Friday, January 11, 2013

Good Bye, My Friend

Holly is home, back in Texas where she normally lives.  On a ranch with lots of other dogs, at least one cat, and a variety of hooved critters too.  Jana sent pictures of Holly from the airport, standing up to give her kisses in typical Holly fashion.  Holly is the kind of dog who is happy wherever she is, friendly, confident & secure, loves people, assumes everyone is her friend, and  interested in everything around her.  She's a little stubborn, but also a little soft, so she's very easy to manage, and tries hard to do things right.  She was enthusiastic enough to be a good show dog, but mild enough to be an excellent pet.  Just the right combination of personality traits, and just the way I think a Dalmatian girl should be. Certainly the way I want my companion puppies to be.

Shipping went well, and the folks at American were easy to work with.  Check in was a bit slow as a new person was being trained in, but everyone was nice.  We wheeled Holly in her crate up to the TSA counter, where her crate went through the machine, and Holly jumped up on the TSA folks who didn't mind a little dog hair.  Thank goodness.  Being a short haired dog she did not have to be "frisked".  Argus actually got a "pat down" when he went to Westminister.  Drugs in his armpits?

The pups continue to do well as I try to find things to keep them busy and expand their minds.  Yesterday everyone got to go outside together, and they did very well, racing up and down and path and around the dog yard.  Their favorite place is the deck, so they played there for awhile as well before coming indoors.  It will be warm enough again today for some outdoor adventures, but then the cold will hit.  I'll take them out one or two at a time, as they will need to be used to outdoors for housetraining, but they'll have to get their playtime in the house.  Fortunately they do not pee every 5 minutes now, so that's a bit easier.  Max and Melitta will start to learn the basics of housetraining, but it's not possible to do a whole litter.  I'm neither strong enough nor fast enough to catch each pup and get it outside in time.  Their new owners can work on that.

No company scheduled for this weekend, though I may do an interview for Gevalia, and will undoubted end up with additional visitors.  The pups will work on learning the treadmill and I'll try for pictures.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Toddler Time

It's important that pups meet as many different people as possible, people of all ages and all sizes, and especially lots of children.  So far the pups had met 43 different people, from old to young, but no toddlers.  Last night Laura came to visit and we filled in that gap.  Laura is a very good natured little girl, granddaughter of the family that owns Letty, and she managed the pups very well.  The pups enjoyed sniffing her and nibbling, but if Laura fell down she got "rescued" before the pups all descended on her in a mass which would have too overwhelming, AND some of my sweet babies are turning into sharks - what we call the Ankle Biter Stage.

Before last night the pups would come upstairs full of energy and gradually wind down.  Last night they didn't happen, and they had endless energy.  They went out on the deck to run around too, but when they went back downstairs they were still ready to play.  Today will also be warm and the pups will go outdoors again, but Friday may rain, and then the cold will hit.  Not very good weather for puppies to play outdoors.  I'll have to figure out some other way to amuse them.  Anyone want puppy visitors?

Holly leaves for home today, assuming all goes well with the airline.  Tomorrow will be her last chance for awhile, so hopefully things go smoothly.  Once the cold air settles in, who knows when she will be able to depart.  Pups got moved to a new crate, since they had Holly's shipping crate in their pen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Socialization Continues

"Do NOT touch my cast", says Watson.

Sure wish I was home during the day so the pups could spend more time outdoors.   They love playing on the deck in the evenings, and are quite intrigued by snow.  Am sure they will be less impressed by the rain we are expecting today, and the cold weather that moves in this weekend!

Although their pen is quite large, the pups really need to get out and run.  Morning and evening they have the run of the basement for an hour, and have such a great time wrestling.  The crinkly cat tunnel is a great favorite for games of hide and pounce.  Because everything must be explored and played with, I continue to find things in need of puppy proofing.

This is a time when the pups should be having new adventures and experiences, something a lot easier to do in the summer.  They've been coming up in pairs and individually to explore the rest of the house including the bedrooms, and everyone had fun helping me put away the Christmas decorations and clean up the guest room.  There are a couple of toys upstairs only used when pups come up to visit, and they've gotten a real workout.  Individual attention is very important to pups as they transition from being part of a litter, to being individual dogs who live with humans, and it's important that littermates don't stay together for too long and become too dependent on one another.   Max and Melitta will take turns going to camp with Jess and Don, learning to be only pups.  Various friends have offered to take pups for "camping" if weather is a problem and it is too cold to ship them to their new owners.

Last night when I had all the pups loose in the basement, I introduced them to the doggy treadmill.  Sure wish I'd had my camera with me!  I turned it on very low so it hummed and moved very very slowly.  Each pup got lifted up on the machine at first and before long the others were jumping up to enjoy the ride.  Some caught on to walking up the slope of the treadmill, while others went down the slope, or wrestled on the deck, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.  We'll play on the treadmill a bit every evening, and I'll teach them all to walk on it.  Very slowly of course, and only for a few seconds, but it's a great learning opportunity, as well as a confidence builder - AND I'll try to get some pictures.  Too cute!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Time For Holly To Go Home

Time for Holly to go home.  The pups are totally weaned, the weather is warm enough for shipping, and I could do with one less dog underfoot right now.   She's been such a good guest, very sweet and friendly, and gets along with everyone.  I'm very pleased with her puppies, and grateful her owner let Holly come to Minnesota to be bred to Argus.  She'll go back to Jana, to live on the ranch in Texas with her Beagle buddies to run with and a pond for swimming.  Ron will miss her a lot, as Holly was a very good sofa dog.  Josie will be glad to see Holly go, so she can reclaim her spot on the sofa with Ron!

Puppy people are making me crazy as I try to find the right home for Gevalia.  Despite my long list of potential pet homes, this is turning out to be a marathon.  The thing that is most annoying is that I told so many people that she was not available and she might still be available after all.  An interview with "creepy" people was the final straw, as I had a feeling they didn't even like dogs, especially not dogs that shed hair and jump on people. I want my puppies to live in homes with families, and to be part of that family.  Dogs are not something you add because you think you should have a nice looking dog to go with your nice looking home.  Dogs need your time too, and Dals as a breed want lots of your time.  If you don't have time to spend with a dog, please don't get a dog.  Of any breed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Five More Minutes

Dogs are all standing there watching me, wondering when I am going to feed them.  Just five more minutes, OK?  Because I rarely blog on weekends, I really need to update things today as so much is happening!

Pups are 7 weeks old, actually old enough to go to new homes although I prefer to wait until 8 weeks if possible.  With this group, because most of them will be shipped, it will actually be longer.  Because it has to be warm enough on both ends, and because 2 pups are going east, and 1 to Canada, we have to work around the weather.  Some of the pups will be staying a bit longer, but hopefully not too much longer as they are getting to be a lot of work!  Looking forward to the time when only Max and Melitta remain.

Everyone is doing great and the litter continues to please me.  Pups are truly gorgeous, and temperaments are absolutely lovely.  BAER testing went well, with 6 of the 7 pups testing as bilateral, and a uni that I knew was a uni.  No one gets carsick which is a very good thing so the pups are easy to travel with.

Pups are being promised to their new owners now, with only one undecided as I wait to see which of two homes will end up with Gevalia.  That decision will hopefully be made by this evening, and she will probably be the first pup to leave.  We still have people who want to visit the litter which will be fine since most of the pups will still be here for at least another week.  Maybe even another month - horrors!  I love them, and have really enjoyed this litter, but I sure could use a break.

Two Puppy Parties over the weekend, one Friday evening and one Sunday evening.  The pups can be counted on to put on quite a show!

Dog shows this weekend too, and Gemma got her first two points, handled by Jess.  Gemma is a beauty and we expect her to do well at the spring specialties.  Had the pleasure of seeing a new Special too, a handsome and sound young dog with gorgeous spotting, a fantastic disposition, AND a perfect (and natural) tail.  I'm predicting this dog will have a wonderful show career.