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Puppy Preocuppiedatiousness

Posted on 02/16/11 26 Comments

Feature’s puppy has taken over my life. I just can’t get any work done he is sooo darn cute, I can just sit and watch him all day long . . . and I do! He is no longer going by his puppy name of “Sid the Kid.” As cute as it was, he grew into his big boy name before the end of his second week here. Forever more he shall be known as “Swagger.” And yes, he already has nicknames; Swag-a-man, Monkey-man, Pretty-Boy-Swag (a great song as well btw).

The truth is, the name Swagger was planted deep in the recesses of my mind a couple of months ago. I thought it would suit only confident & happy puppy. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t see it as a girl-dog name, so I put it out of my head (because hey, no way I was getting a boy-dog, right?)

The idea for that name, was planted in my subconscious mind while reading an email from Tori Self. For those of you that don’t know Tori, she is a young lady from Florida with quiet a remarkable swagger of her own. Her abilities as an agility competitor are eclipsed only by her maturity and groundedness as young adult. She is the kind of girl I would have wanted if I have if I had had children of my own. Last fall Tori sent me a lovely note were she mentioned something she called the “Garrett Swagger” in reference to how she and her friends viewed my way of going around the agility ring. A wonderful compliment and without me knowing,  it was then that Swagger’s name was born.

I keep telling anyone that asks I am objectively observing Swagger to decide if he will live here or move on to my friend, student and Say Yes instructor Penny’s home to live forever. Either way, he will be in a great home where he will be well loved and he will be here for training weekly, if not, more often.

Certainly if he were a female, there would be no question he would be staying. So far I love his structure and yes,  I love his swagger. For the last several months there has been so many “signs” telling me this would be my next dog. However, sigh . . . I am still not ready to say for sure he is staying.

You see I have a more that phenomenal back-up plan. Feature’s littermate in the UK was bred to a wonderful dog that had a litter of puppies just three days after Feature gave birth to Swagger. I am in a very fortunate position to be able to own one of these wonderful puppies (yes a female) should I decide Swagger is better suited to live with Penny.

Time will tell.  In the mean time, I am loving watching the Swagger-man grow up. I am so enjoying him, the down side is I am getting very little work done!

Pretty Boy Swag; looking all grown up at 16 days old.

Swagger loves to sleep on a hard surface, particularly with his face buried in the corner.

Rail-rider Swagger. He once slept below the rail and for the few days he fit without falling off, he loved to sleep on the rail.

Mr. Climb-in-stein!

Swagger throwing down the challenge to his mama to play.

G-a-m-e   O-n!!!!  Feature is a great fill in for a littermate.

Mr. Climb-in-stein hiking Mt. Mama.

Kisses on da lips!

Seeking out the hard beds. Swagger snuggles into a rail-substitute; his weigh in tray. He is quiet the character!

Today I am grateful for Louise, a Say Yes student who emailed me out of the blue and offered to drive 8 hours each way just to be Swagger’s nanny while I taught a three day camp here last weekend. She was a massive help to John and I!


  1. 6 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make says:
    Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 5:10am

    I dont get it..

    what is “Preocuppiedatiousness”? or i just missed the paragraph about it?


  2. Craig says:
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 9:18pm

    I wonder how long it’ll take before we see swagger in a ‘sid’uational pose like http://1x.com/photos/humour/29183/


  3. Penny Mead says:
    Friday, February 18, 2011 at 3:36pm

    Susan, I heard it recommended many years ago (by John Rogerson I am pretty sure) that if you raise a puppy and then keep him, that he should still have the experience of “leaving home” .. going to live with a trusted friend for a couple of weeks and then returning to the fold. He said it was important for the puppy’s emotional/social development (and I think also for the mum and other dogs in the home). I remember thinking that it would be something I would look into more if I ever raised a litter. Would be interested also to know if people see a difference in their dogs that “never left home” vs dogs that they brought home as puppies that were raised elsewhere. Or has anyone experience of intentionally having their puppies leave home and then return


  4. S. Weaver says:
    Friday, February 18, 2011 at 1:49am

    I agree about swagger fitting Feature well. And, yes, too, the whole Garrett Team has swagger! Enjoy your little Swag-a-man! Feature looks like the perfect Momma. Keep the pictures coming, please.


  5. Alison says:
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 9:13pm

    How cute. My springer pup loved to sleep on hard surfaces too – so much so we nick-named him ‘the brick’ before we named him properly! I don’t know if it had anything to do with it, but 1 year on he has extraordinary balance!


  6. Craig says:
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2:03pm

    So I suppose there’s the potential for a certain Swagger to be added to Say Yes training.


  7. Penny Mead says:
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 9:18am

    Susan, that is a brilliant answer to Connie’s question … respectful and pragmatic, a nice mix!!


  8. Tori Self says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:32pm

    I really hope you keep him! 🙂


  9. Dakota says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 6:30pm

    I am experiencing some puppy preoccupiedatiousness myself right now and I must say I agree with you- it is impossible to get any work done! Just out of curiosity, at what age do you plan on starting him in a head collar? I’m debating on whether to introduce a leash before the head collar so that my girl can learn to potty on the leash, but then I think it would be easier to instill better manners if I just use a head collar right from the start. I’m sure to get some looks for using a head collar on a toy dog, though!


  10. Kreg says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:25pm

    I like the attitude to not judge the two pups against each other – to get caught in an never-ending loop of comparison and possibilities.
    I am grateful that I have a new rottie bitch from the Oxana line, even though I prefer a dog. I am experiencing why many prefer working with bitches. The attention from her is unlike a male’s.


  11. Michelle says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:35pm

    For Penny, I can only see a win win if she gets a puppy from Feature’s sibling, so many to choose from and same line. To get Swagger because he doesnt fit the bill for you, then you go and pick from many doesnt really sound right. I hope Swagger turns out to be your everything and if he doesnt, then I am okay with second best 🙂

    Now have you thought of breeding Feature again, keeping Swagger and hoping for the girl next time around!!


  12. barrie says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:03pm

    Love the Swagger 🙂 Man, Louise is brilliant to have offered to do something so fun and useful!!


  13. Pat D says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:10am

    LOL, if you think you are spending LOTS of time watching him now, just wait till Auntie En gets to join in and help Mama Feature teach the Swag-man how to play! Work??? no way! The entertainment factor will be off the charts.


  14. Karen says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 10:18am

    What a wonderful story! I have to say that I’m falling in love with Swagger from afar. I am amazed at the focus he already shows with Da Mama. Remarkable! He’s gonna’ be AMAZING!!


  15. Donna says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:31am

    Sounds like you’ll be flying the pond one day soon… just to make sure. Hey, two pups in your life and an ecstatic Penny. How great would that be!


  16. Shelley says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:05am

    Loving those photos 🙂 He is such a cutie, personally I’m with everyone else this little guy is a Garrett doggie!!!


  17. Connie B says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:04am

    Swagger is adorable!

    I’m curious. Will you evaluate Swagger individually or compare him with his “cousins”?


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:27am

      Excellent question Connie! My plan is to have made my decision before the cousin arrives from the UK (she will go to Penny if I keep Swagger). I won’t be making my decision one puppy against the other as I fear once I start that I may never stop throughout their life and that would be unfair to everyone concerned. My intension is to evaluate Swagger’s structure and temperament as I ask myself the question; is this my puppy?


      • Mary M says:
        Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:10pm

        Since you are still on the fence (FYI my vote is keep the little man 😉 this is a great way to go about it, you are very forward-minded to realize a comparision were be there for life…..again, did I mention I hope you keep him LOL

        Just kiddin, I think we have all fallen in love with him through the pictures and stories you have shared!

  18. lamak says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 6:44am

    Thats a brilliant name, but I would have thought so as I had a super German Shepherd named ‘Swagger’ and she was a she!

    In one word, she was Perfect!

    I am sure YOUR swagger will be too…



  19. denise says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 3:20am

    Love the words you “create”…Preocuppiedatiousness 🙂 I’m loving seeing the photos of Swagger. It is bizarre how much time I’m spending checking in to see if there are new photos on a pup who isn’t mine! I can totally understand how you’re not getting any work done when you’ve got all those cuddle opportunities.


  20. weaver says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:26am

    Our 5-year old female dog is named Swag. Not to be contrary, but …. we think it is a mighty fine name for a female. She’s our swag and has stolen our hearts, too.


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:50am

      @weaver, well I have to agree that Swagger would have suited Feature pretty darn well as well!


  21. Kimm says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:18am

    You will keep him. I recognize it… yep.. chatter away… you will keep him. I love the name Swagger, and he is an adorable puppy. A singleton male.. may be almost as bitchy..as a bitch in temperament. 😉


  22. Linda says:
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:16am

    Just put the darn snowshoe on already!


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:38am

      @ Linda, ROFLMAO


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