life, thoughts

Tea Time with Tre

Every afternoon between two and three o’clock, my husband and I treat ourselves to a cup of hot tea (we both work from home).

(Take it Eeease = Take it easy in Italian-American language.)

When the whistle blows on the teapot, our dog, Tre (Trey) knows it’s tea-time and wants to join us. He goes straight into his crate and waits to be served.

Of course, he doesn’t get served tea. He gets his special dehydrated sweet potato treat.

I’ve made it no secret that we’ve had struggles with this pup. He became part of our family in June (2021) when he was 21 months old. He never had any guidance. Thankfully, he did come to us housebroken, although he’s had his share of accidents since he’s been here as well.

It’s not like we haven’t tried a lot of different things to calm this very hyperactive, unfocussed dog.


I talked to multiple trainers, who did nothing but condescend to me as if I don’t understand dogs at all. No, I just didn’t understand this dog. I never had trouble training my other dogs for obedience.

We take Tre on three walks each day. THREE. Two of them are shorter walks and one is a long walk.


Even on these 15-degree days (-9c).

We looked into doggy daycare, which so far, we haven’t found one with good reviews.

We looked into agility, but neither my husband nor I are very agile ourselves. We both suffer with chronic pain, and it may be difficult to chase around an agility court with the dog.

Since Tre is a herding dog (Australian Shepherd), we decided maybe herding sheep would be good – maybe help him get out some energy. We found a farm and a trainer and got him involved over the fall. After three months, the trainer told us he wasn’t focused enough, and she wasn’t able to train him at this time.


A herding dog – not trainable – to HERD.

When a trainer can’t even get him under control, we got trouble. The good news is, she said we could take a break and try training him for herding again in the spring.

After all this failing, I hired a dog walker to come a few times a week (now we’re down to once a week). She was not a trainer but very good with dogs. She did a great job of helping to teach  Tre how to go on walks. We’re still struggling when he sees critters along the way, but when there are no critters, he walks very nicely by our sides. All due to our dog walker, not a trainer.


Some people suggested giving him a safe space to go to when he goes ballistic from noises and critters out the window. This is where tea-time comes in.

Every day we have our tea, we tell Tre to go in his crate for a treat. This teaches him that the crate is his safe space.

Tre got used to this routine right away. It’s hilarious how every time the teapot first goes on the stove, he gets in his crate. While we’re waiting for the water to boil, he comes out to check why he hasn’t been served his treat yet. When the whistle goes off, he goes back into his crate. It’s adorable.


Now, he does go in there when we need him to calm down, but that doesn’t mean he calms down. He still yips and wails, begging to go outside and catch that squirrel.

How easy this face could manipulate some (the face closer to the camera 😁).

27 thoughts on “Tea Time with Tre”

    1. Hi Jaya. Thank you for reading about our tea time with Tre and for the nice comment. I like your bio, “making a difference in the world with ink and spices.” It’s my hope to make a difference with words (ink) as well. Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand why it won’t go through. I do receive email there. I checked my spam folder to see if anything went there, and it’s empty.

      Do you have another blog called Granny’s Homestead? I can try emailing at the email given there from my private address. If not, I’m not sure what else to try. Thank you for trying.


      1. Yes I do have another blog, my first blogging website called Granny’s Homestead. I blog about raising and caring for sheep. That is my email on the bottom. Found one problem, I misinterpreted your email address. Will try again.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Tre is a beautiful tri-color Australian shepherd. I work with Border Collies, but first I owned Australian Shepherds, and I still love the breed. One reason Tre is harder to train is the age at which you got him. Every time a dog or animal is handled, it is training, even training to do the wrong things. Australian shepherds are a high energy dog, it never goes away, I currently have a 13 year old Australian shepherd who still acts like a puppy. Excellent that Tre is being walked everyday. With herding dogs, it is best to let them run or take them for a walk before training them. Before I start a session of herding training with my dogs, I let them run or take them for a walk. The going to the crate, shows he is very intelligent. I do not understand the herding dog trainer’s assessment. Good luck with Tre, thank you for being patient and working with him. Last thought, just because someone put a up a shingle that says trainer, does not mean they know what they are doing or they can train all dogs. Your dog walker appears to have a better understanding and communication with Tre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi amtolle – Thank you for sharing your incite about dogs. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment.

      Tre is our third Aussie, which is why he was so-named (Trey). My other two were never this difficult to train, and I got scolded by the trainers I talked to for comparing. Sorry, but that’s all I know. I trained the other two myself and never had so much difficulty. They were smart and understood exactly what I wanted from them. Not that it wasn’t challenging, but Tre has been ten times the challenge. Our first one we raised as a puppy. Our second one we raised from the age of 3, and he was the best behaved of all of them.
      Our first guy (memorial).
      Our second guy (memorial)

      Boy how I wish I lived near you for herding training. I know what you mean about obedience trainers. I didn’t hire any of the ones I spoke with because of how rude they were to me, acting like I was just some idiot who got a dog cause he was cute but without knowing anything about them.

      I live in suburban Chicago, so there are not a lot of farms out this way. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found one with a herding trainer not far away. She said that Tre looks like he has more of a prey drive than a herding one, because he chases the sheep. Personally, I think she could’ve gotten him to understand eventually, but she just didn’t want to work at it.

      I didn’t mention this on my post, but Tre has bitten a couple of people. They weren’t severe, but it’s still concerning. Some days I’m beside myself on how to help this fella get adjusted. I don’t trust giving him to anyone else who might even know less than us on what to do.

      I apologize for going on. I really felt like you understood, and I thank you again for the thoughtful comment. If you have any other suggestions, you can email me at

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. If I’m being honest, a while back I spoke with the rescue agency to see if there was a better environment for this guy. I thought maybe he was meant for a farm. He loves the outdoors more than he likes being inside with us. However, since the rescue agency didn’t seem to know how to place him properly when they let us adopt, I worried he’d get someone else who might not be able to handle his behavior. His beautiful looks would draw a lot of people who want a dog, and they would have no idea what they’re info. So, we’re still working with him. Thanks for reading about him. Hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lori, I am in awe of your patience and love for Tre. He looks so adorable and cute but I feel for your problems with his behaviour. It sounds like you are getting there with a small support system in place. One wonders what happened before in his life. Awww … tea time sounds a treat for both you and your husband as well as Tre in his safe space. Hope you’re having a good week and as for the snow – wow and that’s cold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annika. The rescue agency where Tre came from knows a little about his history. It seems he was left alone outside in summer and in a basement in winter. He has absolutely no fears of anything. He had no one to help guide him on what to do with his over-abundance of energy. We had hoped herding would help, but he is slowly improving. A little too slow for my old body to keep up with him, but we’re getting there. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill! Yes, his face is hard to resist, but he has had not-so-sweet behavior to tame.

      Good to “see” you again. I don’t know why yours and one other comment didn’t show up in my queue until today. I wonder if I’m missing any other comments. Hope you are well.


  3. Aww that face is hard to resist! It sounds like you are doing all the right things in working with him so hopefully that effort will pay off. I just adopted a pair of young cats and the boy is such a little stinker (but so sweet and adorable) so I definitely can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joy. Yes, Tre’s adorable face is so hard to resist. Congratulations on your new kitties. It’s always an adjustment in the beginning, and even more so when there’s mischievous one. Thanks for checking out Tre. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He’s so handsome and obviously smart. I have a real fondness for Australian Shepherds as one of my best dog friends was that breed. That dog lived to please. If treats are the way to Tre’s heart, maybe focus on one command and give him a special treat if he complies? Maybe “no bark” or “quiet”? It takes a lot of work and consistency, for sure. I often think I’d love another dog, but then I think about how old I am…. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Barb. Our new guy is our third Aussie and why we named him Tre. My others caught on much quicker than this guy. I think he was left to fend for himself before he arrived here and needs to see he can trust humans to guide him now.

      I know exactly what you mean about realizing how old you are and getting another dog. Our chronic pain is age related, and my husband and I regretted doing this at first. But, Tre’s ours now and we’re falling for him.

      Thank you for your nice comment. I loved those gorgeous winter photos on your blog.


  5. OMG, Lori! That face is just so adorable! He is still very young, so I think that as he matures he will probably do better. I agree with Anneli that if he can go in his crate he can do lots more. He needs time and consistency … and maybe many more treats? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynette. Things have improved, but we’re still working with him. At least he’s no longer knocking over lamps and banging into windows. And yes, his face is a killer. Everyone who sees that face wants to spoil him. It’s difficult to keep things consistent when others are around him. Thanks for reading about him. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have your hands full with this one, but I can see what a sweetheart he is. So funny that he goes into his crate to wait for the treat. If he can do that, he can do a lot more. You just need to figure out how to take advantage of his smart brain and get it working in your favour. Looks like you’ve been trying a lot of good and reasonable things, and that you’ve made a lot of progress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Anneli. It is so cute that he automatically goes in his crate when he hears the teapot. They are such creatures of habit. It’s been a rough road, and we’re still hitting bumps but doing what we can to smooth it out. Thanks for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate. Yeah, Tre’s face is really a challenge to stay consistent with his training. But we’re working at it. Yeah, he is taking more time than my others, but we’re getting there slowly. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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