accomplishment ACE Adopt the Internet Day advocate AKC ALIVE Andrea Arden APDT attention aversives beagle beds Be the Change for Animals Bianca bibliophile birthday blessings blog hop BlogPaws board and train Boston Terrier bullied by the blog C.L.A.S.S. call to action CCPDT CDSP certification Certified Pet Dog Trainer change chapter 1 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Christmas Cincinnati click and treat clicker expo clicker training coming when called commitment common sense communication competion coupon cpdt CPDT-KA craft crisis response C-WAGS Dads Daisy decisions dog shows dog training dominance Easter economy emotions empathy equine facebook Face of Crisis family focus food Fortunate Fido Frames of Mind fraud Gardner giving goals group class harness holy week house guest humanity Husker Ian Dunbar individuals instinct integral internet Jade Jean Donaldson joy K9 Chaplains K9 Comfort Dogs Karen Pryor Ken McCort Lake Township Lana Mitchell learning learning theory leash aggression life experience lifestyle training living positively mama beagle Meagan Melissa Alexander minature horse Morgan Specter Mr. Chewy mule Nevada Humane Society Never Shock a Puppy normal Northern Illinois University Open House openminded opportunity pack theory Parents of Murdered Children party Patricia McConnell peace personality pet blogger challenge Pet Blogger Hop Pets without Parents Philadelphia polite greetings POMC positive reinforcement positive reinforcement clicker training precious priorities product review puppies puppy class Rainbow Bridge Rally Obedience relationships relaxing research review rewards routine safe versus dangerous service dogs SPA sports stress success Sue Ailsby Sweet Spots Doggy Ice Cream TDInc. teacher technology The Clicked Retriever therapy dogs thinking time tools tornado toys training plan training tip travel tricks twitter unconditional love video work in progress

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We are here for YOU

It's been a long time.  I have no excuses.  I haven't felt good about writing, so I haven't.  But I need to write again and I have to start somewhere.  I guess this is a good place to start.

Why do we do therapy dog work and crisis responses?  Personally, it elicits feelings and characteristics in me that nothing else can.  It brings me great peace and great joy and great sorrow.  When it becomes a chore, we reevaluate the entire situation and change what needs to be changed.  When it is a chore, it doesn't do anyone any good at all.

But the biggest reason we do therapy dog work and crisis responses is for those we serve.  We are here for them.  We want them to know that above all else, we are doing this because we want to do it for them.  "Why are you here?"  "We are here for YOU."  "But why?"  "For YOU."  "That's really cool."

If you are doing therapy dog work or crisis response with your dog and you are doing it for any reason other than for them, reconsider.  It is not about you or even your dog.  It's about those we serve.  Period.  Those we serve, their needs, their crises.  Be there for them.  Do it for them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

Repeat Offenders

If you participated in the Challenge last year we can’t wait to see how things have changed for you in the past twelve months. Here are your eight questions:

1. Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
Expanding my knowledge.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
My goals have changed.  We adopted two puppies about the same time as last year's challenge and my focus completely turned around.  I wish I could be someone who documents every step of our journey, but that doesn't seem to work for least not in this format.

4. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?  Nope!
Which are you doing now?  The the spirit moves me.
Do you still worry about lost traffic, momentum, etc?  Not anymore.  My family and my dogs are my priorities and my blog is what it is.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?  No.
Has this changed since last year?  No.
If you are generating income, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?
If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?  This is still a goal of mine.  I have been asked to do a review or two and I really enjoyed that.  I still don't know really how to go about this and I would still like to learn more.

6. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year?  Not really.  I still love my blog as a forum for my thoughts and for accountability.  I also always still want to know more about how to make my blog look more like what is in my head.  I just am not there yet.

7. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011?  Not with my blog...with my dogs, with my family, with my job -- Yes.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?  I am going to keep the same goals and add to it being more regular with posting.  I love the idea of my blog being a legacy for my family.  If that's what I want, I need to be sure to post.

Enjoy all the great blogs!!!  This is one of my favorite days!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mr. Chewy

I love internet shopping!  It is so much easier for me and fits my lifestyle so well.  I can have my dogs with me while I shop, I don't get pushed or shoved, I don't have to deal with rude, less than informed salespeople, and if I shop at the right websites, I can get what I want or need in a matter of days without it costing an arm and a leg.  For me, this is the way to shop.  I have a short list of favorite places to shop online -- those with excellent customer service, product selection, and user friendliness. is now on my short list!!!!

I discovered Mr. Chewy last Friday when I received an email inviting me to visit their site and do some shopping. (For the record, I chose to shop at their website, but I did use a great promo code they emailed me.)  The website is very straightforward and user friendly -- I had no problem finding some of our dogs' favorite treats and chewies.  I found the prices to be very competitive (and you get free shipping on orders over $49!).

Since it's so close to Christmas, I chose to splurge and get some of their favorite Merrick Flossie chewys.  Not an every day treat for my dogs!  But the price was awesome, shipping was free, and the service at Mr. Chewy's was fabulous!!!

I placed my order on Friday evening and received it on Tuesday afternoon.  What a phenomenal response time!  I heard almost immediately that my order had been received and was being processed, along with a link to track my order through the system.  

The dogs know my order came (duh!), but it's put away until Christmas morning.  You'll have to check back to see how much they love ALL of their Christmas presents!!!!

I am very pleased with Mr. Chewy and will continue to shop there.  I love a good internet shopping site and I am so glad I found Mr. Chewy!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Puppies are 1 Year Old!!!

Whew!  I think I am very tired.  This last year has been a whirlwind.  I look back and I wonder where the year has gone.  One year ago today we had 10 4-week-old puppies, their mama, and our two dogs in the house.  How did we do it?!?!?  I have no idea.  I have decided to chalk it up to the power of love because I truly do not know how we could have done it otherwise.

Last month we had a Puppy Birthday Party.  We were blessed to have six of the ten puppies come back for the party.  We had a wonderful day and many memories were made.  I love my puppies and am so very blessed through everything they have brought to us.  Special thanks to Monica Callahan of SPOTLess Designs -- she custom made each of the puppies a birthday collar.  They are wonderful -- something to cherish and get out each year around their birthdays.

A quick update on what we are doing with them and then some pictures from the party...Elphie is our clown.  She lives to target and to chew.  Her attention when working with her is phenomenal.  Meagan, Kendra and I have all worked with her and we all love her work ethic.  Meagan wants to do some flyball with her and we are starting to work on her therapy dog registration.  Dolly is the lover, the sensitive soul.  (She hates when I raise my voice to anyone in the house!).  She loves to do her tricks, to sniff and to snuggle.  She is doing very well with therapy dog work and her attention is improving every day (darn beagle nose!).  Ken and I struggle with the differences and are learning to love them.  Kendra is young enough to be ultra flexible and isn't bothered by it.  Nellie and Grace are in Indiana and doing a lot of Rally and Obedience.  They also want to do some therapy work.  Layla is with a wonderful family and she is perfect for them -- the kids love her and she loves them.  Emmett is a happy farm boy!!!  He travels a little with them and they hope he will doing a lot more traveling in the future.  Zuko's mama is away at college, so he waits patiently at home for her and plays with her younger brother.  Zip is our Nebraska puppy and she loves her Aussie brother, Zeb.  She had an interesting (not so good) habit of liking metal objects -- perhaps we should be training her for Utility?!?!?  Meeka and Nike are in Michigan loving their big yard and their loving family.

And pictures!!!!

Elphie, Meagan, Dolly, and Kendra

Kristen's Cake Pops for the Humans!!!  Yum!!!

Elphie, Meagan, and Lily

Puppy Birthday Ice Cream

Lucas, Logan, Lily, and Layla

Dolly and Kendra

Blowing bubbles for puppies

The best group photo we could muster!
Handsome Emmett!

Hope and one of her pups with our friends and their dog Puggsly (a puppy friend!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A fork in the road...

Dear Friends,

It is with mixed emotions that I write this today. I have been presented with several wonderful opportunities to teach more advanced classes and workshops. We believe in order to best serve our students, something has to give. After looking at the big picture, discussing with our family and much prayer, we decided to give up our training facility in Fremont. We feel it is the best possible scenario for all of us – we will still be teaching classes locally and I will be able to teach at other facilities, judge, and lead workshops without being tied down to the building.

I will continue to offer private, in-home or on-location sessions, as well as outdoor classes when the weather cooperates. I am working locally with Bark Avenue Pet Boutique to offer some classes in their store and I am also going to be looking for other locations to offer classes. (Please, if you have any ideas, please share them!) I will continue to do day camp and boarding at the house. I would like to add dog walks in various locations, as well as other dog outings. We will maintain our wholesale accounts so that we can continue to get food, treats, and other supplies for our students. I am currently studying for the Certified Canine Behavior Consultant exam in November and I will still take that. God willing, I will pass with flying colors and will be able to add that to my certifications.

We will be giving up the building at the end of November. Class attendance is typically very low in the winter and utilities are high. Until that time, we will continue with our ongoing classes (Rally, Obedience, Agility for Fun, and S*T*A*R Puppy) and we will complete our current series (Canine Life Skills and It’s All Tricks). The website will continue and I will keep the calendar up to date as well as linking to the appropriate websites when I am teaching at other facilities.

Please don’t forget, if you are willing to drive just a bit farther, I would love to see you at one of the other training facilities! There will also be classes offered locally at different locations. Thank you all for your support and your commitment to positive reinforcement training. Ken, Meagan, and Kendra send their love and gratitude to you!!! They have loved sharing their lives with you and they will also miss you. It is because of you all that this decision is so difficult. If you need anything at any time, please contact me.

This is not good-bye, and we look forward to the next leg of our journey.

Laurie Buchele

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Her Senior Year

This usually is the place I talk about our life with our dogs.  But today I feel I must talk about our life with our oldest daughter, Meagan.  Yesterday she began her Senior year of high school.  The journey with her, and with our dogs, is amazing!!!

Meagan is our "brainiac."  She is smart -- both book and street.  She is logical, compassionate, faithful, loving, quiet, reserved, talented, musical, adventurous, empathetic -- she is an awesome young lady.  She never ceases to amaze me with what she is doing, can do, will do.

I credit Meagan for helping us get into dogs and dog training.  When we first started getting more "into" dogs, she was our faithful companion at dog shows.  I have wonderful memories of both girls taking notebooks to dog shows and keeping lists of all the different breeds they saw.  She saw Conformation and Junior Showmanship and told me she wanted to try that.  So we explored our options and Meagan began training Daisy for the Junior Showmanship ring.  Meagan loved Junior Showmanship!  It was truly a shining moment for both Meagan and Daisy.  They trained with several outstanding dog people and did wonderfully in the ring.  Meagan achieved her three Novice wins (including one at the Beagle Nationals!) and moved into the Open division.  It was at this time we opted to take a "sabbatical" from the Junior ring.  (Long story...and while it was a tough decision, it was a mutual decision.)  I think Meagan still has dreams of being in the Conformation ring again someday (at least I hope so!).

I also credit Meagan for showing me what having food in the ring can do for a dog.  I might never have tried other venues (that allow food) if it weren't for the different attitude I saw in Daisy when she was with Meagan in the Junior ring.  I saw how animated and happy Daisy was and I realized that Daisy needs to have food for feedback, information, and reinforcement in the ring.  It has even made our time in the rings where food is not allowed, better and more positive because Daisy now knows the show/trial ring is a good place to be.

Now Meagan is moving (quickly!) into a new phase in her life.  Going with her is her puppy, Elphie.  The puppies were not the road any of us thought we were going to be traveling, but I don't think any of us are in a hurry to change our direction!  Meagan and Elphie are a wonderful team!!!  Meagan has done a wonderful job of raising her puppy.  Elphie is a joy to work in the Rally ring for Kendra and I and Meagan is having fun working her in the Obedience ring.  I am so proud of the young ladies both Meagan and Elphie are becoming!!!!

Meagan is applying to several colleges and plans to study Biological Anthropology (remember? I told you she was the brainiac!).  She is busy, busy, busy at school with four AP classes, Spanish 4, and band.  It's going to go by much too quickly I'm afraid.

I am a crier.  I cry at commercials on television, the National Anthem at events, musicals, and just because.  It's going to be a long, short Senior year with lots of tissues in my pocket!!!!  But I am also excited about what's ahead for Meagan.  Her future is bright and the possibilities are infinite.  What more could a mom ask for?

Meagan and Elphie, May 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Positive Versus Negative

I've always been honest with all of you.  And to be honest, I haven't been feeling like blogging.  I wholeheartedly believe in positive reinforcement training for animals.  In light of that, I try to live positively and blog positively.  And I just haven't been feeling that this summer.  

The Rescue C.L.A.S.S. is going very well.  (If you are interested in adopting one of these wonderful dogs with their training started, please contact  Other classes in general are going very well.  The puppies are thriving and our older dogs are staying healthy and loving life.  The kids are good and my husband has a good job and is doing well.

So what's wrong?  The attitudes of people who think that being the "alpha" and dominating their dog is a good idea, the people who believe that pit bulls and pit mixes are all bad and should be euthanized, the people who don't work with their dogs thinking they are "too stupid" to learn and bond, the people who assume (and we all know what happens when people assume!), people who continue to refuse to take advantage of our world and its technology and choose to remain ignorant, and the list goes on.  Why?  Why does it have to be this way?  Why can't we all respect each other's opinions?  Why can't we be nice to each other?  Why can't we be nice to our animals and give them the respect they deserve?

I understand the people who subscribe to pack and dominance theory.  I used to be that person.  But I think the picture is much bigger, much more global.  Scientists have known for years the complexities and the beauty and the grandeur of the animal kingdom.  It is an amazing field of study and I hope I am always a willing student.

I know this all sounds like "why can't we just get along" rhetoric.  But it's much bigger than that.  Our attitudes are affecting our world.  We are on the brink of everything changing in our country with the debt crisis.  Maybe it's time to actually work together and do what needs to be done.  I don't have the answers.  I just know if we don't do something positive, we aren't going to have much to offer anyone or any animals.

It's time to pass it on, to commit random acts of kindness, to live positively.  Both with humans and animals.  Do something nice today for someone or for an animal.  If we all do one nice thing, what a HUGE change in the world that would make.