We got our shelter rescue puppy recently. We named her Ember, because the color of her fur is black with sparks of cinnamon and light brown, resembling embers in a fire. She also adds a spark of spunk and fun to our family. The Sugar Snaps are crazy about her. Capri constantly exclaims, “Ember, you’re so beautiful!” Three days after we got her, I began to take her to puppy school for beginners. There was one other puppy in the class, a white labradoodle fluff ball of love named Brooklyn. Ember started the class barking and growling at everyone in sight and nipping up a storm. She went for my clothes and the trainer’s hands.
Six weeks of ‘click-rewards’ training brought me back to my basic psychology classes where we learned that Pavlov trained a dog to salivate at the ring of a bell. We press the clicker and reward Ember when she does what we want her to do (i.e. goes outside to ‘use the restroom.’) My parents were down for Great Grandpa’s services and attended Ember’s graduation, so she had quite an audience: the 4 Sugar Snaps, Grandpa, Grandma, Greg and I–all there supporting her! I asked if that was the most family that had showed up to a dog’s graduation and our trainer said, “yes!” There are not pictures of the Sugar Snaps in this post because I am the one who usually takes them and I was the one doing Ember’s graduation test with her so I could not snap photos. She passed!