good genes sure do run in the family!

Sister and I

And, before I forget.....I have to give credit to my sister Rachel for all of these pics.  I forgot my camera as we were rushing out the door. (typical Amy style)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

Between my husband and I both having pneumonia I didn't get any pictures from Christmas.  I'm really disappointed!

But, I was able to find a few on my iphone

This first picture is of our tree after a night of wrapping gifts.  It looks as though Santa had already visited our house!  The amazing part is that these were not all of our gifts.  At the time of this picture, we still had more wrapping to do.  And not to mention, this was only ONE of our trees.  We had another Christmas tree that was full of gifts also.

And of course I have to throw in a picture of our Lainey Bug!!  (The markings on her neck look a little like a beard...haha)

And just so there are no hurt feelings....I had to throw in a picture of both dogs.  Stewie, our Jack Russell is on the left and our "little" Lainey is on the right.

I'm a little disappointed in the entire holiday season this year, but I have big hopes for Christmas 2012!