Did we really need a third big-dog?

This is Kayla.  She is a smallish and kind of thin Leonberger (or at least is mostly a Leonberger.  She may be part gazelle or cheetah, long, tall, and fast). She can put her paws on my shoulders when she is up on her hind legs.  She reminds me of a short-haired Afghan when she runs.  Of course, she looks nothing like an Afghan, really.  I was minding my own business last month when the Leo Rescue folks forced me to take her home.  Not really.  It was love at first sight.  Like Charlie and Skye, she was born in July 2011.  The “breeder” who originally sold her has a bad reputation and it is a little unclear to us whether she is really a full bred Leo.  She has short hair, which will be really easy to care for, but that is not really very Leo-like.  Don’t care.  She is mostly a good fit for our little pack, although she is not crazy about Big (the cat).  Like our other Missouri puppy mill product, Skye, Kayla has a few emotional problems and a bit of separation anxiety.  No PTSD, and definitely no fear of doorways like Skye , but Kayla is definitely a little anxious.  She likes to be around people, and will ignore what the canines are doing if there is a human in sight.

Did we really need a third big dog?  Of course!  Everyone needs three teenaged puppies over a hundred pounds.  At least she doesn’t drool.  Or bark.  But she loves cat-litter treats, just like Olin used to, and nothing can keep her from checking for those sweet little morsels when she is even briefly unsupervised.  Oh, did I mention she also has worms?  All three of these dogs, two from Missouri and one from upstate New York, had bad cases of whipworms when they arrived.  The heat east of here must have been great for worm growing this year.

Kayla is very grateful to the Leonberger Rescue folks, and especially to Marsha Petry of the reknowned Nuthatch Kennel, who fostered her before we brought her into our family.  Marsha and Janet love their dogs and were kind enough to share themselves and Leos Ripple and Skimmer with this little pup for a while.

Osa: Sweetest Newf Ever

Osa 1991

I found this picture in a book today.  I must have stuck it in there more than a decade ago.  The scan is sort of bad, but I dont know how to use photoshop to fix it.  Osa was her name, and she died in 1991.  A giant among giant dogs, she was only about ten months old in this picture.  She died shortly afterwards due to having SAS and a pinhole in her heart somewhere.  I remember two vets arguing with each other over where the leaky valve was, at the top or bottom, and when I took her to CSU to be included in their SAS studies, they turned her down because she actually had two leaky valves.

I loved this dog.  She was our first newf.  Smart and amazingly obedient for her age, she would heel without hesitaing and would stay in the position i put her in without budging a muscle.  She loved water and “saved” us once or twice when we were swimming in Tarryall Creek.  She drooled massive slime strings when she was excited, though, and shook them off by the back door where they hardened into something akin to wallpaper paste or maybe superglue (kind of shiny and hard).  She ate the siding off of our rented house (which I later hid with paint), and she liked to eat hot sauces like Tobasco.  I always thought that was weird.  I loved that dog, though, floogers and all.  Sigh.  I still miss her.

Poor Charlie

Poor Charlie started out the day yesterday at around 122 pounds close to his 8-month birthday.  He ended the day a little lighter (at least ten pounds) because someone stole his boy-parts.  He kept me up most of the night crying because he couldn’t get comfortable.  While I sympathize, sort of, it was the same behavior he displayed after his last round of shots when I slept on the floor with him, thinking he had hurt his neck somehow.  I got him to the vet the next day, who laughed and said that Charlie was just a little bit swollen where the shot was given.  He did not have a broken neck as I had feared based on the crying and wimpering every time he moved.  I have never had a newf who showed any reaction to pain, much less cried all night after a shot.  Okay, I am being hard on him this morning because he got me up at 4 AM.  I am trying to avoid putting the cone thing on his head because I think they are unsafe on this size of dog, and my patience is running out.  I also think that, for the exorbitant price I just paid to have the dog neutered, I should receive some gold-gilt testicles in a silk sack as a consolation-prize.   Finished with my morning rant.  I love him no matter what, but I really wish he would just go to sleep!

My sister-to-be

The humans in the house are excited about a new addition to the family, a 7-month-old Saint Bernard, who, at the moment, is named Skye.  She is uglier than me, so I really like her.  At last weighing she was about 88 pounds, so I outweigh her by about 3 chihuahuas.  I haven’t met her yet because she lives in the middle of Kansas which, according to Google Maps is on I-70, but not in the “good” direction (toward Las Vegas).  I have been there (on my way from Buffalo, NY) but the owners haven’t.

“Skye” is purportedly a little scared of men.  The evaluation report from the foster family read: “Most likely just unsocialized, but took a while to trust the foster dad.”  She also is not entirely housetrained, yet.  Apparently, she is scared of kids that “head straight towards her making loud noises.”  Me too. In fact, that would scare the crap out of me.   What is wrong with children, anyway?  They are so damned immature.  From the pictures I have seen of her, she has the hugest tongue ever, and she can’t seem to keep it in her mouth, where it belongs.  Shoot!  I almost forgot to mention Snooki.  The search term that brings the most visitors to this Blog is “Snooki” (I am not kidding), so I decided I should mention her in every post.  I wonder if she likes dogs…

Arfgflegrrr! (translation from Canine: “OMFG I am huge!”)

I weighed in at 117.5  pounds this afternoon at the vet when I went in for my last deworming medicine after my worm “event” at Christmas.  Omg!  Maybe I will never stop growing and turn into a cow or elephant!  I have heard that some Saint Bernard’s turn into cows, but that might just be a rumor.  117 pounds is big for 7.5 months.  In my very first post, I said that newfs at seven months should be around a hundred pounds… By my calculations, that means I will top out at around 150.  Dang I am big.  I mean, arfgflegrrr!  Snooki and I will never be the same weight again! (unless, of course, she’s having twins)

The Ideal Dog

We have been filling out a lot of applications recently for dog rescue organizations as we look for a new addition to round out our little family.  We are currently short one dog of the ideal, 2 dog, 2 cat, 2 human family-structure we most enjoy in our house so that noone is ever lacking for attention.  My very favorite question on the applications I have filled out so far was, “Please describe the characteristics of the ideal dog for you and/or your family.”  Here was my answer:

The ideal dog weighs about 130 to 160 pounds, and you don’t have to bend over to pet them (if you do, that is a cat, not a dog).  The ideal dog sleeps in front of whatever cabinet or door that you want to open, snores like a chain saw, wipes its mouth on clean pants after drinking water, and sheds gobs of hair all year round.  The ideal dog steps over the cats and babies with ease, but trips going down the stairs.  And speaking of stairs, the ideal dog hugs one side of the stairs or the other, leaving a black smudge of dirt that must be cleaned up constantly, and the ideal dog always farts on the way up steep stairs with you behind them.  The ideal dog (as a puppy) can eat your shoe in about five minutes, and (as an adult) can swipe your sandwich off your plate when you turn your back for only a second.  The ideal dog licks the front of the kitchen counter tops and can eat an entire pizza.  The ideal dog brings in mud on their feet and jumps on the bed, has sticks (or branches) in their fur, and scratches themselves very loudly, so that everyone knows when the task is done.  The ideal dog drools a bit, or a lot depending on the activity, and shakes said drool onto guests in the house who do not like dogs.  The ideal dog can open a can of coke with his teeth after shaking it, or pull trays of Christmas cookies from where they are cooling onto the floor.  The ideal dog dusts the livingroom furniture with its tail, and knocks all those inessential things on the coffee table onto the floor in the process.  The ideal dog can be hugged and kissed without fear of breaking.

Thinking of getting a newf puppy? This is required reading!

If you are thinking of getting a Newf puppy in the near future (or ever), this is required reading:

Do You Really Want a Newfie?

Pay very close attention to the chapters on puppy mills and locating a good breeder.

These are some of his dogs (pic is lifted from the website).  Aren’t they beautiful?

The Good That People Do: Tinker’s Dream

These people are awesome!  and their dogs are pretty cute, too.

http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/co338.html 

http://petsforpatriots.org/tinkers-dream/

Visit Tinker’s Dream

Article in the Fort Morgan Times

“Tinker’s Dream is a 501C3 that was created as a “pay it forward” program to celebrate her impact on her owner’s life. Tinker went from being a rescue dog to a working service dog allowing her partner to return to work full time. While our focus is on rescuing Newfoundland & Newfoundland mixes to train as therapy & service dogs we also partner with other working breed rescues for educational programs.. We are seeking foster homes as well as forever homes for these special animals. We will be offering programs to help veterans & others with disabilities to train their own service dogs.”