It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

December is by far my most favorite month of the year.  I love the Christmas magic and the spirit of the holiday season.  I love the baking, the get togethers, the smells, and the reason we celebrate.  It’s especially fun to do themed outings with puppies in training!  We definitely aren’t lacking when it comes to Christmas themed events here in the Pacific Northwest.  It has been made quite clear to me that we are a state that loves this awesome holiday season!  Helaine and I have been super busy trying to cram as much Christmas in as possible.  My Girl turns in next August, so this is our one and only chance to get it right!

A couple days after Thanksgiving, we met my friend Lisa and her puppy Merced at a local Home and Garden store called Wight’s.  They turn their store into a winter wonderland of all things lovely.  It feels like dream.  They have dozens of gorgeous trees and their walls are lined with decorations.  I could have spent ever dollar I had to my name there.  Of course, practically every square inch is a picture-perfect opportunity.

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Practicing our “Jump” on the lawn furniture

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Helaine and her new found friends.

It was a really really great time.  I meandered up and down the aisles and we were even stopped for a solid 10-15 minutes just answering questions to this couple who absolutely adored Helaine and Merced.  With two cute blondes in tow, who could possibly resist?

This past weekend we went to the Lights of Christmas.  It is a serious wonderland.  Everyone from our chapter was invited, though only a few braved the cold and took the drive.  It’s actually closer to me than class is so I had no problem making the drive down.  It’s been a tradition for me for the last nine years and I couldn’t imagine a year where I don’t make the trek.  I only wish I had gotten more pictures.

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This picture just makes me laugh.  Kurtis is the big golden boy up front and he is the oldest of all the puppies there.  Followed by Helaine, then Kerwin (far left looking away) Then Jepson (the black blob) and Merced (the naughty girl trying to get Helaine’s attention.)  This is one of the last times Helaine had her Gentle Leader on during this outing.  Can I just say that I am SO proud of my girl?!  I have been wanting to wean her off the Gentle Leader for a while now, and I didn’t really know how she would do.  The GL is a great tool, and I truly love it.  But, I also want the satisfaction that my dog truly is under control no matter what type of collar she’s wearing.  What started off as an experiment turned to full blown freedom for her.  She listened extremely well, kept her nose to herself and didn’t forge much.  We even went to dinner and she curled up under the table and didn’t bother Merced (much.)  *sniff sniff* my girl is growing up!

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The last recorded photo with her GL 🙂

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We attempted to get a picture with all the dogs on the bench just outside one of the many shops.  We were surrounded by people and noise.  When we got all the pups situated on the bench and photo ready, the barista at the espresso stand behind us started steaming milk.  All of them were interested in that strange noise, but none of them (not even five month old Merced) moved from their sit-stay on the bench.  We’ve got some excellent puppies here in the PNW, and no I’m not biased AT ALL.  We really do have really awesome dogs.

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It was impossible to get a good picture of puppies with all the lights around.  I would either leave the flash off…

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Or use the flash and get demonic looking puppies.  It’s a lose/lose situation.

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This was probably my favorite stop.  It was relatively well lit, and because of my attachment to the military, it struck a chord in my heart.

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There aren’t any dogs in the next three pictures, I just thought they were extra cool.  1476181_10151834379638603_1741194368_n

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All of these adventures have been truly wonderful.  This weekend I will go Christmas shopping for my girl and get her a few special treats of her own.  This time next year, she will be rocking it in Advanced Training, and looking forward to a February graduation.  *sigh*…

Time with these puppies is all too fleeting.

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