Friday, August 19, 2011

Economic Uncertainty?

Lucas and Sloan sleeping

"Wall Street Wrestles With Economic Uncertainty"  And so it continues.  Am glad I am not young, not beginning my working life and don't have small children.  It's a sad ugly world out there.

But on the home front things are fine, at least for now. My job is challenging but going well as we master various aspects of the new accounting system, we're all in apparently good health, Letty's leg seems to be healing well, and the pups are so cute.  Sometimes it's important to step back and think of the good stuff.  I try to be informed, but do NOT have news programs on very often any more as they drag me down.  Much better to listen to a good audio book.

Lots of puppy inquiries now and I wish I had more pups coming along, but I am going to need a break when we are done with this litter!  Although it's great fun, pups are SO MUCH WORK, at least if you are doing them right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reebok Says ENOUGH!

OK, time for Reebok to go home, but she'll be here until Rosie takes her puppy(s) home.  Reebok says the pups are weaned, although I am sending her down once a day as she still has some milk.  The pups chase her around for 15 minutes before she will let them nurse, but if I don't send her down she wanders around whining softly which drives me nuts. If she hears a puppy fuss she starts whining, but if she goes down to check on them they will start yelling and then she wants to come upstairs immediately! Now she's going through what I call the Post Puppy Crazies, leaping all over Argus and Watson inviting them to play, meanwhile shedding like crazy as bitches normally do after a litter.  Such fun . . .  She's very sweet and did a lovely litter, but I will not be sorry to see her go home.

Someone asked if Reebok had been eating a raw diet and the answer is no, she is kibble fed, eating Pro Plan Lamb & Rice.  Her owner is fine with the raw diet and told me to switch Reebok over if I wanted, but I wasn't comfortable doing a total switch on a pregnant bitch so she stayed on kibble but got lots of extra fresh items - meat, yogurt, cottage cheese and eggs and an occasional chicken back.  Reebok came through this in great shape and had plenty of milk until the last week.  It does seem as if the raw fed girls have milk for a longer period of time, but it might just be the individual dogs.  I am NOT an anti-kibble raw feeder, and I think highly of the company that makes Pro Plan.  Even after being bought out by Nestle, I think they are producing a quality product.

One of the reasons I feed a raw diet (in addition to how well the dogs do on it) is because of the small stool volume and lack of odor.  It makes clean up SO MUCH easier, especially with puppies.  When I see the huge poops from kibble fed Reebok, especially when I am walking her and have to pick them up, I am very glad I feed raw! 

Reebok will go back to her old life with Rosie, who will probably get her in shape and pursue A Grand Championship (a newer AKC title).  Reebok had an excellent career, winning the Futurity and going Winner Bitch at the National. (Her sire Dylan is also a Best in Futurity winner, and Argus is the sire of Penny who won it in 2010). I was very fortunate to have the opportunity lease Reebok, and hope that her pups do as well as their parents!  Argus won Best of Breed at the National, as well as 3 Awards of Merit, and has also won the Stud Dog Class 3 years in a row - perhaps a couple of these kids can help him repeat that win next year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Puppy Party

Puppy party

The Arboks had company yesterday evening, when friends Skip and Gia, their two sons and a friend came to visit them.  One of the nicest things about having puppies is the opportunity to catch up with old friends when they drop by to help socialize pups!  This year we've also met some new friends, people who are "Facebook Friends", but who we've never met in person.  The pups benefit from all the company, and so  do the rest of us! 

Joie & Argus with Skip
Ron is your typical Finlander and doesn't go out of his way to socialize but enjoys "puppy company", and the adult Dals think the company is just for them.  Josie particularly liked Skip and kept trying to kiss him, while Argus tried to horn in, and Watson was sprawled at Gia's feet.

I like to watch the way the pups interact with people as it gives me clues to their eventual personalities, and they all go through a variety of stages.  At 3 weeks Sloan startled and got very stressed by company.  A few days later he was totally fine. Then Letty went through a period where she did not want to be held by anyone except me.  She knew her mom and was not interested in company.  Last weekend Weather was more sound sensitive and was started by a noise that the other pups ignored.  Sloan has been fine since that first weekend, and Letty has become a social butterfly.  Weather was absolutely fine last night, but Virgil was a bit less sure of himself.  Lucas has always been bold, but last night was not inclined to sit on laps, just too busy to be bothered, although he finally fell asleep on Gia's lap.  By the time the pups are ready to be placed I expect to have a good feeling for their individual personalities.

Although one often hears that an overly shy or aggressive dog "must have been abused", that is rarely the case.  Just like everything else, temperaments are at least partially inherited.  We can modify that temperament with proper socialization and careful rearing, but much of the dog's personality is really "who he is". Sharp or timid dogs may not have been properly raised, but sometimes that is not the problem at all.  They may be that way despite proper management.  Responsible breeders match up parents with solid temperaments, raise the pups with lots of socialization, and learn to read each pup as an individual so it can be placed in an appropriate home.  I'm still reading these pups, and every day is a new chapter!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too Little Time

Lucas Arbok

This blog may need to be written before I go to bed, at least for awhile, since the mornings are getting a bit hectic!  Puppy chores are taking up more time, especially since I end up playing with them whenever I go down to check on them.  Just too cute now!

Reebok has decided that she is does not want to spend the night with her pups.   The front of the puppy pen has been low enough to allow her to jump in and out, but tall enough to keep the pups in.  She would feed them at night, then jump out and sleep in a crate or a chair.  Now that Weather and Virgil have learned to climb over the low panels, the pen had to be changed, meaning that Reebok had to be shut in or out, but could no longer come and go as she wished.  When I shut her in last night she made it very clear that the new arrangement was NOT satisfactory, so I let her sleep in the kitchen and sent her down again this morning to feed the pups.  Because they had a meal of goats milk, eggs and turkey before bedtime, they slept through the night just fine.  I was planning to have the pups weaned off Reebok by six weeks, but is obviously ready to end things now.

Letty went in for x-rays on her leg yesterday, and to our relief nothing was broken.  We were concerned that growth plates might have been damaged which could result in a deformed leg, but it turned out to be a soft tissue injury.  Whew.  Letty handled everything perfectly, letting out a little squeak when she was placed on her back for x-rays, but was very brave and quite solemn about the whole process.  She rode to the vet's on a towel on my lap.  She's walking better all the time, but may end up with a limp.  Only time will tell.

Plans for the weekend include taking the pups out to my daughter's so we can get their 6 week pictures. Ron and I are not a good picture taking team, so fortunately Jess will be available, and I will have a chance to see Penny's pups.

New Champion Wills
We're celebrating Argus's newest champion son, Ch. Liberty's Phantom Menace, bred and shown by Vickie Mooney and owned by Laurie Shadle.  I saw the Argus/Ella litter at 6 weeks and Wills was my favorite pup, so it was gratifying to see him grow into such a handsome adult.  He finished quickly, with a really nice record. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Promise You'll Call

Promise you'll call .  .

Yesterday morning after our visit to the dog park, I took my brother to the airport and he flew off to Costa Rica.  We had such a good time while here was here, staying at mom's, connecting with old friends, getting together with family members.  It was a perfect time for him to be here, with decent weather and we all had a chance to visit with him, individually and as a family.   Al comes back once a year, something I know my mother looks forward to all year long.  There has always been a special bond between my mother and Al, and each year they both wonder if it will be the last time they will be able to get together. 

My plan is to visit Costa Rica in March.  Al says that's the month with the best weather, and everything flowering.  Now that I am no longer campaigning Argus, and will have vacation time if not money, I must get down there for a visit.  Gram has visited him several times in CR, and my sister Kris went down with her once, but I've never gone.  My sister-in-law Alison is perfectly happy to stay there rather than visiting the US, so I've not seen her since they moved.  Just hope that both Ron and Gram can both stay healthy - that's the only thing that will keep me from going this time.
Puppy Eddie is looking good

The Arboks had a busy weekend, with lots of company.  They are changing so fast now, no longer chubby little todder-Dals.  The adults really enjoyed all the company too, assuming that everyone had come to see them.

On Sunday I packed up the Arboks and they rode along to Albert Lea to meet up with Rosie and Mark who came up from Iowa.  Rosie just broke her ankle (same leg, same kind of break I had last year) but won't let that slow her down and she really wanted to see the pups.  Unfortunately, little dare devil Letty could not wait to be lifted out, took a dive from the car to the asphalt, and came up on three legs.  She was very brave about everything, didn't cry, and enjoying being cuddled by everyone.  By the time we got home she was getting around much better and showing no pain response, so we decided against a trip to the emergency room and will take her to our regular clinic this morning.  Poor Letty, so pretty, such a character, and now this.  Never a dull moment in Paisleyland.

Lisen and Jerry also drove up from Iowa so that I could see Puppy Eddie and decide whether or not we were going to show him.   Eddie looked really good, especially for his age, and because he remembered some of his training by Grace Pella, when he was visiting in Canada, we got some decent pictures.  We'll probably pick him up on our way to the Kansas shows in October and start his serious show training.

No time for editing, gotta go play with pups!