Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pearl has settled in

Since Day 1 Pearl has been very good about pottying. I put pee pads in her xpen and there is also a dog door when she is loose in the house. For the first 3 days I took her out and down the stairs to the yard. I showed her the dog door once on the second day. By the third day I was whooped from going up and down stairs all the time - I have a bad leg. I finally told my 4 year old male greyhound JD to take her out and down the stairs and he did - to my surprise. That was the end of my participation. Pearl is loose all the time except when I am not home.

By Day 3 Pearl had taught herself to go in and out the dog door after JD - she now goes in and out all the time by herself - with or without him. She may use her pee pads once a day but that is it. I have had to clean up "mistakes" only twice since Pearl came and that was on the tile and not the carpet. WHAT A GOOD GIRL.

When Pearl first came home I put her in a 400 crate at night. By night 6 she was in my bed. I have a very high 4 Poster bed so I keep a leash on Pearl so that she does not fall off by accident. She is now putting her feet up on the bed to be boosted up instead of me having to bodily pick her up. She cuddles under my arm all night or just outside my arm. Right efore she falls asleep I give her a few treats and we play with the elephant toy that her litter mates played with when I was in CA. She does not really move all night. She may wake up around 4:30 - 6:30 to potty and when she stirs a little or whimpers - I wake up and we go to the dog door. She goes outside by herself and potties and comes back in. I either bring her back to bed or leave her in the kitchen with JD and Bug (my IG).

I have never had such an oral dog. Pearl loves her toys - and she has a lot of them. She is always carrying them around and playing with them and carrying them from room to room. She also seems to need a lot of rawhide chews or bully sticks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Puppy Love

Sometimes we forget how incredibly soft a puppy is. How gentle their mouths are. What an wonderful gift to hold a sleeping puppy in your arms and have them cuddle up to you. In the chaos of taking care of a new puppy - these are moments I truly treasure. The wonder of a new puppy and how easy she learns to raise her leg to shake for a treat and does it over and over. How easy to get her from a sit to a down - why oh why won't my big greyhound do that? THANK YOU HELEN FOR THIS BLESSED GIFT.

Poppy and Pearl

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tanner Videos

Tanner uploaded a few new videos to Youtube. He is learning some important skills.

One of the things he is learning is to target and put his head through his show lead. This same skill will apply for putting a collar on etc.

The other video that was recently uploaded is a video of Tanner learning "touch" and "leave it" and learning to discriminate between the two cues.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Echo pictures!

Most of these photos were taken today in the back yard. Whisper and Echo are best friends and run each other into the ground. Every once in a while Lyric gets in on the action and plays with her too. Look at the sandpile picture-you can see as one dog(Lyric) leaves the photo another one (Echo) enters. They must have run laps around the yard for a few minutes. Both were panting when they stopped. Of course realize Echo ran with Whisper first and then went on to play with her mom.

We went out tracking today-Echo got her first baby tracks and did well.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tanner wants to do agility

I have been telling Tanner that we are going to do agility and I have shown him some videos of his cousin, Whisper, doing agility. But, we haven't taken the time work on agility equipment yet since we are working on things like potty training, sit and come. However, Tanner discovered this makeshift ramp that led to a short retaining wall. Since he is curious and adventuresome he took it. I think he will be a great agility dog! Now, about that potty training...

Becca Briefing

Here is Becca resting her head on the ever so patient Shawn. She really likes to snuggle up to him--he's getting used to the idea that she's here to stay!! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Night Terrors by Pearl

Hi – I’m Pearl. Since I came home with my Mom a week ago, I have been sleeping in a crate at night. At first it was scary to be alone but it was cozy and I quickly got used to it. I guess Mom was afraid I would pee in the crate because she would wake me in the night and take me outside to pee. One night I got to sleep all the way through. Last night was a different story though.

It was time to go to bed and I went out as usual to go potty. Mom took me into the bedroom but instead of putting me into the crate, she picked me up and put me on this really high bed. I had a leash on too. She got into bed and then the terror began. I heard this awful wooshing sound and then she put this mask on – it was terrifying (CPAP). She didn’t look at all like Mom anymore. I shook and quivered and quaked. Mom tried to comfort me but the more she hugged me, the closer I got to that awful mask and the more scared I got. If she looked at me head on – the mask even blew a blast of air onto me. She finally turned off the light and I was able to finally settle down and sleep. Around 4 am I began to stir. I had to go outside. We got up and pottied and then it began all over again. This time there was no settling down. I shook and quivered and quaked for over 10 minutes before Mom finally gave up and put me where I belonged – back into my crate where I could get some blessed SLEEP.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tanner goes to the vet

For his first Valentine's day, Tanner went to the vet. We took his bed so he had a comfy and familier place to hang out while waiting his turn. We also had lots of treats so that he could make positive associations with the vet clinic. We also made sure that he had gotten plenty of exercise in the morning to take some of the edge off.

He just turned 10 weeks old on Friday and he weighed in at 24 pounds. He was interested in curious in everything he saw and ate lots of treats. He really appreciated having his own little bed to hang out on while he was there. He did not even notice the booster shot that he received since he was eating treats when it happened. I am really happy with his temperament and with how he just takes everything in stride.

This is his vet, Dr. Hardinge. She did a great job and helped to make the visit a positive experience!

By the way, the adorable colllar that he is wearing was made by our friend Lisa. She made one for each puppy and they are adorable! Thanks, Lisa!

Echo checks in

Having Lyric and Merlins litter was bittersweet. Happy in that many of my friends would start once again with a puppy,sad in that the litter wasn't big enough for everybody I wanted to get a puppy to have one. Also sad in that with all the blue brindles it brough back memories of Merlin as a puppy.When the puppies started developing personalities I kept looking at each one wondering if they would inherit Merlins joy of life and sense of humor. It is an odd feeling to learn new things about a dog long gone from ones life-Merlin carried the parti gene-his sister Jesse did not.

Although I was happy each puppy went to a cherished home,it was hard on Echo. I think her littermates probably had an easier time adjusting than she did. Probably everything was so new to them they just adapted. Echo kept running out to the weed patch,sand pile and laundry room looking for them. It was days before she starting eating well again. Through it all she is a happy puppy-with a call of her name she comes running with a waggy tail and looks up with joyous eyes. Maybe she does have Merlins zest for life. Her "aunt" Whisper actually I think she is her first cousin removed? has really helped her not feel so alone, she is a great patient friend.

Yesterday I was feeling restless so we took our first big dog walk out Lake DelValle. At home Echo comes running when she hears her name,out in the wilds she wanted to stay with her mom and aunt. Gosh she has energy, I thought she would crash when we got home-she didn't. All the rest of us were tired(the big dogs were running ground squirrels at top speed-and some cows),I was trying to keep and eye on everyone and kept all rounded up and headed in the right direction.

Today Echo decided to try to be friends with big Homer. They both weigh the same!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Update from Pearl's mom

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Last night I hardly slept at all. Today I take my beautiful Pearl (Aragon Mystic Pearl) home to Keswick VA (Charlottesville). We got up about 5:30 as usual – Helen feeding and playing with the puppies. I packed and got ready to go. Donna and her friend Judy came by around 9 to pick up Becca and Sterling. As soon as they left we loaded up the van and were off to the airport.

We were hoping that Pearl could fly in the cabin in a Sherpa but it wasn’t to be. She was just too big. She had to go into baggage compartment for the 5 hour flight. Helen was pretty emotional losing three of her puppies in one day. It was very hard saying goodbye. The flight was calm and we arrived at around 9 pm EST. I was met with a wheel chair – I have trouble walking in airports and carrying things. We immediately went to pick up Pearl. She was not there yet so my attendant got me a porter who got my luggage and the three of us waited for Pearl. When she came I whisked her out of the crate and into my arms. She had not even pottied in the crate. I wrapped her in my coat and we all proceeded immediately across the parking lot to the Valet Parking. As soon as my van came I put Pearl in a bigger crate with pee pads and she relieved herself. It took about a half hour to get arranged before we were on the road.

I had no idea how to get out of Dulles Airport so I hit HOME on my GPS and ended up on a road I did not recognize and had no idea where I was – to the chorus of Pearl’s very loud complaints. I was on the phone with Helen - trying to talk over Pearl – when she bounded into my lap. How did she ever get out of the crate? I must have not latched it correctly. Of course it was now about 11 pm and I was in the middle of a highway with no way to stop and a very rambunctious puppy in my arms. After about 10 minutes I was able to stop and put her back in her crate. She continued to cry for about an hour. I have found there are definite benefits to being profoundly hearing impaired. When all is noise – take out the hearing aids, at least the shrill sound is diluted.

It took about 2 ½ hours to get home. We arrived about 12:45 am in the morning. After feeding, watering, and playing with Pearl and unloading the car, I was EXHAUSTED. We finally crashed around 3 am. I in bed and Pearl in her crate. Up twice during the night to potty and then up at 7 am.

Monday, Feburary 9, 2009

Off to the chiropractor at 9 and then pick up JD, my male greyhound and Bug, my IG.

Pearl immediately tried to crawl on Bug and then bit her. Since Pearl at 9 weeks old is about 8 pounds heavier than Bug and Bug has only 3 teeth – Bug was terrorized. On to JD. JD was a little reticent but allowed Pearl to be around him. That night I finally persuaded JD to let Bug curl up with him and sleep.

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009

Today Bug ventured outside while Pearl was out there.
Pearl has two favorite outside toys – a shearling Frisbee and her water bottle filled with rocks ( like a rattle). JD and Pearl also played chase. Pearl was up under the bushes racing back and forth up on the terraced part and JD was below racing back and forth on the ground. I felt it was safe as there were so many bushes between but it was evident that they were playing chase as they went back and forth about 10 times.

I had to go out Wednesday night and it rained while I was gone. It has stopped by the time I got home I went to take Pearl out and discovered that JD had taken all of her new toys that he could get a hold of ( about 5) and had dragged them through the dog door and out into the yard and rain; including the really big ones. I’m just glad he could not get to all of them. I really thought it was funny.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pearl has learned to go in and out the dog door in the sliding glass door. I also tell JD to take her out and down the stairs to potty her and he does. It really saves my legs.

A friend brought a long horse whip to tie a toy to to have Pearl chase. It was a nice gift for Pearl. She loves it. Helen showed me hers and now we have one too. It teaches them to lure course.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pups with new owners

In the interest of fairness, here are the other three pups with their new owners. All appear to be adjusting well to their new homes!

Sterling rode home with Donna. Someday we will capture a picture of Georgiana with Sterling!

Helen and Echo

Poppy and Pearl

The long wait finally arrives!!

This blog post is courtesy of Donna who took Becca home last weekend:

I traveled to Helen’s house the weekend of January 24 for my first visit to meet Lyric’s litter and hopefully decide which one would join Shawn, my adult Greyhound, and me as part of the family. Even though many e-mailed photos were sent which I enjoyed tremendously, I continued to faithfully watch them on the puppy cam—they seemed so much more “real”, seeing them run and play with each other on my computer screen. To see them in person was amazing!! I was mobbed immediately with gleeful greetings by all of them. Wow—this decision was going to be difficult as they all were wonderful, beautiful and unique in their own special way. I took each one outside individually and spent time to see how each one would interact with me. It ended up being Dretta, now named Becca (Aragon Morning Mist) who stole my heart. Starlin, now named Sterling, would also be traveling home with me when I brought Becca home to become part of Georgiana’s family. Driving home on Sunday, it was raining and the most fabulous, vividly colored double rainbow I ever had seen appeared—I drove “under” it on the freeway. I pulled over to call Helen and say “This must be a good sign!!”

Two agonizingly long weeks went by—my friend, Judy, and I went to pick up Becca and Sterling. Lisa had made gorgeous collars for each of the puppies and Poppy provided super toys as well. “Q”, Lisa’s IG, exercised the puppies that they were even tired the next day—a tired puppy is a good puppy!! The Sunday we departed from Helen’s I felt like I was a child again and it was Christmas Eve—I woke up at 3:00 AM with excitement, thinking that Becca would FINALLY be coming home with me. After a somewhat tearful goodbye, off we started on the long drive from Northern California to Southern California. Both puppies were perfect angels once we got on the freeway—snuggling up to each other in their crate. Georgiana met us in Gorman to pick up Sterling. That night was a difficult one for Becca— no litter mates, a new home, me and no 4-legged friend there as Shawn was at the kennel until the next morning. Not much sleep for either of us that night; however, every time Becca whined, she and I went outside and she relieved herself—she’s continuing to do very well with the housebreaking and doesn’t whine nearly as much when it’s “lights out” at bedtime. She and Shawn are now able to lie next to each other on a dog bed—she’s about the size of his thigh so they do need some supervision until she’s a bit larger. Shawn appreciates 4-legged company around the house as he’s been the only dog here for about a year since I lost Lita.

Becca is fabulous—I just love her and am so fortunate to have her—I can barely tear myself away to take care of any household chores—I’d much rather play with or just watch her. Her favorite toy is a towel dragged along the ground—hmmmm—so much for the zillions of toys I have for her!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

First One to Go

Tanner was the first one to leave for his new home. Here is his story told from his mom's point of view:

I felt really bad taking Tanner away from his littermates. I was able to spend four days with the litter and felt like I had gotten to know all of them. It was sad to leave them too. However, I know that all except Echo will be leaving for their new homes too. Each of the puppies will get the love and attention they need in their new homes.

Our flight left at noon so we got up and gave the puppies ample opportunity to play together one final time. We visited the sand pile and played with toys. Of course, we also wanted Tanner to be tired so that he would sleep on the airplane! We took some pictures and then headed off to the airport when the puppies started their morning nap.

Tanner didn't want to ride in a crate in the van so I put him in the Sherpa and he rode on my lap. He did not sleep as we had hoped. He kept looking at all the scenery changing around him. At the airport, the mean lady at the counter decided that Tanner was too big to go under the seat in the plane which meant that my precious 8 week-old puppy had to ride in cargo. There really was no alternative so we kept him awake until we had to take him in to have his crate inspected by TSA. The gal who did the inspection was very nice and promised to take good care him as she carried him away.

When I was boarding the airplane, I was able to see his crate loading on the plane. I could tell his head was up and he was looking around so he wasn't panicking and he didn't seem to be scared.

When we got to Portland he was taken to the airline's office in the baggage claim. He was alert and looking around. He came out of his crate slowly and cautiously but was very interested in everything going on around him. I was relieved to see that he seemed to be unfazed by the trauma he had just endured!

At home he and our current dog, a Belgian Malinois named Shine, warmed up to each other quickly. They had a nice play session before bed. Last night, Tanner slept pretty well in his crate. I got up twice and took him out and both times he went potty.

It's nice to be home and I am excited to see what the future holds for Tanner!