Saturday, January 17, 2009

Watch Me

Weigh in - 47.8 lbs from 45 lbs one week ago.  
Today we learned how to get your dog to look at you for a treat by making them sit and saying "Watch Me".  Well, there's a little more to it than that, but since the word treat was involved, Sailor picked that up right away.  Now if only come was as easy.  
Our friend, Lisa Rose came by class and we're sure she was amazed by how smart he was :).  After class we all met at Olive Garden for lunch since I had a gift card that Todd's mom, Fran gave me for my birthday.  

Friday, January 16, 2009


Sailor has a dog cold (yes they get them) and apparently it's contagious (we feel bad) as our neighbor's dog Duke (pictured with our dog, Osa (who is taking a pee) has caught it. Sailor was making a weird noise like he had something in his throat and had some green stuff in his nose. He is on antibiotics.
Duke has the same symptons, but Osa seems fine so far. The Vet told Nic to keep Duke from playing with Sailor for 3 (yikes) months until his puppy immunity gets built up. His last shot is on Jan 26th.

Towering over the Competition

Sailor playing in his puppy class. As you can see he is by far the biggest but also is a gentle giant. Strangly he likes the little dogs.

Keeping a puppy from playing.

How do you keep a puppy from playing? Well, you don't. Since he got fixed last Monday, he is supposed to be kept "quiet" until his incision heals. Well, whoever came up with that, obviously never had a puppy at home. This is Todd's attempt to keep him from rough-housing by laying on the couch with him. This lasted all of 2 minutes. Yes, he really is only 3 and 1/2 months old - The next weigh in is tomorrow morning at puppy pre-school.

I thought I saw a Pooty Tat. . .

The cat, Mia fascinates Sailor. He wants so desperately to play with her which I can tell that's what he wants by his stance, but she sees it in whole different way - that he wants to eat her. She is pretty adept at keeping out of his clutches by staying on tables and chairs and bouncing from one thing to another, somehow without managing to touch the floor. She's no wimp either - she'll let him get a little close to tease him, then wham's him with her paw. Last night I watched him bark like a banshee at her while she calmly watched him from her perch on the kitchen table. He barked so much he started to yawn whcih means he worked himself into a frenzy and wasn't breathing right. Winner - cat. I am holding out hope that they will get along some day. Osa still hates him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not quite potty trained

Todd found a turd on the floor last night. Just sitting there all alone. It wasn't his, mine, Osa's or the cat's. So guess who. We're just wondering if there's more where that came from and we just haven't found them yet.

Too cold = no exercise

Nic came over to see Sailor earlier today and said it's so brutally cold out. She's so awesome. . we both feel sorry for all the other little critters and creatures out there that don't have shelter like we and our pets do. Of course it's way too cold to walk the dogs - 12 below according to my car at lunch today. No exercise for Sailor or Osa tonight other than chasing me (and my pants) around the house. Some of my PJ bottoms look like they have cigarette burns cause they have little holes from his teeth in them. Perfect.

Sailor has yet to meet our neighbor's dog, Jada (pictured here on the right with her owner, Roman and our dog, Osa), so maybe this weekend he can make a a visit if the weather breaks a little.

Chasing Tail

The discovery of one's tail is a joyous one! Until you bite too hard that is. Sailor has discovered his and he's not quite sure what to make of it ("Wow, there's something back there that I have to get to") and just like a cartoon dog, goes around in a circle on the hunt. Pretty humorous!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Books, Steps and Walks

Sailor made a new discovery: Library books! I always keep my books in the bottom section of my nightstand. The good thing is that it's easy access for reading material, the bad - it's open and accessible to puppy teeth. After he chewed the corners of two books (I naively thought he would leave them alone), I had to take them all out and now store them on the dresser across the room which is super attractive!

I am already out the cost of my reading light which won't work after he got a hold of the cord. The books weren't too badly chewed, so I turned them in and hope that I don't have to pay for cost of replacing them.

He is still trying to learn how to navigate steps. When he does manage to take on a few, he looks so funny as he slinks over them like a Caterpillar. Osa is still getting a reprieve from him by running down in the basement, so the longer it takes him to learn this, the better.

We've been taking him on short walks to get him used to being on a leash and going potty on the leash. He only made it to the neighbors the first few times, and the last time by following Osa, he could go and go but he still looks nerdy with those big feet and floppy ears.

Yesterday was only the second time he was in his kennel for a lot of the day, although Nic and Randall let him out, so he was full of pee and vinegar last night. He looked like a Raptor going after prey with his jaws going and running in that funny way and couldn't keep his mouth off anything. It was too cold out (below zero) so no walk last night to get that energy out.

We need a bigger house

The AKC dog show was in town recently so we deicded to go early on Sunday before my home playoff game as the Newfoundlands were showing that morning. We put Sailor in his kennel and headed for River Center in St Paul around 8:30 am. There are a lot of quirky people at the dog show! We walked around adn finally found a few Newfies. When I saw this guy, I looked at Todd and told him "we need a bigger house". He was a monster. but sweet as can be. His name is Levi and he weighs 148 lbs.

To the right is Monte, and look how gorgeous he looks. That's with lots of brushing for the show. Get the feeling that Sailor will hardly ever look like this.
All the Newfies at the show in the ring.

After the show, I had to get to the Metrodome for the Vikings game within a couple of hours, so we ran home to let Sailor out of his kennel. As soon as we walked in the house, we smelled it. He had pooed in his kennel, but it was diarreah, so we couldn't really fault him. I traced it back to the 20 or so chicken jerkey treats I had given him the night before. . . Racing off to the dome and now in a traffic jam. Made it just in time. Whew!

Exploding Kennel

This is Sailor relaxing and letting it all hang out in his portable
kennel which Todd set up for the day in the kitchen while he

was working. Doesn't he look sweet and innocent?
He was sleeping so Todd (big mistake) thought it safe to leave him here and meet me for dinner. When we got back and walked in, the kennel looked like it had exploded from the inside out. In 2 hours he managed to make a big pile of stuff in the living room by the door including the kitchen towel, a vase with some flowers that were chewed up, that nasty plunger again (Todd also left the guest bathroom door open), a bath rug, newspapers, and sweetly, a couple of his own toys and bones.

Pedigree Smedigree

Sailor's AKC pedigree. Much more impressive than my own family history, although my great grandfather is not my father and my great grandmother is not my grandmother (that I know of). . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No more Nuggets

Sailor got fixed on Monday. The vet recommended that he have the procedure before he turns 50 lbs. Sailor weighs in at 45 lbs and is 3 1/2 months old. After we dropped him off, heard rumours that if he gets fixed before 6 months he will have a small head. worried all day. Don't want dog with pin head and giant body. Vet dispels rumours. We pick him up during snowstorm (another one) and he is doing well. He is supposed to not play or anything for 10 days (good luck with that). He slept most of evening and this morning was a little chaos trying to get out of the house. Nic looked in on him at 11 am and Randall at 2:30. I will be home by 5:30. Todd will work home tomorrow and Friday.
We got his pedigree and AKC papers. Felt a bit sad that his bloodline will end and that he won't reproduce. His papers say that his great-grandfather is also his father - what? Is that okay to do? Some of his relatives are dogs like "Nikita from the Garden" and "Maybelline Mai Hall". He's just "Sailor from the Lake" we guess.
After his 10 days we will take him to puppy pre-school a couple of days a week so he can play and socialize.

Puppy Pre-School: Who's Training who

Puppy Pre-school is on Saturday mornings at 11:30 am at Petsmart near our house. So basically the day is shot by the time you get out of there after class and walk around and buy more puppy products and snacks.

Sailor weighs in at 43 lbs from 36.4 a week prior. At this rate - he is gaining 12 lbs a month.

The first day was more or less an orientation and a few good tips from our trainer Libby, who also trained my co-worker, Bryan's 2 Australian Shepherds. She is pretty cool and her brown Doberman Linc is a kind of icon around Petsmart. She's the one who told us about the portable kennel and the bitter apple spray that I spray on my robe and my bedroom curtains so that Sailor leaves me and them alone.

When we leave, are grateful we don't have one of the few highly active (aka crazy) puppies but a more moderate acting puppy. Our puppy is the best (we just know it) and in fact, slept thru most of the class!

Our second class is more active. the puppies all got play time and it was interesting to watch the different way they played with each other. Sailor was the guy who liked all the little yorkies and shy puppies. the Terrier was nuts. We learned how to teach our dogs to sit. Sailor passed and he now sits all the time whether we want him to or not so he can get a treat.

Class three was more puppy play time and Sailor was fascinated with the Wheaton puppy, Charlie who is another one of more "active" puppies in class. Today we learned how to teach our dogs "come" Not so good on this one. Needs lots of practice. Sailor totally passed out in the back of the car, so thought it was a good time to run in to the mall for 30 mins. Poo on his mat when we came out. Not such a good idea after all.

Getting to know each other

Todd really helped out a lot in the first couple of weeks. He was home for vacation over the holidays, but it was my busy time with 2 back to back home games over the holidays than a playoff game on Jan 4th.
Sailor also got to know our neighbor's dog, Duke the boxer. His mom, Nicole and dad, Charley are good friends and neighbors and help us out a lot. Duke is about 6 and like to come visit. they play on the deck and last weekend we took Osa and Sailor out on the frozen tundra of the lake and let them play. Duke came out and joined them.
Also, Randall and Roman are helpful and are our neighbors, friend and petsitters. they have a Rottweiler named Jada, who has not yet played with Sailor but am sure he will soon.

We have such great neighbors that are always there to help -it's awesome!

We are trying to get Sailor used to being in the car as well. We got him his own mat for the car, and one time we did leave him a little too long and he Pooed in the back of Todd's Toyota SUV. It was easy to clean up, but sure smelled!

We are getting to know his personality - he is sweet but ornery and will get in his portable kennel when we ask him. He looks like a Raptor when he runs at you, and a Platypus when he sits with his webbed feet splayed. He still annoys Osa, but have hopes they will work it out.

If you can't afford a puppy. . .

When Todd brought Sailor home that night with me waiting in anticipation, he stank to high heaven and had burrs all over him. Ugh!
We took him to the groomers the next day and they thought he was just adorable but mentioned he might have an ear infection.
Grooming: $30. (Add to amount spent already for crate, mats, toys, and food costs of $250
Vet: Yes, a pretty bad ear infection, plus he needs shots, and to be fixed, etc. Total: $405 but covers his office visits, and aforementioned items for the year
Total tab so far: $650.
Enrolled in Puppy Pre-school - $110 for eight weeks
Portable kennel (a life saver): 81.00
I got all the items on sale too!
Total tab now: almost $900
We feel better about about not getting him from a rescue as he was in poor shape with his ears and the burrs. and just found out that he now has a cold. Antibiotics: $67.00

Tab: $900 so far :(

Disruption of the Household

We bribed him into his crate which is in our bedroom and he did sleep pretty well that first night. Hmm. not so bad we thought. He went potty outside - so far so good.

It helps that Todd is a morning person and I am a night owl, so we can help each other out with the pets during different times. Saturday, our first full day with him:

Sailor discovers the master closet and the variety of interesting chewable items at his disposal, the bathroom rugs, my reading light cord, Todd's underwear, a plunger, the trash can and this one that we thought would take a while; toilet paper rolls.

He also decided that he likes my robe and any pants I have on and will just grab a hold any time he feels like it. Taking a shower was impossible the first time as he grabbed my towel and ran off, leaving me standing there dripping wet. He tried to get in every cabinet and grab anything off tables not nailed down since his head is as high as a coffee table.

Osa is too old to play with him in the rough-housing way he wants to play, so she's annoyed with him and has taken to going in the lower level and hiding out (he has not figured out steps yet, so for now she is safe when she wants to get away). He is not sure of what to make of the cat so he follows her around and she swats at him, but holds her ground. He is not trying to hurt her, is just curious as to what she is. I think they may become good buds.

He eats all the dog and cat food left out, so now the cat food has to go on the counter, Osa needs to get fed downstairs, and we got a water dispenser rather than bowls which really helps with his messiness.

I like order, but as with the food and water, we had to change the way we do some other things around the house:
Bought all new trash cans with lids as anything left in the open he will grab and run with. Bathroom and master closet doors have to remain closed so that rugs, toilet paper, plungers, shoes, clothes, laundry, etc., don't end up in a pile in another room.
A portable (meaning ugly) metal kennel is set up in the room with our TV, etc., we call the "Up North" room with his mat and toys, like a giant playpen (we didn't figure this out for a week and it has been a life saver).
The bedroom had to be rearranged to accommodate his giant crate.
There are smelly treats and damp toys all over the house.
As soon as I sit down I am back on my feet grabbing yet another item out if his mouth. . . "put that down"!
I feel now what it's like to be a parent - the joys and the stress and the frustration.
Todd and I consider ourselves caring and loving towards our pets and "normal" and find it hard to deal with at times.

Oh, have I mentioned yet, that for all of this, he is sweet and adorable and super cute and goes potty outside (well most of the time) and sleeps on his back with his legs spread, and sleeps pretty well at night and we love him already!

Day 1: All Hell breaks loose

"Little" 3 month-old Sailor (who we renamed from "Gordan"), black Newfoundland, arrived on our doorstep - all 36.4 lbs of him. He's big and nerdy and grabby and all teeth. We had a toddler and weren't child proofed! As soon as he came in the house he put his giant platypus paw in the water dish and then managed to fling dry dog food everywhere. He could reach items on the edges of the coffee table and my kitchen towel. He drank out of the "magic well" in the bathroom. Stunned, we looked at each other and thought "what did we do?" as our lives had changed in an instant.

BS (Before Sailor)

In the beginning, or as I like to call it BS: Before Sailor, there was my husband Todd and I, our 14 year-old black Swedish Lapphund, Osa and Mia the tabby cat (approx 5 years-old). It was a quiet, peaceful existence until that day in mid December when we brought the little devil home.

Okay, so going back even before that. . .We talked about adding a new dog to our menagerie but we agreed since we live on a lake, that the dog must be a swimmer. Osa CAN swim (we threw her in the water to see (in a life jacket off the dock and I was waiting on shore-we're not cruel!), but she chooses not too! Sniff!
We picked out a few breeds we liked that fit our lifestyle (laid back lake living) and really liked the Newfoundlands for their sweet nature and ability to get along with both man and beast.

One Sunday morning while perusing the classifieds, I "happened" upon the dog pages and found someone that had a Newfie puppy. Never ones who wanted to get a dog from a breeder, we were more the rescue type, so I looked for rescued Newfies and couldn't find any in the area at the time. There are Newfie rescue groups, but in other states and I thought it would be tough to put a young or grown Newfie on a plane from South Carolina and have it be an immediate fit for him and us.

As you know, there is no "looking" at a puppy. . once you see it, gotta have it. So, Todd met the guy on a cold snowy day while in preparation for the new arrival, I ran to the pet store with a couple of co-workers looking for the biggest kennel I could find, some mats, toys and bones. So, we were ready. . . . not!