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My husband and I are new puppy owners- this is our first dog together, and we're working through what it means to be puppy parents!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy 5 Months Kirbs!

Geez- I can't believe it's been 5 months already! He's looking less and less like a puppy each day!

We continue to work on sit and down stay... and I'm sure we'll be learning new things when we start our intermediate class next week!

Kirby is also getting ready for halloween... we haven't decided whether or not he'll be subjected to getting stuffed in a costume this year...

Especially because he's already stuck wearing a coat when the weather is bad. He wouldn't put up with a hood or the booties, so we'll see if this even does any good!

He's such a good boy. He's really getting better at leave it and drop it, and his focus is incredible! Tonight he was more interested in the ball than the other dogs at the park! It was pretty cool! Happy 5 months, guy! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rain, Rain...

So, what do you do when it's pouring out, and your dog needs some exercise? I know, the answer is "take him for a walk anyway..." which makes total sense! Except Kirby hates the rain more than I do. It's true! He begs to go out, and then he squishes his body up against the house, so he fits under our tiny awning. I can coax him to play fetch for maybe 5 or 6 throws, but by then he's done.

I guess I should have anticipated this? We live in Eugene, OR... it's not the sunniest city. Stan and I are used to the rain- I don't even think we own an umbrella- but It's as though Kirby came from sunny SoCal or something. (He didn't, his mama is in Washington)

So, what do you do? We can play indoor catch/fetch... we do lots of obedience stuff.... but we don't really have an indoor doggy playplace nearby. Ideas? I'm not a huge fan of clothes on dogs, but has anyone had any luck with raincoats? I know a tired pup is a good pup- and we need a tired pup around here!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Come Hop with Us!

And with that, we're off for the weekend to camp/hunt! :) Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do you know what Kirby loves?

Can you guess?

If you guessed the dog park.... you're right! Kirby LOVES the dog park. He would live there if we let him.
I know lots of people have concerns about off leash dog parks, and really, I did too before we started going to nearby Candlelight Park. We've been there almost every night this week (and many, many times before that, too) and we see the same people, and the same dogs, and everyone is responsible... it's just a really great atmosphere. Kirby is making friends. You can tell they're his friends because they're the ones that play with him regularly, and they're the ones that protect him when big dogs get too close. By protect, I mean bark a few times, and then nudge Kirby away. It's crazy how similar groups of dogs can be to children... or at least it seems that way! Kirby even has some dogs that don't like him, for one reason or another. We're pretty good at avoiding those guys.
The neat part is that Kirby is learning lots of new things... like how to share, and how to take turns. See, look!
Kirby takes his turn chasing the big boys....

Then the big boys take a turn chasing him!
(Don't worry, Kirby likes it when they do this! He BEGS them to chase)

Kirby also is improving his recall and practicing other skills like sit/down stay with distractions, as well as focusing on what we want him to do- retrieve the ball! Here's one I got right before Stan was about to toss it. He has pretty good focus, and he's improving every day!
Throw it.... c'mon!

We love the park!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Puppy Class is Over!

...for now anyway. Kirby had his final exam and graduation on Sunday. The exam was tough! Kirby had a really hard time with leave it.... but one of the "leave-it" items was a filled bone... which is Kirby's go-to item when he has to leave the kitty alone. Same flavor and everything! He still passed, but that part was close!

His shining moment though was his down stay. He did really well. What a champ!

He has his harness on because often times there is something SO EXCITING at class that he pulls (hard!) and chokes himself. He only wears the harness to class.

Kirby and his classmate Ebony both passed the tests. Ebony has had trouble throughout the class, but she was awesome on Sunday too! Look at their grad photos. So cute!

As you can see- Ebony didn't like the hat as much as Kirby did, but she's still one happy pup!
Both dogs are moving up to the intermediate level of training, and will be in the same class again, but this time on Sundays... which actually works out much better for us. Hopefully we'll have a few new playmates in class... we'll see! We'll start up again in mid October. The trainer gave us 4(!!) new tricks to teach Kirby over the break- Shake, bow, sit pretty, and crawl. He's got shake down, and he's pretty good at crawl. Bow is doable, but sit pretty is... well... more like, "Oh, geez, I'm falling!" We might do "roll over" instead. He's halfway there with that one. Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No pictures today...

You'll thank me in a minute.

Kirby's favorite treats are bully sticks. He only is allowed to have them in the living room, and only when we're home. We always toss them when they get to be about 4 inches long, so he won't swallow one on accident (or on purpose!)He was happily munching away on a new stick, laying at our feet while we chatted about our day, and suddenly I hear this... I don't even know... sad gulping sound? I had never heard a sound like this from a dog before. It was definitely sad, and I don't know what the other part of the sound was.

I looked down and asked, "Where's his bully stick?" Stan and I search the floor, and Stan suggests maybe he took it outside... (as if we wouldn't have noticed him picking it up... but hope is hope, right?) so we go out and look. No such luck. Kirby then starts coughing and ... wretching I guess is the right word. I was already on the phone with the vet. They told us to wait it out, watch for diarreha or vomiting. I was skeptical. This thing was over 6 inches long! He wasn't quite half done with the foot long stick. If anything could block his intestines, this definitely could. On the other hand, besides the coughing and occasional wretch, Kirby was acting totally normal, happy, and playful.

I didn't know what to do, so I had Stan call back. They said to bring him in if we were that worried, but unless he exhibited any of the specific symptoms he would probably be okay.

While I was waiting to hear what happened, Kirby started wretching again. I turned around in time to see all 6+ inches of the bully stick come up, along with all of the other contents of his stomach... and they were bright red. I, of course, began to panic. I started looking a little closer at the pile Kirby made, while he recovered. The red wasn't blood. Kirby had eaten a cherry, pit and all. We haven't had cherries in this house... ever? No wait, once. We had cherries here once, back in July(pre-Kirby). I'm pretty sure this wasn't a July cherry, so who knows where he got that. There was also a feather in the mix, along with pieces of treats.

Kirby recovered quickly, and once again we were on the phone. The receptionist told us just to watch him. He'll probably be sore for a few days, but if we notice any outstanding lethargy, or a refusal to eat, bring him in.

Refusal to eat? Kirby? No. Once he got the bully stick up and out, he was ready to go again. He was running, jumping, and just a ball of energy.... so we took him to the dog park, where he played and played, without a care in the world. It was a little too dark for photos. Next time though! :)

We're currently feeling pretty lucky that this went so well. Needless to say, Kirby will not be recieving any more bully sticks. Nylabones will have to be enough!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Four Months!

I can't believe it either. Look how long he is!

He's mad at me right this second because when he jumps up on the couch I open our bitter apple dabber. I don't put it on him and I don't put it on the couch, I just take the little plastic cap off the top. He can instantly smell it and he walks away growling. I laugh a little bit.

Even though we missed 2 weeks (!!) of our eight week puppy class, Kirby is still ahead of the game. He can sit stay as well as down stay, and he's getting better at "leave it" every day.
I have to be honest though. The post I wrote last night was an attempt to remind myself of what an amazing wonderful dog he is. He was not acting it last night at all. Lately he's been getting into it with the cat. It used to be a cute thing where he would raise his paw, the cat would give him a look, and Kirby would walk away. He would even lay within 2 or 3 feet of the cat, no problem. Now, if he sees the cat across the room, he runs full speed at the cat and jumps on top of him. The cat falls over and starts biting Kirby's legs (hard!) Kirby then jumps off and starts doing this weird jumpy thing where he jumps up on his back legs over and over again, almost hugging the cat's neck with his front paws. He barks constantly when this happens, and the cat yowls, and it's just nonstop.

We tried body blocking... getting between the dog and the cat and saying "leave it." That did nothing. We then tried tying him up on a 6ft lead when he's in the living room. The cat, when noticing that the dog couldn't get to him, decided to come closer so he could tussle with the dog. Right now the cat is upstairs and I have a baby gate at the bottom to stop the cat from coming down. He has food/water/beds to lay on... The trainer suggested a squirt bottle, so we'll try that... agh. It's frustrating.

He's a good dog. He's fun, he's sweet, and he's really, really smart. He's growing so quickly, and we're enjoying (almost) every minute of it. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kirby went to a carnival!

Kirby got his first real opportunity to herd children last weekend. My sister-in-law's birthday was last weekend, and instead of a traditional party, she throws a little carnival for the neighboring children and her cousins' children. Children as young as 3 were out running around in the yard, and Kirby was right there with them. We had to put him back on the leash once the 1-2 year olds came out, just because his recall isn't fast enough. He would topple them.

He also enjoyed attacking cones, and being photographed in general.

I forgot to mention- both of our families live in Portland- a 2 hour drive from here. Kirby is a rockstar in the car. He sleeps some of the way, sits up and watches the view for a while, or he'll just chill and gnaw on his ball. He's a great car companion... but that's all from the safety of a giant crate. I think if he was out of the crate he'd go nuts. How do you transport your dogs? Tomorrow is puppy class, and I don't have the car that will fit the crate, so Kirby is going to have his harness attached to the seatbelt. I'll let you know how that goes...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back in action

Kirby is 16 (almost 17) weeks now. He's looking more like a dog and less like a pup every day.

He's been pretty mellow for the past week or so- the cough syrup we've had him on has really slowed him down. He's done with that now, and we had almost forgotten what a little ball of energy he can be. He's rediscovered the cat, and how fun barking at the cat can be... :P

He's also decided frisbees are a lot of fun, but hasn't quite worked out how to catch them in the air yet.

He has found the perfect method to bring them back to me though.

I'm excited that he's back to normal. We'll have much more to post soon, as he'll actually be able to leave the house!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Really, blogger?

Okay, so I know I'm behind on reading everyone's blogs. (erm.. sorry about that) I'm sitting here on a sunday night, trying to put off going to bed and starting work tomorrow... (haha) and so I decide it is a great time to catch up on doggy blogs.

I don't know about you guys, but the way I most often catch up is using my own little sidebar- it has the 5 most recently updated blogs posted- and I can click "see more" to.. well... see more. This has worked until today. Today, I got Wordless Wednesday from both Charlie and Dash, and when I click on Dash's entry it has a photo of their wedding, and then it says that Dealing with Dash doesn't exist. Additionally, I haven't seen updates from Simba, Noah, or Eva. They just aren't showing up! Any ideas on what's going on? Totally weird.

PS: I forgot to mention that Kirby weighed in at 21 pounds(!) when we went in about his Kennel Cough. He's 15 weeks old. He's currently sitting with me, munching on a bully stick. He's been really playful, he has a great appetite, and he still loves to bug the kitty. He whines when it's time to take his pill/cough syrup. Not because he doesn't like it, but because I'm not getting the pill wrapped in peanut butter fast enough. I have never seen a dog beg for medicine before, but I'm not complaining. He gets annoyed if I squirt the cough syrup too fast in his mouth, he likes to lick the drops off the end of the syringe. What a goofball. I'm glad he's feeling okay though. OH, and I apologize for the lack of photos lately- I promise, it will be remedied. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Home again, Home again... life update!

So, we are home! We have also been very, very busy. I got called while on vacation for a long term sub job. I'll only be working 6 hours a day, and it's offset a little bit from Stan's job, so he should make it home before I do. I start on Monday!

Kirby got his last set of vaccinations last Monday... except for kennel cough. The vet tech that does vaccinations said he's too young. I was skeptical, but she said they haven't had public (as in non-shelter) cases of kennel cough in quite a while, and he's good to go. I explained that we planned on some hard core socializing- dogs we meet on the street, even dog parks. She smiled and said, "He should be fine!"

Guess who has Kennel cough?

Yep, Kirby started coughing yesterday afternoon. He continued coughing.... and continued.... and suddenly it was morning! I called the breeder last night when he was a coughasaurus rex, and she told me to give him some bread and butter to ease his throat, and he would be fine through the night. She doubted it was KC because she's never had a case since she started breeding (1970...something). She was pretty surprised when I gave her the positive report.

The good news is that he's still as rambunctious as ever, eating like a piglet, and he's pretty happy all around. He's not coughing too often, and the vet gave us antibiotics to prevent the KC from moving down into his lungs, as well as a cough syrup so he can get some sleep. Healthy puppies need their beauty rest too!

I hope you'll forgive me for skipping the photos this time around. I wouldn't want my photo taken with weepy eyes and a drippy nose. :(

Moral of this story? Get your dogs vaccinated. We have to miss class for as long as he's showing symptoms. He's under house arrest- so he can play in the yard, but um... that's it. Poor guy is used to walks at the least, and he LOVES visiting friends. So that's our week! It's good to be back in blogland. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

On vacation in Brookings, OR.... Without Kirby! :( Hope you're all having a great week. This is one of the first times I've been able to log on and do anything... the service (phone and internet) is awful down here! Having a great time, besides missing my pup. Excited to catch up with you all next week! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Award Alert!

Wow, we won an award?!

Check that out! Versatile! I'll take it. :)

We were honored with this pretty little thing by one of Kirby's big cousins, Ryker. Thanks Ryker! (Ryker's Mom, too!!) Kirby and I are honored. :)

So now, 7 things about Kirby I suppose.... Hm. Where to start....?

1. Kirby's given name was "Justin." His breeder's grandson named all the puppies after his friends.

2. Kirby is super aware of whether or not we're watching him. Today in puppy class we worked on leave it (which he is good at if the subject is not our cat) and he was a pro... until we were talking to the trainer, and he moseyed on over to the giant dog biscuit and ate the WHOLE THING. This wasn't 2 minutes after we worked on leave it, and he acted like he didn't even want the biscuit. Gotta keep an eye on that guy!
3. Kirby is sort of afraid of heating/AC vents. He was lying on one once and his collar tag slipped between the slats and rotated, so that when he stood up, the vent cover came with him, leaving a big hole for his leg to fall into. (He's way too big to fall all the way in) He yelped and ran a few steps before the tag was jostled out and the vent cover fell.

4. One of Kirby's favorite things is to lick the condensation off of a cold drink, especially a pop can. He comes running when someone opens a can, and goes nuts trying to lick it. He has absolutely no interest in cans that have not been refrigerated.

5. Kirby puts everything in his mouth, but he's really particular about what he'll swallow. You can tell when he's not planning on swallowing something because he gets this weird lip curl thing that looks like a snarl while he moves it around with his tongue. We're (constantly) working on keeping weird things (at his first checkup with us the vet found dirt in his mouth... the day after we brought him home) out of his mouth, but it's good to know he knows better than to swallow rocks.

6. Kirby is not a one person dog. He loves both Stan and I equally, and is SO happy when one of us arrives from somewhere- even the bathroom, after 2 minutes or something. He's wagging his tail so hard that his body curls up like a C, and he runs up to us sideways and bumps into us with his side, or his nose and his bum at the same time.

7. He's really funny. Almost like it's intentional funny. I don't know if that's possible, but here's a for instance- Today at class, he was wrestling with the only other puppy, and she was biting his face, and he cried out a few times. When they were finally off leash, Kirby made a bee line for her, hit her at top speed, and (I was a little worried at this point) then he.... sat on her. He plopped right on her chest, and she was wriggling around under his bum, trying to escape. He just looked at us and smiled, tongue out.

The next part of the award is where I mention (new?) blogs that I read and love.... well, to me almost everything is new, since I've been at this for less than 2 months, so I'm cheating this part... but only a little. ;)

But now, for the ultimate prize handoff.... who will it go to? The blogger I see as totally super versatile is.......(drumroll)

House of Carnivores! This blog is about 5 pets that are not even the same species. Hats off to you HOC. :) If you haven't read this blog, go check it out at:

Thanks again Ryker for the cool award. I'm feeling pretty spiffy. ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's like herding cats...

Okay, actually it is about herding cats. If you've read posts involving Riker in the past, you know that he is not allowed outside. He gets the runs if he even looks at grass/leaves/weeds/organic matter the wrong way. Riker also looooooves the sun. He finds a sun spot in the house, and sleeps on it all day, moving with the spot as it moves around the room. We didn't have a problem with him trying to escape until Kirby came along. I think there's a jealousy thing going on.

So yesterday, while Stan was out with Kirby, Riker manages to slip out. Stan sees this and rushes to get him back in the house, but he's kind of a slippery cat, and not the easiest to catch. He's struggling, trying to keep Riker from munching on the greenery, when suddenly along comes SUPER DOG!

Kirby apparently noticed what was happening and started... HERDING. I know. He was bred for this- but he's inside with Riker all the time! Riker usually just bats at Kirbs when he tries this, and Kirby runs away. Not this time! Kirby circled around Riker and when Riker wouldn't move, Kirby nipped the AIR next to Riker. Riker was a sitting duck, but Kirby didn't bite, *yay*, he feigned and got Riker off his butt. He then circled the other way to block off the other side of the door, effectively giving Riker one option- go inside. Riker did, and Kirby followed him in, stub wagging. He was promptly praised and given treats- Stan was SO happy to have a helpful partner in cat wrangling.

Okay, I know. This could have been luck; maybe Kirby just has bad aim and that's why he didn't nip the cat, or maybe Kirby was just trying to clear the way so he could get inside without the threat of claws. But, maybe, just maybe, Kirby saw a situation and just instinctively knew what to do. I'll take it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Three Months, Kirby! :)

Kirby is three months old today! He has gone from quiet, fearful, sleepy, and submissive to loud, rambunctious, outgoing, energetic, and opinionated. I have gone from planning my life completely around him to only planning my life mostly around him.

Kirby knows the commands come, sit, lay down, night night (go in crate and lie down), wait, touch, and touch bells by verbal as well as visual commands. He's working on bang (play dead), and spin. He can do both of those by visual commands, but he doesn't understand the verbal. Commands that don't have visuals, such as bring it, drop it, leave it, and back are all works in progress.

Kirby's favorite chewies are stuffed femur bones and bully sticks. He likes nylabones too, mostly the bacon flavored ones. His favorite treats are Jerky Sticks from Costco (not real jerky- lamb and rice) and Charlie Bears. His favorite toy is his chicken, but balls and frisbees are fun too.

Kirby and Riker are very curious about one another, but neither likes it when the other gets too close. Kirby barks and chases Riker, Riker bats (clawless!) at Kirby. No hissing, no biting from either side. Kirby especially hates it when Riker gets to sit on the couch, because Kirby isn't allowed. Riker hates it when Kirby gets treats, because he's on a special diet and can't have many treats.

Kirby is the loudest puppy in obedience class these days, and whenever he sees another dog he wants to RUN and play and sniff and be best friends forever.

Kirby's facial markings are changing. The copper points right above his eyes have become much more vivid, and more grey and black has developed underneath and around his eyes. His head is still super fluffy, and it's often hard to tell where his ears start. He is starting to tip his head whenever I ask him questions that he doesn't understand. He also has selective hearing. If other dogs are around, I do not exist. We're working on that. ;)

Happy three months, Kirby! You're getting so big!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Do puppies change overnight?

So... I'm not sure what happened between yesterday and today, but Kirby has discovered that he has a big dog voice, and that he can use it easily. He also has discovered that he LOVES to chew on cords. We thought we had puppy proofed our house appropriately- there hasn't been a problem at all... until this morning. I don't know if any of you are video game people... (Stan makes video games... so we play a lot) but our wii nunchuck was the first expensive casualty of puppy ownership. I would take a picture to show you, but I think Stan got rid of it immediately so he wouldn't have to look at it.

If that wasn't enough, he keeps going back for more! We have laptops up on the couch (that's pretty normal for us) but the surge protector is plugged in behind the couch, and I'm terrified he's going to chomp down on that... I have the back of the couch blocked off for now, but seriously- we have to have things plugged in in our home... that's part of living here. I'm going to try another round of bitter apple and hope that does it... We also have some cat/dog repellant that is scent based, and we can't really smell it... maybe that will do the trick.

Any other ideas? I used to have this quiet puppy who knew his chew toys, and now I have a loud cord chewer. I wish he had chosen our wooden table or chairs instead of cords. I mean, it would still be bad, but not life threatening bad. :/

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Deck, the Trip, and the Cat

So, if you hadn't noticed.... Kirby doesn't have the greatest of yards to run around in. My husband and I are new (as of November) homeowners, and the area we had to compromise on was the yard. It was a dirt pile with blackberry bushes when we moved in... we're proud to even have grass growing right now! Anyway, the house came with a deck, but under the deck is completely open, and has become Kirby's secret hiding spot.

You can't see me!

So, Stan decided we need to block the bottom of the deck off before next week, when his mom is house/dog/cat sitting, so Kirby doesn't disappear forever. We're just putting some wooden lattice pieces underneath- Kirby doesn't challenge any border (one of the lucky attributes of our pup) including his ex-pen, crate, or even the baby gates we have leaning on walls blocking off the hallway. A baby gate fell on him once (he was fine) and scared him half to death, so he keeps his distance these days. I'm not worried about him charging the lattice or anything.

I am a little bit nervous about leaving Kirby and Riker to Stan's mom. She's totally sweet and competent, I'm just afraid Kirby is a pill, and might cause her trouble. I guess though, worst case scenario, Kirby gets fed, watered, and the ball thrown once in a while. He'll be okay. I'm leaving my baby for the first time! I'll have lots of instructions and treats and a phone available.... agh. I'm stressing and I don't leave until next Sunday. (We're going to Brookings for a week, which should be relaxing!)

In other news... Kirby and Riker are making... some strides? I don't know. They can be in the same room. Riker doesn't really swipe at Kirby unless provoked... I have heard of cats that disappear for months when a new pet joins the house, and Riker is pretty annoyed, but they can lay on the floor within about 3 feet of each other for a few minutes at a time. The biggest problem is that Kirby wants to play, and Riker is old and fat (yeah, he's fat. He's on a special diet and his lifestyle has dramatically changed since we've moved to this house... we're working on it) and really isn't interested in hanging out.... so Kirby barks. and barks. and barks and barks and barks and barks. When we try to redirect him to a toy, or outside, or whatever, he barks at us. :( It feels bad! It's like he's saying, "Play with me! Play with me!," and "Make him play with me!

Please be my friend!

I'm glad there isn't constant violence. I know that with time, they'll get used to one another, and Kirby will eventually figure out that Riker isn't a playmate, as sad as that is.

Oh! And we made a decision to stop going to the Wednesday pay-per-go class. All the advice from everyone was really helpful, and the attitude of the trainer on Saturday was so positive, and she let the puppies play while we talked through our issues. Kirby was clearly the dominant one, but they got along really well. The other class was too advanced, and we didn't agree with the methods... the list goes on. Thanks everyone for your help! Kirby and I really appreciate it. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Tail of Two Obedience Classes

Alright- I need some help. I have two obedience classes, and I'm not happy with either. I'm going to describe the class/activities/teacher(s) and, please, tell me what you think. My husband and I were both frustrated last night after class. I'm not even going to delineate pros and cons- because maybe what I'm seeing as a con is a pro.... I don't know!

Class 1: PetSmart- We are in this class for the long haul. We paid for it, so we're going. This class has one other puppy- a very rambunctious black lab, that is exactly Kirby's age. This dog has a bad habit or two(notably barking) that by the end of class, Kirby was imitating. The class structure was as follows: We walked in, the trainer was 15 minutes late, she asked "What are some issues you're having?" We talked over issues, she gave us some practical advice. After we both went through that process, she asked for more issues. She then started suggesting issues that we might be having... that neither of us were having(for 10 minutes). She then demonstrated a watch me, with both dogs and gave us tips on successfully practicing watch me. (Kirby already knows watch me, which was apparent at the class) By this time the dogs are going crazy. We've been sitting the whole time, listening to her talk... I don't know why we even had dogs there. Suddenly class is over, she promises not to be late next time. She gives us tips on watch me (our assignment for the week) and house training. She scoots us out, so the next class isn't late. The door opens and at least 8 large dogs are waiting for us. Kirby is already riled up and ready to play, so he proceeds to ignore any puppy manners he previously had, and sniff, bark, and approach however he pleased. Luckily this was an advanced class waiting to come in, with lots of very well behaved dogs.

Class 2: Community Rec Center- We showed up, and paid our $12.50. This class is an ongoing class- they work on the needs of individuals and the group, and it changes depending on who shows up. There were 7 other puppies, all at least 6 weeks older than Kirby. We met a few of the dogs outside- on leash, then came inside and did introductions- and the trainer asked what issues everyone was having this week. She went through each pup and gave tips. Her tip for us was get a long leash, when Kirby goes after the cat, give a really sharp tug on the leash with the command leave it. The other tip was about Kirby nipping our fingers with the toy/treat when we give it to him. She said "well, he's a herding dog, he's going to nip."
After this, we all walked to a spot where our dog couldn't physically touch any other dog. We waited for Kirby to turn and look at us, so we could treat him for giving us his attention. It took Kirby a long time to look at us, but seeing how this was his first time around this many other dogs, that's fine. We gave our dogs commands from this position, practicing with all of the distractions.
We then started walking on leash, in circles around the room. They required us to have the dogs on our left (both Stan and I naturally prefer the right) Kirby is not accustomed to the leash- we have practiced in our yard/home, but we can't walk him outside until he gets his third set of vaccinations. The dogs were all trying to sniff, hang out, and meet one another. The trainers kept saying "Walk faster, your dog won't have time to sniff!" Let's move! So, we were jogging around this room,(WE were, there were several elderly people who couldn't do that) Kirby is still pulling hard(as hard as a puppy can pull) in all directions, and getting tangled up in our feet trying to see the other dogs. The trainer would ask us to halt, circle left, and start around in a new direction, with Kirby pulling and twisting between our legs. It was kind of like a cartoon.
We then practiced "Come" where the trainer stood on one end, holding our dog, and we called our dog from across the room. Kirby did really well with that. By that time, class was over. Still no off leash time.

So, those are the classes. I know I've only been to each one once. What do you think? This is my first time raising a dog, and I don't know what to expect, and I don't want a class to give my dog bad habits. I know he needs the socialization though. I'm really, really conflicted. Thanks in advance everyone. I don't want to be totally stressed about obedience class. It should be a fun time, right?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kirby is 12 weeks old!

Kirby is 12 weeks old as of yesterday! I felt like making him a present.

Doggie Doorbell!

Okay, so the present is for me too. Kirby goes to the back door when he needs to go out, but he doesn't bark. He'll quietly put his paw on the door. We usually notice that he wants out, but occasionally I'll be doing dishes, or switching laundry, or feeding the cat, or... you know, doing something besides watching the dog. (I know, it's a cardinal sin when housetraining... :P) Kirby knows the "touch" command, and we're working on generalizing it to the doorbell. He has started ringing it, but his touch is REALLY gentle, and so the ring is pretty quiet. I don't think he quite understands that when the bell rings the door opens, but we'll get there. If you have any tips, let me know!

Kirby has also decided that we don't know what the good toys are. Some of his favorite toys are plastic water bottles, milk cartons, and plastic plant pots. Not the nice pots on the deck, but the thin plastic ones that we bought starter plants in.

Take it from me, I dare you!

You can't see me!

We also made a dog owner mistake. We lost a ball under the deck, and Stan decided that he would sweep it out with the broom. Well, next thing you know, the broom was the best thing ever. It was funny, and cute, and... well... we didn't really stop him from going after the broom. In fact, we encouraged it.

I know we shouldn't be making tools into toys... but seriously, Kirby was SO excited, and it brings me to something else. We have really been struggling with finding ways to exercise Kirby since we can't take him on walks yet. He will fetch a ball, or his chicken, and he'll chase us, but only for a little while. Then he sees a slug, or a snail, or a weed, or his feet, or... nothing.... and the game is over, but he is still full of energy. Stan and I were able to keep him playing for a good 25 minutes with the broom, and he was all tuckered out afterward. Also, we don't really use a broom inside- we're swiffer fans, so it's not doing any major damage to our lifestyle.... I know, excuses, excuses.

Moving on... Because our puppy class is so small, we've decided to attend an ongoing puppy class- puppies are at many different skill levels, and ages. You pay by the visit, not for a "session." I'm excited! The main focus of the class is socialization, so I'm really hoping that we get some puppy playtime. This is another class that requires immunization records, so I feel good about taking him. It's also an indoor class, so it's sanitary. I hope it goes well! :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Class

Obedience class today... Stan really liked it, I thought it was okay. Our trainer was 10 minutes late, because she was helping someone from a previous class. Also, there is only one other puppy in the class, and the whole reason I signed Kirby up for this was for socialization purposes. The trainer had some good tips, but she also was somewhat absent minded. Also, the puppies didn't get any off leash time, which was what I was really excited about. The puppies were excited to meet and greet too, and sitting staring at each other for 50 minutes was hard for them! They were barking, and straining on their leashes to play with each other- All of their close contact was calm and playful. Keeping them across a room from one another on leashes made them crazy. The trainer said she's going to try to get a few more puppies in the class before next week. Also, in 8 weeks we're only going to learn sit, down, come, stay, and leave it. Kirby knows a couple of those already. Ah well, it's good for him to get out, and there is an advanced class right after our class, so he meets lots of big dogs that are all very polite right after our class... and Stan said he learned a lot. That's really important as well. I should chill out.

In the meantime.... Kirby is looking less potato with legs-ey and much more lanky! Look at this photo of Kirbs from the back:
He even has a happy face on his back! :)

He's definitely starting to look more like a dog and less like a pup. He's growing so quickly! :)

Saturday Blog Hop!

PS: Kirby has puppy class today! I am so excited.... :D

Friday, July 30, 2010

Catch-up post...

I always feel like I'm playing catch up! I can never post as things happen- I'm always behind. :P Anyway- Kirby had his second round of shots this week, and the vet gave us the OK for puppy classes on saturday, which is great! :) She said that so long as everyone in class has had 2 rounds of vaccinations (and has to prove it to come to class, which is the case) it should be pretty safe. Also, Kirby is pretty fearful around other dogs, he REALLY needs to get in there and play with some other pups. It's weird... the dog has to be a perfect mix for him to feel comfortable- They have to be totally reserved at first, but then they need to get riled up and rambunctious and play. If the dog doesn't follow this strict schedule, Kirby isn't having it, and he'll hide behind me, or under a tree, or whatever. He has stopped running from people that come over to the house though- now he gets overexcited and pees a little bit. I kind of liked it better when he hid at first. :P AH the joys of socialization.

Kirby weighed in at 14.2 lbs btw. :)

After shots, I thought Kirby would be totally lethargic and sleepy- plus it was a hot day, which usually slows him down a lot. NOPE! Kirby decided that it was the perfect time to be totally crazy and excited- but only inside where it was cool. It was a little much for me, so I decided to let Kirby have a playdate with the sprinkler.

Am I doing this right?

He was a little hesitant at first... barking, running away, "sneaking up" on it.... etc. Eventually he just tried to bite it, and then he realized he could lick the water out, and suddenly it was a fun toy!

He looks like a bunny! Even down to the cotton tail!

He soaked himself, and then to dry off, rolled in the dirt under the deck. He was a muddy puppy!
I am ready to come in now!

He got a rinse and towel dry before he came in, and then he took a LONG nap. I think the shots, and the excitement all caught up with him. It was a fun day! Puppy class starts tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy 11 Weeks, Kirby!

Do I get a cake?
Kirby is 11 weeks old today- the time is just whipping by! He's signed up for obedience classes that start on friday, and he has his second set of vaccinations tomorrow! I'll also get to see how much he weighs... I'm not worried about him being overweight- He looked really thin when he had a bath the other day!

Our trip to Portland was good- Kirby was on his best behavior in the house, and didn't have even ONE accident! What a champ. Of course we came home, and he piddled on the floor that evening. I expected Kirby to be happy to be home, happy to get back into his routine of sleeping in his bed, in his house, etc. NOPE! Yesterday was a trial- He didn't want to be left alone for even a minute, he whined when I put him in his ex-pen (with a bully stick- a treat!) so I could take a shower, and he's waking up on the schedule that he did when we first brought him home. It was like starting from square one. Today has gone better, but he still whined and barked all morning. I know it's not because he needs to potty- When I took him out at 7:30 he just wanted to play. Grrrr. I know, I shouldn't complain, right? 7:30? He had been whining for over an hour, and that was after Stan took him out at 5AM.

I should have expected this. I'm a teacher for heaven's sake- I know how important a routine is for a kiddo, why would it be different for a pup? Duh. :P

Anyway- it's going better today. Kirby is in his pen right now napping away. He now understands "wait" to grab a treat, and then "okay!" to get the treat. He's a smart pup! I'm excited for puppy class on saturday! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And.... we're back!

The weekend was great- but this is going to sound crazy... I did not get ONE photo of Kirby at grandmas. Not ONE! He met chickens for the first time (They scared him) and we discovered he could be a truffle hunter... he found every mushroom in grandma's backyard. And then thought it would be fun to play keep away! I promise, we have been working on drop it, and this just goes to show how much more work we have to do.

My friend Jayme did get a picture of Kirby on his first meeting with a dog that is not an Aussie. Kirby met Oscar, her dachshund.

Kirby was a little shy at first- but they hit it off!

Kirby also met Bosco, her pug, but Bosco was ready to play, and run, and bark, and Kirby needs some quiet time to say hi, do a butt sniff or two, and eat cookies with a pup before he is ready to jump in and play, so Bosco was a little scary. Also, Bosco sounded a lot like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, and I don't know how Kirby felt about that. He's getting more confident in meeting people, but dogs are still a little scary for him.

Kirby got tree sap all over him at grandma's house, so he got his first bath tonight. I didn't realize how much of him is actually fluff. I snapped a few quick photos, but I felt like I was torturing him, so I didn't do the full photo documentary. :P (Also- I was scrubbing down a puppy- My camera and water don't mix well!)

Trying to entice Kirby into the water.... and eventually just plopping him in.

Why would you do this to me?

Oh my gosh, Kirby was quite the trooper. He whined quite a bit, but he didn't struggle much at all. We dried him off, and he went straight to bed without a complaint. What a traumatic day! He is not a water dog just yet. I know that lots of dogs choose to be swimmers once they get a little older- I hope that's how it works with Kirby!

OH- and I feel like a bad puppy parent for posting this almost a week late- Kirby turned 10 weeks last tuesday- It went much better than the day he turned 9 weeks!

I hope you all had a great weekend! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of town!

Kirby and the rest of us are at Grandma's house because Stan is in a wedding! Kirby has been enjoying the big backyard, and he met chickens for the first time ever! We'll update when we come home. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 19, 2010


We've officially had Kirby for over a week now, and today our new life hit me like a ton of bricks! I am really lucky that I have such an understanding pup.

Overall, Kirby is a really laid back guy. He took really quickly to crate training, he's a pro at house training, and most of all, he just wants to be around us. HOWEVER.... he is still a baby, and an energetic one! Most of my photos of Kirby turn out something like this:

Look what I can do!

After the first night with Kirby, I was totally drained, emotional, and feeling so sorry for this little guy missing his family! He cheered up quickly, and became the blur you see above! Today though, for some reason, I was just exhausted. Kirby was a champ and other than his 5AM potty break, let me sleep until 7:45 without a complaint! We played for a while, and he let me take a shower/get dressed, and read a book without a peep! He was so content just hanging out in his ex pen. This afternoon I was falling asleep while we were hanging out, so I put him away again, and he was silent while I took a nap for about 1.5 hours. He hasn't been put away for this long while someone has been home... ever since we got him, and he was just awesome. I love that guy. I've gotta go now, I've got someone waiting for a play date. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Toys Toys Toys!

So, Kirby has been here for nearly a week, and he has made his preferences known!

1. Kirby knows which toys he likes, and he will remove them from the toy box first, even if this means digging/plowing/exploding through the second rate toys at the top of the box.

2. Kirby prefers plush toys over rubber/nylabone/kong

3. Kirby will destroy eyes/ears /tails first, before carefully tearing holes along the seams or just
right through the middle of his toys.

Trying to see it from a dog's perspective, I can understand trying to get those eyes and ears off- they come off easily, so it feels like you're making progress! Hahah!

Here's something I wanted to chronicle- When Cindy sent us home with Kirby, she also sent his favorite toy.

C'mon, I'm napping here!

Okay, so in this photo it doesn't look much like a toy. Don't let looks decieve you. He walks around with this thing, he sleeps on it, he drags toys into it, it is an all purpose fun house for this dog. I'm happy we were able to bring something home that he loves so much!

Oh- and about the eyes and ears thing... I knew Kirby would eat the tags off of stuff, so I was very careful to cut tags off of all of his toys before he came home. What I didn't think about though, was the eyes and noses on some of the toys- they're just glued on! Here's Kirby's "bear" after surgery:

We should re-name him no face. :(

For retrieval, Kirby really loves his football. I think he's drawn to the plush/fabric toys because right now his little mouth can't open wide enough to carry anything else reliably. I've seen those itty bitty tennis balls, but those seem a little risky to me. Anyway, here's our bruiser practicing retrieval:

Look at that leg action! :)
Ace's mama suggested some great plush toys- I need to look into them for this guy. Run of the mill plushies just don't stand the test of teeth! :)

House Training...

Kirby had an accident today- I'm guessing my enzymatic cleaner didn't do the job. (It was the same spot where he piddled when we had guests) I'm using purina multi -surface stain and odor eliminator. Does anyone else use that? I should probably just go pick up some nature's miracle. I know, I know, he's 9 1/2 weeks, I shouldn't be upset. (I'm not upset, just worried)

I'm afraid I'm sabotaging his house training by taking him out too often. Is that possible? I really want him to feel successful, but if he's not being corrected in the house enough, maybe he won't understand that the carpet is not a toilet. I want him to be successful, and I think he's starting to understand my repeated "go potty!", (He usually sniffs out a spot and goes when I say it) I take him out every 45-60 minutes during the day. Is that too much? He's never asked to go out. He has asked to come in though. That is probably the most concerning thing. He never wants out! He likes being out there, but he'd rather sit with us than go to the door.

I'm thinking about this even more because the cat has come down with diarrhea... It happens when he gets stressed out, I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did! I've got him put away upstairs in his bathroom. At least the Purina cleaner gets rid of the smell!

I know, I'm being overdramatic, but I'm afraid I'm ruining my perfect little puppers! (okay, I'm done. :P)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me! (and Stan I guess too)

Hooray! Today was our third anniversary, and everything was great. Kirby was patient and easy going when Stan and I wanted to go to dinner. He walked right into his room (not the crate- he's still not a huge fan of that yet) and played with his empty water bottle that he LOVES, while we went out! What a great pup. He didn't want to go into his crate tonight, but he did so and didn't make a peep, even after we tossed the blanket over him and turned out the lights. Night night! I feel like I have a superstar dog; he's taking it like a champ!

Okay, I'll go to bed...

45 minutes later, he starts yipping away. I'm positive something must be up, so I send Stan out to help Kirby take care of business. Kirby, of course, did not need to take care of business, he needed to play! Stan wasn't up for that, so he goes to round Kirby up, and meanwhile, our sneaky cat Riker decided he would come out too. He wants out all the time, but Riker isn't really allowed outside anymore. He used to be an indoor/outdoor cat when we lived in an apartment- He was great about coming home, and totally confident. Here he turns into a different animal once he gets outside. He gets scared, doesn't recognize us, and runs off or hides. He disappeared for 36 hours once!

I'll just let myself out here...

So Stan is outside, trying to snag the cat, and bring Kirby in, and then they get too close. Riker takes a swipe at Kirby, misses, tries again, and finally Kirby gets the picture. Stan eventually got all animals safely indoors (and in crates if necessary) for the night. So much for a superstar night! He's actually silent now. We realized we were being too loud and he could probably hear us. Once we were quiet, he was quiet. Funny how that works. The pup "misbehaves" but we're the ones causing it. Ah well, Kirby will have me trained soon enough. ;)

Small Victories!

Kirby has been working hard on "lay down." Inside it has been a struggle to get him to do it with the treat on the ground, let alone standing up and showing him a treat. His typical reaction is to jump up at the treat or bark. He is always starting in a sit position, and he knows he's supposed to do... something! Outside he's gone potty when we've said down, jumped up at us, barked, or walked away. He tries so hard! Today was the first day that I said down and started to bring the treat down that he actually did it! Yay Kirby! What a champ! It was near the end of his training session though, and the next time we tried it, he chewed on a weed. :P What a goofball. Anyway, he's getting it! It feels great.

Today we have guests coming over again- not the same ones, and I'm more prepared this time as well. I'll have treats at the door for them to give, and warn them to come in calmly. We shall see how it goes! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

9 weeks old!

Yesterday Kirby officially turned 9 weeks old! He's pretty big for 9 weeks. At his first vet visit two days ago he weighed in at 11.6 pounds. The vet even removed the term "mini" off of his charts! Kirby was totally offended. Okay, not really, he was a little too preoccupied with being nervous about having a thermometer stuck in his rear and all 29 vet techs coming to visit the most adorable puppy in the office. ;) Anyway... He's a chunk!

I'm just big-boned!

You would think turning 9 weeks would be a fun and exciting day, but... it was pretty stressful. We started the day with the revolution flea/tick/heartworm meds, which wasn't fun. Shortly after that, (too shortly) Kirby ran headfirst into the bird bath, spilling a good amount of water right over his neck- the spot that isn't supposed to be washed for at least 2 hours after the medication was applied.

Kirby faces off with the bird bath.
Later that day, we decided to have our first houseguests since Kirby has arrived. We figured 3 days was plenty of time to get comfortable in the house... not so much. Kirby whimpered when they arrived, and dove into my arms (I was sitting on the floor) When I ignored his bashfulness and walked away, he ran straight to Stan, my husband. I got our guests some treats and they quietly aproached the hiding/growling/whimpering Kirby, and when he figured out they were friendly, he warmed up pretty quickly. They stayed a little later than Kirby's bedtime (10-10:30) and Kirby put himself into his "bedroom." (The ex-pen where Kirby sleeps at night, and stays when we're out of the house) Little did we know, that after he "put himself to bed" he got up again and left us a puppy present in the hallway. This was Kirby's first accident since we brought him home! We were bummed, but couldn't do much because we didn't find it until this morning. We also found that he had piddled in his bedroom. That means that he has to start sleeping in the crate- which is located with an open door in his bedroom. He's in there right now (It's about 11:00 PM). He cried for about 15 minutes, and he's been quiet ever since! Yes! :)
Here's a question for all of you doggie people- do any of your dogs need to think you're not home to quiet down? Kirby is great in the crate/bedroom when no one is home (or the door is open) but if he can see us nearby, he panics and wants out NOW- he wants to be with us! It's so bad that when I've been crate traning him (actually in the crate) with his kong during the day, I actually have to put a blanket over the crate like he is a bird or something for him to chill out. Is that weird? I don't know if I'm being super mean or something. I hope not! What do you think?