There’s One In Every Family

Pet parents know the importance of teaching our four-legged buddies good manners and good habits from a young age.  My friends and family thought it was the cutest when three-month-old Eko would jump on them, and many didn’t understand why I corrected Eko with such a firm voice.  After all, it was so cute!  But  as anyone who has had a larger dog can tell you, what is cute at nineteen pounds is not so cute at ninety pounds.


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Teaching Eko not to beg at the dinner table was one of my greatest achievements.  Now he quietly sits in the corner of the room and stares.  We’ve settled on the rule, “It’s ok to look, but not to touch”

Training a pet takes a lot of discipline, consistency and love, but some friends and family only give pets one of those things – LOVE!  Just like your grandparents gave you candy when your parents said you couldn’t have any, we all have at least one person who spoils our pet with lots of love and LOTS of treats.  In my family, that person is my sister, Helen.

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Eko still never gets any food off the table, but he knows that Aunt Helen will always let him sit closer than I will.

Helen actually lived in Chicago before Eko and I moved here, so Eko has had plenty of play dates with his favorite aunt.  However, Helen recently got a promotion for a job in NYC, so she didn’t renew the lease on her apartment.  Can you guess where she’s living until she moves in two weeks?  That’s right, Eko has a new favorite roommate.

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From extra treats to extra love, Eko has soaked up all the attention Helen lavishes on him

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And when it’s time to sleep, Aunt Helen is there to make sure Eko is as comfy as can be

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The tough life just keeps getting tougher

My grandparents spoiled me with love and I turned out just fine…you know what, based on some of my previous blog posts, I’m probably not a good poster child for “turning out fine.”  But I bet you were spoiled by someone and you turned out fine!

Sure, Helen may sneak Eko some extra treats that I wouldn’t have and she may bend the rules once in a while, but I think all pets are better off with a healthy dose of unconditional love.  Eko sure thinks so!


Our new 7 month old is a huge counter surfer. I was told by my best friend who is a Gorilla trainer and has a few dogs of her own to take their paws and make them stand up really tall. A little too tall, like awkward. This is supposed to help with jumping up on people too. I started that when he was quite young, “whats cute at 10 lbs……” So know Kimi has an amazing ability to stand super tall on his tippy toes and be confident and calm. He can now reach even taller counter tops with ease. He is already taller than Fiona and Lapsi and now has incredible reach.

Ha, someone should make me sit in the corner and I wouldn’t have to be on Weight Watchers. I’m the worst at indulging pets, GUILTY. Our dog Buddy was a tad heavy because I couldn’t resist his big brown eyes. I actually always made a ‘Buddy Burger’ if I was making turkey burgers for the BBQ…a small one just for him.

Whenever I do have kids (a LONG way down the road!) I am well equipped to teach them all the essential skills in life – sit, stay, roll over, etc.

Will: You may recall your mom always referred to Gram and Grandocs, house, not as Club K, but Candyland. The R2D2 cookie jar on the kitchen counter was always full of Starbursts for the grand kids. The grand kids definitely had a sweeter time of it than your father, aunts and uncles. I love the Helen and Eko photos.

That is exactly what I had in mind! James has that famous jar now I believe, though it may have turned into a dog-treat jar, which Shanny-dog would appreciate.

Ohhhh your Aunt Helen looks like the NICEST person in the WORLD!! You look so content after her having tucked you in.
Mom loved your expression when you were looking at Aunt Helen…Mom says you have a “wise” look, like “you have been here before”
Best of luck to your Aunt Helen with her new job! Does that mean you will be having some New York adventures? Mom and I sure hope so! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Being Eko is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. I’m from NJ originally, so we will be back east in December for a mid-winters romp for sure.

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