Training Riley: Research Phase

O, Riley, Riley, Riley…what’re we gonna do?


Cuz I dunno what to do for trainin’, I hadda go check the internets for ideas.  I made Riley come with me an’ sit onna bench.  An’ she was good. Mostly.


But I wasn’t havin’ much luck.  There’s a buncha sites bout trainin’ courses, an’ some guys what say I outta use a clicker thing or figger out what my puppy’s best sense is (is she a sniffer? a taster? a pig? a listener?) an’ somehow use it for trainin’ her.  So I was sittin’ there, readin’ over this stuff, tryin’ figger out what it really mean an’ how’m I ever gonna use it.  I done forgotten bout my own pup, but she been good an’ quiet, waitin’ for me to learn how I outta train her.


Oh, Riley!



Riley Trainin’: Day 1

I been tryin’ remember what you gonna call that thing I use atta end of my last blog, that thing Cooper shown me.  I ain’t finish what I wanna write, just left it inna middle.  It’s a cliff-somethin’.  I tried lookin’ it up onna internet, but “cliff an’ writing” just given me lotsa weird things, like “cliffnotes” (whassat?  summaries of things other people written?) or a couple writing center places.  I ain’t find too much.  I’da asked Vega for help, but she’s out with Nim at Dolli Lane, keepin’ an eye onna Littles.

Anyhow, it’s  a cliff-jumper, or a cliff-leaper, or a cliff-glider, or a cliff…biter?  Ugh.  I don’ wanna ask Cooper or Wren, but I ain’t havin’ much like.  Tryin’ t’ be all smarter an’ stuff ain’t much good when you ain’t much smarter yet.

Back to th’ story, tho!

Wren thinks I outta use a leash with Riley.  A leash!! Onna poor li’l pup, summin’ she ain’t never used afore, summin’ what’s gonna haul her ’round an yank her neck an’ be all sortsa mean.


I said no.  Wren said yes.  An’ yes again. An’ again. An’ when Wren’s gotta thought, there ain’t no gettin’ outta it.  So maybe I don’ wanna leash Riley an’ turn her inna some normal dog, but Wren’s gonna make it happen.  Or else Riley’s gotta go.  When she say that, I took the leash.  An’, havin’ won, Wren went off, cuz she known I gotta think it over a bit.


It weren’t a nice leash, neither.  Rough rope, an’ mean-feelin’ (as much as a rope can feel mean). I held it a bit, an’ looked down atta Riley, an’ wished there was another way t’ make this work.  But I couldn’ think of nothin’.  ‘Cept I wanna keep Riley with me, so I gotsta train her up.


But maybe this ain’t gonna be so bad’s I think.  Maybe Riley’s gonna be a champ atta leash.

With that thought, I knelt down an’ rubbed Riley’s head.  She grinned uppa at me some, her tongue floppin’ outta side of she mouth.  She’s sucha cute cute pup!  I given her a kiss too, then slip leash lock onna ring, an’ we was set.


Was alla good for a bit.  Just a li’l bit, tho.  Then I said, “C’mon, girl!” an’ tried walkin’ on.  On’y Riley forgot she was s’posed to be walkin’ with me, so I gotta leash’s end, an’ she weren’t nowhere near.


In fact, she was tryin’ go the other way, like she thunk she gotta better idea bout where we outta be.  I tried whistlin’, an’ callin’ her name, an’ beggin’.  Nuthin’ workin’.


Nope.  She wasn’t havin’ it.  I couldn’ get her t’ budge one inch.  Th’ only way she done move even li’l bit was when I haul back so hard onna leash, I slid her onna floor, just haulin’ her along.


It wasn’t one bitta good. An’ Riley was whimperin’ an’ cryin’, cuz she ain’t known nothin’ bout it.  An’ alla I wanna do is learn for good how dogs talk, cuz maybe then I’d be able tell her what she gotta do so she can stay with me an’ be my pup.

Inna end, I given up, an scoop Riley inna m’arms an’ cuddle her close.  She felt better then.  Me too.


I’ll figger somethin’ out.  Somehow.


In which Riley becomes a…problem?

Who’da thunk my sweet li’l pup would be a problem? I mean, yea, Wren’s been sayin’ I  gotsta train her an’ all, an’ she outta be a good sweet pup, an’ she can’t be makin’ messes or nothin’. But mostly she doesn’t.  Make messes, that is. Mosta time, she paws atta door, or whimpers at me, an’ I pick her up an’ take her out an’ she does her thing.

Simple, right?

But Wren says she outta walk on a leash an’ sit when she been told an’ not sneak table scraps (or even ask for some!) An’ most definitely not chew no shoes.  It makes sense, I guess, but it’s hard to figure how a pup’s gonna do alla that.

Mosta time, tho, I ain’t gotta worry none, cuz Riley’s a good pup.

Th other day, tho, I forgotten bout her. Me an’ Cooper an’ Sparrow was in a bedroom, readin’ bout butterflies inna book Pip sended, an’ talkin’ bout how we was gonna go out an’ find ’em in a summer. Cooper was sayin’ we could plant flower bushes they liked an’ make a muddy puddly spot, cuz butterflies like havin’ a li’l drink too. But then he said we outta catch ’em an’ kill ’em an’ put ’em inna box with labels, an’ neither Sparrow nor me much liked the idea. Poor butterflies!


Then, outta blue, I heard Wren holler: “Kestrel!”

It weren’t no happy-Wren voice. She wasn’t gonna gimme no cookies or nothin’. Cooper looked at me, an’ I looked at he, an’ we both kinda cringed.


But he didn’t go with me or nothin’. Nope, I hadda do it all by meself.  So off I went, wonderin’ if maybe I’d forgotten to match socks or if I done left m’ sword lyin’ out an’ about or if maybe maybe maybe Wren wanna gimme somethin’ nice, like a ice cream cone or somethin’!  I kinda walked a li’l faster then, thinkin’ maybe I weren’t inna trouble after all!

But I got inna main room, an’ alla that good thought went flyin’ ‘way, cuz I took one look atta Wren’s face an’ knew for sure I done somethin’ wrong.


Uh oh.  Big wrong, too.

“Hi, Wren,” I say.  “Whatcha need?”  Alla innocent-like, like I ain’t done nothin’ bad.  Cuz I still ain’t figure it out, an’ I’m standin’ there, lookin’ at her.

“Kestre,” she said, an’ her voice was calm down a bit, “did you forget something?”

I looked down at myself.  I was wearin’ a shirt, an’ pants, an’ I’d got on clean unders that mornin’, an’ I passed a brush through m’ hair, an’ another over teeth… “Um…shoes?”  I looked back uppa at Wren, hopin’ I got it right.


She pointed, an’ I followed her finger, an’ I bust out laughin’.  I think doin’ that wasn’t right, but I couldn’ help it none!


I slapped a hand over m’ mouth right quick, but I know for sure Wren heard the laugh, cuz she just gave a big sigh.  “You have to train her better, Kestrel.  She can’t go around, stealing shoes and making messes like she’s a little hooligan.  If you’re going to keep a puppy, you need to train it right.”

“She been wearin’ her collar, though.  She ain’t even snuck outta it much.”

Wren just kept givin’ me the look.

I sighed.  I thought the collar was good enough.  Time afore, puttin’ it onna Riley’s neck’d been enough t’ make Wren happy.  Guess I gotta figure out what more t’do.  I ain’t never own a dog afore.  How’m I gona train one?  I took the shoe ‘way from Riley an’ look it over.  Weren’t in bad condition, not yet.  There was just a little spot where you could see her teeth marks inna leather.  I didn’ think that’d make Wren happy, tho, so I set it down.


I gave it one last go, tho.  “Y’know, Wren, it’s an awfu shame we gotta make her like every other dog.  She’s kinda like a free spirit an’ all…”


Yea.  No.  She didn’ budge.  In fact, she had a very firm idea bout what I needa do with Riley, an’ she made it very clear.  I looked over at m’ pup, with her tongue hangin’ outta side her mouth an’ those big brown eyes she got, an’ I just knew we was in for a mess…

To Be Continued…

(Isn’t that cool?  Cooper told me I can do stuff like that!  He showed me inna book he been readin’, that summatime, the writer’s got a spot atta end wha’ say he ain’t done writin’, but the next part ain’t writ yet!  I figgered I outta try somethin’ like it too.)



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Alla we put on summin’ green cuz we don’t wanna get pinch by no leaper cons.  Cooper laughed when I said that, an’ he said I weren’t pronuncing the word right.  So I asked if it was leper cons.  He just laughed harder.

Wren saved me.  She said they was “leprechauns” (an’ she even spelled it alla way out).

So, yay, no pinchin’ from tiny green men.  Or sisters. Or brothers!  We’s all set.


Even Riley is safe from pinches:  she’s gotta li’l bitty stripe of green inna collar.


I likes this day.  Is alla green, an’ it’s my favoritest color.  An’ alla trees is startin’ to put on they green too, so the world’s geetin’ bit brigher an’ happier an’ more  alive.  I loves snow, true, but sometimes snow’s awful chilly.  An’ trees is nice too.  They don’t much care for snow.  Least, they leaves don’t.  So yay for spring.  An’ yay for green.

(Grammy Happy says she thinks maybe Cooper’n’me, we gotsa wee bitta Irish inna blood, cuz we gots red hair an’ all.  That’d be pretty neat.  Dunno how we gonna find out for sure, tho, so maybe it’s just somethin’ neat for to think bout)

An’, cuz I can’t resist, I taken some close up shots for alla we, cuz we all pretty up in alla we green.  Maybe we like trees too?

, StPatricksDay_Sparrow01StPatricksDay_Kestrel01StPatricksDay_Cooper_02StPatricksDay_Wren01

Happy clover day for alla you!!



Idles of March

Yesterday, Cooper told me we hadda be careful cuz it was the Idles of March.  An’ I’m like, whassat?  Isit a day when lazy people getta be honored or somethin’?  Or a day when we all getta be idle an’ lazy like little bums?  I kinda liked how that sounded, for true.

But he said no, it wasn’t Idles of March, but Ides of March.  An’ I hadda ask (again), whassat?  Cuz Ides  didn’t make any more sense.  Then I says no no, wait, lemme guess.

I asked if it was about twins.


Nope, wasn’t that.

I asked if it was about thinkin’ things, maybe like ideas, but without the A.

Nope, wasn’t that one.

I asked if it was about a buncha bugs that was gonna come swarmin’ through our house or somethin’, kinda like a buncha locusts.

Nope, wasn’t that either!

Finally, I just gave up, an’ asked him to tell me.  ‘Parently, these Ides of March are a day (but if it’s just one day, why’s it called Ides?  Ain’t that what you do when there’s more’n one thing?) when some famous dude died.  Cooper said he lived long long long ago, an’ his name’s Julius Caesar.  His son-in-law an’ a buncha senators killed him.  The dead guy’s name was Julius Caesar, an’ he ruled a place called Rome.  The guy what killed him was Brutus.

An’ then another old old dude named Shakespeare wrote a play about Julius Caesar an’ talked about these Ides of March.  “Beware the Ides of March,” he written, so lotsa people have gotten kinda scared ’bout the day.  I mean, a guy died an’ all, so I kinda see why they’d be worried!

But Wren say Ides hadda do with a calendar, an the Ides was when there was a full moon inna month, but that was all.  If is just the moon, I dunno why anybody gonna be ‘fraid of it.  But thatsa pretty cool idea, that the calendar is set by what th’ moon’s doin’.  Maybe we oughta go back an’ use that calendar again.  It’d be easy to track, ‘less there was lotsa clouds inna night.

Anyhow, the Ides is gone for now (‘less you think like Wren an’ realize it’s a moon thing, then there’s lotsa Ides to come still!).  But the baddest Ides is gone, an’ that’s good.

Tomorrow, we get a diffrent sorta day.  March 17.  St.Patrick’s Day!  Green an’ green an’ green.  Leaper Cons an’ pots of gold an’ shamrocks an’ stuff!

(Green’s my favorite color, so I’m lookin’ forward to alla fun!)

Sweet dreams, alla you!




Pi Day!

Well, alla fuss over nothin’.  Weren’t no snow onna ground this mornin, though there was plenty rain an’ some funny frozen ice drop stuff.  It hung onna tree an sparkle pretty, an I went out an kicked round it li’l bit, but it wasn’t much fun. Not like snow, an’ sleddin’, an buildin’ snowmen, an’ havin’ snowball fights an’ alla that.


Cooper says it’s pi day.  First off, I thought he meant pie day, an’ I was gonna tell him I ain’t too good at makin’ pies. But no, he say he mean “pi.”  ‘Parently, pi’s a number.  (kinda like four’s a number, or fifty’s a number, or half’s a number too).  But pi’s a funny number.  It ain’t…normal.  It ain’t got no end, just keeps on goin’ an’ goin’ an goin’ (like a line somebody forgot to stop drawin’?).  Cooper says pi’s a number used with figurin’ out how big a circle’s gonna be.  He said he wasn’t gonna give me the whole thing, but most people say pi is 3.14 (then he started listin’ off a whole buncha numbers:  3.141592653589793… an’ I kinda stopped listenin’…) 

If ya wanna whole whole pi number (an’ it’s big…’member, it ain’t got no end!), there’s a buncha people who made a website all about pi.  Check ’em out!  They’s nutters. They counted out a million digits for pi.  I guess they coulda kept goin’, but they probably got awful tired.  Website:





Lookit what Grammy Happy helped me make!  Jammies!!


I sewed ’em myself, so they ain’t fit too too good (not like clothes that’re made special an’ fitted an’…oh, whassa word?…tailored! that’s it!), but they’re comfy an’ nice.  An’ she sent home the pattern, so maybe Wren can use it to make some more for alla we (well, alla bigger girls.  Dunno if it’ll fit Littles.  Or Juniper an’ that lot.)

That makes one more thing I got checked offa to-do list so I can visit Pip inna summer!  Maybe I outta make a list.  Wren says lists’re good to have for keepin’ an eye on what needs doin’.  I think maybe it’s another big-dolli thing, too, like wearin’ dresses an’ bein’ responsible an’ rememberin’ to wear shoes inna snow an’ stuff.

(speakin’ of snow, it might maybe drop a few flakes onna we overnight!!  shhhh…don’t go scarin’ it ‘way.  But I’m gonna stay up a bit an’ keep an eye onna sky)

I know, I know…I’m gettin’ there.  One step atta time.