Moxie is on the move!

My puppy Moxie got her final parvo/distemper shots and can now leave our house. I am working on her potty training and her manners. The former is going pretty well. The latter needs work. When I am near Moxie I wear Moxie appropriate clothing. Clothes that have holes in them. I’m running out of clothes, and I really do not like to spend time shopping for new ones. I have purchased plenty of puppy toys: chews that are soft, hard, and able to freeze. But those tiny, super sharp shark teeth and sharp nails are problematic. We have been working on zoom classes, and we started in person puppy classes.

Moxie does the smooch face!

I decided to see how much Moxie responds to her training with outside distractions. So I head to Green Acres. Everyone was so welcoming, and Moxie enjoyed the attention. Her puppy soft fur, her wagging tail, and cute looks attracted employees and customers. She playfully bowed to a Great Pyrenees.The automatic doors opening didn’t phase her one bit. She did look twice at the garden art rooster sitting at her eye level. I wonder how she will react to the Fair Oaks roosters. That will wait for another day. For a first outing Moxie did great!

Next, I head to Orangevale Park in Orangevale, Ca. I used to take Charlie here to help him with his socialization. Walking with Moxie is a very different experience. Pre-schoolers on bicycles pass, people stop to greet her, and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks are taking advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. I did ask their owner to leash his dogs since I didn’t know how Moxie would do. So play bowing and quickly we continue our walk.

Notice that the leash is not pulled tight. This is loose leash walking!

I finally met the vet that treated my Charlie. Masks are now part of the protocol, but at least I get to go inside. Working with someone over the telephone when a pet is sick is difficult. Interestingly, Moxie needed another booster of parvo/distemper so I really shouldn’t have been taking her out yet. Oh well. Waited another 5 days, and we are now introducing Moxie to neighbors around the block.


Honestly, I don’t know where my September went. Puppy schedule keeps me very busy. Remember that when you see that cute puppy face coming towards you. I am in charge, but my Moxie has other ideas. Today, I was all ready to go out for some puppy socialization. Water bottle filled, check. Treats in pouch, check. Harness on Moxie, check. Ready to take the last potty break, oops. Moxie is asleep and won’t budge. Change of plans. It’s warm out, and I can now catch up on my blog.

Good news. The last of those sharp canine teeth fell out! Current choppers don’t slash clothes as fast. Training is making progress. She listens to sit, down, and down-stay, leave it, drop it, touch, let’s go, and side. This week in training we will be working on recall. Today when she was out, I called her, and she came running! That called for a “party”. Lot’s of treats!

Moxie is checking out a squirrel sitting on the fence.
Moxie with her ear flipped back!

It is hard to imagine that Moxie is just 22 weeks old. Time sure passes quickly. Check back and see how much Moxie changes over the coming months.

Moxie’s is here!

Life with a puppy starts, and all of a sudden I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems to fly by, and yet I can’t believe that Moxie has been in our lives less that two weeks. The good thing is that her transition was not as drastic as with most pups. I visited her in her home located across the street. She made a few short visits here as well.

I can’t tell who Moxie will look like. She was the second smallest of the litter of 9. Both parents welcome me when I arrive. I went over to take some photographs of the litter. It is not an easy task to take pics inside, by myself, and with some active 52 day old pups.

Phoebe is the mom of nine Golden Retriever puppies.
Bailey is Moxie’s Dad (Sire)
Here is Moxie with her ball. She likes to chase and bring it back. A real retriever!

Puppyhood training is fresh in my mind, but Moxie is so very different a personality. She has taken to the crate, and goes in without a fuss. If she whines she settles down after a couple of minutes. When she falls asleep, she is so settled that I can pick her up and transfer her to her crate. I found her placing herself in her crate a couple of times. The only thing in her crate is her Snuggle Puppy. At night I turn on the heartbeat, and she uses the puppy as a pillow. I still have the one that Charlie used, and it is used in Moxie’s daytime crate. I was amazed that after the initial obligatory ear and tail amputation Charlie left the puppy alone. Moxie’s puppy has just had some ear licks applied.

Moxie’s Snuggle Puppy matches my girl

Moxie plays with all sorts of toys. Chew toys, balls to fetch, and an empty lemonade plastic bottle she uses to play soccer. She moves from one toy to another, and doesn’t persistently chew on one toy till it is destroyed.

A basket of toys. Unfortunately, Moxie thinks the basket is also there to chew on. Looking for something to hold her growing group of toys. Maybe I will get her to pick up her toys when she is done. One can always hope!

All puppies have shark teeth. So I am never far from a toy to replace my skin. I make it a point to have my fingers in her mouth to remove unwanted items, check her teeth, and look at her tongue. I started her on brushing her teeth though it is awkward. This will be part of her grooming routine. Golden Retriever’s are double coated, shedding dogs. Her grooming with be different. A Labradoodle is a single coated non shedding dog with more maintenance needed. This week I start showing Moxie what it takes to be a beautiful pup!

Potty training is coming along. Thinking back to my first puppy, Liberty I don’t remember as many paper towels being used. Small bladder = little piddles. But I am starting to recognize the signs. And Moxie is starting to catch on to the back door and ringing the bells.

June has been a hot month with temperatures into the 100 degrees plus. But we are vaccinated, and not under lockdown orders so Moxie has met most of my neighbors. She approaches new people with interest and a wag. I am trying to give her a new experience each day. New sights, new sounds, new tastes. Charlie’s first car ride was home from the Serenity Springs, a two hour drive. He was anxious and when we arrived he vomited. I want Moxie to be a good traveler so after a couple of days we drove out to Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse, California for fresh corn. I don’t have a harness for her yet, and so Moxie sat on my lap. Today, the vacuum cleaner came out. Fireworks are set to go off tonight.

I started working the Baxter & Bella online training program. I am glad I subscribed to this program with Charlie. At the time training could only be accomplished online. With one payment I have a lifetime membership. Moxie is taking to the training. First I reward the behavior through luring, then I name the behavior. Commands that she learned so far include: sit, down, touch, and sit to say please, go potty, and of course respond to her name. I notice when she starts to move into zone 3 or 4, and I am starting to get her to relax on her back with soothing cradling. This may allow me to cut her nails which I think will be a light color. Yes, easier!

So far Moxie has been quite a different puppy. I now see just how much anxiety my Charlie displayed. When he napped, he still was alert. He would get up if anything moved. I can leave the room, make noise, and Moxie remains asleep.

Moxie finds interesting places to fall asleep.

I swear that when she gets up from some of her naps she seems to have grown. I am enjoying the ability to sweep her up in my arms and get her out the door to potty. I know this will not last, but I am enjoying it while it does.

Collars by Woofas Rainbows and Raindrops is Moxie’s first collar. I ordered an ID tag from Red Dingo.

Wearing a collar has taken some getting used to.

Got a little extra sleep in this morning. I plan to take more pictures every week. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Challenge #135 A Glimpse into Your World

Over the past year, I followed many photographers as they shared amazing images. I decided that for me to grow I would need to open myself up to this experience. So this week I accepted Sheetal’s challenge to, “Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.”

Charlie has captured my heart. My Australian Labradoodle just celebrated his first birthday. My life has revolved around this boy, and the bond is strong. The day starts when he says it does. He quietly calls out to me that he is awake. With his collar on, we head to his round bed where we snuggle for a time. Then out for our short walk in our court. Six houses and I take in the changes from day to day. Occasionally, we greet a neighbor or see a jogger. Then home to have breakfast. With no plans for the day, we settle on the couch, catch up on emails and take a morning nap together. I am the person who trains and cares for Charlie’s needs. We take a walk and play fetch. We have one training session a day, one game of “Find It!”, and one grooming session after dinner. Some indoor fetch and he settles while my husband and I watch television. Charlie has found a place in my husband’s heart. When I am away, Charlie keeps him company. Charlie is a people magnet. I just hope that he soon becomes more relaxed being out and about with me and my camera.

Charlie has us wrapped around his paws. Discovering each other, training together, and becoming part of the family.

This litter of 10 adorable Australian Labradoodles is 1 year old (put together by Jo)

Camera in hand, looking out at the world makes me happy. What I capture in the frame just depends on what catches my eye at the time. Small objects, funny signs, colors or shapes, patterns, contradictory images, animal and people expressions, and the people busy doing things. I don’t see myself stuck on one subject. My only limits are what kind of lens I can carry, and I usually only carry two. My camera has an added value in my life by connecting me to wonderful photo friends.

Amusing signs

The pandemic has slowed down life, and I try and appreciate this new pace of life. One day, one goal. Thinking back over the decades I now wonder how I kept up that frenetic pace. I am home with my husband that I have known now for 54 years. We take turns arguing with the television over the news coverage. We share opinions on how to fix the world, if only they would listen. We read the newspaper and find books to read on our iPads. We play Scrabble, and figure out what we want to eat for dinner. It is a serene existence. We talk about what we want to do after “the pandemic”, and when will life return to normal. Actually, we also discuss what that normal will look like. Hopefully, eating out, traveling both near and far, and feeling less restricted to be around people. I look forward to new adventures with my husband and my Charlie.

I am taking the first step in sharing with the Lens-Artists. This is my new challenge, and I hope that I will be able to meet it!

Undersocialized Charlie and my efforts to have a companion dog!

Among the many problems created by the pandemic is the under socialization of my puppy. My nine-month wait coincided with CoVid 19. Born on February 7th he arrived home just after society was shutting down. Governor Newsom declared a stay at home order in mid-March. We picked up Charlie at 7 weeks rather than chance not being about to make the 2-hour drive to Orland, Ca, and Serenity Springs Labradoodles.

So instead of allowing Charlie to have many social interactions during this critical puppy period, we were busy having our groceries picked up through e-cart, and sanitizing them before bringing them into the home. No one knew what we were up against. Social interactions consisted of listening to Amy teach us on Zoom. Charlie would sit next to my computer and together we learned. Amy’s voice and treats were our first classroom at Baxter & Bella online training. As more was known about CoVid 19 I reached out to my friend Carly and a few months ago we went to our first in-person training with other under-socialized puppies.

Nearing one year of age, Charlie now attends class with the “gifted” pups training to be CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) dogs. Sometimes this works, and sometimes not so much. Skateboarders, cyclists, and motorcycles are triggers (Puppy training language). He was so alert last week, that when I asked for a paw he followed the instruction with his eyes on the road. It was funny to watch but frustrating to teach. In this new 6 feet separation society when you take dogs in public you may not want to let anyone pet your dog. So to be polite, you can say, “Please don’t pet my dog, but if you want he can wave to you.” Giving a paw is the first step in teaching dogs to wave. Good adaptation for the pandemic. Right?

Being anxious is detrimental to learning. To desensitize Charlie I decided to park in front of a store and let him watch the world around him. He feels safe in the car. I give him treats when he is calm. I listened to an NPR interview with Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Her research specialty is dog cognition. I have since downloaded one of her audiobooks to take with us. A perfect soundtrack for people watching from the car. While we watch I capture some images with my Fuji x100f. I like this camera for street shooting.

Next time I will park right in front of entrance!
Looking in to the store.
Reading while walking.
Charlie, the ghost dog!

Last weekend my friends planned to walk the Johnny Cash Trail outside of Folsom Prison. Since my focus has been on Charlie I decided to take him with me. I brought my Fuji x100f to simplify the photo walk. This was a real test. I met the group in a shopping mall parking lot next to very busy, fast-moving street traffic. He was doing well considering the noise.

Right outside the razor-wired fence of Folsom Prison.

Group planning doesn’t always work out, so I decided to pass on the trail, and went in search of a nature trail. The Miner’s Ravine Nature Preserve parking lot was 1 1/2 miles down the road.

Came across this interesting tree. Such an expression What does it say to you?
Gave Charlie the command, “Wait!” He allowed me to take my photograph.
Raised manhole cover ahead. My friend Anne sees something else.
Charlie walks around the manhole cover.
I took this photo after our walk. I think the nature preserve was on the side that we did not visit. Or else Charlie did not pay attention to the sign. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

Charlie relaxed, and when I asked him to wait, he allowed me to capture some images. This was a win-win situation.

He always recognizes our car, and is happy to jump in!

I plan to make a point to take Charlie out with me daily. After all, someday we all will not be homebound. I hope!