Word is getting out that we welcomed a new puppy dog into our fold. It is happy news! Theoretically, she’s my daughter’s dog, but the middle-of-the-night potty trips have fallen to me–what a surprise. It’s ok–it helps me bond with my new puppy clients!
Hootenanny-Anny for short–entered our home as a foster puppy. Her adoption fell through over the Christmas holiday and it felt like a sign. Yes, I have written numerous articles cautioning against but here she is, our holiday puppy. She walked into our lives like she’d intended to be here from the start.
While the responsibilities of dog ownership are often limited when you’re a kid, the concept of “the kid’s dog” is still a good one. My childhood dog, gifted to me at age 5, was my best friend. She lived 13 years and I don’t have many memories that don’t include her. When my daughter started pleading for a long-term solution to Anny’s homelessness, I felt the pangs … every kid really does need a dog.
For me, some of the greatest joys of motherhood are those moments when you spy your child being kind. As I watched my 8-year old stomping ice from the pond in her bright pink boots with her puppy braced at her side, I smiled. Kid and dog … a perfect match.
When we moved from our beloved village of Katonah home, I kept saying that I need “sky.” I longed for big, star-filled sky that I could look up to and trace the constellations. And so we moved. But somewhere between the packing and unpacking, I forgot to look up. But now, standing outside in the middle of night while Anny pees contentedly, I see stars. I found the sky and it is beautiful.
Finally, I am often reminded how grateful I am to live in a world that includes air conditioning and vit-a-mixes. Now I must add the Lickety Stick to my list. My long career as a dog trainer can really be defined as life before and life after the Lickety Stick. At first glance it looks like a roll-on antiperspirant, but it is a liquid treat for dogs. That they lick. It’s low calorie (1 calorie per 10 licks) it’s handy (you’ll find one in everyone of our pockets and it makes training and problem prevention/solving fun). Here’s how we’re using it in our home.
- First we connected the Lickety Stick with good manners. Before she gets the reward, Anny must sit. That took about a minute to connect;
- Each time Anny approaches us outside, we hold out our trusty Lickety Stick and say “Come.” We’re teaching Anny that come means we’re together, not apart;
- We share the stick with friends and company. Having learned to sit when she sees the Lickety Stick, she’s not jumping;
- Though formal leash training won’t begin for another few weeks, we use the Lickety Stick to encourage her to follow us;
- Perhaps one of my favorite uses is for aggression prevention. Each time Anny is chewing a bone, eating or has grabbed something we’d rather she not, the kids aren’t yelling—they’re grabbing their Lickety Stick and encouraging her to “give.”
- As dog aggression is a topic I speak on often (I will be giving a talk at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21st in Greenwich), I’m eager to add this product into the discussion.