Thursday, April 12, 2012

Outdoors and onwards

The Magnificent 7 are now going outside a couple of times every day. Not for long as it is still cool and has rained a bit but enough to march to the end of the big fenced yard and back. They are excellent pups! They often pee and poop while outside, run and get tired. They are learning to beware of people's feet - OK, my feet anyway :).
The pups come to "pup, pup", a clap or a whistle. They follow but they also like to explore. The girls were more photogenic when I finally remembered the camera.
Inside, they are in the big puppy play area during the day and move into the whelping box/expen area at night. I added a helium balloon to the pen yesterday. At first they all gazed up in awe - should have had the camera then! Now they ignore it.
We are way beyond the "7 surfaces" for them to walk on so that is good. On "7 things to eat off" we are at about 5. Actually if you count eating off each other since they are messy, I suppose we are at 6 :)
Ears are up and staying up on Pink and Orange. Green generally has one ear up and the other boys are working on their ears.
I now serve two meals daily plus they are still nursing. They all drink water from the bowls in their pen too.
Kate has been taking them for car rides on the weeknd so they are learning about that too.
They had more visitors today - Nathalie and Pam stopped by and got to play with them. Doris and Kathy were here the other night. My sister Chris comes tomorrow for a day so we should have fun.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Adolescent and adult dogs on tap

On a break from puppy musings, let me discuss adolescent dogs and adult dogs. Seven month old Babe is quite a delight. She is the biggest counter surfer I have ever owned despite being fairly small but otherwise generally a "good girl". One hopes of course that the adult dogs will influence a pup, show her how to be a great dog, etc. And not that the pup will teach them some "new tricks".
So yesterday, I was working on an article on deadline. Babe was lying by the gate to the study most of the time. (The dogs are shut out of there now due to Queezle and the puppies). Occasionally I would see her get up and then hear her dropping and playing with her Planet Dog Glow Ball. All is good.
Then I started getting a weird smell. I thought it might be the printer having a burnout since it has been acting up so I turned that off. Nope, I can still smell it. As I head into the kitchen, the smell gets quite strong. And in the living room, on a dog bed is a 16 oz bottle of wild salmon oil, basically oozing a few last drops onto the bed. Oh, and the carpet has a strong "eau de fish" too.
Hokey has horrible fish breath, Babe a bit and Dani a little. Baloo the Aussie appears to be innocent. I have to leave in about 20 minutes for a vet cont ed mtg. Chuck is heading home to cover. The house smells like a fish market at the end of a long week.
So, do I mention we had our honey moon on the coast of Maine? Do I pretend nothing is amiss since he tends to have a lousy sense of smell? I basically simply said, "They spilled a little fish oil - no big deal."
I fly to my meeting which is a dinner meeting. The friend sitting next to me says "You know, I don't know why but I really feel like having fish tonight". Yup, kept my mouth shut!
Oh yeah, pup teaching others bad habits!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Supper time!

The Magnificent 7 as I call them (my husband says the 7 Deadly Sins though he claims we only seem to have Wrath and Gluttony), are trying a bunch of new things.
The last couple of days I have given them plastic bottles they like to shove around. They also got some toilet paper rolls - empty of course! I don't want to start a confetti business :)
We also started them on some "real food" Turkey baby food and yogurt were first on the menu. That went over splendidly. Then I had some soft bananas, so I added that into the mix. Their breath was lovely after that. Currently they get 2 meals a day plus access to Queezle 24/7.
The three smallest pups eat in one area - each with their own bowl. The four bigger pups eat together from the muffin tin - each one gets a corner spot. All the pups are eager eaters!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Driving me crazy!

Yup, they are officially driving me crazy! At least this am I got to wake the pups up instead of vice versa as I had to leave early to take Babe to the shows. As it turns out, we all should have slept in.
Still, it was gratifying to shake them awake :0
Green Boy decided to show off his driving skills with the little beeping bus we have used for a rally distraction. Hopefully I have the right puppy - both Green and Blue were nude this am, so I quick slipped collars back on them. Luckily Kate has a code to tell who is who!
They are starting to play with toys as well as each other. They also play wrestle and fight - sounding quite violent at times.
The boom box appears to be ill so the pups are currently listening to "Puppy Sounds" by Dean Lake via my new laptop. Many thanks to Tom who guided me long distance over the phone on using it. Who knew a laptop would have something called a touch pad?! For those concerned about the puppies' classical training, Dean Lake is a bassoonist so that ought to count for something.
Off to fix Queezle's 3 pm feeding - darn, already 12 minutes late!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I decided to give the little angels a box or two today. So I added an empty cat food box (held cans) and an box. At first just the girls were checking things out. Like true shoppers, they went right for the Amazon box :)
Later, the boys woke up and they thought the Amazon box was more interesting too. I really need a bigger box or two for more fun.
I got this fun photo of Pink Girl sleeping on Queezle's head. I would feel sorry for Queezle except she sleeps on MY head part of the time at night!
Up to laundry load #5 today. I will have to give in and go to papers eventually but I hate the thought of newsprint on the pups. Hopefully the washer and dryer hold up.
I made them listen to corny dog songs again as payback for the 2:30 am ruckus last night :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Belated update

Kate was home last week due to spring break and enjoyed spending almost 24/7 with the College pups. She is now back to Cornell and the pups are left with me.
They are growing like weeds - with most of them over 4 lbs now. They growl, bark, howl, wrestle and play. They also got Queezle's interior decorator gene as they are constantly tugging and rearranging the blankets!
I started playing the tapes for them. They have heard "obedience trial sounds" and "agility trial sounds". Currently they are listening to a set of somewhat corny "dog songs" like "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" and "Walking the Dog".
They had fun playing with a paper bag and none of them were bothered by the crackling noises. Now if they could just give up the late night parties!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

The College Litter had a relatively uneventful St. Patrick's Day. Queezl enjoyed a spin around the yard enjoying the sun. She hopes her glasses kept her identity safe from any lingering paparazzi. She would hate to have any photos of her in her post pregnancy/nursing figure to appear in the dog show magazines!
Black Boy agreed to pose for the hat photo. Basically he was in the biggest milk induced torpor so we figured he would hold still.
Yellow Boy was caught having gone "over the wall" and heading for the study to start his own Facebook page this am while I got Queezle fresh water.
Green Boy wanted to celebrate the day by joining the Irish tenors. Alas, he is currently an upstate NY soprano - off key at that!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scrap March 15!

First, let me say that *I* am a die hard morning person. I would prefer to sleep until 6 am but I can handle 5 am. Not 1 am or 3 am so much. When Kate came up with the college theme for this litter I should have nixed her right away. They truly do "come to life at night".
So at 1 am yesterday, they were partying wildly inches from my head and calling out for more drinks in the whelping box. Meanwhile Tom's Australian Shepherd, Baloo, was fussing. With good reason - he had liquid diarrhea in the laundry room. Cleaned that up, got room service back on track and back to bed. Unfortunately it all repeated at 3 am, including the diarrhea. This time, gave Baloo some metronidazole. Luckily all fine until 6 am.
The day went well - Queezle ate her meals, fed the savages, Baloo stopped the diarrhea. Then at 5 pm, Queezle barely went at her meal. Quick check - temp 104, 3rd gland on the right felt warm and a bit firm. Her glands had been normal at morning check. So off to the repro vet. I haven't done much repro over the years and with Kate on a bus heading to Minnesota with the pep band for the women's hockey tournament I did not want it all on my head!
Literally 1/4 of that one gland has mastitis. The repro clinic had never seen a case of mastitis caught so early. So now add compressing that gland and gently hand stripping it, giving Queezle antibiotics, and giving the puppies probiotic as they can still nurse to my day. Luckily Queezle ate at 10 pm and temp is normal this morning. Plus today IS a new day!!

Scrap March 15!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wild times continue

The College Litter continues on the "party hearty "theme. Today, not only did White Boy once again go the nudist route, he convinced Orange Girl to join him. Blue Boy decided just to let it all show in a full frontal photo - though he does retain his rickrack throughout.
Meanwhile, sports training is under way. It is difficult to tell which sport the team will concentrate on. From the body blocks and shoves (especially at chow times) hockey could be on the line. An occasional competitor will head out for marathon running, circling the whelping box at speed. Track relay events have also been observed, with individuals doing a lap, then shoving a littermate off on a lap. Hopefully mountain and rock climbing will wait at least a week.
Dam Queezle is outdoing herself with her "timing" ability. It will be interesting to see if her puppies inherit that gene. At 10:45 am, demonstrating no problem adjusting to the time change, Queezle starts pushing to get her duck egg and cheese omelet delivered. The plan is for the omelet to appear at 11 am and so far, the chef is holding firm despite entreaties and threats. The same goes for the 3pm yogurt and kibble mini meal.

Friday, March 9, 2012

One week!

Well, so far we have all survived the first week of the College Litter. I am developing some serious concerns however.
We have two days of warm weather and the partying has taken over. There are now TWO resident nudists- Green Boy and White Boy! Furthermore, the wild partying - drinking to excess, loud noises, etc at 1 to 3 am is almost unacceptable. And yes, I have witnessed this all first hand sleeping next to the whelping box.
I suppose you could say the pups are taking the college theme to the extreme, but I never partied that hard through 8 years at Cornell!
I am quite sure this wild party gene does NOT come from the Chateau Blanc side. That means we must blame the Anduin faction. I sincerely hope they take this into consideration in future breedings :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday am update

Closing in on the one week mark for the pups - they were born last Friday night starting at about 7:30 or so - Kate has the times somewhere.
This morning's color scheme for the whelping box is plaid. Apparently Queezle likes this better than the stark white modern look.
I will put a plug in here for the pads we use. I got them from a company in
Wisconsin. is the
site. They have a workshop for people with disabilities and recycle hospital
pads. The pads are great - easy to wash and dry. I don't like using newspaper
until the pups are older and messier. I don't want newsprint on them and I don't
want Queezle licking it all off. Prices are amazing - shipping is often the
biggest cost but you could combine an order with a friend.
Now, a tad scarey - a couple of the pups are actually standing - very wobbly but
up on all four legs. I believe that is about a week ahead of time! Look out
world - the college kids are going to be ready to rock and roll.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Puppy adventures continue

The pups all handled dew claw removal just fine. A couple of them had rear dew claws as well. Yes, I know some people advocate leaving them on but having HAD to remove many an injured dew claw over the years and having treated many a dog with an ingrown dew claw, we elected to remove them.
My dog Beep was sort of a control study on dew claws and agility injuries. He had one front dew claw (grew back) and one front leg without one. No change in arthritis, etc.

It is probably good that I have not figured out how to do a puppy webcam, though it might be funny. First, Deb lets Queezle outside. Then Deb moves puppies into a box, takes out dirty blankets and arranges new, lovely clean blankets. Puppies are artistically replaced in whelping box. Today on nice white blankets. Deb lets Queezle in. Queezle waits until Deb leaves and then starts yanking up blankets, scuffing them and totally rearranging them. Some times she creates a pile and other times, she simply shifts them all.

Green Boy has totally decided to go with the nude look. His ribbon keeps slipping off. So until I get some new ribbon and have Kate to help, he will be the resident nudist. What really confuses me is that at one point yesterday, White Boy had both his white rickrack AND the green ribbon on!

For some reason almost every time I check on the gang, six pups are readily seen but the 7th one is hidden - either behind Queezle, under the railing or hidden under a blanket. It varies who chooses to hide but drives me crazy!

The pups are actually starting to stand already which I think is early. Very active!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The College 7 are here!

Friday night (classic for a college themed litter!) Queezle delivered 7 beautiful Belgian Tervuren puppies - 5 boys and 2 girls.

And no, I don't want to hear about how I am depriving some shelter dog of a home. We had more homes than puppies and all of the people work with rescue and help their local shelters. However, their personal choice for a canine companion is a well bred Terv. Health clearances, temperament,structure and working ability all checked in parents. End of lecture!

The pups are noisy, active, and did I say, beautiful? Kate came home Thursday night so she was here for the whelping but back at Cornell now until next weekend. I am doing my best on the home front.
I am no Martha Stewart but I thought the blankets were arranged quite nicely. Symmetrical, sort of color coded even, pulled flat. Pink water bucket hanging for Queezle and nice red heat lamp over one corner. No - in total disgust, Queezle comes in and causes a mini tsunami. She roils up blankets, tumbling puppies heads over tails. Good thing they roll well at this age!

Then we have the interactions with my husband. "You aren't washing puppy blankets in with our clothes are you?" (Note that at this stage Queezle is doing 99.9% of the clean up so the blankets aren't very dirty.) "Of course not!" Because, actually, I am washing some of our clothes in with the puppy blankets - it is all a matter of semantics.

"Smells good in here. Is that our breakfast?" Well no, actually it is a fresh duck egg and cheese omelet for Queezle for her late morning meal - "elevenses" for you Hobbit fans. The other dogs will all get a bit too but the humans are on their own!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Westminster Musings

It has been a week now since BIS judge Cindy Vogels pointed to the Peke, Malachi, for Best in Show at Westminster. Her decision is still being second guessed (and probably will be until next year’s BIS winner).

This got me thinking about being Westminster’s BIS judge – not on my bucket list thank you! It is an all expenses paid trip to NYC and a great excuse for buying a new outfit. Sadly, I believe the BIS judge gets sequestered and misses out on all the fun pre Westminster events plus of course the two days of judging. That lowers the fun of the trip a bit. Fifteen or thirty minutes of fame depending on the TV schedule and how judging has progressed will be yours. And bragging rights for the rest of your life.

But what about the pressures on you, Westminster and dog showing in general?

By choosing a dog to the extreme edge of dogdom, PETA and HSUS are undoubtedly crowing about a perfect storm of PR. “How unhealthy, how deformed are purebred dogs!”, they will cry. Of course, if the Irish Setter had been chosen, PETA, along with some shelters and rescue groups, would have ads showing fifteen dead mixed breeds offset by 15 Irish Setter puppies. The fact that PETA has filled a dumpster or two with perfectly healthy, adoptable dogs will not be mentioned. Puppy millers are thrilled that Pekes are a small breed that can easily be stacked four cages high in the back barn, but a bit worried about whether or not their Peke stock can free whelp. Should any of those things matter?

I have to say, we have been crated near Malachi and his human at various shows, and it is clear that Mr. Fitzpatrick is dedicated to his dogs. Their welfare comes first. His dogs are always well cared for, exquisitely groomed and kept comfortable no matter what the situation. Animal welfare doesn’t have a leg to stand on if they choose to complain about the care of this dog.

Do show records matter? After all, the top dog for 2011 never made it out of the breed and some other favorites also dropped out along the way. (Let me add, a friend knowledgeable in the way of Spaniels who was at Westminster said the black Cocker who is spectacular at his best, simply wasn’t at his best on that day and the judge was correct, as well as courageous, to put the other dog up. Perhaps he was a bit exhausted from his heavy show schedule or simply having an “off” day. We have “off” days, so why shouldn’t our dogs?)

Still, show superintendents, handlers and magazine advertising managers all hope that show records do count as it justifies their existence. While the BIS judge may not know until he/she walks into the ring which dogs will be there, realistically any judge who has made it to the level of BIS at Westminster will undoubtedly recognize the dogs and their handlers. The judge probably knows registered and call names, maybe even the pedigree and whether or not the handler’s wife just had a baby girl or boy. At the highest levels, the dog show world is a small village. So, as the judge, do you reward the dog who has promoted our sport heavily all year round? Or go with the upset who catches your eye?

Going along with the “small village” concept, I suspect the BIS judge also knows which dogs are going to retire from Westminster, whose owner is ill and who has made it to this point in previous years without snagging the top prize. Should any of that matter? Does it matter?

And what do you do if you walk out into the ring as BIS judge and NONE of the dogs are your favorites? They may be excellent examples of their breeds but what if you happen to dislike all seven breeds represented in your ring? That could be tough. As the consummate professional, you do simply “suck it up” and of course “the show will go on”, but how depressing would that be?

As I said, being BIS judge at Westminster is not on my bucket list and I admire those who do step up to the task. But why would a woman who runs marathons, choose a Pekingese?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Catching up and jumping into controversy

I am WAY behind in oh, so many things and will strive to catch up, but figured better to jump in with controversy than be left totally behind.

Westminster dropped Pedigree and signed up Purina for their TV coverage ads. Why? They have been quite open about their reasons - Pedigree insisted on concentrating on mixed breeds and stressing shelter adoptions. Westminster's entire reason for existing is to promote wellbred purebred dogs - from reputable breeders and with excellent breed standard representation. When you see a Chihuahua on Westminster, you KNOW it is a Chihuahua.

Westminster does not hate mixed breeds or hate shelter adoptions. Simply, their "product" if you will, is purebred dogs. So why have advertising that represents someone else's ideal? Would you expect Ford to run ads featuring Toyotas?

Westminster has done a great deal to promote dogs, all dogs. The "Angel on a Leash" therapy dog group that David Frei works with encourages any and all dogs. Many of the fund raisers support causes that will help all dogs. Education is worked into the broadcasts and mixed breed owners would benefit from learning about the "dogs behind their dog".

Many shelters have discovered themselves that showing photos of dirty, crowded, starving dogs does not help adoptions. When people see clean, obviously happy dogs, they think what a great addition a dog would be for their family.

Yes, there are those who are attracted to the idea of rescuing an injured or abused dog, but motives are sometimes suspect in those cases. Shelters have to carefully screen adopters who are only interested in the dog who made headlines for his sad situation. While some are truly good hearted people, some simply want to be able to say that they "rescued" the dog in the paper. Fifteen minutes or less of fame and a dog who isn't truly loved or wanted.

Before I am jumped on with both feet, note that *I* have worked at a shelter, have adopted a dog from a shelter, have helped with rescues and yes, heaven forbid, I choose for the most part to own purebred dogs - from reputable breeders.