Go ahead and read my post below. I posted it almost 2 years ago as we were preparing to parent our daughter. Let me just tell you, I don't regret writing it and I still remember how I felt...but having a human baby child on top of 2 fur-babies has been quite an adventure. Oh yeah and then we got a puppy, LOL!
I have 10 times the empathy for the people who parent these duo & multiple specicies families. It's not a simple concept! You've got to keep everyone as happy, safe and generally as content as possible.
SUPERVISION is KEY!!! But guess what? It's not always possible. You think you're supervising by having 2 parents on each side of the baby at about a 5 foot radius, then a dog plays with a ball a bit too close to the baby and when he goes to pounce on the ball (as he has for all of his life), he scratches said baby across the lip scarring her for life. (Yep, it's been almost a year, that scratch is still there) whoopsie.
Dogs need to go potty, but baby wants to follow and there are stairs she doesn't need to be waddling by. Dogs want to get into a simple quarrel but baby is nearby. Baby wants to stick her hand in the dog food bowl, baby wants to dump the water dish, lay on the dog, pull their fur, smack them, etc. and it never stops!
Now let me give Lynx some credit at almost 21 months old. She's learning. It's always been important to us that even though she wants to be "rude" to the dogs that we give her guidance to treat them better. She probably knows better boundaries with dogs in general than most kids twice her age. But the first 15 months were generally rough and we had to keep adjusting life to suit the needs of all of our kids.
Then we got a puppy named Ziti in May. She's great, but she's a puppy. Let's just say she's amazing, and she's a stinker, and it has been way easier to raise her than this little human girl.
So the easiest route for us all now? MANAGEMENT! Don't be afraid of this technique. It means using multiple tools like baby gates, kennels and closed doors to make sure everyone is happy in the space they are provided.
I will stop babbling now, but if you ever meet me in person you'll understand that I probably could have kept going on for an entire book...Maybe someday?
All kiddos whether furry and four-legged or walking, crawling or scooting on 2-4 limbs at a time are not simple and putting them together is what can make things a bit complicated. BUT they are ALL WORTH IT!
We're expecting our 3rd child. The first 2 have fur covered bodies and walk on 4 legs. I didn't give birth to them, but I'm thankful for their mother's who did. I've been their mommy since they were babies. We've been doing this parent thing for years! For example, we've:
I know it won't be easy, and I'm not expecting to be a perfect parent. All I'm just saying is I've got experience as a parent and I look forward to sharing my journey as a parent to both with you all soon!
Check out our newest video interview about the Yellow Dog Project by WJMN Channel 3 News:
We were so thankful to be invited to speak on a topic that is so important to us!
An email has been in my spam folder since last Wednesday, and coming back to work today I went to clean it out. It stated:
"Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have successfully passed the examination to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA)® given in October 2015."
Thank you to everyone for your support and your volunteered time. I still have more certifications I'd like to achieve but this makes me so HAPPY!...
What all this means: I got my CPDT-KA in October 2014 which meant I was tested on my knowledge of dog training, this year I was tested on my skills and passed! This is the highest certification a Dog Trainer can achieve. Next on the list, although it will surely take a few years: Certified Behavior Consultant Canine, (CBCC-KA) smile emoticon
Let our dogs tell you a little bit about the holidays and we'll elaborate on human terms:
"We dogs love to eat, but there are many people foods that are not nutritious for us, are bad for us and others that are just plain dangerous for us. Check before you give us any leftovers. We are social creatures. However many of us get overwhelmed by crowds of strangers, adults and kids alike. We may prefer staying in a quiet room over interacting with the visitors. If we are acting up and putting our mouths on things, (i.e. lights, decorations, people) make sure we're not bored. Extra walks, new toys, and even some fun training will definitely keep our minds busy!" -Taco & Mo
What the dogs are trying to say is that there are many traditional foods that we share with our dogs, that we should either eliminate from their diet or cut back on especially during the holidays. See this list of household hazards we share in each of our Basic Classes:
After we think about their physical safety, we also need to keep our dogs mentally healthy and content. There are many dogs who are social butterflies and want to be involved in everything the family does. Yet there are equally other dogs who want to be with their family but not their family's guests. If you're not sure if your dog is enjoying himself or not, here's a helpful video on dog body language from our friends at theFamilyDog.com (We saw them present at the APDT 2015 Conference, they are wonderful!)
Finally, if your dog is getting into things whether they are 10 years old or 10 weeks old, they may be bored. No doubt you've been busy getting gifts, cleaning up the house for visitors, cooking, and continuing with your day to day routine, which may have left little time for your furry baby. They love us unconditionally so don't feel too bad, just take some extra time to give them some exercise, buy them a chew or puzzle toy, or teach them a new trick. If your dog doesn't already understand how to "Drop/Give" items, now's a great time to teach them!
All in all, remember your dogs at this time of year. They'll thank you for it! As all dog parents know we must continue to attempt to be the people they already think we are.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Vicky and the morning crew at TV6 invited us back again to talk more about our Pack Walks. The clip was from June 5th but I just found it on youtube ;-) We love going to the station everyone is so friendly!
Short article which was also a quick news interview. No video so I missed watching myself speak. All I can do is trust those that have seen it!
Thank you to reporter Katlin Connin for inviting me to speak about the basics of service dog training. Read the full article here: http://abc10up.com/dogs-more-than-just-pets/
and watch the video below.
Thank you Vicky for allowing us to work with Sweet Pea and yourself, and sharing this awesome opportunity to spread the word about our philosophies. Watch Part 1 and 2 of the coverage below. :-D
My name is Kim, I've grown up in this beautiful place we call Marquette, MI. I have always been a lover of animals and my love for them has only grown stronger with age. I love all animals from mice to cows, to pigs and frogs. Of course as dogs are the ones living most closely among us they have become my passion. I worked for a kennel for 2+ years, and I loved caring for the dogs all day. Being a kennel worker significantly benefited me while I was studying dogs however the time came to follow my calling. In April 2010 I graduated with my diploma in Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor from Penn Foster Career School, and have since begun building my experience in the field. I am currently owned (along side my husband Rick -who is also in the dog business as a groomer, and plays an active part in TacoMo as well) by 2 dogs named Rico Suave a 50lb adorable mix (His DNA came back as one parent being 1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/4 Pomeranian, & 1/4 Dachshund, the other parent while not confirmed is potentially an English Shepherd which honestly makes the most sense) and Smorzy a 50% Australian Shepherd/50%Shetland Sheepdog. They are a crazy duo and are not perfect by any means but I love having the tools to control their behavior whenever I need to. I love my dogs so much that TacoMo was named after them (Rico's nickname is Taco & Smorzy's is MoMo)! You'll learn by meeting me or reading my posts that while I can be a quiet person, I can also babble on forever!