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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Happiness Program

We had big and intense lightning storms today. They knocked out the power and phone line almost all day. That's why I didn't post until now!

Something amazing is happening. Both R and I are off-kilter, trying to figure out how to live without K. R never knew a life without his big sister until a little while ago. The amazing thing is that R and I are forging a bond that we've never had before now.
I keep seeing this sad and confused look in R's eyes. His eyes almost show the look in the next photo.
I don't need to tell you that the look in his eyes reflects the deep sadness that I feel.

So, I've decided to institute a "KB and R Happiness Program". Our program involves me teaching R new tricks. R adores learning new things, and I adore training him. So it's a win-win proposition.

Today, I taught him to pick up objects from the ground and deliver them to my hand. He "sort of" knew how to do this trick a couple of years ago. However, because K was my dedicated companion, she picked up everything that I dropped, and R didn't get any practice.

Today, we started with a training bumper that he had to find and bring to my hand. We progressed to all sorts of other objects like a camera bag and a hat. R is so sharp and has a very soft mouth!
After learning to bring me dropped objects, R began to learn how to "take a bow". In his frenzy to figure out what I wanted him to do, he practically threw himself into play bows by the end of the session.

His enthusiasm for training makes me laugh. It's good all around!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Poor R and you :( But sounds like an awesome program!

  2. I like the sound of this program! R certainly looks happier to be helping you out. :) I'm guessing that a busy R is a better behaved R, too!

  3. Sometimes we could all use a happiness program. What a great idea.


  4. I just know that you're gonna let us follow your journey through the Happiness Program. We're excited at the thought. As hard as it is, I think it's just what you both need.

    Hey R.... We're planting Doxie kisses on your little nose and hope that it somehow brightens your soul.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

    We miss you K! xoxox

  5. That first picture is priceless. That is the look I needed to see tonight. Thanks R.

  6. I can see that R wants to please you!
    I think the happiness program is an excellent idea for both of you.
    I wish I was there to play too,, and help your both.
    The moon is shining in my window and we are thinking of all of you as I write this.

  7. His enthusiasim makes me laugh too! And that laughter helps massage your heart. Way to go!

  8. "Happiness Program", I LOVE IT! MOM just wanted to grab that face in that photo.

  9. We can only hope this will not involve anymore spit and drool pictures. Just pics of a very handsome guy who loves to please you!


  10. What a smart boy. The loneliness you're both feeling makes my heart ache. But, your both doing a great job dealing with the pain. It's so fun to teach them tricks and see how happy they are to learn with you.

  11. Your KB and R Happiness Program is a splendid idea. It will help you both work through your grief together.

  12. This Happiness Program should be patented,then taught to all who need that in their lives. A great idea, another way of coping with pain and loss, for you and R as well.I saw on our TV tonight some of the storms, further East from you,such damage.Hope nor more come your way. Cheers,Jean

  13. That first pic of R is wonderful. Thinking of you all. Have a happy Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  14. :-)!! I hope you have a good weekend as well!!

  15. I feel such a lift when I teach my dogs a new thing. Becky is my dog I am training to do rally with and her personality sound very much like R with his excitement.

  16. Oh I just love the sound of your new program! You and R definitely need it. R's eyes look so sad and having a happy distraction is exactly what both of you need. He's such a good boy!
    Sorry I haven't been around. I am just playing some catch up after our first week of holidays. :)

  17. Hi there KB
    I understand...
    I did the same for Tammy (after Max passed on) and then came to realisate the value of what Max had taught me...i.e. to be a better trainer.
    I began to internalise the 'value' of what he taught me and how I needed to transfer it onto another of his species. (Does this make sense?) He taught me how to be a better trainer and how to connect better. That alone filled me with a new form of happiness. I am so glad that you are reaping it. R will teach you, too, in a different way.
    Still holding you in my thoughts.
    With love

  18. Oh those black Labradorks -

    I bet Mango Momma is wearing THAT smile!

    K's PUPILS will survive -

    It will be part of her legacy -

  19. I have thought since the first time I saw a picture that R looked like a really fun dog, and I think you have found a excellent way to help both of you get through this time -- having fun with him!

  20. What a sweet-natured boy; those pics are absolutely heart-melting! There's nothing that can cheer you up quite like a dog in goofy mode :)

  21. One balm to the heart of someone who's lost a good dog: another good dog.

    Another dog will never replace the dog you loved, but their presence sure helps the healing. :)

  22. Ann...from..THE OUTER BANKS OF NC...said...R misses his without her has been hard for all of you....but with the bond.. the four of you have will get you through the sad times..only to give you strength and by being occupied with positive things ..."Remember that rainbow"..It will help your healing process..R is such a sharp and compassionate little boy...and with the happiness program..he will learn many new things... and he hasn't forget what K has taught him..the look is in his eyes..when you spread joy...the result is... HAPPINESS....and when you help just may be helping so many.....HUGS

  23. I LOVE the picture of R with the bumper! The look in his eyes there is the look that I love most in dogs, I think. I like your Happiness Program idea...I think it will be awesome for the both of you!

  24. R is totally adorable in that first photo! And the idea of him taking a bow is just delightful! Well done!

  25. R is adorable! It's so nice to hear some smiles in your voice again. Happy Weekend! :)

  26. those storms are scary when we have them
    Benny & Lily

  27. The new training program is making us smile! We love that you and your mom are becoming best buddies, R!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  28. sounds like a great way to make new wonderful memories. nothing can replace K but you two have this time to discover a new path

  29. R ROCKS! and so do you {{KB}}

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  30. Hi Y'all,

    It is so wonderful that y'all are there for each other and can support each other in such positive ways.

    Hawk aka BrownDog

  31. Your "Happiness Program" is a great idea and sounds like it's working!

  32. A Happiness Program is the best thing for both of you. Soon those eyes will light up with expectation for more happiness. I started a Delighting in Each Other program for Samson and me after Angel died in May. Our program, the idea is similar to yours, is working great for both of us. I know it will for your guys too.

  33. I love this! You always find the silver lining in life, KB! Cheers to you and to R - I can't wait to hear how the tricks are going ;)

  34. Thinking of you two! Great idea to begin Happiness Training....we all need that from time to time!

  35. His eyes tells a enjoyable things together now.
    He is very handsome guy. He will learn very fast I think. Exciting what will be the next thing...

  36. The relationships between pack members is complex and mysterious. So many things that R must have looked to K for and now he has to figure it all out on his own.

    I love that you are spending time with him and forging a new kind of relationship. I am sure he is a fast learner and will help you get over your grief.

    The photo of confused R is so sad. He, too, is grieving.

    Mango Momma

  37. Boy, now you're going to have to get a movie of R's bowing... What fun!

  38. This was so inevitable and needed!


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