All Pets Want for Christmas

All Pets Want for Christmas Blog Hop

What does your pet want for Christmas?

We asked Shakespeare and Laevatein, who agreed to provide this guest post. You’d do well to read it; how often do you get to see a dog write in iambic pentameter? (That will be Shakespeare, of course.)

And down below you’ll find a Linky for the related blog hop and a contest for a $50 gift card. Check it out!

Laevatein Writes:

Hi, everybody! It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, but I still remember how. I never forget things. Ever. Even when Mom thinks I have, or wishes I would.

For Christmas, I want a SQUIRREL. Okay, yeah, sometimes I find my own, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome Christmas present. SQUIRRELS are never out of style or tacky or anything. They’re great!

Or, wait! I want a DINOSAUR. Yes, a dinosaur! What? Nuh-uh, can so! Mom brought me one once because she is the Bestest Mom Ever. See, I have a picture!

Laevatein and her new dinosaur toy

It’s almost as big as me!

See? Told you. BESTEST MOM EVER.

Anyway, a dinosaur. Or a squirrel. Or, DINO-SQUIRREL!



…Yeah, I could totally take it.

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under ControlMom says her Christmas present will be having The Book done. The Book is about me, you know. Well, partly. Mom says I helped her write it. Mom says that after teaching me to stay in eighths of a second — seriously, I wanted to work, not sit still! but she explained that sitting still got me to work faster — that she was better qualified to help other special dogs who sometimes get too excited, and dogs who get upset or afraid.

See, she thinks I’m special. She’s so smart to see that I am. And she is so clicker-savvy, too; I can get to her click me lots. And apparently she can write, too; I don’t usually read her blog, except when I’m writing it of course, but she says The Book has gotten really good feedback, all “very accessible” and “like the reader has a consulting trainer standing at her shoulder.”

I’m not sure what all that is, but I think “good feedback” is human talk for clicks and treats. Anyway, I’m just gonna leave this here: sample chapters.

OH! I think I’ve thought of something else I want for Christmas!

Doberman taking down Santa in ring sport training

practicing for Santa!


I’m taking Santa down and taking ALL the toys! That’s me practicing with Chad of Posidog in Ohio. One of my most favorite games is finding and stopping the Bad Guy, and Chad is the Bad Guy I play with most often right now. He’s pretty cool.

Okay, so to sum up, for Christmas I want a squirrel, a dinosaur, a dino-squirrel, and Ringsport Santa. And anything else that sounds fun. Okay, enough talking; what are we going to do now?

Shakespeare Writes

Doberman Shakespeare clicker training book

the honorable Shakespeare To Go

Some years ago, my Doberman Shakespeare wrote this letter to Santa Dobe as part of a list-serv. Here is his letter, a bit dated (Shakespeare is now 12 and may not quite believe in Santa Dobe anymore), but still fun.

Dear Santa Dobe,

This year I have been oh so very good
(although there were some things misunderstood)
and now I’m writing you this little note
and trying best I can to not much gloat.

See, Mom says that she’s very proud of me,
says I have been the best that I can be.
‘Cuz just this year I’ve added six whole sets
of letters to my name (against all bets!).

And so I think I don’t need much from you
Mom’s happy games and treats will surely do.
I’m glad to be in this home — number four!
What do I need?  How could I ask for more?

There are some things I’d love if you could bring
to make this Christmas time all full of giving.
I’d like to mention sev’ral items you could
please spread around where they could do the most good

Some fuzzy toys for all the no-home dogs,
and maybe just a few of those treat logs.
And most of all I wish that they could see
somebody come to get them, just like me.

Sis Chaucer’s doing really, really well
with Courage and Forbearance – elixir spell?
If that was you, then please, sir, keep it up!
‘Cuz she is now a much, much nicer pup.

I really miss my buddy Dante so;
he left us this past June, and yet I know
that sometimes he still makes my Mommy cry.
Please, Santa, help her see he didn’t die.
He is alive in all those stories she tells
of “Demon Dog” and all his seven hells
of puppy madness, to her listening classes.
He’s even now still teaching lads and lasses.

And if you do have room to bring for me
a squirrel who just cannot climb a tree
I’d really, really love it! but if not
a fuzzy squirrel toy would still hit the spot.

Well, SantaDobe, I now can see it’s time
to end this letter written all in rhyme
and so I’ll sign off now, ol’ Dog Saint Nick –
It sure was hard to write this in iambic!

(Santa Dobe could, according to list-serv tradition, deliver Elixirs such as Patience and Calmness to needy dogs; it is to this that Shakespeare refers when he thanks Santa Dobe for helping his housemate Chaucer.

Also, Shakespeare came “un-trainable” to our house, his fourth home in less than a year, and in that year earned six titles. He went on to earn about 26 or so in total. So who’s un-trainable, the dog or the people who gave up on him?)

And now, check out other posts about what pets want for Christmas, and enter the Rafflecopter below! Merry Christmas!

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About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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  1. Laevatein’s post is really funny. All my dogs have also wanted squirrels, and my previous SD’s favorite toy was a dinosaur. I looove the dinosquirrel. Someone needs to clone one post-haste. How do you pronounce “Laevatein”? Must be a literary reference I don’t get.

    • Laevatein was actually the first non-author pet name in our house; she is named from Norse mythology, in which the god (of mischief, fire, and other things) Loki uses a staff to destroy the world and bring about Ragnarok. That staff is called Laevatein. (Even before I met her, I knew she was going to be a weapon of mass destruction! 🙂 )

      Dino-squirrel! It needs to be a bad B-movie!

  2. Well done Laevatein and Shakespeare. Wonderful guest posts from both of you. Thank you for taking part in the hop.

    I wish you all the best for the future and good luck to your mom with her book. It sounds like it will be a great success and very useful to so many.

  3. Shakespeare’s poem is very inspiring! Laevatein’s post sounds just like my little Abby! So adorable, great job pups!

  4. Ohhhh more dogs! Let’s see Laevatein, my sweet TINY thing, Squirrels are evil, and I agree, I want one too.. on a stick, and not because my female Hoooman is being attacked by them, usually that would make them in my court, but these squirrels threaten to over take over Castle Greyskull and since my Temple of Doom has yet to be build

  5. Wonderful post.
    Poor Mr Postie! I love the poem and the dinosaur squirrel – I can almost believe they exist!
    Thanks for joining in the hop 🙂

  6. I loved this post! And thank you so much for showing that ‘untrainable’ is more of a people problem than a dog problem.

    • Yes, thank you! To be fair, Shakespeare’s third owner realized training was possible, he just didn’t have the time as a single parent with two jobs plus night school. That’s very fair. But someone had handed him the dog with the excuse that it was “untrainable” and just couldn’t be dealt with.

      That “untrainable” dog eventually earned twenty-some titles and worked with thousands of handicapped and at-risk children, has trained several clicker-trainers-in-training, and is still at age 12 doing occasional stints of being a neutral dog while I work with reactive client dogs. Not too bad, eh? 🙂

  7. omg dino toy! I cannot get my dog those becasue I have dinosaur stuffed animals ( I may be a little bit obsessed with dinos, myself..*ahem*) and then they wold eat MY toys. lol. yes, i am 19 with stuffed animals. what? that’s not weird. lol squirrel! my sister has a suirrel, i can totally hook you up. lol. jk. O.o OMG DINO SQUIRREL. kind of freaky, actually. I really enjoyed your post. and shakesphere, that poem…. it really spoke to me.

    • Re dinosaurs and stuffed animals: I have a favorite species (Deinonychus, I’d like to train one!) and I have zero problem with adults with stuffed animals. 🙂 SO, if you want, it’s very possible to train the dog to play with *his* animals and not yours.

      I recommend, to clients with kids and a lot of kid toys which should not be dog toys, a single drop of scent on each of the dog toys. One tiny drop of vanilla or anything else. Very small, their noses are better than yours! Then you encourage play with scented toys and trade unscented for scented. Reapply a single drop after washing toys, but otherwise just let them be. Dogs will learn to play with scented toys and ignore unscented. (short version)

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you!

  8. My dogs are so jealous about the Tuffy Dinosaur! They would love one! (and it looks like my favorite- Triceratops!)

    Shakespeare’s letter is lovely. I’m going to say the people were untrainable (and that sounds like a nice way of putting it). happy Holidays!

  9. What a wonderful post! I took Shadow’s advice and stopped by! Anyway, Shadow says he may pitch in at chasing Santa and biting him on the butt or chasing the reindeer, ha ha!

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