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December 18, 2010

Photo Hunt: MALE

I am MALE and the newest member of Palma and Brad's family. They picked me up at the Burbank airport last night, and I love them already. My name is Luigi and I am 7 months old. Here I am with my Mommy and Daddy in my new house:

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December 20, 2010

How we Found Luigi

Last weekend on our visit to the Bay Area, on Sunday (OMG, it's only been a WEEK?), we had breakfast at Max's in Stanford Shopping Center with Roxanne and Slow Travel friend, Sharon.

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After breakfast, while everyone was still lingering over coffee, I walked outside to smoke. At an outdoor table, sat a couple with the cutest black cockapoo. I totally intruded on the couple's lunch, and they happily told me all about their new 7 month old puppy, Bruno. After a few minutes, I went back inside and got Brad, Sharon and Roxanne to come out and see the dog. He was calm, smart, and within seconds, Bruno was in my lap, kissing my face.

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AGAIN, I sat with the couple, and they told me about the breeder Bruno came from in Christmas Valley, Oregon. She is president of the Cockapoo Club of America. (Doesn't Christmas Valley sound lovely?) The woman, Lolita, gave me the breeder's phone number. Her husband said they waited 9 months for this litter of puppies, as they wanted a dog between 25-30 pounds. SO DO WE! Then he said there were three more littermates, siblings of Bruno.

Before we were out of the parking lot, I was on my i-Phone to Christmas Valley. By the time Roxanne dropped us off at the airport at 3:30, I had an email response. On Monday, we spoke on the phone, she answered all our questions, and sent photos. A couple of emails and a credit card later, our puppy had his health certificate and an airline ticket.

Friday, Luigi flew from Oregon to Seattle, then Seattle to Burbank, CA. They couldn't find a connection that allowed enough transfer time to Palm Springs, or Ontario, so off to Burbank in the rain we went. We were SO excited to meet Luigi. The breeder, Debbie, suggested we NOT uncrate Luigi at the airport, as he has never worn a collar or been on a leash, so we carried the crate to the car. I sat in the back seat with a doggie blanket, and we met Luigi for the first time in the airport parking lot. He was such a sweet boy. He sat quietly on my lap all the way home on a LONG three-hour drive in pouring rain.

He has learned SO much in his first 48 hours at home! I may be biased, but Luigi is a BRILLIANT puppy (who is currently barking at his reflection in the window...).

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December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays from Luigi

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December 26, 2010

Luigi Unwraps Presents

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January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

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January 4, 2011

Luigi's Day

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January 7, 2011

Walking with Luigi

The "Blog Technical powers that be" are experiencing a problem with uploading photos, so I will add them when I can! Sorry!

I stopped making New Year's Resolutions years ago, as I am not fond of disappointing myself with expectations that rarely happen. I prefer to have a few GOALS or things I'd like to accomplish. When I DID make resolutions, losing weight was always number 1 on the list, and I think I have started a "diet" or made attempts to lose weight EVERY January for the past 40 years or so. Surprisingly, I did not put on any weight over the holidays (actually, I rarely gain weight over Christmas, but often gain weight in January, as it is my least favorite month).

A GOOD thing about this January is Luigi has caused me to take 4-5 short walks a day around my neighborhood! That is a TOTAL of over 2 miles a day, just walking around the block! That is two miles more than I walked before, despite the cold weather. Luigi refuses to go potty in our front OR back yard. He is potty trained, and I guess he thinks the courtyard and back yard are just two more big rooms. He only goes potty when walking on his leash, so that gets me out every few hours! I think I am liking the "Luigi Weight Loss Plan"! I keep telling him he has OLD, COUCH POTATO parents, but there is lots of time spent playing ball, or running after him to confiscate the latest magazine or catalog he has run off with! MORE exercise, right? No more baking until Valentine's Day, and no more desserts in the house should help too!

Tuesday, on one of our walks, a group of 4 people walked my my house, but I was stopped talking with a neighbor. As they passed, I heard them speaking Italian. I tried to catch up to them (picture Luigi and I running across a large lawn area with me yelling, "Buon Giorno, Buon Girono!") They stopped to see who the crazed woman with the dog was, and backtracked, meeting me in the street around the corner. The man said, "Perche parli italiano?" Why do you speak Italian?

The woman introduced herself as a new neighbor (part time resident), and we immediatly threw our arms around each other in introduction, like long lost relatives. The other three were visitors from Rome, and we all chatted for a few minutes. When they asked about the puppy, I told them his name was Luigi. The man laughed and said, "Io sono Luigi!" He then laughed more saying, in Italian, that his dog in Rome was named "Dave"! LOL

Is it time for a walk?

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She's got the leash, her cigs, the poop bags and a jacket. Hope she brings the treats!

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January 8, 2011

Guilt/Separation Anxiety

It is killing me to leave Luigi for the weekend! He has been my almost constant companion for 3 weeks, and I've have not left him for more than an hour until this week. Monday, I was gone 3 hours for work. I was SO happy my last client cancelled. (BAD therapist)

Tuesday, I was home all day, and when I had clients, Luigi was a good therapy dog and was quiet and respectful.

Wednesday, I called all my interns and told them to come to my HOUSE for supervision instead of the agency! We were home all day! One had a ziplock bag of nuts in her purse for a snack. Luigi found it first, but Mommy got it before he ate any!

Thursday, I left him alone for 3 hours, when I had a doctor's appointment an hour away. I drove 85 back all the way! (NOT usually a speedy driver...)

I am writing this on Friday morning, I feel like a bad mom ABANDONING my puppy! I know, get a life...he is just a dog, but I will be sad/worried all the way to Yosemite. I am not ready to leave him with a babysitter! I am like a new mom with a new baby. It's only been 3 weeks. I am not ready to abandon him for the weekend, even though Dani will be there the whole time, and he REALLY likes her! The vet said to leave some underwear in his crate. I don't think so, but I did put my dirty socks in there. Poor puppy!

Dani should be prepared for MANY phone calls and texts over the weekend!

Here is Luigi's "house".

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He knew something was up...luggage! How could I leave this face? I cried to the freeway. I am so silly.

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I gotten several texts calls and photos from Dani. All is going well.

January 20, 2011

Luigi's Week

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January 25, 2011

Lunch with Luigi

Luigi has been a pretty good dog this week. Well he DID fall in the pool again and ate a few sticks, but he has learned "SIT", and "Bring it to Mommy". When he asked nicely to go on an outing, we couldn't refuse.

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We went to Sogno, our favorite cafe in Palm Desert. They are very dog-friendly, and good dogs may sit on the patio. Luigi was served water from a handmade small ceramic bowl with blue paw prints. Brad and I shared a tuna melt, and a delicious rustic raspberry tart while Luigi either sat quietly at our feet, or allowed dog-lovers to stop and pet him.

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Sogno is ready for Valentine's Day with an assortment of heart-shaped goodies:

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I have decided that at this stage, Luigi is like a few children from my teaching days who are perfectly behaved, delightful kids at school, and monsters at home. Parents are amazed that the teacher reports polite, rule-following behavior. Teachers are surprised to hear that the child is a "little devil" at home.

Luigi is a perfect dog in public. He is only naughty at home (sometimes). This chewing stage will pass...

He may have to earn his next lunch outing!

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January 30, 2011

Luigi Goes Out to Dinner

Luigi had his first dinner out at a restaurant on our "Family Date Night". Since he was such a good boy going out to lunch last weekend, we thought he deserved to go out to dinner with us for our Saturday night "date night".

We went to one of our favorite places in La Quinta, as we just heard it is dog friendly: Stuft Pizza Bar and Griill.

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Before dinner, we had a nice walk with Luigi all around Old Town La Quinta.

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Here is Luigi waiting for a table.

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We were quickly seated, and all had our beverage of choice: King Estate Pinot Gris for me, an India Pale Ale for Brad, and water for Luigi!

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The patio heaters worked well, and we were in a cozy corner. Brad had a pepperoni and Asiago pizza, and I enjoyed a white chicken gouda pizza with leftovers for lunch!
Luigi was a very good boy, and sat quietly by my chair.

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We shall be returning soon!

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February 20, 2011

Luigi's Lesson and Useful Dog Tricks

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I had had quite a scare with Luigi the other night. I have one client who just adores him, so Luigi joins her therapy sessions in my office. He is usually pretty good, and goes between sitting with her on the couch, to playing with his chew toy on the floor. Occasionally he wanders into the corner to chew on the large basket holding a palm tree.

It was the end of our session, and we were saying good-by. Luigi was in the corner behind my table where the palm tree is. All of the sudden, the lamp went on and off rapidly, there was a loud electrical buzzing, and Luigi was screaming bloody murder. He was chewing the the lamp cord plug, and getting badly shocked. My client screamed, and we both lunged for Luigi. I really thought he was electrocuted and would die! I grabbed him (client right behind me) and pulled him away. In that split second, I wondered if i would be electrocuted...but HAD to save Luigi. He was terrified, but ok. My client let herself out while I ran in the house with Luigi to call the vet. It was terrifying. I promised to call the client and let her know he was all right. The vet said it was as if he had been tasered, but there shouldn't be any damage. She said to watch him that evening. I held him the rest of the night! I called my client on her way home to reassure her. She called again the next morning to check on him. I decided NOT to charge my client for a therapy session in which I TRAUMATIZED her!

I wish I could train Luigi to do this with our coffee pot.

March 7, 2011

Thirsty?

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The waiter brought Luigi a cute little doggy bowl of water.

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Brad and I had BIG cafe lattes.

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Guess what the "only child" wanted?

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April 19, 2011

Swimming Lessons

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We have had 5 days in a row over 86 degrees (and up to 91), so the pool is OPEN. We heat the pool once a season, and get it to a toasty 87, knowing that it will loose a few degrees each night, but still stay "swimable" for we cold whimps. It was time on Saturday to get Luigi used to the water.

He learned to get in and out himself with all four legs on the wide tops step, but not submerged. He came in attached to me, and I launched him toward Brad. He naturally swam. We kept "catching him" and sending him back to the other, like you would do with a small child. Then he learned to swim to the steps to get out of the water.

The next trick was getting him to come back in without coaxing, or pulling him in!

We tried toys, his ball, begging, but none of those worked. He was having too much fun jumping onto the first step, then running laps around the pool, and jumping back in. A new joyous way for fun and frolic!

We ARE still smarter, so with Brad and I in the center of the pool and Luigi on the step, I yelled, "GROUP HUG". He cannot stand to be left out of a hug, so he immediately threw himself off the step and swam to join us.

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We repeated the whole routine on Sunday. So far he has NOT tried to get in the pool without us! YEAH!

May 10, 2011

Naughty Luigi

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Mom says I've been naughty! I thought she would forget when she got the Mother's Day card.

It was nice and chewy, and she was on the phone. I didn't eat much!

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I like Mom's shoes, but she was REALLY mad.

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Daddy keeps saying things about an "operation" and "time for a surgery to fix my balls". Nothing wrong with my balls, except when they roll under the sofa, and I can't reach them!

Something is up. There's a lot of luggage around. I better be good!

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June 27, 2011

A Day of My Real Life

I am taking a break today from blogging our Italy trip. I just got back from a weekend in Las Vegas with my friend Joy, a sorority sister and college room mate. We celebrated her big 6-0 birthday in style at Paris Las Vegas with great eating and lots of shopping and video poker. Here we are at our favorite wine bar before a fabulous dinner at Rosemary's.

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Brad stayed home and hung out with Luigi! They both missed me a lot!

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July 17, 2011

Luigi Loves the Pool!

Can we go swimming, Mom? Huh? Right now? Please?

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You throw my floppy water toy, and I'll go get it!

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Let's just do it 10,000 more times, OK?

August 3, 2011

Luigi's New Toy

Luigi got a package in the mail!

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September 12, 2011

Bad Dog

Today's blog was written by BRAD

Luigi with a summer haircut:

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Our beloved Luigi is not perfect. He’s often good, but he’s often not, as well. To be honest, he’s a bit of a brat... pretty much wants what he wants when he wants it, and happy to let you know by what seems incessant barking. He’s a very loving dog, and can hardly resist our “group hugs.” But he’s awfully “energetic,” and I do hope that it’s last phase of his puppyhood, but I fear that it’s not. He gets very intense (but so do I... another story for another time).

One example of his intensity is when someone comes to the door. If the doorbell rings, he pretty much goes ballistic. Lots of barking and frenetic activity, which often intimidates whomever is walking through the door. And if he’s in his crate while we’re gone, he’s okay when we return, but if we’re bringing someone else with us, he gets intensely excited, even in his crate.

We’ve had a long-time dog sitter whom we’ve come to trust and rely on. She’s perfect for our short trips away, a day trip, or maybe even a long weekend. She’s actually a professional pet-sitter, licensed and bonded, and for anything longer than a couple of days can get expensive based on her $15 per visit rate, with three visits a day. We used her extensively with our previous cockapoos, especially Ego, whom she loved.

Well the first time we had her come over, Luigi nipped her; not once, apparently, but twice. Also she couldn’t get him back in his crate when it was time for her to leave, to the point where she left him in the house outside his crate, knowing she was returning a bit later.

The pet-sitter was devastated and angry at being nipped; especially since it hadn’t happened with a couple of longer term house-sitters we’d used. At the same time, she described Luigi as “out of control.” She suggested a dog behaviorist.

The last thing I ever thought I’d do was engage a dog behaviorist. But, for a reasonable consultation fee, we thought, in order not to lose our beloved pet-sitter, we could try it. So we did, and made an appointment with Glenn, with our dog-sitter to come by later during the appointment to assess if it was something she was doing that caused the nips.

Glenn was an unassuming guy, and entered our house very neutrally to observe what was going with us and the dog, which was really good technique, in my opinion. After observing for awhile, he offered some great insight... dogs need to love, trust and respect. We were doing well on two out of three, but the respect aspect was lacking. “Respect” means establishing boundaries, and not letting the dog get away with stuff... for example, caving-in when he barks, wanting one of us to play fetch.

He also counseled us on what happened when the pet-sitter came. Luigi was basically out-of control when she came in the house. She needed to wait for him to calm down before letting him out of the cage, even if that took 20 minutes of her 45 minute visit!
She understood, and after this we all felt a bit better.

We’ve been working on the behavior modification. I learned a lot about it in one of my jobs, and the application is the same, but without quite as much feedback from Luigi.
Now when he barks, “insisting” we throw one of his toys to retrieve, he gets a count of ten before anything happens, and an explanation, which who knows if he understands? However, our efforts seem to be making some progress, and little by little, Luigi’s barking less. He’s not done with it, but he seems to recognize that he’s getting another count, and I really think I’ve seen him catch himself, about to bark, and thinking better of it.

There’s lots of work still to do. But if we do the work, I feel we can reduce the self-centeredness of our pooch, reduce the barking, and all enjoy each other even more.

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January 6, 2012

Winter Walks with Luigi

6:30 a.m.: I have already been out for a walk with Daddy at 5:15. Then I come back to bed with Mommy until she gets up between 5:30 and 6:00. Then we have coffee. Morning is pretty, but cold. Today it was 48 degrees.

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By 9:30, Mommy either goes to work, or some days she takes me for a walk. Now it is 68 degrees. We wear our jackets. I wear mine ALL the time, even to sleep.

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I got lots of good stuff for Christmas. Sometimes I can't decide which toy to play with, so I just take a nap. Yesterday my newspaper was my favorite. Today it is my snowman and my HoHoHo ball!

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Maybe if I am good, Mommy will take me for another walk. It is 78 degrees now!

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April 1, 2012

Share the Moment

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Luigi had to get into the photo!

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Happy "Palma Sunday"!

May 15, 2012

Another Luigi Adventure

It was about 7:45 a.m.. I was out on my patio, and had just finished a second cup of coffee and a phone conversation with Ida. Luigi came running around from the side of the house with a dead bird in his mouth. Earlier that morning, Brad heard a huge noise as something hit a window. I'm hoping that's how the bird died, as Luigi is not a hunter! He completely ignores the bunnies he sees every night on walks, and is only annoyed by flies.

I asked him to "DROP IT!" He dropped it, but when I reached for Luigi, he decided to make the bird a game of chase. After a couple laps around the pool, I got louder and louder. the bird's body was not holding up well. I tried a calm, firm voice, but Luigi was having none of it, and soon, I was screaming "Luigi, NO!!!" at the top of my lungs.
Neighbors came to the wall to see if I was OK.

Finally, Luigi stopped the chase game he was winning, and defiantly chewed and swallowed the whole bird. A few feathers fell at his feet, and he lapped those up too.
GROSS!

It was now 8:00 a.m., and I put him in his crate while leaving a message for our vet.
The vet called back at 8:30 and began by asking if we were giving Luigi enough kibble, or did he need to supplement his diet with some protein? She said to go get some Pepto Bismol and give him a half capful three times a day.

I returned from the store, and put the PB in a bowl, pretending to eat some with a spoon. Of course he wanted what I had. I put the bowl on the floor as if it was melted strawberry ice cream, and he came running over. One lick and he walked away, wanting none of this stuff. Next I tried dipping a small piece of bread in it. He took the piece, then spit it out. NO PINK BREAD! A few bites of bread later, he acquired a taste for the Pepto Bismol "dip", and so it went for three days. There was NO KISSING MOMMY, until he had been swimming so many times, I figured the bird cooties were all gone.

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October 3, 2012

Haircuts

All four of us have recently had haircuts: Federico, then Brad, and finally, I got scalped yesterday. Luigi's is by far the cutest. He FEELS like velvet!

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December 15, 2012

Luigi is in the Holiday Spirit

Luigi has mostly been a very good boy, as he knows Santa is coming soon.

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He loves his new candy cane chew toy from Auntie Connie!

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However, he was a very sick puppy the other night when he ate 1/4 of my taralli dough off the kitchen counter while I was at the stove, a few feet away. We had a
3 a.m. urgent scratching at the bedroom door to go outside and many piles of "taralli sickness" to clean up on the freshly mopped floor and clean bath mats! What's a mom to do? I was up with him for an hour and a half before getting up for work! He is no dummy. The taralli are delicious!

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September 24, 2013

Luigi's Beach Adventure

Since Luigi LOVES the pool, we thought he would love the beach. I had visions of throwing his "floppy" along the sand, and him running along the beach through the surf for hours. Instead, he liked the SAND, but wanted nothing to do with the water. It scared him!

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He didn't like those waves coming toward him. It was also kind of cold. Our pool is still and warm and sunny!

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Oh well... maybe next time! I bet he'd like Maui!

December 29, 2013

Mommy's Boy

Luigi is quite happy to have both his mom and dad home during the holidays. He likes his new "Mommy's Boy" shirt!

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