Friday, January 25, 2013

Vacation - Much Needed

I have the weekend off!  The pups will be spending it with my daughter Jess, one of their other breeder/owners.  I'll miss them, but really need some time off!  The weather sounds good for Dog Park visits, and water changes are needed in about 25 aquariums - poor fish have been a bit neglected of late.

Crate training and house training started last night, with the pups eating their dinners in separate crates, staying in the crates for an hour and then being rushed out to the dog yard to do their business.  Success!  They shared the pen last night but I dashed down this morning before they were awake and rushed them outside.  Again, success.  They will eat their breakfasts in their little crates and then go out again before I head to work.  Jess will continue the crating and outdoor visits this weekend, so they should understand the concept by the end of the weekend, and will know what "Hurry, hurry" means.  Of course they will require lots of supervision, and quick trips outdoors, but the deed with get done.  Once pups understand WHY they are going outdoors, the rest falls into place.  Eventually!

How many pups have I housetrained over the years?  Hundreds, I'm sure.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Poor Watty

Doesn't seem fair, somehow.  Watson is absolutely the sweetest, most mild-mannered of dogs, and deserves better.  He's had a rough winter.  First it was a huge hematoma on his ear that had to be emptied and a drain inserted.  He never fussed about it, never tried to remove the drain, and it appeared to be healing properly.

Then he broke a small bone in his foot.  Somehow. Not a serious break, but it had to be protected so it could heal.  Although Watson will be 13 in May, he's very healthy for his age, and we wanted him to be sound on that foot, as well as comfortable.  So he was fitted with a splint to wear for 6 weeks.  Again, he never fusses about the splint, never tries to remove the wrapping, never objects to Glad Wrap on the splint when he goes outdoors.  Fortunately, other than a bit of initial curiosity, the other dogs never bother it either.

Last weekend, Watson started to develop a new hematoma in the same spot.  The drain had been removed, the incision healed over, and fluid started to build up again.  So far it's stayed relatively small and we are just watching it.  I won't put him through surgery again if I can avoid it.

Then the splint malfunctioned.  First there was a sharp piece we could feel along the back of the wrappng and by the next morning the whole thing had shifted.  A trip to the Vet showed the splint had broken, the plastic piece along the back of his leg shattered.  How did that happen?  Defect?  He never does steps without someone holding his color, takes only short walks always on leash, and doesn't do ANYTHING wild and crazy.  How did it break?  Am NOT at all happy about that.

His foot is rewrapped now and should continue to heal properly as the plastic part was still protecting the broken area.  His ear got rechecked and we discussed possible options including just watching it unless it starts to get really large again.  Watson handled everything with patience and cooperation, as always.  Unlike most of my boys he has never enjoyed going to the Vet, and has decided he does NOT want to go back again for awhile.  He like Dr. Amy a lot, but is getting tired of seeing her so often.

Fingers crossed for my sweet boy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Well, the little Houdini seems to be successfully confined, at least for now.  Max had gotten out of the pen half a dozen times throughout the day, so was available to help Ron with his laundry and other chores, while Melitta yelled "No Fair!" from the pen.  A puppy can get caught on a fence when climbing out, and dropping to the floor from 42 inches up can't be good for the feet and pasterns, so I created a (hopefully) SECURE pen for them.  It's 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, smaller than the previous configuration, but completely covered.  Seems to keep the pups confined, BUT crawling around in there to change papers is not a lot of fun for me.  Oh well, this is only temporary.

The contraption on the right is not a device for torture, but rather a homemade "stacking stand". The pups stand there with front feet on one end and back feet on the other, while I feed them small treats, teaching them to hold their feet in place for show dog stacks.  Works amazingly well, and when I stacked Max without it this morning he stood perfectly still except for his wildly wagging tail.  He certainly has a show dog attitude!  They're learning to have their bites checked too, and this weekend can begin lead training when the weather improves.  Just not enough room in my house for lead training.

Watson is headed off to the Vet today to have his ear rechecked and his foot rewrapped.  Yesterday evening we found a piece of the metal "spoon" poking through the wrapping, and by this morning the wrapping had totally shifted.  Hopefully this does not set him back almost 3 weeks on the healing.  Fingers crossed.  He's been such a good patient and never fusses with the wrapping.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Twice As Bad

What was I thinking?  Did I truly think I could raise two Dalmatian pups to be good citizens?  Not sure I will have enough patience when one of them has Very Bad Dog potential!   They sure are cute though!

Although they are still in their pen (more on that later), they need to come upstairs for crate training pretty soon, and they need to be housetrained of course.  Ron isn't always on top of getting them outdoors in time, especially in the winter, and with two pups to deal with, timing is everything.  I thought perhaps we could use puppy pads too, so the pups could use the tray when Ron didn't get them outdoors in time.  Maybe not.  At least not unless I can explain to the pups that the tray is for peeing, not for shredding.

Then there is the issue of the pen itself, since Maxwell has started to climb out when he's bored, leaving his sister shrieking behind him.  If I'm home I can dash down and put him back in, but if I'm not there he has time to get into mischief.  This is what I came home to yesterday!  Glad my camera was handy.  He had climbed out of the pen, climbed up on the crate with the blankets, and fallen into the trash barrel.  He must have been sleeping there, as he appeared to just be waking up when I arrived, giving me time to snap the picture.

Tonight we will bring in the tall exercise pen and try to puppy proof it.  The key word is TRY.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just Mine!

Down to only two pups - just mine.  We did it!  Raised a happy healthy litter of well adjusted pups and placed them in wonderful homes.  Whew . . .   It was a ton of work, but well worth it.  The pups all seem to have settled in well, the new owners seem to be delighted with the pups, and I'm very happy with Max and Melitta, who will be keeping their litter names.  Am always a bit sad when new owners change the litter names, because to ME that pup will always be the name I gave it as a baby.  I thought the names for this litter were outstanding, but only Britt may keep her name, and I'm not even sure about her.  That's really the only downer, and a pretty minor one, I guess.  

We're selecting the registered names now, so I can do the AKC whole-litter option complete with names. Then all we have to do is transfer the pups to the new owners. This insures that each pup gets individually registered - so often new owners never send in the paperwork for individual registration.

So Sanka will be Piper, Folgers will be Gelert (a dog in mythology, like his dad Argus),  Gevalia will be Lucy, and Vittoria will be LuLu.  We'll see about Britt.  But to me, they will always be the coffee babies.

I spent some time on Saturday, trying to make things right with Argus who was feeling very neglected.  We went to the dog park, stopped to visit Grandma (he told her all his problems), and stopped for a cheeseburger on the way home.  Guess he gets another cheeseburger today as his daughter Weather (sister to Letty) finished her Championship yesterday.  Such a pretty girl Weather is, and with her father's happy outgoing personality.

Later Saturday, Fernly went to her obedience class, where she graduated.  She got a lot out of the class and it was well worth the time and expense.  I won't sign her up for the next level as she'll probably be coming in season soon, and she also needs to start attending show handling classes.  Fernly is looking good now, and acting somewhat more sensible.  Time to practice being a show dog!

Last night I ground and froze veggies to be mixed with ground turkey for the dogs' breakfasts.  Today I will be doing water changes on the poor neglected fishes.  Basement is cleaned up and scrubbed, paper work getting caught up on as well.  Trying to accomplish all the things that got put on hold while I was raising the puppies!