Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I can hardly believe that it is December 16th.  That leaves just nine days left until the man with the bag comes and leaves some gifts for all of us, included the four legged bundle of fun I have the pleasure of spending a year and a half with!

Inez and I have been super busy in the last five weeks since I updated the blog last.  YIKES!  I had this goal to stay on top of it weekly, but life has gotten in the way for sure!  I am assuming a new leadership roll with my local chapter and I’ve been busy with that, and holiday festivities, and trying to maintain an active social life where I can speak to real humans and not a dog who sometimes thinks she’s a human.  Add a 40 hour work week, regular puppy classes, and trying to expose Inez to as much as possible and I’m pooped all the time.  This life I lead is nuts but I love it!

I’m working out of order on the blog posts, I have one I’m working on from an outing I had with my favorite family a few weeks ago now, and that one will come with time.  Hopefully.  I’m throwing it out here now so I make sure I get the gusto to complete it.

Holidays are usually pretty busy for me.  There are so many things I like to do in the last two months that it seems the holidays come and go without me even stopping to take a breath.  This year seems to follow suit with that.  With December being my favorite month of the entire year, I try to get out and do as many holiday themed things as possible.

Inez came with us a couple weekends ago to pick out our Christmas tree.  Mainly I just wanted to get photos of her (no shame in admitting that).  We did not have a tree last year at our house for a number of reasons, so I did not get to do this with Helaine.  I plan to make this a new puppy tradition though!

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Being a puppy, Inez provided exactly zero help, but she sure is cute right?  I made a heap of Christmas themed scarfs for her to wear, and the day was just beautiful.  It was crisp and cold, but sunny and bright.  It was the perfect almost-winter day…with the exception that it is dry and there is no snow.

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A friend and I went to a country concert last week, and I knew that it really wasn’t going to be the place for a seven month old puppy. Thankfully I had a last minute chance to send her to My Favorite Family’s house for the overnight.  They are always so flexible and jump into action when I need them!  They have been an integral part of Helaine and Inez’s life, and now that they are missing their big boy Kolby, a puppy fix is often needed.  Thank you, Family for taking the time to spend a few hours with my girl!

Whenever Inez is with them for any period of time, she gets a photo shoot.  Elle’s daughter H is super super talented with a camera, and she got some absolutely gorgeous Christmas shots.

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Aren’t these just AMAZING?  They took my breath away when I saw them.  Inez is such a photogenic girl, which is completely opposite of what Helaine was.  I had so many photos of Helaine, but not many were of this quality.  These I will cherish forever, and I fully intend to make sure that My Favorite Family sticks around and takes photos of all my future Canine Companion puppies!  Now…I have my absolute favorite photo from this shoot, and I can’t wait to have it framed!

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Would you look at that? Is that not the most adorable and stunning photo of Inez you’ve ever seen?  I know you have a lot to choose from, so if you need some time to think it over, I won’t judge!

Inez has been rocking this whole “puppy in program” thing.  She is really rather solid in her outings.  She exudes confidence, and is so steady.  I have been noticing that in the last several weeks, normal outings have become mundane for her.  She walks into a grocery store like she’s been there a hundred times (she has) and takes it all in.  She is super easy to manage and requires very little direction, if any at all.  So I have been trying to think of ways that would up the ante and create a more challenging environment for her to work with.

Every weekend in December, my favorite town of Leavenworth has a tree lighting festival.  It brings thousands of people in to the town every Christmas season.  I figured that it would be a great place to really see how she would do under pressure.  I knew it would be busy, but I had no idea it would be nearly as busy as it ended up being.

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They close off the streets that run directly through town, and provide an open space to meander around and take in the sights, as well as visit shops and get some serious shopping on.  We got there fairly early and it was beautiful and cold.  Leavenworth, as you may remember from a previous post with Helaine, is a German themed town.  I’ve never been to Germany, but I like to believe that if I didn’t know I were in Washington State, that I would truly think we had somehow traveled to Germany.  It’s breathtaking and I enjoy visiting several times a year.

Inez was awesome.  She was focused and received tons of kibble.  We made sure to take a couple of long breaks in coffee shops and restaurants to allow her to decompress and relax, which usually became a long nap for her.  As soon as she heard the words “let’s go” she was back at it.  Focused, poised, confident.  Everyone who asked about her age were thoroughly surprised when I told them seven months.  Even I couldn’t believe that she was rocking it as much as she was at such a young age.

The coolest part, and the highlight of my day was NOT the tree lighting believe it or not.  I was standing on the corner trying to decide where we would go next, and I hear a man saying “excuse me ma’am” from behind me.  I turn around with a “yes sir” and this guy was thrilled to see a puppy.  I honestly figured it was some guy who just really loved dogs, because I had had my fair share of those in the few hours we had been there.  He introduced himself and explained that he was a part of the prison puppy program at the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Joint Base Lewis McChord, the facility that I had the pleasure of visiting in the Spring and where Helaine had gone for a few weeks for some added exposure.  He went on to explain how he had gotten out and had really missed raising dogs, and when he saw Inez’s vest he told his girlfriend that he new that program and they HAD to come chat.  It was seriously the coolest thing.  I updated him on Helaine’s progress and we chatted a bit more before going our separate ways.  I really wasn’t feeling like going to Leavenworth that weekend.  I was exhausted from how busy I’ve been both in my personal and work life, that I just wanted to stay home and relax.  I realized that that moment that I was supposed to be there for that reason.  It was so neat!

Towards the end of the day when the sun was setting, the streets came alive and began to fill.  There were so many people we could hardly move through them.  Inez kept her attention on me.  I could tell that she was getting overwhelmed, but never did she show any fear or true worry.  She just kept her gaze fixed on me and we maneuvered through.  She got extra kibble that day!  We found a really nice spot to stand to watch the lighting, and it originally started out as a nice spacious spot, but the gaps were quickly filled in by people.

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It was a really fun day, although it was insanely busy.  I don’t regret taking her with me, but I know that for my own sake, I will not go again during the month of December.  It was too busy for my liking!  Who would have guessed that my dog would handle it better than I would have!

If I don’t get around to blogging again before the new year begins, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  Thank you for your continued support in this blogging world, as well as this puppy raising world.  My life is richer having you all in it in some capacity.

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2 thoughts on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

  1. What a great update!! I love your stories and I love your puppy and I think you are perfectly grand as well!! Sending you Christmas Joy and Much Love from your extended family.

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