One of a Kind (and Not So Much)

comments: 49

PuppiesbasketDid you hear it? The deafening, bone-quivering sigh of thanks that emanated from my core when I finished cloning the twentieth puppy last night? You didn't? That's surprising. Audrey thought we might be having another earthquake, but no, it was just me, exhaling.

So all puppies will be weaned today, and all orders from last week will be on the way to their new homes today. Thank you to everyone who has written to say you are happy with your postcards (and some of you are already getting your other things, too). Thank you — I love getting those emails. I'm also always so grateful to those of you who order, and especially those of you who are returning customers. It's funny — I can't always tell who everyone is from the Paypal orders, because I know most folks from their blog names, or often people use their husband's Paypal account to place orders. so I wind up writing things like, "Thanks, Bob! Enjoy this handbag! xo, Alicia" on my notes. So, thank you, Bob, and everyone else — thank you!

Speaking of puppies, Audrey and I have a new routine when the doorbell rings. Melissa and Sam were over last week, and Audrey was so naughty and obnoxious that I, personally, just wanted to leave the property. And it was my house, and my dog. I can only imagine how they felt. I told Melissa that I'll never forget the sight of Sam (who, by the way, if you don't know him, is one of the absolute coolest kids I know), sitting on Melissa's lap with huge blue tears in his eyes, mesmerized by a video of Audrey having a walk, while the real-life Audrey barked and jumped on him annoyingly. It was like he couldn't believe that the reality of Audrey was so . . . different, I'll just say different . . . from the vid of Auds. He clearly preferred the vid. I did, too.

So this week we've instituted the collar-and-leash method when the doorbell rings. Doorbell rings. Dog goes crazy. Collar and leash go on. Dog goes crazy. Person on porch waits patiently. Leash gets snapped. Dog's like, "WHAT? I can't even believe you just did that, lady?" I keep reminding myself to be strong, that it's for all of our own goods. Dog begins to control herself. Another little snap. Dog calms almost completely. Person comes in. Dog gets hyper. Another snap. Visitor ignores dog. Dog calms down. I praise dog. Leash comes off. Visitor pets dog. Dog slightly quivery/whiney but trying very hard. A word of warning, dog calms happily. IT'S ALL GOOD. Why has it taken me five years to put a leash on the dog in the house? I absolutely cannot believe how quickly this is working. Am I doing it right? I am going to be consistent and firm. I love my dog so much, but I want her to learn how to fit into this family and our community. I have always wanted this, I just wasn't sure what to do to make it happen. Screaming didn't work, ignoring doesn't work, chasing doesn't work, staring disappointedly doesn't work. So many of her natural tendencies are wonderful we got off kind of easy with the training part. So, thank you to all of the recommendations on the dogs and trick-or-treaters post, especially Paula. I know I can do this. And I know she can do it. I know that she desperately does want to be a good girl, if only I can figure out what the hell it is I'm asking her to do. So, Sam, come back soon (not too soon, but soon-ish) — I think things are going to be different around here. I'm very excited.

Shannon1

49 comments

Congratulations on finishing your litter of pups, and on get your real life pup to behave :)

oh why didnt i order one!

You wouldnt happen to have a blue and white sock, lying around, waiting to become something great, would you? i really loved him in the first litter. and the argyle one. so cute!

Both me and my Mother are terrible dog trainers (we're also cat people, so, yeah) because we simply can't bring ourselves to do it properly.

I really admire you, as I admire everyone that loves their dogs so much they are able to discipline them, going past guilty feelings and fear that their dogs won't love them anymore! Dogs do need rules (they sort of thrive on it, I've learned - the opposite to cats!). It's obviously not easy, but Audrey is such a very lucky dog :)

yes, it is going to be so so much better when you and she know what to expect from each other. i did exactly the same thing as you are doing, but kept the leash on in the house for a month, able to correct when things were not going to plan. helped tremendously. it really is the people that need the training so much more than the dogs, they get it so quickly, it takes us a whole lot longer to learn... good luck - you will love the result.

My daughter and niece are going to be two very happy girls when their adorable pups arrive. Cheers.

congratulations! what a beautiful dogs, and a perfect cloning...oh, i want to say that your lovely little blogs list is amazing!!

Congrats on finishing the pups!

Many times dogs want to please us, but don't know what we DO expect them to do. I recently learned that, to keep my dogs from "welcoming" guests incorrectly (or chasing the cat, or other unwanted behavior), I should give it a "job" doing what I want it TO do: lying down quietly, and being rewarded immensely for doing so.

Sometimes the job/reward method works faster than the snap/punishment method, because they "get" what we DO expect. This way, they learn what is expected at other doorways, in other houses, in other situations... not just that a punishment is associated with a specific door (and I don't want my pups to associate guests with punishments in the long run - too much ammunition for retaliation against an unsuspecting UPS man!)

Whatever works for you and your pup. Good luck!

Ah ha. Excellent point! Thank you!

The puppies are so cute! What a neat idea.

Poor Sam... just remember, dog and children = same thing. I use the 1-2-3 Magic thing with Em, if I get to 3 she gets to take 5 in time out. Do not yell or show emotion, just calmly send them on their way. Same thing with dogs and the leash. It is very hard I know, but for some reason children and dogs respond the same way to lectures and yelling.. all they hear in their head is "blah blah blah,b- blah blah blah.. "... just keep with it. Audrey can do it : ) I have faith in her (realize though that Audrey will learn much faster than Emma, I will be doing my training for the next 13 years.. )

You know how I'm dying daily for a dog, so I really needed to read this post. I bet Audrey has the cutest leash imaginable.

Hmmm...leash indoors...neat trick. Maybe I can try it on Sadie, but w/ the harness (she has always had a serious harness hate on). She jumps on everyone as they walk through the door, then runs for a toy and wiggles like crazy. The toy and wiggles I can deal with, the jumping all over is annoying - especially when my sis brings her Pomeranian over, Sadie FREAKS, she loves her so much but she becomes spastic dog!

Thanks for the tip!

Chris Howard says: November 21, 2006 at 10:59 AM

Oh, cuteness overload! So many sweet little puppies, I can't wait to get mine! Thank you so much Alicia for taking the time to make sure everyone who wanted one could have a little puppy dog. I know it was a lot of extra work for you, and I just want you to know that we all appreciate it.

Good luck with Audrey! I know nothing about dogs, so, uh...good luck!

you go, you dog whisperer, you!...which is just the best show ever...

Oh I highly recommend checking out The Dog Whisperer. Cesar is "da man"!!! He has lots of great advice that I use. Miss Beula (my bulldog) is not there yet, but he has certainly helped me gain a better understanding of dog training and how to address doggie issues. Good luck!!!

Sweet litter of pups. And glad to hear Miss Audrey's new routine is working. If you need to test her out on any kiddos, let me know. My boys are completely unphased by excited dogs. =)

Nice trick taking back alpha status of the pack. You've become like Ceaser "The Dog Whisperer". Good girl Audrey!

congrats! way to go on the pups--the stuffed ones and on Audrey!
yeah, it's hard to reprimand the pooch but it's great that she is responding so quickly and that you are being strong and keeping up with it! it inspires me to keep at it with my dog as well. xoxo to the woofster! :o)

it does sound like the tactic the dog whisperer takes and he makes a special kind of noise when he pulls the leash, which i can't spell. his philosophy is that you are the pack leader and the dog is just waiting to follow you. on the show, he seems to work miracles with misbehaving dogs. the only dog i've seen actually bite him was the cutest maltese that was so cranky, but came around, eventually.

according to him, we humans tend to treat our pets like they are children, which the dog doesn't understand. but of course we do, look at that face, audrey is such a cutie.

he is not without his critics because sometimes he can be fairly tough with the dog, but i don't think audrey needs that. it sounds like she's probably figuring out the new rules already.

good luck!

Hi!

I have one of those barking-crazy-at the-door dogs too. And he's old and set in his ways... wonder if the lease would work for him.

Too bad they can't all be as tame as the ones in your basket!

cute pups, Alicia! sorry that I missed out on them - next time, I guess!

I have to second whoever up there recommended positive rewards over punishment in dog training. It's so much nicer for dog and human alike. Dogs love treats and tend to learn quickly when rewarded for being good. A great source of info on positive training is Pat Miller's book, The Power of Positive Dog Training.

There are, of course, many diverging opinions on training, so perhaps I should just butt myself out!

That said, your blog has been a source of great inspiration lately. Cheers, and happy Thanksgiving!

Margo Plaunt says: November 21, 2006 at 01:36 PM

Hi Alicia,

Just wanted to say thank you for the sweet stockings that arrived yesterday. Your wrapping looked so tantalizing that I had to sneak a peek to look at all three that I had ordered. Love, love, love them! I've been reading your blog whenever I get a chance and had to laugh at today's post. I go through the same thing with our dog (Bascha), whenever someone rings the front door bell she goes crazy (including me)...the person at the door also has to wait patiently while I tell Bascha to knock it off (maybe my problem is I talk to her like she's a person)...after a few minutes all is calm.

On a different note --- I really loved the sweater purses that you did & was wondering if you'll ever feel the urge again to do some more later on in life? Please let me know if maybe there's a chance...I just know one of your sweater purses would make me want to skip all the way to work as I'm walking down the street swinging it.

That's quite a litter there. I can't believe you got them all done so fast. Hooray for you!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.