It is amazing how relaxed Samantha is this Christmas.

We have decorations out including a little train on the floor, lots of quirky musical Santa’s, ducks, snowmen and even a jingle belled stuffed dog.  This year Samantha knows what “leave it” means and more than that she appears to know what is hers and what is not.

We didn’t think these moments would ever come.  We began training when we first got her.  We trained with her.  We sent her to training camp.  We trained again.  And, she tried us at every point.

Are you really the boss of me? she seemed to demand over and over.  Sure we had enough fun times with her to persevere, but I must say for two seniors, she was a lot of dog to take on.  Yet, our Christmas gift is her well-behaved demeanor.  We know we are going to have a wonderful, caring companion for years to come.

To those who are still in the training phase, I encourage you to persevere.  The love you put into your dog will come back in rich, wonderful ways.