22 December, 2008

I was supposed to go to work today...

Well, I was supposed to go to work today. 0500 rolled around and the alarm started its annoying habit of waking me up from a perfectly good sleep. I got down to the car around 0520 and begin unburying it again. All day yesterday I was digging out the car and keeping the area in front of it groomed into a compact ramp, knowing I would have to get to work this morning. I also tried to chain up the car to be ready to depart. Unfortunately the chains were too small. The package was for the correct tire type, but the chains definitely did not fit. This was at 6pm. Les Schwab and Big O closed at 5.

What I did NOT know is we were going to get another 6" of snow overnight and I was going to be waking up to 18" of snow. Grumble.

I dug out the car and dutifully got behind the wheel. I managed to go up my groomed ramp, got about 5 feet and then *thunk!* sank into the deep snow. I was stuck to the point the snow reached above my doors, and my door became a giant shovel as I was trying to exit the vehicle and formulate my next plan. I stood surveying the amputee-snow-angel the vehicle had created, and grimly came to a stark conclusion.

I realized there was no way I was getting to work because my driveway was completely impassable. A nice bonus is the fact my driveway is about 200ft long. I know that doesn't sound like much, but when it is covered with 18" of snow over about 2-3" of ice, it is a significant obstacle to a minivan buried up to its doors.

I realized I needed to start shoveling the driveway. I was not amused. I love the snow. I really do, but I don't love so MUCH snow in a land totally unprepared for such. I don't own a snow shovel. Why would I? I live in a suburb of Seattle for chrissake. So, I improvise, employ my "Seattle Snowshovel" and begin paddling my way down the driveway. Current time: 6:15am.

Slowly but surely I begin to make some progress. The sun comes up. Birds start to sing, the clouds even break a little and show the first scrap of blue sky I've seen for days. I look at the driveway. I'm about halfway to the corner where I can then slide down the hill. Current time: 8:30am. Grrr.

I continue doggedly in my chosen course of action. I call up to the house and ask Bruce to check the local Costco and Les Schwab to see if we can get some chains that actually fit my tires. He determines neither opens until 10am and comes down to help me dig the last turn of the driveway. Current time: 9:20am.

I'm starting to get tired. I'm old and fat and slow, and not built for hours and hours of shoveling deep snow in the freezing cold. Bruce pitches in and we finish the driveway around 10:15am. Total time to shovel the driveway to the point we can make the turn and skid down the hill into the neighborhood: 4 hours.

Total time required playing in the snow with the dogs to make up for being outside without them for 4 hours: 15 minutes.

Obviously I'm not going to work today. But we really need groceries, I need to get chains that fit my tires, we are out of cat litter... So we call around about chains. 10 calls later we find a Les Schwab in north Kent with a set of chains that will fit my car. We pay by phone and start the trek to the tire store. Time: 10:45am. Halfway there Bruce realizes he has forgotten his wallet and the paper with the address of the tire store.

The roads are treacherous. We make it down the driveway and into the street, hoping no one is coming the other way at the bottom as I realize stopping won't be possible. We see many people sliding, spinning their tires and drifting across the packed snow and ice. People with 4x4s are going too fast and fishtailing or sliding through stops.

News Flash: 4 wheel drive is great for helping you start moving. It does NOT assist your stopping ability. All along our route cars are in the ditch and buried under snow like sleeping monsters. An hour later, we've made it the 5 miles to the tire store. We put on the chains, start the car and the temperature gauge is PINNED in the red. *%$#! is the nice way to describe my reaction. Looking under the hood the car does not seem too hot, but who knows. So we journey up Central Ave to Auburn way, and stop at the Chevy dealer to have the car checked out. It will take 2 hours, says the guy. Great, I'm thinking. In the first turn of good luck for the day, I look out the windows of the service center and across the street is: a Grocery Store! Hooray!

So we schlep over to the grocery store, get our cat litter and needed items, sit down and eat something and wander back over to the service department. Good news and bad news. Good news: The car is safe to drive and is definitely not overheating. Bad news: It needs a new instrument panel to the tune of $400. I decide that will have to wait until after Christmas and off we go.

We begin the trek home. Time: 2:30pm. We manage to get home, but then I discover I can't turn around in the driveway because I didn't shovel a spot for the 3-point turn required. Possibly an oversight born of my irritation with having to shovel so much fluff so early in the morning? Bruce also realizes he has forgotten to go to the post office and mail a package for a client.

Bruce goes inside to prepare his package, and the dogs and I set to work digging out a turn-around. The dogs are very helpful, tossing snow everywhere and chasing eachother through the drifts I am creating with my Seattle Snowshovel. Zora really wants to get in on the fun, but is NOT amused with the fact she keeps getting buried in the snow. Finally I hear her barking and notice the barks are coming from a snow-crater. I rescue her and she supervises the rest of my labor from the car window. About 45 minutes later our work is done and I send Bruce on his way since he will now be able to get home, and get the car facing the correct direction to depart again without me having to back all the way down the driveway in the dark tomorrow morning.

Now I am cold, wet, covered in sand, mud and de-icer from putting the chains on the car and basically super crabby. My clothes are filthy, the neoprene parts of my boots are soaked and freezing. I am going to get a hot shower, take 4 Advil, wash them down with a gin and tonic and lie down in front of the TV for a bit. The good news: I am all set to get to work tomorrow - as long as we don't get more than about 8" of new snow.

20 December, 2008

Blog Game - 6+6

Well I got tagged in a blog game. Here is how it works: Go into the 6th folder on my computer, and pull out the 6th photo. Then post it here.

Here is what came up:

This is a photo taken of an xray of one of the patients at the clinic. I used the photo as part of a powerpoint presentation for career day at the local high school. Teaching the kids about xrays is always a fun activity!

I challenge carefullyconstructednoise.blogspot.com to be the next to post 6+6

06 December, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend

Well I had a somewhat unconventional Thanksgiving weekend.

It started Thursday with sleeping in, then doing chores around the house and reading my book for a while, then going to the clinic to take care of the boarding pets. We went to Maneki for a fabulous dinner. Yes, that's right... we went OUT for dinner on Thanksgiving, and to a Japanese place, no less. It was terrific. The food was great, no cooking or cleaning required. Very good move, I intend to repeat it in the future.

Then Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent at an agility trial. The girls did great. Magick earned another jumpers qualifier - one of the most beautiful jumpers runs she has had in years. It was such a rush, all the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. She did great. So that means she only needs one more qualifying round in jumpers to get her NATCH. Our next try will be at RAT in Elma over the Valentine's day weekend. Wish us luck.

Zora ran beautifully as well, with 10 qualifying rounds out of 14 runs. I went back and tallied points - turns out all she needs for HER NATCH now is 5 rounds of regular and 1 chances. *boggle* It seems like she should still just be a pup to me... but what do I know!

By Sunday I was feeling pretty low. Tired, sore and just plain worn out. I thought I was getting too old to do 3 days of agility in a row... but I had my answer on Monday morning. Fever of 100.1, scratchy throat and horrible sinus headache. Duh, I was getting sick! So now I feel a little less old, and am looking forward to our next opportunity for Magick's NATCH.

New Orleans - looking back

So this July I went off to New Orleans for a veterinary conference, and a behavior meeting. This should have been an awesome trip - and in many ways it was. However, the end of the trip was tainted by a lot of stress and strife, drama that fractured the neo-relationships a few of us were building.

On the brighter side, I did take some fun photos in the French quarter during my trip, and thought I'd post a few favorites here.

Through the gates of Jackson Square.

Jackson Square is lovely, if rat-infested. The artists and buskers along the fences made for excellent people-watching. There was a particularly talented young boy - perhaps 14-years-old. He was painting amazing blue and black portraits in oil on canvas. Most of them featured faces from a variety of perspectives, some pensive, others sorrowful or troubled. All were surreal in the genuine feeling of the subject's emotions. I watched him for a little while, marveling that such morose images were flowing from the hands of a seemingly vibrant young boy.

That street corner on all the post cards. Look, I made my own!

Truly, the architecture in the French quarter is just like in the movies. The iron filigree is captivating - garish and modest at the same time. From across the street it appears soft like lace sewn in charcoal, but up close it is hard and cold. It should be smooth but a quick touch reveals chips and bubbles in the coating, the iron wraught like any other iron, welds gripping the metal and making it seem so ordinary. I was struck by the illusion of it, truly. New Orleans was surreal in that way - I got the impression most of the French quarter was a series of illusions and people hiding from the city, or themselves.

Perspective. I took a lot of photos from odd perspectives, and the shutters were some of my favorites. Many of the old buildings have carriageways leading to interior courtyards. These shutters cover the windows looking into the carriageway.

Fun street sign. Pirate's Alley is right off Jackson Square, and sandwiched between the cathedral and another building. The tiny pirate bar there was a lot of fun.

Of course, Cafe du Monde. I went here and had the required Cafe au Lait and Beignets. It was quite tasty. Then I sat on a bench just outside Jackson Square and read my book in the sun for an hour. Good relaxing afternoon.

This statue was described to us as "Touchdown Jesus" by a tour guide on our ghost tour. So I thought I'd try and take a ghost picture of my own -- voila! "Christ Ascends!"

01 October, 2008

Herding Clinic

This weekend was the herding clinic at Fido's Farm with Scott Glen. I have a great deal of respect for Scott. He is an extremely talented and skilled handler and trainer. He reads sheepdogs in a way that is really special and I know my understanding of his knowledge is just rudimentary at best. I'm sure when he is explaining himself to me he must feel like he is talking to a toddler.

Diane loaned me Lucy for the clinic. She was quite worried because she took Lucy to a trial and on her Pro Novice runs she was flat at the top and would not hold the pressure on the drive. I was surprised to hear this because both Diane and I have worked with Lucy to keep her outruns nice and deep and I have especially been working on her holding pressure during driving.

I went for a private lesson on Friday and reported the prior weekend's transgressions to Scott. Lucy did try to come in a bit tight the first time I sent her on an outrun. I called for a lie-down, applied a little pressure and she bent out nicely. For the rest of the weekend her outruns remained clean, wide and deep. She was back to her old self.

During the clinic Scott was teaching me how to get Lucy to understand short vs. long flank whistles on the drive, and to get her to take a steady whistle without stopping completely. By the end of the weekend she was understanding what I was asking a whole lot better.

I'm very sad because Diane has decided to send Lucy to Scott for 6 months of training. I know it is what is best for making Lucy a competitive Open trial dog, but I will miss her a lot, and miss being able to work her every week and see her progress. I will also miss her as my buddy on the sofa while I spend long nights doing email, and seeing her smiling face in my office each day at work. Lucy has been living with me about half the time and I am realizing I gave her a little too much of my heart considering she doesn't actually belong to me.

I went over to Diane's house tonight and had dinner with she and Scott, and got a mini-lesson with 2 of Diane's young dogs she is asking me to start until she is well enough to work them herself. I left Lucy with Diane tonight and Scott will take her away tomorrow. I know he will take care of her, and she will benefit from all of the knowledge and skill he has. I would never be able to put the training on Lucy that Scott will be able to do. However, my heart was breaking as I walked away and Lucy ran to the door, jumping up on the windows and wondering why she couldn't come with me as I left.

I will probably drive Scott crazy asking for updates, but Lucy is really a special part of my life. She is my friend and she will give me her whole heart and best effort every time I ask her to join me on the field. I will miss her very much, but Diane will have a much better trial dog when Lucy comes home next year.

Agility Weekend

Well last weekend was our Extreme Agility Team trial. I always enjoy our trials - it is almost like working at home because I know everyone who is there, and feel at home helping out in the rings and at the scoretable.

I've been really pleased with how my dogs have been working in practice lately, and am pleased to say the results showed at the trial.

Zora - 13 runs, 10 qualifying. (Average rate of qualifying for NADAC is about 15% so that was an AWESOME weekend)
I was very proud of Zora because she qualified in a very difficult Chances run on Saturday night. The run required a long send to a tunnel, with the tunnel exit facing 3 jumps fanned out. The dog had to come out of the tunnel over the center jump, U turn over the closest jump back into the tunnel, then go all the way to the far jump. After that was 2 more jumps about 35' away followed by a tunnel/dogwalk discrimination. Zora gave it her heart and ran beautifully. Only 4 dogs out of the entire Elite class qualified on that course, and I was very proud of Zora to earn that round.

Magick - 10 runs, 7 qualifying. Magick and I have been chasing the last few points for her NATCH all summer. Fortunately she earned 2 more jumpers legs this weekend (only 2 were offered and she earned both!) so now we have only 2 rounds of jumpers left to complete her NADAC Agility Trial Championship. She will be my first NATCH dog. While I understand plenty of other people earn NATCHs right and left, it is a big accomplishment for me and my Magick dog. She has had to have 2 major knee surgeries in her life, and because of my teaching schedule I only trial her 5 or 6 times per year.

Paddy - 4 runs, 2 qualifying. Paddy earned her Elite Tunnelers title as well. Running Paddy is sheer joy, and every time I take her to the start line I thank her for being my soulmate. I don't care how she does, I just want us to have fun together.

This same weekend 3 of my students were competing at the NADAC Championships in Gillette, Wyoming. I am extremely proud of them, as each placed in the top 8 in several events and earned lots of qualifying rounds. They represented themselves and their training wonderfully, and my heart swells with pride for each of my students.

So, that was another weekend gone. It was well-spent.

26 July, 2008

Some things are meant to be...

Well, I'll spare you all the gory details of my trip to New Orleans. Here are a few highlights:

I got to meet some members of the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians whom I had not met before. It was a great deal of fun to finally put names with faces!

The Association of Veterinary Behavior Technicians was accepted by NAVTA, and as a result, Veterinary Technician Specialist- Behavior, is probably in my future! Kudos to Ginny, Julie S., Marcia, Linda C., and Angela to their successful petition submission.

I made some excellent contacts to ramp up my speaking engagements.

I got to wander the French Quarter daily, and wander Bourbon Street nightly, drinking, smoking and engaging in general debauchery.

I had cafe au lait and biegnets at the world-famous Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street, reading my book and people watching at a little marble table under lazy fans circulating a heavy, humid breeze.

However, the last evening of the trip there was quite a lot of drama. I ended up not sleeping for 2 days and feeling really discouraged. I almost resigned from SVBT on that trip - but ultimately decided to hang in for the long haul.

As a sign of my decision, the universe arranged this meeting in Dallas:

Yep, I ran into my MICAH at the Dallas airport. We realized what was happening when we were both in our respective airports (me in New Orleans, he in Reno) and spoke on the phone. Who could believe our luck? My layover was to be a little over 90 minutes, his a mere 30. His flight was delayed 65 minutes so our layovers were the exact same length, and we arrived in the same terminal!

We had the chance to sit together and enjoy our friendship over a few cocktails before boarding our planes and jetting apart once more, me to Seattle and he to Florida.

So although things were looking grim at the end of my trip, this unbelievably wonderful surprise made it all worthwhile. I guess sometimes the universe is looking out for me after all.

11 June, 2008

Remembering Allie. 11/2/92-4/21/08

Allie on the beach, 1997

I keep sitting down to write this, then my heart gets heavy... my fingers heavier, until they are at a standstill over the keys and nothing gets written at all. The weight of these words is great, a eulogy or an elegy needs to be written for my friend of nearly 16 years.

Miss Allie was the queen of our house for many years. A little lady, she came to me as a sickly puppy in February of 1993 when I was a junior in high school. Allie was my constant companion, frequently carried around inside the chest of my varsity letter jacket. Privy to all my secrets, she always showed discretion and never uttered a word to my family, or my foes. She had many adorable habits including carrying her dog kibbles to the softest bed to crunch them, and lying on her back in a lap or someone's arms for hours.

Time passed, and I went away to college. Allie stayed with my father and his wife, and anytime my parents came to see me at school, of course Allie came along as well. She brightened my sometimes difficult days away at school.

In 1996 I decided to move to Seattle full-time, and moved Allie north with me. She met so many people and earned nicknames with my rowdy friends. A witness to plenty of parties, movie nights, long days and sleepovers, she kept my pillow warm if I was up late. She sometimes messed on the floor or chewed up my socks, but these errors were forgiven - after all, had I taken her out a the right time, or had I simply picked up my socks, none of these mistakes would have occurred. The errors were not hers, but mine. I was a young woman and a marginally responsible dog owner.

When Bruce and I met, Allie was living with myself and my cat, Charlie. They were thick as thieves, frequently curled up on the sofa together. Allie would even periodically relieve herself in the cat privy. We frequently joked that Allie figured she and Charlie were the same species.

In November, 1997, along came puppy Paddy. Allie suddenly had big shoes to fill: Dog-Foster-Mother to my bottle baby foster puppies from the animal shelter. During this time, Allie demonstrated she was, in fact, canine. Alternately patient and persistent, she taught the puppies how to play nicely, how to love people, and how to recognize the rectangular highlight of sunlight on the carpet cast through the window as the best place in the house to sleep.

For Paddy, we moved into a house with a yard on Beacon Hill in January, 1998. Although my lease wasn't up until April, it was worth the fee for both dogs to have their own yard to run and play. Shortly after the move, Allie and Paddy, 40lbs but still very much a puppy, were playing. Paddy accidentally injured Allie, resulting in her ultimately losing her left eye. In the process of treating her eye, we discovered that Allie had some serious health problems requiring attention.

Preanesthetic labwork showed Allie had liver disease. An ultrasound diagnosed her with probable multiple intra-hepatic shunts, and microvascular disease. She also had renal calculi on both sides. So Allie started her prescription diet and a schedule of regular blood and urine testing lasting the length of her life. At that time, it was said Allie would not have a normal lifespan and would likely require medications for the rest of her life.

The queen continued to rule the roost with an iron paw. In June, 1998, Bruce and I were married. Of course, Allie and Paddy accompanied us on our honeymoon. She ran on the beach at Ft Stevens, walked along the shores of Cascade Lake on Orcas Island, explored the rocky beaches of La Push. It was the first of many family trips, and she clearly enjoyed it. Allie's favorite place to run was on the beach.

Allie avoiding getting dirty on our honeymoon.

As the years went on, we fostered dozens of dogs. Magick joined the family in 1999, followed by Zora in 2004. Allie always presided over everything without question. None of the dogs ever challenged her, and she always had the best place to sleep, ate in peace and was the first to send up the alarm for visitors or trouble. Of course, she only ever had to bark once or twice - she sent up the alarm, then the "big dogs" followed through to carry on the alert. The Queen was then free to go about her business.

Allie on the beach, 2001

When Bruce was in the hospital, Allie would sit quietly on my lap during the hour I went home to wash up, change clothes and return calls each day. She licked my face in those private moments when I allowed myself to shed the tears I held back every day. She laid on the bathmat during my showers, and when Bruce was well enough to sit up in a wheelchair for short periods, she visited him in the hospital.

As the years went on, her black fur was salted with gray. She moved slower every winter, stiffening slightly with arthritis and the strains of old age. In 2006, Allie had her first seizure while I was in Florida on a business trip. I feared the worst, and was lucky that Micah was there for me when I got the news. Bruce took care of Allie at home, and Micah took care of my aching heart 3000 miles away.

Shortly after my trip, I started noticing the other dogs were treating Allie differently. They were not as quick to defer, and spent less time interacting with her. She was sleeping much more than usual, and would sometimes seem disoriented or anxious. At night, she would awake and bark for no apparent reason. Another seizure followed, and an episode of severe neck pain with ataxia. I suppose it was around that time I began preparing myself for the reality that Allie wasn't immortal.

During the final 2 years of her life, we all struggled through bad days and rejoiced in good days. She stopped waking up to say hello when I returned home from work or an errand. She would get confused in the yard, continued to have ataxia and developed a hypermetric gait. Over time, it became clear that Allie had a neurologic problem beyond simple senility.

On the day I let Allie go, I knew in the morning when I greeted her that it was time. It rained all morning, and my mood was dark as well. We spent the day together, and we went to the beach one last time. As we were driving to the park, the rain abruptly stopped, and the sun broke through the clouds. A blue sky opened above us as I carried Allie down to the beach in the same varsity letter jacket I used to carry her home the first night of our life together. We walked together along the sand, our footprints side-by-side for the last time. Although she could no longer run, she seemed to genuinely enjoy smelling the scents of the salty shore. We sat together in the sun and I fed her a favorite treat and a mild sedative. She fell asleep in the sun on my lap, there on the rocks looking out over Puget Sound. She slept peacefully through the drive to the vet, and I came home alone with a shattered heart.

Even now my mind plays tricks on my and I see Allie around the house. Though it was very difficult to let her go, I take comfort in the idea she is no longer suffering, and that I was swift to act once she made it clear the time had come.

So this tribute is to the memory of my dear little friend, Allie. The Queen. She was the one enduring force during a formative period of my life, and the lessons I learned from her will stay with me for the rest of my days. I thank you, Allie - for your friendship, loyalty, affection and teachings. I will hold you in my heart and respect your memory always.

Our last day together... and our last footprints together.

10 May, 2008

My week in review...

Well, last weekend my mom came up to Seattle to visit us for the first time in 5 years. She rode the train up and we had a decent time on Saturday. She stayed for the puppy potluck, slept at our place and was to catch a morning train back to Portland. I left around 7:15am to go teach. Bruce was going to take my Mom to the train station around 9am. Somehow between those times she managed to fall in our bathroom and hurt herself very badly. In spite of this, she decided to go home on the train anyway. She had to go to the hospital via ambulance from the train station because she couldn't walk.

Originally the ER docs thought she had fractured a hip or blown a disc in her back. Of course, they took a few x-rays but didn't bother to do an MRI. And she, being who she is, didn't demand one. So she has now been off work for a week, doped up on pain drugs and dragging her right leg behind her because she can't bear any weight on it. In spite of this, she still refused to go back into the ER for an MRI, and so had her scan tonight, one week after the injury. No results until Monday.

So I feel sorry for my mom. She came up here to have a nice time, and ended up getting hurt badly. At the same time, I feel a bit angry with her as well. She should have let Bruce take her to the hospital up here rather than going home on the train. She should have demanded an MRI on the day of the injury. She should have been willing to go back in on ER to get scanned as soon as she realized she was unable to move her right leg. You can't help someone who isn't interested in helping him or herself. She would rather be the martyr than be well-cared-for. So be it.

Oh, and she was so strung out on oxycontin she asked my why I didn't send her anything for Mother's day. She FORGOT that she had received a huge bouquet of flowers from me just a few hours earlier :(

My Intermediate class that was supposed to have 14 dogs had 3 show up, so that is all pretty confused still. Blarg.

I got a cold and ended up going in to work anyway. This was a mistake as I ended up spending the entire day yesterday in bed sick as a dog trying to recover. At least I feel a little better today.

Lastly, the Indigo Girls was sold out, in spite of the fact the website said there was still availability of tickets. Grumble.

So there is my list of gripes from the week.

Good things: The girl I had to put on probation at work has demonstrated a significant attitude adjustment. This is a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. I really thought she would go under after her unfavorable review, but she has risen to the challenge.

The puppies are fat and happy, growing like weeds and developing like crazy.

04 May, 2008

Puppies - 4 weeks old

Strike a pose!

So a few fun things happened this week. Up until the past week my adult dogs have been completely uninterested in the puppies. However, last Wednesday, Magick decided that the puppies were *really* fun and started playing with them. She now plays with them until they are tired, then watches them sleeping with great anticipation waiting for the next round of play.

The pups experimented with exploring the tunnel set up in the yard

Link decided that tugging shouldn't be limited to PUNY toys - and tugged the whole roll of astroturf loose

My feet were under seige

Everyone was playing - and resting - in the yard

And then, we napped. Magick watched and waited for the next play time.

27 April, 2008

Puppies - 3 weeks old

Well, the puppies are growing like weeds.

This week's accomplishments:

The pups began intentional play with one another. Link and Lila were the most excited about playing together initially, but now everyone is excited about wrestling, playing bite-face, tail grabbing and foot chewing. The pups also started showing interest in toys by chewing on them and biting them.

They started barking on purpose, and barking at eachother during play.

They had their first puppy potluck party and met 6 new adults and 2 children this week.

They've begun walking well enough to get turned out of their pen into the living room for part of each evening to explore and play.

Lila with Froggie for size:

Lila sitting up

Luna crawling around on the sofa




More next week.

20 April, 2008

Puppies - 2 weeks old

Well the puppies had their first bath with SOAP yesterday. They all smell like baby powder now :) Lucy seemed unconcerned that her puppies were being tortured in the kitchen sink.

Luna was the drama queen of the group, convinced that soap is fatal to puppies. Lila and Liam were the most patient for the whole process.

Today they all had their nails clipped, and no one made any fuss.

Everyone except for Luke has both eyes fully open and looking around. Luke has one eye still half-closed.

The pups are happily practicing their growling, barking and howling at eachother. The are also trying to master the transition between creeping and walking. With front legs going full speed, their back feet go about half speed and they topple over readily.

Lila with Froggie for scale.

Liam, handsome bugger.

Link, still the biggest brother.

Luna - the drama queen.

Luke, posing for the camera while napping after his bath.

12 April, 2008

Puppies - 1 week old

Well it was gorgeous today. 75 degrees and sunny, so I put on shorts and a tank top and took the pups into our yard (before you get all uppity about taking pups outside at this age, no other dogs or animals have access to this area right off our deck and they were not exposed to anything dangerous!) for their 1-week birthday pictures.


I picked out something to use for scale as the puppies grow. Hence the cute frog stuffie. Wish I had used this on birth-day but take my word for it. The pups have approximately DOUBLED in size since last Saturday. They have discovered whining and a few little growls, but mostly just sleep-n-eat. We handle the puppies daily and touch all parts of their bodies, massage their toes and tails and ears, and hold them in every orientation. I believe in using these strategies to improve socialization and expose the pups to human contact from the first day.

Lila (my favorite) with Froggie. Lila is quiet and doesn't mind being separated from mom or her brothers and sister. She loves to snuggle in a lap and sleep. She has the cutest yawn.

Luna - the 2nd biggest. She loves to sleep on her back with all 4 little paws paddling in the air. She is getting a bunch of freckles just like Mom Lucy.

Both Girlies together

Link - still the biggest and squirmiest. He dreams about eating and crawling, and likes to sleep on his side.

Luke - Hubby's favorite. He is very handsome with his lozenge on the back of his head. Also getting plenty of freckles, he treats Lila as his best buddy.

And Mr. Handsome - Liam. He is a classic cutie and likes to sleep on his back in my lap. He wags his tail almost all the time while he is sleeping.

All the boys

Next Saturday I'll post Week 2! Look for some open eyes by then.