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My husband is an early to bed early to rise sort of guy – ick. I am what he calls a late night party girl. To be clear my idea of a late night party is staying up reading till one or two in the morning, but once you are up past ten in his opinion you are living on the wild side. Sigh. So about 9:15 last night he said ready for bed? My brain is screaming UH NO ARE YOU KIDDING IT HAS ONLY BEEN DARK FOR LIKE FIVE MINUTES AND I AM DOWNLOADING A BOOK! and my mouth said “sure.” About that time I see a fire truck head down our street.

No sirens or anything but a big ol’ fire truck. I didn’t think much of it, besides my prior career as a 911 dispatcher was exciting enough that I don’t need to be a “looky-loo.” I start to get off the couch and I see fire vehicle number two, three, and four go by followed by a couple police cars. I say to Dave did you see that? He says “Nope, what?” I mostly said something because I know he will go out and look and I am sort of curious at this point.

He goes out real quick and comes back in and says that something is on fire, by our neighbor’s house. Our neighbor who has kids, OH NO and out I go to check on them! Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t let a neighbor without kids burn up or anything but as a matter of principle you have to take in in small kids and dogs. So I rush outside (to be one of the 10 or 15 looky-loos) and see that it is not the house and it is the field beyond our houses. Quick check around and see that everyone is okay and I head back in. As I approach the door I see four eyes and two tails staring back at me. This time my brain screams “TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!”

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a twist let me set the scene. The field in question is well over 50 yards away and I can’t even see the fire from my front porch. We can see some embers in the air and are just starting to smell a little smoke but we are up wind. Most of the fire equipment has continued down the street and entered the field through a fire access road. There are two big trucks in the court across the way with their lights on but no sirens. The only noise is the sound of the fire dispatch radios and the idling of the truck. So we leash up MJ (that is short for monster jam, which is a deviation of the nickname Cate Monster – that is for another blog post), grab the treat bag and head out – well Dave did.

They are out there about ten minutes so I finally go and check on them. Cate couldn’t have cared less. She was far more concerned with getting belly rubs from the looky-loos, I mean my neighbors, than with anything else. When they first came out she was interested in watching what was going on, but once she figured out that all those weirdly dressed people had were fire hoses and not kibble she wasn’t interested.

This is what puppy raising is all about. Safely exposing your puppy to everything you can think of so that they grow up to be well socialized, confident pup. Sometimes that means you do crazy things like take your puppy out so that she can watch the lights of a fire truck or make a trail of kibble up to the scary lawn lion at the local hardware store. (yes I actually did that) You ask people you don’t know to let your dog meet them, you make your family wait at the door for ten minutes before they can come in because you are working on excited greetings, and from time to time you have excuse yourself because your puppy just piddled in Nordstroms – on the carpet. Puppy raising is a fun, crazy, adventure that has certainly made our lives richer.

(PS – our little neighborhood survived the fire just fine, no people, animals, or structures were harmed in the making of this post.)

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