I firmly believe that, if Washington summers lasted longer than our allotted three months of blue skies and golden sunshine, everyone would want to live here!
From high school summers spent rolling out pie dough at my hometown bakery, Barb's Pie's and Pastries, to surviving the topsy-turvey world of waitressing during college I have experienced a wide variety of summer jobs. However, Puppy Kindergarten by far outpaces the rest as the best summer job ever!
For several weeks, June through August, I make the drive up to my parent's house. Cityscapes slowly give way to rolling hills and snow-fed rivers. I count them as I pass over each ocean-bound tributary: Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Skagit, Nooksack. The final river, spanned by an old railway that locals dub the Metallica Bridge due to the semi-perminant graffiti tag bearing the band's name sprayed across rusting metal trusses, signals that I am almost home.
If summers in Washington are dreamy then summers at Annie's Doodles are something close to heaven. Days filled with the heady scent of new-cut hay and whatever happens to be growing in Annie's flower garden (usually a mix of dahlias, roses, and daisies), are only made better by the yips and growls of my newest trainees.
I started Puppy Kindergarten back in 2007 at the age of 11. Since then it has passed through many hands, only to be reclaimed the past two summers by me and my sister, Ruthie. The week-long training service jump starts your pup's journey to becoming a sociable, well-behaved dog.
This year Puppy K courses will run for only three weeks and are separated by litter. There are limited spots available because we want to ensure that each pup receives personalized training, and they are filling up fast!
July 6-13 ........... Penny
July 20-27.......... Stella and Carmel
August 10-17..... Sydney and Maddie
Here is a sneak peak to what we offer:
It is our goal that, by the end of the week, we will have set a firm foundation from which you and your pup can build. The transition from romping around with their brothers and sisters to being the only cutie around can sometimes be difficult and intimidating for your pup. Puppy Kindergarten allows pups to learn new and exciting behaviors while still enjoying the comfort and familiarity of the Carlson Farm.
As I said earlier, there are limited spots available, so make sure you sign up soon. Tuition for the week is $450.00. We look forward to working with you, your family, and your pup!
To register, or if you have questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the Best From,
Hannah, Ruthie, & the Doodles
The hawthorn tree's leaves lift in an ever-present breeze, shading the grass below in a shifting patchwork of greens and golds. Summer lies sweet and heavy on our hay fields. Yips and growls come from under the tree, where a temporary pen is set up. Pups roll and tumble with reckless abandon over one another, concerned only with their private rivalries and secret games. At a full eight-weeks old, they are only days away from meeting their new families. I sit on the red-stoned patio that I and my dad built the summer before I entered high school. It is worn now with weather and the constant tread of foot and paw.
Through the day's long hours, the pups rotate from play to sleep, making me envious of their simple life. Eat, sleep, play, repeat. Any movement or noise on my part brings them leaping against the side of the pen, ready to run and wrestle. Regardless of what I do, their careless claws and sharp, puppy teeth leave marks on my bare legs and arms. To them I am just one of the pack.
At this stage in their development, the puppies are functioning under a pack-mentality. They view people as being part of that pack, albeit bigger and funnier looking. We started Annie's Doodles when I was 10. I learned quickly that if you let them, puppies will walk all over you; which, though lots of fun, can be intimidating to those who aren't used to dealing with puppies' rambunctious nature. At the onset puppies have no concept of what humans consider "good" or "bad" behavior. This is an essential realization that all would-be puppy owners need to understand, especially those who have never had a dog before.
Pups will be pups, until you train them. And, in many ways, you will also need to train your children on how to react to the pup's desire to play. This is a great learning opportunity for young children, teaching them how to react responsibly to a situation that feels overwhelming or out of control.
Whenever young children come over to the house at Annie's Doodles, we always tell them, "If you feel uncomfortable or scared by the pup stand up, and say 'off' in a firm voice." The solution may seem over simple, but it works like magic! When sitting down, whether adult or child, you are on the pup's level. Your very presence is an invitation for them to jump and lick and nip, so it is unfair to yell at the pup or get angry. By standing up, the child establishes that they are on a different level, though they may still get bumped and scratched a little it will be on their legs and not around sensitive areas like the face and neck. Having a puppy for your kids to play with, care for, and learn from is wonderful but, as with all new things, it takes a little getting used to. By teaching your kids to take control of the situation, you are also helping your pup learn what is and is not appropriate in their new pack...your family!
Best of Luck,
Hannah & the Doodles
Tractors out in the field are a tell-tale sign that winter is finally over. Twenty-two acres is a bit too much for our little John Deere lawnmower to handle, that's why every year a local farmer spends several days "haying" the field.
The Pups are doing wonderful! They have weaned and Mama Flower is heading back to her guardian home. The puppies are eating their Life Abundance kibbles. They love to wrestle with each other and play with toys and explore! When the days get warm enough we can take them outside to introduce them to the grass and all the sights and wonders. Inside the house there are many noises and slippery wood floors that take getting use to!
Boone and I have been married for thirty-three years! We have eight kids and a noisy house. I love family, puppies, water-color painting and living in the country. I cherish the privilege of running our business from our home. It has been the center of our lives, filled with all of the experiences that twenty-two years of homeschooling, multiple adoptions and lots of laughs bring. I have been blessed a million times!