Friday, February 1, 2013

Not All Good Dogs Are Dalmatians

Those of us who share our lives with a specific breed that we enjoy and admire often forget that although our breed is special to us, there are wonderful dogs in every breed.  We can also be judgmental about certain breeds based on our personal experiences with that breed.  Although German Shepherd Dogs have long been one of the most popular breeds in the world, my own negative opinion of the breed was based on the dogs I had met, dogs who were generally freaky, flaky, and out of control.  Poorly bred and/or poorly raised dogs who were not typical of the breed.  When my daughter Jessica connected with Don, Simmie the GSD was part of the deal.  She was a wonderful dog in every way.  But let Jess tell the story . . .

Are we ready to do this again? I don't think you are ever "ready" to do it... 
After a week of deterioration and now not being able to walk at all, Simmie has told us it is time for her to cross the Rainbow Bridge to be with her best friend Pepper.
She has fallen several times this week and now this morning, is unable to get up at all. She has also lost her appetite - she'll eat, but not with the same gusto and even turned her nose up at a pizza biscuit. Don says it is time and so does Simmie.
Simmie is an extremely special dog and has taught many people in this world that GSDs can be a wonderful breed. Great with dogs, she has taught more then one spotty appropriate dog manners.

Nothing she loves more then kids. She loved camping because kids were in abundance and everyone got a kiss.

And her prized possession - her ball! Everyone who had a working arm had to throw the ball.

Age has taken its toll. Her rear no longer works, her eyes no longer sparkle and her love for her ball is no longer there... It is time. We won't let her suffer.

I almost broke down when Meribel went out to get her out of bed and Simmie couldn't get up. Meribel looked at her and started her soft little squeak. She knew something wasn't right.

So a month and a half after saying good bye to Coral, our dog family gets to do this again.

Hug your dogs today as the Rainbow Bridge welcomes the Queen - a 13 year old, very wise and wonderful dog - Simmie.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Enjoying My Puppy

Such fun to have a new puppy!  Whether it's one I bred or one I bought, each new pup is such a treat.  So much fun to watch their antics as they explore their world!

Max is doing great, understands the concept of housetraining and has only had one accident since he came back from Jess's and that was my fault.  I was thinking, "Time to get Max out again" but put it off for a few minutes, and by the time I checked on him he had just finished peeing.  Pups have accidents at this age, but as long as they understand why they are going outdoors, and cooperate most of the time, all is well.

He's very good in a crate too, rarely fusses at all. Even goes back into his crate to play with a toy (and to keep Fernly from stealing it) although his preference is Watson's crate which is next to a radiator.

We've done a bit of leash walking, started puppy sits and worked on name recognition.  Tonight we start Puppy Classes, where we'll be working on the basic commands, but primarily do the class for socialization.  Wish it was not so cold for our first night, but we'll tough it out, and should have a great time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

And Then There Was One

Melitta arrived safely at DFW and was very glad to meet her other Grandma Jana.  The flight was not uneventful, as a thunderstorm was passing through the area and all flights were delayed.  Mel arrived almost two hours late, and THEN Jana had to wait while an airline employee finished up his paperwork first - while two pups (there was a Lab puppy too) sat and waited.  Because we paid for special handling, we expected special handling, and didn't get it this time.  Annoying.

But all is well.  Melitta settled in easily and spent the evening learning about the house and yard, and meeting several of Jana's other non-Dal dogs.  Apparently she was not impressed with the noises the French Bulldog made - probably didn't consider it a "real" dog.

Max has settled into his new routine already and is doing great.  He has a crate in the kitchen and is pretty good about being crated, slept quietly all night (Ron took him out just before he came to bed), and acts like "one of the gang" already. So far he has peed each time he's been taken outdoors (no accidents yet) - although we'll see what he thinks of the weather later today! We went for a short leash walk yesterday too, while it was still relatively warm.

Tonight he gets his nails done again, starts learning to sit for a cookie, and works on stacking.  I'll keep the pen set up for awhile in case we're going to be gone for longer than I would want to leave him in a crate.  I signed Max up for a puppy class and should find out today if he'll be starting this week or if we have to wait until the end of February.

So much easier to have just one pup, but it sure was a fun litter, and I couldn't be happier with the homes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Changes Coming

Max and Melitta enjoyed cuddling with Ron on the sofa last night.  This was probably their last night together as Melitta will be flying off to Texas to stay with her other Grandma Jana.  This had not been in the immediate plans, but we decided yesterday that it would be best for everyone.  It's so hard to do a good job with two pups, especially in the winter, plus Fern is still really just a puppy herself.  There just isn't enough time (and energy) in my life to do a really good job with three puppies, and Grandma Jana was craving a puppy fix.

So, the weather forecast was good for today, I was able to get Melitta in for a health certificate yesterday, and made a Delta Dash reservation.  Jana was free today to pick Mel up at the airport today too, so it was meant to be.  Mother Nature and Delta Dash willing, Melitta will be a Texan shortly after 3:00 PM today.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Time Out

What a nice weekend, and so peaceful with the pups gone!  Nice long walks for Fernly and Argus, a very good audio book completed, water changes for most of the fish tanks, lunch with mom, an excellent new recipe tried out, and a halfway clean house!

Let's do it again next weekend!  No such luck.  Dog show season is coming up soon, so things will get crazier, and Fern is due in season as well, which means lots of extra walks once she moves to the basement for a week or so.

Pups come back today and things will be busy as we continue their crate training and house training.  At least the next two days will be warm enough for them to play outdoors, then the cold hits again.  Ugh.