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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!

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?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello! Welcome!

Kirby's first night at home

Meet Kirby, our new miniature (not according to the vet!) Australian Shepherd! He's been home for 2.5 days now, and I think he's starting to get comfortable. I'm starting this blog so I can remember that once he was a sweet little thing, because by the look of his paws, he is going to be a sweet BIG thing very soon.

This is Kirby's favorite spot- he's actually sitting on an A/C vent... it's not even that hot out!

Kirby isn't exactly a fan of having his photo taken just yet. We'll get there!

We started our search for a puppy back in March. We ended up getting in contact with Cindy from Tagalong Mini Aussies (Isn't that a cute name?), and four months later here we are! Kirby has been great. It's so funny how he moves between being inquisitive, cuddly, hyperactive and crazy, and super sleepy. Unfortunately, he's a really light sleeper. If he falls asleep sitting next to me, and I move at all, hes up and wondering what's happening. He doesn't want to miss a thing!
I also am creating this blog to share my (and my husband Stan's) experience with new puppy owners, and to get advice from seasoned owners when I need help. ...You'll help me, right? ;)
This is our first dog together, and although I had dogs as a kid, this is already shaping up to be a very different experience.
So, with that, welcome, and enjoy! :)