Sunday, July 30, 2006


I visited with some puppies today, thinking about perhaps getting one. They were all wonderful, lovable, fun playful puppies. How to choose?
The mother is a 3 year old purebred yellow lab. Very sweet and gentle. The father is a one year old black lab mix. (What can I say, she likes younger guys!)
The pups are all black with white markings. 7 weeks old.
The father has been neutered, the mother will be spayed soon .
There were 8 pups but one has been adopted. Of the 7 left:

~Uno - male -The 1st born, inquisitive, confident, very lively.
~Lumpus - male - one big lovable boy.
~Squeaker - female - silky like a baby otter, very very gentle.
~Jr. - male- rises early, plays hard, crashes quick (He fell asleep while I was there. His head nodded and he tried to keep it up. His eyes closed and he tilted his head to the side and soon his head was down and he was fast asleep!)
~Fuzzy - female - don't be fooled, she can hang with the big boys!

~Wobbly - male - the other thick coated dog. Something is wrong with him and he tips over a lot (more than most pups). He will need some medical care but it could be as simple as an ear infection.

~Eight - male - I don't want to say too much about him because I have my eye on him. He is just the right mix of calm and rowdy.

These are great all around pups and will be even better with training so...I am here. For details check Craigs list for Free Labs in Murfreesboro. Or email me. Remember these are pups with sharp teeth and toes and lots of energy! It's easy for me to forget that when one plants a (muddy) paw on either side of my face and gives me kisses. All I remember then is the joy of the moment. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


So many people freak when their dogs play and I find that so sad. It's SO important for dogs to play. Dog play looks much worse than it really is. When done right there is a lot of growling and ear tugging and face chewing and chasing and even a bit of humping going on.

Owners will look at me horrified and ask "Isn't that too rough?"
My answer is usually that yes, it's too rough for me but the dogs seem to be enjoying it. Soccer is too rough for me but most of the world seems to enjoy it.
Go figure.

If I am uncomfortable with the play and think that one of the dogs is not having fun, I take the dog I think is being too rough (NOT the one I think isn't having fun), out of the play and then watch to see what the other puppy does. If that puppy comes bouncing back for more than I was wrong and I let the pups go back to it. If however the other pups goes and hides between someone's legs or just goes off in a different direction I will know it was too rough. I find something else for the rough pup to do or someone else for him to play with.

I don't stand idly and watch large groups of dogs play if they are not really good friends. I sort of work the crowd. I walk amongst the dogs, praising the ones who are playing gently and who aren't say, playing tug of war with my water hose. I guide the rowdies into gentle play with just a couple of encouragements "easy" and "gentle".
I break up any tense situations by just walking quietly in between the dogs with my arms folded at my back.

This weekend I watched two dogs who had never played together before play.
One was a Boxer and one was a Lab. Neither was familiar with the other's style of play. So the Lab reacted to the Boxers first jab to her butt by turning and roaring at him!!! How was she to know that Boxers box?

The Boxer wasn't used to the way that a Lab will stick a toy in your face and as soon as you go for it they quickly turn their head away so you can't get the toy.
The Boxer sat down, cocked his head like "Hey, I thought you wanted to play tug?".

Which the Lab did and she repeated the gesture again and again, until the Boxer got one end of the toy and then they were off and running, stopping occasional to wrestle and box. It's better than watching TV I'll tell you what!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Whose Responsible?

It's really hot outside and my neighbor dog is melting. I love this dog but I have to be careful as the owner doesn't like any interference. He doesn't feed the dog, take it to the vet, or let it in the house but it's HIS dog and I had better not forget that.
I forgot it once and let her slept in my house each night all winter long. When he found out he took the dog away and she just came back after almost 9 months and you can see on her neck where she has been chained. She seems a bit subdued.
My neighborhood considers her the neighborhood dog and we all feed her and bring her into our houses and I take her to the vet when she needs it.
For the most part she has a wonderful life. She is with the neighborhood kids all the time, at the park, on trips to the store or Taco Bell.
She goes for walks with me around the block at 2 am and patiently waits when I can't keep up with her pace.
She wrestles with the neighbor cats and lies in the sun with them.
She guards our dead end street, lying in the middle, not moving for cars that come down it - we all move for her.
No one gets past her without our knowing about it.
That's a nice safe feeling.
She is afraid of thunder and fireworks and comes to me and I medicate her to relieve her anxiety.
Right now though she is melting in the heat and I want to bring her into my house so she can cool down but her owner is home and I don't want him to take her away again.
Does she know that it's his job to take care of her and not mine? Or does she just feel betrayed by all of us?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Vet Visits

I often wonder about dogs who go cheerfully to the vet.
I mean, how smart can they be?
It would seem to me that the smart ones would hide under the couch rather than be dragged off to be poked, prodded and examined on cold metal tables in funny smelling rooms.
Perhaps it's not smarts though, maybe it depends on a dogs experience as well as the general way the dog meets the world.
I don't think that my Chow boy, Peace ever had a bad time anywhere he went. He met the world with great confidence and seemed to expect the best.
He also didn't have many bad or painful experiences at the vet.
My Dalmatian Greta, had a lot of bad experiences at the vet, a broken leg, 2 knee surgeries, seizures etc.
She did greet the world with joy and exuberance but not so self confident I don't think and it seemed like she did expect the worst!
What helped her at the vet was my taking the lead by being
nonchalant and taking lots of good treats.
For a while there we went every week and just sat in the lobby and ate treats or got weighed. Nothing painful, nothing to freak about. Maintain and eat the chicken bits.
And of course on every visit I had delicious treats that would distract from all but the most painful procedures.