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Doggy Diaries: A Sleeping Puppy is a Good Puppy

If you’re new to Doggy Diaries, catch up here!

We’re keepin’ it real today.  As cute and as fun as puppies are, there’s a huge wave of relief that passes over me when Ruger is sleeping peacefully.  Because when he’s awake, the craziness ensues and you just never know what’s gonna go down.  Anyone else feel that same way, or is it just me?

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Business Stuff: Amazing Race Themed Burlap Banner

Today we’ve got a late post (sorry) and we’re skipping Doggy Diaries again for an office update.  I’m having fun putting together my most recent order of a burlap banner for a sweet lady who is throwing an Amazing Race themed party for her nephew.  The banner will say “Pit Stop.”  Isn’t that so cute?  I hope she’ll send me photos of her party as I would love to see how it all ties together with the banner.

I don’t know about you, but I sure love seeing photos of awesome parties.  Creativity says it all!  What’s the most creative party theme you’ve come up with?

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Doggy Diaries: Adventures at the Dog Park

If you’re new to Doggy Diaries, catch up here!

Obviously this photo doesn’t really correspond to the title of this post.  It was not taken at the dog park, it’s from our backyard.  But I simply don’t have a photo of my little guy at the dog park and I think him squatting while he pees is a little funny.  Isn’t he just adorable?

On the topic of the dog park, I’ve taken Ruger probably four times now, with some ups and downs.  The first time I took him, it was actually a little sad.  He was totally like that awkward new kid in school who doesn’t know where he belongs and has no friends.  I let him loose in the big dog area first, where he was bullied and trampled by two huge German Shepherds.  Since he’s still petite, I figured we could give the small dog area a try.  He ended up being a little too excited for the little dogs and I could tell one owner was a little protective of his precious little one.  So I put Ruger back in with the big dogs for an unsuccessful last attempt for him to make friends.

The following weekend, I took him back and he had a great time!  He found a friend who was the perfect sized playmate.  They rolled and tumbled for half an hour and loved every second.  I felt like a parent, so proud and happy that her little boy had made a friend.

The next time we went, he also had fun and was able to find a few dogs his size.  But again, there were a few that followed him around a little too closely and literally would not leave him alone; nipping at his legs and trying to play too roughly.  But all in all, not a bad experience!

Fast forward to last weekend, I took him back hoping for a good experience and all was going well until about thirty minutes in.  There were a few bigger dogs that seemed to be ganging up on him.  Not that he is small by any means, because there are a lot of dogs in the big dog area that are actually small, but I think they know he’s just a baby.  I let him feel it out on his own a little, you know, letting him learn the ropes and toughen up.  Well just a few minutes later I see him on his back on the ground being attacked by a huge boxer.  I run over just as the poor guy got away and was whimpering as he ran to my side.  My heart dropped. Luckily he only got a cut above his eye, a loose baby tooth and a small scratch on his belly.  Suffice it to say, we headed home soon after.

Ruger’s got a little growing to do.  He’s in that middle stage where he doesn’t quite fit in just yet.  But he’ll get there.

On a much more positive note, he and the kitties are doing better together and he has also started following directions more often.  Hooray for progress!

What’s been your experience socializing puppies at the dog park?

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Doggy Diaries: Learning the Ropes

If you’re new to Doggy Diaries, catch up here!

Not that I’m not completely in love with Ruger, but he’s got to learn the ropes around here.  Fast!

It’s exhausting constantly tracking the dog around the house.  It seems that a ratio of approximately 70/30 exists.  70% yelling no.  30% puppy behaving.

Don’t get me wrong, for a 4 month old puppy, he’s very smart and not too crazy.  But between him eating the cat food (and the cats eating his food, ha!), peeing inside the house (when he clearly knows he should pee outside), jumping and barking at the cats, and doing every other thing he shouldn’t be doing, I’m tired.

But it’s all worth it.

“He’s just a puppy.” That’s what we remind ourselves when he’s being extra crazy.

Before we know it, he’ll be well trained and peaceful.The cats are already making it known whose boss around here. Remington got a nice little (and I mean tiny) chunk out of Ruger’s cheek.  Pretty soon the dog will catch on.  And that picture up there?  The cats like to taunt him.

A couple positives about our little (and growing) bundle of joy? First, he is great with kids!  There are some kids in our culdesac that love him.  They poke his face, grab his tail and ears, and he just sits there.  Second, he isn’t much of a barker.  Yes, he barks when we put him in his crate to leave, which is pretty short lived.  But when ALL the neighborhood dogs start barking every night like clock-work, he doesn’t even budge.  What a good boy!

So if nothing else, at least it’s exciting around our house. And it’s weird to think we have three pets now.  That just seems like a lot of animals.  Does it to you?

What are your experiences training puppies?

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Doggy Diaries: Meet Ruger!

If you’re new to Doggy Diaries, catch up here!

If you remember from my last doggy diaries post, we met Presley and his brothers and sisters last Wednesday at the dog park.  Then we met Scotch, the 8 week old puppy, on Thursday night and almost took him home he was so adorable! But there was something about Presley that made us want to see him again before we made our final decision.  We got to spend some time with him at our house Friday night and decided to keep him!  This is our first family photo (minus the kitties, of course), taken by the volunteer from the rescue organization, Stella’s Hope:

His new name is Ruger and he is so sweet.  Talk about a smart puppy, too.  He already knows how to sit, stay, lie down and come.  He does most of his tricks already without treats, but sometimes needs a little freeze dried liver enticement!  On top of that, he is really good walking with his leash already.  He’s learning how to roll over and we’ll teach him how to shake next.  All this with no prior training and we’ve had him for less than a week!

It’s been an exciting week in the Neptune household and I’m still adjusting to the early morning hours of puppy hood.  Funny how people say that getting a puppy prepares you for children, and yes, that’s probably true.  But now that we have a puppy, I don’t think I want kids any time soon anyway!  He’s enough work as it is; I can’t imagine throwing a kid or two into the mix.  And really, I feel like I’m still a child, how could I raise one?

As he gets older and learns the ropes, though, life will get easier, I know.  And someday hubby and I will want kids, but for now, I’ve got my puppy and I’m content.

How’s life going for all of you?  What we’re your experiences raising puppies?

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Georgia Vacation Recap: Lake Hartwell

If you couldn’t tell from my post about our trip in Atlanta, we had such a great time in Georgia.

Upon our arrival to the cabin late Sunday night, we were welcomed in true Southern fashion by the most rain we have ever experienced in a thunder and lighting storm.  The rain was so thick and heavy that at even a snail’s pace, we could not see three feet in front of the car.  Us Southern Californians aren’t used to the intensity of those storms.  I loved it and reminisced about the years we lived in Tennessee.

Most of the week was spent floating in the (very warm) lake, riding sea doos, swimming and enjoying good company.  Tuesday, three of us took a rafting trip on the Chattooga River with NOC.  We definitely spent some time out of the raft (via falling out, ha!) and saw the beautiful Long Creek Falls (image courtesy of ncwaterfalls.com)

We of course ate deliciously homemade food every day and got a little patriotic on the 4th with fireworks on the bank of the lake and yummy dessert:

My dad and step mom were even able to join us for a few days.  We all decided to float down the Chattahoochee in Helen, GA.  Always a blast!

On the way back, we ate yummy barbeque food:

And found an adorable produce stand.  One of my favorite things.

One day we also rented a deck boat to explore the lake a little bit.  After accidentally breaking one prop on a couple sandbars (in the absolute middle of the lake!), we got that fixed and started heading the other direction.  Once the lake opened up, the waters were a beautiful blue and were much more refreshing.

And the best part for me (other than the whole spending-time-with-friends-and-family thing), the dog!  Blaze is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met and well-mannered to boot.  Can you tell I love him already?

And on top of all that, the cabin was gorgeous.  Inside and out.

One of the rooms upstairs was pure cowboy, adorable right?

On our last full day, the Neptune crew took a lovely and scenic drive into rural South Carolina to see Brass Town Falls.

What a beautiful ending to an amazing trip!

If you are or may be planning a trip to North Georgia, please look into the Waterford Lodge.  Not only is the cabin more like a home, but the owners are so generous and accommodating.  Tell Chrystal you were referred by the Neptunes!

Have you been to or do you live in Georgia?  What are some of your most memorable times?

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Doggy Diaries: My Childhood Pets

German Shepherd Puppy via Guardian German Shepherds

If your new to Doggy Diaries, catch up with all the posts here!

I’m still enjoying the Georgia wilderness and will definitely miss this adventure once we return home, but I’m also excited to get back home and find our new pup!

Here are some photos of a few of our pets we had growing up.  I dug through piles of old photographs and had a great time traveling down memory lane.  I couldn’t find photos of all of them since my parents probably have most of my childhood photos, but I have included most of the cats and dogs we had.  I could not find any photos (and frankly don’t remember if they even exist) of the hamster, rats, lizard, rabbits or chickens.

Miles: our very first pet!  He loved to play, but thought your hands were his toys, ouch!

Molly: many years later, she joined the clan as the family fence jumper. She was a very sweet girl.

Morgan: just a sweet little baby, I found her while my brother and I were visiting our dad in Florida.  We called home and mom let us bring her back with us! Another sweet girl.

Mason: we adopted this beautiful kitty at a Petsmart adoption event on a whim.  He was fun and adorable!

Cali: such a sweetheart and so loving!  She has a sister, but since I wasn’t a great (or even a good) photographer at age 12, I don’t have a decent photo of Abby.

Duke: we got this little guy from a litter of puppies being given away outside a Walmart in Arizona on our way home from vacation.  That was very exciting and impromptu!  He was a great and loyal dog.

And since we’ve been married, these are the kitties we’ve had:

Talon: such a sweet and loving kitty whose life was taken way too soon.

Sig: another awesome and sweet kitty whose life was also taken too soon.

And our current kitties:

Remington (Sig’s brother): best and sweetest kitty ever! Seriously.

 Trigger: a fun and playful kitty who loves attention, but not cuddles.  Fun fact: he plays fetch!

It will be an interesting journey integrating the new pup with Remington and Trigger. They think they’ve got life made, but little do they know their worlds are about to be turned upside down!

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