Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Close encounters of the kitty kind

It wasn't planned.  Luna was on the deck doing her sunbathing.  I didn't realize she was out there.  Tucker was released from his puppy pen, did his "business" out on the lawn and allowed his freedom in the kitchen which has access to our deck on that side of our house.  Tucker learned how the doggie door works and can let himself in and out, which he finds quite entertaining.

He goes out and begins his puppy play when I hear this kitty hiss.  There is Luna walking as slow as possible (smart kitty!) trying to make her way to the doggie door to escape this creature she sees on her deck.  (Any one with kitties knows that they think they own the home and we merely reside here to do as they bid).  

Tucker is staring at this odd looking pup (to him) and doesn't jump, bark or move.  Just stares.  Waiting.  The game of puppy pounce could be imminent!  Luna is growling and looks back with warning to Tucker.  Back off!  I am sure that between Luna and Stewie that they feel this little puff ball will be leaving and the sooner the better.  They can't go into the kitchen or deck without passing through a gate.  

Tucker just stares.

Luna manages to escape and dash off to safer zones where she knows brilliantly that the puff ball can not go.  Yes, she knows.  She, after all, is a kitty.  Supreme thinker of her domain.

Stewie has found that he is fed up with the boarder.  He huddles on the couch in the evening, observing inconspicuously with one eye, of the play going on below in his "Man Room", the room he always has couch time with his mom and dad.  Now dad is on the floor with that puff ball yapper.   Mom sits with Stewie, finding that sitting on the floor to watch TV straining on her neck.  Stewie and I cuddle.  He isn't buying it all yet.  That we love him as much as we always have.  That we are falling in love with little Tucker too and have room in our hearts for both of them.  No, Stewie isn't there yet. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Play + Fun = Happy Pup!

Tucker has had much to do this past week.  He wants to be busy and active and that means Tim and I  have to think of what we can offer Tucker to do.  Chew toys are fine but outside he wants to run around and play.  He can also get into trouble by pulling up the grass which we frown upon.  He can find the smallest rocks or twigs and take off with them as well.  So what to do?

Being a herding breed, a ball was perfect.  We have this game of dog soccer where I kick the ball and Tucker follows it, stops it, and oddly enough, sometimes puts his paw on it.  Most times the ball is faster than him but he always lays down when it "stops" and "waits" to see what happens.  That means I come and kick it again and the game starts over. He can do this for quite awhile till I can tell he is "tuckered" out and we take a break.

Next I remembered we had a pop open tunnel that Ryan use to use and I brought that out.  First agility game!  He caught on to the going through the tunnel with ease.  He also likes to roll it by standing against the side and walking on his back legs.  Pretty funny to watch.  

Sometimes he crawls inside and just lays there.


As for Stewie....he is little by little getting use to Tucker.  He does quite a bit of the lip curl but less than he use to.  Puppies have a lot of energy and an older dog can tolerate only so much, so I do often let Stewie have his own time away from Tucker.  I do laugh at Stewie because when the puppy pen is open he does go in there and lays down on Tucker's bed.  Often bringing the puppy toys in with him.  I guess he is trying to let Tucker know it is not all his.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A question of identity...or what will I look like

Sheltie's come in different colors.  Our past Sheltie's have been sable, which as they matured, all three had dark overlay to their coats.  When I saw the write up and talked to Tucker's breeder I did not fully understand when she said he was a sable merle.  I heard sable and assumed that he would be like our past Shelties.

This is Tucker's dad who is a blue merle.

Tucker's dad Nova

His mom is sable.  So what does this mean for Tucker?  What will he look like?  He won't look like dad.  Right now he is a lighter shade of sable with some hint of shading like any other sable.  His ears give away his merle breeding, which have a silver, grey tint to them as well as some of this same shade on a bit of his tail.  Also his one eye has blue on the outer rim.  This would be a fault it I wanted to show him for confirmation which I don't intend to do.  They are not allowed to have blue eyes, yet this is what is easy to have happen in a breeding with a sable and a blue merle.  Now I have read that a breeding a blue merle to a sable is not a good thing as the potential is to have then sable merle's which doesn't seem to be what a breeder wants.  In fact I read that a blue should only be bred to a black (tri or bi).  Hhhmmmm......So I learned that and wonder then why did Tucker's breeder do this.  She obviously has bred many dogs over time and what was the goal of this litter?  Of the litter there was one blue merle (like dad), one tri, three sable merle's, and one homozygous (which is a pup almost all white, this put had a sable color head and the rest of his body white), and two sable's.  The two sable's had the coloring that I remembered from our past sheltie's with a much darker shade of sable.

An example of a sable merle

Okay, it doesn't matter to me because he is just a cutie-pie.  He has the best outgoing personality and isn't scared of anything.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ah come on...just play with me!

You know how a picture tells a story?  So you can see how Tucker is just waiting for a bit of playtime but Stewie....oh Stewie's body language is a clear "NO!".  Our unhappy camper.  

Actually this is good.  It teaches Tucker to understand where he stands in the house.  Stewie is the Alpha-dog and wants to make it clear.  He makes the decision to play or not.  Tucker learns that this guy is not a puppy let alone like his brothers and sisters.  I give a lot of credit to Tucker.  He doesn't stop and Stewie doesn't either.  Well, he did run out to the lawn all happy for all of 5 seconds then he did the snarly lip and came back to the back screen door.  Tucker he just is too happy to let anyone or anything ruin his moment of play.  Pure play of joyful bouncing around.


When I first brought Tucker home we right away went to our back lawn.  It was clear he had never been on grass.  He wobbled around like a little drunk, falling left and right, sitting on his wee little tush.  Success he did a wee little tinkle and I scooped him up with much praise.

I brought him into our kitchen where we have our makeshift puppy pen.  Stewie observed all this with one eye my way and one eye to Tucker.  His look was "who is this?"  Tucker came up to sniff through the pen at Stewie who stalked off.  Okay....not exactly being hospitable.

I tried to keep the rest of the day quiet for our new family member to let him settle in.  I took him outside to do "his business" and he was successful every time.  Yeah!!!  Stewie would come out with us and he got the big praise too, though he took it with confusion of why I was giving him the verbal high five for something he just does.  Little Tucker would walk so slowly around the yard trying to figure out this green stuff under his feet.  It was like he couldn't decide to like it our not.

Amazing how a puppy adapts.  Within 24 hours he was walking around on the green grass with ease.  The step up onto our deck was another story.  He hadn't done steps either.  He'd try to go up and sometimes roll over backwards.  He'd get up and do it all over again and then he was up walking on the wood deck.  More new stuff.  Lot's to potentially chew on.  I had to give him the "No" every time that happened.

Stewie still was giving him the "stink eye".  The first night Stewie couldn't understand why we didn't hurry up to the "Man room" for TV time after dinner like we always do.  Stewie loves TV, especially any animal shows.  Don't you watch TV with your pooch?  His look was "Hey what gives?"  Here we were sitting on the kitchen floor getting to know Tucker, trying to get Stewie to come in too and he was just not interested.

I expected this.  It's not going to happen right away.  In fact, I don't expect much for even a month.  Patience.  Lot's of love and patience.  Oh, and let a silly puppy mature and understand doggy boundaries helps.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet Tucker

      Meet Tucker.

      Tim and I decided we wanted to add a new pup to the family following Annie's passing in July.  Too quiet in the house and Stewie was quite obviously missing a pal.  Stewie was beginning to lose rank with our kitty Luna, who had begun to chase after him when he was within striking distance.  Something that did not happen while Annie was in the house.

     I began researching and for awhile we seriously were looking into another Golden.  Tim loved our walks with Annie side by side and Stewie with me.  They had a similar pace with their long legs and I walk much slower so Stewie and I had our pace.  Hey shorter legs just have to go the speed they go!

    In the back of my mind I was thinking that we had had two Golden's die of cancer.  Cancer seems to be a prominent issue for Golden's I have discovered.  I just wasn't ready for this possibility.  I hope that Golden breeder's can somehow work on their lines and narrow down those that are having more cancer and not breed them.

   I brought up about Shelties which we have had before.  They are so smart and have few health problems.  Quick to housebreak as they just want to please you.  Cheerful and sweet.  I have missed my Sheltie's with Jessie being gone.  I began emailing breeders for litters, knowing that we did not want to bring a pup into our home till after my return from Italy.  

    We thought at earliest it would be the end of October with some litters to be not due till December and January.  A week after I got back I checked our Northern California Shetland Sheepdog Association which had a new listing for some 8 week old pups.   

    And there we go.....driving out on a Saturday afternoon we sat amidst a playful litter of puppies and there were three we liked.  Oddly enough between Tim, Ryan and myself we liked two of the same ones.  We narrowed down from the two and then to one. We must have been there playing for two hours talking with the breeder getting many puppy licks.  Too cute watching them romp, bark, chew on show laces, sleep and jump.  Ryan had forgotten how much fun little pups could be.

    Four days later I went to pick up our little boy.  We had gone through a list of names ahead of his arrival and unanimously liked the name Tucker. 

    Stewie was less than thrilled with the arrival of Tucker.  I expected this.  It takes time and patience for dogs to bond.  


A poochie blog?  Yep. 

I thought for fun that I would write one since pets are such an important part of our family.  Goodness only knows that we have had plenty since Tim and I have been married.  Why not?

That and we have added to the family!  Yes, we have a new little Shetland Sheepdog pup all of 8 weeks old.  A bit like taking care of a wee baby.  Back to being woken up in the night, sigh...this too shall pass.

If you like animals then I am sure you will enjoy some reading time here.  Grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit back.  

Pupparoos!?  Wondering where that came from?  My little endearment I have used for greeting our pups when I am with them.  That is plural for all and Pupperoo is for singular.  When you have pets you can come up with some silly names (you know you have too!).  Time will reveal all my besotted names for them....that and remembering what life is like with a puppy and how the blending of established pets and a new one happen.