Category Archives: “Human, Speak!”

My Crazy Puppy

So guess which crazy doggy decided to take a dolphin dive into the lake this weekend?

Since the weather was warmer this weekend (hovering above freezing), we decided to take a trip to the lake. When we got to the beach area we decided to give Riley some off-leash time. While Riley loves to jump around in the water and get his feet wet, he doesn’t actually do much swimming.

When we let him off-leash he immediately headed towards the water, got his feet wet and had a little drink. He came back and we played some fetch along the shore.

Boy was I surprised when in the middle of the game he decided to make a mighty leap of dock-dog proportions into the lake!

And of course he was unfazed by the icey cold waters and wanted to continue playing. Since the sun was going down and the temperature was dropping we decided to go home.

So what I want to know is, what is the craziest thing your pup has done? ūüôā



Year End: The Good, The Bad and The Riley

I know I don’t normally do lengthy posts but as 2013 is coming to a close I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my year with Riley. It’s amazing how far he’s come from that scared little puppy to the (more or less) confident dog he is today. Of course, he’s not perfect and still gets into mischief every now and then but I still feel like the luckiest person in the world. In lieu of this I’ve decided to create a reflection post of this past year, both the good and the bad.

The Good:

  • Riley is soo much better confidence-wise. His transition was so seamless I didn’t even notice until I started creating this post! He has gone from being terrified of walks to absolutely loving them! In fact, almost nothing phases him on walks- the garbage truck can pass by and he’ll just carry on whereas a few months before he would have planted his butt down and refuse to move.
  • He is great with dogs and other animals. I am so thankful to have a non-reactive dog because I really don’t know if I’d be able to deal with that. He also met his second cat (who was luckily already accustomed to dogs) and although a bit scared at first, was very polite and eventually wanted to play!
  • He has an “Off-switch”! No more needy puppy who requires constant supervision. He’s fine on the off day or two with no walks/limited exercise to just laze around at home.
  • Much better recall! I am extremely happy with how strong his recall has gotten. After failing to be recalled while running after a dog who I knew was not dog friendly, it was a few months before I decided to trust him off leash again. Fortunately, Riley’s recall has improved to the point where he will come back even if he sees another dog. The only thing that makes me nervous about letting him off, is if he were to see a squirrel..
  • He gets along with people/kids once properly introduced. I should probably even go so far to say that he enjoys the attention from strangers once he’s decided they mean no harm. I think with a few more positive interactions with strangers he may feel comfortable enough to let anyone say “hello”.

The meet & greet with the cat (Tali). Sorry for crappy cell quality pic.

The Bad:

  • Although he is great when properly introduced to people, in real life situations this isn’t always possible. It’s hard to tell what people are going to do. I’ve had children chase him down with a stick and others try to force him to greet them. It may only be a few seconds but it sets him back quite a bit. While he has no problem passing people in the street, the minute anyone tried to greet him he backs away. The only caveat to this is if they have a dog, then he becomes their best friend right away.
  • He also isn’t fond of be cuddle or pet. In fact, if he’s trying to sleep on the couch and start petting him (or even just move sometimes) get up and choose another spot to rest. While I have no problem with this, it does mean that he probably isn’t the best therapy dog candidate. This was something I really wanted to get into with him.
  • Mr. Riley is getting chubby! After starting my new 9-5 job along with it getting dark so quickly, it’s been hard to find time to exercise. Hopefully now that the days are getting longer we’ll be able to fix that.

The Future:

  • I definitely would like to sign us up for some sort of classes. Originally I had wanted to get into beginner agility but I’ve also considered some basic obedience just so he’ll have exposure to different environments. Who knows, maybe we’ll try to get his CGN (Canine Good Neighbour) this year!
  • Although it almost definitely won’t happen this year, I would like to eventually add a ¬†second dog to the fam. I’ve already started looking into a few different breeds and am also strongly considering a rescue.

And there you have it, my summary of 2013. So far, I’m feeling very optimistic heading into the new year. Best of luck to all of you too in 2014!

Also, please feel free to share any of your reflections as well!

The Prince(ss) Needs a Pillow

My friends and I have a running joke about Riley being a princess. There are certain characteristics that make him fit the princess bill- one of them being needing a pillow to sleep.

Jumping for joy!

Sorry for the lack of posts! I’ve been super busy lately (much to the dismay of Riley..)

Here’s a photo I meant to post a while back. The one thing I love about Riley is his enthusiasm. He may be a lazy bum at times, but when he does choose to do things he does it with reckless abandon.

Puppy Fever!

I miss this little bat-eared monster. Enough time has passed and I’ve forgotten about the stress of having to chase after and clean up after a crazy never-sleeping land shark! While I’m mentally ready for a new pup, it will be at least another 2 years before I can even think about getting a second addition. So I’m stuck sifting through puppy pics of Riley to curb my puppy fever.

My advice to puppy owners? Stay calm and take lots of pictures! Puppies grow up way too fast!

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Sharing Secrets..

What are these two plotting?

Hurry up humans!

It’s hard to tell from this photo but we were on quite a steep hill. Riley climbed it with ease but it was much harder for us humans. As you can see, he doesn’t look to thrilled having to wait for us slowpokes to catch up.

He gives us that look quite a lot..

& the reluctant sit..

Friday the 13th!

Anyone superstitious? I can’t say that I’ve experienced any bad luck on Friday the 13th per se but ¬†I have noticed that most of my bad luck happens on rainy days. Coincidence? Self-fulfilling prophecy? Something else?

Allergy Season.

Pretty flowers. Great weather. Bad allergies.

And as usual, Mr.Riley is enjoying every last minute of it.

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“Human, Speak!”

Hi, I’m Riley’s mommy and I just thought I’d take a moment to explain the purpose and direction of this blog. I’ll be popping in from time to time to discuss some non-Riley but dog related stuff.

Riley is my very first dog, and I have learned a great deal since he’s come into my life. The number one lesson I learned? No matter how much you prepare ahead of time or how much research you’ve done, everything changes once you have that little furball running around. As much as you’d like to do everything perfectly, you can’t sweat the small stuff and never be afraid to make mistakes.

As the saying goes, you get the dog you need, not the dog you want. This has held true with Riley. He may be a fearful,¬†mischievous and over-excitable at times, but he’s also, loyal, eager, patient, gentle and loving.

He’s not perfect but he’s perfect for me ‚̧

My plan is to not only focus on the fun side of dog ownership but also on the real, nitty-gritty side, especially as a first time dog owner. ¬†I’m learning new things everyday, on dogs, training, behaviour and adapting what I’ve learned to my relationship with Riley.

Riley woofs: “Human may have a plan but it’s my job to make things fun! Don’t worry I won’t¬†disappoint! You can look forward to pictures, videos, stories and everything¬†in-between!”