Tag Archives: new lab puppy


I caught this picture of Molly (left)  and Amber (right) last night. It didn’t last long, but it shows the sweet doggies are learning to tolerate one another – at least for short periods of time.

Molly would prefer to be on the rug now while Amber is in her “place,” but progress is being made.

Smoke continues to taunt Amber – confident she can leap up or sprint out of range. Abby continues to hiss really loudly, but isn’t frantic to get outside now.


Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

New Toys!

Most puppies like to chew on things, but labradors – and Amber in particular – bring chewing to an art form. NOTHING is sacred. We have to be alert 24/7 to be sure our favorite whatever-it-is hasn’t been declared a chew-toy by Amber and an end eaten off, if not devoured completely.

Two of Amber’s newest legitimate chew-toys, however, haven’t cost a thing and we’re delighted. In the picture above you can see a glass ‘apple’ paperweight. My husband bought it for me years ago. It’s really heavy and I love it. Amber loves it, too, and she cannot seem to hurt it. She chews on it, rolls it around, jumps after it with a happy yipe, then chews on it again. She can’t actually get the whole thing in her mouth.

The other toy she loves best is a plastic water bottle, minus the top, minus the blue ring that’s left when you unscrew the top, and minus the label. She makes a LOT of noise and just loves dashing around with it in her mouth, crunching like mad – a maniacal look on her face, then diving after it when she drops it, over and over. We had a fun morning with her with us in the office. I then took her for a walk and put her on the porch.


We left Amber on the back porch while we went grocery shopping. It’s about an hour later now than when I was typing the above.

I asked my husband if he would walk Amber. He came back a second later, saying, “Did you see what she did to the porch?”

She had somehow gotten up high enough to pull out what was in a basket we had hanging – dragging

  • a half roll of paper  towels down and shredding the towels into tiny bits all over the porch,
  • a bottle of Clorox Cleanup – spilled, but not ingested (we think/hope),
  • all of the towels we put on her crate at night, and all of her toys out of the laundry basket
  • plus she had ‘pawed’ all the water out of her water dish

It looked like something had exploded, or possibly the remains of a ticker tape parade after everyone went home.

So, in addition to putting away our groceries and cleaning up the kitchen, we’ve now cleaned and mopped the porch.

NOW we’re having another Amber-and-Molly-learning-to-co-exist lesson…

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

Tales of Amber

Amber at 11 weeks of age is a study in motion. Saying she is an ‘active puppy’ just doesn’t describe it adequately. If you take your eye off her for a second, she has found something else that is fascinating – and, like a baby – she puts it into her mouth to get the sense of it.

We’re bringing her into the house with us several times a day to teach her house manners. These photos are taken in our office. The dog gate my husband made years ago is up so that she can’t get out – yet. She can’t get under it, but I think she can get over it if she figures it out. So far, she doesn’t know, and that’s a lifesaver for us. :0)


Tomorrow she will have been with us for 2 weeks, and what a two weeks it has been! She is actually sitting for a split second while we put her food bowl down. We say, “Okay” very quickly and declare victory for now. She is much better on the leash and now goes up and down stairs pretty well. She is sleeping in her crate at night with no problems, chooses to sleep in it for naps, and usually manages not to chew her crate blanket TOO much.

She is learning the perimeter of the ‘civilized’ part of our yard. She associates the shop with my husband and dog biscuits, trying to drag me there on every walk. She is nipping less, reacting to “NO!” and the clapping of our hands. (Sometimes it seems that’s ALL we say. When we see this, we change the location or the activity or both.)

Our biggest problem at this point is Molly, our cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross. She misses Bambi and the quiet life she had BA (before Amber). She really doesn’t like the way Amber dives into her face, wanting to play. She is 12 and, though she was the playful one when we had Bambi, she has misplaced her “play” button for awhile. We concentrate on getting them together in a monitored situation and giving Molly lots of love, special perks, and attention.

I’m reading the new book I got yesterday, called, “Everything Labrador” or something similar, to find out what we’re supposed to be doing. I’m hoping they give us new insights into Amber, how we can train her well, and how to integrate her into the family as smoothly as possible.

Our day revolves around when Amber was out last, how long has it been since we had a play time, etc.

New puppies are a joy, AND definitely a character-building exercise.

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

Amber – Take 6

You would think Amber were flea-infested, as she stops to scratch on our walks around the yard. Apparently, she is slow to adapt to new things, such as the harness. She’s scratching it so much that it’s starting to fray! We’ll probably need to get her another one in the same size at the rate she’s going. We already have two others in medium and one in large…

The first words she has learned to date are, “Good Girl!”  This is because I say that whenever I can catch her doing something right, and combine that with a treat from PetCo.  NOW I’ll have to get her to accept that she won’t get a treat EVERY time I say the magic words.

She had another good night. I got up early to take her out and then feed her. We’re trying to establish a routine she can appreciate.  She had a short time on the dog run. The stops are working. We had to shorten the string we attach to her harness because she is strong enough to pull the wire to get to the steps of the deck. Now I only have to worry about her getting out of the harness.

When she had been on it for 10 minutes and was QUIET, I went out and traded the run for the leash and we took a walk. We went around to the swimming pool. She went all the way around it, then jumped in. She actually laid down in it today, looking very happy, and then walked around again before jumping out. We had a nice walk, coming in through the garage where I could grab a towel and dry her off a bit. She’s on the porch now, and quieted down after about 5 minutes. HOORAY!


We got the plywood at Yeagers, cut it in half lengthwise, and screwed it to the uprights yesterday. This will protect the screens and she can still see out just fine. There is glass in the screen door and it latches well (when we remember to MAKE SURE it does), so things are pretty secure.


I removed all the extraneous ‘stuff’ from the porch and then mopped again.


Here is her crate, her DIY ‘toy box’ and her non-spill water bowl (hahahahahaha – unless she puts her paw in it and slides it as if it were a frisbee). You can also see the gate that separates the porch from the living room. We were inside fixing breakfast and all of a sudden she was in the kitchen with us! We moved the gate up again – I really get some GREAT exercise trying to get over it and not fall on my head.


We moved the chairs back up against the table which holds our doggie supplies.  This morning my husband and I shared coffee on the porch, invited our dog, Molly, in to socialize with Amber. Molly is still very upset at this undignified, playful, nipping hyperactive ball of energy. Amber really wants a rough-and-tumble play. She tries to get one of us to protect her, trying not to growl. We’re hoping that if we have a session like this every day, Molly will learn that the baby isn’t trying to hurt her.

New puppies – particularly large ones – aren’t for sissies or the faint of heart. I’m insisting that my husband takes HIS turns with her several times each day so that I can catch my breath! I really like her wish to ‘be with the people,’ but right now the intensity is a little much.

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

Amber – Take 4

I can’t tell you how happy I am with how well Amber is doing with her crate. She has spent two nights in it so far, and no accidents. She voluntarily goes in to take naps – proof above.  She doesn’t go in voluntarily at night, and reminds me of a cranky child who has stayed up past her bedtime but still fights going to sleep. She doesn’t like us to put her in and close the door, but we’re getting a routine going now.

We’ve discovered that if we shut the door to the porch when she is barking badly, she quits. Hooray!

She woke us up a little bit after 2am last night, barking. We weren’t sure what the problem was, but we decided to ignore her. We only got the barest amount of sleep last night anyway, and the barking stopped pretty quickly.

I got her outside a little bit after 5 am this morning, since we had to leave for my husband’s surgery. She’s getting much better about going up and down steps, though she has to be encouraged each time. She is still unhappy with the harness, scratching at it as though she has fleas, but I’m ignoring that.

She has a really good appetite, eating a cup of puppy food morning and evening. She is still playing frisbee with her non-spill water bowl, but she also drinks from it. My arm is still her favorite chew-toy, although I’m squirting her with water when she does it. Both hands and arms (mine) have little dings and red spots from our interaction.

We had more training on the dog run. The stops are working now, rather than her being able to get over them somehow. I think she is safe now, and that’s a really good thing, as active as she is.

I spent some time when we got home from the hospital walking her, playing ball and tugging on chew toys, etc. My steps during the day have increased to over 6,000 for the past three days, so hopefully this will be helpful in my efforts to get the lard off.

I have to REALLLLLLLLLY  concentrate when I’m walking her. She wants to run back and forth and tries to get me tangled up in the leash or when she’s on the run if she can reach me. A good session for both of us.

I’m hoping that it’ll be warm enough that I can see if she wants to swim this afternoon. If she does, I’ll try to snap a pic or two.

Each evening we try to bring her in the house to sit in someone’s lap, nuzzle, and talk. Last night it was Harvey’s turn. Amber sat with him almost the whole time we watched a rented movie! I think she’ll be a Daddy’s Girl….

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, Family