Lisa Marie

Dear Jen and Furry Friends Network,

An update on the lovely Miss Lisa Marie. Lisa graduated valedictorian of her basic obedience class, and was one of only 2, in a class of 9, to pass the test for intermediate obedience. She is so crisp and energetic in all her activities -- always happy to try something new -- no fear. Although the photos show her on leash -- she is now off leash on all of her adventures!

There are lakes with dams and streams 2-4 miles in either direction from our home. We swim 4 times a week. When we are energetic and have time, we walk to the stream or dam. Otherwise we are on the hunt for the perfect swimming hole -- taking all the dirt roads to secluded swimming spots at the lakes. Lisa has been swimming since she was about 5 months old and jumped into a slushy pond, nearly giving me heart failure, but coming up swimming and proud as could be. She is the only dog I've seen that actually floats -- she stretches out (even in the kiddy pool in the yard) and just relaxes and floats.

Lisa loves the big dogs -- her brother Sarge is 95 pounds -- and she is definitely dominant. Because we thought she'd be larger than her 38 skinny pounds (just a ball of energy) -- she is in the big dog training classes with German Shepherds, Great Danes and Labs -- she LOVES German Shepherds.... the only dog that gets along with every dog there -- no fear, no hesitation, no aggression. She also plays quite well with Sarah, our cat, even letting Sarah groom her ears.

Only one difficulty along the way -- she was by far the hardest dog I've ever potty trained. Within days of her arrival, she would potty outside on command -- then relieve herself on our nice warm carpet. I started taking her out every hour -- and she'd go promptly -- but still go in the house. Finally caught on she was so smart she was giving us a courtesy pee, getting her treat, then finishing in the house -- who wants to pee on snow? I don't crate train -- so I ended up leashing her to me -- but didn't completely solve the problem till Spring. We joked that our Christmas decorating theme was red bottles of  "Resolve" with paper towel garlands.... exasperating, but I LOVE independence and ingenuity (as long as I win eventually).

She is the perfect dog.... Lisa brings us such irrepressible joy!!! Many thanks for the work that you do.

Sue Flowers