Happy Birthday, Teddy!

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that we celebrated our pup’s birthday on Monday.  He has been a part of our family for almost a year, and it has been so wonderful to watch him grow and learn.20180205_084531.jpg

We adopted Teddy from the SPCA.  He was in a group of dogs who came from a hoarding situation, meaning that the owner had too many dogs to be able to care for all of them.  He was unsure of a lot of human social interaction but was very comfortable around other dogs.  He knows the rules of play with dogs, but the rules when interacting with humans were completely foreign.

Over the last year, he has learned so much.  We have game nights at our house that are so helpful with Teddy meeting and interacting with new people.  He has learned, for the most part, to calm down when coming in from outside.  I mean, he’s still only two and a puppy for the most part.

For our dogs’ birthdays, we have a tradition of taking them to Petco (not sponsored) and letting them walk around the store.  They get to sniff all the toys and go home with a toy and treat.  This was the first time Michael and I can remember actually taking Teddy to a store like this, so I was interested to see how this would play out.

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He was a bit unsure, with his tail tucked and his back legs shaking.  There were so many sights and smells and sounds.  We decided to take him closer to the end of the day when the store wouldn’t be as crowded.  I think the experience overwhelmed him at first, but gradually he seemed to adjust.

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We walked around the store a few times.  But my favorite part was when two of the employees got down to approach him.  He went right up to them and let them pet him.  It was an amazing moment, that I, of course, forgot to take a picture because I was part of the interaction.  I wanted to be in the moment for him in case he was unsure.  But he was actually braver during those interactions than he was just walking through the store, itself!

Later this month, he will go to the vet for the second time since he has been a part of our family so he will have more opportunities to interact in unfamiliar settings.  I’m so proud of our pup, and I look forward to seeing how much he will grow and learn this year!

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My Pet-sitting Helper

I have been pet-sitting on and off for the last couple of years.  It started by just watching a few neighbor’s pets in their homes, and over time, through word of mouth mostly, I’ve been hosting weekend sleepovers with my favorite puppy clients almost every month this year.  Spring Break and July have been my busiest seasons so far, and I’ve been loving it.

One of the concerns I had this year with my pet-sitting was the addition of Teddy to our family.  Teddy comes from a hoarding situation.  Some dogs that come from that kind of environment can be food or toy guarders.  They may not know many manners with humans or dogs.  And they can even exhibit feral qualities.  I was concerned with how Teddy would do with our overnight guests.

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But Teddy is amazing.  He shares his toys, plays with patience and manners, and listens to me for directions when he is unsure.  With the high energy pups, he will run them around the backyard in a game of chase. Once he has tired them out, they hang out together under the shade of our tree in the backyard.

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He also plays with them inside, letting them crawl all over him.  They love him so much.  He becomes their very best friend.

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And even the dogs that aren’t quite sure about him will warm up to him pretty quickly.  It’s amazing to see him adjust his energy to the dog, giving them space when they need it.

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The backyard is his domain, but he shares the space well.  Even if the dog isn’t interested in running or playing, Teddy will just hang out.  He is a dog’s dog.  He loves being around other dogs, so he is so happy when another guest comes for a sleepover.

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I couldn’t have picked a better dog to help me out with the rambunctious puppies.  I’m so happy and blessed to have Teddy as a part of our family!