They’re Still Dogs: Sleepovers

No matter how well trained, how wonderful, how loving, they’re still dogs.

Seva has had 3 Helping Paws dogs stay with her. Last fall, Percy spent a few days with us while his foster mom traveled. Stubbs spent a night with us in July. And this week, Cash is staying with us. Seva has also stayed with other Helping Paws foster families on occasion.

Just like with children and playdates, you can’t put two dogs in a room and assume fun antics will ensue. There is some interesting dog psychology at play. This is some of the stuff I’ve observed.


Seva & Percy

Seva & Percy


1: the guest dog is usually very well behaved. It’s not his territory, so he’s minding his manners while he settles in. That doesn’t mean he won’t have fun, but he’ll defer to the home dog and humans.

When Seva stayed with Jed, we warned Jed’s dad, John, that Seva steals fabric and paper and ate a sock while on her first overnight. She didn’t steal anything, even when the laundry basket was right there in front of her! Scott and I got excited, thinking maybe she’d turned a corner, maybe Jed had taught her that eating socks is bad. But no. We were home no more than 15 minutes and she’d stolen a sock off the bedroom floor. It turns out she was just on her best behavior for Jed and John.

When another dog is here, Seva is the instigator. It’s her territory and she doesn’t need to mind her manners. In fact, she might be out to prove something. If there is wrestling in the house, Seva started it. Just ask Cash.


Seva & Cash--oh, sure, they look cute when they're sleeping.

Seva & Cash–oh, sure, they look cute when they’re sleeping.


2: not all dogs are a good match for each other. Percy was a big lap dog. All he wanted to do was lay down next to me and Scott. Seva would rather play until she crashes. Every time Percy settled in, she started biting his ear. Read about that weekend here.

Stubbs and Cash are better-suited for Seva’s favorite pastimes: run & wrestle. Here is Stubbs taking charge!



3: as with children, they will teach each other things. Cash will take a Frisbee out of your hand—and you better watch your hand!—then take a bite out of the Frisbee, then refuse to give it back to you. Guess who can’t have her balls until after Cash goes home? That’s right. Our little bear has begun resource guarding her toys. Cash is a really sweet boy, but some dogs just love their Frisbees more than others.

Seva and Cash were wrestling on the deck yesterday and look what they did!


Seva & Cash broke my pot.

Seva & Cash broke my pot.


It’s not all bad. When Seva stayed with Chuda Lono, he showed her how to leave kibble on her paws until his mom, Wendy, said Release. He also showed her how to spin around. She came home with 2 new skills that we still practice.


Seva & Cash find some tree and make a mess.

Seva & Cash find some tree and make a mess.


4: puppies get jealous, too. As sweet as she is, Seva doesn’t always want to share. She doesn’t mind someone playing with her toys or eating her food, but if Scott and I are paying attention to the other dog, here comes Seva. Our very-much-not-a-lap-dog inserts herself just to make sure we remember whose dog is whose.

Like we could ever forget!


That's our puppy!

That’s our puppy!


Wild Kingdom

What happens when Seva’s big brother comes for a visit? Pandemonium!


Seva and Percy

Seva and Percy


This is Percy on the right. He’s two-years-old. He and Seva are both from Lola litters, so he’s Seva’s half-brother.


This is how they got acquainted on their first night together.


Seva is the instigator. Percy is the growler.


Seva is still the fastest dog around!

Seva is still the fastest pup around.

Seva is still the fastest pup around.


And nobody gets to a ball faster!

Look out ball, here comes Seva!

Look out ball, here comes Seva!


There is one race that Percy wins every time!


Having Percy with us for a few days has confirmed what we always suspected: Seva is a little butt-kicker. She’s happiest when she’s rough-housing and doesn’t know when to stop. Percy’s just a big lap dog, happy to have his chin in somebody’s lap, but then Seva jumps on him and chews his face. Seriously, she’s the trouble-maker.


Seva the kangaroo

Seva the kangaroo


This is why I call Seva a kangaroo. This dog loves to catch air!





How to Tire Out Seva in 5 Easy Steps

1. Take Seva for a car ride downtown with lots of traffic and people to watch.

2. Visit the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. (Don’t let the snow fool you, this is April 19th!)


At the Walker Sculpture Garden.


The constant hum of traffic from 394 and I94 bothered Seva and made it hard for her to focus. We had fun anyway, and then saw a big fish.


Under the big fish in the Cowles Conservatory.


3. Do some super public training! The mental stimulation helps to tire the dogs, though it’s obviously not the same as physical work.


In a Drop.


4. Take Seva on a 3 mile walk on the Southwest Corridor trail.

5. While on the walk, allow her to do 5 full-speed sprints.



I had just jogged down the trail, so I sound a bit out of breath. Seva broke away from Scott–you just can’t contain that enthusiasm–right before I hit record.

And then, after packing all that into a puppy’s day, she might take a nap!


Tired Bear.



It’s Her Birthday!

March 19, 2013

The Birthday Girl


Seva is one today!

We celebrated her birthday with song and dance. (Okay, we didn’t really dance, but sometimes when we play, we run through the house and Seva jumps and it’s kind of like a dance.)


I can eat that.


Seva got a present, just like all good puppies should. She had to Drop and Wait until I said Release. Release was her cue that she could tear open her present.


Seva Opens Her Present


It wouldn’t be a party without a clown and a photographer! I guess I was the clown. I knocked over Seva’s bowl of Joe’s Os (her favorite treat) and it was pandemonium for a while. Scott was the photographer, as usual, and we played and played and played with Seva’s new balls!


Here Comes the Ball


Got It!


Seva’s deep concentration would blow you away.




After lots of catch, she got a bowl of her favorite food, Cheesy Rice.


And that, my friends, is how you celebrate a puppy’s first birthday!


Minnehaha Falls

On Saturday, we celebrated the gorgeous fall weather with a trip to Minnehaha Falls. Seva was a champ. She hiked a good 2 miles, went up and down stairs, met a few strangers, and had her first drinking fountain drink!

A rather dry Minnehaha Falls

One of Scott’s beautiful photos.


Me & Seva

Isn’t she smart in her blue backpack?


Seva hiking in the woods

Follow the leader.


Scott & Seva

Resting near a very dry creek.


A well-earned drink at the fountain!

This was fun. Who knew if you stand up at this gray pole you get a drink?