Tag Archives: puppy

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!

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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!

Welcome home baby Winn!

This last weekend was a joyous one.  Very early Saturday morning we began the journey to bring this sweet girl into our family.

We made it to our destination a little early and were rewarded with meeting the whole litter as they returned from getting their cardiac clearances.  They were a wiggly, fluffy  pile on this last day as a group. It was hard to tell where one stopped and the other started.

We helped transfer them all to their pen and then started the process of taking ownership of this special puppy.  It was a little emotional for all of us.  This was a big day full of changes and adjustments but I was so happy.

I did not make this decision lightly and had found this breeder about a year ago.  Adopting Annie had opened my eyes to the abuses of a careless breeder and I quickly learned about the differences in breeder techniques and how to find one that is ethical and doing it for the love of the breed and to support breed standards and health.

After a lot of behind the scenes research, which included referring to the NCA website and following their recommendations, talking to other Newfie owners and seeing a different breeders’ litter I decided I wanted to contact this breeder to start the next step of finding the right puppy.  Just as I needed to be comfortable with him, he also needed to be comfortable with me.  He would want to know what kind of home we had, what type of owner I am and how this puppy would be treated.  I would need his approval.

Annie has surprised me.  Once I figured out how old she was, I realized our time together would probably be shorter than I originally hoped.  Currently she shows no signs of decline, but with these big dogs I have learned that things can change pretty quickly so it seemed like the right time to start the process.

I took a leap and made the first contact in January.  I wanted to introduce myself and find out what his letter plans were for the year. I was hoping for late summer/early fall but he had just bred his girl. If she was pregnant she would be due in March and then she would retire.  His next litter wouldn’t be for 2 years because he would wait for his other girl to mature. I thought about it for about 2 seconds, and then decided I still wanted to pursue a puppy from this breeder, at this time if possible.  He couldn’t promise me anything.  There were other people ahead of me that had interest in this litter and he would have no way of knowing if there would be one for me until after they were born.

I’ve learned that if you wait for the perfect moment to do something, you might not recognize that moment when it appears.  There are always reasons and excuses to put something off, but I decided to seize this opportunity and felt like the positives outweighed the negatives.

I am so glad I made that decision that day. I was still hurting from the loss of my best friend.  She died Thanksgiving weekend, 3 weeks after receiving a Leukemia diagnosis.  On Jan. 2nd, my dad was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and I spent about 3 weeks in February with him while he went through radiation therapy but at the end of March, he took a turn and I rushed back to his side and stayed there until he passed away 4 days later.

I had hoped to bring the puppy for a visit at the end of May when my dad was supposed to have a scan to determine the success of his treatment. As I sat by his side, I shared pictures and updates with him as they came in from her breeder, and told him I would be naming her after the lake in New Hampshire that we both loved so much. My dad wasn’t able to talk, but I could read his face and knew that he was happy for me.  There is no way I could have known on that January day all that would transpire over the next several months, but having this sweet, fluffy puppy in my arms brings me the joy that I’ve recently been searching for.

This is Winn.  Her name is inspired by years of wonderful memories spent at my parents lake house and riding in my dad’s boat on Lake Winnipesaukee.  She is 10 weeks old and she makes our pack complete!IMG_0923