About Me

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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!

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! :)