Saturday, January 26, 2008

Learning to Run

I tried to teach Oliver about running a bit last week when we were alone, but I have a bad ankle, it's been cold, and he wasn't interested in it anyway. For the past few days I've kept them up in the halfyard pen I made to keep them out of the workers (tree cutters) hair and out of harm's way.

Today I through up an ex pen for Bitty (she is missing the sanctuary of the trees) and opened the other gate-and gave them free range of the yard. Then I sat down and watched.

When the dogs ran out, Oliver was most befuddled. He didn't like being left behind. He protested and called. Then he figured out he could go through the gate too. The rest of it was learning if he wanted to be where they were, and they were there-well, he had to go there. And, if he wanted to play the games they were playing, and it involved running, he was going to have to run. So he did.

When the pack saw he was trying to work it out, they involved him in chases. Greta and Cody delighted in full on runs with hairpin turns. They seemed to enjoy it when Oliver tumbled during his turns, but it wasn't in a ugly way. No, it was like "look at that young whippersnapper, better run a few more times...."

Cody is rolling around in the grass like a furry little playball. He loves a good game of chase better than anyone, and has decided that one more is just merrier.

I started to get the camera, but decided just to stay and watch and enjoy. Humans want to mark moments and relive them over and over...dogs just learn to run....and then they run.

Who Moved the Tree?

Greta and Cody are baffled by the loss of the trees, and enchanted by the sawdust that is still all over the yard. "WHAT HAPPENED?" they seem to say, sniffing with puzzled urgency.

Greta bears a resemblence in size and shape to Oliver's father, Cody is the same color and has a long coat (though not wiry) as Cody's mother-so Oliver seemed very comfortable with them almost from the start. Last night I kenneled the three of them in a room together, with the black and white's in the bathroom. Oliver's howls were immediately silenced by Cody's low growl.

Cody can be a huge pain the butt, kennel dogs always have some issues, but his zero tolerance for whining is a blessing when it comes to puppy raising. We all have our talents, don't we?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Litter

Oliver's "Mom" is not my hairdressers neighbor-I just spoke with my hairdresser and HER problem neighbor has two tiny puppies, born a week ago, in the garage with their tiny mother. The father is one of the three males in the yard, two of which are sons of the mother.

I'm having a really bad day. Elvis, my beloved kingsnake died, and I would like nothing more than to hop that fence, take Momma and the babies, spay the Momma and then return her after she's weaned her puppies. I'm sad sad sad and very frustrated at the same time.

Tis the season-it will be raining puppies and kittens, a whole new generation of dogs to be exploited and die early deaths or be put down due to lack of socialization and training.

But, I'm going to stay home and in my house today, and think about it long and hard. Think about what I can do or say to help these people realize what they are doing. I go get my hair done tomorrow, and maybe wisdom will bless me by then.

If I see tiny puppies out in the cold, I cannot be held responsible for what I do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So Far, So Good

Oliver likes Prissy a lot, and listens to her. I left him crated with the others last night and got tickled because Oliver would howl and Prissy would growl...telling him to shut up...and he did. Two years ago, it was baby Prissy howling and a newly purchased Cody doing the growling.

Oliver cried "foul" when gave him kibble and the old dogs their senior food, so I gave him a little nibble. The kibble is slowing down the frequency of stools, which is good for housetraining. He's really showing a knack for it (going outside).

The two old girls are back in the bathroom-it's really cold and they don't do well at all. I'm hoping it will warm up enough for them to have a sunbath today. As I thought she might, Bitty is confused by the loss of "her" pear tree. When we get all the wood sorted out of the backyard I am going to have to put up some structures for her to sit next too-maybe a bird bath.

Today the other two come marchin home.....yee ha!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Divide and Conquer

I brought home the three black and white units today; Dottie, Prissy and Bitty. Bitty is not a problem, Prissy is pretty well socialized, Dottie can be a bugger. If I can get Dottie on board with the puppy, Cody and Greta will not be a problem.

Dottie was not a problem either-at least on the first meeting. I put them outside, very cold, and in a temporary fence so that Saul can continue to work on the tree carnage. Because they were uncomfortable, they didn't feel very dominant. Well, Bitty never feels very dominant. She just wanted in my jacket.

Dottie sniffed a bit, then she asked to come up in to the jacket.

Oliver and Prissy played until they both got cold. I will try one on one's tonight after dinner.

Monday, January 21, 2008

On the road

We came up with a great way to keep Oliver quiet AND contained. He slept in his crate, and his crate was in my bed. Difficult times (power outages) call for strange measures.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A True Poi

Oliver earned his stripes-although it was fairly easy for him to do. He just had to sleep in the bed with no heat on last night. Yes, we have had another tree disaster, and the power was out for the entire block (and is still out for me). Thank goodness the others are still at the kennel (they don't like tree work at all, not one little bit).

So, in the week he's been with me Oliver has had a major health tune up, a trip to Texas, a cold night of power outage; tonight we'll bunk at Mom and Dad's-his first field trip. Right now he's sleeping off a bit of smoked turkey-his first table scraps. Ahhhhhhhhh.

The best way to bring a dog into your life is just bring the dog along-MY DOGs would actually be fine with a field trip to Mom's, but Mom gets a little rattled at the entire pack's appearance. Actually, my dogs are pretty fine where ever we happen to be-or at the kennel, where each has a favorite person. People should be so at ease with life's little twists and turns!