Saturday, October 25, 2008


I spent Friday and Saturday night instructing at a 4-H riding camp in Benalto, a small community near Sylvan Lake. I absolutely love teaching riding lessons to young children! I love the excitement they bring and the desire to learn and have fun that comes naturally with kids and horses. I accepted the instructor commitment before Scout was even a thought, so I had no idea that I was going to have to come up with "puppy care" for her! Marty's hockey season has begun and he had two games over the weekend, which meant that he could not be responsible for looking after Scout either. We finally agreed that we were going to have to find overnight care for her. The whole idea of it made me nervous. I felt like a new parent, worried that no one else, except my mom and sisters (who live way too far away,) could possibly take care of her the way I would. I was worried about her getting bad habits and losing the "poddy training" and kennel training, and the "sit" training that she has begun to learn....I was acting like the parents at school that I think are over protective, but I couldnt' help it! Marty reminded me "it's just a day and a half," and I tried to relax, but....

Marty's buddy in Red Deer agreed to keep Scout overnight. I was glad because I like Marty's buddy and his girlfriend and I have met their dog. Actually we puppy sat Dumpling, yes that's HIS real name, once last spring. He was an adorable French Bull dog puppy then and we had a lot of fun with him. At the time, he did not walk on a leash, he was not "house trained" nor did he embrace the idea of his kennel being his beloved "den." To be honest, he was a holy terror, but because it was just for the weekend, and because he wasn't our dog and because he was sooo damn cute, his crazy antics were no big deal, infact, they were kinda funny. But, now that my puppy was gonna go "hang out" with him, I was worried. Would he be a bad influence? Has he calmed down since then? Is he "house trained?" Will he make her hate her kennel? (She totally buys into the idea that her kennel is her den and she loves it!!!) Marty has seen Dumpling, since our puppy sitting experience (I have not,) and he assured me that Dumpling has grown up a lot and that he and Scout would probably have a lot of fun together! I knew in my heart that he was right, Scout needed to play with another dog and this was a perfect opportunity. So, Thursday night, as I packed my riding gear, my overnight stuff and my lunch, I packed Scout's overnight bag. I carefully measured her food and sealed it in a ziplock bag. I put a handful of treats into the front pockets of the diaper bag. I rounded up a zillion toys, the leash and the deoderizing spray (just in case) and hung the bag on the door knob. Marty would be taking Scout to Red Deer, and I wanted everything to be ready.

I picked Scout up Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm. I was met at the door by 2 bounding, happy puppies...well on puppy and one tank!!! They were super excited, peeing and drooling everywhere! I was excited too, however I showed my excitement by squealing in a high pitched voice, not by peeing and drooling. We hugged, we snuggled and we spent 15 minutes packing up toys! I was assured by Dumpling's parents that they had had a lot of fun together, and that Scout had behaved herself. I was proud! She had no way of understanding that when I picked her up and carried her to the car, she would not be seeing her new BFF again for a long time, but she fell asleep in her kennel on the backseat, before I could tell her. She was exhausted! I sure wish I could have spent more time watching them play, they were "laugh out loud" entertaining! Ofcorse I was the crazy lady who had to run out to her car to grab her camera so I could try to capture a picture of the two of them, is virtually impossible to catch 2 wound up, high spirited puppies at play with the camera I have! We tried to get them to sit for treats, but even that proved challenging. I have posted the best photo I could get of Dumpling and Scout in the same frame. I have also posted a couple of photos of Dumpling, from when we were puppy sitting him....adorable!

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