This is what I'm grateful for this chilly, rainy morning: Three dogs who willingly and quickly go right outdoors and get to work. Not all at once, of course: there is a peeing order that is aligned with the pecking order. The puppy goes first. Tito, the older small dog, goes next. Otto, the benevolent leader of my little pack of three, checks to make sure it's really happening; Tito is so small it's hard to tell. Only after everyone else is done does Otto go back over both spots and mark them himself.
I'm a big fan of "puppy socials" - a classroom-type setting to which people bring their puppies for socializing with pups of a similar age. It's a powerful opportunity for the puppies, especially the ones who are being raised with no other dog at home to learn basic canine social skills from - or the ones who DO share their homes with another dog, but the dog is super grumpy about puppies.
For over three months, I had possession of a year-old American Black and Tan Coonhound or coonhound-mix whom I called Maebe. I absolutely loved that dog, and cried when I dropped her off for transport to her new home. AND I'm thrilled and tearful - in a good way - that she found a great new home. That's the bittersweet experience of fostering.
I want to congratulate WDJ's long-time contributor, dog trainer/writer Stephanie Colman, for winning a Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA), for her article, "Service, Please," which ran in WDJ's July 2015 issue. The award is named in honor of the late Maxwell Riddle, who co-founded the DWAA. The awards were announced on February 14, at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City at the DWAA's annual awards banquet, held prior to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.