September 30, 2008

Much better now!

It is very clear that he was not feeling right before. He has MUCH more energy now! He's been going non-stop for about the past hour bouncing and pouncing from toy to toy. He did a play bow to Buster and let out a bark, but that caused Coyote to alarm bark (he only heard Dazzle, didn't see him) and that spooked Dazzle.

I gave him a Kong filled with frozen food mush and he's finally still for a little bit working on it. Now that he has some energy, maybe I can get some training started!

It will be interesting to see how the tonight in the crate goes :-)

I really need to get some of the video I have taken uploaded!

Doing better

Dazzle seems to be feeling better. Still sleeping a good bit, but looks like he's feeling better when he's awake. We went and sat in the yard for awhile and he played with anything he could find- leaves, corn husks, grass and of course toys. He even went all the way across the 3/4 acre yard to get a drink from the baby pool all by himself.

He left me a pile a bit ago (outside thankfully) that was still un-formed, but at least it's not all liquid. Sorry if anyone is squeamish about that stuff, but I figure most folks reading this are "dog people" and dog deposits are fair game for dinner conversation! :-) Other than one small wet accident in the basement training room, there have been no accidents in the main part of the house. He's doing great about waiting till I take him outside! It's clear he has "held" it because just about as soon as his feet touch the gravel or grass, he goes.

Forgot to mention that he weight 12.9 pounds according to the vet scale this morning. I think there's a reason his nickname in the litter was "Moose"! :-) I've decided to switch him to a larger crate for sleeping tonight. The size Vari-kennel I used is actually a hair too small. So I'll be moving his wire crate from his play pen to the bedroom each evening. Thankfully THAT is still small enough to move easily. Good thing I still have my Rottweiler's crate, I think I might be needing it in the coming months :-) His daddy is 75 pounds, so I have a strong suspicion he will be at least that big.

He's eating quite a bit for his size and I've heard babies grow when they sleep. If that's the case, we might need a bigger house!

Pup's not feeling well

I took Dazzle to the vet to get some probiotics because his stool was all liquid this morning. I already gave him a dose of FastBalance and he has a 30 day suppliy of Forti-flora. The vet said if he's not better by this evening we'll give him some Flagyl. He's slept most of the morning other than his trip to the vet and a visit to the credit union.

I also gave him extra coconut oil since it has good antibacterial and antibiotic properties. We'll see how he feels later today.

First night

It went really well!! We kept him awake till about 12:30 which is when he wasn't going to stay awake no matter what we did. I put him in the crate in the bedroom right next to my bed and he immediately laid down. It was clear he was pretty hot (we keep our house on the warm side- Dianne would say we live in an oven :-) so I put a water bottle from the fridge in his crate with him on his belly. He seemed to really like that. He got up and flopped back down in various positions for a few minutes, but then was out for the count. Most of this was before I even got into bed!

At 6:30, I needed a potty break, so I woke him up (he was so limp I was worried! but once I turned him "feet down" he woke up) and I took him into the bathroom with me and put him in the tub. We each did our thing (he really had to go!), I rinsed the tub and we went back to bed. Yes, I'm a lazy mom and didn't want to get dressed and go out to the cool night. He whimpered and flopped for less than a minute before he was alseep again.

Around 7:30, I heard him start to flop around, but he was content to play in his crate with the towel and water bottle till 8 when I got up.

After I got dressed, I took him directly outside where he relieved himself in the gravel. Then we went back in for breakfast. He stayed around my feet as I prepared the meals and the other 4 dogs stayed in their usual positions: Bear in his open crate, and the other three waiting fairly patiently at the threshold between the kitchen and the laundry room where I do the feeding.

I tried to put Dazzle's bowl down first, but he then wanted to investigate the other dog's bowls as I put them down. So I picked him up and held him till I got all the bowls down and released the boys before I put him down by his bowl.

I gave him Nature's Variety raw chicken today with a scoop of Coconut oil on the side. At first he was timid about eating, but once he got a taste and realised the other dogs wouldn't bother him, he ate heartily. He saved the coconut oil for last, but seemed to enjoy it.

We went outside to play and he pottied, very loose, but I'm assuming that was from the stress of his first day. I'll stop by the vet and get some probiotics today. At first he stayed right under my feet, but as I cleaned up the mornings piles he venture out and tried to get the other dogs to play. None of them were very interested yet. Still not sure what to do with him and his clumsy ways. :-)

I cleaned out the baby pool and refilled it then we headed inside. Dazzle kept himself occupied pulling various toys out of the toy box in the living room while I cleaned up the mess from the hole in the bag of raw food I didn't know was there. It leaked all over the counter and fridge, so it took several minutes to clean it up. Dazzle just kept playing in the other room while I had 4 watchful dogs waiting for me to drop or spill something :-)

Right now he's playing with a pen full of toys next to me as I type. Not sure what all we will do today. We'll play it by ear. Weather is cool and drizzly at the moment.

Stay tuned!

September 29, 2008

His first event at TV station

After his afternoon nap, we played around for awhile. He chased the toy on a lunge whip for awhile (I got some good video of that (I think) that I'll upload at some point.) I put on a harness just before he played with this toy to take his mind off of it which worked pretty well. He also saw my basement training room for the first time. He wandered around down there, climbed on an over-turned "pond liner" I put out as an unusual object for him to explore. He didn't want to go over the ramps of a really low "A-frame" I made from 2 doors but I'm sure we'll get there.

We also went for a short walk down the road during which the harness seemed to be messing with his brain. He kept flopping into the tall weeds to roll around! LOL I got it on video, but not sure if it will be watchable or make everyone "motion sick" :-) He walked on the road pavement, gravel, a cut soybean field (for a really short time because of the rough stubble) and we were on our way to the corn field when I realized it was time to leave for our evening activity!

A few months ago, I was filmed with 2 of my dogs (Coyote and Bear) for a TV special that includes a segment about Dog Scouts. Tonight was the private showing held at WCPO TV station and I got prior permission to bring Dazzle. The show will air in Cincinnati on CH 9 at 9pm on Oct 17th and nation wide on Oct. 25th. It was a fantastic show!!

Dazzle did fine in the crate on the ride out, I was repeatedly saying his name and feeding him a piece of his dinner and was happy to see he was much more food motivated. When we arrived, he went potty on the grass so I could trust him to walk on his own up the stairs and through the large TV station's building. He went from person to person down the hall and sat politely for greeting. He was a bit spooked by the guy who ran full speed down the hall past him (at least he gave warning by yelling - "coming through!!") but he recovered quickly and went back to schmoozing.

Once in the proper room (sorry photo is really blurry but it gives you an idea of the event and part of the crowd), he continued to win hearts and get lots of Awww's. He fluctuated between being a bit overwhelmed and being happy with ears up and tail wagging happily. There were 2 other dogs there that were in the TV show and Dazzle was a bit shy about meeting them. The police K-9 spooked him too much to meet him because he kept staring with a hard look (he continued to do this through the entire evening, but after awhile Dazzle ignored him.)

Once we were all settled, he fell asleep in my lap and slept soundly (including some active dreams) through the whole show. Just before the show ended, he started waking up and I started feeding him treats for sitting quietly in my lap. Flopping and light fussing didn't get anything, only sitting quietly. What surprized me was his reaction to applause. He barked furiously like he was going to take on every person in the studio! Guess I know what I'll need to desenstize him to! I know the breeder clapped a lot, she would do that to get the pups attention and get them to follow her. Not sure why he had such a dramatic reaction to it. Of course one person clapping is completely different from many people lapping. Everyone thought it was really cute, but I know I'll be working on it! :-)

He greeted a few more folks in the studio on the way out from his position in my arms. I didn't dare let him down till I was outside after the water drinking and food eating and napping he had done! Shortly after getting to the grass he peed and then about 1 minute later left me a pile. Such a good pup!!

He was a bit more active in the crate on the way home after such a nice nap, but he still was willing to settle and even fell asleep again before I got home.
He went in his pen to play with his toys while I ate a late dinner and updated this blog. Hopefully he will be willing to sleep tonight after all the napping! Right now he's on Mike's lap.

Dazzle is home!!

I picked him up at 9am and after about 25 minutes at the breeders (where I got his papers, vacc records and signed the updated contract) I loaded him into the crate and off we went!

He cried and yelped off and on for about 10 minutes (new car, new crate, new smells, away from the breeder, etc.) I put the snuggle puppy in his crate with him right after I left the breeder (I forgot to do that ahead of time) and he started chewing in it's ears and tail, digging in the crate blankets and chewing on them. It was a bit of stress and frustration. He seemed tired and fussy and when I was holding him at the breeders I noticed he seemed quite tired. He perked up and bounced around and explored when I put him down to go potty outside in her front yard though.

During a quiet time (these were getting longer) I put my fingers into the crate. He snuggled up to my hand and flopped down in contact with it. I scratched his neck as best I could with my fingers pinned between him and the crate door, but he relaxed and started to fall asleep.

He kept getting up, changing positions and flopping back down like he couldn't get comfortable. But within 20 minutes of leaving the breeder, he was asleep. He woke up every time I hit a patch of rougher road though, so he didn't get a very restful sleep.

When I got home, I came in to greet the dogs while Mike met the pup in the van. I let the dogs get settled and sniff me fully before Mike took them outside and I carried the pup through the house to the front yard to go potty. He did so fairly quickly, to lots of praise, and then I took him back inside to his pen in the office.

This is where I let the boys come in one at a time to meet him. I knew Coyote would be better if the pup was already in the house when he came in, so that's why I chose to do it that way instead of meeting on neutral territory. I let Bear in first and when he saw the pup he got very excited and started doing a little beagle jig. He got so excited racing around it spooked Dazzle a bit. So I had him calm down and sniff and all was well.

Next I let King in and he did a quick sniff and then ignored the pup as I figured he would. Buster came in next and did a more interested sniff and watched the pup for a bit. Coyote came in, postured, hair up, and barked. He wasn't sure what to think, but I'm pretty sure he was saying "Oh no! Not ANOTHER dog!" :-) He wasn't aggressive to the pup, just very vocal. Thankfully Dazzle seemed to ignore his noise after the first few barks.

I put Bear in the pen with the pup to see if they would play, but neither was ready for that just yet. Everything is still too new to Dazzle and Bear wasn't sure why he had been separated from the rest of the dogs (and now Coyote was staring at him.) So Bear came out.

Mike had to leave, so it was a good time to just let everyone adjust and give Dazzle time to sleep again. It's clear he's still tired. He slept for about an hour while I got caught up on email. When he started to stir and play with his toys it was almost noon so I gave him some food. He just picked at it. I'm hoping it's just because he was still a bit stressed in his new home and not that he's a picky or light eater. He had a food filled kong in his crate the whole way home and he completely ignored it.

After he ate a bit, I took him outside with just the beagles (who ignored him.) Coyote and Buster occasionally barked through the door and gate. The farmer was using a huge combine to harvest the corn in the field behind us. Dazzle wasn't too sure about it but wasn't overly spooked. He was still willing to play as long as it was near me. After the combine passed, he played with the corn husks flying around in the breeze and found a corn cob to gnaw on for awhile.

He found the baby pool and got a drink. He was quite hot so I dunked his front feet. He didn't seem to mind. He wasn't as comfortable with me dunking just his back feet, but didn't panic or struggle, just kicked his feet. The water was tepid from being in the sun so I know it wasn't too cold for him, just unusual. He kept looking at the water as though he might try to get in on his own, but didn't.

Mike came home shortly after I brought Dazzle in the house and he wanted to go back out with him so we did. He got some photos of me with Daz and I took some of him. All the dogs were loose and Coyote was still vocal but it wasn't an aggressive bark and it wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Sounded more like the bark he uses when he thinks it's too quiet in the house and he has to hear himself bark. Dazzle was curling up next to me and trying to go back to sleep so I brought him back in to his pen in the office and I started working on this entry.

Right now, Dazzle is sound asleep in his pen, Coyote is in his "cave" under the table in the corner of the office, Bear is under Mike's desk, Buster is lying in the doorway and King is napping with Mike. All is right with the world.

I took several photos (below) and some video. The video editing takes awhile so I'll get that uploaded as soon as I can.

Proud mom:

Dad and "Da Boys":

Dazzle Come!

Sneaking up on the corn stalk:

Chasing corn husks:

September 28, 2008

Getting the pup at 9 am!

I got a call from the breeder today saying I can pick-up the pup at 9 am tomorrow!! She also told me she thinks Moose is best suited to what I want to do. I'm going to talk to her more about it tomorrow, but I'm so excited I'm not sure if I'll even be able to sleep tonight!

September 24, 2008

No road trip tomorrow

The breeder emailed and said she had to change her plans and see clients tomorrow so the socializing trip to the stores is postponed. I'm not available to go over on Friday, so it looks like my next trip to Indy will be to get my pup on Monday! She said that's when she'll let me know which one it will be.

September 22, 2008

Another puppy visit

I feel so fortunate to be close enough to go see the pups as they mature. Yesterday's visit was lots of fun! I took two toys with me, a braided length of fleece and a stuffed "bite meez" dog head shaped hand puppet (pictured below) meant for dogs and pups to bite. The whole group loved both! The breeder got some photos of them playing with the toys so hopefully they will be up on her site soon. At one point, all but one puppy was tugging on the long braided fleece. The pup not on the fleece was busy with a nature call. :-)
When I got home, myself and the toy were closely inspected by the dogs. :-) I left the green braid there for the pups. Surprizingly the first toy I got the pups is still intact! It's a really soft stuffed toy so I didn't expect it to last very long, but it's held up surprizingly well. Before the pups played with it, the toy below WAS white :-)

It is very clear the breeder has been doing a lot of work with these pups. They are not the frantic biting machines I expected. They are level-headed pups that play nicely with each other and with people. They do still put teeth on skin, but don't bite down nearly as hard as they do on the toys. I could really feel some incredibly strong grips through the bite meez puppet! I'm very thankful they didn't do THAT on my bare skin!

Smokey even did a really nice come/sit/front (twice) when he came running over to get attention! They have plenty of energy and clearly love to play, but they aren't "over the top" excited and out of control which is fantastic! They also don't bark at every moment. They do bark at each other during play, but they aren't running around barking for no reason which is also a great thing! When they are handled, it's clear they are completely comfortable with it and relaxed. The mouths are going and trying to hold with their teeth, but it's not hard bites and they are easily disengaged. Most were happy to be held and stroked without biting too- at least for a few minutes till something caught their eye and they had to go check it out.

However, when they are latched onto a toy, they are happy to hold on regardless of what is going on around them, during petting and light taps on their sides and the rough and tumble of the other puppies trying to latch on. Some are a bit softer on this than others though and the breeder is great about building their confidence without overwhelming them.

At the end of the play session, the pups were back in their pen and watching us quietly as we cleaned up all the toys and tossed them back into their pen through the open roof. They had no adverse reaction to the toys flying in over head and the last one, a piece of hose that hit the siding and made a loud bang, brought NO reaction, they just kept watching us. They have been through several storms, and lots of various noises so they shouldn't have any issues with noises.

The breeder has also been working on their crate training, teaching them to be quiet when left in the crate. This will be really great not to have this be an additional stressor for the pup once it gets removed from his littermates and the only home he has known so far. I did get a "snuggle puppy" for him to help him love his crate and hopefully be able to sleep most of the night. The snuggle puppy has an electronic "heartbeat" sound and has a warming pad in it to provide a soft fuzzy warm surface the pup can cuddle with that sounds like another pup.

The breeder said the pups get their second shots Wednesday morning and on Thursday I'll hopefully be allowed to provide an extra set of hands and eyes to help her take them on a road trip to various stores for socialization and exploring. I'm really looking forward to that! They will be 8 weeks old that day.

They are quite a handful now and VERY active in their exploring. They love to play in the holes in the ground, curling up in there, playing stalk and pounce in and out of them and sometimes they are tripping hazards if the pup isn't watching where it's going. But they tumble and flop as though they "meant to do that." :-)

I can't wait to hear which boy I get. I'm really hoping it's Stumpy, but as I've said before I like them all. Smokey seems the most cautious and reserved, but it's not bad, just in comparison to the VERY outgoing and social Stumpy. Moose falls inbetween them on his level of social-ness and boldness based on the few hours I have seen them. I'm sure the breeder has a much clearer picture of their temperments and personalities. She said she won't make a decision till after 8 weeks old. She can't even decide on which girls she is keeping for herself!

More soon!

September 16, 2008

Went to see the pups

We lost power Sunday afternoon due to the remnants of Hurricane Ike hitting this area with 80 mph sustained winds! We just got power back about 1:30 today- about 45 hours without power! We did just fine though. At one point 90 percent of Cincinnati was without power. The dogs were very confused by how quiet the house was and wondering why we were sitting at the table playing Yahtzee by candle light instead of doing our normal routine.

I was expecting an email from the breeder on Sunday night about a possible visit with the pups on Monday. So early Monday morning, we went to Lawrenceburg (they had power) for breakfast and stopped at the library to check email. Yea! I got to go see the pups that evening. The weather forecasters were saying rain all day, but thankfully it was beautiful and about 75 degrees.

The pups are definitely much more active now (6.5 weeks old) and using their teeth more! Anything that moved (& even body parts that didn't) were fair game. :-) All 3 boys are still very social, with stumpy seeming to be the master greeter of anyone coming in. At one point I had all 3 boys in my lap lovin' on them and getting lovin' right back. I got lots of puppy breath kisses from all of them (well, the ones not trying to chew on my chin :-)

I spent quite awhile dragging the tugs and toys around for them all to pile on and grab. Just watching them play was such fun! Seeing them stalk and pounce on each other, wrestle and tumble into the holes dug in the ground by their parents and aunt. There was a large hole in the corner with a piece of thick plywood partly covering it that they all seemed to enjoy using as a "fort" to play in and hide in.

The pups had to go through a baby pool full of bottles to get in and out of their main pen and most were doing that with ease. Smokey was trying to squeeze by the side without having to climb up and over, but eventually did get in and clamber through.

The breeder said they went through the storms just fine and were playing through them like nothing was happening. None of them seem bothered by sounds and all were intrigued by the funny duck type noises I can make with my mouth. They came running over and cocked their heads and gave me kisses. It was so cute!

They are all doing well. They got their first vaccinations and the breeder said all but two of them thought it was puppy torture. The normally tough pups cried, but then recovered well. The breeder also said that they will need another round of Coccidia treatment because they all seem to enjoy eating the dirt- and grass and leaves and tree sap and apples from the tree and....

The breeder also said I might be able to get my pup a bit early! One less person she has to coordinate with on that Friday (since everyone else is flying in or driving from quite a distance.) It sounds like the pups will be going all over the country! California, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana are states I recall the breeder mentioning. Everyone is coming to get their pup, so none of them have to be flown solo (something the breeder won't do.)

Well, the power just went back out again for a few minutes, thankfully the post above was automatically saved so I could get back to it without having to re-type! But I'm going to publish this before it goes out again!

It might only be about 2 weeks till the pup arrives! Mike was even talking about puppy plans this morning and suggested we name the pup Dazzle M. followed by our last name. It sounds like the breeder might assign the name Jasper to my pup. I can live with that being used on registration forms and show entries but I don't see myself using it as his call name. Mike might though :-)

Ok, power went out again, time to quit and let them get it fully restored before I get too involved in something here.

September 06, 2008

New photos and videos posted

There are new shots of the pups at 5.5 weeks old now on the breeders website. The first "bite work" session is one of the videos. Looks like one of the females and Stumpy were really enjoying the game of tug! The other "candids" video was half blank (just the logo) for me. Might be the way it was posted.

I won't be able to see the pups this weekend, the breeder is busy. But I might be able to go visit on the evening of Friday the 12th. Waiting to hear from the breeder on that.

Got some very sad news that a sheriff friend was killed in a car accident on duty today in Columbus. He was also one of the helpers at the dog club and a really great guy. He will be missed by all who knew him. Rest in Peace Marty.

September 01, 2008

I met the puppies!

Today I went to visit the breeder and the pups. I was so excited I couldn't even sleep last night!

They are TOO FRIGGIN CUTE!!! They are just starting to get their teeth, so they are not pirranahs quite yet. :-) They are still in the sweet and innocent stage where they will get on your lap, kiss your face and enjoy all the attention you wish to give them.

A few of the girls, one in particular, had some serious "attitude" and routinely beat-up on her siblings. She has definite ideas about what she wants to do and if you interupt her plans, she grumbles and growls to let you know. Most of the others seemed relatively laid back in comparison, but as they get older I'm sure that will change. They also had full bellies, so they might be more active when they haven't just eaten :-) The mom dog kept letting them nurse, but was doing so standing up. The breeder said the pups actually chewed off one of her nipples (OUCH!) and she didn't even react. We were all wondering how she could tolerate the sharp little teeth and claws as the pups jostled and shoved each other around under her.

It was the funniest sound when all the pups were suddenly disengaged if mom moved away. All of them made a loud abrupt suck noise as the suction was broken. :-) And then they were all left in a wiggling heap wondering what happened. They seemed to know the difference between their mom running around them (whom they would follow and try to suckle on) and their dad whom they mostly ignored.

There were toys all over the place and most of the pups were chewing on one of them at one point or another. Lots of enrichment items, noise makers, obstacles and unusual objects to keep them interested and also to desensitize. When the breeder used the hose nozzle briefly, several of the puppies ran toward the water stream barking!

Even in person, I couldn't really tell them apart. But all the boys seemed great. At this point, based on the personalities shown today, I actually liked "stumpy" the best. I don't know if it's because he was the only one I could pick out of the group, so I tended to gravitate toward him (knowing it was one of the males) or not. I liked that he was very willing to come up to anyone, always seemed to have a smile and loved to cuddle. I laid down on the ground while the other pups were sleeping and he cuddled with me and nibbled on my hair and licked my face for about 15 minutes. I'm guessing that personalities will change as they mature, but I wouldn't mind if the one with a shorter "leash" turned out to be best suited for me :-)

I look forward to getting to visit again. My plans for this coming weekend (teaching the Dayton American Humane Class) were changed because the class got cancelled so maybe I can visit again on Saturday or Sunday.

I sure got closely investigated by 4 noses when I got home!