About Me

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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Monday, July 23, 2012


This past Saturday was a busy day for my foster pups!   My friend Cookie (yes the pup's namesake) came to visit. My friend Beverly came to visit.  My friend Alice came to visit.  Potential adopters came to visit (husband, wife, grown daughter).  The pups also went out on the grass for the first time.  The pups took it all in stride - they napped in between visits!  But Mamacita was a bit frazzled by the end of the day! Poor mama - alot to worry about.

Is anyone else coming??

Next weekend we're having a puppy party - food, drinks and puppy cuddle time!    The pups will be 51/2 weeks old and soaking up all these experiences like sponges!  Mama will be leashed to my waist for part of the party as she needs to meet more people herself.  Looking forward to the party!  It was great fun with last year's foster litter!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Puppy Saga Day 28

The pups are officially 4 weeks old today.  They weighed in at 3lbs (Popcorn), 3 1/2lbs (Biscuit) and slightly over 3lbs (Cookie).  They are getting more coordinated,  though I will miss watching them topple over and wave their feet around like turtles on their backs!  It is SO interesting to watch Mamacita deal with their fiesty, demanding behavior.  She simply ignores it and calmly continues what she's doing until they settle.  I do the same when they get squirmy or growly when picked up or restrained when they'd rather be doing something else!  The pups are starting to wag at us and give kisses.  They like to tug and shake toys. Mamacita likes to play with them which is very different from our last foster Mom who was an older dog and wasn't all that interested in playing. Both good Moms, but very different. It is a riot watching Mamacita wrestle and mouth fence with the wee ones!
Are these not the cutest faces ever?!
                                                      (Popcorn, Cookie, Biscuit)
On another front...Mamacita and Belle have been introduced and played a bit.  Now that the mommy hormones are kicking down a bit Mama can start spending some time with my dogs.  Hooray!  Belle will also be the first dog I intro the pups to.  She's so good!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Puppy Saga Day 25

Today was a productive day in puppy-land!  The pups met 3 new people and were handled, kissed and played with by all.  Mamacita met 5 new people (2 seniors, 2 teens and my friend Kelly - we won't mention her age! ).  By the time Kelly came by, Mama was pretty relaxed and friendly.  As the mommy hormones kick down she is getting much more receptive to visitors. That's 'all good' as they say.

Introduced the pups to food today.  The pics below are from our 3rd attempt.  They're getting the hang of it!
 Hmmmm...whats this?
                                                    Smells interesting...
 You try it.  No, You try it.
                                                                                                                      I'm goin' for it!

If you guys aren't gonna finish this...
Wow.  What a horrible blogger I am!  Here I am raising a litter of foster puppies and not a word has been said about it here!  Sorry!  Not that I have people holding their breath waiting for my next installment! :-P But I started this blog primarily to force myself to write regularly.  Failed experiment I'd say!
Any hoo... 

Mamacita arrived at my house on June 18th and gave birth to 3 pups (Cookie, Biscuit and Popcorn) on June 20th!  Big thanks to my friend Cookie Mac for helping me through the whelping! 

Mamacita was an owner surrender to my local animal shelter. What is she, you ask?  Good question.  My best guess is Rat Terrier and Corgi but it is only a guess.  Her pups are all tri colored with ears that look like they will eventually stand up.  They are 3 1/2 weeks old today.
 I'm not a big fan of the birth process.  Can you say YUK?! But I do enjoy watching the instinctive behavior of both the mother dog and the babies.  They all know their jobs and their purpose and I find that very reassuring. My job as their foster caregiver is to keep them safe and give them a good start in life through proper nutrition and lots of socialization. my husband and I handle the pups several times a day.  I talk to them. I sing to them. I play the radio and run the washer / dryer  so they'll be used to normal household noises.  I will expose them to different environments, dogs (big and small), my cat and lots and lots of people! One of a puppy's key socialization period is 4-16 weeks so it's "crunch time" now as we head into their 4th week.

When all is said and done (at 8 weeks of age) my hope is that I will have helped these pups develop into stable, friendly, potential pets ready to be adopted.  After that it will be up to their new families to continue socializing them and training them. 

But I do all this knowing that there is a big, unknown, black cloud up above that might darken their sunny future.  That cloud is their genetic make up.  The father of this litter is unknown.  Mamacita is shy and wary of strangers at first , but wiggly, silly and affectionate once she gets to know you.  I don't know if her shyness is genetic or whether she was not properly socialized herself as a puppy.  A dog's behavior is always determined by a combination of both those things. Socialization and good nutrition can only take these puppies so far.  They need to have a stable genetic make up as well.   There will be no shortage of folks wanting to adopt them - they are cute as buttons, but finding good matches for challenging puppies is a different story.  Let's hope these pups have solid temperaments.
Only time will tell!

Right now the pups are getting adventurous and Mamacita is trying to teach them some social manners.  They are demanding little beasties.   They are very vocal, attempting to bark and growling when they are frustrated. Cookie is already picking up dry kibble in her mouth and all 3 have experimented with lapping water, so we'll start feeding gruel today.  I hate to start it because my sweet, fluffy puppies will soon be food encrusted messes!  But Mama will appreciate the help I'm sure.

More blogs to come - I promise!