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A Little Frenchman Named “Sergio”

If you have never heard of Sergio, the wee little Chihuahua, who lives in Westchester, you will now. This little guy, who is very fit at 6 pounds, was rescued several years ago by Jeanmarie Daly. Of course everyone thinks their dogs, especially Chihuahua owners, are the absolute best of the breeds, but there’s something rather different and extra special about Sergio. 

He attends French classes. “Oui” you read that right, French classes!

Sergio’s neighbor who lives in the same apartment building is a French teacher at Ardsley Middle School for 7th grade 11 and 12-year-old students. However, all of that changed during the pandemic when classes became virtual. Evidently, Monsieur spoke to his students about this special little pooch, and the students wrote stories about Sergio, who had then become a legend in their minds. Well, the best surprise, or shall I say, surprendre was the day Sergio actually popped into the class via laptop and viewed the students. Sergio was fascinated and sat quietly to observe all of the excited faces.

After Sergio’s first appearance, he was asked to join again and again. Monsieur was only too happy to allow Sergio to attend class since he had all of the students smiling and showing extra excitement about their new classmate. It was obvious that Sergio the little Chihuahua had become the class mascot and one of the best things that happened for this class during the pandemic. It appears that Sergio can also tell time as he knew exactly when to scratch at his door to run down the hallway to Monsieur’s apartment. Sergio is never late for class!

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At the end of the year, the students bought Sergio a donut squeak toy which he loves. When school was back in session, and the students returned to the classrooms, Sergio went on sabbatical. However, he will surely make a visit in the Fall when next year’s students hear of this special little Frenchman!

As Sergio would say, “Au revoir”!!

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Most puppies enter their new environments from eight to twelve weeks of age, quickly leaving their young mothers, siblings, and birthplaces behind. By this time, many individuals obtain a puppy less than one-year-old. At this young age, the puppy is still in the impressioning stage of development when he/she is best suited for puppy training. During this stage, the puppy has yet developed instinctive behaviours such as the need to stay calm, stay safe, and guard territory.

As the puppy matures, he/she will begin to develop his/her own sense of social structure, or “pack” structure, and will be better able to respond to and understand basic commands such as: sit, stand, come, etc. Also, at this point, puppy’s learning process accelerates through the beginnings of puppy education and he/she has the ability to distinguish between good and bad behavior. However, it is important to remember that most puppy behaviour problems, including behavior problems with humans, can be easily solved if a consistent, structured, well-mannered training program is followed. It must be ensured that the right kind of behaviour is rewarded with love and attention, without whose continued presence will result in either a well behaved dog or an aggressive dog, neither of which is in any way suitable for either the family, the owner, or anyone else who might come into contact with the pet. Therefore, it is essential to start puppy training at the earliest opportunity after the pup is brought home to ensure that these early lessons are properly learned and understood.

One of the most common obedience and behavioural problems experienced by puppy owners is the inability to effectively communicate with their pets. While a well-trained puppy is not able to display aggression or display strong behaviour, these problems can be easily corrected by applying the right kinds of routines. Puppy routines are essential to both the owner and the animal, as it helps to make sure that the pet does what is expected of him/her, whenever he/she is engaged with the right activities. For example, it is vital that a puppy not be allowed to soil the house or go around on his/her hind legs whenever someone is present, since this would result in inappropriate behaviour that can be very harmful to the puppy.

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