Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Where Have I Been?

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven't done a post in a while.  If you're a client at the kennel, you may have also noticed that Hans and I haven't been around as much, and I want to take a moment to explain why.

Let's start with the happy news:

On May 30th, I gave birth to a darling baby girl, Anna.  She was 2 weeks and 1 day early and arrived via emergency c-section.  It was a whirlwind of events, but it was wonderful.  We spent a lovely 8 weeks together, and then I was ready to return to work, but my mom, who was supposed to watch her while I worked, was having severe back issues and couldn't manage.  So, I had to start making alternate arrangements.  That's when we got the bad news.

The bad news:

On July 14th, Hans and my anniversary, I got a call saying that my mom had been admitted to the ER.  She'd had an MRI to find out what was plaguing her back, and they'd found 2 masses on her spine.  Another MRI, a CT scan, and a biopsy, showed us that she had stage iv lung cancer.  Everything came to a halt.

Suddenly, I was left with the task of not just caring for a two month old, but also caring for my mother.

Since then, Mom has moved into our house.  Her dogs have joined our family pack.  Hans and I have kept busy shuttling Mom to and from doctor's appointments, caring for Anna, and simply taking care of daily life.  We've been working hard to stay on top of things at the kennel, and we still love being there, but sometimes family just has to come first.

Whether you're a loyal client, you read this blog regularly, or you're just passing by, I think you deserve to know what's going on.  All of the people who enter the kennel are more than just clients.  They're part of my family.  I miss spending time with my large, lovely family, and I would hate it if any of you thought that I wasn't around simply because I didn't want to be there.  I'll be there as often as possible, and I'll be thrilled to see you.

Note: Some of you may have seen a post on our Facebook page regarding  This is a lovely effort by some friends of mine to try to get others to help out with some of our food needs.  If anyone is interested in assisting, visit:  The last name is Alexander, and the password is lungevity.  Thank you!


  1. Valerie and Hans: This explains why we have missed seeing you in the "usual places." Our prayers for all of you as you work through this with your Mom.

    Barb, Rich, Gus and Teka

  2. Good afternoon,
    My wife and I just bought a male malamute. He is 8 weeks old. We already have a husky that is almost 8 months old. She is not liking the new addition to the family. We keep them in different rooms and alternate who goes out to the back yard and hang around the house for a while. Poor puppy has to be in kennel most of the time because my husky would try to attack him if she sees him. We take them on walks together and just when we think shes finally being nice to him, she turns around and bites him (tries to, we stopped it). We are running out of ideas. Its only been 2 days tho, so it could be too soon for her to get use to him being around. You think we should keep doing what we are doing for a few weeks and see how it goes? Hope you can help. Have an awesome day.

  3. Hi,

    I have a year and a half shih-poo who was pee pad trained. I am trying to teach her to only go outside as she has started peeing on carpets and rugs. Last couple of nights, its my bed. I read your article about why a dog may pee on bed. Please help.

  4. i have a 3 year old american bull dog and he is retarded. He is not a normal dog. I am so utterly frustrated that I almost dropped him off at the humane society. He pees on our beds, rugs, coaches and floors. HE IS POTTY TRAINED!!! He is afraid of everything and most every body. he will even go pee and poop in his kennel while he is locked up in there. I don't never know what I will come home to. please help me.

  5. Congrats on your new baby. Hope all is going well with your mom, I know its a big job to care for an ill parent. Just wanted to say I just discovered your site and I really love your advice. I am a huge fan of reward-based training rather than those training collars or shock collars. I have a 5 month old English bulldog/Pit bull mix and I will be checking in with you for advice as needed. I also intend to get her into obedience training right after the holidays.

  6. Hi there!

    I do not see any way to contact you besides replying to a post. :)

    I am taking care of a yellow lab (walks) that barks hysterically when it is ball time. Really booming, jarring barks that leave me undone for hours. Yikes. I think her owner lets her do whatever. What can I do? I will be walking her 6 times/week. Without the ball, for the next few walks. :)

    If you've already covered this, please let me know. I could not find it in the archives.

    Thank you!


  7. Hello I'm not exactly sure how this works but I have a 1 year old American pitbull named Ryder. He has so much energy he can run and play catch for hours straight without getting tired he also has high anxiety when we leave him home alone. We tried to crate train him but he would hurt himself trying to get out and was able to a break through 2 cages. We have tried everything I was wondering what you thought about weight harnesses for dogs. At first they scared me but after reading a little on how they work and how to use them they don't seem so bad. What is your opinion and any other suggestions. We have also done obedience class with him and he is doing good.
    Thank you!

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  11. Very informative post, these are the trainings needed to have a desirable dog habits and behaviors. I have a dog, a terrier, and Dog trainers washington dc, I'm training him to use toilet and he is on his way to mastery of dog obedience skills.

  12. Hi... How do I submit a question?

  13. I am looking to adopt and without a doubt plan to enroll myself and my new dog in training. There is one dog in particular I would like your professional opinion on before I move forward as she is a unique case.

    The dog is a Dutch Shep mix, nearly 2 years old, and is primarily an outdoor dog, spending her days roaming a fenced-in 3-acre property and her nights in an outside kennel. Due to her primarily outdoor upbringing, it is unknown whether or not she is house-trained. She has not had any formal training nor obedience coursework. Her owner informed me that she has been nipping recently and it is unprovoked and indiscriminate, occurring towards both family and strangers. The nipping appears to be non-aggressive but not always playful. The owner confirmed that the dog does not receive enough attention or stimulation.

    Living with me would be a HUGE transition for a dog who has spent her life outside. I have a modest apartment and a small, fenced in backyard. I would give her lots of love and attention. I plan to enroll us in ongoing training as well as hiring a dog walker when I am at work.

    My question to you is, what sort of training is required to house train a 2 year old dog with her background and how difficult is it? Additionally, given her outdoor, detached upbringing, what should I expect transitioning her to an indoor, family dog?