July 24, 2018 . . . Before That

Today is a lazy summer day due to the rain and nothing pressing on my schedule for the day. Not all summer days are like this but many are now. It’s one of the things I treasure about summer, unscheduled days to do as I please or do nothing at all. This morning as I sipped my coffee with a sleeping puppy on my lap Facebook reminded me of past events on July 24th which made me think about writing a Before That Slice of Life.

July 24, 2018

Sipping coffee, puppy sleeping, rain arriving soon.

Before That . . .

July 24, 2017

Breakfast in Venice on a silver tray, train to Verona, gelato in the rain.

Before That . . .

July 24, 2015

Packing up memories, starting a new chapter, first dinner at our new house.

Before That . . .

July 24, 2014

Caribbean sun and a shady palapa with my love.

Before That . . .

July 24, 2013

The nest was full, the sun was shining, reading on the deck with Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Before That . . .

July 24, 2009

Painting shutters by day while taxing to and from the golf course and theater rehearsals.

For the most part time spent scrolling through Facebook posts can be a huge waste of time but it is fun to look back on the memories. Some would have been forgotten without the reminders. I have no idea what might have happened on July 24th in 2016, 2012, 2011 or 2010 but it’s fun to be reminded of the other events. I often don’t look back fondly on the summer of 2009 because all I recall is trying to paint 28 shutters while taxing Thing 1 and Thing 2 to their various summer activities. Today, Facebook helped me to see that time in a more pleasant light. It’s funny how your perspective can change.

If you’re a Summer Mom shuttling your kids to and fro counting the days until they go back to school take some time to enjoy your time with them. These days don’t last forever and while you will enjoy your new found freedom you will miss these days. Take some photos and write some silly Facebook posts so you get a reminder of days gone by in the future and think about what was happening Before That . . .

 

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Two Writing Teachers

 

 

Puppy Training

“Off!”

“Leave it!”

“Drop!”

“No!”

This has been my summer vocabulary as I train my now 12 week old puppy, Milo. We’re currently practicing “Settle Down” as I write. This means I’m sitting with my foot on the middle of a six-foot long leash ignoring the chewing monster on the other end. He is supposed to be sitting quietly at my feet. Instead he’s gnawing on the leash, the leg of my pajamas or the underside of the chair I’m sitting in. We’re supposed to practice this for 30 minutes. It can be a struggle.

Puppy training is exhausting. We take two steps forward and one step backwards all day long. Milo has learned many things over the past 4 weeks. He knows his name, he sits on command and he comes when called. These are huge milestones in the life of a puppy. He still has a lot to learn and some days are better than others.

Yesterday was one of the more challenging days. My knitting bags live in the rocking chair now, my computer cord is laced through the chair and around the top of the table so my computer can charge and my new math materials are stacked on the couch to protect them from puppy teeth. I’m still working on keeping him from chewing the stone on the hearth, the legs of the coffee table and the rocker my husband made entirely by hand without the use of power tools.

Chair

You can visit his woodworking site at Hopkins Woodworking

I know this stage is short lived and all this hard work will eventually pay off. He actually has “Settled Down” as I write and he’s looking up at me and melting my heart. BagTraining a puppy is a lot like teaching. There will be great days and not so great days, strategies that work and ones that don’t and struggles that lead to success and growth. Focusing on the success and growth is the key to staying motivated and moving towards the end goals.

For now I can’t resist the puppy licks on my toes, or is he gnawing on the carpet? It doesn’t really matter because it’s time to grab the umbrella, put on my Muck Boots and head outside. There’s no indoor recess when you’re puppy training.

Umbrella

Don’t ask me how many treats it took to get this shot.

 

 

Summer Mom Trains a Puppy!

IMG_9950Meet Milo! He joined us last Wednesday. He’s keeping me pretty busy but he has been a wonderful addition to our house. A part of me forgot what puppy training is like. He and I are both exhausted by about 10:00 p.m.

Our days are filled with playing, training and running in and out of the house to learn about where to go to the bathroom. He’s doing an amazing job, or at least he has me trained. He hasn’t had an accident in the house yet but I’m waiting for it.

I think his dog mom trained him to use the bathroom outside because it hasn’t been much of a struggle to get him to do this. His sister Zoe learned to go on paper in the house and it was a long 6 months of house breaking that caused me to hesitate about getting a puppy. The day we brought her home appeared to be the first day her paws ever touched grass. On the other hand, Thing 2, his girlfriend and I met Milo running around his yard happily with his mom, dad and two brothers.

Puppy rearing is much like having a toddler. My day is now scheduled around Milo’s sleep/wake cycles. Thankfully he’s taking after Thing 1 and he’s been sleeping through the night since his second day at his forever home. We spend time chasing balls and gnawing on rope bones so he doesn’t gnaw on me with his sharp puppy teeth.

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Full of cuteness and energy.

I’m working on being the Alpha Dog but sometimes his cuteness is hard to resist, but I must. The problem with having a toddler at my age is that’s it’s not as comfortable to sit on the floor anymore and the getting up off the floor is not a graceful act.

My summer plans are pretty well set now. I’ll work on the projects I have planned in short snippets while he naps. I schedule my outings in 3 hour increments for now so he gets used to being in the house alone. So far so good there.

We’ll go out and explore the world together so he gets socialized. We’ve met several adults so far but we need to spend time with the neighborhood children and other dogs as soon as it’s safe for him to be around other dogs.

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What is happening to me?!

Every experience is new for him. Some are exciting and some are scary. Our car trip yesterday to his dad’s office was a little scary. Well need to work on that one. I just hope he’s ready when it’s time for Summer Mom to go back to school in 2 months.IMG_9949

 

 

His dad set up an Instagram page for him. You can follow Milo if you like. It’s all about social media these days!

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Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge