Monday, February 27, 2012

Floor Licking

This one is a mystery to me.  About a year ago Blossom started licking the parquet wood floor in spots.  Sometimes I would also see Sawyer doing the same thing, too.  She would lick and lick until (alas) the finish had come off the floor!  No matter how much I scolded her she would persist.  But it was not a problem, the floor is going to need to either be refinished or replaced at some time so I didn't really let it bother me...until last week Sawyer decided to lick on the new flooring in my bedroom.  I chased him away but realized later that in just a short time he had licked off the finish in a little space.  Uh oh, I was distressed not only over the damage but over why they were doing this. Then tonight I caught Blossom licking on the floor in the sewing room.  I scolded her several times and then Bentley thought he would get in on the act and he got his name called!

The spots on the old floor were tolerable, but not on the new floor.  Now my eagle eye is on these rascals!  They're just always up to something!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's in your food bowl little doggie?

Lately I've been reading a lot about doggie nutrition.  Even after all my reading I have to admit that I really don't know much more than I did before.  I've had dogs most of my life, and just pulled a bag of food off the grocery store shelf and that was it as far as feeding the dog(s).  Dog food was just that, dog food.  Little did I know...

Now I have four purebred dogs and after reading many labels and internet articles, as well as a few pages in different books, I realize that dog food off the grocery store shelf will not do.  After trying several brands I had decided to stick with the Eukanuba Dachshund brand.  The dogs liked it, the ingredients label looked good and it had fish oil in it, which Dr. Parker had recommended. My dogs are healthy, beautiful and happy.  But then I started reading all this information about grain free diet and at the same time wanting to get Bentley in shape for the shows.  So after spending some time in the store actually comparing labels, as well as on the internet, I bought a bag of grain free food.  (I can't remember the brand and am too tired to go look, so I'll post it later).  It has salmon, peas, and sweet potatoes as the main ingredients.  Sounds good and healthy to me.  My plan was to mix the two foods half and half.  

Soon Monday while Bentley had his check-up I discussed this plan with the vet.  She thought it made sense but she also explained that wild dogs do eat some grains and that it certainly was not unhealthy for them to have some in their diet.  The only real reason to use only grain free food is if your dog has an allergy or a medical problem such as a gluten intolerance.  She thought Bentley was very healthy and that his coat is also very healthy.  So for now I'm going to mix the two foods together and see how they do.  In addition, I'm still feeding them carrots and small amounts of cheese.  A lady I met at the show last week said that she feeds her dogs a scrambled egg once or twice a week (her dogs were gorgeous!) and I had read that eggs were very healthy for dogs, so I may make myself a scrambled egg one night a week and throw in four more for the pups.

I will have to say that reading the labels and the ingredients was very interesting.  I was surprised, to say the least, at what is in some formulas.  For the most part the protein, fat, and moisture, etc. analysis was very similar on most foods.  But some of the stuff in the ingredients was frightening.  I don't feed myself junky food or additives (ok, I admit that I had a Big Mac on Monday) so I don't want to feed the dogs a food that is primarily corn meal or some additive.  I also have to say that I don't think that price is a factor since some research suggested that the more the food cost the better it was formulated.  I can't agree with that as many moderate priced foods (like the ones I'm using) were very healthy. 

More posts to come on this subject, I'm sure.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Bentley & A Little Baylee

Bentley went in this morning for his check up and vaccinations.  He weighed in at 13.15 pounds, but they were using a small scale (like the ones they weigh a human baby on) and his long body was a little scrunched up and I don't think he was really in true balance on the scale.  So I suspect he is closer to the step on scale I weighed him on at ring training.  He was pronounced in perfect health by Dr. Parker, and as being perfectly beautiful by all the staff. He was so good and tolerated all the poking and prodding very well.  I'm afraid, however, that the next time I put him on the table at a show he will automatically tuck his tail and stick his nose in the crook of my arm!  Jaydon was with me and he got to listen to Bentley's heart beat through the stethoscope!

Also as a post script to the last post I forgot to mention that he was competing against 16 other long haired dachshunds.  This is the most we have ever competed against, and it was fun to watch all the other dogs in the ring or at least try to watch.  I still get confused because everything happens so fast in the ring.  I have it in my head which classes are competing and the sequence but when it starts happening I get lost.  I've realized too that I need a little speed in getting him in the ring and set for the judge to see when we go in with the other dogs.  He was the only dog in his class (12-18 months) and there were two finished dogs that competed in Best of Variety.  He'll show 3 or 4 times in March and I'm hoping to get into a one-on-one training session before those shows.  At the very least, I'm having fun with the shows and will continue, champion or not!

Another picture from the show prep on Saturday.  Everyone loves his ears, isn't' that shading gorgeous?

And, yes my next investment is a grooming table to put on top of his crate.  Several other people and I found this waist high mesh platform that was perfect for grooming.  The cart with the crate fit perfectly under the platform.

I caught this picture of the three dogs this afternoon.  This is a perfect picture of Bentley.  (No offense, Blossom and Sawyer, but you may get cropped out of this one at some point!)
Oh Baylee, Beautiful Baylee!  Look at her fur, it has really thickened up and is so luxurious!

I'm just amazed at the beauty of her coat and how soft it feels!

Baylee reminds me of an elegant lady, but she is still a little naughty, too!  Could she be a doggie version of Carole Lombard or Greta Garbo or maybe Marilyn Monroe?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Show Update

Bentley took to the show ring today, and did fairly well but no big wins.  He won his class because he was the only competitor! That's okay, we are just learning and having fun right now.  The show was in a show barn with a "packed dirt floor" and no heat.  Although it was raining and very muddy outside inside the temperature was comfortable.  But the packed dirt floor was interesting.  The ring was very bumpy so the walk was not as smooth as it is on concrete or a padded surface, and, of course, dirt was everywhere! Ugh, cough cough!  Fortunately for Bentley the dirt was light colored; several people commented that he was the perfect color dog for the dirt because it just blended right in with his fur! Unfortunately for me (and most everyone else) I was covered in a layer of light colored dirt, especially around my knees where Bentley kept jumping up on me!

I had bathed him last night, knowing that it was going to rain overnight.  I'm not a morning person and just couldn't stand the thought of trying to bathe a dog early on Saturday morning so I put him in the tub last night.  So this morning after he went outside I had to clean off his underside and his paws.  Then we drove north for the show and it was raining all the way up there.  Fortunately it had stopped by the time we got there but there was mud everywhere. So when I took him out for his go-potty break he got his underside dirty again.  Poor little guy, it is tough being so low to the ground and having to go outside to do your business!  The rain started up again, just as we were leaving so he was once again dirty underneath.  Fortunately I've learned to take along plenty of towels to clean up with and for riding in the car.

Bentley was so calm, and sat quietly while being groomed. All the noise did not bother him one bit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Playing Like Crazy!

Blossom and Sawyer have always played together, very rambunctiously and very loudly.  They have done this since I got them when they were about 8 weeks old.  Even as tiny pups they would just play and play and play while making the loudest, meanest sounds.  It would sound like they were just eating each other up, but in reality they were just playing.  Even as they got older, and bigger, they continued to play fast and furiously.  Only once or twice have they gotten out of hand and I had to stomp my foot to get their attention and advert an all out dog fight.

As they have gotten older the play sessions have shortened, and also usually one of the other dogs will be involved in the playing.  But last night Blossom and Sawyer had a 30 minute session of playing.  They were rolling around on the rug in the living room, chasing each other around, and charging at each other while making the loud growling noises.  When they finally got tired, they ran over to me.  Their tales were wagging, their tongues were hanging out, and their little eyes were just sparkling.  They had thoroughly enjoyed their little play session!  They stood there looking at me and I couldn't think about how happy they were, just from playing  together!  

Such a simple thing, but humans can take a lesson from more and you'll enjoy life and be happy!  Doggie wisdom, simply stated.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sawyer, you know what tomorrow is?

Yes, puppies, tomorrow is your 2nd birthday!  Happy Birthday to both of you!  Your gotcha day is April 10th, and we will celebrate that day as the start of our lives together but tomorrow is the day that you arrived in the wonderful kennel of Splendor Farms.  Miss Kelly gave you a wonderful, healthy, well-adjusted start in life.  Today you are full grown, fun loving piebald dachshunds.  You are both so different, yet so alike and both of you are so sweet!  Happy Birthday, and many more!

 Happy Birthday Sawyer and Blossom!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blossom repeats and repeats

If you read the previous post you know that Blossom accidentally got left outside the other night, in the dark and cold.  Well, she did it again, and again.

I thought I had learned to really count heads (or is it tails?!) as they come through the door after taking a break outside.  Saturday morning they had been out and I was sure all 4 came in.  Several minutes later I heard barking from the back yard and looked out to see Blossom outside, barking and having a good time.  It was cold, too and usually she shivers and puts on a pitiful act when she has to go out.  But, no, the cold didn't seem to be bothering her! 

Then, this evening they went out for a break and again, I thought everyone came in.  Several minutes later I heard a bark at the back door and realized that she was still out.  It was really cold, and once again I had turned off the porch light so it was dark.  I think she has realized that she can bark and I'll open the door!  Silly puppy, you need to come in when called!  Now if she would just bark when she needs to go out....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blossom Gets Locked Out

About 9 o'clock this evening I ran the 4-pack outside for a potty break.  I went out with them to make sure that they did their business and didn't just mess around (imagine, these pups would do that?). As they came in I thought I counted 4 dogs coming through the door but I guess since they were all together and rushing in that I missed one.  I turned off the porch light, shut the door and sat back down on the sofa thinking that everyone was present and accounted for.  Several minutes later I realized that Blossom was missing.  I thought she had gone in the kitchen but she was not in the kitchen or anywhere in the house.  Then I realized that she must have been left outside.  Yes, when I opened the door there she was in the pitch black dark.  She came in and, of course, got a lot of attention.  I don't think she was really too scared, after all she is a mighty-mini that is afraid of nothing.

Totally unrelated, I'm watching the 10 o'clock news while writing and they just showed a story about a 4 week old pup that was stuck in a pipe, somewhere up north.  An excavation crew was called in to extract the little one....guess what breed?  It was a dachshund-mix, Mama was a black and tan.  Aren't these little guys amazing?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Almost show time, yikes!

Okay Mr. Bentley it is time to dust off your ring manners and strut your stuff! 

After much debating with myself about the show ring and competing I decided to stay with it for a little longer.  I really did not want to drop out just yet, but was struggling with conflicting thoughts about Bentley and myself as his handler.  But, after all, I really am doing this for fun so I decided, why not?  Let's go out there and have fun!

So I've started registering for shows and tonight we went to ring training.  It was good to be back and Bentley wasn't the least bit rusty, me...I galloped him around the ring the first time (slow down there Bessie!).  I got to talk to another dachshund owner who has several show dogs, so it was a good opportunity to ask questions. The dog he was working with tonight was a beautiful red dapple who was only 8 1/2 months old and already had 4 points!  Fun to watch him!
Before class I put Bentley on the scale and he weighed in at 14.4 pounds.  I'm hoping to add just a little weight to him but don't think he will quite make it to standard size since he is already 15 months old. 

So, off to work we go, up on the table, stack, around the ring and stack again!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tree climbing and "treeing"

Last Friday Jaydon wanted to climb one of the trees in my back yard.  So with the help of the step ladder up he went. I never gave the dogs a thought but they went crazy after he got up in the tree.  They "tree'd" him!

This was a pack of hounds, going crazy at a boy in the tree!

Blossom and Baylee were watching as Jaydon came down, they were too cute not to make their picture!  

And, yes that is my once beautiful back yard.  Between several years of drought, bugs and 4 small dogs I have no grass left.  But that's ok, I wanted to re-landscape so in a way this is not a bad thing!