Category Archives: The Puppies

Spring Videos

Tomorrow is June 1, 2012 and we’ve already enjoyed some summer like weather. These are a few videos of the farm. You can see the dramatic changes in Gus and Jackson. You can see they love each other like siblings and often fight like siblings too.

I hope you enjoy… and keep in mind as you watch that we’ll be transforming the pond into something more landscaped in the next few weeks. Our newest project.

Taz and Jackson: Big Bear Fighting May 2012

Testing to make sure that Taz’s Licker isn’t broken.

In early March we had a warm snap that brought all the gold fish to the surface of the pond. You can see it hasn’t gotten green yet and Gus still has all his fur!

This farm has gone to the dogs! Several visitors come to enjoy the fresh green grass, ample shade and big pond. Cameo by Stewie and Madeline. Excellent shot of Gus and his new found contentment.

Stewie (Billy’s Dog) spends nearly thirty minutes trying to pull a water logged – log out of the pond. Billy ended up pulling it out the last 2 feet, but he gave it his best shot!

Glad to be back in the saddle writing again, but it really in time to get back in the saddle!

 

Still on the Shih Tzu topic…

It might be easier to reason with a two year old human child, but here I am trying to talk some sense into Super Taz.

Just to keep with the crazy of the day I tried to video tape gold fish. Sometimes I wonder who really has all the marbles here on the farm. That little doll house is the building I moved all by myself… well, except for the help of the backhoe and a long chain.

This day is already completely silly, so here’s Brent joining into the the lack of sanity on the farm.

 

Its a Shih Tzu Thing

The tenacity of a shih tzu is often underestimated due to their small size. I have several shih tzus and each has their own personality.

My Poco is a shy reserved fellow who only sounds the alarm at real trouble, otherwise he’s happy to nap in his heated bed under the desk where he often goes unseen. He isn’t that fond of strangers and has a grave dislike for children, but he loves Brent. As an ex-navy seal he has some mad skills that are concealed under his quiet demeanor. It’s hard to believe all this when you watch him chase his tail.

Jackson is the sweet baby who’s a bit of a mama’s boy, but will cuddle on the lap of someone familiar. He sleeps curled next to me every night and does an incredible job of stretching in the morning. If we could all do yoga like Jackson our flexibility would dramatically improve. Jax does have a sassy side when stealing toys from his siblings or guarding his mommy against visiting dogs. He is rough and tumble with his big sister and we’re happy to have big bear fighting the house again.

Super Taz is our first shih poo and we’ve had her since she was a wee pup at seven weeks old. She is all sass. I’m sure she would have spent some time in jail for mischief if she was human. She often becomes single minded in her quest for kibble, toys or big diesel trucks that travel past her house. That’s right. It’s her house.

Christmas Videos

Children make the magic on Christmas morning. The shining joy on their faces and the pureness of their spirit. I would never argue the truth behind those statements, but often there are other unencumbered souls who share the joy and magic of Christmas. For our family nothing makes Christmas more entertaining than puppies opening presents…

… and getting treats thanks to GE and GB!

Gifts from the California Kitty Lindhursts.  We were grateful to get gifts from our feline relatives in California and the puppies showed their joy at the squeaks! My floors are happily covered in squirrels.

And finally… the last gift on Boxing Day! We saved one gift under the tree for boxing day and Taz didn’t waste any time trying to tear it open. Can you imagine if she weighted eighty pounds?

Christmas was filled with special moments. We did share a particularly amusing moment when Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Brian gave the puppies a six pack of little tennis balls. We opened the package while sitting on the floor and threw all the balls at once. It was puppy craziness, but we were all too busy playing to grab the video camera.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays.

 

Trip to the Vet

I’ve been a little afraid to write since the whole page about Gizmo. I’ve been afraid to come visit this website and I forgot for a few days that I did write, but I can never forget for long. I start to miss writing. I start to miss the cathartic feel of the keyboard beneath my fingers.

I took Jackson to the vet for the first time today. He was so sweet and sadly so afraid. The good news is that he’s heartworm negative and we’re waiting on his titers for the vaccines. I don’t know that he’s had the necessary boosters and I don’t want to over vaccinate, so I decided to spend the $80 to see what he needs. He has his rabies and that’s all that’s needed to cross the US/Canada border.

I advocate vaccinating your pets, but the problem with the little ones is they don’t take over vaccinating very well. Their small systems can’t handle all the drugs, especially their liver. Super Taz has Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia and we’re very careful what medications get into her system. She has nearly died a few times when we didn’t know what was wrong post surgery or while on any pain relief.

Just like people we need to be advocates for our pets. We need to do the research and not count on anyone else to know more. Nobody knows your dog like you know your dog.

I can tell the difference between a harmless sneeze and a bad cough. I know when Taz is having a little separation anxiety verses a severe care of gastroenteritis. I know my dogs.

The dogs are a lot like toddlers or babies who can’t tell you what’s wrong, but if more doctors listened to parents there would be far more accurate diagnoses.

I took Jackson to a friend who is a vet in the states. We’re so close to the border that we’d be stupid not to take advantage of the savings. It’s about 30%-40% cheaper than going to a Canadian Vet. I’ll still keep my Canadian vet, but for certain things it’s worth it.

Best Emergency Vet Care? Orchard Park Animal Hospital. Affordable and Effective. Don’t hesitate and don’t go to St Catharines. Please. For your pet’s sake and your pocketbook. Go to Orchard Park. http://www.opvmc.com/

I got a call from the vet and it turns out Jackson’s titers are perfect. He doesn’t need any vaccines. I’m glad I did titers on this adorable little guy rather than blindly inject him with things he doesn’t need.

Taz was at the vets earlier in the week with an upper respiratory infection. I had no idea dogs could get head colds, but it turns out they can and it’s rare. Of course Taz would get one. She’s been on antibiotics and eye drops for a few days and seems much better. Phew…

My horse Autumn has also been under the weather. She has a history of COPD or heaves which is a breathing disorder. Turns out the COPD is worsened by a bout of pneumonia. After a few rounds of antibiotics and steroids she’s doing much better. She’s nearly twenty and we want to keep her happy and comfortable. Turns out I should be able to ride her again soon.

For christmas this year all my animals are getting antibiotics.

 

 

D-fa Dog Coats

Every year I get the dogs new winter coats. Do they need them? No. Do I love shopping for them? Yes. This year we found D-fa Dog (say it fast: D is for Dog) and fell in love with the language on their website and their well made product. The striking photos of the most beautiful black lab in a shocking red coat help the marketing as does the hip language and exotic allure of New Zealand.

http://www.d-fa.com/

We got the coats in the mail and they clearly aren’t made for super little guys, but with a few alterations they’ll fit. I love the Ice-Barker made from 100% merino wool from New Zealand. It’s made for the older guy who might have some cold weather joint pain. Perfect for my aging Poco.

I though the puffy coat would be perfect for my Super Taz Adventure Princess Puppy Dog who will stay outside in the freezing cold until she shivers and sneezes. Unfortunately, the puffy coat is a little too big for the delicate Princess, but D-fa has offered to custom make one just for her.

The Sub-Woofer seemed like the perfect coat for Jackson who doesn’t stay out any longer than is necessary. It’s a soft shell coat made of synthetic materials that is super light. It’s like he’s wearing nothing at all. It’s a bit too big, but we’re hoping Aunt Carolyn will shorten the back a bit.

Her name is Angela and she’s fantastic. She’s a customer service rep for D-fa Dogs and has offered to do any alterations and make any exchanges to make the coats fit my wee adventurers.

For Poco we’re trading in the P2 for the P1 (smaller) Ice-Barker and it should fit perfect. Poco weights about 11 pounds the P1 is a perfect fit with no alterations required. If you’re little ones are ten pounds the P1 should fit.

For Taz D-fa Dog is customizing a Puffy Coat just for her at no charge (they’re even covering shipping). The Puffy coat is super light weight, water resistant and incredibly warm. It will be perfect for long winter days on cat patrol.

Jackson got the Sub-Woofer which fits the smallest of all the dog coats. Jax weights about 7 pounds and the only alteration needed is to shorted the back. I’m going to take this to Aunt Carolyn to get it shortened (rather than risk eye injury if I tried to sew). He looks incredibly sharp in the bright red, light weight coat.

I’m very happy with the customer service of D-fa Dog. I would highly recommend their products and their company. If you’ve got a dog that needs a sturdy, well made, lightweight coat that won’t make them look like a sissy check out www.d-fadog.com

 

Simba vs Jax

Big dogs seem to think they are top of the pack, but Jax shows us that regardless of size some behaviour is simply unacceptable. I was concerned Simba might hurt our little guy, but he was not to be belittled or bullied.

Simba is no longer afraid of little dogs and Jax is willing to teach him the difference between playing and fighting. I think…

There has been a fair number of posts about the dogs lately, but the reality is there’s been a fair number of dogs in my world right now.

My own Dog Park

There was a heavy dark cloud of grief hanging over the farm after Gizmo died and the farm was very quiet and sad. Having only two dogs in the house made it very very quiet.

Taz and Poco are two of the easiest dogs to look after. They will free feed, so never wake me up for breakfast or dinner. They can use the dog door, so I never have to take them outside. They are both completely house broken. Neither require walks, although they do enjoy investigating new places. Except for the occasional cat patrol barking from Taz it was quiet.

Jackson arrived at the farm on Canadian Thanksgiving and he needed care. He’s still getting the hang of housebreaking and has to be taken out regularly even though he can work the dog door. He does free feed, but loves to eat and will wake me up in the morning for breakfast. The stairs seem so big and elusive, so Jax will sit at the bottom and bark to go to bed or at the top and bark to come down. He needs to be cuddle and loved. He needs reassurance and attention.

A few weeks later Simba came for an extended stay. A big dog with big dog mess and big dog fun. Simba is completely house broken and will free feed. He’ll sleep, but does get restless and wants to play in the early morning. He manages to squeeze out the dog door and needs a good walk everyday to prevent general craziness.

A week after Simba came to visit the CCRT called and asked if we could foster Pepito. He’s a chihuahua / italian greyhound cross who is an easy keeper. He will free feed and loves to sleep all day long. He has the hang of the dog door, but was only neutered a week ago, so he still marks. Luckily, he only marks in the back porch and not the house anymore.

From two to five in a month. I’ve got my own dog park and race track.

After a long day of racing around the farm we end with a nice dinner. Every few weeks Brent and I make dog food. It’s chicken and vegetables done in the crock pot and we then put it through a food processor and mush it up a bit. We were using a new food processor and ended up with chicken bits all over the counter. What better way to clean up then to let the dogs do it?

Don’t worry we cleaned everything with extra vinegar. Maybe you want to pick up a pizza and wings if you’re on your way to the farm for dinner?? It’s not a place for the squeamish.

 

 

Puppy Night In

You can learn so much hanging with the dogs. You can learn to sigh deeply when you find that comfortable spot on the couch. You can learn to play with all your heart and wag your whole body when you’re happy. You can learn to correct your friends with kindness remembering not to bite when only a growl will do. You can learn to pee outside, greet your friends with enthusiasm, let the wind blow in your hair and don’t be afraid to cuddle on the couch. You learn it’s best to stretch before getting up, let people touch you, eat with gusto and bond with your pack.

Brent in relaxation puppy class

My good friend Tanya sent me an email last Saturday asking if I was planning on having a puppy night in. An idea had never sounded so appealing. Tanya smartly brought an overnight bag as we dug enthusiastically into the red wine and nachos that Brent was kind enough to make.

We talked about life, work, family and our favorite topic: the dogs. As we told stories about our four legged friends it was nice to caress the head of the dog we were telling the story about.

I think she's got the idea of "relaxing"

It’s surprising how quiet it can be with eight dogs comfortably ensconced with three adults in a century farm house. We never turned on the TV or played any games. We sat and talked. We cuddled puppies, played with puppies, went for periodic walks outside and drank some excellent red wine.

I like to stretch out. The dog behind me is pretty big, but managed to squeeze in behind me.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday night. If you ever want to come to the farm ask if I’m having a “puppy night in” and I’ll happily change my plans to hang with you and the canines.

 

Big Bear Fighting

Taz and Gizmo had this unique way of playing. They would both stand on their hind legs and hop towards each other until they embraced and then they’d try to bite whatever they could reach. It looked like two tiny bears fighting.

Taz and Jax don’t have that quite of an animated relationship when it comes to playing, but they have their own style that looks a lot like big bear fighting.

A few days ago they had their first episode and I managed to catch it on film. I hope it makes you giggle as much as it made me laugh out loud.

Please enjoy round one of Big Bear Fighting.

Big Bear Fighting on You Tube