the sheltiechick blog

Payton is six!

Hard to believe it has been six years since my little guy was born.
I love my Payton so much. We have had six years of struggles and I anticipate those struggles will probably continue – at some point, maybe he will become an easy dog to own; maybe he will become a dreamily simple agility dog; but more than likely, he will challenge me every step of the way. If difficult dogs make great dog trainers, he will transform me into a master.
As my journey with Auggie was summed up by the Garth Brooks song “The Dance,” my life with Payton can be described with “The River.”
Each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
None of it matters, because I the beauty is that we get to sail our vessel together.

Blue cupcakes for my big boy. The frosting came with these fish sprinkles, so why not? I went ahead and put them on.
The cupcake papers are that same sheep design that is hidden on the plate.

Here are three dogs who are very aware there are cupcakes sitting up there on the railing.

Rizzo wearing a hat… yep. That’s a good thing.

A verrrry good thing.

KK has this down now. He knows cake is coming and he’s totally on board.

Okay, so, back to the birthday boy. Happy birthday my big man. Time for your cake.

Do you think he was anticipating this release to his cupcake at all?

Aaaaand he tried to eat the whole thing in one bite.

Licking crumbs and icing and fish sprinkles.

You should try to find someone in your life who looks at you like Kaner is looking at his cupcake.

Kane had a bit more sense to chew his cupcake rather than inhale it whole but it was still intense for a minute there.

Yeah I eated it.

Rizzo has no idea what’s happening but he wants to eat his hat thing on his head and also the other dogs seem happy so okay.

Waiting for cupcake… waaaaaaiting for cupcake.

Eating cupcakes is easier to figure out than hunting Easter Eggs.

Happy birthday my awesome little P. I love you very, very much.

Easter 2017

Real talk guys – I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do an Easter egg hunt this year. Auggie was so boss at it, and I knew I would be remembering him the whole time.
But it was also Rizzo’s first Easter, and it didn’t seem fair not to let him play the game… so I sucked it up and got everything ready.

Waiting outside the gate while I hid eggs.

Inside the gate, and I’m armed with three baskets, one for each dog. Payton thinks he’s ready… pretty sure he remembers this game… here we go.

Yes. Yes this is the game.

Rizzo, meanwhile, is like “Wait what we do?”

Kane found one!
But has no clue what to do with it, so he runs off.

Rizzo also found one!

And picks it up…

And figures out how to open it!

Payton, meanwhile, is channeling Auggie for once in his life.

Bing bang boom findin’ all the eggs

Kane is basically just running around behind Payton trying to figure out what everybody is so excited about.



Kane is staring really hard at this one, realizing there’s got to be something… SOMETHING… involving these things… but what?!
I felt bad for him so I opened it for him to get the cookie, and put it in his basket.

Payton rockin’ it.

Rizzo, meanwhile, is also pretty good at this…

…but he also would like to carry around and chomp on the empty eggs once he has the cookie out. Noooo no no, let’s not do that.

And Payton likes to lie down while he opens his egg and enjoy his treat. It’s a good thing the other two are kinda slow or he would miss out on a bunch of eggs.

Kane can’t figure out how to open them. He just keeps pushing the egg around with his nose until I come over and open it for him.

Rizzo doesn’t have that problem.

I PUTS IN MOUTH? But he never got this one open either.

Egg hunt done! Payton is the clear winner, but Rizzo did an amazing job for his very first time playing the game! Kane got several in his basket, but not enough for them to peek out the top. Maybe next year kiddo.

Each dog also got special Easter baskets with a bag of treats AND some bunny ears.
Two dogs think this is funny and one does not.

But first, lemme take a selfie

Payton has taken way better selfies than this before. I guess he just wasn’t feeling it that day.

Big smile from Rizzo!

And Kaner who is doing a shoulder stall also, winning the selfie game for the day.

Family Photo – Rizzo at 30 Weeks

Just a quick family photo to track how the baby is growing…

Family Photos – Rizzo at 21 Weeks

More time to play outside! Today I wanted to get a family photo like we did with Auggie and little Kane, so I let everybody run around and get their crazies out first.

Aaaaand more ganging up on Kaner.

Pretty Payton!

Rizzo sitting on the steps… kinda. Sorta. Like somebody I used to know, Happy.

Family… photo. Ha!

There we go, that’s better!

Looking like real, actual dogs who know how to sit and stay…

Happy baby Rizzo!

Winter Romp in Coats

Another light dusting of snow, but this time it brought bitter cold with it. It is January, after all. Poor naked Rizzo needed a winter coat, so my sister came to the rescue again with some cheap coats she found at Target.

Kaner got a nice black Hurtta on clearance for Christmas.

Perfect for running and playing in!

Payton joins in the game – frequently the game is Brown Dogs Chase The Tiny Black Dog.

P has his beautiful blue Hurtta I found at TJMaxx a couple years back. I like it so much I ordered Kane’s online. It’s a shame they don’t make this style anymore.

More brown dogs chasing the little black one.

Rizzo’s coat doesn’t quite fit and it’s not nearly as warm as the Hurtta, but for a growing puppy, it works totally fine!

Pretty Payton.

Rizzo studying his point of attack…

And little Kaner.

Rizzo beating up poor little Kaner, haha!

More chasing and proinking through the snow!

And more ganging up on Kaner. At least Payton and Rizzo are bonding.

December Playtime and December Naps

Christmas is over and the snow has all melted. I still have a few days of Christmas vacation left, so we enjoyed our time together while I developed a new addiction to Supernatural.

Kane found a nice stick, as usual.

And proceeded to run around with it as his prize.

Rizzo thought he might check out the dog walk and I quickly was like NOOOOOPE TOO LITTLE.

So he just ran around being cute instead.

Kaner being really fluffy and a little handsome.

Where did all this fluff suddenly come from?!

Cute Rizzo butt, checkin’ out the agility field.


Also lots of running with Kaner.

CSN Chicago replayed the World Series game 7, which I definitely watched again feeling much less calm this time, and included some Rizzo-watching-Rizzo action.

There was also some quality napping going on.

Rizzo curls up so cute and tiny!

And Kane… well.

On to a new year.

A little bit of winter fun…

Not much snow to speak of, but we still got outside and played a bit in it!

A little family photo – no longer counting in weeks of course, but here we are!

Kaner, showing off his 2o2o he likes to work on.

A little snow-dusted Payton…

and a teensy bit of dust on Kaner, too.

Maybe later this year we’ll get some real snow!

Fall Leaves 2016

So many leaves.
So much time raking and mowing and mulching and bagging.
So much time dragging lawn bags to the curb for the city to pick up on yard cleanup days.
So much time wondering if that’s poop or a leaf…

But both of the boys really, really love fall, so I guess it’s okay.

Fast shutter finger got this one just in time before he moved and the leaf fell.

The happiest Payton to ever Payton.

Seriously like I cannot with how happy he is to play in the leaves. At five years old.


I tried to get these cute photos of KK holding a leaf and it didn’t work because he just wants to eat them.

Surprise: the tiny black dog looks really nice in fall leaves too.

I eat dis.

Meanwhile MORE HAPPY PAYTON who looks like he could just stay in the leaf pile forever.


The amount of leaves in my dog’s coat right now.

But stiiiill happy.

Stop Kaner stop TOO CUTE


“I know you like this trick, especially in the leaves, because I’m super cute.”

How about… a double head-down?

*high pitched screaming*


My boys.

Pumpkins and Halloween Costumes

Halloween was a bit tricky this year. For so long I had planned costumes with Auggie involved. Even though I knew there was a possibility Auggie wouldn’t be with us at Halloween, I was still sort of thinking about a group costume with Auggie. When it arrived, I just didn’t feel like really planning anything.
Thankfully, PetSmart came to the rescue…

But first! Hay bales and pumpkins!

Two bros on hay bales.

Payton, somehow covered in all kinds of stuff.

I mean he’s still cute though.

And this cute Kaner!

Georgie came over to play along too. Stormie also, but Stormie wouldn’t sit and take any cute photos…

If you’re wondering why Georgie looks so annoyed, it’s probably because, like baby brothers, baby sisters ruin everything.

Now costume time!

These went mega clearance before Halloween. Like $3. And they are stupid cute for as simple as they are.

They do need some slight modification though – they don’t really stay on well, which meant a lot of running around every twenty seconds adjusting costumes. And Payton being told “don’t move” once his was on and then he refused to actually get on the hay bale, because I said “don’t move.”

Kane had to sit on the hay bale first, get dressed, and then stay.

But, I mean. He’s already a monster anyway, even without the costume.

Boys in a Washtub

So I bought this really nice metal washtub because I wanted to use it for a Pinterest garden project.

But first I had to put my dogs in it.

Beat that, Pinterest. Way cuter than drilling a hole in the bottom and filling it with flowers.

Kaner, getting bigger

Just a couple photos of Kaner to check in how he’s growing and to send off to his breeder…

Just the ear set. Came out nicely and gives him a really nice expression. Sweet from the side. A little playful from the front!

Full body. He definitely still has a lot of conditioning and muscling out to do, and also, his little naked coat really needs to fill out – but he’s a handsome little naked dude!

32 Week Family Photo

32 week family photos! Two this time, neither of which is really worthy of going on anybody’s wall…

Auggie. Forever the best at photos.
Kane and Payton. Forever ruining everything.

Payton thinks he’s pretty bloody clever though.

31 Week Family Photo

Well, at 31 weeks, this is much more like a regular family photo, right? Nobody is smiling and nobody wants to get that close and Payton won’t even LOOK at Kaner today.

30 Week Family Photo

30 weeks! The best part is they all look like they like each other here. Sitting so nice and close and everybody smiling.
Not at all like real families, right?

Fetching Tags for Kane and Payton

Kaner is old enough to have his very own Fetching Tag now – and while I was at it, I grabbed a second one for Payton. Payton has rocked the Kid Flash for a long time, but just like the time came for Wally West to take up the mantle of The Flash, it was time for Kid Flash to stop being the sidekick.

Kaner first! I hope I’m not asking for trouble with that nickname of Hurrikane and all that…


Next up, Payton’s new tag, inspired by one of the great quotes by Walter Payton. It really fits with all the training struggles we’ve had, too.
It’s okay to lose, to die, but don’t die without trying – without giving it your best.

29 Week Family Photo

At 29 weeks, Kaner looks even bigger than he did in last week’s photo. Auggie’s IV shave spots have filled in almost completely and his feathering is slowly slowly sloooowly starting to grow back.

I looked at baby dog photos of Auggie and P, and Kane is definitely naked looking compared to Payton; of course, Payton was basically SuperFluff and will likely forever make all of my other dogs look naked. Kane looks closer to how Auggie looked at this age. We’re gonna need those hormones to kick in and make some gorgeous coat if this little guy is supposed to go in the show ring!

28 Week Family Photo

28 weeks. Kaner is officially “huge.” Look how little Auggie looks next to him! My tiny black dog is now just Black Dog.

My Little Family

I’m really really blessed that Auggie is still around. I wanted to take the family photos of all three of my dogs together every week so I would never run out of opportunities to have seen how the baby was growing alongside my best dog, who likely won’t be around to teach him how to be awesome like he did Payton. But I also wanted to get a photo of all three of my dogs with me. The problem is it’s next to impossible to get anybody over here to take a photo.

The good news is I own a remote shutter release.

The other good news is, I’m a bloody genius about how to make this work.

All three of my very good boys.

27 Week Family Photo

27 weeks! Just over 6 months now.

We are having a happy day for all three dogs!


I also took a few photos to send to Kaner’s breeder to let her see how he’s growing…

and how those ears are doing!

He’s super leggy right now but looks great. I’ve also noticed he’s starting to muscle out along the chest and his back. Baby puppy is growing up for sure.

Pool Day (26 Weeks)

Yeah pool day!!

To start with, we took our 26 week family photo. Kaner turned a full 6 months on May 19th, which is also a full 6 months since Auggie was diagnosed with CHF.

We made it a full six months, everybody is happy, everybody is healthy, everybody is still alive.

So we got out the pool to celebrate.

Heat and humidity can be hard on a dog with CHF. The rule is Auggie can only stay out when it’s hot if he keeps himself cool in the pool.
So far he’s totally okay with this rule.


Payton loves his pool.

Even the baby wants to play in the pool.

Family photo in the pool.

Hi I’m a cute puppy in the pool!!

Payton also really loves towel time. Like a lot. Like maybe more than playing in the pool itself.

Being dried off is the bestest.


Oh my Auggie.

Auggie had a fantastic day. Pools are actually pretty great. Yeah.

Payton’s Fifth Birthday

FIVE is a pretty big birthday, I think. Especially with Auggie being 10 and P rolling to 5, it makes my OCD happy.

Happy FIFTH birthday to my most wonderful Payton. Our sports story has not gone as I had dreamed, but he is my very good dog. Despite the tears, the battles, the long list of struggles, and the many chomp wounds, I love him very much and am glad he is here with me. Happiest of birthdays yet and all the belly rubs to my middle child.

Shoutout to the woman at Meijer who wrote on my cake and didn’t ask me if Payton was my son.

I actually drove all over town trying to find a proper Payton-esque cake…

Perfect Auggie in perfect birthday hats.



Not sure what Payton is doing here but this was literally the best we got. This might as well be the 25 week family photo, by the way.


Make with the birthday, lady.


Hi in case you haven’t met me I’m Auggie and I’m the best.

Do I HAVE to wait??


Listen, I know I’m supposed to wait, but let’s be honest, my heart disease. If I wait I might not live to eat this cake.

So I’m not waiting. (Yeah okay that’s fine.)

Meanwhile Payton.

What a good puppy!! Then I wanted to fix his hat and he moved back some to make it easier NOT to steal cake.

Are you for real? Is this actually a thing that is happening in my life??

Okay yay this is a thing and I want it!

Auggie demolished his cake in about half the time Payton was taking with his. Which makes sense as he’s had about twice as much cake eating practice.

Meanwhile the baby is trying to figure out how to actually eat this.

Whoops! He dropped it.

Payton be like IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND YOU DROPPED YOUR CAKE SO THIS OTHER HALF IS MINE (Auggie in the corner ahahahaha)

Yup that was some birthday.

This is what I look like after I eat cake, too.

Birthday is the best.


24 Week Family Photos

At a certain point I will probably have to stop calling Kaner “tiny black dog.” He’s looking rather un-tiny lately, especially when he’s next to Auggie.

23 Week Family Photos

At 23 weeks old, Kaner is officially taller than Auggie. Auggie, meanwhile, has apparently simply decided not to die. Either he’s improved and regained some circulation (and thus motor control) over his back end, or the dog who’s missing toe joints on his front end has learned to adapt to not having excellent control over his back end. He is walking 99% normal these days, and that 1% may simply be my being paranoid and searching for any hitch or odd step in his walk. Maybe a bit of both adaptation and improvement? It doesn’t exactly matter which. Ultimately I am blessed to have more happy, healthy days with my old man.

Tongues from baby and the old man.

The hair on Auggie’s legs is looking pretty good now – you can probably only tell he has a slightly more naked spot if you’re really looking for it.