Happy Birthday Maya Papaya!!!

Happy Birthday to Maya! She’s wearing a birthday bow from Bow Wow Wow Gifts.

Maya is 5 y ears old today! It was in November of 2007 when I first brought her home, though. I got her from a family who had adopted her just a week before. In fact, I still have her adoption records that name her Dixie. Since Maya was only three months old and had only been called Dixie for a week, I changed her name to Maya. Maya is a better fit, don’t you think?

So if Maya was adopted by someone else, why did they only keep her for a week before giving her to me? The woman who adopted her had two toddlers and an infant. That is a handful for anyone. Add a rambunctious puppy to it and you have absolute mayhem. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to take Maya and glad that Maya didn’t end up getting tied up and ignored in a back yard. But this situation shows that shelters need to make sure pets are a proper fit for a family, and families need to make sure they are ready before they get a dog.

Maya’s first crate. It didn’t take her long to outgrow it.

Potty Training
Maya was a joy but it didn’t take long before she earned the nickname, Trouble, and the saying, “Oh my, oh my, oh Maya”. I was working from home so I had lots of time to spend with her. But Maya was still the most difficult dog to potty train. I’ve had dogs my whole life and never had as much trouble potty training as I did with Maya. In fact, just last month she had an accident. It was my fault since I knew I should have let her outside again after she had played in the sprinkler and drank lots of water. But I forgot and Maya doesn’t tell me when she has to go. She just goes.

Leash Training
Training Maya to walk properly on a leash has also been very difficult. She does well with the stop-n-go method where if she pulls I stop and wait for her to look at me and come back before going forward again. I also gave her treats when she stayed by my side for a length of time. But all that training goes out the window as soon as she sees another person, and especially if she sees another dog. I know how to help her with this issue, but it is not easy getting someone with their dog to help me. Plus, Maya gets used to that dog but will act out with other dogs she doesn’t know.

Not too long ago I had an incident where we stopped walking so I could pick up Maya’s poo. Suddenly, a dog came from around the corner and Maya started pulling and barking. I nearly landed in the poo!

Crate Training and Chewing
While Maya has a couple issues, I never had any trouble crate training her and she never chewed on anything she wasn’t supposed to. How great is that? Crate training was a quiet and easy process. And with all her toys, it never even occurred to her to chew on something like shoes or books.

Overall, Maya is a fantastic dog. She is so lovable and her silly antics make me laugh. I love how I can trust her with children and around other dogs. She is also smart and mostly very well-behaved. Plus she is a great cuddler. Her nose turns brown in winter due to the colder weather (this is normal for yellow Labradors). I love my nosy little brown-noser.

Maya with my young nephew Bennett.

As you can see, Maya is very photogenic. She’s not a working dog, per se. But she does work as a model for pet products for me. She is probably best known on my PetAutoSafety.com and PetAutoSafetyBlog.com websites. Maya loves to model in new dog car harnesses as well as other pet products. Check out these great photos of her below.

Maya has loved snow from the very start.

I know you see Maya tied up in this picture but I want you to know that she was never an outside dogs. When I got Maya, I lived in an apartment complex so when she spent time outside to play or potty, she had to be tied up. She was never left tied up unsupervised. I always went out with her.

Maya wearing her summer-fun dress

Maya Wearing Daisy Diva Design Collar

Maya showing off a handmade collar that has ice-pack inserts to keep her cool in the heat (available on PetAutoSafety.com).


Maya is wearing her Kurgo Tru-Fit dog car harness.


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5 Responses to “Happy Birthday Maya Papaya!!!”

  1. Juliette and Dougie my white Westie Says:

    Happy Birthday Maya to you from Dougie the Westie!! You were cute as a pup yet still are. You never forgot the first day of collecting your dog – it is so fresh in my memory.

  2. fostrickson Says:

    Happy Day to you, Maya! Mylo will be 5 next week. 🙂 Loved all the pictures!

  3. Long Life Cats and Dogs Says:

    Happy Birthday Maya. So glad you managed to adopt her. I hear what you are saying regarding the shelters responsibility to finding the correct fit and this one was a clear example of an incorrect one but I must say, it’s a lot harder than it seems. Many is the time I have desperately tried explaining to people that puppies and kittens are not necessarily the best fit with toddlers (in fact, as with Maya, it almost always turns into a problem with rambunctious puppies and kittens with claws) but, none the less, people persist, especially with dogs like a lab, when they’ve heard just how great they are with kids. Anyway, we are happy that Maya’s story had a happy ending and she’s even a Model – well done to her!

    • ILoveDogs Says:

      Agree. Shelters are so overwhelmed to begin with. Perhaps they knew Maya probably wasn’t a good fit for this family and tried to talk them into something better. But if the family insisted, the shelter could only hope they really were as prepared as they thought they were.

  4. Clowie Says:

    We used to do stop and go for walking without pulling, but we called it the Two Step – because that’s usually how far we got!

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