Friday, March 22, 2013


So much has happened in the last two months.  Our Lexi  continues to thrive and weighs well over 12Kgs now.  She has completed all her vaccinations and booster injections and is now taking on the larger world.   She is progressing well with her Puppy classes at McKaynine Training centre and has also achieved her/our goal of meeting over 200 people before the age of 16 weeks.

At the moment, she is all long legs and pouncing energy, and looks almost like a cross between a spaniel and a giraffe – the cutest little Golden bundle ever! She has settled into her new home perfectly and happily. We love her dearly.

Her little personality is really beautiful.  I could not ask for better:  a soft, gentle soul who LOVES people.  She’s pretty and intelligent and has more than enough energy to challenge our ‘Sweet Hooligan’ Toby.  Lexi is athletic and especially loves the agility part of her puppy classes – romping through the various tunnels without a care in the world.  She is a natural in the swimming pool – a strong swimmer who loves retrieving.  She’ll even swim behind Toby, grabbing onto his tail to propel herself at his speed. Most importantly, she knows where to get out of the swimming pool! She also loves the water-feature and can often be found playing lazily there. We have a whole pile of dog towels which are constantly drying out in the sunshine, and ready to dry her off.  Muddy pawprints are par-for-the-course. And chewing and digging too.  (This, by the way, is just to offer us a hint that her ‘Kong’ treat is overdue)

Lexi’s basic obedience training and puppy classes are going well.  She responds well to : “Come”, “Sit”, “Down”, “Stand”, “Fetch” and “Tummy” (Rolling on to her back for a tummy rub).  We are working on “Stay”, “Heel” and “Paw”.

Lexi is still very scared around dogs that she doesn’t know and I have to ensure that she is on lead at all times, while walking in public in case she doesn’t bolt in fright.  Once she is familiar with a dog, however,  her confidence soars and it’s “all play”, but I’m having to concentrate on developing her confidence amongst dogs.  She is very tentative, cowers and far prefers the company of people.

Our school visit to Randpark Primary School went extremely well.  The children loved having Lexi in their midst.  She is totally comfortable with children and is happy to be petted endlessly.  She dispenses licks exuberantly, but is also focussed on me in these situations and listens to my commands.  I am most impressed with this little pup.

Her visit to “Headstart” nursery school this week was also a roaring success.  Lexi is gifted with a gentle nature – especially amongst miniature human beings. As one four-year-old little girl put it:
 “I love Lexi!  Please, please bring her back again!” 

She certainly wins hearts over.

I have developed a very soft spot for my little Lexi too.  She is a cuddle-bunny of note, trusts me implicitly and sleeps next to my bed.  In the morning, I merely have to hang my hand over the side of the bed and click my fingers.  Very soon there will be a soft snout, nuzzling at my palm.  My hand will work its way downwards to her soft, downy fur around her neck and ears and I’ll spent five minutes absorbing all the warmth that she offers.  She’s a willing puppy who loves to be fondled.

Her courser, new hair is starting to emerge along the ridge of her back as she slowly grows into her frame.  She has beautiful, dark and expressive eyes.

Feeding times are somewhat a barking frenzy – as Lexi must wait her turn for her bowl of food.  (She is still fed 3xdaily).  But Tammy and Toby are always fed first while Lexi has to wait – a difficult, educational task when her tummy is grumbling.  However, once they are fed, Lexi quietens down to receive her own bowl of food politely.  I only put her bowl down when she sits and offers a paw.  Thereafter the contents of the bowl disappear in a flash.  Lexi loves her food!

It’s been a wonderful, enriching two months with my little pup.  Toby, Tammy, me and the rest of the family couldn’t ask for better.  Lexi , like her kennel name, the "Princess Aurora", has showered her sunbeams into our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We love you, Lexi!

Sending lotsaluv to all our friends across the world.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LEXI's first school visit...

This is a long, photographic post...dedicated to the grade 3 learners at
(Above: Lexi is bathed, brushed, focussed and ready for her big day)


Lexi says a big "THANK YOU!"

Thanks to the graciousness of one of the teachers, Lexi was invited to visit a class of 35 grade 3 learners today.  We arrived at the school at about 10.30. 
We were welcomed by a sea of excited faces. 
In this post, I am going to allow the pictures to tell the story via their captions. 
(A special thank you to Nadia Michas for taking the photographs)
Lexi is introduced to the learners.
She is accompanied by her water-bowl, her toy piggy and lots of treats!
Hello everyone!
I had prepared a talk for the children - focussing on "Responsible Pet ownership". 
I asked the children how many of them had been bitten by dogs.
One of the questions from the children was "Does Lexi have thumbs?"  
I showed them her Dew claws and explained the importance of keeping nails nicely trimmed.
We chatted about: 
1. An introduction to Golden Retrievers in general.
2. What is a dog? (Anatomy,Uses, unique abilities)
3. Responsible pet ownership
4. Things NOT to feed your dog!
5. Some interesting facts.
Lexi commenced some 'one-on-one' time with the children.
The children were asked to form two rows, so that Lexi could meet them personally.
For some reason, Lexi took a great liking to Jason.
More 'Hellos'.
I practice Lexi's 'Down' command along the way.
Lexi decides she wants to sit between these two little boys.
I do some focus-work while Lexi is touched by the children.
Even pups need a short break to play.

This can be daunting work for a young dog...she knows that her safe place is behind me.
...but not for long:  Lexi prefers to listen to the talk...

I demonstrate the "Heel" command.
...and then the "Sit at Heel' command.
 In between commands...
...settling down while I talk some more.
Now we demonstrate the recall with the assistance of a volunteer...
Lexi performs the recall perfectly
In between all this work, Lexi gets lots of rewards.
Explaining to the children how to greet a dog:
2. Approach from the side
3. Offering your hand to smell
Demonstrating how to give a dog a treat.
More happy cuddles.
Lexi says a special Hello...
Children are asked to form a full circle while Lexi weaves in and out... perfect for 'one-on'one' demands.
"Please come here, Lexi."
The Grade 3 Class, me and Lexi: 
MANY THANKS TO Nadia Michas for taking the photos for me and for inviting us to your class. Our goal of meeting 200 people before Lexi is 4 months old has been achieved!
 A special thank you to Marycke Ackhurst
QUILLQUEST GOLDEN RETRIEVERS for breeding this beautiful dog! 
Lexi at 14 weeks of age is a dream doggie!

We look forward to visiting all of you again soon.
Sending lotsaluv