Dog boots and coat for winter
Mom dresses me in dog boots and a coat every day in winter for our walk to the school bus stop. The boots keep the road salt off my paw pads and the coat blocks the wind. I know exactly what time to get ready and alert mom if she forgets. There is a first grade girl who loves to ask me to sit and shake while we wait for the bus. She laughs and giggles when I offer her my paw. A little puggle dog named Poppy waits too - but we only get to sniff noses. I would love to play but Poppy gets nervous and starts to bark so they move away. After school, mom and I wait at the stop. I always hear the bus before mom does and sit up tall as it comes over the hill.  Little sis comes out and carefully looks left, right, left before crossing the street. She just learned how to cross by herself this fall. The bus driver gives little sis a milk bone to give to me! Mom waves at him with a big smile. I love waiting for the bus and walking little sis home.
I've been practicing using a ramp at training. First, trainer Lynnda had the ramp on the floor and I learned to walk across it. That went pretty well. Next, she raised the ramp on a low box. I got a little scared as the ramp flexes on the middle fold. It does have a non-slip surface, but the movement makes me nervous. She made sure I got yummy treats and we only practiced a few times so I could process what we did. The ramp was brought out  during the next few training sessions and each time it was raised up a little more. Last week, I went up and down to the 24-inch platform calmly and confidently without trying to jump off. Trainer Lynnda is so proud of me! 
I love to play games. Mom taught me how to play hide and seek with toys and mittens in the house months ago. We also play "Find Her" with little sis. She hides behind a tree or  bench outside, around a book shelf at the library and recently we we started playing the game at the dog park. Trainer Lynnda advised the command should have the same intensity of voice that mom would use if little sis was really lost. Last week at training mom asked how to get  me to stay with little sis after I found her. Lynnda had some great ideas. Big sis had several days off of school this week and helped by being the hider at the dog park. She gave me a treat when I found her and then told me to sit/stay. After five seconds she gave me the second treat. By then mom was arriving and gave me another treat because I stayed put. I am really getting the hang of it! 
Mom and Dad think I am the best dog ever. They were so impressed with my manners on Thanksgiving. Mom smiled as I went to my rug every time she opened the oven door. She cooked most of the food the day before the holiday and I got to sample some broth from the cooked turkey bones and savor fresh cooked sweet potato. On Thanksgiving morning, mom put everything into crockpots and then took me to the dog park. I ran and played for over an hour with lots and lots of dogs. When the family starting arriving, mom tossed kibble on the floor as they entered and I didn't jump on anyone! I took a nap on the couch for most of the noon meal.  When I woke up they were serving pie, so I went and parked under mom's feet like we do when we go to food courts. The new kittens were locked in a room because they would not stay away from the buffet table. I am so grown up I didn't touch anything. I just turned two, but I do remember that last year I was tethered to a brick in the porch to keep me away from the food. Mom had me show off some tricks, like having people drop their napkin and allowing me to get it for them. And she made a sneezing sound so I would get her a tissue.  Grandma likes how I oblige mom a kiss before she gives me a treat. They gave me chews all afternoon, practically every time I asked! Wow! However, the next day, they went back to saying no. Sigh. I wish everyday was a holiday!