From Endurance to Dressage
You might remember that we added another dog to our family - a yellow labrador retriever. While she is unbelievably cute, Brienne is also a holy terror. I haven't had a solid night's sleep in over a month.
Since bringing her home, we've worked on potty training - nearly there, not barging through the door - mastered, sitting on command - pretty solid, only chewing what is appropriate - good girl, and fetching the morning paper - nailed it!
My husband takes her out into the foothills every afternoon with our more mature lab, Tobias, so they can play and burn off her puppy power and his need to stretch his adult legs.
It has been a number of years since we've raised a puppy; we've forgotten how exhausting it can be. All the doors in the house stay closed so that we can see her at all times. Dog toys, of which she has at least 15, are strewn across the floor like so much carnage.
While we are especially grateful for those quiet moments when she's napping, we are equally distressed by them because we know she's only powering up for the next round.
The worst of puppyhood is the sleepless nights. On a good night, she gets me up twice. Last night was a real doozy; she had me leaping out of bed to let her out no less than four times. To her credit, she did potty each time, but that's not going to make it any easier to explain to my colleagues and students today why I feel the need to lie down and take a nap.
We haven't been to our cabin since bringing Brienne home because there was so much snow, and she wasn't house broken. It's been so warm the last week or two that we think most of the snow is probably gone by now, and Brienne is now nearly potty trained. We've decided to head up for the weekend.
And truthfully, after all the riding I did last weekend, a few days away with the dogs and my husband sounds kind of nice. I just hope she'll let me sleep a little longer!
Have a great weekend, and I'll see you all on Monday.
2/26/2016 06:26:35 am
Years ago, I raised a Lab puppy to be an assistance dog (CCI out of Santa Barbara). The first months were exactly as you described - up so many times every night, and enjoying those blissful moments when they are asleep. The only good puppy is a sleeping puppy!
2/26/2016 09:24:45 am
So true! :0)
2/26/2016 07:02:47 am
Oh my gosh, that look on Tobias's face in that last picture! It's so tough having to be the responsible older sibling. We were smart when we bought our puppy. She was already 3 months old so the previous owners had already done all the hard work with her. Nothing like an already potty trained puppy to make the whole experience seem way more fun than it probably is!
2/26/2016 09:27:15 am
We brought our first one home at 5 weeks (too young), the second at 6 weeks (also too young), and Tobias at 4 1/2 months (piece of cake). Getting through the potty training is definitely the hardest part. She sure smells good though!
2/26/2016 09:29:38 am
All puppies are cute, but labs are somehow a bit cuter. Maybe it's because they're not as fragile as some of the smaller breeds. In some ways puppies are easier because they don't have any bad habits. She's our fourth in the past 21 years. The first two lived to be 15 and 11.
2/26/2016 09:30:18 am
She's equal parts adorable and child of Satan, but we still love her. :0)
2/27/2016 03:16:49 pm
your puppy is really cute, she's a keeper that's for sure. Our new little puppy "Sherman" keeps us up also. Two nights ago he managed to snag a role of toilet paper and had it chewed up all over the place, while we blissfully slept
2/28/2016 05:14:55 pm
Thanks, Mom! I am sure that Sherman is just as cute - all three pounds of him. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: