The jet-set puppy: How to win over your new family

If you’ve read the previous installment of this series (The jet-set puppy: A year of chaos) you’ll probably be asking yourself why we put up with this little puppy terrorist. Quite simply, Rosie was the cutest thing on four legs. Just when I felt I could murder her, she did something so cute or funny or disarming that I simply melted and gave her a hug instead. If you haven’t had those big, brown puppy eyes turned on you, you may not fully understand their power. When she snuggled close and gave a deep sigh of contentment, my anger just disappeared.

Some of her antics and quirks also entertained us on a daily basis: seeing a little red light moving around haphazardly in the dark (Rosie running around with a remote control at night); seeing a tiny puppy growl and bark at anything new that she hadn’t encountered before (especially something dark like a black rubbish bag or a pile of dark laundry); being “attacked” by Rosie every time you sneezed (something she still does). Oh, and she “talks” – she makes a wide range of noises which I’ve never heard a dog make. It’s as if she’s trying to tell us something, but we’re too stupid to learn her language. She also called friends of ours at around 5 a.m. one day, by auto-dialing on my cellphone. They couldn’t understand her either!

Rosie carrying around her pacifier/chew thing - a rawhide bone

In my previous post I spoke of the fact that Yvonne (the breeder) had allowed the puppies the run of the house. That they were allowed to sleep on the beds and other furniture. Yvonne and her two daughters gave those pups a lot of love and attention in their first 8 weeks, and I think it showed in the dogs they grew up to be. Rosie is the most loving, happy, enthusiastic and social dog I’ve ever had.

Whereas our previous dog had been mainly Willie’s dog, Rosie is mine too. During her first year I spent a lot of time with her teaching her about her new world. And attempting to get in some basic obedience training as well (see my previous post Training a SUPERdog). In the evenings and on weekends, Willie did his bit. Playing with her until his arms dropped off. Taking her to the beach to let her run wild and get rid of all her excess energy. Providing a comfy lap for her to sleep on while he watch sports on television. All the love and attention and effort started to pay off. Little by little Rosie became more obedient and less destructive. She learned that when we called her a bad dog, it was not a good thing, and she’d launch herself at us and beg for forgiveness.

Rosie sleeping on Willie's lap while he watches television

From her first week she bonded with us, and we’d get an enthusiastic welcome home every time we had been out. Rosie still listens for Willie’s car in the drive every evening, and then runs to wait for him at the door. She’s become my constant companion – quietly following me around during the day; being my protector (she goes to see who is at the door and lets me know whether it’s friend or “foe”); lying near me when I’m not having a good day and watching over me; taking me for my morning walk!

So as I was lying on the bed last Friday, and thinking of all of this (see The jet-set puppy: Buying a puppy via the Internet), I realized that the puppy that we fetched from the airport two years ago, is the dog we have today. She’s still a chunky dog, with a lot of energy and a dominant personality. She still picks the games she wants to play, she still likes her food and toys (although she’ll share her toys now). But now she’s learned to fit in with her pack instead of terrorizing us! On the odd occasion when she does misbehave now, I think she’s just trying to remind us that usually she’s a good dog because she wants to be.

~ The End ~

The most recent photo: Rosie playing her favourite game of "rope" with Willie

The jet-set puppy series:

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Categories: Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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33 Comments on “The jet-set puppy: How to win over your new family”

  1. March 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    What a cutie, Lisa. She is truly a darling dog. And this, my friend, is a fabulous series–really, really well done! I’ve loved it!

    (Can you believe we’re really leaving Haiti? Kind of hard to believe. However, if we end up in Pretoria, though I know it’s far from where you live, maybe we’ll someday meet in person.)

    Hope you’re having one of your good days and enjoying your precious jet-set puppy!

    • March 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks, I enjoyed writing this series. As you know I don’t normally write such long posts! 😉

      Yes, wouldn’t it be something if you did come to South Africa, and we got to meet in person?! I think you and Sara would find South Africa quite tame after what you’ve been through in Haiti though.

      It’s been really hot and humid here, so I’m not having much fun this week. Am staying indoors most of the time. Rosie is entertaining me though.

  2. March 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Like Kathryn, I love this series – it is so well-written and put-together. Rosie is truly an extra-ordinary dog. Love the photo of her asleep on Willie’s lap – tooo cute! 🙂

    • March 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      Thanks! Yes, Rosie was especially cute when she was sleeping! 😉

      • March 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

        Hahahaha!! I can imagine! You must’ve been soooo relieved when the little bundle of uncontainable energy RESTED for a few minutes! 😀 LOL.

      • March 4, 2011 at 7:40 am #

        Cats are just so much easier to raise and to live with, aren’t they?

  3. March 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    That is one cute dog.

  4. Estie
    March 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Lovely post! Happy birthday for the 4th.

  5. jacquelincangro
    March 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    What a great post/series Lisa! I loved hearing about your Rosie. I understand why you could never stay mad at a face like that!

    • March 4, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks! I’ve always been a “cat person”. This is the first time that I’ve been so close to a dog. They’re such clever creatures – and so eager to please.

  6. bagnidilucca
    March 4, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    What a wonderful dog – they can be so much fun – and an important part of the family.

    • March 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      What I’ve also been amazed at is how Rosie responded to the training we gave her. She’s a clever dog – really keen to learn new things.

  7. March 4, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    What a hoot!!! I would love to see her attack after the alien sneeze- which is apparently what she thinks you’ve become when you do it.

    • March 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      After two years we still have no idea what the attacking after sneezing thing is all about. We have to warn visitors though, so they aren’t too shocked when she leaps at them.

      What was really funny is that when the cat sneezed the other day, the dog looked at the cat considering what she should do . . . and then leapt at ME! Obviously Rosie knows that jumping at the cat would not be a smart thing to do!

      • March 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

        That’s even funnier!!!! She can tell species specific sneezes!!!! But making a conscious decision to after you is hilarious!

  8. March 4, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Such a great idea this series. Rosie looks and sounds like such a fabulous dog. You got lucky 🙂

    • March 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Thank you! I’ve always wanted to share Rosie’s story with people, but didn’t quite know how to make it interesting enough for people to want to read it.

  9. March 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    she is so cute! i bet shes a nightmare sometimes

    • March 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Rosie was a little puppy terrorist, but she’s quite a good dog these days.

  10. Anna-Marie
    March 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Fun reading about Rosie! Maybe because she comes from Jozi?

    Lisa, wishing you a lovely birthday today, and may it be your best year ever! We miss you and Willie. Love, Anna-Marie and the Retief family.

    • March 5, 2011 at 7:26 am #

      Rosie in Jozi! Ha-ha.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. Love to the Retief family!

  11. Oregon Sunshine
    March 7, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Aww! Yay for Rosie!

    I find that the dogs that touch us the most are the ones that really make us work for every little success with them. Sounds like Rosie is this kind of dog.

    Congrats on such a beautiful girl!

    • March 7, 2011 at 8:15 am #

      Thanks! Yes, I think you’re right. The more effort you have to make with an animal (think this is true for cats too), the closer you get to them.

  12. March 8, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    All I can say is…awwww. I love this latest installment on Rosie. She looks like she has so much personality. 🙂

    • March 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      LOL Rosie definitely has a lot of personality, which she’s very keen to demonstrate to everyone she meets! 😉

  13. March 12, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Man’s best friend! They really live up to the title, don’t they?

  14. March 13, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    What an adorable puppy. The one of her sleeping is my favourite, too. You describe her personality so well!

    • March 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

      Thank you for your comments! After 2 years I have had plenty of exposure to Rosie’s personality, so that helps in describing her!.

  15. Braden
    November 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    i love puppys

    • November 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      They are so cute when they’re little and grow up way too fast! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! 🙂

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