Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Social Club

Last weekend, in addition to our regular crew of 5 (4 Danes, one Shih Tzu cross) we had several visitors: one 4 month old Flat Coated Retriever puppy with enough energy to power a small town; 2 Border Collies who ain't no slouches in the energy department either; and one little Dachsie cross who thank Goodness is a couch potato. It was one of those weekends when several friends and relatives had to leave town, and needed help watching their dogs. I figured that it would be good for our pups - I really am a big believer in having dogs over to visit whenever possible. And it really does a world of good as far as socializing our dogs.

But then it rained and iced all weekend, so everyone had to stay inside - they all got along fine, but it was a bit, er, crowded!!

I'm just kicking myself that I didn't get pictures!! I've just got to start keeping the camera handy. I miss way too much good stuff.

Like having 9 dogs in the den!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Explain this to me...

... How can I be having "empty nest syndrome" when I've still got 4 Danes in the house?? My friends S. and J. are keeping Hunter - and I'm delighted! Really - they've had Danes for years and understand what life with a Giant breed of dog is all about. He will be pampered and adored for his entire life and - best of all! - I'll get to see him anytime I want and we'll be showing him. S. and J. really aren't interested in showing but they know that it's great socialization and basic training for the dog so are perfectly willing to let us show him whenever we want. Which is also nice since he's a really pretty puppy and really enjoys handling class and I think will enjoy shows too.

But I was just going through their baby pictures so I could give her a few of them, and it pinches my heart. This is the first litter we've ever bred and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's been kind of heartbreaking too. And I was REALLY lucky!! All the pups survived, and are hale and hearty and the 3 we placed are happy in their new homes. I'm just a wuss I guess.

I've actually handled it quite well I think. On the whole. Although a few months ago I was at a training seminar and this was just a day or two after the first two pups went to their new homes. I did fine - no tears, just happy that the pups had such terrific new homes.

Anyway, I was talking to a friend of mine at the seminar and she asked about the pups. And I had a small meltdown right there - "I miss them! blubber, blubber" As she was backing slowly away I realized this wasn't the most appropriate response. Sorry!

I mean, I'm the one who thought I had post-partum depression after the litter was first born. It's just hopeless, I guess.

Don't mean to be a downer!

Look! Cute puppy pics!! These were taken when they were 9 days old.

Do we know how to party, or what?

Super Bowl Sunday we had our dear friends C. and S. over to watch the game and eat great piles of junk food. They're selling their house and since they've got 3 big dogs, this means that whenever a realtor calls to say they're bringing someone over to see it C. has to pile everyone into her van and disappear for a while. I imagine it's a huge pain in the ass - but few people would buy a house knowing that a 170 lb. Dane "puppy" (he's 20 months old), a Golden Retriever and a Flat Coat retriever puppy (4 months old) have been in residence. The dogs are great, and not destructive or anything - but I'm just sayin'.

Plus the fact that Tiger (the Dane) can almost look you eye to eye while standing square with all 4 feet on the floor. He's enormous. Might be a bit distracting.

Anyway, although we figured that it was unlikely that anyone would be out house hunting on Super Bowl Sunday, you never know. It IS the best day of the year to go shopping, as I can personally verify.

So they brought their crew along to our house. Our house is NOT large - fortunately all the dogs get along great. Once Topper the Bitch got over her "Let me tear you a new one" greeting that she saves for dogs she hasn't seen lately. Apparently she thinks she's gotta remind 'em who the Alpha Bitch is!!

Or so she says - there's only one AB in this house, honey, and it ain't you!

Anyway, the party was a great success. 5 Great Danes, 2 Retrievers, a little dog and 4 humans. And a partridge in a pear tree. I think my hubby only ended up having to sit on the floor once or twice. Everybody wanted on the couches, and it was first-come, first-served with a lot of shuffling anytime someone got up for more food or a bathroom break.

Gives "party animals" a whole new spin, doesn't it?

The dogs were amazingly good around the food. That hasn't always been the case:

You gonna finish that?

This photo was taken about a month ago. The pups are bigger now, but fortunately more restrained. He was just eating Shredded Wheat - I'll leave it to your imaginations what it was like with a meat-based meal.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

OK, I'm obsessed...

...but I don't care. There are many things and people in my life that I love and care about, but my Great Danes are my obsession. I... we (my wonderful hubby is a convert) have either 4 or 5 at the present.

It's not that I've misplaced any giant dogs - but one puppy has hopefully found a permanent home with some wonderful people I've known for many years. He's visiting them this weekend, and if all works out then he'll stay with them.

We've got 2 other puppies (5 months old and pushing 100 lbs, but believe you me - they're PUPPIES): A brindle girl named Topper who is every inch a bitch; her fawn brother Teddy who has been MY DOG ever since he was born; their mother Kinsey who we still show (conformation, obedience and agility); and Kinsey's sister Aeryn who is our special child. The one who may or may not still be included in the count is Hunter, another fawn boy and the sibling of Teddy and Topper.