Harper B for ...

We Did It!

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Harper B for So Many Things completed her CD (obedience title) yesterday. She did this in three straight runs — the first leg was at the Specialty, the second was Saturday, and the third leg was yesterday (Sunday). She even got ribbons! Second place on Saturday and this yesterday!

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Full Disclosure — the placements were based on a lack of qualifiers. Basically, Harper was the Last Dog Staying yesterday as the three other qualifiers who made it to the Stay Group all blew their stays. Bummer for them — but Harper enjoyed the gift certificate she won for first place.

This was a Git ‘er Done CD for a very specific purpose — to complete the requirements for the BMDCA’s Working Dog Award. And she did it — Harper B for BMDCA Working Dog Award!

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At eight and with two Harper B for Bionic Knees, there were few sits involved in her obedience runs — I think standing is more comfortable for her, and so she did. Oh well — only lost points and who cares?! Not me. Harper B for Better Believe It reminds me that adversity is just a detour and not a reason to quit.

I am so proud of Harper. This was not the journey I expected her to have — but it became HER journey and we walk it together. She is done with obedience but not ready to retire. Her future includes more tracking and a new sport that will utilize her great nose — Scent Work!

Learning how to adjust to new and sometimes unwanted realities is another way that Life with Dogs makes us better humans. I am grateful to Harper B for Best Teacher for the lessons, even as I wish she had been blessed with an easier path in her lifetime. Two Harper B for Bad Knees plus pyometra seems like a Harper B for Bum Deal for such a kind dog.

Dogs are free to remove themselves from children’s attention at any time. Harper B for Being Patient.

Dogs are free to remove themselves from children’s attention at any time. Harper B for Being Patient.

Kaibab Harper’s East of the Sun, West of the Moon TDX CD NDD FDC and BMDCA Working Dog

Because Children Matter

The topic in one of my classes this week is Practice with Children. Therefore, my mind has been on children and the reality that all of us have — or should have — an interest in children being raised well. We are, after all, collectively creating our successors.

I am in Boise this weekend to both visit children, large and small, and to compete with dogs — two of my most favorite things.

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I have visited Boise at least once each month since Galen and Bethany moved here two years ago, determined that Berkeley and then Lincoln would know me. I want to give credit to Galen and Bethany for tolerating my visits, and to Dear Husband who is always willing to manage things at home so I can do this.

Because of my frequent visits, I am in an informed position to say that my daughter-in-law is — or should be — a role model to all other young moms out there.

Galen photo

Galen photo

Bethany is an intentional, thoughtful, and amazing mother to Berkeley and Lincoln. Her parenting skills are stellar, and the understanding of child development she brings to her everyday interactions with those two small humans reminds me constantly of the importance of education to effective parenting.

She parents with wisdom. Instead of arguing with an almost three-year-old, Bethany knows to offer choices.


Bethany creates opportunities for positive and desired behaviors, and avoids setting her children up to have unnecessary meltdowns. There are schedules and boundaries and limits so that each child has the freedom to grow, learn, and just become within spaces that are safe and appropriate for his/her developmental realities.

The children in this little family are managed with love and appropriate limits — inflicting pain through physical “corrections” is not part of Bethany and Galen’s parenting toolkit. I am so grateful for their awareness that using pro-social parenting techniques encourages similar behavior in children.

Galen photo.

Galen photo.

Parenting is not actually a private endeavor — it has implications for ALL of us because we all live with the consequences. Therefore, we need to be intentional and smart with policies and practices to support and educate parents — for the benefit of children, families, and the communities in which they exist.

Bethany and Galen are raising children in ways that maximize the odds Berkeley and Lincoln will make positive contributions to our shared world. They are taking what they appreciate from their own childhood, and appropriately and kindly rejecting what was not done well. As a result, they are embarked on their own wise, loving, smart, intentional — and imperfect — parenting journey.

It is an absolute joy to watch.