Oh my, it seems all the really IMPORTANT people have September birthdays!” Jabber stated, matter of factly. 

Then, again, it might just be that Jabber’s birthday is a September one– Along with Thumper’s, Bob the Painter’s, California’s husband (see a previous post from a while back), and of  course, TMWLH!

TMWLH had a birthday yesterday and his daughter from Sitka, Alaska (no less!) was here for a visit and a birthday dinner.  So that made his birthday extra special SPECIAL!

Here we are, the three of us above, about to devour a piece of Cheesecake.  TMWLH, His Daughter in center, and Jabber on the right.

The Puppy Pokey Repost

Weeders, I know you have been checking this blog every single day for a Poppy report.  How do I know this?  you ask, as well you might.  Well, never mind, I just do.  (May I suggest you get a life of some sort?  Just a suggestion.)

So wait no longer–here is the update:

As you all know, Poppy has been attending Middle School.  With some pride, may I report that she is taking some accelerated classes too?  Oh yes, our Poppy is, indeed, the ‘smartest child  canine’ in the class….(oh, alright, Weeders, I’m prejudiced a little bit….)

“Oh my,” I thought.  Well, before she gets too big an ego, we must make sure she understands that the world is a big place for a young Poodlette, and she may not be the smartest canine in the world.  A bit of humility would benefit her education.

So, of course, Poppy has been going to the local Dog Park for several weeks now.  Several TIMES a week. Oh, alright…it is actually whenever she tells TMWLH she wants to go.  Which is about every single day.

And do you think she’s learned her lesson of humility?


No way, Jose.  (And Jose happens to be TMWLH’s name, only in English.  Although sometimes we say “Jose” but not like that, not like “Josie”  No, it’s got that accent over the ‘e’ as is written–and spoken–in Spanish.  Which he is not.  He is Irish.  100%.  You see, on his Mother’s side of the family is Irish, completely, and on his Father’s side of the family, well, they’re all Irish as well.  Which makes him all Irish.  Unless there was some other nationality thrown into the mix there, which they aren’t telling.  I have no way to know.  Genealogy is such an interesting pursuit, but I haven’t taken advantage of the internets for such, although others have……Oh wait…….I’m digressing here…..besides, who cares?  It is what it is.)

So anyway, (as someone I knew always said…transitioning from one topic to the next)

It turns out The Spicy Royal Red is a meet and greet, glad-handing pawing (and sniffing) little girl and loves nothing better than to make her way around the ENTIRE dog park, meeting and greeting not only the canines who are there, but every single one of the people who are there.

And they all adore her.  At least, that’s what she reports.

A bit of romping and running is also involved, along with some growling, but generally not from The Spicy Royal Red.  Beneath her dignity, she reports.

So much for teaching her a lesson.

But back to the report:

Poppy has not missed a single class and also does ‘extra credit’ classes during the week.  I regret to report there ARE some dropouts in the class.  One appears to be her good friend, Dahlia, about whom Poppy is very distressed.  Dahlia was a good dancer, as was previously reported, and Poppy likes to dance.  This dancing is also, evidently, a portion of the curriculum, but I can’t be certain.  Not all participate.

At any rate, we attended class Thursday night with Poppy.  Immediately leaving our side, she greeted all the other children and some of the adults, including the teacher, Miss Marisa, and her Assistant of whom she is particularly fond.  And her Assistant is particularly fond of Poppy, too, evidently.

It turns out that she (the Assistant) is the one who has been instructing Poppy in the more advanced levels of Canine education and Poppy is working on some accelerated courses.

Basic education includes:  Get out of the kennel nicely and, when instructed, enter the kennel; Sit; Stay; Down; walk following one’s person nicely; and of paramount importance:  Leave it!

A week ago, “Leave It!” was introduced as a main lesson and Poppy was to practice with her family during the week.  So, I dutifully did as we were instructed:  Take a handful of treats, drop one on the floor whilst Miss Poppy was watching, seated, and I stated, “Leave it!” and cover it with my foot.  Miss Poppy was to wait and as soon as her attention withdrew from the treat on the floor, I was supposed to hand her a different treat from my hand and pick up the one on the floor.  (This resulted in a number of crumbly treats on the floor, in case you wish to try it with your own Pup.  Note:  just cover the treat with your foot, do not squish it.)

We practiced in class.  After the first two ‘drops’ by me, Poppy understood there would be a treat forthcoming from my hand, not from the floor, and so she would dutifully sit there and wait for it to be handed to her.  There was not even a need to cover the dropped treat.  No way was she going after it and having to fight with my foot to get it.  She is, after all, refined, and does not believe in arguing with her parents.  Telling them what to do when necessary, yes.  But arguing, no.  There are better ways to do things she informed me.

We practiced a bit at home with different treats.  Miss Poppy said, under her breath, “Oh my, really?  You could just hand me the treat after you drop the first one.  I know I’m getting it anyway and this is such a bother!”  

But then she realized that if she stole say,  a napkin, off the table, and I called out, “Leave it!” that a treat would result.  And so this is the game we’ve been playing this past week:  she steals a napkin, runs to the living room with it, waits to hear, “Leave it!”, then runs back into the kitchen, sans napkin, to obtain her treat.  And I play ‘retriever’ and obtain said item from the living room floor.  Sort of reverse fetch.  She told me this was a very GOOD way to obtain treats anytime she wished.  Which is often.

So this gives you an idea of why Poppy is often told how intelligent she is.  I have another word for it, but I won’t go into that now.

So, last night, we arrived at class and Miss Poppy immediately went into a frolicking dance with her newest dance partner appropriately named Jazz.  Jazz and Poppy are the best of friends, and Jazz does know how to dance very well as evidenced by the photographs to follow.

A bit of dancing, the meet and greet over, it was time for instruction:  repeating the “Leave It” (Poppy was selected, of course, to demonstrate to the rest) and practicing; learning “Down” which Poppy thought was rather ridiculous since she’d been doing that for months, and then a combination of the two.  Quite boring actually.  So, of course, Poppy added in, “Crawl” which amused the others to no end.

Then there is this business of “Wait.”  Well, ‘wait’ is fine if there is a REASON to wait.  But if not, why does One have to sit patiently at a doorway with One’s person when there is no reason TO sit and wait?  One knows to go through a doorway when One’s person takes a step, for heaven’s sake, to just follow politely behind.  Why does One need to LOOK AT One’s person for ‘permission’ anyway?  This seems absurd.

So Poppy sat and sat and sat and I stood and stood and stood…..just to walk through a doorway.  Finally, Miss Marisa said, “Well, she ISN’T going to look at you for permission, and she’s waited so very nicely for SO LONG, so just go on through.”

No, she isn’t going to look at anyone for permission to do anything, actually.  She never has.  She figures out by her own self what is proper and what is not.

For example, this “Sit and look at One’s Person before One’s Person will Put the Food bowl down” business is ridiculous.  Miss Poppy ALWAYS sits and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  But look at One’s Person to request One’s Person place the food down?  Heaven’s NO!  When the food bowl is put down, she waits some more during which time I can only assume she is saying Grace or having a Moment of Silence in Gratitude or something along those lines.  I mean, she is VERY polite.  And she sits when dining, as well.  I seriously question if any of her other classmates do the same.

It is also preposterous to think Miss Poppy will allow her People to decide when she will eat.  I mean, really?  No!  She tells us when she wishes to eat.  By banging the Venetian blinds against the windows.  When One is hungry, One is hungry.  Period.  It is up to the Authorities to provide food.  That’s the LEAST they can do.  (Miss Marisa was horrified at this. “Why,” she asked, “does Poppy need you?  She gets beauty parlor appointments, and gets her food on demand….who is in charge here?”  Well, she is.  Obviously.  But she does like her living arrangements, evidently, not having left home to go abroad or anything like that.  Which is to say, left to her own devices, she doesn’t run off in the neighborhood, but rather comes to the front door to be let back inside.  Otherwise, I’m not sure why she ‘needs’ us.  It’s a mutually agreeable living arrangement, I suppose.)

And so, Poppy will be graduating shortly and continue her education with on-going coursework.  We will, of course, report.

And the Assistant stated, once again at the end of class, “Poppy is SO SMART!”  And Poppy, being Poppy, did a little dance on her back legs, pirouetting and balancing in the air on those two back legs.   And politely accepted her treat.

This is what she was saying,

“You put your mouth on an ear”

“You put your mouth on a neck…..”

“You put your mouth on a tail….and you shake it all to heck!”

“You do the Puppy Pokey and you run yourself around,”

“And, that’s what it’s all about!”  PUPPY POKEY!

At the end of this little ditty, Jazz and Poppy took turns hugging each other, like this:

And you can see how happy Poppy is with her dancing partner (below).  (The Assistant Trainer is also very happy for both of them.)

Poppy is smiling as Jazz gives her a hug.




Repost The Graduate!


‘”Wasn’t that a movie or somethin’ a while back?” Jabber* inquired.

Well, yes, but this isn’t about a movie. It’s real life! And Poppy just completed Middle School (aka Puppy School) last night. Here is the certificate to prove it:

Miss Marisa, the Head Trainer at the Academy, first went over the various course topics which Poppy had studied, and then TMWLH took her through each to show that she had, indeed, learned all her subjects well.

Poppy and Miss Marisa above. Poppy is about to demonstrate to Miss Marisa that she understands “Wait!” at the doorway.

Of particular pride was the “Leave It!” subject in which she excelled.

“Uhhhh, no she din’t….” Jabber* interjected here, “No, she din’t. She ate TMWLH’s glasses the night before. That’s not “Leave it!” that’s “Eat it!”

Well, in CLASS she mastered the command. Miss Marisa dropped treats all over the floor with the command to “Leave It!” and Poppy did. Finally frustrated at ALL THOSE TREATS lying about, but unable to actually get them. she lay down on the floor. Then she got praise. And only ONE treat from Miss Marisa. Hardly seemed fair, she reported later.

But then lots of this classroom study seemed unfair to Poppy. However, the treats make it worthwhile to at least pretend for the hour long-instruction. Miss Marisa ALWAYS has treats she hands out to the good dogs! who obey. At home, it’s a different story. TMWLH never has treats in his pockets and Mom generally doesn’t either. Ergo, why bother to do what One is told? she reasons. On the other hand, (or is it IN the other hand?), if One is told there will be treats forthcoming, well, then, that’s a different matter entirely.

(It’s clear that Poppy has been studying up on Oxanna’s Manual again. The manual, mentioned previously here on this blog and the much revered instruction book for ALL Poodlettes, clearly states that a Poodlette is perfectly capable of thinking for Herself. Following commands is based upon the answer to the question, “What is in it for Moi?”)

A brief intermission in the testing was ordered so that the children canines might play for a bit. All kids need some recess, after all. Poppy was delighted that Jazz had come for finals. They are the best-est of friends!

Piper was also in attendance. Piper has a difficult time being QUIET! Piper much prefers to be ON somebody than PLAYING with somebodies.

Below, Piper is sitting standing on TMWLH’s lap.

Despite Piper’s lack of involvement with much of the rest of the class, She still managed to receive her diplomas:

Jazz, too, received her diplomas and was a proud graduate of Greymont Puppy School:

Jazz received the honor of being named “Life of The Party” for the class! And Poppy? Well, Poppy received this award:


Yes, Poppy graduated with HIGH HONORS. We are very proud of her. Future plans include returning to Day School on Friday and consulting with her Head Trainer on what high school and pre-college courses she might take next. Again, while considering other options such as dance, vocals, gymnastics, education and even perhaps psychology, Poppy is leaning towards geriatric services as a major. We shall report.