Sunday, November 29, 2009

Puppy Play Day - 4 months old

Yesterday we took Dakota to my friend Karen's house for a play date with her litter brother Finder. The owner of another littermate was able to come over too, so I got to see her brother Traveler again.

The pups had a wonderful time, of course! And as expected, Dakota did her energizer bunny bit and wore everybody out.

But she did sleep after we got home, and is still a bit quiet today. So we have discovered what it takes to tire her out...

Four and a half solid hours of this:

All 3 pups are brindle so it can be hard to tell them apart: Traveler is the darker brindle with the blue collar and natural ears. Dakota has a pink collar and no tape on her ears*. Finder's ears are taped up and he has a purple collar.

With some of this:

And more of this:

Then things would slow down a little:

This one completely cracks me up!! I think Dakota is holding Finder down until he says "Uncle"!

Then they would pick up again:
There were a few breaks for visiting with the humans present:

The two boys eventually settled down:

- you may notice that Dakota is in all of the play photos even though usually only one of the boys is involved - they took turns resting but she was always ready to go! This was the only still photo I got of her all afternoon:
A good time was had by all, as they say.

*I'll write a post soon on ear taping since a lot of people ask me how I do it. The reason Dakota's weren't taped is that this fell on a "rest" day - normally the ears stay taped up for a week or so, then the tapes are removed for a day or two, repeat. Her ears are standing very well, but start to droop after a few days so they still need to be taped. I think she should be done in another few weeks though.
And yes, Traveler's ears are taped down. There is no sticky against his throat, there are 2 pieces of tape sticky side to sticky side attached to the ear tips. One of his ears had started to go wonky (sticking up and twisting) which can happen when a puppy is teething. This is a simple and comfortable way to correct that. If natural ears have to be taped it usually only has to be done once - you just leave the tape on until it starts to come off, usually a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Playing With Fire

We have a lounge chair on our deck that Kinsey really likes to lay on. She can survey her territory in perfect comfort. It is, for all intents and purposes, her lounge chair.

Not even Topper gets on it.

So the other day, who did I see on the lounge chair?

This looks nice!

What?! I don't see anyone's name on it!

I will sit here if I feel like it!! I will also bark at you!!

I think I'll just settle down for a nice nap...

So now she lays on it every morning. So far Kinsey is being very gracious about sharing. We will see if that lasts...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Teddy is much, much, MUCH better! Thanks for all the well wishes. Now he is mostly bored because he's not allowed to do any full-contact play (or much of anything that is too lively).

Things I Have Removed From Dakota's Mouth This Morning:
- a rock
- a bolt clip
- a small ziploc baggie, empty
- another small rock
- a cable tie (zip tie)
- a dirt clod
- a leather leash
- a sock
- toy stuffing. She didn't pull it out, she's really not destructive with her toys. I think her Uncle Teddy pulled it out for her - he is DEATH on toys!!

I have no idea where she found most of this stuff. Well, she brought the rocks and the dirt in from outdoors, she ran into the closet to get the sock when I went in the bedroom for something, and pulled the leash off the dining room table... but I don't know where she found the other things.

Maybe I should just sit here and let her de-clutter my house for me!! She seems to be very good at finding stray items!

I just heard a *thump*, and she's come trotting very self-importantly into the den. Gotta go see what she's found NOW.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good thoughts for Teddy!

We are taking a break from the puppy cuteness - Teddy hurt his neck somehow either last night or this morning. It rapidly got worse, as these things do when the muscle spasms set in and overshadow the original source of pain.

I don't know how he did it, but I suspect that there was too much hilarity yesterday evening when he and Kinsey got back (with my hubby Ronnie) from an agility trial in Arkansas. At which he did great by the way - got another leg toward his Standard title with a first place!

But anyway, Teddy had some excess energy from the trip - and his sister Topper was REALLY excited to see him and they played pretty hard for a while. I think Ted just landed wrong, or maybe zigged when he should have zagged... either way, by this morning he was one unhappy pup.

So he got an adjustment, and is on anti-inflammatories and feels somewhat better already. Still very sad though - here he is with his ice pack:

He'll have to be quiet for a few days, and will have to miss the agility trial this weekend. But hopefully he will be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

But no more of this for a long time:

Dakota 14 weeks

These photos were taken the end of October/beginning November.

First, she is on a completely raw diet now. Even though she's getting bigger she's still got those little (and sharp!) baby teeth, so she just gets small RMBs like chicken wings. And boy does she like them!!
Crunch, crunch, crunch

Things seemed to be happening quickly that week - she hit a few small milestones at the same time:

I got into this chair all by myself...

...But I still can't quite get on the couch!

The next day after I took the picture above, I saw that she wasn't able to fit through the gap in the kitchen baby gate - at least not without a LOT of wiggling!

What the... This gate seems to have shrunk!

But there were compensations... that same evening she achieved her goal!

Taaaa-daaaa!! Finally, I made it up on the couch!
Now put that damn camera away and let me sleep.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dakota 10 - 12 weeks

One of her first goals was to get on the couch. Here she is at 10 weeks, still can't quite make it:

A little help here, maybe?

However, there were compensations for being small. We have a baby gate across our kitchen door which has a gap to allow our little dog Sport to pass through. I had a lot of trouble keeping fresh water out for him otherwise - there is apparently nothing a Dane likes better than drinking water out of a tiny bowl! So his water is in the kitchen where only he has access to it. Until Dakota came along, that is... She's about 12 weeks old here.
La la la, I can go in, and I can come out...

One day in mid October we had a repairman out for our AC (here in Texas it is still warm in October!) I put up a baby gate - can NOT live without baby gates!! - otherwise the dogs would all be sticking their heads in the middle of whatever the repairman was trying to do. Some of us have learned to do things - like tying shoes!! - with one or more big Dane noses in the way, but not everyone has developed those skills. After talking to the repairman, I walked back toward the den to check on the dogs - this is what I saw:

Later I found Dakota trying to escape:
Just.... a.....little....farther

Finally, THIS is a very typical picture - I've learned to keep the camera strap out of the way:

Dakota 9 weeks

Dakota turned 16 weeks old a few days ago!! My how time flies... and my how negligent I've been about posting news and photos of her!!

I'll start catching up, in more or less chronological order so you can see how she's grown.

Remember how freaked out her uncle Teddy was when she first came here? He's gotten over it, and they play sometimes. He tends to get too rough, so their play is very supervised but sometimes it works out great - Dakota was about 9 weeks old here:

Yes, we got her ears cropped - and yes I know it's an unnecessary surgery.

But you know what? Most of the surgeries we impose on our pets are not medically necessary - I'm including 99% of all spaying & neutering. Doing a surgery to reduce the future possibility of illness that may or may not occur does NOT make it medically necessary, or even always a good idea.

At least the ear crop isn't a major surgery, nor will it have any impact on her growth and development. With the anesthetics and pain medications we have now, it is possible to keep the pups very, very comfortable after the surgery. The photos above were taken the next day after her ear crop. It didn't slow her down at all!