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Life on the farm 2018

11-13-18

Sunday we went to my daughters award banquet. Kim has been riding x-race horses for the Steinmeyers for a few years now. As a child she was in pony club and we purchased one of their horses for her to ride in Pony Club. Holly was the DC for our local club. It is like 4 H only on steroids and a 100 times better. The kids DO have to take care of their own horse. The competitions can be just knowledge base, even if you don’t have a horse you can participate. Plus they work as a 4 to 5 kid group team for the competition. No parents allowed in the barn for the whole weekend of the competition. The kids have to do all the work on their own; cleaning stalls water buckets spotless, tack spotless, on time for each class…. Judges walk around giving scores on care, equally important as scores for riding! There are of course other adults handy to help if things the kids really need help, like if a horse gets loose, or someone gets sick, or hurt. Talk about teaching them real team skills. It teaches so much about team work and good sportsmanship.

Anyway, she only trail rode for a long time as her knees healed from a car accident, which had changed the course of her life at 17. When her children were a bit older her knees were almost back to normal. She started riding english again. John and Holly were so gracious to invite her out to ride their horses. John had stopped giving lessons for the most part. They were not racing like they had been and wanted the horses to start a career in 3 day eventing, show jumping, dressage, or hunters. They promote the Thoroughbreds terrific athletic ability to go on to be great competition horses in other fields if they have raced or not. So many people think once they have raced they are useless once done racing, Not at all true.

Long story not so short, Kim won the high point award for the Thoroughbreds Helping Thoroughbreds year end award! She didn’t even make it to many of the shows as her family is her #1 priority so she shows when she can. She just did so well she made more points then the other competitors!

I fully attribute it to the fact even as a child she had a thing with horses, made even better by her willingness to listen and learn! How many kids will actually listen to an instructor and then do as they say no matter how “wrong” it feels? On top of that her terrific lovely personality that she is there to teach the horse she rides what fun it is to be shown, and they don’t need to be scared. TB’s are a jumpy, fearful lot sometimes! She truly loves them and wants them to enjoy going for a ride. The horses she rides will follow her around and want her to pick them! She has a calming effect on them and can really get them to strut their stuff showing their true potential. I just love watching her ride these babies. At the beginning of the show year, they have never been to a show, they are jumpy, and oozing nervousness. By the end of the summer they are moving like a (baby) pro and ignoring so many of the scary things around them listening the the rider and just doing so well. Is like dancing.

It is such an honor to see her excel at her calling with horses.

Kim is my daughter who all does the puppy training. She is so calm and persistent, just like with the horses the puppies learn so much so fast and love to please. Families who use her service are all very happy with how easy their new puppy is!

Kim was here with the Farrier today to put shoes on the 2 horses who will be going camping over Thanksgiving weekend. The guys all trailer the horses to a state park, with  amenities, and have an all guy weekend of long trail rides and no doubt lots of eating at the lodge. My son Keith, son-in-law Justin, his father Tom, and several of their close friends all go. The horses seem to have a pretty good time too.

We have a couple horses the people who never ride can sit on and sort of steer. Mostly the horse just follows the one in front of it. The guys who know how to ride get to lead the way. Justin’s dad has been doing this trip for years, I think he started the tradition.

We have lots of puppies at the moment! Art is very busy keeping up with them, and I am doing emails and updates. Libby has been doing photos for me lately and it is so nice. She takes great pictures the way I like and she handles the puppies and plays with them also.

Libby is in school to be a therapy dog trainer. She also spends time here working with the rescued dogs we have to teach them skills they don’t have yet. The news set of 5 starving dogs, on the rescue page, are being taught to walk on a leash. She will also give lots of treats. It helps with socializing them and teaches a needed skill for when they hopefully get adopted. We have had them almost 2 weeks and the 3 skinniest have literally doubled in weight. Hard to imagine just how terrible close to starving to death they were. VERY tough little dogs, they have not been sick, no loose stools, nothing. Its quite shocking. I guess they would have died if they had been sensitive. The people said it was only the last few months they had no money and fell on  hard times. We are going back to take the 2 they kept in to be spayed so they don’t have more puppies, plus if they are skinny we will call the PD, as they were given lots of dog food and no reason the 2 remaining dogs would not have been fed.

Art is so nice. He drove us and the 3 “elders” (my mom, aunt and uncle) north for their oldest sisters birthday party Friday. She is 87 years old. They combined it with a Thanksgiving dinner as several families were from a distance and wouldn’t be able to all get together again. It was terrific to see more aunts and uncles and a couple of my cousins and their now grown children. Nothing like big family get-togethers. Growing up my 21 cousins, all the aunts and uncles would all converge on my grandmothers house (where my mom, sister, and I also lived) for either Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or both. She demanded each of her children bring their families for at least one of the holidays. It never feels right with only our small immediate family on the holidays. I miss the huge crowd.

Arts family does a family reunion every year but they don’t get together for holidays as a group. He is from a family of 13 children! I was really surprised no-one does a family holiday. They may have when he was younger and his mother was still with us. The family reunion is terrific. Lots of great cooks in his family 🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!! (in case I don’t get a chance to post again. The puppies are really keeping us hopping!!)

10-30-18

This is the most beautiful fall colors we have had here in awhile! Seems most Augusts Septembers we have a drought and the leaves all just fall off without turning colors. Its the only thing I miss about growing up in the Chicago suburbs, was the beautiful fall trees. We went on a trip to get a rescue dog last October and seem the fall colors in PN, and NY. Its was just phenomenal!! Art mentioned getting away a couple hours today to die up the river road. The Mississippi is on one side and limestone bluffs are on the other side. His sister and brother-in-law said the colors are great right now. We might even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle! I still don’t know how there are pelicans around, and seagulls. I have lived in the area for over 30 years and still am surprised we have what I thought were salt water ocean or huge lake birds living right in our area. I guess the Mississippi is big enough to support them.

We are trying to get ready for winter. The mister system needs to be taken down and stored. Our critters are lucky they have a mister when its hot. The horses and hogs just love it. We have it in the dog exercise yards too and some like it others don’t want to get even that tiny bit of damp. It works great for keeping things cool. Glad summer heat is over though. It was particularly hot this year.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Hopefully we will have normal winter and not a particularly cold one like last year. We are putting up a larger kennel off the driveway to be able to take the house dogs out to potty. We either walk them on a leash or if its moms with babies take them out into a little pen to potty while waking other dogs. I can only handle 2 to 3 at a time on a leash. Fortunately some of them re just fine running loose. Then we bring them back in. It is very time consuming. I would prefer the deck be finished with a ramp for the dogs down into a fenced yard but big projects often don’t get done. The horse barn had a whole wall and the roof was all coming apart. We had help getting that almost all repaired. So we are putting up a fenced yard area to take the house dogs too where we don’t have to watch them, or do more then walk them to and from the house. It will help save time.

We have a new baby donkey. She is dark brown just like her mom and dad. and loves to sprint. Cutest thing ever! I did figure out how to do short u-tube video and need to catcher her racing around. I don’t carry my phone around as I am notorious for leaving it in strange locations. So I never have it at just the right moment.

Sad to see the massive potato vine we planted that looked so pretty by the walkway get killed in the frost. I love flowers but we don’t have many that are frost tolerant, now gardens are all needing to be cleaned up. My back is getting worse so how I use to love to garden is becoming a chore I dread knowing I will have a backache. I liked using the planters more this year, so much easier with the plants up off the ground. But still cant get down to weed very well. Only had a bit of help with the gardens so they need major work now.

9-9-18

Art left me in charge of the bacon cooking for the family reunion at his sisters house today. He had it in the oven. I waited and waited for it to get crunchy and it never did, but the color got dark. So finally took it out. After sitting it is now crunchy. Not sure but worried its also a bit burnt…. I have never claimed to be a good cook. A huge problem with cooking is to remember you are cooking. I don’t know if anyone else has that problem but I do. I go walk the dogs, weed the garden, clean kennels and then the smoke in the house, or even the smoke alarm reminds me I was cooking…. I stayed on top of this though, just never had the chance to learn to cook bacon. Its expensive, and has nitrites in it which my kids got really bad headaches from. Now that we have our own pork we have lots of bacon so I am getting much better at cooking it.

Art was gone because Minnie ( a westie) wasn’t acting right. She didn’t want to eat, was drinking some but just not herself. She’s usually lively and was willing to just lay around. I picked her up and immediately felt something really weird in her belly. Feeling it you can tell she must have ate the small chat (rocks/gravel) in the dog exercise yard. Vet suggested having her vomit. (hydrogen peroxide used only in the right circumstances and quantity on orders from your vet works well in an emergency.)  We gave it to her but no rocks came up, just foam. The rocks must be past her stomach. So off to the vet Art goes with her. She will probably need surgery, they are small enough they should have passed with no problem, but to feel so many maybe they cant. Why a 5 year old dog who has never ate rocks in the past would eat them now, I don’t know. I am guessing dogs, being gross as they can be, someone must have threw up and she cleaned it all up including the gravel it landed on. We never seen any vomit so that is quite possible. She’s wagging her tail but more subdued then normal so she must be uncomfortable. We have never had a dog eat rocks and need surgery. The gravel in the kennels is very small pieces just so if they did eat some it would go right through them.

Dr Pat, in Pittsfield where the sister clinic to our Carrollton vet office, is on call today, a terrific vet, and person. It is so nice to call in an emergency, on a Sunday morning, and him say bring her right up. When we had lots of rescued dogs in all kind of sad neglected conditions he was a pro at saving even if they looked like there was no way they could pull through. He is talking about retiring and I hope he isn’t serious! A vet who loves the dogs and has lots of experience, and for practical reasons is also affordable is really hard to come by. Dr. Matt our other vet in Carrollton is also excellent! They are too busy to go down to only one vet though.

Please say a prayer for Minnie and that she simply poops out her belly full of gravel, or if she needs surgery it is not hard on her!

9-6-18 It is not blistering hot out this morning! Yeah! The dogs will get more time to play outside and we will have more energy to get some outside work done.

Well its noon and it is not cool outside anymore, so much for being excited about a day outside longer. Kim did help me do some re-arranging downstairs in Uncle Al’s space. He is currently upstairs taking it easy after open heart surgery. We are taking care of his pugs for him. He is a pack rat. Unfortunately a really good at packing things in places type of pack rat. With Kim helping me brain-storm we are going to try and move things around so stuff like the paint cans he buried under all kinds of stuff is put back where it belongs and we can actually use it.  Always something happening around here, if not with the dogs with someone else who lives here!

Jelly Beans babies are doing great. They are growing and eating really well. I am hoping when Fancy, the poodle, has her puppies anytime now until another week or so, to be able to sneak them into her litter at birth. When the moms first have their puppies they will think about anything is one of their own babies, while in the process of delivering. It’s a great time to put in foster babies. I will have her puppy box right here next to me so I can keep an eye on her and the puppies. I think she is only going to have 1 or 2 puppies herself, so feeding a couple more wont be a problem. Its so much nicer when the puppies have a mom to look after them and then as they grow they learn better puppies skills with their siblings. Mostly they are much happier having a mom to nurse on as it is a really strong instinct for them to creep around looking for milk. When they don’t have a mom they still keep searching and sometimes will try to nurse on each others ears, or feet. They don’t make puppy pacifiers but maybe someone should…. 🙂

9-3-18

Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone has a terrific holiday 🙂

9-2-18

We have had a very busy weekend. I guess Holidays are like that. Its a great time to get a puppy since you have an extra day home to enjoy your new friend before going back to work. Saturday I seen half of Fords (11 year old grandson) football game. It had started an hour later then it was posted so I had to leave and head home for families picking up their puppies. It is really one of the best parts of raising puppies. One little girl had tears of joy she was just so overwhelmed and happy 🙂

Sunday then we had a family drive all the way from Georgia. they got a westie from us 2 years ago and made the trip here a mini vacation. They put up tents in my mom and aunt Carole’s house as it was still in the construction stage with only 2×4’s for interior walls. They were the first people to sleep in the house! It was so nice for them to visit again, sadly only for a few hours as they had work the next day. They were able to see what the “Hen House”, nick name for mom and Aunt Carole’s house, looks like completed. They made the mad dash here and back to get one of Shirley’s boy puppies. they have been wanting a second waste for awhile and fell in love with the photos of the 2 little guys. They adopted the more spunky of the 2. I have already received photos of him at home and sleeping with the 2 year old Westie.

Olga, a pregnant frenchie, decided to make it known she was in labor just after they had left. We got to do the hour and 45 minute drive to Pittsfield where our after hour vet clinic is. Frenchies always get c-sections. The puppies have big round heads, and you risk their life if you choose to see if they can deliver naturally. Its too scary. Some day I may see if they can X-ray the pelvis size and puppy size to have a better idea if they could have them easily, or not. Dr. Matt delivered 6 adorable puppies by c-section. This is Olga’s first litter. She’s a good mom, but not surprisingly a bit confused and not terribly careful with where exactly she lays down. I am needing to stay close buy in case she is mashing any of the babies on accident. Newborn puppies require an incredible amount of supervision, and it is very stressful! Hard to get other chores done as I don’t want to be out of ear shot for more then 3 or 4 minutes. A puppy could suffocate in that time. At night I stay nearby the first night, and then on I get up and check them every 3 hours and pray mom is sleeping also and doesn’t move around too much. I am exhausted with never getting unbroken sleep. Art is a light sleeper so the alarm going off also wakes him up.

8-29-18

This last week has been expected for a long time but still stressful. Uncle Al had a valve replacement. They changed the day and time of surgery 4 times once he was there. I stayed with him was long as I could then my cousin drove 5 hours to stay with him right before surgery as we had a very short warning kennel inspection appointment that they had already adjusted the day to miss the surgery day. The appointment would have been the day after surgery but turned out with the change it was the same day and time. So stressful! I wanted to be with him before surgery. My cousin had to leave as the surgery was pushed back several hours. So he was there all by himself before going into surgery. I felt awful! I could not miss the kennel appointment either. Soon as the inspection was over I went to the hospital, just missed seeing him before surgery started. I stayed with him the first 2 days while Art took care of all the critters on his own. We also had round the clock newborn puppies. Neither of us had any sleep.

It is nice to be able to be there for someone you care about. The nursing staff as terrific as they are can’t sit by the bedside non-stop with sips of water, and little pillow adjustments, help with blankets on and off all at on seconds request. Those small things to attempt to help them be more comfortable the way a friend or family member can do make a difference.

Now that he is on the road to recovery I had come home to help with chores and have pick-up appointments with families getting their new baby. Art took my mom and aunt, his 2 sisters, to go see him while I did that. Then today I went up for a visit between bottle feeding the little babies. They just told him he will have to have a cardio-conversion in the morning. They have no idea what time. So aggravating. We have tiny babies that can only wait at most 4 hours between feedings, when normally its 2 to 3. Since they have no idea when I will feed them then go to the hospital. Art will drive the puppies there to arrive at the 4 hour point, (its an hour away.) I can feed the in the parking lot. Then he will take them back home and if needed bring them back again and be there at the 4 hour mark again. Hopefully the cardio converse will be in the early morning. I don’t know how Art can be driving puppies an hour each way every 4 hours, that 2 hours driving to be home 2 hours then 2 hours driving. Since they have to have a heating pad and cant come into the hospital we cant think of another way to keep them in the right temperature and get them fed.  They were premature and were doing fine but then went downhill when I was with Uncle Al. I came home to find them in really bad shape. I ended up having to tube feed them as they were so weak they couldn’t nurse. Tiny newborn puppies really takes some experience. I keep thinking its not too hard as  have raised so many, until I see what they look like if I’m not doing it myself. It is much harder then most can manage! I just apparently have a knack for it. I’m still not sure these 2 will make it they were almost gone by the time I was home, and they thought they were doing ok so didn’t realize they were crashing and to have called me home sooner. Turned out to be extra bad timing with the inspection, and frail puppies. So instead of hoping someone else can tube feed we will somehow drive back and forth so I someone can be at the hospital with Uncle Al and the puppies have me feeding them.

7-11-18.
Today has been another doozy of a day. Loddy Doddy and Buckwheat had a 13 week old male puppy who had been at Kim’s for training as he had not been adopted yet. I love to send the puppies to her house. They get so much attention and all the basic training started. Plus they get car rides as she brings them here when she’s here to work.
She crate trains them teaches walking on a leash and gets them well started on housebreaking. He was doing terrific, almost completely housebroken!

The puppy has hurt his foot, or leg. Art is on his way to the vets with him (7-11-18).
Bad news at the vets, he has broken the most commonly broken area of the leg in a puppy, right across the elbow joint. I have never had a puppy break its leg before so it doesn’t seem common to me, but I guess it must be for those who do break something, ugh poor puppy.
They recommended an orthopedic surgeon due to the location and type of injury. The soonest the specialist could get him in is tomorrow ( 7-12-18) they expect to do surgery 7-13-18. Hows that for a Friday the 13th? The poor puppy will have surgery, no doubt scary for him to be at the vet clinic away from home, and I’m sure the bill is going to be scary for us too!
The puppy has pain medication which seems to be working really well. We have a splint on him, he ate, and drank well, and is now napping. We think all he did was jump off only 1 or 2 steps and land wrong, or the bigger dog he was playing with may have caused the bad landing somehow. There is a first time for everything. This month has had 3 first time injuries! Hope no one else has any problems!

Because he is growing our vet said there is a good chance he will need surgery again later to remove, or reset the plate/pins, or whatever is needed to put him back together. I have a friend in rescue who has someone who has been waiting a long time for a Frenchie to come along who may be special needs.  So after we get his leg fixed it sounds like they would be thrilled to have him and don’t mind at all that he may need surgery again later. He is a terrific puppy!

6-2-18 Well its been awhile since I have made an update! So much has happened. We did get to go on a trip to the east, picked up a stud dog westie prospect, and Riley, a westie puppy we were told was wonderful until the vet gave him vaccinations 3 weeks after they had him, and now had such a bad temperament they were thinking about euthanizing him at only 6 months old! They had him “evaluated by a certified behaviorist” who said he had extreme fear aggression. Their veterinarian said they would not neuter him, or have him as a patient him any more as he was vicious. We didn’t believe either of them and insisted he come back to us. He wa just a puppy!

Riley we were told was really well trained, fetched, crate trained, walked on a leash, knew tricks, and would fear bite, as in lunging at the vet staff. Hmm, perfectly fine until he was given shots and now wants to eat the vet staff in extreme fear. I never could tell if he did that to his owner or if he was playing. So many people think puppies are biting them to be mean when they are just playing too rough because they have no been taught how to be careful.

Not surprisingly he really wasn’t trained, he was spoiled rotten, did not do anything he was told to do. He could do things, when he was bribed with a treat, and he actually wanted to do as told! Why treat training, does NOT work.

The first evening we had him back Art was walking him to potty and then pulled him toward himself to pick him up. Riley became terrified and why Art still reached for him as he is pulling back and pawing at the air toward Art trying to get away, is beyond me, but he did. Riley nipped him on the hand and then slipped right out of his collar, at a rest stop! We spent 45 minutes trying to call, bribe, and order him into coming to us, or going in his own crate from home. He was dashing all about and willing to play with toys, but sure didn’t do as he was told no matter the voice, or body langue we used. And having just been so scared we weren’t about to just grab him and scare him more, or be bitten. Eventually he came up to me as I was squatting and would jump on my back. He wanted badly to come but was afraid to be touched, why he would approach from behind and act playful. This went on awhile. I would throw a toy, play with a toy, put food and treats down. Then one time I reached behind me to pet him and he dashed away but then came right back. I was able to pet him, and he came right around and let me just pick him up. We put a martingale collar on him we had brought with us. Not going to slip out  of a collar again!

The rest of the trip was very uneventful. We gave him lots of attention but did not allow pulling on the leash. He never had another extreme fear reaction. We think its because we didn’t over react and he trusted we will not hurt him, and at the same time by making him behave he learned we are fair bosses and to be respected. You could tell his “mom” was scared of him and did everything cautiously. At the same time she loved him and would pick him up often.

Once home we had lots of people in and out of the house. He was in a playpen a lot to be sure he behaved and he never once offered to be bad. We took him to the vets for getting neutered expecting him to freak out. Even brought a muzzle which I did use when I trimmed his face that morning because he didn’t want me to hold his chin hair, which I did anyway while I trimmed around his eyes. When we were done with that he was just as cuddly and normal as before. It was the only time he almost acted out in fear with me holding his chin hair. By using the muzzle he had to tolerate it, and yet was not being hurt. Another way to gain trust and prove what we say goes.

At the vets he was happy and ongoing nothing at all what we expected. They didn’t have any trouble with him. I warned them he may be a fear biter. He even came out of surgery with a huge incision all the way up his belly as he had an undescended testicle that they had a hard time finding. I thought , oh no, he is in pain now he will probably be awful! He never was. Even picking him up as sore as he must have been he was perfectly fine.

We adopted him out to a family who had rescued a true biting jack russle terrier in the past. They adore him and never had any issue either. He was fine at their vets too.  They send updates. I figured they were perfect for him in case he were to act fearful or nippy they would know ow to deal with him. They never had a problem though.

This is the third pr fourth time we have seen/heard behaviorists label dogs biters or vicious, or terrible temperament and the dog was actually a perfectly great dog, who only needed some firm leadership and consistent kind and but firm handling.

The new training methods of trees and ignoring bad behavior makes Westies crazy. They need to =understnad “no” really means “no”. When they do they are so wonderful!

We demanded he not bark non-stop, not pull on the leash, and be quiet when crated.

The trip wasn’t exactly a vacation. Art and I went to couples counseling. We each have issues and were both wanting things to be 100 times better then what they were. The counselor is certified in couples counseling, not common, general counselors really don’t help much and we both learned a lot. I knew I was a bit “off” as anyone reading the blog and anything about my sometimes wonderful / often crazy family would guess. It was very insightful. Art learned all kinds of things about himself and was amazingly wonderful about accepting what the counselor was teaching us. The counselor explained 70% of women are critical, 70% of men stonewall (ignore the woman) and an even bigger number of men are unwilling to be influenced by their significant other. So women end up nagging, men then get mad and clam up, and the cycle continues often until one gives up, in a viscous circle. The counseling teaches communication skills, and how we have patterns that are destructive and how they often repeat themselves with the next relationship. Then we wonder why it always seems to end the same.

One huge thing we were both impressed by is you can “take back” the things you blurt out in frustration, or anger. As our counselor explained little kids are brilliant. They get into a fight and one will say something mean and the other will demand the other “take that back!” the awful thing their friend said. And you know what? they often will and they apologize! The kids can then move on and are friends again, just like that. Somehow as adults we learned you can never take back what was said. But he explained you can. Everyone knows they themselves have blurted out things they really honestly didn’t mean, and wish they had not said. Well our significant other does the same. We can understand it was not meant. So we learned we can be like the kids and apologize, and rephrase our frustration explaining how we are feeling, and not blaming the other but taking responsibility for what we say and do (or don’t do). Understanding when something awful is said to us that we can forgive them, and it is actually easy when they do “take back” what they said.

Fascinating intensive couples therapy, and boy SO hard to put all the wonderful skills we learned into practice to learn new habits! Old habits are hard to break. The wonderful phrase “we’re doing it again” uttered when we catch ourself in a bad habit is really helpful to stop and think before speaking (something I have a hard time doing!) I highly recommend the group “couples therapy inc” for anyone who is struggling with past and, or present issues and wants a happy relationship.  Good Luck!

4-18-18

The health clinic was terrific! 99% of the dogs passed everything. I’m not positive but I think we did miss a couple tests on some of them. Our list became confused as we weren’t sure who had the eye exam, or cardiac exams already done and who was left to do. We thought they were all done. All the boys got their yearly brucellosis tests done and those who needed it and 1 who didn’t got their one or 3 year rabies vaccinations. We went over our list and they didn’t have any paperwork forms left over, but unless they find forms to mail us that were left with the Dr. we missed Olga and Irma’s cardiac and eye exams. Next year I am going to ask that anyone who takes a dog for an exam makes sure Aryne knows they have don’t it. It gets confusing if no one check in with the person who has the check off list. Every year we get a little bit more organized. The clinic loved the spread sheet Kim had done ahead of time which listed every dog and who needed what. Kim is very organized!

Semi vacation. Now we are preparing for Art and I to go on a few days to a week long trip. Getting a male Westie puppy as a stud dog prospect while that direction!

Bad Puppy. We are also picking up a 4.5 month old male westie puppy who was one of ours who has had painful vaccination reactions every time he has had a puppy shot which last days one end. It all seems so strange. He has started fear -aggression biting according to the behaviorist they hired to come do an evaluation. We always take our dogs and puppies back, and we are going to be only an hour away from where they live. Timing is perfect that they called us.

Luckily it happens Libby, a sister to a friend in the area is going to stay with us awhile while she goes to service dog training certification in St. Louis. I don’t know when she is due to arrive. Its the perfect opportunity for the puppy to be retrained. I always believe a bad acting puppy has been spoiled, when they think its ok to guard a toy, but this vaccination reaction issue is completely new.  I think its a bit of both. She has said she never reprimands him for acting badly. At the same time he is very well trained, fetches, comes when called has a great routine.

About 15 years ago We once had a 12 week old puppy I tried to get someone to return when they called and said their 9 week old puppy was horrible, the trainer said it was vicious the vet said it was vicious. It made no sense at all to me, how can a 9 week old tiny puppy be vicious? She finally brought it back at 12 weeks and the little beast bloodied my hand when my fingers got close to her neck. Very odd. Turns out the lady was taking the collar on and off every single time she needed to go outside. The puppy hated the collar being put on and taken off so she would fight it. I will never understand why she took the collar on and off. She said it bothered the puppy. But I think being bit is bothering the person. It took me 3 weeks of pinning that puppy down and messing with its neck before it stopped biting. It was a bit stiff but it allowed me to mess with its neck. The lady also said the 5 pound puppy wouldn’t walk on a leash. She would sit down and refuse to budge. I couldn’t comprehend how a 5 pound puppy could prevent someone from walking. A horse, mule, Saint Bernard yes, understandable. A westie puppy needs a good brisk walk a couple times a day at least to burn off energy. A pent up puppy is going to be a handful. Needless to say, she was extremely smart, and walking on a leash in less then 5 minutes. I walked, she could trot along, or not, her choice but I didn’t find it hard to walk no matter what she tried. Bad girl tried pulling with all her might and flopping about. In only a couple feet she learned it is so much easier to trot along where I go. She got lots of praise for catching up and following me, once she did! She only tried to resist for second the next time we went for a walk and then after that never again. Amazing how fast they can catch on. She had 4 weeks of demanding the lady go where she wanted and in minutes figured out it doesn’t work the way at our house.

She was adopted by a family who I warned just how bad she will be if she’s allowed to be the boss. They understood About a month later told me she plays with they 18 month old grandson so carefully taking turns “chasing” each other, never puts her feet even on him. They just love her and said she is the best litter dog. It is a perfect example of how the same dog can be completely different in a different setting.

Cavaliers are good for people who cant/wont make a puppy behave. They will still be bad but they will rarely ever be the least bit aggressive, they just wont listen.

Puppies will demand you do what they want. Please never get a terrier German Shepherd, or any dog of any kind that was bred for hunting, or guard dog work if you are not willing and able to enforce some basic rules. Dogs are happy to be followers. Dogs who don’t have a leader will be the leader and it is never good when a dog is the boss of the house. They just don’t think the same way people do. They will snap and bite at people who don’t follow their rules. They don’t play nice. Dogs who have a person as a leader are terrific. Its not being mean to be the leader and expect the dog to follow rules, its being normal.  We do not allow a 6 year old to push a toddler flat or for them to bite us when they don’t want to go to bed, cut in line, steal. We don’t allow our 4 year old to demand we take them to the store for candy and toys. Dogs can be loved like furry children but please be sure they also have some basic rules and respect for their “elders”.

4-14-18

Annual Health clinic is tomorrow! So excited to get to do this again. Cardiologist and ophthalmologist are both there to do exams and give us the form to submit to OFA for recording. Last years forms are still in the folder next to me. We never did mail them in. SO much paperwork. We were still building the little house for my mom and aunt last year. This year my daughter, Kim, has been helping with chores in general and paperwork. She’s a pro on the computer, well not really but compared to me she is! I will have her deal with getting both years exams sent in.

Almost all the dogs are going, plus my sons French Bulldogs and Bulldogs (better known and English Bulldogs) and Uncle Al’s Pugs, and Kim’s Frenchie puppy her adult frenchie has puppies, Karrie, and Marley, her adult westie, also has puppies. Aryne also has her dogs going. She has 2 Frenchies and a Cavalier.

We rented a big Ford cargo van. We usually take the 2 mini vans and Uncle Al takes his SUV. This year with the big bulldogs going we wont fit. The rental van fits almost all the dogs! Because I worry about breakdowns and if it happens to be hot air conditioner failure we will still take the 2 mini vans besides the big rented van. Frenchies, Pugs and Bulldogs are all prone to getting excited and then at risk of seriously overheating themselves. We have little clip on buckets to have ice in each crate for the short face dogs, plus a cooler of ice in case someone does act too hot we can give them a pillowcase of ice to lay on. Plus in fans also. It is quite a trip for us! Kim has a horse show but if she doesn’t go she may also come with us. As it is Aryne, Uncle Al Art and I are all going . Keith is home here to care for everyone else, farm critters and the moms with babies or who are pregnant and aren’t going with us.

So time to stop updating and start giving dogs a bath! Oh and my new clippers arrived yesterday! I have tried many clippers and they all wont work after only clipping maybe 5 to 10 dogs. Clippers are suppose to last years for groomers who clip dogs all day long. So I found a place that sells clippers and blades plus has recommendations for professional groomers. He also does blade sharpening. I ordered clippers, different size blades and a set of combs. I was going to just get thick blades for leaving 3/4 to 1 inch of coat but he assured me I would like the combs they sell much better then using the heavy blades. I only briefly went over 4 dogs who I had already trimmed with scissors yesterday and it was like cutting warm butter! I am so excited! I will have to contain myself or the dogs will all be super short and no one will have a really Westie cut with long skirt and round head! I am going to want to just clipper everything short!

We also found another health clinic in the fall. We hope to be able to go then also so the dogs who are pregnant, or have babies can get their yearly OFA exam. Only hearts and eyes are checked yearly. Hips and patellas are only done one time at a minimum age, 12 months for patellas and 2 years for hips. We take them to our regular vet for the hip and patella checks. Plus Bulldogs have a trachea test. Every breed has different recommendations for testing. If the dog is a cross, like Ellie, then we do both her parent breed test recommendations. Just because its a designer cross it doesn’t mean it eliminates problems.

4-7-18

Just switched the website to wordpress, hoping it solves the problem the godaddy website I built when laurelswesties.com crashed in 2016 that would not work on smart phones very well.

Learning to edit a website has been so difficult, especially with as many pages as we have. I hired godaddy to do the basic website start, format of buttons, and layout of the first 5 pages. They also copied all the stuff from the old website and put it on this one. I then have been adding pages and trying to figure out how to add buttons and new posts. Plus trying to find where the info all is. I use to have many individual pages now a single page has multiple buttons with other pages hidden in there. Fascinating what can be done.

This really was a bad month to try and do this though. The annual dog health clinic we got to every year is 4-15-18. I have my daughter doing lots of paperwork and organizing of which dogs need which tests, vaccinations and who is going. Meanwhile we are keeping up with all the day to day things, plus doing a whole new website! I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I expected the website to be done a full month ago.

Art is working on making sure the vehicles are all ready to go. Its about a 1.5 hour drive and we want to be sure all basics are covered with minimal chance of break downs since we will have lots of dogs with us. Art can fix anything he puts his mind to, just needs a plan of action. I like to plan but am terrible at fixing things!

This is basically my first blog post on the new website. Not real sure just how it works yet, or if this will even post! here goes nothing! I think it took 2 hours to figure out to get it to actually be visible with a button that works! So exciting!