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S is for Stella

February 29, 2012

It’s week 25 in #change11.  I am happy to share with you this learning artifact that describes our dog.

Stella is a cross between two popular small breeds, the shih-tzu and the bichon frisé.  We chose this cross-breed because she is considered hypo-allergenic and doesn’t shed like most other breeds.  Her temperament is friendly and playful without being too active for our lifestyle.

Before we brought Stella home, we consulted with our friends who are dog owners, reviewed a lot of material online and read several books by Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan about what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when raising a small dog like ours.

We have done our best to avoid small dog syndrome by:

– entering and exiting our home ahead of the dog

– ensuring that she walks beside us rather than in front of us

– feeding her last

We recognize that Stella is an entertainer.  She is fond of spinning herself in circles while chasing her tail.  She also enjoys toys that offer her a challenge, such as this rubber peanut that we can stuff with dog treats and cream cheese.

As noted on a poster at our puppy kindergarten, where we learned basic commands with Stella, “a dog is a lifetime commitment”.  Raising this puppy has been more work than we anticipated and far more rewarding than we could have imagined.

Have you raised dogs?  We welcome any advice you have for us in the years ahead.


From → Smarter worker

  1. jennymackness permalink

    Hi Brainysmurf – I can immediately relate to your artifact because my mother had a shih-tzu, which she treated like an equal if not superior human being (understandable when she was looking for companionship following the death of my father), but unfortunately not good for the dog, which quickly turned into a ‘top dog’ with associated traits. So it’s great to hear that you’ve got small dog syndrome under control.

    But I’m sorry to say that I am just not a dog person – or in fact any animal – so we don’t share that interest. But I don’t even share that with my daughter whose life revolves around animals, and I can recognise how skilled she is at communicating with animals – amazingly so. I just can’t relate to it myself 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your artifact. I haven’t found it an easy task for me 🙂

    • Thanks for making time for your reply, Jenny. I was stumped at first about making an artifact and then I noticed Stella on the bed with her peanut and thought “sure, I could write something fairly simple about her.” Hopefully we’ll get lots of others to review during tomorrow’s session.

      Funny enough, I didn’t think I was much of a dog person either but she’s won me over without totally taking over the universe…yet. 🙂 Don’t be sorry if animals aren’t your thing. I have no doubt your skills and attention are well placed already.

      Keep well and hope to see you live tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Hi Brainy,

    An explanation for the link I posted under the wrong topic at your blog? Its Sunday, and I’m distracted.

    The Stella Dog Animal Academy is about 5 miles east of us and offers training at convenient hours but likely inconvenient distances for you. They might do phone consultations though.

    Went with the Wife, Daughter and her dog Vega for some training and I have to say Vega has exhibited signs of improved manners and remarkable progress on steak-within-reach / personal restraint metric. As for myself, having been the only male to attend the lessons, it became clear right away that “obedience”, being in the air so to speak, would quickly transfer its attention to my less than exemplary allegiance to proper canine perambulation regulations. Given that the inducements ranged from a mere pat on the head to tepid hot dog chunckletts festooned with pocket lint, it seemed only natural to forgo nourishment for a policy of No Capitulation and retain my status as last to be chosen for walking the dog while remaining best in show at napping on the couch.

    Be careful, dogs, having no particular talent for making up their own rules are vulnerable to the human urge to advise, recommend and outright Tell lesser beings how to comport themselves. Absent a pooch the urge transfers to the nearest male of any species.

    Good luck with the Stella project. And bring your own treats.


    • Thanks, Scott, I’ve moved your link here for easier reference. Stella will be very pleased that her name is in bright lights already. That will help with her world domination quest å la Pinky and The Brain. Keep up your best in show efforts with couch napping and we’ll continue our mission to keep the personal restraint lessons going at this end, which extend from food to fabric napkins to socks. 🙂

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