Friday, November 18, 2011

Puppy Antics

From my Facebook posting yesterday evening -

FREE TO GOOD HOME. Former Puppy Prodigy, now turned Life Of The Party. Letty has been a quick study at Puppy Class, catching on to everything amazingly fast. She's gone from cautious about other dogs, to determinedly friendly and MUST meet and play with all dogs. Tonight on the recall, when I called her and the trainer dropped her lead, Letty took off racing around the ring, saying hi to each dog as she passed it, and staying just out of my reach. When I finally tackled her, I'm sure I was red-faced (but laughing). It's always been funnier when OTHER PEOPLE'S dogs have done that.
Letty got way too stimulated yesterday evening, like a kid on a sugar high.  I could see it in her eyes.  Although I'm pleased that she is now comfortable with other dogs, she is having just a bit too much fun at school.  Rather than concentrating on her math, she's always waiting for recess.   Time to work a bit more seriously at home.  She knows sit and down quite well, but it's time to work harder on stays so that she learns to concentrate for longer periods of time.  Lead walking is fine if there are no distractions, but like her father she misses nothing, and always notices things that she wants to check out.

This afternoon Letty goes to stay with Jess & Don for a few days.  She'll have a huge yard to race around in, and Meribel to run with, so hopefully won't drive them TOO crazy.  Ann will be arriving with Sparkle tomorrow, possibly bringing sister Baci along for the trip as well.  Sparkle will get a few days to settle in here without Letty, and I can start her training.  We'll be taking her to lots of new places over the next few weeks, as the socialization that is not done by 4 months can not be made up.

Argus has ringtime on Saturday, and Ann will ride along with us.  Pet Junction is a good place to socialize pups, so while Argus and I are working, she can walk Sparkle (and possibly Baci) around.  Weather permitting, Jess may join us for a bit of extra socialization and possibly some puppy pictures as well.  I haven't seen Meribel for a few weeks, and Jess says she is looking good.

Thanksgiving will be at my sister Kris's house, pups in attendance.   I'll probably pick up Letty then, assuming Jess has not sent her home in a box before that.  Am sure we'll reminisce over the Holidays spent at Kris's or my brother Al's (before he moved to CR).  Everyone brought dogs, and they all had a wonderful time too.  One year we had two Labs, two Dals, two Westies, a Foxhound and a Rottweiler.  Now THAT'S a mixed pack!  Kind of a doggy family!  This year we'll meet Kris's new dog, a Lab mix who has settled in nicely with her Rat Terrier.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And Suddenly, Cold!

"Can someone PLEASE get her out of my chair?" Argus asks.  Letty certainly keeps things lively around here.  The big dogs take turns playing with her, and they will all share their crates, beds or chairs, but you just know that sometimes they wish her gone.  Things are a lot more peaceful without a puppy, but a lot less entertaining!  She's currently out doing laps in the yard while the big dogs share a collective sigh of relief.  Of course she will come back inside jet-propelled because it's only 16 degrees here right now and that only serves to stimulate young dogs.

Puppy class tonight, Letty's 5th lesson, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we will teach the pups and how we will teach it.  These very modern methods are particularly interesting to this old-fashioned dog trainer. 

Sparkle is already signed up for the puppy class that begins in December.  Now, to get her here!  There's a possibility of snow on Saturday, but we'd all prefer rain.  We need some precipitation in the ground before it freezes, or there are going to be lots of trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns that do not survive the winter.  Friday should be warm (relatively warm given it's the second half of November) but Saturday is ???   Assuming things go as planned, Letty will be at Jess's this weekend and I may miss her reaction to the first snowfall of the year.  I'll be notably bummed by that!

Hopefully USPS does a good job with my fish today.  They are supposed to arrived Express Mail, and I will pick them up at the Post Office.  Paid for a heat pack, so hope the shipper did a good job of packing them . . .  Tanks are ready and waiting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Update On Mariah

Hard to believe that's Mariah shown here with her owner Kay.  She sure changed!  And she grew legs!  No longer looks like she is running down hill.  Honest to gosh, she went through some homely stages, but it looks as if she ended up a very attractive girl.  Pups normally go back to being what they were at 6-7 weeks, but I sure wondered about this one.  Mariah went to Kay with the agreement that she could be shown, if the right things happened.  They did!  How exciting!  Kay loves her, and Mariah gets to be a special dog, exactly what all good dogs deserve.

Argus has been such a good sire.  I'm really delighted with the quality of his kids, especially his lovely daughters.  Although Argus has not been used very much, he already has 17 champions and is a Register of Merit sire.  Three more and he will be Register of Merit Excellent.  I presume Mariah will be one of those champions.

New puppy coming on Saturday, weather permitting.  Ann is driving Sparkle up - she says its her practice run for driving to the National in Tulsa next year.  Hope the weather co-operates.  Shipping would be just fine with me, and faster for the dog, but it will be fun to see Ann again, and the guestroom is ready.   Am hoping she will also bring Baci, the lovely black-spotted girl she is keeping.

Sparkle is already signed up for a Puppy Class that starts the first week in December.  It's hard to socialize pups here in the winter so I decided to get that taken care of immediately.  Puppy class insures that pups get out at least once a week, no matter how tempting it may be to stay home and stay warm!  Sparkle has been living with littermates and will benefit from socialization with pups of other breeds.  Hopefully the weather does not interfere with Ann's travel plans.

Someone asked if the pups still available can go to pet homes or if they must be shown.  That's Ann's call.  Both are very attractive pups, but they do need homes and she may decide not to wait for show homes.  There's a liver boy and a liver girl still available.  You can find her contact information on her blog (check my earlier blogs for the link). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Puppy Plans

Waiting to hear if "Sparkle" is coming sometime this week.  Sparkle is one of the James/Nati pups in Ohio and she may be joining our family shortly.  She was my favorite pup in the litter, and still needs a home.  Her breeders are keeping the beautiful black-spotted girl, and because we had no one waiting for a beautiful liver girl, Sparkle will be coming here, at least for now.  I normally have people waiting for livers, but this time my reservations are for blacks.  Sparkle has a lovely liver brother and sister still waiting for just the right homes.  Don't you need a pup to sit on your lap during the cold winter evenings?

Because Sparkle has been with her littermates for 12 weeks, I feel it's important that she get some "only puppy" time, so Letty will be going off to stay with my daughter Jess and her Dal pup Meribel.  Letty and Meribel should have a wonderful time racing around the huge yard, and will no doubt sleep very well.  Have to say I am going to miss Letty a lot, but Sparkle deserves some special time.

In December Letty will go up to Canada to stay with Lucy and her family, possibly until after Lucy is bred, assuming she comes in on schedule.  Knowing how late Lucy came in last time, I'm guessing she won't be on schedule this time either, but Letty can go back up to stay while Lucy is down here being bred to Agility star Indie.   I find myself getting very attached to the lovely Miss Letty.  Although I generally prefer Dal boys, this little girl is something special! 

Argus is doing very well in his obedience class and would do even better if I trained him more often!  Now that the basement is all cleaned up, I actually have a place to train.  Not a lot of room down there for heeling, but no excuse not to work on straight sits, fronts and finishes.  It's the little things that make the difference in your obedience score, and straight sits and fronts, and snappy finishes are important.  I've even reserved "ring time" at the training facility for the next two Saturdays.  A big ring with good footing (and no squirrels) is helpful!

I continue to work on the fishroom, getting all the glass tops scrubbed, and the lights replaced on the planted tanks (fluorescent lights need periodic replacement if plants are to grow properly).  The fish are not neglected during the summer, but the fishroom is more appealing this time of the year.  The temperature is always about 78 to 80 degrees in there, which feels very good when the temps outside are in the "ugly range" and my drafty old house feels less than cozy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Suddenly Monday

A most productive weekend, although half the things on my list did not get accomplished.  Since I was busy for most of three days, the list must have been a bit too long!

Outdoor work is done, except for the gutters that need to be cleaned.  Shall call today and see if I can still get the "gutter guys" out this fall.  At least one of the downspouts is blocked, but since we have had no significant rain since June I keep forgetting!  Still need to water the trees and shrubs, but will continue doing that until the ground freezes.

While cleaning up dead hosta leaves I discovered that the cartoons of people all bent over who say they can not straight up are NOT funny.  Found myself in the same condition.  Ouch.  Can't put off the call to my health plan's back clinic.  Must be some exercises I can do as it's a problem when bathing dogs too.  My shoulders are doing better than usual, thanks to the stretching we do at work every morning, but my back needs some work before snow shoveling season.
Finally, the basement is clean!  Even scrubbed.  Basements in 100 year old houses are not exactly glamorous, and there is no way I could "finish" it and make a nice room down there, but it works fine for raising puppies and keeping fish.  Most of the fish tanks are in the fish room which is insulated and easy to keep warm, but there are others spread through out the basement.  Project for tonight is to prepare a tank for a dozen Dario dario aka "Scarlet Badis" youngsters.  Purchased these on Aquabid and am hoping to be able to breed them.   They're moving into an established tank that currently houses a Purple Spotted Gudgeon. Not sure where he will move too. 

Letty had a busy weekend too, as she entertained her niece Gemma one of the Penny puppies, and then went over to Gemma's
house for a sleepover.  Do little doggy girls have slumber parties?   She obviously had a great time but came home absolutely exhausted, and spent most of Sunday sleeping in the chair!

The handsome boy pictured at the top of the page is Sherman, the patched boy from Argus and Boji, Argie's first litter.  That litter of 8 had 2 patches, plus 6 pups good enough to show.  5 have finished their championships - Ben, Rita, Sam, Nati and Lucy.  A 6th boy also went to a home where we were supposed to have the right to show him.  An agreement is only as good as the people who make that agreement, and those buyers refused to even discuss it once they got the puppy and his paper work.  So there is a very handsome pet out there who perhaps could have been a show dog.  Hopefully, all is going well - but I wish I knew for sure.

House cleaned, dogs groomed, Dog Park for Argus, training for both Argus & Letty, paperwork done for my mother, dinner with her too, files reorganized, lots of computer time (I call that "work" as I am still learning the bells and whistles on the new one), excellent casserole made, what else?  Lots of things crossed off on my list.  I was really anticipating a three day weekend to get caught up (is a person ever really caught up?).

So why is it suddenly Monday?