Thursday, July 29, 2010

Simple Pleasures: Ice Cubes

We occasionally give the pups ice cubes, especially if they are doing lots of chewing. Matlock hasn't been doing lots of chewing but I figured I'd see what he thought of ice cubes anyway. It continues to be pretty entertaining to watch him chase them around the kitchen and living room.

New arrival: Matlock...

... or Matti as we like to call him as "Matlock" is such a mouthful! What a character! I can't wait to get home from work to play with this little monkey. It's also a real treat to have only one foster puppy at a time! Matti was really shy the first day he arrived at our place, having come from another foster home where there were several pups. He was initially very timid around our own dog and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to come into the backyard. At different points over several hours we tried calling him to us with treats when Beadie was in the backyard. He was interested in us and the treats, but not sure about Beadie. Now they play together with balls and other toys and will walk together on the leash. (The leash was also quite new for Matti but he loves walks!)

We typically keep our fosters in an exercise pen in the kitchen (it's pretty big and takes up the whole kitchen). But with one pup who has some control over his bodily functions, Matti is enjoying full run of the house while we're home. He spends most of the time following us around and we make sure he gets lots of breaks outside. So far, very few accidents to report.

Matti also lives with cats and although he is interested, he isn't really chasing them. One of our cats has been so brave as to snuggle up against him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How big is big?

Rossi's forever home should be prepared for a big dog. Second only to "what kind of dog is that?" ARF volunteers are always asked "how big will s/he get?" - "A good size," is a good answer. We can never know and are reluctant to hazard a guess lest we be wrong. But generally, ARF dogs are big dogs. How big is big? I don't consider our ARF dog big. She weighs just under 55lbs. Our third ARF dog, Kima, is a good size, around 70lbs. But they can be bigger (or smaller!)

Ross resembles Levi (stayed with us through the holiday season). He was a tank, but Rossi might be bigger. I wonder how big Levi is now and what he looks like.

So how big are these guys? I should have weighed Rossi before he went to his new foster home, but he is at least 28lbs at 3 months old - he could be pushing 30lbs. Joey weighs in at 26lbs.

Water fun!

It took Beadie some time to warm up to the water when she was a pup. These guys just love it - well, not so much the bathtub...

What else is new? Ross is learning to shake a paw, as is Joey now. Both know "sit" and Joey's recall is coming along (Ross will get there!)

Today Rossi went to a new foster home and Joey will do the same on Thursday. Having one instead of two, three, or four foster puppies makes a huge difference. All of a sudden I was able to spend 30 focused minutes with Joey working on "Shake" and "down". Shake is getting there but needs more work; it appears that Joey will learn down very quickly; having these basic commands will be very useful in curbing some of the other puppy behaviour that comes with puppy exuberance like jumping up.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our friend Rayne is adopted! Hooray!

Congrats to CK and TL who have adopted a special little pup into their home. Yes, we did have five dogs in the house this week! Rayne came to us from another foster home and quickly settled into the pack. Rayne and I became fast friends. She's one of those pups that we could have easily adopted ourselves had she not found her forever home this week. Rayne is mellow at times, and fun and bouncy at others. She loves 'her people' and tried to follow her new adoptive parents out after they dropped her off after the day visit. She's comical to watch the way she prances as she retrieves toys, balls, bones etc.

She got her extra cuddles yesterday morning - as is becoming custom when we're saying goodbye to pups, I invited the wee gal up onto the bed and we snuggled together before work. We'll miss you, Rayne! All the best to Rayne and her forever home! They looked so happy to meet Rayne as they went through our adoption process. Their joy reminds me of how ecstatic we were to officially welcome our own ARF dog into our family almost exactly 1 year ago:)

...Maybe it's time to adopt again...?

Learning to Sit

So I mentioned the pups haven't yet learned to shake, but we are making progress with "sit." Joey in particular seems to really get it and is very eager to please. Learning some basic commands will really help when they are all bouncy and excited... especially when we have 3, 4 or 5 dogs in the house. Yes, we are crazy.

Good Boys!

Ross (left) and Joey (right) have settled in and have learned the routine. This means, they know when they wake up, they go down the steps and out the door to do their business. It also means that when they come back in, the come up the steps and back into their pen in the kitchen. Keeping the pups' movement in the house under control means they 1) don't chew our stuff, 2) they don't eat anything that would be harmful to them, and 3) we don't find yellow circles throughout the house.

The pups have also been walking regularly on leash and off leash and are loving the exercise and the extra time they get to spend with big sister, Beadie. They also fetch occasionally. We haven't tried teaching "down" or "shake" yet, but I think at least the latter will be fairly easy. Maybe a project for later today.