Sunday, April 30, 2006

Pied Piper

We have some dear friends who fortunately live close by, and we visit each other with our dogs all the time - think of it as a puppy play date. They have a huge black Dane named Tiger and our pups have always been gaga over him - like the little kids who want to tag along after the cool teenager. Fortuanely Tiger IS cool and plays very nicely with the little ones.

These pictures were taken a couple of months ago. And yes, we do have grass now - shut up, we really do have some green! ;-)

The smaller black non-Dane is their Flat Coated Retriever puppy Oakley who is about a month younger than our Dane pups.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Some Days Are Diamonds - And Some Days Suck

My last post described a definite diamond day - well 8 days later it was a whole 'nother story! That Saturday I had some errands to run, and was gone about 6 hours. The dogs were all fine when I left, and Ronnie was home with them. When I got home, I no sooner walked in the door than he said "Teddy's not feeling well, he's thrown up a few times". Teddy was indeed not well - every time he moved he retched up foamy yellow stuff, and he didn't want to move much. When he did get up he seemed very uncomfortable - arched back and stiff. Since he's still a puppy my first thought was "obstruction" so I stuffed him into my car and off to the emergency clinic we went (this NEVER happens during normal vet office hours. Why? WHY??). The X-rays didn't show anything in his guts but DID show congestion in his lungs... and when she saw him retch the vet observed that he wasn't vomiting, but rather coughing this gunk up. He had pneumonia!! He stayed there the rest of the weekend on IV fluids and IV antibiotics, and thank Goodness he recovered quickly. I brought him home on Monday afternoon, but Monday morning I heard his sister Topper start coughing!! Damn!! So I took her in to the vet. She wasn't sick fortunately, so they just put her on antibiotics and I was able to take her home. Both pups recovered very well, and within a few more days weren't even coughing anymore. But since Topper got it too, we figured it was something infectious. Possibly the Canine Flu that everyone's been talking about on all the dog lists. I'm sure they caught it at the show - especially since I was stupid enough to put them in the public exercise pens to potty. I know better than that, I just wasn't thinking. Anyway, Ted is just about as good as new except for a shaved front leg from the IV. I'll try to get a picture up.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Back!

Eeeek!! It's been a month and a half since I last wrote! Apologies to my ones and twos of readers! I'll try to be more consistent in the future. But heck, it's MY freakin' blog, after all!!
Anyway, despite the mood swings (hahaha) things have been going pretty well at House of Danes. The pups turned 6 months old on Feb. 27 (incredible to think how tiny they were when they were born, now they're about as big as their mother) and that is the minimum age for showing in the AKC. So we entered our two plus Gus (that's his new name, he used to be called Hunter) who we show for his owners, in their first show on the first weekend of March. Actually we just entered Saturday - we thought that judge would treat puppies well and thought one day would be enough. You don't want to wear them out, and we wasn't familiar with the judge on Sunday. Most judges treat dogs, and especially puppies, very kindly. But occasionally you get a judge who is brusque or even a little rough with the dogs - you never want to show to a judge like that but you DEFINITELY don't want to risk that with a youngster.
They did great! With babies our only goals are: 1. that they have a good time and B. that they mostly behave themselves. In other words, we view it as a training experience. And that was a success - they walked into the show building like "Cool!! Lookit that! And PEOPLE!! Oh, boy! Can we have treats??? Please???" but they weren't maniacs and definitely weren't freaked out by all the dogs and people. And they showed well although they all had puppy moments in the ring. The kicker was, Gus won Reserve Winners Dog! Which doesn't get him any points but it means he was second place to all the non-champion male dogs there! The judge really liked him, but he's still too immature to really win.

Baby Gus's first show picture!!

Then later in March we had our Dane club's specialty show - meaning that it was a show limited just to our breed, instead of being an all-breed show. Again, they did GREAT! They behaved even better than at the first show. 4 of the 5 pups were there which was great. The absent puppy is gorgeous but I doubt he'll ever be shown; his new owners just aren't interested in that and that's OK with us. They adore him, travel with him everywhere and he has a terrific life plus he gets well socialized with all the travel, so he's not missing out on anything! It still would have been great to see him again, but they were out of town. Hopefully I'll get to see him soon.
Anyway, the 4 dogs we had there at the show all did great! We had also entered Kinsey, their mom, in obedience and Best of Breed competition. The obedience classes also were open only to Great Danes, which is fun. They started before the conformation classes but ran a bit late so I was in the obedience ring with Kinsey when it was time for the pups' first class in Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is a competition separate from the regular show, open only to puppies. The judge doesn't have to be an AKC judge and in fact judging Sweepstakes is one way that people who are applying for a judges' license can get some experience judging. You can win a little money - like $15 or $20 - but there are no points. Like all shows, the males are judged first then the females, and in both sexes the youngest puppies go first. So our "little" boys would be first in the ring, hence my conflict. So Kinsey's breeder agreed to take Teddy into the ring for me. She's met him several times of course but has never shown him so I didn't know what would happen - at the least I figured it would be good experience for him to learn to be handled by another person, and of course she would be good to him.
Well, what happened is that he won Best of Sweepstakes!! He was a jewel, and she made him look VERY good. It was pretty exciting.
(I wasn't going to brag on my dogs here.. but again, it's MY blog so if I can't brag here, well... screw it!!)
So then the regular classes started and I showed Teddy in his class. He didn't win this time, in fact he came in second to his brother Gus but the Judge was very complimentary. When it was time for the females to be judged Ronnie (my hubby) took their sister Topper in and when the judge was examining her she told Ronnie "You breed beautiful puppies!" How nice is THAT!! Ronnie handled Gus in his class and we told her (after she'd placed Gus and Teddy 1st and 2nd in a nice class) that they were littermates. Anyway, when the dust was all settled Topper won Reserve Winners Bitch! Another nice Reserve like her brother - again no points but since it was a big entry it was REALLY exciting!
Stay tuned... it seems like they're on a roll!