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Families Again
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Tuesday's Toolbox - This Week's Item - A Pet
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

Why am I incredulous? Well, if we didn't need something else in our lives, we decided to take over the care of a dog. Yes, we now have a pure breed Miniature Pinscher. He belonged to one of Sarah's ladies who just had a new baby. It is still a puppy, only five months old, so it is still trainable. He didn't come with papers, because the owner really didn't care about them, but he is at least as close to being pure breed as you can get. In fact he looks exactly like this dog found on a Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin) web site:

Except, the breeder bobbed the tail of "Jojo" before he gave it to our friend, so Jojo has a short tail, not a long one like the one in the picture.

What makes life even more interesting is Jojo's (I call him Joseph ~ Jojo just doesn't fit a male dog) temperament. Here is what the American Kennel Club website said about the behavior of this small breed:

The Miniature Pinscher can really spice up a person’s life. This dog is small, but he doesn’t know it! He’s quick and active, with a lively curiosity. They are good family companions and look out for their family, bravely challenging intruders with their bold, insistent bark. The "Min Pin" will be happiest with a family that treats him like a standard-sized dog. He may be stubborn, but he’s also smart.

Sound familiar? Quick, active, curious, bold...sounds like characteristics of a couple of my children. As a matter of fact, Joseph fits right in with our family, down to the name that begins with a J. Whatever would possess us to want an active addition to our family?

Well, anyway, a dog can be a great learning tool in the home. John Allen is learning how to train him. Already, within the week that we have had Joseph, he has taught him how to sit. Here is a list of things that I am hoping a pet will teach our boys.

  • Responsibility - We told the boys before we got the dog, that they were going to have to be responsible for him. We would buy the food for now, but they would have to feed him, take him out, clean up any messes he made, etc. They have really risen to the challenge. I am really pleased.
  • Training Skills - As I said, John Allen is learning how to train him and has done a good job at it.
  • Patience - As John Allen trains Joseph, he is learning patience. It is not an easy task to train any animal.
  • Reading Skills - We have done a little reading up on Min Pins, but I am hoping to check some books out of the library so that the boys can learn more about this unique breed of dog.  
  • Journals - I am going to have the boys keep a journal and a record of how much time they spend training him and the progress that he makes.
  • Money Management - Eventually I would like to turn the food and supply purchasing over to the boys (or at least John Allen). We would give him an allowance to purchase things that he would need, and John Allen would have to keep track of the spending etc.
  • Math - The Money Management would also involve math skills.
  • Spelling, Report Writing, Lapbooking, etc. ~ the above items are just the beginning. Those are things that homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers can do. If you are a homeschooler, you could research the breed, write reports, use it as science, spelling, language...you name it! The sky is the limit.
Along with our mostly outdoor cats, including some strays that have adopted us, we have quite a menagerie, and some excellent learning material. We are really excited about getting Jojo. The boys have been asking for a dog for a long time, and we only decided to take him if the friend who gave him to us promised to dog-sit when we needed her to. But, it looks like Jojo~Joseph is here to stay. He has definitely become part of our family. We'll keep you posted on how he's doing and what we're learning about him.

Don't forget to click here to visit the rest of this week's Tuesday's Toolbox entries!



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:24 PM CST
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