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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finding her voice...

This is the story of a shy labrador who is finding her bold side. Shyla has always been able to run with the wind and play with confidence.
But, recently, I am seeing the burgeoning of her amazing spirit that's allowing her to be strong in situations that normally scare her.

We started this morning at sunrise, watching the sun peek over a ridge into clear skies. We sat and enjoyed it, and then we played some games. Shyla is amazing at covering her nose now, a brand new trick that she's learned in the past 2 weeks.
I'm not sure how much I actually like her doing this trick, because it accentuates her shy side. Nonetheless, she is very proud of her accomplishment and "throws" this trick at me all the time these days. That's typical of a clicker-trained dog - they're not afraid to take the lead in doing tricks and other training.

Shyla also adores waving, and will now wave at all sorts of people if they wave to her. Shyla's wave is so authoritative that her paw usually goes above her head now!
This morning, we'd been playing training games for a while, when Shyla decided that it was time to sing and bark. I've never seen her do this before and she had me in stitches!
Gotta hit the high notes...
After one particularly loud bark, she looked like she'd surprised herself!
By now, I was encouraging her, trying to put the barking on cue, using a clicker and saying "bark" whenever she did it.
As many of you know, this was a completely new kind of behavior for the shy and retiring Shyla. In more than one way, Shyla is finding her voice. She is navigating our world so much more confidently, and she's not afraid to shout out her confidence to the entire forest!


  1. Shyla has found her voice because you've helped her to find it. What an amazing and beautiful girl she is!!

  2. Oh I would love to hear the sound track to go along with that.

    Mango Momma

  3. I would loooooove to see video of Shyla doing all these tricks! She amazes me :)

  4. Shyla you are beautiful in many many ways. I would love to sing along with you.

  5. If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free!

  6. Yay for Shyla! These photos are priceless:-)

  7. When I was growing up we had a caca-poo named Daisey. My mother taught her to sing on command. The three of us would sing, "Daisey, Daisey, give me your answer true..." together. After a while she would start singing if we did.

    I love Shyla's "puppy" hind paws in her waving picture. So cute!

  8. Covering her nose may be shy to you but maybe not to Ms. Shyla. She is such a beauty
    Benny & Lily

  9. I love her personality.
    Waving back at ya Shyla.

    xo Cinnamon

  10. She sure looks like she has a lot to say.


  11. You have given her a new and exciting life where she can flourish! I have found that once Hunter turned one, he seemed to blossom in his own way. Shyla is an amazing dog that belongs to an amazing human!
    Hugs, Noreen

  12. this post made my day!! love her tricks! you are a very talented dog mom! i can't even train mine to stop jumping....i need lessons!! :)
    beautiful, funny and joyous! you capture the essence of your lovely new partner!!

  13. How we would love to hear her singing too! Maybe she has the inside track on some joyful news coming your way.

  14. We are so happy that Shyla found her voice! We love every photo of her- hiding her face and waving- and howling!

  15. This whole post is filled with joy. Yes, this is why we seek your blog out each and every night.

    Thank you.....
    Bert and my Vickie

  16. Lets re-name her Queen Bolda of the Mountains with a little Wagner music as background.
    You won't believe this but once I got a letter from a friend who had lost a beloved dog, was sick with pneumonia and got a new dog that looked a little like Shyla, and she told me she didn't think she would be able to do ONE THING with this dog.

    And thats the reason I laugh so hard at posts like this one!

    Big Cheers and hugs all around,
    Jo, Stella and the cat they call Z

  17. Some days are so wonderful, you just have to sing.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  18. Ann....from Outer Banks of NC ...this is so cute and I love Shyla's intelligent ways... so KB you should get the duo (Shyla and R) together and make a video of them singing together and post it Oh what a lovely idea...Smiles Smiles Smiles and lots of HUGS

  19. What a WONDERFUL update!!! Go Shyla!!! That series of pictures of her barking totally made me laugh out loud! Hilarious! She truly is becoming so relaxed and happy and showing her silly side :D
    Sending lots of love!!!!

  20. Sing it loud, Sweet Shyla! May your song always be joyful and full of power! When we first got YoYoMa we were told that his rescuers thought he had been debarked as he had never uttered a sound...and then one morning he joined the White Dog song to the mailman! We cried with happiness.

  21. Ha ha ha! I love it! She has grown so far is such a short time! Every one of those pictures had me grinning!

  22. She always had it, She was just waiting for the right moment to share it with you!

  23. Shyla we could almost hear you all the way over here in Michigan. You have a beautiful voice. I love the wave and especially when she holds her nose. Way too cute!

    Anne and Sasha

  24. How wonderful of her confidence and her ability to self-taught on the vocal scene.

    She is certainly a delightful companion and taking her place within your domain.

    Always love the photo's.

  25. What song were you singing Shyla? I'm sure it was a pretty one because you're really rockin your lungs out. Was it perhaps the one from the Wizard of Oz, you know the one that goes "if I were queen of the forest..."

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  26. Oh that made me smile. Our wonderful weimaraner would howl whenever we would "coo" like a dove. It's the one thing I miss most about him, his howling and his big bold bark.

  27. This post made us smile. A lot! There is so much joy in Shyla! And we love her coyness in the nose and wave pictures. Next time, we shall need a video of her singing!

  28. BOL - too funny! When Sam barks, Monty gets so scared he wants to be let back in the house. :D


  29. We just adore the pictures of you belting it out, Shyla! Sing to your heart's content!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

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  31. Now she can chase away coyotes with her sound....lovely pictures. She is so qute waving

  32. Hi Y'all!

    Love the photo's capturing Shyla's expressive face!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  33. We are so glad your beautiful girl is finding her voice and way in the world!

  34. Love all of the Shyla pics! So glad you've been able to help her get over her shyness. The singing pics are so cute! :)

  35. To me, a singing dog is a happy dog, and she certainly looks happy as she sings! What an incredible accomplishment!


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