Pet Expo 2014

Pet Expo 2014 (1/3)A look of glee was covering her face; she was definitely in her element. There were animals on every side and all of them wanted attention. I knew this was going to be a good idea!

This past weekend, Pet Expo 2014 hit Orange County and I decided to take the kiddos. My mother was really nice about getting us free tickets. (She works for the company which organizes the event.) Other than parking, the entire event was free!

My littlest girl, ‘Mouse’, really likes animals. She is an animal magnet and this weekend proved the point. Every booth we stopped in, the animals flocked to her and wanted her attention. She lovingly spent time with many of them, having to be pulled away from several.

I really enjoy this annual event. Our kiddos get an opportunity to speak with the breeders of various pets and learn so much about the animal kingdom. There is an aquatic center, a reptile area, dogs, cats, and more! The vast majority of animals present are dogs, so we end up learning quite a bit about the various breeds and learn of organizations which help to place the abandoned ones in good homes.

Pet Expo 2014 (2/3)

Besides the animals being displayed, there are competitions and vendors as well! ‘Mouse’s’ favorite spot is the dog pool. Here, you can watch dogs leap over a large pool of water to snag a toy. Some of these dogs can jump as far as fifteen feet! On a hot day, it sure looks good!

So far, this year, it looks like over 300 animals have been adopted. That is so awesome! I hope that more will be adopted during the next week, once people go home and have time to consider how these animals are in need.

During out trip, we even discovered which type of dog we own! (Previously, we just thought he was a mutt!) It seems we own a Chiweenie? He is part Chihuahua and part Dachshund. We saw one at Pet Expo who could have been our dog’s brother; so cute!

The highlight of the day, besides spending time with my mother, was stopping by a particular vendor booth. We met the sweetest gentleman, Andrew, who sells hats. (Not hats for animals, but their owners walking in the hot sun.) Andrew and his wife are friends of my mother, whom she met through this event. We spent a few moments talking with him, before he finally talked me into buying a hat. (laughing) Actually, he generously gave my daughters a flowered, hair clip for each of them and a nifty tool for my son. I couldn’t resist giving him a little business and he gave the most incredible deal on a gorgeous hat; so, I bought it!

Pet Expo 2014 (3/3)Another successful learning day! This is always a fun event, one we look forward to each year. So much fun!

Have you ever been to a Pet Expo?

Dog Days and Sweet Tweets

When I was a very little girl of three, I had a puppy for the brief span of two weeks. It seemed the puppy liked me a little too much; it was constantly nipping and scratching, so out the poor little fellow went.

Jump twenty some odd years into the future… I had four kids of my own and still no pup. That was all about to change though! Our youngest daughter fell in love with the sweetest little thing at a family function. Lo-and-behold, the little one had a brother that needed a home too!

After much debate (me convincing my husband), we finally agreed. Two years ago, we brought home our puppy and our home hasn’t been the same since!

Everyone told me that we would regret it. They told me the kids wouldn’t be attached after the first three months and I would be doing all the work. Well, we are a couple of years into this and my baby girl is still going strong. 

Bringing a puppy into the house certainly has been an education though. Our kids have learned quite a bit from having Dutch and so have we. The first year we learned the hard way, then we decided to get smart and read a book. Along the way we learned some great lessons:

  • Patience– Training a dog takes a lot of patience. They won’t understand why you get angry or frustrated, impatience serves no purpose.
  • Persistence– We had to learn not to give up, even when the dog just didn’t seem to be getting it.
  • Consistency- It never pays to be lazy in training (which we learned the hard way).
  • Gentleness– Yelling at the dog isn’t going to aid in training. You need to speak with a gentle, yet firm, voice.
  • Work Ethic- Laziness and pets do not mix. Grooming, feeding, and exercise are all essential to good animal care.

Dutch is not fully trained yet (due to our late start on the right path) but he is making excellent progress. It has been great to watch the kids learn these valuable lessons.

To add to the fun, about six months ago we decided to allow our youngest daughter to get birds! We bought her two little budgies (parakeets). Like with Dutch, the same lessons needed to be learned and there were areas for her to grow.

Having pets has been a fun adventure that (so far) I do not regret. We have learned a lot and are having so much fun with them. It was the right decision for our family.

Who knows what might be coming up next? Angelina has her eye on kittens… Hmmm… Nope; I don’t think my guy is going to budge on that one!

Do you have pets? What valuable lessons have you and your children learned?