A loyal partner for life

Am still reading up on my new pup.  The following link provides additional info for those interested in learning more about Cavapoos.  One resounding theme from everything I’ve read is that Asa will grow up to be a gentle and sweet little guy.  This of course, depends on how I raise him.  Using a heavy hand on a “sensitive” dog will surely backfire.  They are also intelligent so patience is the key, praise, and repetition.

Cavapoos are renowned for being extremely affectionate dogs, they are friendly and loyal. Their good natures has meant they have become one of the most popular family pets getting along with children of all ages as well as other pets and dogs. Puppies that have been well socialised when they are very young, turn out to be fantastic, well balanced dogs to have around the home. They love to be involved in everything the family is doing and stress out if they are left on their own for too long – which could lead to some unwanted behaviour – namely barking. Because they are quite energetic little dogs, they need regular daily exercise and they need to be stimulated mentally too. Playing with safe toys is a great way to get a Cavapoo to get rid of any energy and because they love being around people, they respond really well to games like fetch.

 

A dog should never fear their fur parent.  Instead, with diligence and perseverance you’ll have a loyal partner for life if you are willing to invest time, effort, and tons of love into developing this dog to its full potential.

 

ASA

ASA

A work in progress

As previously mentioned in another post about the Cavapoo and puppy training, at times it can be difficult getting these little fellas to obey your commands.

Common sense, and from the materials I’ve read….One thing not to do, is that we do not use the same discipline or corrective methods on one breed as we would typical do with another i.e. if you have a more “aggressive” dog or even larger breed.

I know some owners will jerk the dog’s leash when trying to discipline and for pups that is simply a big no no. Their necks are smaller and you can always run the risk of injury or even snapping the bones.

Also, Cavapoos are well-known for being gentle creatures who are eager to please….this also means that they are far more sensitive to harsher commands or discipline. If we as their fur parents take to manually disciplining a dog you can end up with one who is fearful or even becomes a biter. The best bet is to 1.) Use a firm voice…screaming doesn’t cut it and 2.) Distract them with a toy, treat or take them to another place in order to redirect their energy.

I still have a lot of learning to do. I really want Asa to do well in his puppy training. I may eventually take him to PetSmart for their puppy training classes along with getting him socialized.

Commands he may do at home may not work in another environment and it’s important to socialize your pet so he or she doesn’t end up a fearful creature.

 

10251886_10205393980589424_2059802119815473568_n

My hope is to have a long lasting and mutually satisfying relationship with this little furry guy for many years to come.

Finding balance

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”
    -James Thurber

When you’re watching your fur baby like a hawk to ensure they don’t potty inside it can become tiresome but….I already knew what I was in for.

I feel Asa will bring untold amounts of joy along with the frustrations of handling a new puppy. He loves to cuddle, follows me like a second shadow…never sasses me (well…maybe sometimes)….but I’ll take it.

10801944_10205406219695394_1923526626398066722_n

From all the materials I’ve read about potty training setbacks, not being a diligent fur parent can create obstacles to a successful housebreaking experience. Once a pup has experienced 4 weeks without much incident (there will be accidents but not frequent) then consider the dog house broken.

10881891_10205413895207277_995239249333859271_n

Sometimes Asa will give me verbal cues and look towards the door. He really needs grass, he prefers it. Living in a townhome has its perks…but when it comes to dogs…best to have a yard.  And how can I ever be mad at that little face? He is my little heart.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
Milan Kundera

Round 2 as a parent of a furry baby

I wanted another dog. Losing Wendy was difficult. The manner in which she passed angers me to this day. I won’t get over it simply because I feel there are many unsuspecting dog owners out there who may one day face the heartbreak that I went through. When at your vet, always ask questions. DO NOT be afraid to challenge them regarding their line of thinking and take the time to do as much research as possible when it comes to your breed and dogs in general.

REMEMBER: You chose this animal to live with you.

With that being said, potty training is demanding.  When I potty trained my daughter it was a breeze. Puppies, of course, don’t wear diapers so you have to be constantly vigilant on how you approach said subject matter, and do it with a positive attitude.

My short-term goal is to have my Cavapoo, Asa, trained to such a degree he will be able to use a “potty bell.” For those of you who don’t know what this is, please click here:          (it can be a god-send)…..now if only dogs could talk!

p-90425-76736K_004_ins

 

For the love of a dog

“We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it’s undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us– a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge– our connection to who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it’as as if we are calling for home itself. And that’ll do, dogs. That’ll do.” Patricia B. McConnell

10882141_10205424130343149_4425156570244236275_n

New member of the family

I am quite excited to bring Asa home. His name was Karter but both cats have names which end in an “a.” He is 3 months old and as you can see….he’ll melt anyone’s heart.

The hybrid breed is a Cavapoo. Yes, a mutt but an “intentional” mutt. The Cavapoo contains some of the best characteristics of both the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle.  Asa looks almost like his mother but his looks may change once he matures.

As soon as I saw him/held him….I knew I was his.  He literally melted in my arms and he had me at hello….

10805843_775401345865050_386071103059881243_n10882138_10205348056401348_6332325445812019339_n


More on the Cavapoo:

 

 

Cavapoo

Mix: ½ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & ½ Poodle

Size: Up to 20 pounds, 11 – 15 inches tall

Coat: Coat is soft and can be wavy, or curly.  Coat colors can range from solid black, gold, white, chestnut and white, or tri-colour (black, white and tan).

*Many people with allergies prefer Poodle mixes as their fur is more
hypoallergenic than most dogs (a characteristic inherited from the
Poodle)

A Cavapoo (also known as Cavadoodle or Cavoodle) is a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and, most often, the miniature sized Poodle.  They are quite small weighing anywhere up to 20 pounds, and 12 – 14 inches tall.  They are very intelligent and have the desire to please which makes them very easy to train.  They are friendly with everyone, have a very laid-back personality, and are very gentle in nature.  With their small compact bodies, round faces and long, floppy ears they appear puppy-like even into their adult years.  They are well suited for homes with little or no yard as they do not possess an overabundance of energy where they will need a ton of exercise or space to run.  However, as with all dogs, they still need the benefit of some exercise such as a short walk or play session to keep them healthy and fit.  This dog is suited for just about anyone  and will do well with either a single person or a family.  Possessing a very laid-back personality and gentle nature makes them excellent with children.  They love and crave affection and sometimes bond more strongly with one person in the family over the others.  They have a lifespan of approximately 12 – 16 years.

 

(click here for more info)

Why is the word compromise a dirty 4 letter word?

“Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to.”

― Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding

 

One of the greatest fears a lot of us have is losing control over our lives, our feelings. We’re afraid that if we give in even one inch to someone else they’ll greedily devour a mile. Perhaps that’s why a lot of us Americans are so apprehensive about getting married. We are individualists with our own set of dreams, goals…

The way I was raised though had a lot to do on how I view marriage. I did see “some” compromise with my parents growing up in a traditional household. The roles were “set” as one might typically think of an old-school marriage. Mom was a stay at home wife, dad worked 12 sometimes 16 hour days. He had the garage and yard while mom had the house. Though mom would help dad outside weather permitting….

The military taught me, quite well, I might add, on the art of compromise. Working within a team environment with various personalities you quickly learn the group dynamics.  You’re tested on a multitude of levels…on areas you didn’t even know could be tested.

And marriage, well marriage is a team effort. And you bring into this union all of your angst, your strengths, those hopes and dreams. You pray that your spouse will share along with your ventures, becoming in essence, a true partner.

However, sometimes that’s not always the case. An individual may have a stronger personality than the other and try to either force or somehow coerce you into their way of thinking even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. That’s when compromise becomes a 4 letter word. It’s not really a meeting of like minds.

If you feel you’re not being heard, that your own personal goals are being swept to the side have a talk. Resolve it, the longer you wait more resentment will build.

Marriage is a partnership for a reason. It’s not necessarily the union of two liked minds because we are all individuals. It’s learning to respectfully coexist within a meaningful relationship which should last a lifetime.

A collective effort

I’ve worked within a team environment pretty much my entire life. Whether it was in the military or in my current position, I have “learned” to play well with others.

Found this site (taken directly from the horse’s….I mean Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) mouth:

 

Building a Collaborative Team Environment

Teams are expected to produce results, but performance is hindered when team members do not work well together. A collaborative team environment is essential for the team’s success. To create a collaborative environment, team members must practice the following:

Have a Common Purpose and Goal

A team is defined as a group of people working together toward a common goal. Without a goal, there is no team. Ideas for creating a common goal include:

  • Create and/or review the team’s charter.
  • Discuss why the team exists.
  • Allow each team member to express commitment.
  • Create mottoes, symbols, awards, or posters that portray the team as one unit.
  • Use the common purpose to prioritize team actions.

Trust Each Other

Team members must trust each other if they are to work together successfully. Ideas for creating trust among team members include:

  • Be honest.
  • Work to eliminate conflicts of interests.
  • Avoid talking behind each other’s back.
  • Trust teammates (you must trust them before they will trust you).
  • Give team members the benefit of the doubt.

Clarify Roles

Knowing everyone’s role and being familiar with the responsibility of those roles create efficiency and flexibility. Ideas for clarifying roles on the team include:

  • Review team members’ roles frequently.

  • Relate team member expectations to the team’s overall purpose.

  • Clarify responsibilities when action planning.

  • Learn what others do on the team.

  • Figure out ways to help each other.


You can visit OPM for additional information and to read the rest of this website.

The above outlined behaviors and responsibilities seems easy right? Not always. When you throw in different cultural, socio-economic, and work-ethic backgrounds into the mix you can come out with a totally different beast.

One thing I decided to do this year is to get my team more actively involved in our agency’s annual holiday party. Each year various teams put together wonderful gift baskets which are then doled out to the a lucky ticket holder.  I decided I wanted to tempt karma and see what the fates may bring.  What I have found out, besides putting together one very awesome basket, (pictures to come forth later) is that various members of my team (who usually do not interact with one another) are, for the most part….coming together.  THAT is the outcome I was striving for.  Not only are we combining our creativity with the kind of basket we are creating, but to establish a cohesive team during the holiday season which I pray extends itself past the New Year. ;)

 

Gift baskets from previous years (yes…as I said…they are awesome!)

 

164005_1776802060294_1599917_n 1499484_10202620672618458_191619248_n