Thursday, October 4, 2012

Part Of The Family

Holly has joined the family.  When she arrived, already in season, she moved into the basement with only the fish for company.  She was bred to Argus, and walked 4 times a day, and once she was comfortable with us I left her loose there with lots of toys and bones, a radio and frequent visits.

Once she was out of season it was time to introduce her to the other dogs and fit her in to the pack.  My dogs are all good with other dogs, partly because of genetics and partly because of how they were raised.  I knew they would accept Holly, just as they accepted Nikon almost 4 years ago.  And Lucy & Penny in recent years.  Holly is from a multi-dog household and also has a dog-safe pedigree.  Being good with other dogs is a trait I value and insist on in my dogs.

I took a few precautions though, just to be sure everything went smoothly.

More tomorrow.  Typing with one hands is very slow!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I HATE Passwords!  Whenever I am ready to do anything, anything at all, it seems as if the "remembered" password has been forgottten, either by my brain or my computer.  It's amazing how many passwords clog up my life and my brain!  At least five of them at work, and at least two dozen more in my personal life.  Health plan, financial plan, credit union, PayPal, Audible, BlogSpot, Facebook, Apple, MnFish, DCA, website, and on and on. Plus PIN numbers too. They should not be written down or stored in my iPhone, and they for sure are not stored in my brain!   It used to be easy when I just used variations on one simple password, but soon that was not secure enough, and passwords "expire" and need to be updated.  And they are forgotten and replaced, but the next time they are needed, the only one I can recall is the old one.

Project for this week - figure out all passwords, write them down, get them tattooed on my stomach, and then eat the written list.  THAT should be safe. So if you see me standing in line at the cash machine, and I pull up my shirt and study my stomach, you'll know I am not crazy.  Or if I AM, it's because of passwords!

The other thing I currently hate is typing with one hand . . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Bump In The Road

Well, drat.  A fractured Metacarpal in my right hand.  Who would think that such a tiny bone would require such a large splint?  I was not surprised that the x-rays showed a fracture, but was hoping I could just wear a wrap.  Such luck!  It's going to be a long month.  At least I am left-handed, although I normally use my mouse in my right.  Can do it either way though.

7:30 meeting this morning.  Ugh.  Inhumane.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Socialization Continues

Time is running out.  The Window of Socialization will be closing soon.  Although some socialization continues for the life of a dog, the "window" is from four weeks to four months.   That's the time period when the puppy can most easily make adjustments and learn new things.  The more novel and pleasant experiences a puppy has during that period, the more confident and well-adjusted he will be as an adult.  Playing "catch up" is never quite as good, and it's important to take advantage of this time period  for exposing the pup to all "normal" things it will encounter in its life as a companion, performance dog and/or showdog.

One of the most important things for pups to be exposed to and comfortable with is children.   Kids of all ages, loud ones, active ones, quiet ones.  Kids that cover pups with kisses and insist on hugging them, and kids who are fearful.  Fern and littermates were around a lot of children while the litter was being socialized, and Jess introduced Fern to Don's grandkids.  She's met children while on walks, and has taken cookies and petting from them, BUT she has never lived with them.  Never watched TV from a child's lap, been fed by a child, hugged on the rug by a child, or actively played with them.  Kids look, smell, act and sound different than adults do, and pups who do not get enough exposure to kids are often fearful of them, and some otherwise friendly dogs will even snap if they are "cornered" by kids and feel threatened.

Fern has exactly one week to go in the socialization period.  Where did time go?  Last week it occurred to me that she really needed a "dose of children".  Then, when she had a scary experience being grabbed by a screaming toddler, I KNEW we needed to be proactive about this.  Fern isn't a bold, fearless, devil-may-care type of puppy like her grandpa Argus, but rather a cautious, sensible one like Uncle Watson was as a pup.  Pups like that take a bit more work, but we try to socialize ALL pups as if they needed extra work, so no one gets less socialization that they need.  You can't easily go back.  The things we DON'T do now will be much harder to accomplish later.

Fern went to stay with Heather and her family for a few days.  Heather has two lovely daughters, a neighborhood full of children, four dogs (only one a Dal) and two cats.  A perfect place for Fern's education to continue!   I should have done this sooner, but I sort of lost track of time.  The window is still open for a bit longer though.  Thanks Heather!