Thursday, November 10, 2011

A New Puppy?

Letty and Coral

Coral actually seems to like naughty Letty.  She has not been very patient with the last couple of pups who have stayed here for awhile, but this one she seems to be fine about.  She'll actually let Letty sleep with her, and patiently puts up with her silly puppy antics.  Coral at 13+ generally has little tolerance for nonsense.

Poor Coral will have to adapt to yet another puppy next week when Sparkle comes to stay, at least for awhile.   We're taking one of the James/Nati pups for a try out.  We may sell her eventually, probably on a co-ownership, but it will give us another pup to work with over the winter and show in the spring, and will get a puppy away from her littermates.  A brother was supposed to be coming too, to a performance home, but sadly that seems to have fell through.  I'm really disappointed, as is Ann.  If you're interested in a beautiful, healthy, well-bred, well-socialized 11-week old puppy, there may be one for you!  Leash trained, crate trained, and well on the way to being house-trained.  A show pup, performance dog, and/or companion.

Letty is doing her very best to keep us entertained.  What a character she is!  She's decided that dog bowls should not contain water and does her best to dig it out.  Results in a big mess on the kitchen floor, but a lot of laughter from Ron & me.  Unfortunately, by not correcting it early (too busy laughing) it's become something of a problem.  A messy one.  Oh well, water wipes up easily.

Our friend Patti has offered to take Lucy up to Canada for awhile this winter.  It's a great opportunity for extra socialization, especially with kids.  Patti and her family did a great job of raising Lucy, and a wonderful job of socializing Eddie and Meribel.  I'll miss Letty terribly, but it's too good an opportunity to pass up.  Plus it will give Sparkle a chance to be an only puppy for awhile.

Although it's possible to raise littermates together or raise a puppy with one or both of it's parents, it's very important that puppies get the necessary individual work as well, and leaving home for awhile is very helpful for developing self confidence.   Letty will get away from the "pack" she has always been part of, and Sparkle will leave her littermates behind.  Sounds like a good situation for all of us.

If you are thinking of acquiring a Dal puppy, or of adding a second puppy to your family, remember that Sparkle has littermates available.   You can see pictures and read their story at -

ALSO, if you plan to donate money to charities for the holidays (we donate to the Food Shelves and to the local Humane Society in lieu of Christmas gifts), please read this first.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Whole Stole My (fill in the blank)?

Camera is missing this morning.  Where did it go?  Who stole it?  Who mislaid it?  Must have been me, but how far away can it be?  How can things get lost in a house inhabited by two people, one of which (not me!) is very organized?  WHY can I not remember to put things away, or at least to leave them OUT in plain sight?  After 45 years of driving I have gotten in the habit of putting the keys where I can easily find them - dining room table - and I never ever mislay my glasses, but everything else?  Oops.

So naturally, I just missed a chance at the shot I've been trying to get, Letty digging the water out of the water bowl.  Any kind of a floating speck is an excuse to dig out all the water.  Cute, but a bit messy!  I haven't exactly discouraged this behavior (something I know I will regret later) but I'd really like to get a picture of it before I force Letty to give up her sport.

OK, it's gotta be here SOMEWHERE.  I'll put Ron in charge searching today, and put up with the digging for a bit longer.   I want a new camera, but can't quite afford one right now, so I need this one back.

Obedience class went very well for Argus last night.  I'm really pleased with how well he is doing.  The dogs were popping up like jumping beans on their stays last night, but I was able to go out of sight and Argus never moved a muscle, even when sniffed by cute girl dogs.  Good boy, Argus.  Heeling is getting smoother, attention is improving immensely, finishes are improving, and fronts are very good.  Was not sure how it would work with Argus in a class that does not depend on food incentive training, but he's doing very well.  Our biggest problem is straight sits, but that's only because I have not put much time into that yet.  We need to work on straight sits for a few minutes everyday, so he actually understands what straight looks/feels like.  Rented ring time on Sunday which will help.  So hard to work in the house, or out on the cold dark street.  No, that's a copout, I guess.  We CAN work on straight sits, fronts and finishes in the basement.  Just need to make it part of my evening routine.

There's a big difference between getting an obedience title, and getting it with good scores and placements.  The difference is time spent on the little things, like straight sits, good fronts, snappy finishes and attentive heeling.  If we are to do this, we will do it right.  I need the training as much as Argus does, and I definitely need a better work ethic.  No excuses.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Cheeseburgers For All! Or Maybe Not?

Congrats to our friend Meg Callea who had a wonderful weekend in Southern California.  Two new champions including Argus's puppy daughter "Bella" - you saw her baby pictures here last spring.  Bella finished her championship in two specialty weekends from the Puppy Class, with 4 majors including a Specialty Best Of Winners.  Bella's big sister "Tia" from the previous breeding of Argus & Tess earned 19 (of the 25 required) points toward her Grand Championship.   A cheeseburger for Argus!

We spent Saturday at an all day seminar for breeders, sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation.  I'm NOT used to sitting in class from 8:30 until 5:45, but it was well worth it.   Excellent speakers, good facility, nice lunch, and good company (Jess & Stephanie).  One of the speakers addressed nutrition and the epidemic of canine obesity - that at least 60% of American dogs are overweight.  Tragic!   Just as with people, overweight dogs are prone to many health issues, and easily managed health issues can be more of a problem in overweight dogs.  She stressed the importance of what she refers to as "healthy lean", and the fact that we as dog owners and show people need to spread the word.  Many of the orthopedic problems in dogs, like hip dysplasia, are FAR more likely to occur in over-weight dogs because of the stress on the joints of growing puppies.  Pleasingly plump is NOT a good thing.  Fat is fat, too many calories are too many calories, and we are doing our dogs a big disservice by allowing this to happen.