Catching Up!

Wow! Spring came and went and now the summer is on it’s way out and I need to catch up here with what’s going on at the ranch!

Well, we are excited to announce that we, Puppy Manners, won “BEST of 425” in the 425 Magazine contest for Best Dog Trainers. But I have to say, it’s not just me and Dave. It’s our amazing crew of people that work here. Karen, Nate, Patrick, Dylan, Jamie, Brian, George and Kyle. They care as much about the dogs and Crystal Creek Farms as we do. Just an amazing, caring and dedicated crew of people who take pride in where they work and what they do. Dave and I cannot thank them enough! On top of that, the other BIG win was Reading with Rover, which won for Best Local Non-Profit! That’s an amazing feat because there was serious competition, with non-profits much bigger than us. But in the end, the community spoke with their vote and we are so proud of our Reading with Rover program and what the volunteers and their “rover dogs” do for kids all over the Seattle area.

In other news, we’ve received a lot of questions about our foster dog, “Dusty”, and whatever happened to her? You can read about “Dusty” in this previous blog post. After her DNA test came back, we were not so surprised that she is 52% Doberman and 12% Malamute. But the real shocker was this bit–the results reported that “Dusty” is 12% Pekinese! No wonder she’s such an odd little duck! The remaining 25% is unidentified DNA, which our veterinarian says can be a rare breed not included in the data bank. It’s possible for her to even have some coyote, wolf, or other feral dog breed, which would make more sense due to her extreme shyness and feral like behavior. She came from a litter born on an Indian reservation and it was a feral litter. Her mother is most likely feral as well, so she has some ingrained behaviors that we struggle with, like warming up to people. But there’s not a mean bone in her body and she loves, loves, LOVES other dogs. She is one of the most socially appropriate dogs I’ve ever seen. However, finding a home for her has proven nearly impossible. She simply will never be a dog that can settle in, curl up by the fire place, frolic with kids, greet strangers with a wag of her tail, or be a happy house dog. She is still a bowl of shaking Jell-O with every perspective family that comes to visit and she almost becomes catatonic. Just so sad. Most dogs when they meet families, it’s like speed dating and they know right away “this is the dog for us!” But for “Dusty”? It’s just not in the cards.

Dave, Becky, and Barn Manager, Karen, with "Dusty"

So fast forward to today and I’m happy to tell you “Dusty” has, indeed, found her perfect home! The family is willing to accept her for who she is, not for who they wish she was and she’s such a happy dog! She will let people pet her, people she is familiar with of course, and she is loved and adored by many because she is officially a Bishop! That’s right, Dave and I adopted “Dusty”. We recognized that she loves it here at Crystal Creek Farms and it’s clear she loves to run with a pack of dogs. “Zoom” is getting older and I can’t really keep using her as a “greeter dog” to test a dog’s social skills. Enter “Dusty”, who we also call our “ranch dog” because she has a job and that’s to tire out all the puppies that comes to stay with us and be the official “greeter dog” for new guests. She makes them feel welcome and accepted, which is exactly what we need from her! So everyone can rest in the knowledge that “Dusty” has found her perfect forever-home and she is very happy.

As for our personal lives, Dave had hip replacement surgery a couple months ago and is recovering beautifully. He’s also lost 45 pounds post-surgery! Additionally, I have lost nearly 20 pounds! We decided to start practicing what we preach for dogs, to live well, eat better, and trim the fat! It’s been a pretty amazing journey, but it’s not difficult when you have great family support, which we’ve had from our kids and of course, each other. We celebrated 32 years of marriage this month. I love Dave a lot and am so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.

Also new in our lives is a new pup named “Diesel”! Technically, he’s our granddaughter, Reagan’s, dog, but he’s been living with us for a couple months now while Solomon, our son-in-law, builds a fence to keep “Diesel” safely in the yard. “Diesel” has turned out to be an incredibly loving, amazing yellow Labrador from SunnyDaze Labradors in Bellingham. He’s such an exceptional dog, he’s been nicknamed “Special”, which suits him perfectly.

The ranch is literally hoppin’ with fur and has been a great place to spend the summer. As fall quickly approaches, we will take one short trip to Alderbrook Resort for a few days. We will not be bringing a dog, something we haven’t done in over a decade. A trip for just me and Dave on a well deserved vacation and we can’t wait! It’s amazing whenever we go somewhere without a dog, as I find myself actually looking for dogs to connect with… I just need them in my life, I guess. I guess if you have to have an addiction, wanting and needing to pet a dog on a daily basis can’t be unhealthy… Right?

One last thing before I sign off! If you haven’t checked it out yet, head over to our Vimeo Page, where you’ll find several short videos of dog training tips. Several of them are simply iPhone clips and others are more in-depth training videos. All of them are fun to watch and extremely informative. Be sure to leave comments on the ones that help you most and please, feel free to make request for specific videos and we’ll do our best to go over those topics soon. Thanks for sticking around for our updates! We love our clients and readers and as always, we do our best to address your puppy training needs as they come up. Thanks for reading!

T w i t t e r