The Princess Tails

The Musings of Zena, a Tibetan Terrier sharing her life and wisdom with Raffles, a Standard Poodle

The Proud Princess


Today was the first day that Raffles has been to the leash free park. No pics I’m afraid. It was all hands on deck to make sure it was a positive experience for the ‘baby’ of the house. And I was crucial to the whole event.

He wasn’t walking on the lead properly until yesterday and is still rather erratic, but I pride myself in having something to do with showing him the way and giving him confidence. We set off this morning fairly early because due to him being sick in the night The Producer was up early.

This dog is sick at the slightest thing. We think it might have been his vaccinations but it’s only a guess. It is rather weird but he uses his bed for the moments when he is ‘caught out’ or sick. Makes containment easy but cleaning up a pain because the short-sighted Producer got an enormous bed which she struggles to get in the washing machine! However, that is her problem.

The first night we had him he used his bed as a toilet and then kicked me out of my lovely bed and made that smell nasty. I know, I know. I shouldn’t have let him, but he’s big and he weights 4 kilos more than I do and knows how to use that weight. Anyway after that night The Producer has put my bed under a hall table where he doesn’t fit easily so that keeps him out 🙂

All that to say that we had an early start so decided to give him his first taste of the reserve. The Producer and The Director are a bit concerned because the breeder told them he was dominant with other dogs so they are keen to socialize him and have him be friendly.

He loved going up the street. When he doesn’t know something or wants to think about things he sits down. It is quite funny. He doesn’t really look like a puppy so it is quite strange when he behaves like one. Because I was there to lead the way he was confident and we walked all the way to the park on the leash without a problem. I was quite proud of him, he did well.

Then we got into the park and it was quiet so The Producer let the lead drop. He followed me a little and then saw two dogs and ran back to The Producer. They stayed close to him but he was nervous with the dogs so they kept him away. Then a big Labrador came running up in the way they do. Just all laughter and clumsiness and I thought Raffles was going to bolt, but The Director kept him close to him and eventually he relaxed.

Raffles ‘thinking’

Then a couple of Standard Poodles came into the reserve. They were from the same kennel as Raffles. In fact it was due to them that The Producer found Raffles, because these two Standards were so friendly and quiet – huh!

Perhaps he recognised the shape or smell but in no time at all he was comfortable around these two and when another Labrador and small dog joined us he sniffed and was enjoying meeting them. The Producer was concerned that he might be a bit bossy with the little dog but there was so much going on that he was good. At one point he even did the correct puppy behaviour of lying down on his back and being submissive. They were very proud of him.

Unfortunately at that point a German Shepherd who they know to be a bit unpredictable came around and we could all see Raffles react to something in his body language. He was a little nervous but also wanting to get closer to the Shepherd and his tail went up and he began to prance a little. Not good signs. So The Producer and The Director decided it was time to take him out of the reserve and finish on a good note.

Deciding which Camellia to pick to decorate the lounge carpet with!

Maybe the German Shepherd would give him a nip and teach him to be careful, we dogs have our ways but The Producer doesn’t want him to have a bad experience and become afraid. I’m thinking at the moment that he might be too good a bodyguard!

Although they all clucked and drooled over The Puppy, I was the real star! Without me they wouldn’t have even got him to the leash free park. I gave him confidence and told him what to do. What’s more The Director hasn’t been to the reserve with me since we have had Raffles. After Zac crossed over the rainbow bridge you know that I couldn’t cope very well. I slept all day and when we went to the reserve I wouldn’t leave The Producer or The Director. I just stuck to their calves. Boy did he have a shock today. He was focussed on Raffles and when he looked up and saw me across the other side of the reserve playing with the Labrador he was amazed! Yay me 🙂

I will leave you with my Halloween picture. The one I think The Producer should have used not the spooky one she made and sent! I am not a spooky Princess.

Love Princess Zena – dog trainer extraordinaire!


Author: Zena

I am The Princess (aka Zena), niece of Zac the All Black and awesome Tibetan Terrier who took me in when I was just a six week pup and tried to teach me all he knew. When I was six and he was eight, Zac crossed over the rainbow bridge and all of a sudden I was alone. I could no longer be the ditzy, happy-go-lucky pup that I had been. This is a diary of how one Princess managed when the world turned real.

28 thoughts on “The Proud Princess

  1. The GSD would have put him in his place.

    • I think so. Mind you this is the GSD who frightened me and on his last day at the reserve Zac sat on his bottom and growled at it when it ran at me and the GSD ran off, but I don’t think he’d let a puppy sass him!

  2. Well donr Zena. You did a fabulous job training Raffles. Of course it was all you! 😀

    • Absolutely – all meeeeeee. They could not have done it without me. I am a most remarkable dog trainer. Though if he gets aggressive that’s all down to them!

  3. You did great teaching that boy the ropes Zena and good for your Producer and Director on leaving the park on a good note 🙂

  4. Of course you are the star of the day. It just may take others time to realise this. It is good that you are gaining confidence. Me and Nellie are sure it is part of your plan to take over the universe.

    • The universe…….. cool. Princess Zena Mistress of the Universe, and I could have a cool outfit with a cape and a cool spaceship with bling 😀

  5. I’m sure you are a fabulous dog trainer!!! You should get your own tv show ;o)

    • Hey, brilliant idea Easy. In fact we could have a whole station. You could take care of DIY projects. Mollie & Alfie could be the game show hosts, Doggy could take care of the adult entertainment and I’ll do the fashion tips and dog training. And Lady Litchfield can do etiquette and party organising!
      Bound to be a winner 😀

  6. Raffles is making very impressive progress under your tutelage Princess! 😉

  7. Zena, I’m sure they couldn’t have managed without your help!
    When people are saying how cute puppies are, they always seem to forget how good they are at being sick!

  8. Sounds like you are doing an excellent job of training raffles 🙂

  9. You did a great job with Raffles Zena, now you just need to sort out the wetting the bed. Having to wash that everyday is not a fun job. Good job the Producer decided to leave the park, one bad experience and that’s enough to scare pups for life. Love your Halllooweeen picture 🙂 xx0xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Glad you liked the picture, i thought it expressed me a little more than the spooky stuff The Producer did. A Princess should never lose her dignity!
      Yes, you are right about the bad experience. Not sure if we should take him to the park again or wait until he is a little older.

      • Youz gotta take him to the park as much as poss..This is where he will learn to socialize, if a dog tells him off,so be it, that’s what they do. If you try to protect him all the time, he will end up like the dog we use to have..He hated other dogs and was aggressive towards them, because the person who had him before us, never socialized him. Mollie goes once a week to doggy day care, a free for all basically, she loves it at classes it as her second home, bossing all the other dogs All dogs are so different, Mollie is scared of people and children, we have got to get her out of this. She barks like mad at them, at 18 mths, she still has so much to learn. So the tables have turned, I have a dog that loves dogs but isn’t so keen on people.. xxxx
        Mollie and Alfie

      • That really is our thinking. Get him out there. We want to protect his first few visits so he doesn’t get a nasty experience which makes him respond with aggression. We hope to get him confident enough that he doesn’t see aggression as necessary. But he is a dog and if one threatens him he will respond. You can see that about him. I know most of the dogs there so I can have a quick scan and check them out before letting him off. He was nervous to begin with which is why we were so careful. He loved it at the end and behaved beautifully. We particularly wanted him to get used to little dogs and not to bully them or chase them so the dog park is great for that. He was walking around with big and small and being very sensible.
        One day he will probably do something to get a check from an older dog and that will be good, but we want it to happen when he is feeling pretty comfortable not in his first few visits.
        I’m sorry Mollie isn’t so keen on people and children, maybe Clowie’s Halloween trick would help her like them more 🙂

  10. Princess: The Standard Poodle Whisperer
    You should get a TV show and start training furry beasts all around the world.

  11. We think the Producer is quite wise in how she is socializing Raffles. That is something my Mom thinks she should have done more of with me. I am not super fond of some dogs…make that MANY dogs. Mom wouldn’t go to an “off-leash” park here because she thinks it is too risky for me, given my “love” of other dogs. BOL. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

    • Sorry you feel like that about other dogs Dakota. I think The Producer is keen to have us socialised because she had a Tibetan in Europe who did not like dogs. I didn’t do puppy school or anything like that, but I had Zac and was very friendly to everything and anything.
      I think The Producer is being very careful to try and make sure that Raffles really grows up safe and good for all our sakes and so that we can still enjoy that off leash time. We’re not there yet but hopefully if he continues to have good experiences we’ll get there. Because the breeder mentioned he was dominant with other dogs we need to have him relaxed and well behaved around them. Let’s hope we’re doing it right.

  12. Good work being such a great leader for Raffles! You will always be the star of this show!!

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