Friday, September 16, 2011

Growing Up In Pieces

The Arboks & I met up with Rosie & Weather last night.  Interesting to see how the pups are developing, each following a different pattern.  Letty is still pretty much together, still moving quite well, and her tail is looking somewhat better.  Lucas is starting to look like a string bean but still moves pretty well, a bit loose-jointed but not bad.  Weather has grown the most and is lovely to look at but her beautiful gait is gone for now as she has started developing in pieces and her proportions are off. 
Argus at 4 months

It's interesting to watch pups develop, each of them a bit differently.  We always joke that once you make your selection, it's better not to to re-evaluate the pup again for quite awhile, as most pups go through some ugly stages.  Best to just enjoy and train the pup, and hope that eventually the pieces will fit together again!

Argus was a rubber band as a youngster, no body, no chest, as rubbery as can be.  But cute!  Watson grew up all in "one piece" and always looked good, but that's the exception.  As Letty goes through her growing stages, I will have to remind myself to admire the cute, and not worry too much about the finer points!

Lucas goes off tomorrow to his new home.  Rather than going to Jessica, as Don wants to keep one of the Crupens, he'll be placed locally and we will keep show rights.  Lucas is a handsome pup, happy and sweet, and will be fun to show, and we know that Eloise and her family will do a great job of raising him to be a good citizen.  He will be their 3rd Paisley boy.  We'll take a look at Lucas occasionally to see how he's coming along, but mostly just let him enjoy his puppyhood as a well-raised pet.  When he's ready to show, we'll borrow him back on weekends.

Now it will be MY job to keep Miss Letty entertained, and house-training begins seriously tomorrow as she moves to a crate in the kitchen.  I'll make the pen much smaller, but leave it up for awhile so if I am going to be gone for more than half a day she can be in her pen rather than in a crate.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Next Comes Winter

Frost on the deck rails, already! Ugh.  Unfortunately the forecast was correct and it did indeed freeze last night.  It's 34 degrees now, so it must have been light.  Hopefully the uncovered plants survived here, but outside the heat island of the Twin Cities the veggie farms will have suffered severe casualties.  My daughter says it's 28 degrees in Osceola.  Hope this does not hurt the apples, as many varieties are just now ripening and coming to market.   What a strange year we have had weather wise.

A batch of Stuffed Peppers was a good excuse to use the oven last night and warm up the kitchen!   Last week I found a recipe that was easy and delicious.  This week I modified the recipe to make the peppers a bit healthier, substituting brown rice for white, ground turkey for beef, and low fat cheese for regular, plus I cooked the peppers first to make them more tender.  Turkey, peppers, rice, black beans, Ro-Tel and cheese make this a fast and easy recipe to put together.

Time for the Arboks to go outside.   They will not be impressed.  Lucas leaves for his new home on Saturday morning, and Letty will be an only puppy.   Can't wait!  Lucas is a doll, but it will be nice to be able to concentrate on Letty who is so clever and eager to learn.  Best that I teach her good behavior before she figures out the bad stuff on her own!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freeze Warning? Now?

Turn on the treadmill!

Two nights ago I taught Letty and Lucas to run on the treadmill, not for exercise but for learning a new skill.  Pups are so smart at this age and catch on so quickly.  I should be teaching sit, down, and stay, but this kind of stuff is so much more entertaining!  Whenever they are loose in the basement now, the Arboks head for the treadmill, just in case I might want to turn it on and ply them with cookies.

Time for a second vaccination too.  Has it really been a month since the first one?  One more thing on my list.  Am meeting up with Rosie on Thursday so hopefully we can get current pictures of Weather.  Am anxious to see her again. 

Dog shows this weekend, but I just can't get excited about them.  Only Argus entered and he really doesn't need to go.  He'd enjoy it of course, but he'd also enjoy going to the Dog Park instead of a dog show.  

Hard freeze warning for tonight, so it's time to bring in the houseplants and cover some of the yard plants.  If it were later in the fall I'd leave them uncovered, but some of the perennials and blooming nicely right now and I hate to lose them this early.  The 40 year old Christmas Cactus and Jade Plant will go back out after this cold snap, and this weather will insure that the former sets buds and will flower well again this year.

When I think of all the tomatoes and peppers and all the other produce not quite ripe or ready to sell, I worry about all the people whose livelihood depends on vegetable sales at the various Farmer's Markets.  What a weird year weather-wise!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Puppy Sunday

15 more minutes of outdoor time for the Arboks, then Argus and I will head off to the dog park for a good run, then on to White Castle for breakfast.  Love our Sunday routine and Argus seems to know when it's Sunday.

A most productive Saturday with lots of cleaning, rug washing, and puppy socialization.  Because Letty is not particularly outgoing, very brave about situations but not very interested in people, I'll put extra work into her as a pup.  This is not a personality type I am used to working with, and one that I have not seen before in Argus kids (who normally love everyone), although Virgil/Herbie is very similar.  Letty definitely has a mind of her own, and her life plan does not seem to include fawning over strangers the way most of my dogs do.  She'll say Hi and accept treats, but does not climb up their bodies and cover them with kisses.

Yesterday she went to a new pet store and did well, was fine about being petted, and fearless as she stalked through the store checking out the merchandise.  A small furry dog barked and her and she did not back down or panic as she had when a HUGE furry Goodedoodle loomed over her the previous week.  Need to find some small friendly dogs for her to interact with.  Where can I borrow a Cavalier?

Today is Lucas's day to go out.  He's a soft, sweet, squishy boy who loves everyone and acts just like his dad, assuming that everyone wants to meet and admire him.

Later Jess and Laurie will bring the Crupens (Cruise/Penny) pups over so we can take pictures - a bit early, but it will be good socialization for them.  Later Laurie and I will head off to Sea Salt for an awesome fish dinner. 

Ron is fine, will be back in a few days.  Coral misses him and wonders where he is.  She's his special dog and she expects to spend her evenings sitting on the sofa beside him.  I've made sure the oldsters get their daily walks, but I know they will be relieved when Ron shows up.  Me, I've had a nice vacation of sorts.  Some My Time, or maybe it's Me & The Dogs Time.  I needed that!