Jan 22 2009

Our Personal “Dog Whisperer”

Tag: pets,ResponsibilityDonna B. @ 1:27 am

We have hired a dog trainer to help us with our Great Pyrenees puppy, Maverick. He is not less affectionate, he is not more aggressive, but he is big. BIG. HUGE, in fact. In sheer affectionate joy, he can knock me over and walking him is not fun, it’s an exercise in who is strongest and he wins.

He is one and 1/2 months shy of a year old. He hates my mouse because he thinks I’m petting it instead of him. He loves hugs. He’s sweet.

He’s uncontrollable. And he barks incessantly.

Needless to say, my neighbors are not fond of his nocturnal barking. Nor would we be if we could hear it. Our neighbors have had their houses soundproofed by the Airport Authority as well as ours is… it is merely the location of their bedroom relative to our dogs’ pen that matters.

We really like our neighbors, for the most part. So, what to do. We like our dogs and we like our neighbors.

We’ve hired our own special “dog whisperer” to help us understand the needs of the dog as well as our own. His website — alldogscan.com – states his methods and goals for dog training.

So far, we’ve had only one lesson and Maverick has half way mastered “sit” “down” and “stand” and my husband has 1/3 mastered the training techniques.

Yes… the dog is smarter in this respect than my husband. Dog trainers will tell you that they train the owners more than they train dogs. This is, of course, because the owners are smarter! (I tell myself….)

Here’s our dog whisperer’s website – All Dogs Can


Dec 16 2008

Child-proofing and Dog-proofing

Tag: grandchildren,petsDonna B. @ 8:51 pm

My granddaughter will be here this weekend, so I’m giving thought to a bit of child-proofing. It’s only overnight as we’re all leaving for South Carolina the next day. Yet, I think I’ll move my blood pressure medicine to a higher shelf.

What I don’t really have to worry about with the granddaughter is making sure that chocolate, potatoes, bananas, and onions are out of her reach. So far tonight, Maverick, our Great Pyrenees puppy, has eaten a square of chocolate, obliterated an onion and potato and was last seen heading for the bananas. (He is not sleeping inside tonight.)

We measured him tonight and he’s 29″ tall at the front withers (at 9 months old). He was 26″ on Oct. 4. The dog is  huge. Whatever is on the table within a foot of the edge is easily reached without any straining. If he stands and stretches, nothing is out of his reach.

I have no idea what he weighs now (58 lbs in August), but I’m glad he’s a gentle and loving pup. I also hope that square of chocolate is not going to hurt him, though I was miffed that it was the last square of chocolate in the house. Darned dog. 


Oct 04 2008

Puppy Love

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 11:54 pm

twodogs.jpgjack.jpg

We’ve been trying to get a nice photo of both Jack and Maverick together. That’s even more difficult than getting a photo of all the grandchildren together!

Above left is the closest we’ve come and you have no idea how much effort this poor result took. Frankly, the dogs seem to be happiest when one’s nose is in the other’s butt.

The close-up on the right is Jack. We got him and his sister quite young from the pound. His sister, Jill succumbed to parvo.

While Jack was quite cuddly as a puppy, he’s now very independent and not enamored of petting and grooming. Oh, he’ll sit still for it a moment or two, then he’s off exploring.

Maverick will sit still to be petted until my arm is numb. He’s a “wet-mouth” dog and loves to be held closely which can get messy. I’ve learned not to cuddle him just after he’s had a drink or a meal.

Maverick is almost solid white, with a bit of light caramel coloring around the ears. His fur is soft and picks up every bit of trash in the yard. Jack has gone from being solid white as a puppy to having a blond coat of the German Shepherd type, resilient and resistant to most everything but Maverick’s slobber.

Jack is probably his full-grown size, about 24″ at the shoulder. Maverick is 4 1/2 months younger and 26″ at the shoulder. He’s obviously not “grown in” to his feet yet. He’s still puppy clumsy too, which at his size, is hilarious to watch.

I think they’ve had good influences on each other’s personalities. Jack is less of an energetic pain and Maverick is much more animated. They are good together.


Sep 16 2008

Meet My Maverick

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 1:37 am

maverick.jpgHe was born March 7, 2008. Until he came to live with us on August 27, 2008, he’d never seen the inside of a house, but loved to roll in the mud and water at an exotic animal petting zoo with a water buffalo. He’d also never been bathed and never been combed or groomed in any way at all. He was literally filthy and his coat smelled sour.

As we were told by the previous owners, this dog does not have an aggressive bone in his body. He’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever petted. His previous owners had named him Maverick and we decided to keep the name even though it really doesn’t fit him at all.

The first thing we did was have him groomed. This involved clipping his hair very, very short. And that’s why you haven’t seen a picture of him before now. His hair has finally grown out enough that he doesn’t look like a very large skinned rat with a cute face. I don’t really want to accuse the people we got him from of neglecting him… but they did.

My husband met Maverick’s mother and father, and I’d say he’s got a bit of growing to do. He weighed 58 lbs. on August 28. He’s grown at least 2 inches in height since then and put on a little meat around his ribs.

His breed is Great Pyrenees and he’s supposedly pure bred. You know what that means; either the mother or father isn’t pure bred or this dog doesn’t meet some kind of criteria that makes him breedable.

I know next to nothing about his previous owners, and frankly do not want to. I’m just glad we’ve got him now. Have I mentioned how sweet he is? And how eager to please us humans? Have I mentioned that he’s going to be a very big dog?

I can’t wait for his curly coat to grow back, because then he is going to be even more beautiful.


Apr 20 2008

Dog-tired

Tag: pets,photosDonna B. @ 10:27 pm

jackphoto.jpgThe vet’s best guess is that Jack was born near the end of November, so that makes him about 5 months old now. He weighs 40 lbs. and is energetically curious.

Here he is after a round of rough-housing and touring the yard finding all sorts of things we didn’t know were there.

I’m feeling sort of the same way about the Democratic primary.


Mar 20 2008

What’s Cuter Than A Wet Dog?

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 9:16 pm

jackbath.jpg

Our puppy, Jack, likes mud puddles which means bathing him is a necessity for letting him in the house.

Fortunately, he likes baths too. 

He gets his last rounds of puppy shots two weeks from now, which means we will be able to enroll him in “kindergarten” obedience classes.


Feb 19 2008

Puppy Update

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 1:30 pm

Sadly, Jill died the day after I flew to Arizona. Jack, however, is doing fine. He only stayed at the vet’s for one day. I took him to a new vet yesterday for more puppy shots and they say he’s doing fine. He’s gained 2 1/2 lbs in a little over 2 weeks and is much more coordinated.

My darling husband and sweet son spent the week I was in Arizona sanitizing the doghouse and pens. The vet had told us not to allow Jack to be on the grass for seven days, and after that not to allow him anywhere Jill might possibly have pooped or vomited until it was sanitized.

After reading about the hardiness of the Parvo virus, the only way to sanitize the outside dog areas we could come up with was fire. All the bedding, the insulating hay, etc., was raked out of the house (it’s huge – it used to be a storage building) and burned in the two smaller dog pens. There’s a huge pen (hubby built it for goats, but we never got any) that Jill had never been in, so at least Jack had a place to do his number. 

The front yard is the problem. Some of the leaves they both played in on the side of the house got burned, but we really didn’t want to burn the St. Augustine we’d recently spent so much money on getting thick and healthy again. So, our front yard is off-limits to puppies for a year. The vet said Jack could go there after he’s had all his puppy shots – in about 3 months.

In case you’re wondering why we went to a new vet after Jill died, it was not because she died, but because of the way the staff treated us. We’re quite sure they treated the dogs better, as this is the vet we’ve used for years. A message to all vets – and docs for humans too – surly staff drives people away.


Feb 04 2008

Dreaded Parvo

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 10:59 pm

One of our little puppies, the female, Jill may have Parvo. We’ve talked to the emergency vet twice tonight and will have her at our regular vet by 8am tomorrow, but it’s so sad to see a sweet playful little puppy so lethargic, so still that you have to check if she is still breathing.

I haven’t posted yet that we decided to name them Jack and Jill, have I? Bonnie & Clyde got vetoed by the hubby and Robin Hood and Maid Marian vetoed by my youngest daughter.

Hopefully Jill will be fine. We’ve been feeding her Pedialyte and watching very closely for other signs of Parvo beside vomiting and lethargy. Poor thing…

UPDATE: Jill definitely has Parvo and the vet kept Jack too because he’s likely got it, just a few days behind in incubation period. He really didn’t give us a lot of hope, though I just read that with treatment 80% of puppies survive Parvo, without 80% die.

I have to say the vet wasn’t quite that positive. It’s $150/day to treat the dogs and he said he wanted us to know up front that they may die anyway. I think he was especially worried about Jill, although she did not seem quite as lethargic this morning. That could be my wishful thinking, too.


Jan 30 2008

What I’ve been doing

Tag: petsDonna B. @ 7:28 pm

brother-sister.jpgbrother-sister.jpginstead of writing blog posts.brother-sister.jpg

Aren’t they cute? We are thinking about naming them Brother & Sister because we could not simply adopt one of them from the pound. Sister is on the right, if you can see her barely visible pink collar. One pound official says they are chow/retriever mix, another says husky/retriever mix. It doesn’t matter, they are both cuddly, the male more so than the female. And, dadgummitt, they are cute as can be.