Tag Archives: puppy

Puppy Class

Takoda here.  Mom is asleep, I got the laptop.  What a day I had yesterday!  First, Mom put me in the car.  I don’t like the car, it makes me dizzy, I whimper.  Mom says if I get in the car every day I will like it, she said I am not a regular dog or I would like the car.  I don’t like the car.  We went to Alexander Park.  I ran, ran, ran.  We went up a trail, I ran.  Mom ran to keep up.  She had on a hike-belt with water bottle and puppy treats.  When Mom ran, she sounded like a bag of garbage chasing me, it scared me at first.  Up hill, down hill, I ran, ran, ran.  Mom made me sit while she took a picture I did not want to sit still at all. photo (14) But I got treats and some water in my bowl I liked that.  Mom said I would see turkey vultures and rabbits I did not see anything but ferns and footprints.  We walked and ran for 50 minutes.  We went home, Dad walked me around the Big Loop in the field.  I chased Rory Gallagher I got in trouble.  Mom walked me down to the mailbox.  She said I had to walk a lot today because we were going to Puppy Class and I needed to be tired for Puppy Class.  I was tired.  I was sleeping, Mom made me get up and put me in the car again, I didn’t like that.

I woke up at Dr. Wootten’s office I thought I would see Dr. Wootten and Linda but Mom took me to a different door.  I pulled and tried to go to the door I know.  Mom made me go to the other door, there were puppies!  I got very excited, very excited, very fast.  We went in and there were tiny puppies in a fence, and outside the fence an English bulldog puppy with his Dad.  His name was Wheezer.  There were toys on the floor and bowls of water and there were ladies in blue who let me jump up and said I was very soft and cute.  I like that.  I had to be on my leash until they said I could play, that was hard for me, Mom made me SIT with all that going on!  Then Caramel came in, a red tick hound.  Then Laia, a Border Collie mix.  Then Jasmine, a Golden Retriever, then Taffy Two, a yellow Lab.  Laia was crazy she shrieked and shrieked.  Then a blue lady talked for a while and said “take them off their leashes now” and the people did, puppies went crazy!  They ran, ran, ran, sniffed noses, butts.  Some puppies peed indoors, but no one got in trouble.  I did not pee the whole time I was good. Wheezer, Caramel, Jasmine, Laia, Taffy Two, they were all in a pile, a wiggly group, sniffing, sniffing.  Wheezer humped Jasmine then Taffy Two.  Taffy Two was only a baby but Wheezer he liked her a lot if you know what I mean.  The blue ladies got Wheezer away from little Taffy Two.  All the puppies ran and sniffed, they knew each other from last time, I did not like that.

photo (12)I stayed back, watched, went to the people one by one, I got treats from all.  One lady said I could be a politician.  Then I sniffed dogs, but they yelped and barked and jumped I went behind a chair to wait.  I did not like the puppies all at once.

Mom said if this was Puppy Hump Class, Wheezer would graduate at the top of the class.  Wheezer’s Dad said “He is flunking.”  Wheezer chased all the girl dogs and boy dogs, humped them from all sides.  Mom said he was acting like Carlos Danger.  Wheezer tried to hump me I am bigger he could not do it, but his Mom was embarrassed, said he had a one track mind.

One of the blue ladies put me in a little pen, she was going to give me a baby Cocker Spaniel to play with because I was timid.  Mom was in the pen with me, I was watching the other puppies, I got excited and wanted to play with them.  The blue lady let me out.  I got in the pile, it was fun, but one dog barked too much.  And Wheezer kept humping, humping.  So I humped Taffy Two, I got in trouble because she’s just a baby.  Her Dad said, “He is ALL BOY” to my Mom and she rolled her eyes.  Then I chased Jasmine, I humped her, Jasmine’s Mom thought it was funny.  One of the blue ladies separated us and she said it is a domination thing, not a sex thing.  Another lady said Wheezer wanted sex slaves.  It was all very confusing.  I don’t know what sex is.  Or domination.  I just know it was fun.  Mom said I can go back next photo 2 (2)week because I was a GOOD BOY.

Rules, Takoda Rules!

1525215_10201413259196763_1386735245_nTakoda here.  Don’t tell Mom I used her laptop.  I am not allowed to play with it.  Or phones.  Or remote controls, socks, books, magazines, shoes, sweaters, cats, chickens, coyote poop, wastebaskets, beer bottles, couch cushions, blankets, pee pads, rugs or gloves.  I am not allowed to chew on furniture.  I am not allowed to take food off the counter or out of the trash.  They fuss at me in the kitchen.  I am not tall enough to take food off the counter yet, but they act like I do it all the time, like I am a problem.  I just want to see what I smell!  They have a lot of rules.

I like to bite Mom.  I can’t help it, she is chewy and I love her.  I love Dad too, but he is tough not chewy like Mom.  Dad says she looks like a battered woman and it is my fault.  I don’t know what that means.  I have torn 3 pairs of Mom’s pajama pants, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 winter coats, and a pair of corduroys.  (Also a fleece shirt, but I don’t think she has seen that yet.)  She gets mad when I tear things, but I am a herder from way back, how else can I control her?  When Mom walks me, she gets out of line and I have to correct the situation.  It’s fun.  We walk and run every morning.  We go down the driveway.  I have to wear a leash part way because of the stupid cats and stupid birds.  They need herding, no one understands that like I do, but I am not allowed to chase and nip them.  When we get down the hill by the fire pit, Mom takes my leash off so I can RUN!!!  Run, run, run, run!  I run!  I like to disappear into the brush and wait until Mom walks ahead.  Then I run!  I run by bite Mom while I am running I don’t even have to slow down.  She yells at me “TAKODA NO BITING” and I look back smile keep running.  I like my Mom, it is funny when she gets mad.  I am very fast, too fast for her to grab it’s funny, I run!  We go around Big Loop in a field, I get to dive into the brush over and over until I have seeds and burrs all over me.  Sometimes

photo (8)grass sticks out of my fur and I get frost on my face.  Sometimes I find briers, they scratch it hurts my belly so I run.  Then we go down to the well pump.  I can see the cows next door but I am not allowed to herd them, either.  After that, we go up the road to the top of our mountain.  I see turkeys and smell bear and deer and possums.  I run!  Mom throws a stick ahead of me I get it, chew it.  I don’t take it to her.  I am a herder.  Not fetch dog.  I run.  Then we run down the hill.  I stop at the puddle and splash or bite the ice.  Some days water, some days ice, I like to slide on ice but splashing is good.  I run.  Mom moves  her hand and says “Takoda come” and I do so I get a treat.  Then I run ahead so she will do it again when I get too far away.  It works every time.  Mom has a lot of bruises and little cuts from my puppy needle teeth.  So do her clothes.  I like to bite Mom.  Sometimes she flips me over and holds me down and looks in my eyes and says “TAKODA NO BITING” I don’t like that.

Could you get mad at this face?  I ate the chickens’ treats that day, I had yogurt on my nose I got in trouble.


At first I thought my name was TAKODA-NO-BITING!  Then I figured out TAKODA-NO-BITING means I am in trouble again.  My name is plain Takoda.  That means “friend to everyone” in the language of the Lakota Indian.  I am a friend to everyone so far.  Except Amos and Rory Gallagher.  Cats suck.  They either run from me or turn on me and hiss.  There is no in-between with those two.   I heard Mom and Dad say the cats used to fight a lot before I came, now they are all buddy-buddy and stay together and plot against me.  I just want to play, when I run at them they run like I want to kill them and I get in trouble.  TAKODA NO!  I just want to herd them so we can play.  Cats are stupid.  One day I stuck my head through the cat door and Amos smacked me in the face and I was stuck until I could back up and get away.  Then he ran like I did something bad.  Rory Gallagher taunts me, he runs by me outside, up a tree, down, back by me with his tail up and his sideways run and I can tell he wants me to herd him but I get in trouble if I chase him.

1604629_10201461234796123_687202010_nI ate two pairs of Dad’s prescription glasses in the same week and knocked his milk over.  He got more mad about the milk than he did the glasses.  Milk went everywhere and he was trying to eat a sandwich.  I can reach the table next to Dad’s recliner.  When he leaves the remote there I am going to eat it.  I check every night unless I fall asleep.  I fall asleep at 10:00 and I sleep until 7:00 a.m. when I bark at the door.  I am not allowed on the other side of the door.  The cats are.  They sleep high on a bed and glare at me from there like they own the place.  I know how to SIT and LIE DOWN.  I don’t like to STAY.  I don’t like to be QUIET.

This week I went to Highgate Farm twice to play with Kelly.  She is an English Shepherd, too.  She is really big, almost 2 years old and she can roll me over and herd me and she knocked me down in the snow or the mud a lot of times.  I am only three months old, I run as fast as her.  She is bigger.  Kelly pushes me around I like to chase her and she does not get mad at me when I run by bite her run look back run.  She likes it, she runs, runs, runs.  We are not allowed to chase the chickens there or the cats.  We jump on the people, though.   Mom took the chickens to live at Highgate Farm because something ate Snapdragon.  It was not me.  I was in the house.  Then something got Clara and hurt her wing and tore feathers off her neck.  Mom was supposed to take them to another farm but the people were out of town at Christmas so they went to Highgate instead, where there is a fence and I am not allowed to chase them.   There are a LOT of chickens there, I would like to get into that pen but I would be in very big trouble, maybe the most trouble yet.photo (11)

Sleep now.

Puppy Love

John and I have talked about getting a dog for a long time.  We were never home enough, had no fence, no time, etcetera.  And let’s face it, cats are EASY.

John wanted a German Shepherd.  I did not.  I wanted a Golden Retriever or a shelter dog, something more giant-lap-dog-ish.  John did not.  So when I visited Highgate Farm in late October and met Kelly, an English Shepherd, I got very excited!  The perfect compromise; an English Shepherd is part family dog, part guard dog, a hiker, has herding instincts, high energy and a great disposition.  I came home and told John about Kelly, he did some research and a consensus was reached.  English Shepherd was the breed for us!

We began our search for a breeder and found 4 within a 4 hour range of Western North Carolina.  I filled out several questionnaires; about us, our pets, our thoughts on training and discipline, why we wanted a dog, how we would keep a herding dog happy.  Lots of questions, lots of essays.  We talked to breeders on the phone, like nervous potential parents we worried about saying the wrong thing, blowing our chances.  It was an interesting experience.  Fortunately we passed the test with the breeders we elected to talk to.  I was actually glad they care where their puppies end up.


We began to correspond with Carla from Old’s English Shepherds, near Roanoke, Virginia.  She had a litter born October 2nd, almost ready to go to their  forever-homes.  Carla sent us the cutest summary from the little squirt herding trials.  This picture shows our eventual puppy at 6 weeks, herding ducks.  The text with the picture read “Dream Weaver – hit heads and heels (seal, white).  Went right to work as soon as released in pen. Worked close, accepted encouragement from me. Consistently singled out a duck or went for the single. Usually indicates predatory rather than herding behavior, but in this case the single always rejoined the flock as a result of his work. At one point, I was working 3 and he tucked in behind the single to drive it to my 3. He did grip once (tail).”  I saw the tip of that tail, white like it had been dipped in paint like his paws, and thought he was so adorable!

Dream Weaver

We drove up on November 20th and spent the night at the Hotel Roanoke, a Hilton property, very nice.  We planned to have a night on the town, but the hotel had a cool pub, so we had dinner and watched an NIU football game.  We were tired, but excited about the morning!  We got up and drove about 40 minutes out to New Castle.  When we arrived, Carla was outside with the dogs.  There were 8 puppies.  I had seen a picture of him, but wasn’t sure which of the eight in the pile of wiggling fur was our guy until he jumped over his siblings to lick me, and we locked eyes and fell in love.  Puppy love.  Carla said, “That’s him, he went right to you.”

IMG_9552We brought him home that day at 8 weeks old and our lives have not been the same since!  We had a 250 mile drive.  We had a carrier with us, but I didn’t have the heart to take him from Mama and put him in the crate.  So I climbed into the backseat of John’s truck and held him in my lap for 5 hours.  He whined a time or two, but was remarkably calm overall.  He got stressed when we stopped for lunch, screamed like he was being murdered when we left him in the crate in the truck for 15 minutes.  We were all glad to get out of the car!  My sister-in-law Cindy and my niece Samantha came to visit as soon as we got home.  They thought he was pretty adorable, too!

We renamed the puppy Takoda.  It’s an American Indian name meaning “friend to everyone.”  He is thus far!  We take him to a new place to meet new people almost every day.  He is a baby, nervous, but loves the attention.  In the dog friendly town of Weaverville, he is allowed in the shops.  Most have puppy treats and water bowls for dogs.  He has debuted in two towns, Weaverville and Marshall; he was equally popular in both.  What’s not to love?  He’s so cute!  He went to a party at my sister’s at Thanksgiving, we had 17 humans, another dog, a cat, and several chickens.  He did pretty well.

He knows a few commands, like SIT, LIE DOWN, and IN YOUR HOUSE.  We are working on a few more.  He is pretty well leash trained now, and we are letting him off the leash a little as of today.  Still not sure what he’d do to a cat or a chicken, so we are cautious yet!IMG_9576

He has a large toy collection, 22 acres to walk on, 2 cats and 3 chickens to pester.  Our young cat, Rory Gallagher, has taken to sleeping in the bathroom sink.  Our old cat Amos is thoroughly pissed and stays under the bed for days on end.   Meanwhile, Takoda is oblivious to all that is not food-related.  He is a funny little character.

It’s late, the monster is asleep, and I need some shut eye.  I’ll keep you posted on the new baby and his antics.