Monday, December 21, 2009

And then there was two...

Well, I am back down to two dogs. Miss Molly left yesterday for what will hopefully be her forever home. The people are amazing and she will be loved there. Not too bad for former stray and nameless beauty!
So, now it's just Spike and Sophie and I until Dec 27th or 28th when I will be bringing home the next puppies. :) Yeah for puppies!  And, in the meantime, Spike and Sophie are taking a trip to their favourite home away from home (aside from Grandma's house!), Rebecca's of The Poop Guys.  Me, I am heading off to Alberta to enjoy some time with the fam before returning here to collect my new puppies.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas all and stay tuned for puppy pics!
I'll leave you with a fav shot from the summer....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ramblings on a quiet Sunday morning

I have been thinking on this lovely quiet Sunday Morning. Molly has put herself in her crate to chew rawhide. Spike is lying at my feet, Sophie is napping at the back door. And, life is good, so I take a few minutes for a coffee, remember how blessed I am and work on tidying up my office before I head out the door for a coffee with a friend, to stock up on some dog food (patties are easiest) before the dogs go to the kennel next week and to hit Walmart (this WILL be a mistake, just days before Christmas!).

Anyway, as I laze around the house and think about life, I realize I feel pretty darn good to be involved with New Hope Dog Rescue. It's an all breed rescue, out of Saskatoon and we do good work- or at least we try to do good work. It's not always easy and I struggle with many of the dogs who we are asked to take; where do we put them all? And, in the midst of thinking about all of this, I have realized quite recently there seems to be a huge number of retriever like dogs coming up for rescue. Retrievers are not necessarily easy breeds. People love labs because they love people so much. And, they are good with kids- well, they are supposed to be! But, what people don't realize is the amount of work labs need; they are high energy dogs requiring very specific training work to keep them in line (just ask me about that one! How many mistakes have I made with Sophie?!?) And they are goofy and brainless for a LONG time (just ask me, I live  with Sophie!). So, people get them and quickly get overwhelmed by their strength and sheer exuberance for living; which in a poorly exercised lab is often too much for people. New Hope can't keep up with all the dogs coming through our doors, so I am quickly getting to the point where I wonder if it's time for a Retriever rescue in this province? How do I go about setting one up? How do I network to get help? Where do I start?

All I know is I see the need and I want to do something, but this project could be overwhelming. I feel compelled to try at least. Ah, life... it's complicated, isn't it??

Friday, December 18, 2009

These might just be the last shots of Molly, as my Miss Molly

Well it's true. Miss Molly is meeting a family tomorrow.  I can tell you this much; they better be exceptional or I won't be letting her go. I have already shed a few tears (this is a first!) over her leaving my house. In the week Molly has been here, she has fit in seamlessly and quietly, with no fuss. And, I have fallen completely for her charming, happy self. I am questioning myself as to why I am letting her go. She is part hound which isn't a problem except her nose is on the ground all the time. Great for search and rescue and tracking, not so great for flyball and agility. And that scares me a little; she doesn't fit into my training goals. And, if I give her up, I can open my home to more fosters. If she stays, it makes it much, much harder as that becomes four dogs when I have a foster here. But, I love her so much, this is really a tough one!  You better believe, I'll cry a little when she goes because I will miss my Molly girl lots.

My rawhide queen, chomping down, as I tackle some much needed housework.

"Ah, leave me alone" she mumbles after I take her rawhide to make her look at the camera.

Pure bliss on those poor sore gums. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The demise of the Christmas Tree, 2009, Part 1

Every year it happens. I set the 5 foot tree up, in the living room, step back to look at my handiwork and sigh, knowing it just won't last. And, every year a rampaging gaggle of dogs come rough housing through my living room and the tree goes flying. This year is no exception. Well, a tiny one. This year all it took was the sweet little Molly, walking underneath the tree, wagging her tail, and over it went. Sigh. So, redecorating, I did do.

Miss Molly is a great puppy, not one to roughhouse in the living room like certain other fosters I have had. She is a bit more respectful that way. And, she is totally innocent, she would like you to believe!

See, there is no look of evil plotting there... well, maybe her so very concerned, wrinkly face look of, "Ah, c'mon, I am trying to nap here!"

Anyway, with no further ado, let me present my tree.

Yes, it's true. It's a mess. I sighed, then laughed, because, honestly this happens. EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Molly, checking it out... "I didn't do that, did I?"

Ornaments, strewn about. Sad, isn't it?

See, only about half the branches are down. Not bad, not bad. Didn't take that long to redecorate, although I have to admit, it never looks as good the second or third time of the season.

Molly, back to resuming her normal play duties.  All in a day's work! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod... AKA, introducing Miss Molly!

There's a new girl in town, and she looks just like Sophie did, at that age. She's a four month old, Lab mix of some sort. Being that neither parent is known as she was cruelly dumped at the tender age of three months at some nice lady's acreage, it's really hard to say what Molly is. Maybe part hound?

In any case, bringing new dogs into the house is a little risky with my clan. Spike generally ignores all new dogs at  this point, prefering instead to cuddle up as if to say, "please don't forget me Mom, with this new head to pat!"  But, Sophie, well Sophie.... all puppies must get through the chaos called Sophie. She insists on investigating each puppy, top to bottom. With this one, she took one sniff, was down on her belly, gave a big kiss, then walked away.  Since, Sophie has been intent on reminding said puppy who's boss, by sniffing her whenever she wants and well, humping. It's a little embarrassing, and I am truly embarrassed for my girl, but what can you do?

Anyway, new puppy really DOES fit here (well except her massive 4 month old, 33 pound body!).... check out this...

She does look a little concerned, doesn't she? I would be too, if I was forced to be sniffed by Sophie. Sophie, is a tad enthusiastic in her duties, which for a weaker pup might just scare them out of this house. Not Molly, she is merely interested in chewing and plotting ways to overthrow Sophie.

I must chew, I must CHEW!  I guess if my baby teeth were popping out, I would want to chew too!

Yum, Yum, I love this rawhidey goodness!

Two peas in a pod... images of Molly to come (except I am sure she will be twice the size of Sophie at full grown. Or maybe three times. She is one solid, 33 pound puppy!)

Synchronized chewing.

And where's Spike in all this, you ask? Nestled as close to me as possible, hoping to not get left out of the cuddles!

Poor Spike, this morning, I swear he looked at me and said "You promised me the next would be a boy. And, my kind, not HER kind. C'mon mom, where's the Border Collies?  Another lab, really??"  LOL, poor baby!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spike's horrible flyball pratice but great box turn!

Last week at Flyball, Spike was horrible. I have no idea why, but we were practice passing and my boy panicked when he couldn't see me, as the next dog to run was in the way. The building we practice in is not meant for flyball in the least, and the "lane" we were in is next to a flight of stairs, leading off to the loft. There is an approximately 3 foot gate blocking said stairs. Spike, in his panic, flew over the three foot gate, without even touching a paw on it, and landed on the stairs heading up. Not shabby! However, he pulled up lame in the next run or two. Shocking I know, considering he probably jarred the heck out of this shoulders. He was fine in time for agility that afternoon, but certainly he scared himself and me. In any case, in the midst of a lousy practice where Spike walked over jumps and refused others, we still managed to video his box turn. I am quite proud of my boy!!

Spike's box turn, on youtube

Spike's box turn, #2

I wish I knew how to do that lovely Youtube clip, right in the blog (if you know how, please tell me! :) ).  And, I'll save you the clip of Spike barking like a maniac before running... he LOVES his flyball and loves to tell everyone that!!  Anyway, yup, the things I do on a weekend, it's all good!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How do you say no?

I rescue. It's just part of what makes me uniquely me when it comes to the dog front. I volunteer with a rescue organization called New Hope Dog Rescue, that works out of Saskatoon and within the last month or so, I have found myself in the unlikely position of intake coordinator. And, I am usually quite fine with it except on days like today.  How do you say no to a face like this??

This dog is named Rex and I am completely smitten with him. He is exactly the kind of border collie I want... black and white and oh so pretty.

Or this little cutie...

She is currently nameless and she is a stray the family just can't keep. And she looks JUST LIKE SOPHIE DID at that age. How do I say no?

How you ask?  I have 2, possibly 3 black bundles of joy coming to me in about 2 weeks as it is, for me to foster. How could I possibly rescue every single one of these dogs?  It's heartbreaking to look at those faces and know that they have no home. C'mon someone, help us out! Give Rex and Sophie look a like a home before I crack under the pressure. These have been the hardest for me to just say "Sorry, we have no room, they are going onto the waiting list" dogs for me.  I think it's because little one looks just like my girl and Rex, well Rex is all border collie and is so pretty. Sigh. One person can only do so much!

Sigh. I love rescue and I hate it.

Do I just have spoiled slugs??

So, you may wonder, where are the dog when I blog (or write papers for University, for that matter?)  Well, they are never far and it usually involves some sort of position like this:

Yup, there they, Spike cudded around the office door frame and Sophie right next to him. Of course, until the camera came out, her head was lying on his, so sweetly but I distracted her from the nap at hand.

Anyway, last night was cold. The dogs wore their new coats out just to protect Sophie's bad hips (and sometime I will have to tell you all about her PennHip results and what it means) and because Spike is wussy. So, yup, when they came in, and we were all cuddled up before bed, I realized the house was decidedly cold. Of course, I turn the heat way down at night, just so I sleep better. But, the dogs seemed even cold. So, spoiled slugs they are, sleeping happily away on my bed!

Spike looks so cozy, he didn't move from that position for a good hour (which is very unlike him. He rarely starts and ends the night on the bed. Usually he comes in about 4AM for cuddles, while Sophie is there all night).

And, Sophie getting over the "camera is out, I must wake up moment"

Nice life they lead, spoiled dogs. Of couse they were tired, post flyball accident (that's a post for next time too) and agility classes. But, they are spoiled, nontheless.