Friday, December 23, 2011


Chou Chou and I went to the far-away-but-best dog park. I took the 2 door, 1979 Volvo that I rarely drive, to keep up the battery. It often makes it to the destination, but I always bring my AAA road service card. So far, Chou Chou hasn't had to ride with the tow truck.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kinder and Gentler Puppy

Chou Chou is doing so well! The professional training, or my training and consistency, or her maturity, or all of these have turned her back to the sweet little puppy she was when she was a few weeks old.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chou Chou at the Dog Park

My puppy needs more socialization with other dogs. I was told that she enjoyed playing when she was at the dog resort while I was gone. The weather is still nice, so I took her to a dog park a couple blocks from my house.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chou Chou's First Q & A

("I have a question for you.")

Sure, Puppy. What's your question?

Q:  ("Why do you call me Puppy most of the time?")

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boot Camp

I am home from a trip to meet my newborn granddaughter. I couldn't leave Chou Chou by herself, with a pet sitter coming just twice a day. She is still too young to be trusted for long periods of time outside the crate alone, and she can't stay in a crate all those hours. So I decided to board her.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Puppy Mishaps

Chou Chou was running around the (fenced) yard and I was watching. She's fast, like lightening! I saw her run around the back of my car in the driveway but I didn't see her come around again and towards me. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flunking Out, Sort Of

I am working my way through Chou Chou's adolescence. She's a bundle of energy! Bad behaviors (jumping on me in the yard) are much fewer, but taking her for walks can be challenging; after a nice walk with perfect healing, when we pass a certain neighborhood bush, she goes berserk and jumps on me in a snarly way and then I struggle to calm her and get her home. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh, Chou Chou...

I used to have a sweet little pup. Now I have an adolescent. ("Sit? Why should I? Are you going to make me?") She weighs nearly 50 lbs. already, and enjoys jumping on me more than anything in the whole world. She also loves to run at me in the yard and body slam me. This is not fun for me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dogs' Night Out

Chou Chou and I have been going to "doggie happy hour" -- Canines In The Courtyard, as the event is advertised in the newspaper. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Video Gig for Chou

Progressive Portraits, my pet photographer (and pet sitter), landed an assignment with a pet toy company to take videos of dogs enjoying their product - a rawhide "greeting card." 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Professional Dog Trainer

I could manage without a trainer. I have a psychologist's foundation in behavior, had a trainer for Mimi and still have all the notes, and I have trained Chou Chou to do basics like sit, down, stay. But she will be a big dog that I have to control, and as a herding dog, she will have a mind of her own. The more training, the better.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Talented Mademoiselle Chou Chou

There is a toy piano near my desk in my home office. It was my daughter's when she was young. Little Chou Chou learned to hit the keys with her nose to play a short song, always different.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Play With the Ball

Every day, Chou Chou goes outside to play in the yard. I throw the ball and she eats the grass. So I run and fetch the ball and throw it again. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Photo Shoot

My pet sitter, when I go out of town, is also a talented professional photographer (Progressive Portraits). I asked her to take some photos of Chou Chou. Like children, puppies grow up so fast! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chou Chou is Growing

She keeps me busy and follows me around the house like a good herding dog. The breeder said to feed her chicken and rice for 10 days, so I got Empire kosher chicken for her. I am a vegetarian, but I am cooking chicken for the puppy. She's a big eater and I hope this expensive chicken diet won't last too long. ("Mmm. It's very tasty!")

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

This pup isn't a tricky Trixie. She sits around all day like a cat. I expected the wild creature the breeder told me about. No, she very calm and sweet! So, she is Chou Chou. It is fun to say it (shoo shoo). She seems to like the sh sound.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What is Puppy's Name?

Yellow Ribbon went to the vet today. The breeder's contract said she had to be checked when she arrived. She weighs 14 ' 11". Too big for the scale!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yellow Ribbon Puppy Arrives

The puppy is here! The couple who brought her to me kept her overnight, bathed and cleaned her from being on a plane all day yesterday, fed her, played with her. They were so kind to the little puppy! They have several briards -- how can anyone manage more than one? 

Monday, June 6, 2011


The breeder described Yellow Ribbon puppy as the alpha in her litter of seven. The pup likes to follow her around the yard, she says, nipping at her work boots. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yellow Ribbon

A woman in New York recommended a breeder in Canada who had  a litter of puppies, 7 weeks old. They are all sold, except for a male and female she wants to keep. But she read my sad note on the briard list and decided she could sell me the female. I am "not ready." 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thinking in New Directions, Almost

After I posted my sad note on the briard listserv, briard lovers (briarders) from all over the world responded with condolence notes. They told me they cried along with me when they read about my Mimi, because it brought back the losses of their first briards, special dogs they will never forget. And they all urged me to get a puppy. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First, Losing Mimi

As is often the case for us dog lovers, getting my puppy came out of sadness and loss. On May 3, 2011, my tawny briard, Mimi, left me. She was 20 days short of 14 years old.