Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blossom's Ears

Blossom is over 2 1/2 years old, so she is now an adult and her coat has reached its max, so to speak.  It is nice but not over luxurious either.  However, her ears and tail are amazing!  Last night I was experimenting with the camera and she just happened to pose so I could shoot her ears.  They were not combed and she needs a bath, but while I could get her to look at me I took pictures!

Blossom says, "Ha ha!  I may be a might mini diva dog but my ears can beat your ears any day!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Several thoughts on dog ownership

I made a late afternoon trip to PetsMart to buy the usual stuff (food, cat litter,toys) and I remembered that I have been meaning to write this post ever since the Reliant show.  It is a usual thing for PetsMart to have an adoption going on on Saturday but today they had probably 30 or more dogs for adoption.  They had big dogs and small dogs, no really young puppies.  There were lots of cats and kittens, too. Since it was late in the day I had the feeling that most of these would be going  back to either a shelter or their foster homes.   I didn't stop to really look at the dogs, it just breaks my heart to think that they need a good, loving home.  I know my house is full, so I have to just keep walking!
Thought #1:  I've always been a supporter of the spay/neuter concept.  All of my animals, with the exception of Bentley, are spayed or neutered.  When Bentley finishes (no wait, when I give up!) then I will have him neutered, too.  I've had several people in the neighborhood ask me if I want to breed him and I always have to think "no, not to your quite right dachshund that obviously has some mysteries in the family tree".  If all dog owners spayed/neutered their dogs there wouldn't be so many dogs looking for homes.  Leave the breeding to experts who understand bloodlines and genetics!

Thought #2:  These dogs are the first dogs that I've had that were purebred dogs (other than the poodle that wandered up one night).  I've always had shelter dogs or little mutt dogs.  They were all good dogs.  

If you research your breed you will know about the characteristics of the breed and any special needs they have.  For example, dachshunds bark and burrow because they were bred to hunt small animals that lived underground.  They are also known to be stubborn, but really they are just intelligent, independent thinkers.  And, the standard dachshund can have serious back problems.

If you buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder you will meet the parents and you will have all your questions answered about the breed and your puppy.  The breeder can tell you about the puppy's bloodlines and your puppy will be well socialized, too.  You will know what to expect from your dog and how to approach training.

I have nothing but good things to say about supporting a shelter, but I have also come to realize the value of a purebred dog.

Thought #3:  At the Reliant show there were the show dogs and vendors, lots of good vendors.  But there were several long rows of rescue groups with booths set up.  Of course, they all had dogs there that were available for adoption.  I told another steward that I was walking around with that I had learned it was best not to make eye contact with any of the dogs!  I couldn't stay in the rescue area very long, it was just too sad for me!  But I was also reminded what wonderful, loving people work with rescue programs.  Most of the dogs are in foster homes because their owners just couldn't keep them but wanted them to have a loving home.  Sometimes, though, the former owner didn't research the breed before getting the dog and they weren't prepared for the dog's behaviors and attitudes.  I spent several minutes with the dachshund group and thought to myself that if I didn't already have a houseful how easy it would be to take a rescue dog for a pet.

So I need to conclude this lengthy post.  Here's the main point:  Do not buy a puppy in a pet store or along side the road.  If you want a shelter dog, check out the dog carefully since you don't know where the dog came from and what breed characteristics he may have.  Only buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder.  Consider adopting a rescue dog, too.  And please, spay or neuter your dog as soon as they are old enough.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bentley, Eat your egg

I still have this idea that I can make Bentley into a show dog.  Kinda like a "Rocky" or "Karate Kid" story, the little underdog that makes it big.  I know, I know but I can always dream, right?  He is a good looking dog and, for the most part, does well in the ring.  I keep thinking that if I can get some weight on him and get his coat to look a little better that he might at least get a few points. 

There are some fall shows coming up so I decided to get serious about getting him ready.  Step one:  diet.  One thing that I really haven't been doing is feeding the dogs an egg on a regular basis.  It is easy enough to open a can of green beans and divide it among their bowls.  Same with yogurt or matchstick carrots.  So tonight as I was boiling some eggs for my lunches I decided that I would make several extra for the dogs.  When I divide food among the dogs I always wonder if everyone really gets a fair portion since they all eat out of each other's bowls.  So to make sure that Bentley really got a whole egg I decided to resort to a little sneakiness.  I had seen him and Sawyer standing by the back door earlier so I took one of the eggs in my hand and opened the door without calling them.  Sawyer had disappeared but Bentley was still close by and he went out with me.  First part of the mission was successful!
I led him away from the door so the others couldn't see him get the egg.  I knew that they would get theirs later so I didn't feel too sneaky. I held out the egg expecting him to take it and proceed to chomp it down.  No, instead he just smelled and licked it.   I finally had to break it up in chunks for him and then he started to eat it.  But he ate it very slowly and very politely.  It took him several minutes to finish the one egg!  I think he realized he had no competition so he didn't need to gobble but I also wondered if deep down inside he is just a well-mannered little house dog that has to be Mr. Big Stuff with his peers!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crates & Gates

I have a large wire crate in my breakfast room.  No problem.  I have baby gates in various doorways.  No problem.  I have stand alone gates that move from place to place, too. No problem.

When I first got the dogs I did a lot of reading about crate training.  I had never crate trained a dog, but I felt sure that it was the right thing to do for my new little puppies.  One of the articles pointed out that using a crate for your dog was no different than putting your baby in a crib or a playpen.  Aha!  The light went on for me.  Why do we put babies in playpens?  So they are safe and can't get into anything while we are occupied with another task (like laundry and dishes). 

The article continued with the same idea about using a gate to secure the area where you wanted the dog to stay.  Why do we put up gates when there is a baby in the house?  To keep them out of unsafe areas and to set their boundaries.  Same thing for dogs; it is a practicle way of preventing accidents and destruction and a way to keep the dogs safe, too. 
Sometimes I think that I shouldn't have to block off rooms with a gate in the doorway, the dogs should know better than to go in a room and get into something they should not be into.  But they are dogs and dogs will be dogs!
Speaking of puppies - I was excited to find this picture of little Blossom (It was digitally mis-filed in some campinig pictures). It was made in late April 2010 so she was about 10 weeks old. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What we've been doing

The 4-pack here...human Mama has been busy and not writing so she's letting us write!  Yippee!  So here's what we've been doing while she's working, doing school and having fun over Labor Day.

Baylee:  I went to the vet for my 2-year check up.  My gotcha day was early in August so my check ups are in August.  The vet told me I'm very healthy but I've gained 13 ounces so I have to get back into the walking habit.  I also had no poop to donate for a sample but, oh well, I probably don't have any parasites since no one else around here does.

Blossom:  I've been busy sunning myself in little sunny spots on the deck whenever I go outside.  I like to lay there until I'm really hot and panting!  Mmmm feels so good!  And, oh yes, Aunt Carole was here for a visit and I did a big puddle of pee-pee in her room!  I just couldn't resist not having a gate across the guest room door!

Sawyer:  I've been real busy running the fence these days when I go outside.  Two dogs have moved into the house behind us.  A pug and (I think) a lab or some kind of good size dog.  It is my duty to defend my property from those little pesks. I bark real loud and run real fast, so I think I'm doing a great job! I've also perfected the technique of moving the stand alone doggie gate in the kitchen!

Bentley:  Hey, I'm just one good looking fun loving dachshund, you know.  I entertained Aunt Carole by licking her toes as much as I could get away with.  I just love to lick bare skin.  I don't understand why I get fussed at for licking!  I've decided that I just need to ignore my human Mama for the most part.  Doesn't she understand that I'm an independent thinker and I don't need her to manage me?