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Over twenty-two years ago I married the most wonderful man on the planet. About the same time Jamie Stemple married Paul Buchman. We spent every Tuesday night together for the next seven years. Four peas in a pod were we – except that Dave isn’t a documentary film maker, we didn’t live in an awesome NYC apartment, and we weren’t on a sitcom called Mad About You. Considering that none of the friends in our social circle and pretty much we didn’t know anyone our age that was married we found a ton in common with Paul & Jamie – right up until the point that they had a kid. Don’t get me wrong we still tuned in and loved every minute of it, but it was different. Until about three years ago, when Sabina came home. We had other dogs before her and even a puppy but nothing tested us like the bean.

When we brought Sabina home I was instantly smitten, she was the most beautiful thing EVER! Our first day was AWESOME and then we put her in her crate.  Every night for six weeks she complained. Well she screamed, all night – every night. It was so bad that we actually moved to the guest room, to get some sleep. One night when I was very over tired, exhausted, and pretty much in tears I decided to watch a little TV. In part I was trying to drown out the complaining, in part I was hoping that I would fall asleep. Well folks there isn’t much on in the middle of the night and then I stumbled across my old friends Paul and Jamie, they hadn’t aged a bit.

It was a repeat of one of the best episodes ever – Mabel wasn’t sleeping in her own bed and each time they tried to leave her she wailed. Finally at their wit’s end they try Ferberize her (google it). The episode is shot in one sequence, no commercial breaks, no edits – one shot from beginning to end. I cried when I watched it this time too. It was good to have our old friends back and remind me that they (and Mabel) turned out just fine. I would like to report that the very next night Sabina slept fine in her crate – nope. I however saw the whole sleeping (or not sleeping thing) in a whole new light – really just saw that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. She was actually getting better and today she LOVEs her crate.

Over the next three years we have had many other pups come in and out of our house, some we have raised, some were fosters, some where just visiting, some liked their crate and some didn’t. The fact is that I have loved everyone one of them – you might say I am Mad About CCI Pups – and in the end all of them have loved their crate. Last week we brought (back) home two beautiful puppies. As fate would happen one loves her crate and one inherited her mother’s distaste for crate life. We have put the Ferber-method back into play (and had some reassuring coaching from our awesome trainer) and less than a week later we still have one pup who loves her crate and one who probably not happy but is not nearly as stubborn her mom and is settling into crate life – quietly.

While Paul and Jamie haven’t aged a bit Dave and I have. We still don’t live in a fancy apartment in NYC, we have made it through lots of good times and a few rough patches, we also have a wonderful dog that is the center of our life (but miss seeing Murray every week who was “our” dog when we couldn’t have one), and we finally came into parenthood in our own way. You know if we ever have an M litter there will be a MABEL, because as Grandma Stemple told us Mothers Always Bring Extra Love – MABEL.