Friday, November 30, 2012

Just say "AWWW"

Taking pictures of a wiggly puppy is HARD. I've probably taken a hundred in the past two days. Unfortunately 97 of them are horrible!! However, I was able to get this one earlier and just had to share. -- K

Puppy Shower

Last week I began my 3-week vacation. I told everybody I was taking "pupturnity leave" and promised to bring the puppy by work while I was off. My friends took it one step further and threw a "puppy shower" complete with a bone shaped cake and Star Wars decorations -- seriously! I am so touched and at a loss for words (that doesn't happen often). Jedi met another dozen people and came home with an obscene amount of toys. What a day! Thankfully Hubby took pictures because who would believe it otherwise? Thanks again to all my wonderful friends. -- K

The guest of honor -- what a good boy!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jedi's First 24 Hours

Jedi is getting use to his new home
We brought Jedi home last night. He missed his brothers and sister, so it was a fitful night for us all. He and I both slept in the living room -- him in his crate, me on the couch. Neither of us slept for more than a couple hours at a time. UGH.

I'm very pleased to report that Jedi's potty training is coming along nicely. We've only had one small accident so far, and honestly that was Hubby's fault for not watching him. My smart puppy is also quickly learning that sitting nicely (the doggie version of saying please) is the way to get things around here. It's really hard to ignore him when he jumps up or tries to climb in my lap. He's so damn cute! However, it's best that he learn polite behavior now, at 18 pounds, rather than later when he's bigger. I can't imagine how big he'll be 6 months from now. Probably bigger than Roxy!

Jedi woke up early this morning in a better mood and decided to check out every toy we had. I had intended to only give him one or two at a time, but he discovered that he could climb into the basket and pull them out all by himself. I was laughing so hard watching him that I didn't have the heart stop it. Hubby found the camcorder and got some video of Jedi "killing" his toys. I'll try to post it later. I hope you'll be able to hear the ferocity he was showing to that stuffed hamburger.

We went to the vet this morning. The receptionist was tickled that the puppy was named Jedi and wanted to post his picture on their Facebook page. I couldn't help but laugh when she pulled out her R2-D2 iPhone to snap the photo. BTW, the vet said that Jedi was perfectly healthy and absolutely beautiful. But I already knew that!

Jedi DID NOT like riding in the car  -- or sitting in the vet's office -- and had no problem letting everybody know how he felt. He whined and howled the entire time. I was sure the vet tech was going to ask us to go outside because he was annoying everybody. There's a reason God makes puppies so damn cute . . .

We're trying to introduce Jedi to 100 different people in the next 30 days. Dr. Ian Dunbar stresses the importance of a puppy's early socialization with people. It's crucial that he meet men, women and children of all races, sizes and ages so that strangers won't freak him out later in life. Jedi has met almost a dozen people so far. (Thank you friends and neighbors!) Is it weird that I was excited that Jeff was wearing a hat? Probably. But I let him play with the world's cutest puppy so he didn't care.

Gotta go, nap time is over. I'll post more later. -- K

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Introducing . . .

Zente's Jedi Mind Trick

Born October 3, 2012
at 1 1/3 pounds

Joined our family November 28, 2012
at 18 pounds

Many thanks to his wonderful breeder for all the work -- and love -- she and her husband have put into this litter. Thanks to my loving husband for encouraging me to follow my life-long dream of dog showing (and not complaining too much about the $$). Thanks to my mother for always being there to hear my obsessing over minute details. And thank you to all my friends and family following this silly dog blog. Stay tuned, it's going to be fun! Love you all, -- K

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's a Boy!

I've spent two of the last three days at Breeder's house playing with puppies. (What a life, hunh?) Anyway, I have great news. Choices have been made and Mr. Blue will be joining our family on Wednesday after his 2nd set of shots. I couldn't be happier. He is the most beautiful puppy -- ever!!! Stay posted for a name and lots of pictures. Life is about to get really interesting around here. -- K

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Feeling Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving and I have many things to be thankful for including a loving family, good friends, a strong faith, decent health, full-time employment, and the many freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution. I am also thankful for the wonderful dogs that have shared my life. On this day of reflection I ask myself, was I as good to them as they were to me? Probably not. I've tried -- and I truly believe that they've all had good doggie lives -- but if I can do better, I will. I received another shipment from yesterday (I know, I need help) and this was in one of the books. I found it very thought-provoking and had to share. I copied this verbatim from The Dog Tricks and Training Workbook by Kyra Sundance. It is so well said that it deserves repeating. 
 You Owe This to Your Dog 
Our dogs play a significant role in our lives, whether as working dogs or companions. We've taken them into our household and are responsible for fulfilling their basic and higher needs. For all the joy and companionship they give us, we owe our dogs the following:
  • Adequate food and medical care
  • A life that is beyond mere survival
  • Grooming, ear and teeth cleaning, nail trimming, skin and coat conditioning
  • Exercise -- not only the option for exercise, but also the encouragement
  • Twenty minutes each day of your undivided attention
  • Three enrichment activities per day (a walk, a game of fetch, a training session, a car ride)
  • Exposure to the world beyond your backyard
  • Socialization with people and dogs outside of your family
  • The right to give and receive unconditional love
  • Training, so your dog does not become a prisoner of his own misbehavior
  • Fresh air and green grass
  • Respect for your dog's needs and wants
  • Responsible breeding, or none at all
  • Time and space all his own
  • The freedom to be foolish and silly, and to make you laugh
  • The right to earn your trust and to be trusted in return
  • Forgiveness
  • The right to die with dignity
  • The honor of being remembered well

So who wants to be a better dog owner now? Yeah, me too. I'd like to close with pictures of the dogs that I am so thankful for. -- K





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The OTHER Puppy Pictures

So I was asked  -- several times -- why I only took three pictures of the puppies on my last visit. Truth is, I took over 20, but I only posted three. Taking pictures of puppies is hard. Those little buggers are fast and won't stay still for more than a few seconds. I got a lot of butt shots as puppies would run out of the frame. I took a picture of the wall when one of the puppies grabbed the dangling lens cap and jerked the camera up just as I pushed the button. And one of the pups actually photo bombed his brother! Thankfully everything's digital and with a little creative cropping I was able to find a few decent shots. (How did people ever do this with film?!) Just for giggles, I'll share a few of the bad pictures below -- no cropping! Hopefully I'll get better at taking puppy pictures as time goes on. I wonder if there's a book on about this . . . -- K

Photo bombed!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Waiting for Puppy

I want one soooo bad!!
 I spent another Saturday night with the puppies. TOTALLY AWESOME!! Good news: I can bring one home as early as next weekend. Bad news: Breeder's sister picks before me -- and she can't make up her mind. GRRR. I tried really hard not to fall in love with a particular puppy last night, just in case he ends up being the one that sister wants. That being said, I think I've narrowed it down to two. Now we just wait. I'm trying to be patient but what I really want to do is drive to the Southside and say "COME ON AND PICK ALREADY SIS!!" I hope to have happy news soon. I'll keep you posted. -- K


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sensitivity Test

So I finished reading A Dog's Purpose and I guess I'm not going to send Breeder a nasty e-mail. However, I think a Kleenex warning would have been nice! Or maybe a sensitivity test should have been given beforehand. For example, watch the commercial below. If it makes you cry, do not read this book -- and for God's sake stay away from Marley and Me!


Are you bawling? If so, stick to Marmaduke! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Video of Puppies

Today I got another newsletter from Breeder. The puppies are growing like weeds, all weighing between 8 and 10 pounds. They go to the vet next week to get their first shots -- then they'll be ready for visitors. I can't wait!! Until then, I'll just have to keep watching this video of the puppies' first experience with grass. TOO CUTE! -- K

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preparing for Puppy (Humor)

I found this online on another website and thought I'd share. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea -- Hubby didn't laugh. I think it scared him a little. Hope you find it funnier than he did! -- K

How to Prepare For a Puppy

  • Pour cold apple juice on the carpet in several places and walk around barefoot in the dark.
  • Wear a sock to work that has had the toe shredded by a blender.
  • Immediately upon waking, stand outside in the dark saying, "Be a good puppy, go potty now, hurry up - come on, let's go!"
  • Cover all your best clothes with dog hair. NOTE: dark clothes must use white hair; light clothes must use dark hair.
  • Float some hair in your first cup of coffee in the morning.
  • Also put some hair in everything that you cook. Put hair in the pots and pans in your cupboards too.
  • Run out in the rain in your bare feet to close the gate.
  • Tip over a basket of clean laundry and scatter clothing all over the floor.
  • Leave your underwear on the living room floor. That's where the puppy will drag it anyway, especially when company is coming.
  • Jump out of your chair shortly before the end of your favorite TV program and run to the door shouting "No, No! Do that OUTSIDE!" Miss the end of the program.
  • Put chocolate pudding on the carpet in the morning; don't try to clean it up until you get home from work in the evening.
  • Gouge the leg of the dining room table several times with a screwdriver . . . it's going to get chewed on anyway.
  • Have a backhoe dig random giant holes in your yard, then go out in the early morning and step in a few. Try not to break anything. 

  • Take a warm and cuddly blanket out of the dryer and immediately wrap it around yourself. This is the feeling you will get when your puppy falls asleep on your lap.

-- Author Unknown

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

I'd like to preface this post by saying I don't just read dog books. I read lots of books. I like books. I enjoy murder mysteries, suspense, fiction-fantasy, sci-fi and the occasional autobiography. However, this is Kelley's Dog Blog, so we're only going to discuss dog-related books here. E-mail me if you want to discuss any non-dog books -- except romance or paranormal crap. I hate that. Anyway, I'm currently reading three different dog books and would love to discuss them with anybody who's interested! (By the way, I realize it's kind of weird to be reading several books at once. My excuses: I have a short attention span and has my credit card on file. And they keep sending me "suggested titles." And I'm weak . . . )

The first book I'm reading is One Nation Under Dog: America's Love Affair With Our Dogs. The subtitle is "Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food." What a mouth full! The book highlights the changes in America's attitudes towards their pets over the last few decades. It discusses everything from the $43 billion pet supply industry (yes, that was billion with a B -- I'm in the wrong business!) to the way dog-related laws are being changed around the country. The book is interesting, but I'm not sure if I'm enjoying it -- which is probably why it's taking me so long to finish it. A few months back HBO aired a documentary with the same name. I'm not sure if I liked that or not either. Truth is, sometimes animal people are weird, and I'm not entirely comfortable being one of "them." I know, TMI.

I'm also reading A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. This is a fictional story about a dog that keeps getting reincarnated in search of his true purpose. Breeder loved this book and really wanted me to read it. Currently I'm on the second incarnation and I am crying my eyes out. It's written from the dog's point of view and is very entertaining -- but definitely NOT recommended for anyone who is "a bit hormonal." I feel horrible now for yelling at Pepper all those years over her getting in the trash. And I swear, if the story doesn't get happier soon I'm going to send Breeder a nasty e-mail and a bill for the box of Kleenex!

The third book just came today from (Remember that whole "credit card on file" thing mentioned above?) I'm absolutely loving Raising a Champion: A Beginner's Guide to Showing Dogs. This book has lots of pictures -- and pictures are a good thing for visual learners like me! The book is also written in plain English for those of us who know little or nothing about "the fancy." There's even a glossary in the back to explain odd terms like "bandy-legged" and "cow-hocked." This book covers how dog shows work, how to stack and move a dog, necessary equipment, how to read a show catalog and fill out forms, how championship points are scored, and much, much more. It's a great all-around book and I look forward to absorbing it. However, I'll still need help with some breed-specific things. For example, page 19 states:
German Shepherd Dogs are posed differently from any other breed. Posing a German Shepherd isn't covered in this book.
All I can say is, thank goodness for the Internet. I found How to Stack a German Shepherd on and several videos on YouTube. I'm also hoping to find a mentor. Of course, I should probably get the puppy first . . . Think I'm a little excited? It'll be fun. Stick around and see. -- K

Thursday, November 8, 2012

From Pet Owner to Dog Show Junkie

Yes, another book review! At only 124 pages, Showing Kunga: From Pet Owner to Dog Show Junkie is short but very informative. I really enjoyed this book, probably because showing dogs has always been a dream of mine. The author, Alxe Noden, wanted a blue great Dane. Worried about puppy mills and backyard breeders, she started researching the Internet. Alxe figured that a breeder who also shows would be more concerned with a puppy's health and temperament. The author felt that by choosing one of these puppies perhaps she could avoid some of the health problems often associated with great Danes. Once she got her puppy, Alxe joined a local great Dane dog club to learn more about the breed and hang out with other dog people. Hey, that's why I joined my dog club!! Alxe starting showing her dog for fun and got hooked. The author does a nice job sharing the ups and downs of showing from a newbie's point of view. I really liked how she articulated her reasoning for using a breeder instead of a breed rescue. This reminded me of an article I read a couple months back called Responsible Dog Breeders Are Rare, But I Found One and So Can You. I really liked this article. I have noticed that in Society's push to promote the rescue and adoption of homeless animals (of which I am a BIG proponent) it seems that all deliberate dog breeders have been vilified -- regardless of their intentions. Responsible breeders have been lumped in with puppy mills. This is so sad . . . and so wrong! Another interesting article that discusses painting all breeders with the same broad brush is What I Learned at the Dog Show from Humane Watch. I stumbled upon this article when wrestling with my Puppy Pining last summer. I highly recommend both articles to everybody in the animal community.

I wish everyone could travel to the Northside and meet my breeder. They would immediately see the difference between her operation and that of a puppy mill or backyard breeder. Her puppies are not living in the small wires cage depicted in the HSUS commercials. Instead, the entire dining room has been transformed into a puppy nursery. The puppies are mentally stimulated with toys, simple mazes and various objects to climb in and on. At five weeks old they have already been introduced to the concepts of crate and potty training. Everything from daily weight gain to super dog training is monitored and recorded on color-coded charts. The puppies are loved on constantly and each ne gets at least a half-hour of individual cuddle time daily. Breeder and her husband dote on the puppies like stereotypical grandparents. They have cute little puppy stories like "We've nicknamed that one Magellan because he is always the first to explore new things." No, this is not a woman callously breeding puppies to make an easy profit. This is a woman who is carefully breeding the best German shepherd puppies possible, for health and temperament as well as beauty. Breeder put more time and thought into finding the right sire for my puppy than I did into selecting a father for my children. (Sorry boys! I'm glad it worked out.)

So I guess what I'm trying to say is:

Spay, Neuter, Adopt -- Good.
Puppy mills and indiscriminate breeding -- Bad.
Not all breeders are the same; it's wrong to imply otherwise.
* My breeder is awesome!!! *

Enough of my ranting. Let's look at more puppy pictures! -- K

Blue and Purple above, Yellow (I think) below. I love them all!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm in Love!

Orange is the biggest at nearly 8 lbs

Look that face!
It's after 1 AM. I have to work in the morning but I can't sleep. Why? Because I got to spend this evening with the puppies!! They licked my face and chewed on my fingers and had that new puppy smell. They are all absolutely perfect! I have no idea how I'll be able to pick one. Any suggestions? -- K
Blue and Yellow wrestling at my feet
Pinky and Blue playing with a toy. How cute is that?!