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Shih Tzu Antics


Guess who’s turning NINE?  Our littlest family member, Max!  His spunky yet calm personality keeps us smiling every day and I can’t imagine life without this little piece of heaven.

Max was the calmest of his brothers and sisters.  While they were running amok chewing ears and tails, he Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in dog, Dogs, Family, kids, Teaching

 

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Joys of Teaching Teen to Drive

Um…the word for it is much more like…TERRIFYING!  Okay, okay….it’s getting better, but those first few times were pretty rough.

After you spend all kinds of money on a “Segment 1” class, you need to drive your teen around for a total of about 50 hours. Part of that class includes an instructor driving with your teen.  They even go on the highway.  When I first heard this, I was in awe of the instructor.  Brave man.  He does this for a living too.  But, after a couple of seconds, I realized he has an extra brake pedal in the car!!  Brave? Not so much.

The first couple of times were absolutely the roughest.  For. me.  She was fine.  I death-gripped the sides of my Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Family, Funny, parenting, Teaching

 

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Max, the birthday boy, celebrates at the dog park

Max turns 8 years old today! Happy Birthday Max! In dog years, that makes him the oldest in our family.  To celebrate, we will be giving him a special treat – he doesn’t have to know it’s also good for cleaning his teeth. We’ll also be taking him to one of his new favorite places in the entire world:  THE DOG PARK!

The dog park opened in late May and we’ve gone numerous times.  I actually overheard someone say, “What happens at the dog park, stays at the dog park.”  I found out later that it’s a slogan on a t-shirt and I provided the link here.

We’d never experienced too much “off leash time” with other dogs, so I was a little hesitant at first and wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would we encounter Cujo-like dogs that’d attack my gentle and loving Max, who thinks everyone is his best friend? What if a dog fight breaks out and he gets swept up in it?

Poop bags and water on hand, we braved it one sunny afternoon. The second we arrived, Max’s nose went into full sniff mode. It was like me in a fudge store, inhaling all the wonderful smells that make me want to devour ten pounds of fudge.

Of course, Max left his “mark” every couple of feet, and we weren’t even at the gate of the fenced off area yet. There were only a couple of other dogs in the “small dog” section and of course, they greeted each other in their up-close and personal way. Again, think fudge store! Soon, Max ran off with one of the dogs and it was pretty sweet to see his little personality shine. I also found it to be a great social time for us owners, and it reminded me a lot of when my teenagers were toddlers and I made tons of mommy friends.

I was so pleased with our first visit that I go several times a week, which is more times than I go to the gym! Hmmm…funny how that happens.

We’ve gone at times when there were 20 or more dogs running around and, happily, haven’t had any Cujo incidents or aggressiveness. But there was one incident with growling and ironically, it came from Max!

Now that Max is in his “golden years”, he likes to take a little break now and then and not run around non-stop. The other dog was a puppy that never stopped running or jumping and he hadn’t quite learned the fine art of giving another dog his space. He’d race around with another dog and bulldoze his way into and over Max, who was minding his own little business on the soft grass. The first time, Max gave him a warning “look”. The second time, he put that puppy in his place with a vicious growl that surprised the heck out of me. My Max? He knows how to growl? He doesn’t hardly even bark! The puppy left him alone after that.

I highly recommend our dog park. It truly is a great place where dogs can run off leash to exercise and socialize. There’s also the added benefit of seeing all the different breeds, mixed or pure, and laughing at their individual antics.

In honor of Max’s birthday, here is some doggie etiquette for the dog park:

Do run off and socialize

Do not run off and socialize until you’re off leash

Do greet other dogs in the usual sniffing the privates ritual

Do not lick said privates, regardless of the enticing smells

Do smell every square inch of the 5 acres

Do not lick any of those inches, regardless of the enticing smells

Do relieve yourself of that full bladder

Do not relieve it all over a curious onlooker, human nor canine

Do empty your bowels if the urge arises

Do not empty them in small increments, every few feet

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Dogs, Funny

 

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Snickers turned Cujo!

I took Max for a long overdue walk (it’s been too humid before tonight) and on our way home, I detoured through the neighborhood park where we found an adorable Yorkie. Of course, Max was super excited and they did their silent talk — I think Max dominated him by the way he kept lifting his left up (4 times) at the nearby tree.  (Mind you — his bladder is completely empty by now).  I looked around, expecting to see the dog‘s owner, but the nearby gardening neighbor said no. No one else was around.

I decided the adorable Yorkie must be lost so I took a closer look on his collar — he had one of those special invisible fence things on it and I could make out his name — Snickers.  Cute,  so I thought, until I tried to get the phone number and he turned all CUJO on me. I know he’s tiny, but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I backed up. He decided he had enough of the park and took off.  I couldn’t leave him alone without finding his owner so I decided to follow him a little until I could get his number…somehow.  In the meantime, I called my daughter to meet me at the park with some treats — bribery always works with Max when I want him to come.

Luckily, he stopped a lot — he liked Max, I guess — but every time I got closer — Grrr!! I was sure he’d get my hand or ankle one of those  times.  As I waited for my daughter, I saw two women with a stroller coming through the park path and a boy on a bike coming from the street. I asked them if they knew the little dog. The women didn’t but the boy recognized him after we said his name was Snickers. He pointed to a house down the street by the park! Phew! We returned the dog to the owner — she said the battery died on his collar and she had no idea he’d gotten out. (I resisted the urge to tell her to rename her dog.)

Some people are like Snickers – aren’t they? They look all cute and adorable, but you try to help them with something and they turn all  Cujo on you. They put up a brick wall and don’t want to hear it, even if it’s in their best interest. If you push it, they show their teeth too. My reaction is the same with these people — step away slowly and no one gets hurt.

~~Maggie

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2010 in dog, Funny

 

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Girls on the run is about more than running

There is a lot on the news about girl bullying and meanness and it’s very sad because many girls commit suicide as a result.  When I hear about this stuff, I don’t just want to sit around and talk about it — I want to get up and make a difference in girls’ lives.  I think back to my six years as a Girl Scout Leader, which I only stopped when my daughter quit two years ago. Our troop started out small and grew much larger through the years;  I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to watch these girls grow up.  GS is an amazing organization that helps girls try new things and grow in a safe environment. Even as an adult, I tried new things such as high ropes and the zip line. I hope that I made a difference in their lives. I know they made a difference in mine.

This year, I’m a co-coach for Girls on the Run, which is through the YMCA.  It’s about making healthy choices in their lives, both physically and mentally.  I highly recommend it for young girls (3rd – 8th grades) because it teaches them to feel strong in the inside so they can stand up for themselves to bullies or peer pressure.  This is so important to learn before they go to middle school – where the angst of puberty heightens feelings for fitting in and what your friends say is more important than what your mom says.  My thinking is that a girl who is secure about herself will have a better chance when she’s thrown in with the sharks in middle school.

If you have a daughter – don’t walk, RUN to to the nearest YMCA and find out how you can register your daughter for Girls on the Run for the fall session. Or, you can become a volunteer or make a donation.  Seriously,  it makes a huge impact on girls!

So far, we’ve only had two meetings and the girls are super and keep me laughing the whole time with their unique personalities.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2010 in kids, Teaching, teenagers

 

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A-hem…

As I’ve said here before — I LOVE working with kids.  They keep me in stitches and what makes them even more hilarious is that they’re not even trying to be funny.  Just today, in Kindergarten, one little girl cracked me up and I thought I’d share.

The teacher was in the process of calling small groups of students to choose their centers.  In order to avoid a stampede at the white erase board, she gives each group a chance to get up from the carpet, line up and make their selections by placing their Popsicle sticks; then she calls the next group.  While she was doing this, she and I briefly discussed a concern we had over a student who had been absent for several weeks.

At this point, only one group was left.  All of the sudden, one bright-eyed and anxious  little girl, who was sitting on the carpet, clears her throat and  says “A-hem” – exactly like an adult would, to get someone’s attention.  TOO FUNNY!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Funny, kids, Teaching

 

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