Painting with a puppy

We’ve come up with a new saying. When something turns out to be harder than it should, “That’s like painting with a puppy.”

We packed the car and hit to road with Winn to go to my mom’s house in Southeast Colorado.  She lives in a very small, rural town and wants to sell her house, downsize and move closer to one of her children.

Her house is a beautiful, old, brick Georgian style home that needed a fresh coat of paint on the interior along with some other repairs. We had a very long list to accomplish and I’m happy to say that we got almost everything done but I had to repaint a few areas several times because Winn would be right behind me rubbing against it and licking it.IMG_2444

When I was on the ladder she was always right beneath me.IMG_2486

When she got bored, she would start to cruise around, taking things she knew I would need in order to get my attention.  She grabbed my gloves, paint rollers, garbage bags, my empty coffee cup, and as often as possible, a roll of paper towels.IMG_2659.jpg

Since she wanted to always be near, I finally tied her to a radiator pipe so that she could see me but not disrupt my painting progress.IMG_2473

I took lots of breaks when she was feeling restless and was most productive while she napped. She loved my mom’s yard, romped through her lily patch, played in the sprinkler and ran around when she got the zoomies.IMG_2500.jpg

 

 

 

It took a week but we accomplished what we set out to do. Her house looks beautiful and is ready to show!

IMG_2535

 

Winn’s fist road trip (in pictures)

IMG_2351Iowa has really beautiful rest stops.

The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, NE.

First time staying in a hotel.

IMG_2429Loving the rural setting among the corn fields.

We visited old friends and found the Richthofen Castle in Denver, built by the uncle and godfather of “The Red Barron”.  It is alleged to be haunted due to an onsite TB sanitarium and a sensational murder in 1911.

IMG_2575Winn had her first patio dining experience.

We did a little shopping and were mesmerized by all of the western style boots.

IMG_2352

She was very patient in between stops,

IMG_2580

and sat up periodically to gaze out of the window.

IMG_2578Our final check out before heading home, we are all ready to sleep in our own beds!

Next up: The purpose of our road trip and painting with a puppy.

Our photo shoot

A year ago I started this blog primarily as a way to tell Annie’s story.  I didn’t know what more I would add, if I would have much more to say or even what other direction it might take.  I figured I would give it a try and then re-evaluate in a year, if I was even still posting.

Much to my surprise, I still find things to write about since as probably any pet owner will tell you, there are always funny moments and observations when you share your life with animals.   I’m enjoying this process of discovering my “voice” on the blog and decided I’d like to have a better picture on the main page that would represent who we are.  I also wanted to capture this special time of Winn being added to our family.  Newfoundland Dogs grow so quickly I knew it would seem like I blinked and her puppyness would be gone forever.

I loaded everyone into the car for the first time (they all fit, hooray) and we headed into the city to meet Liz Wallace a pet photographer.  I had met her last summer at a Newfoundland get together and I loved the pictures she had taken of Annie and Maisie.

IMG_1486

It was a beautiful day, there weren’t too many people at the park and Liz was so patient and gave each of them her undivided attention. Maisie has always been easy to photograph, Annie and Winn were more of a challenge because Annie stays close to my side when we are away from home and I had only just begun to train Winn on the basic commands.  NewfGirlsWeb-1NewfGirlsWeb-14NewfGirlsWeb-56

We did some walking:

NewfGirlsWeb-22

We found a shady spot to rest where Winn gave everybody kisses (she also did clean up duty bringing me a straw, a paper cup and a dead bird):

We had a few breaks for slobber maintenance:

We watched Winn play in the grass:

NewfGirlsWeb-33

Then we finished up close to the water:

NewfGirlsWeb-88

I didn’t know what to expect and gave Liz very little direction.  I really didn’t want to be in the pictures and wanted a group shot of the three of them.  She took some more pictures as we were walking back to the car, and I knew when I saw it that this was the one. I’m so glad I trusted her to just keep shooting!NewfGirlsWeb-124

This is not a race!

I have always loved exuberant eaters. Babies, kids, adults, dogs. Bailey loved food so much that she would race through her meal hoping for seconds.  Charley became a fast eater because he didn’t want Bailey to get his food.  Even though it was entertaining, it’s not good for them so I was very relieved when Maisie did not do this.  In fact she is the opposite, she’s the first dog I’ve ever had that will walk away from her bowl when she’s finished even if that means there is still food left!

Now we find ourselves back in a familiar situation.  Annie loves her food but she doesn’t have all of her teeth so that slows her down to a healthy rate.  She generally finishes before Maisie, but will stand patiently by her side and wait to see if she can claim any leftovers. I would put Winn in the fast eater category.  Recently she seems to be speeding up so that she finishes first. I’ve caught her shoving her head into Annie’s bowl, obviously this not good for so many reasons.  (Maisie now eats in her crate because she didn’t like the pressure of having the other two watching her after they were done.)

I’ve always been terrified that one of my dogs will get bloat.  It’s a deadly condition that primarily happens in big dogs and eating too fast is thought to be one of the causes. You can read more about it here.  It’s such a concern that my vet was telling me about a technique that can be done to tack her stomach so it won’t twist if she does bloat.  I need to do more research about this and it would be done while she has her spay surgery but we won’t be doing that until she is over a year old so I’ve got time to decide.

Eating slowly is better for dogs. A slow eater is at less risk for bloat and obesity.  One of the ways to slow down a fast eater is with a puzzle bowl.  I first noticed them a couple of years ago and wished I had gotten one for Bailey. Since I want her to have healthy habits, I got one for Winn.   This bowl style challenges them and allows them to eat like they would in nature by using foraging techniques. IMG_2203

So far I would call it a success.  This morning Annie finished eating and let herself out and Winn was still eating.  It doesn’t seem to frustrate her.  She uses her nose and tongue  and spins around to change angles.  I just hope she doesn’t get too dizzy while she eats!

a shared life with our very large dogs

%d bloggers like this: