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Good and Bad Things About Your Dog

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Periodically, I wonder how my dogs would describe my own good and bad behaviors. I have many shortcomings. Yet everyday, they show

patience, forgiving natures, and the unrelenting attitude that any time we are together is just the best.

Me too. My dogs and cats and I are a family, (or pack if you prefer), and we all put up with annoying behavior in each other. I am daily grateful for their companionship.

 

Jester gets into the garbage or anything else he can if left alone in the house more than 5 minutes. If left in a crate he will destroy it. Now, mind you, this behavior started when he was 10 years old, and prior to that he was 100% reliable when left alone and loose for any length of time in the house. He also likes to annoy the cat, and hates to have anyone reach for his collar, even me. He will threaten to bite if anyone does that unless it is done just right. Again, this behavior came late in life. He doesn't like children. On the good side: everything else. Fast learner, wonderful companion, great recall, off-leash reliability, good dancer, friendly, good-natured, interesting, obedient and playful, with so much heart that at 14 he has barely slowed down.

 

Kit loves to bark, and to howl back at the coyotes. She tends to be grouchy with, and snark at, the other dogs but in her defense that is mostly because she has arthritis and wants to keep them from bumping into her. She loves every person she meets and is never grouchy with a human being. She is sweet, affectionate, playful, obedient, and funny.

 

Boo (white fluffy dog who is probably some sort of poodle mix): He is pushy, pushy, pushy. With me and with the other dogs. And he is somewhat fearful. On the good side, he learns fast, is beautifully obedient, loves everyone and stands like a statue for grooming (which, with a coat like his, is a very good quality to have). He is like a live teddy bear - always happy, always cheerful, always sweet and loving and ready to play or cuddle.

 

Digger, the terrier.....Well, I have been sitting here really trying to come up with something I would fault in this dog and honestly I can't think of anything. I know that sounds ridiculous, but he just doesn't seem to have a fault. He likes everyone he meets, is gentle with children, is playful and sweet and affectionate and wants nothing more than to be at my side 24/7. He is reliable when left alone, has a good recall, likes everyone he meets whether two or four legged, but never pushes it if someone doesn't want to get to know him. He's wicked smart and learns everything I teach him as fast or faster than any border collie I have ever trained. Despite his name (which I did not give to him), he has never dug a hole. I can call him off a rabbit in full chase and he will return to me. I can train him using celery or pieces of apple for treats (although of course I also use other things). The only thing he doesn't like is to be groomed, but he just stands there and tolerates it anyway. Even when the other dogs are barking, he doesn't bark unless there is actually something to bark at.

Before I met Digger, I did not have any interest in terriers. I know he is an exceptionally good dog, and maybe most terriers are not like him, but I have to admit that he has changed my outlook towards terriers.

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Before I met Digger, I did not have any interest in terriers. I know he is an exceptionally good dog, and maybe most terriers are not like him, but I have to admit that he has changed my outlook towards terriers.

I work at a pharmacy and a lady happened to walk by today with her Yorkshire Terrier. She had him completely off leash (surprising since the area gets a lot of foot traffic and there are cars right outside) and he was crazy well-behaved. I was honestly so surprised! He sat and posed for us to take pics of him and he wasn't pushy, but still very friendly. Then when she left, he just followed her out. Kieran is good about staying with me, but I'd still be so scared to have him walking freely in a place like that.

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The Bad: Miss Nat chews. She loves socks and it is a constant effort to keep her away from them. When my family sorts the laundry into baskets on laundry day we have to make sure there are no socks on top. Thankfully Nattie just shreds and doesn't consume her sock treasures but I have read enough accounts of socks having to be surgically removed to be extremely cautious.

 

Miss Nat is sensitive to certain sounds. I finally got her used to helicopters, dirt bikes, and Air Force jets only to find that she is afraid of the boys across the street playing basketball. A few days ago I spent a half an hour sitting in my front yard feeding my pup boiled chicken while the neighbor boys played basketball in their driveway.

 

Loose leash walking. Nattie is attempting to qualify for the Iditarod.

 

The Good: Nattie loves all people and all dogs. She always tags along to the agility class where my daughter is running the dog of a friend and Nattie gets so excited the minute we pull into the driveway. She has such a sweet disposition and loves to meet a new friend.

 

Nattie learns so fast and is very adventurous. She is so much fun at puppy agility and is very eager to show off the tricks my daughter has taught her.

 

The best quality of my pup is that she is happy. From the minute she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night life is a wonderful adventure. I am amazed at how many times I have changed my attitude by just seeing her happy little face.

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I love this thread!

 

Keeper's bad: We feel the need to pee on EVERYTHING. Ok, not everything. Nothing inappropriate. But every blade of grass, every shrub, every leaf, it's all in the line of fire. Really, he's just a little overly sexually charged at the moment. Lots of chattering, sniffing, etc.

 

He stares at one particular cat a little too much. Of course it's the "fun" cat who likes to taunt him and swat when he gets too close.

 

He has some occasional teenager moments. His recall is *almost* perfect, but sometimes he's just so distracted playing with friends that he doesn't even hear it. He doesn't willingly ignore me, he just literally has no idea I'm calling him.

 

Keeper's good: He really is so incredibly bombproof. I didn't get a hint of the sensitivity most people encounter with the breed, he is almost literally afraid of nothing. He gets a touch looky and protective at night (especially to the evil snowman in the front lawn) but other than that he is ready to conquer the world. Before Christmas he even was less than 500 feet from BIG fireworks being set off from the fire station for a holiday festival (We all assumed they were done and started heading back to the car) and didn't bat an eye.

 

He suddenly has turned on drive-wise. He was almost too low drive for me for a while, which I can't believe I'm saying given that he's my first dog. I would have been happy with him anyway, but his toy drive has gone through the roof which makes training much more fun.

 

He's an absolute blast to train. He picks up on things super quickly, but mostly he's just super motivated to learn. He'll do anything that gets him praise. We've worked heavily on rear targets over the past month, so now he assumes EVERYTHING is a rear target. He'll get up on walls, books, or anything in the area. It's not exactly ideal, but I LOVE that he's so happy to offer behaviors.

 

Really, he's just perfect. I'm a touch biased, though. :rolleyes:

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Dear Doggers,

 

I must be on a different page because the "Good" "Bad" categories don't make sense to me. As I mentioned in post #8, my dogs must have courage to try and mannerliness to accompany me. That settled they can be whatever they are, whatever they wish to be. Almost all of them will be with me until they die. All have personality quirks. If they annoy me I'll train or manage them differently. It's up to me not them.

 

What guides me isn't their fears or eccentricities or inabilities to adapt perfectly to a world canis familiarus wasn't designed for. What guides me is those surpassing moments when they give me a glimpse of a Border Collie's soul. When June walked into a South Carolina kindergarden and instantly understood her job - to lie flat on her back so every child who wished could pat her belly - although June had never, ever shown any interest in belly patting until that moment nor afterwards.

 

Or Fly, so connected to me I could forget about her - I didn't even know where she was - to concentrate on a single ewe for delicate, delicate sheepwork until Fly came in for an impossible shed.

 

Or Luke, quivering, literally shaking as he inched forward containing wild welsh ewes at the mouth of the maltese cross.

 

My dogs are always good or at least good enough. I ask a lot of them. Sometimes they change my life.

 

Donald McCaig

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I am finding this thread fascinating and helpful. I think we all (almost) understand that the terms good and bad are just a colloquial way of expressing the things they do that please us and those less so. Or the things that puzzle us and the things that seem sensible. I don't think it's supposed to be a value judgment.

 

I'm realizing that many of the "unexpected" things that Freyja does definitely belong on the continuum of normalcy for border collies. When she shies of things that are to us common and harmless, it doesn't make her cowardly, just cautious. It's an act of great faith and courage to just to come down the stairs every day to a life that is so very different from what she's known. She might be the bravest little dog ever!

 

I don't know her well enough yet to say what is "good or bad" about her. I hope to, though.

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Even in this house there is no consensus on good and bad.

 

Some things are bad to me because they annoy my husband and make

him grumpy, not because they bother me personally.

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I'm not perfect. Neither are my dogs. A big part of life is taking the good with the bad. I try to meet the "bad" with due concern or, where appropriate, a healthy sense of humor.

 

I don't really refer to my dogs as "bad" dogs, nor to their behavior as "bad". But if I am honest, I can definitely point out traits that fall short of perfection in them.

 

Although mostly I think they are perfect . . . :D

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I work at a pharmacy and a lady happened to walk by today with her Yorkshire Terrier. She had him completely off leash (surprising since the area gets a lot of foot traffic and there are cars right outside) and he was crazy well-behaved. I was honestly so surprised! He sat and posed for us to take pics of him and he wasn't pushy, but still very friendly. Then when she left, he just followed her out. Kieran is good about staying with me, but I'd still be so scared to have him walking freely in a place like that.

Cool story.

I now understand that there can be exceptions to any commonly understood fact about a certain dog breed. I have known a vicious Labrador. I have known a highly intelligent IG. I have known other dogs who defy the stereotypes of their breeds, and these days I try hard not to make assumptions about a dog based on his or her breed.

 

I guess that I had never thought of terriers as dogs who could be *sensible*. But apparently I was wrong about that, because That little Yorkshire was obviously a sensible dog, as is Digger. I would take Digger anywhere with me, and would expect his behavior to make me proud. So far, he always has (although just on principle I would never walk any dog, even Digger, in the city without a leash). Another very good thing about him is that if I teach him something, he will always and immediately do it no matter where we are. Other dogs I have trained have had to be taught that the cue means the same thing no matter what environment we are in. (OK, sorry, I will stop bragging about my little terrier now. This is a border collie forum!)

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Cool story.

I now understand that there can be exceptions to any commonly understood fact about a certain dog breed. I have known a vicious Labrador. I have known a highly intelligent IG. I have known other dogs who defy the stereotypes of their breeds, and these days I try hard not to make assumptions about a dog based on his or her breed.

 

I guess that I had never thought of terriers as dogs who could be *sensible*. But apparently I was wrong about that, because That little Yorkshire was obviously a sensible dog, as is Digger. I would take Digger anywhere with me, and would expect his behavior to make me proud. So far, he always has (although just on principle I would never walk any dog, even Digger, in the city without a leash). Another very good thing about him is that if I teach him something, he will always and immediately do it no matter where we are. Other dogs I have trained have had to be taught that the cue means the same thing no matter what environment we are in. (OK, sorry, I will stop bragging about my little terrier now. This is a border collie forum!)

 

Yea, it's easy to make assumptions, although some traits are just genetic and part of the breed. The terrier was 15 though, so maybe it took her a lot of training to get to that point :D. In all seriousness though, I think she said he had been that way all his life. I just found it a funny coincidence that you mentioned Digger and he sounds exactly like the terrier I randomly happened to see. Most people don't bring dogs in to pharmacies.

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I do not think of Molly - or any other of my dogs - as 'bad' or lacking. I don't care that the terrier doesn't like to train, I don't mind that Kylie's soft and shy or that Bug's prone to ignoring me. Those are, IMO, personality traits.


I DO Care that Molly is reactive, because to me that says she's uncomfortable and lacks more appropriate coping skills. So we work on it. It doesn't impact my relationship with her, it's just something to work on for her sake. Thud's over the top prey-drive is something that's more of a problem for me than her, because he's enormous and if he loses it and 'boils over' I risk breaking my teeth on the asphalt. So we work on that.

 

Mostly, though, anyone who pays any attention to me will know I am completely crazy about my dogs. They FIT me, they love me, they work their hearts out for me (in various ways) and I just straight up adore them.

 

I just... also see areas to work on. "It's not a destination, it's a journey". That applies both to training and our relationships. It all gets better with time, and so do I.

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I certainly don't think of Micah as bad due to having food allergies. I think of "bad" as what make them more work to live with, or maybe the things we have to consciously work around, not naughty.

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Problems-

-She was a rescue and was horribly abused and not socialized (very traumatic past) so she has always had a fear of other dogs. If we are walking and one approaches she starts barking and growling..guessing fear aggression..never bitten..not anything like that but she is vocal. I've gotten her so that if another dog approaches she is to sit and look at me until the dog passes and then I give her a great.

-she sheds so unbelievably much! I can stroke her and have a handful of fur

-hates the car

 

Great points-

- incredibly intelligent..she can pick up commands tricks within minutes

-the amount of human vocabulary she understands blows my mind..

- loyal

-follows me around everywhere ;) making me feel loved

-my best friend! Loving

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Daisy- good: loving, affectionate, eager to train, playful.

 

Bad- escape artist, loves stealing any kind of food, hit me across the face so hard yesterday in play that I have a big red bruised streak down my face.

 

Good- well, at least she missed my eye!

 

Terrier girl. Good: brave, into whatever I'm doing, helpful, affectionate, can read me like a book, recruits me into helping her do things.

 

Bad: Yes, it's cold, you have arthritis, you still have to go outside. And why isn't she younger, so I know I have more time with her?

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Roscoe !!!!!

I find myself shouting that from time to time,

worst trait of lil Roscoe has got to be the fact that he loved his bed, until he shredded it on the second day he had it. And he loved our sofas thru and thru, just like he loved all the pillows on the sofas, well that problem has been solved, we just don't have them any more. Roscoe loves shoes too, mostly mine. He really likes to dig, hes big on digging, BIG , He also loves shadows,so much so that he will make his nose bleed pouncing on them, silly dog,running water, going to have to get that, water does not stand a chance. Birds in trees, not on Roscoes watch. this list can go on for hours, just like Roscoe.

 

Roscoe.

my good boy,

he is very loving, loyal , friendly , and fun to be with.

he loves to make me proud of him, he listens well , if not focused on a shadow , he is a great lil watch dog, he sees and hears everything,he gets along with Boecephous "our Lab" and Drew "our mutt" very well, herding them around, hes great off leash, hes a great swimmer, thanks to Boe. he is very smart and learns very quickly.Hes good with the kids and my wife, Hes a GREAT dog . Just wish he would get a job so he can pay for my couch.

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We have had Max for 9 months. He is a rescue dog from a hoarder situation. He is the most loving dog. He follow me around everywhere. If I lay down on the floor he will come and lay down next to me and want belly rubs. He has made huge improvements since we first got him. He didn't know how to play fetch and now loves going to the field to play fetch. He does this little prance dance when he is running. We have tenants who have a chocolate lab and their dog is the only one so far he will play with. I love watching the two of them play. He loves when the boys come home from school. He hears the bus and jumps up in the window to watch them. He loves playing with one of our cats and they sleep next to each other. He can be left on his own and doesn't do anything destructive.

 

He needs improvement on leash walking. He constantly pulls and barks at cars and other dogs but we are working on it. He hates loud noises but he has gotten better. He thinks the litter box is a buffet. He has been the best investment ever spent. He is a work in progress but we all are.

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Gidget 13 months rescued aprox 7 months ago. Is being trained to be a mobility service dog.

 

Bad things. She is forever coming up with new bad habits, no sooner is one issue resolved a new one pops up. She just about quit eating, yet guarding her food bowl protecting it from everything, shadows people other dogs you name it. She would run to that food bowl and guard over it hunched over letting everyone know it was not to be touched, or lay watching it like it was going to run away. I took her to the store let her pick out her very own food bowl, problem solved

 

She has decided it is great fun to untie my shoes while on outdoor off leash play time. That has not worked out as fun as she thought it was lol.

 

Heal. Now don't get me wrong here, little girl can heal like a dream! She has more then one way that we walk due to my disability and heal is just not good enough for her, she seems to think that she is to always be tending to my needs and healing is just not doing what she should. she likes to be a bit more in front of me guiding me keeping me from walking crooked or possibly falling over. She is great about loose leash walking in that position she just is not happy at my side she wants to be up in front a bit. though in public at public places I have no problems what ever I want. Part of it is she don't like her toes stepped on and yes that happens time to time so I don't really blame her.

 

She thinks she is a princess

 

Good things

 

I can call her off a flock of geese, quail, chickens, deer you name it! She knows to leave them alone and totally ignores them. She no longer takes off on me, comes when called!! Her barking has gotten better. She has been learning things very fast, anything I ask of her so far she has learned to do and doing rather well. She has learned to play well with other dogs, she just loves loves to play with dogs any dogs now no matter how big they are.

 

 

She has come to trust me more and more, in-spite of the terrible things that happened to her and I. Gidg has learned that I can and will protect her and keep us safe, it is not all her responsibility to protect us both from everything and everyone. She has a new sort calm about her, when unsure about things now she gives me this look. I can not describe the look but I know what it means. I just give her a simple reassuring nod and she knows everything is fine, she goes back to whatever she is doing, just a simple nod...... Wow have we come a long way!

 

We have come a long way, I have to say She and I both are stronger, more confident it is amazing! In fact I WE are getting ready for a huge change in our life, we are preparing to make a bit of a long distance move here in the next few months. Going to miss our awesome trails we love so much, the dog park and well the weather too. We are leaving this big crazy city and all the craziness behind. Moving to a small town in Texas, with no tweakers and so much less confusion. Time to find new trails new lakes to play in, in a simpler more relaxing way of life out in the country :) Who knows maybe I will get some chickens :)

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Cowboy,

 

Good thing: He sees ghosts.

Bad thing: He sees ghosts.

 

Good thing: He is ball obsessed.

Bad thing: He is ball obsessed.

 

Good thing: He is fearless, except around small children.

Bad thing: He is fearless, except around small children.

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This is fun to read! Especially to know that everyone has challenges- sometimes it feels like it's just my dog;)

 

Jolene: 10 months old

 

Things we're working on, slowly but surely:

-Leash reactivity, but it's getting better and better

-She is usually the loudest dog at the park- she loves to wait behind a dog waiting on its owner to throw the ball and just demand bark her head off, or "referee" two dogs playing by circling and barking. Loudly.

-She resource guards me and my husband from other dogs, growling nipping at the air in front of their face if they come too close

-I'm pretty sure she prefers to jump on houseguests wearing skirts

 

The ways she amazes us everyday:

-She knows her toys by name (although still gets distracted by the one she may want more at the time)

-Her "leave it" is superb

-Her recall is improving greatly

-She loves being outside, catching bugs, watching the trees

-She cuddles on our bed, but when we flip the lights out, she hurries off to her own bed for the night- something we never taught her

-She's a road trip trooper- quietly enjoyed 3000 miles over the holidays and was a great companion

-She learns things so quickly, it blows my mind

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SuperGibbs has not a single bad trait! There are a few, a very few, I find annoying.

 

Annoying - incessant yodeling when excited.

Pulls on leash and is getting better.

Not quite affectionate enough to his human, and only on his schedule. He seems to prefer mornings.

 

Good - he takes no medication for anything. He's only been to the vet 4 times in the 3 and a half years I've had him. Having seen 3 dogs and 2 cats through their old ages and off this mortal coil, it still feels like a bloody miracle to not have to medicate him 3 or 4 times a day.

No delicate stomach. 2 of my departed darlings had very sensitive tummies. We went through a lot of chicken, rice, and pumpkin. Gibbs is pretty much iron clad in that department.

When he is cuddly, he is very, very cuddly. He sleeps on the bed with me about half the night, pressed up against my leg.

Yodeling for the first several steps of our walks. It makes everyone who hears it smile. Except me, I'm hardened.

It takes him a while to make friends, but once he does, he is yours for life.

Sensitive to human and dog emotional states. I told the story about how much he sort of popped a depressed dog out of his slump? He did the same thing last weekend with a friend of mine who has had a hellacious 5 months. He sort of leaned into her, while she was sitting next to him on my couch, and stayed there while she cried a bit. So sweet.

Very nice recall.

Loves puppies. We were at a nosework class last night, held at a service dog training facility. They had a couple batches of puppies next door. Gibbs heard them whimpering, he went over and smelled under the door that led into the puppy room and his tail started to wag.

ETA he loves any kind of fruit I've given him.

 

That's my boy!

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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Oh my gosh! Thank you for this thread. It is so helpful to see that some of the things I have been so worried about with Jade really might just be part of her breed and I just need to understand better!

 

Jade – Really smart. Loves to play. Loves routine. Tries to be loving! Is so excited when I come home…there is no better feeling than that total love and happiness that she exhibits when I walk through the door. She sleeps through the night toward the end of bed, then in the morning crawls up beside me rolls over and wants her tummy rubbed. Nightly “Find It” game. Great at playing fetch in the back yard. Totally potty trained unless there is a UTI going on. I have seen so much growth in her. Loves the Boston terrier in the house. Tolerates the Shitzpoo and learning to tolerate/love the boxer. Seems to enjoy short walks even though the leash is an issue still. Learning to give kisses. I don’t push her…she just started doing on her own and that felt like a huge breakthrough! She loves my mom and understands that mom is fragile on her feet and she only addresses mom when mom is in her chair and she will put her paws in her lap and give her a kiss and periodically checks back with mom to make sure she is still OK.

 

On the flip side – totally inconsistent in behavior. Recall is only fair. Hates car rides..even just short ones where we do nothing but just drive around the block. Fear aggressive. Loose leash walking still leaves a lot to be desired. Loves anything plastic – has destroyed 4 remotes (even when we thought we had done a great job of getting them put up out of her way), a pair of reading glasses. Refuses to eat any type of dry dog food or wet dog food. Currently requires hand feeding of Natural Balance rolled dog food.

 

Jade and I have a long way to go before she is adoptable…if she ever is but I am glad God put her in my life because she has taught me much, put me in touch with some really great people and is teaching me everyday that things happen when they are supposed to...not when I think they are. :)

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Hey Ruth, your SuperGibbs sounds like my Cowboy in terms of affection. Sort of on thier own terms, they want to be close, but not to close to us. Perhaps a touch but not a hug. Only really cuddly in the morning after breakfast and potty. The rest of the day is for work or play, and don't get in the way! :lol:

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Ellie will be 1 year old September 26 2015 ....

Cons: She is fear agressive but that is getting much better now thanks to the help of her/my trainer. Many times when playing she won't listen - when she gets hot she runs for the swamp in our park to cool off and loses her ball - sometimes she is sneaky when I leave food on the table and tries to get it - she likes to nip at the wheels of my lawn mower

 

Pros: She loves our family 101% - my grand girls can do anything with Ellie and the dog loves it - she is absolutely hands down the smartest dog I've ever owned ... I can teach this dog anything ... she sits, stays, goes down on her paws, rolls over, shakes, fetches a ball, loves playing frisbee, will "leave it", will "get behind", loves going for rides in my truck, she leashes well, when off leash she behaves very well and will only run off to cool down in water, otherwise she stays close by, always watching me. I really love this dog and she loves us.

My wife and I had to drive to Nebraska to get her (she was a Christmas pup for my grand girls) - it was well worth the trip and the $100 I paid for her.

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