Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30

<-Freya (6 months old jailbait)
May 30,
Had a good long morning luvin's session with the dogs, all six of them. Gave them all their morning biscuit and treats. Demon laid back to back with Freya, guarding her and her bone from all comers. It was interesting to see how protective of her he is, because normally I sit by her to keep the older dogs from stealing her treats. I guess Demon has taken on the responsibility of doing the same. When they were done, I then caught Freya chewing on the rug again. So, I got her one of the nyla-bones laying in the yard which she took and went to the outer porch to chew on it. But no sooner had she began contentedly gnawing on it then Yukon came by and stole her bone.

Shrugging to herself, she came back to the inner porch and began chewing on the rug again... So, I went inside and got a nyla-bone from the inside stash of dog toys and gave it to her. She chewed on it for almost ten minutes when Demon came by and stole her bone... Freya thought this was free license to go chew on the rug again.

This time I brought out a rope tug toy with lots of hanging fringy things, and she was delighted with this offering. She took it to the outer porch, but Yukon was out there, so she brought it back to the inner porch, and Demon decided to play tug-o-war with her. She thought it was great fun until he won and took off with the toy. Not willing to give up this marvelous toy that tasted like rug, she ran after him and they played keep-away and tug-o-war for some time. Even Yukon got in the spirit of the play, and chased them both when they had the rope toy, and Samantha just ran down to supervise. She doesn't play much, but she does think she's in charge of all.

Had a bit of a scare, as Valkrys was lieing down on her right side and couldn't get up. She started to panic, but I got to her in time and lifted her to her feet. Poor old girl. I think her right hip is still bothering her, and I'm afraid these might be her last days. She's lived a very long and happy life with us, though, 18 years is a long time for a mixed German Shepherd. She won't lie on her right side now, but did manage to lie down and get up again from her left side. I don't know how long that will last. I'm keeping my eyes on her to make sure she does not have another problem or panic attack.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29th


Didn’t get in until around 1am in the morning, but spent some time greeting the dogs before going to bed. Samantha and Freya were eager to get settled in my room for their sleeptime. Turned off the alarm and went to sleep. Freya woke me at 6am with a whine to go out. I pet her and told her she was a good girl for waking me. She has taken to being housetrained incredibly quickly, in fact, rather astonishingly; she has only gone in the house a total of 3 times since she was brought indoors.

So I got up and opened the curtains so I could open the door to let them out, but G’Kar couldn’t wait that long and started barking eagerly to go out. This of course, woke James up, and probably Jim, but he didn’t get up. I sat outside with the dogs and asked James to come out and socialize with them, as I was still very tired and wanted to get some more sleep. I also asked him to give the dogs their morning biscuits before going back to bed.

I woke back up at 8am to the sound of James. Ah well… As soon as I started getting dressed, though, G’kar was whining at the door. He had already been outside, so I figured he wanted my company. I let him in and pet and hugged him, but it took a few minutes for him to put on his husky smile. If only he would understand that other dogs doesn’t mean I love him less, but I think he got the idea.

Cold water makes mom grumpy in the morning…. James had used up most of the hot water already. That, and no coffee, someone had left the pot on all night, and there was nothing but sludge in the bottom… What is this, Monday or Friday? Sigh…

Gorgeous day though, hate to spend it inside, so I take every opportunity to wander out to the door of the warehouse and dream about being home. Not much activity today, thank goodness. Where I work is an ex-crime lab/now home for the tech wing. It’s really a great place to work with a fun bunch of folks to work with. Having a good working environment makes all the difference in the world. I’m very happy here and hope this job will last.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28

<- Yukon
May 28,
Alarm went off at 5am, and next thing I know, Samantha is up on the bed cuddling up beside me for a belly rub. Rather groggy and reaching for the alarm, I pet her ears, rubbed her belly and told her to get down. Puppy eyes! I’m a sucker, I know… I pet her a few more times before pushing her off so I could get up. My bed sits against the wall, so I can’t get out the other way. Freya doesn’t get up and greet me, but lies on the floor wagging her tail. I check her nose and she’s still a bit warm and feeling punky, so I pet her a bit, and it makes her feel a bit better. Outside with the boys, she takes up her usual spot on my left as Yukon and Demon vie for my attention. After a while and they have all had their morning biscuit, I go get my coffee.

James had made a mess all over the counters, so I roust him out of bed to clean it up. He is obviously not very happy about that, but he knows better. At 20 years, he is old enough to move out and has had the rules explained to him very carefully. #1 being, thou shalt clean up thy messes afore thy mother expels thee. I find it rather effective most of the time.

Of course by the time the fur is flying, Jim is up, and James is noisily going about the business of cleanup. Jim and I sit out on the porch with the dogs for a long time, since I will be working late tonight, I asked to go in late. As Demon passes by me, I comb out his shed as often as possible, which gets him and Yukon in the game of ‘eat my hairball’. Bleh, this is one game I’m not playing! Out on the porch, though, it is obvious why Freya is feeling a bit punky. The edging around the second rug we picked up for them has been eaten. Sigh… I tell Jim and James to watch and make sure she poops today because the rug bits might stop up her intestines and that would be bad. If she hasn’t by the time I get home, she gets a treat of hamburger grease. If no poops tomorrow, off to the vet.

We get to the county clerk with barely enough time to get Jim’s license plates, and I get in to work barely on time.

I got to thinking, yeah I know, another dangerous pastime of mine… heh, but I was thinking about how dogs learn their names. Why would a dog associate a human word with their name? For all we know, they may have named themselves Ggrrroollrwawrgrr, and just humor us when we call them names like Ginger. Yet in all of this, they learn that a word when we call it, means we want them to come to us. And not just any word, but their name, and they know it means them and not the other dog.

This, to me, is a fascinating concept and shows that dogs really are intelligent enough to understand enough human speech to distinguish between names like Freya and Samantha. I think secretly Samantha is really Grawwwrrrooogrrruff, which means “mighty destroyer of all digging rodents”, and Freya is really Roollrawrgrrroo, which means “chewer of all things unchewable”. Ggrroollrwawrgrr must be Demon’s real name, which means “eater of anything that rolls on the ground and is smaller than me”, and Yukon is Hoowllaraoowlgrr, which means “great howling philosopher”. He has the cutest “owoowah” when he wants to be petted, but it also may be a demand in dog speech. “Pet me you oaf of an ungainly creature!”
Samantha, I believe, has named G’Kar Grrroogrraaawwrrruf, “the red menace”, and Yukon has named Valkrys Hrroollrwaooorr “old pretty one”, or maybe just “mother of all dogs” as he seems to love her and dances around her out in the yard. He follows her around a lot which Valkrys finds amusing at times and annoying at others.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27th

<- Valkrys
May 27, 2009
Up at 5am, dress, take the dogs out for our morning social howl and luvin’s. Yukon seems a bit more clingy than usual, so I pet him and hug him a lot. Normally he is the aloof one, getting in his petting then going off across the deck to lay down and watch. Demon is usually the one trying to lay in my lap as much as possible, and trying to avoid being nibbled on by Freya. Freya takes up her usual place on my left, snuggling up and giving me that look when I use the hand that is petting her to pet another dog. Both boys lay down next to me and roll on their backs to get their belly scratched. Big smiles all around!

I love huskies! They are always smiling when they are happy, which for this bunch seems to be most of the time now. Their happiness makes me happy. I love to see them play and having a good time. I’m so glad we were able to get them out of that small yard, and in to a place where they can run and run and play to their hearts’ content. Yukon, Freya and Demon love to play ‘Chase me!’, and are ever so delighted when I join in. They think it is the greatest thing in the world that a person knows how to play dog games.

I haven’t mentioned yet that my dogs love peanut treats called “nutastic” or somesuch. I get them at Kroger as it seems to be the only place that carries them. We use them for obedience training to great success and the dogs come running when they hear the jar shake. They also love buscuits, which they get at least twice a day to help supplement their vitamin intake. All that is, except picky Valkrys. She turns her nose up at buscuits, but loves peanut treats. At 18 years, I guess she is entitled to some eccentricity.

Reminisce time again. When my son was only three and a half, Valkrys saved his life. She was just under a year old when it happened. It was sometime around nine at night when Jim and I were sitting on the couch in the den on the lower portion of the split level we owned in Pasadena, MD. We had put James to bed less than a half hour before, and were getting in some relaxation before going to bed ourselves when Valkrys began to whine. I got up thinking she had to go out, but she didn’t go to the backdoor as usual. She ran up the stairs, not even stopping by the front door. I started up the stairs after her, wondering what on earth was wrong, but when she made a bee-line to my sons door and began digging at the floor beneath it, I cleared the last few stairs in a leap.

As I reached the door, I could smell the smoke! The knob was not hot, so I yanked open the door to see a spark of flame just starting to climb up the wire plugged in next to my son’s head. He was sound asleep on the bed, so I was across the room before I even finished looking around. Snatching him up, I handed him to Jim and told him to take him outside while I put out the fire. Using the blanket from the bed, I smothered the flames that were starting to catch the wall, and used a plastic toy to lever the transformer out of the plug that was still smoking. It was a VERY close call! Since that moment on, Valkrys has been our Heroine, and has held an honored place in our household. She has had a good life, with all the comforts we can give her, and she has been a great and smart dog. We will miss her very much when she passes on. How she came to us that stormy night, and how smart she really is will be stories for another day.

Got home late after going out to dinner, and the dogs couldn’t wait to greet me. I changed from my work clothes to something I wasn’t afraid to get muddy, as it had been raining and the dogs were covered in mud, especially Samantha. She looked so silly with mud all over her face! I could tell she had been digging after moles or gophers in the yard. James and I took the 4-pack for a walk down to the bridge, back to the edge of the backyard grass going the other way, back to the bridge, and back to the fenced yard. It was a good mile or more, and the dogs were happy with a lot of their pent-up energy spent sniffing and trotting and generally being dogs. They were very happy after a long draught at one of the three water buckets. When they had finished drinking, I took Samantha to the kiddie pool and washed down her paws. She was not happy with it, but stood still while I washed the mud off her paws one by one. She was more than eager to leave the pool when I was done though.

I stayed outside with her until her paws dried and all of them, including the old dogs, got their treats and biscuits/bones. We all decided to turn in rather early, and I brought Samantha and Freya in to my room. G’kar refused to leave, plopping himself in the middle of the room rather stubbornly, and Valkrys had already fallen asleep in the corner, so I let all four of them sleep in my room.

May 26th

May 26, 2009
Woke up at 3am with Freya barfing on the floor. Poor puppy. I cleaned it up, scrubbed the floor and spent some time with her to make sure she was ok. Then went back to sleep only to have G’Kar whine outside my door… sigh. So, I debated going back to sleep when the 5am alarm went off.

Realistically I could sleep in until 6:30, but then I would never get anything done. I went outside with the dogs and Demon was shedding really bad, so combed him out some as I pet and socialized with them all. Short stint on the computer before work, SSS, and off to the grind.

Home with the pups, it is cooler out this evening, so there is some life in the yard. A deer ran by the back and they all ran along the fence. They are so amazing to watch, so swift, Yukon is an astonishing runner! I swear he only touches the ground 3 times running across the 200 yards of fence! One of these days, I’d love to let him cut loose and clock him on radar. He makes my old Afghan hound, Goldie look slow. (Goldie was something of a blonde bimbo, loved her to death, but man was she a stupid dog. So I guess it is reminisce time. Goldie came to us out of the woods half-starved. My mother coaxed her in with some hot dogs, and she decided to stay. Goldie was short for Golden Lady, what my mother named her. She was originally my sister Karen’s dog, but when she went off to college, Goldie became mine. I took care of her, walked her, brushed and clipped the mats from her fur, and cleaned up after her. She never really got the hang of being housebroken, which is probably the reason she was dumped out as a stray. I cared for Goldie for just over three years before I went in to the army. I told my mother I would be back for the dog as soon as I could, but my mother couldn’t wait that long and gave her away. That wasn’t the first dog she took away from me, but it was certainly the last!)

May 25th

May 25,
I love whoever thought of Memorial Day. Of course, I was up with the dogs again, about 5:30. Spent time socializing, and howling with them, which they are beginning to make a morning ritual. This obviously does not go down well with Jim and James, but I think it is a good time. The boys just love the attention, Samantha lays nearby, and Freya cuddles up to my left side and gnaws on Demon when he comes near. Despite my wound, my bathroom and the house needs cleaning, so I get to work on the shower. The cut stings abominably, but at least it too is clean. No germs could have possibly survived the bleaching…

May 24

May 24,
Got the dogs out and hooked up before 8, but the cart had a flat tire. Sigh. We ran them anyway, up and down the road pulling only the cart. James had a tough time keeping up, but well, that’s James. It got pretty warm again, so we gave the dogs ice cream around 2pm, and Jim decided he was going to have a spoonful, and has been regretting it ever since. Fool knows, he’s allergic to lactose…not just intolerant, but allergic in the worst way. He gets an internal rash through his intestines until it all comes out… That’s if it doesn’t wind him up in the hospital… again…

Ah well, he's learned his lesson... again...

The dogs rest most of the day when we are not obedience training or socializing them. We keep them in the shade, and they love laying on the porch under the fans, except Yukon who likes to lay under the porch in the cool dirt.

Got Demon’s collar finished today, saw a really good no-slip design that would be ideal as Demon still doesn’t like to be walked by anyone but me. So, I took two large rings and one small, a 2” buckle and got to work on my leather bench. 3-4 hours of work and I had a good looking leather collar that was a limited slip collar that would not choke made especially to Demon’s size with a little room for growth as he fills out with the proper nutrition. Since I didn’t have any more antiquing (used the last of it to do Yukon’s new collar), I simply stamped his name in it, burnished the edges, and put it on him.

The rings jingling together made a bell-like sound and startled him at first, but after a while I think he liked the sound. He bounce-ran back and forth across the deck and the yard just to hear it jingle, a large grin on his face.

May 23rd

May 23,
Got up with the dogs, and had a hair band fall between my nightstand and my bed… Incidentally, this is where I keep my greatsword and my double-bitted axe, which on this early morning at 5:30 am, happened to be a bad thing. When I reached for it, I sliced my hand open pretty good on the point of the bearded axe. Not a good way to start your morning or a 3 day weekend. I used a pressure bandage to stop the bleeding and shrugged off the pain to take care of the dogs and waited for my son. We hooked up the 4-pack, and Freya was rearing to go! She didn’t want to wait for the older dogs, heh, she was so cute, pulling her little heart out before we even had her hooked up. She will make an excellent sled dog!
James and the dogs outdistanced me in short order, but not before each of them was christened in blood, my blood, I guess that makes them completely mine, heh. I caught up to them at the bridge where there was quite an issue getting them to turn around and come back. They kept tangling lines and I ended up putting Yukon and Samantha up front and having Demon and Freya on the wheel. This worked out the best yet, as Demon and Freya loved to run together, and Samantha and Yukon also made great running mates. Yukon is turning out to be the stronger leader, as Samantha loves to pull, and loves to please, Yukon is the thinker and philosopher, but he also listens to commands better. Samantha can be downright stubborn when she wants to. I guess that is why we get along so well, we are so much alike… lol.

It was really hot today, and I think Yukon and Demon were a little stressed in the heat. I had the fans on for them all day, but by the afternoon it was 89 and they weren’t taking it well. Neither of them has blown their winter coat yet, and I felt really bad for them, Samantha would come in, but Freya would not. I’m trying to figure out a way that I can bring in the boys when it is hot without them marking everything in sight. I put a kiddie pool up by the gate, but they won’t lay in it, they only drink out of it. I put Demon in it, and splashed him a bit, but he didn’t like that at all, so I let him shake it off. He seemed a bit cooler after though. Trying to figure out a way I can get the dogs misted or wet down when it is hot, so they can cool off. Maybe a sprinkler? Who knows?

When it was really hot, we gave them some ice cream, which seems to be their favorite treat. It also seems to cool them off a wee bit. James and I get a bowl and Jim gets a bowl to share out to the dogs (since he can’t eat it himself). They love him for it, heh.

Freya now comes to me to be petted every time I step outside. This makes me happy considering how shy she was when we first got her. She is so pretty with her black and white markings and soulful blue eyes. She’s getting to be quite the character too. Her buddy is Demon, they share almost everything and play together all the time.

May 22nd

May 22, 2009
The usual routine, up at 5, let the dogs out, spend time with them, get ready for work, leave. Not much happening today, so time to catch up on things from the last few hectic weeks. Upcoming 3 day weekend. YAY!

May 21st

May 21, 2009
Samantha is first to greet me as my alarm goes off. I scratch her ears before rolling out of bed and getting dressed. Freya is slow to wake up, which is a bit unusual, but she is her happy self once I rub her belly. Valkrys didn’t sleep in my room last night, and was still sleeping on her dog pillow when I let the other dogs out. Outside on the rug, the boys cuddle up to me, and demon lays with his head on my lap, begging me to rub his belly, Freya does the same on my left side and Yukon buries his head in my chest, nearly knocking me over as I pet him. They are such loving dogs, each vying playfully with eachother for the best spot to gain my attention. Valkrys shows up at the door so I let her out. Freya takes to gently mouthing the boys’ muzzles in puppy fashion, egging them to play with her, but the boys want their morning luvin’s. After close to ten minutes with the fuzzies, and giving them biscuits I manage my first cup of coffee and go for a stint on the pc. Six thirty shower, dress, hair, teeth, pet the dogs, more coffee, get water and off to work, no wait, pet the dogs, then off to work.

May 19th

May 19
Samantha jumped on the bed when she heard my alarm go off. I doubt there is a day when I will be able to sleep through the alarm, lol. Spent a few minutes petting Freya, she is such a loving pup when she is in the house. Samantha got more than her fair share of morning luvins. G’kar was whining outside the door for about 40 minutes before the alarm… sigh… I want to open the door and squirt him in the face with the waterbottle, but repress the urge. Valkrys wakes just as I finish dressing and I pet her and hug her gently. Her legs don’t work as well as they used to, so I’m careful not to put too much strain on her balance, yet hug her enough to let her know I still care very much for her.

I let the dogs out the back door, and the boys are overjoyed to see me again. They fill me with warmth, even as they make my face cold and wet with their tongues. I try to pet them all as I sit down on the rug we have on the enclosed porch for them to sleep on. The porch has a door on one side, but the other is open for them to freely go in and out of, and instead of sleeping in the doghouses, they like to sleep on the porch. Which is fine by me.

Dog Blog

To chronicle my adventures into the world of Mushing/Dog Carting for fun and for the dogs.

It was a very cold March day in Kentucky. I moved here in December after a long stint with a company that was finally failing after nearly eighty years, some of them as the number one manufacturer of realtime systems in the world. Long story short, I feared for my future, and rightly so it turns out, decided to make a new start of it. What made this cold day special as it was the day I met what I lovingly call my 4-pack.

Theirs was a tragic story; their loving master had died and left the dogs with his son. I don’t know for how long and didn’t ask, some things are better left unsaid. When I saw them alone and starving for attention I knew I could not leave them there, plus, I fell in love with Samantha and the boys. Samantha stayed at my side the whole time, and she was so loving, but the boys got out and she took off with them. Fortunately they made a lap of the neighborhood and came back to the house. I told the owner, I would be back for them the next week.

Saturday March 28 I got up bright and early and loaded my old husky G’kar in to the truck to go meet the new dogs. After the 1.5 hour drive, though, he would have none of it. Their first meeting was a disaster, but I paid the man for Samantha, the boys and one of the pups who later I named Freya and told him I’d be back in the morning for them.

Disaster struck Saturday afternoon though, as I was trying to accomplish some maintenance activity on our system at work, a non-critical system crashed. Knowing I was going to need help, I contacted my hubbie and had him fly our 20 year old son up to help with the dogs. His flight was delayed 1.5 hours, though and I ended up having to leave the OAM system half down overnight. Something I was terribly loathe to do.

Sunday March 29 we were up and on the road by 6am to pick up the dogs. Freya was the first and though it was difficult to catch and load her, we eventually were able to get her in to the crate. Then off to Harrodsburg to pick up the big dogs. It was pouring down rain and the dogs were terribly muddy. Fortunately I had some cargo blankets from the move and laid them out in the back of my expedition. Samantha stayed up front with us, she wouldn’t stay in the back with the boys, so we let her lay half on the folded down seat and half on the middle console cushion while she was lavished with attention. She was so funny, poking James and I with her nose and being delighted by my son’s ticklish squeal of laughter.

We swung by the Walmart to pick up supplies, extra leashes, extra food bowls, all the things I could think of that we would need before the 1.5 hour trip home. Altogether, with James’ flight, the dogs and the harnesses I bought for them, I ended up spending about $1k, but it was well worth it. Feeling happy, but worried about work, I drove home hoping my son would be able to cope with the dogs while I went in to work to fix the system. I had him put them in the room that would eventually become his in our new home, and take them out for a run every two hours, since we didn’t have the fence built yet.

But before we could get them all in, Freya got loose and ran off, proving that the 10x20' kennel enclosure I had put up to house them temporarily was completely inadequate. James couldn’t catch her and I had to leave. It was a terrible gut wrenching time, knowing that I had to go with a pup on the loose. I felt horrible inside, sure I would never see her again. She had such a bad beginning, torn from her mother at only three weeks old and kept in a stall in a barn with her siblings for five months, barely any human contact, she was almost feral. Terribly scared of people, she wouldn’t come even for food.

That was the beginning of a grueling 23 hours where I was working and unable to search for the pup, as she ran away from James and he had to deal with the other three adults so could not go after her. We searched up and down once I had four hours of sleep, but we could not find her. Sick in my heart that she had probably either been picked up or hit by a car, it was a terrible first few days. My husband drove up from North Carolina immediately to help care for the dogs and get the fence built more quickly. Without his help and the help of my son I would not have been able to rescue the dogs from their bad situation. James was frustrated, as Demon (who we had been told was Yukon) was very shy and kept slipping his collar and running. He wouldn’t come to James and he would have to wait until I could come and get the dog. Yukon too, kept getting loose, but he was much easier to catch, and fortunately since they were very social dogs, the neighbors didn’t mind the visitors to their dogs. Thank goodness for good and understanding neighbors!

My primary worry though, was that all huskies have a VERY strong hunting instinct, and many of my other neighbors had chickens. Not a good combination, plus we had a missing puppy. Every day I drove around looking for her, but could not find her. I asked all the neighbors if they had seen her, and no one had, until we got a lucky call that Thursday. One of the folks on the other side of the bend in the highway had found Freya! They had lured her in to a kennel with their dogs and heard that we were looking for a pup. They called us and thank goodness we were able to get her back! She was a bit lean, but otherwise in good condition still. Thanking the neighbors profusely we offered a reward, but they refused. Again, thank goodness for good neighbors! Anywhere else I have lived, I had not had such good people nearby. This was a real eye opener and another notch in a growing list of what I love about our new place.

After a week of running the dogs every two hours, and spending every free moment with them to help socialize them and get them to trust and love us, we finally had the fence finished. It was a joy to my heart to see them run! They played for hours, just running back and forth, chasing eachother around in the 1.5 acres of dog playground. After that small, less than a quarter acre lot, I’m sure it probably seemed a dog’s paradise. James and Jim were relieved to finally be able to clean the room and move James out of Jim’s room and in to his.

Samantha became situated in my room at night, and luckily by the end of the week she was out of heat and could run with the boys outside. She has always been a sweetheart, but her and G’kar, my eleven year old red Siberian would not get along. We tried for days to socialize them without much success, so had to keep them separated. G’kar at first didn’t want to get along with any of them, and it made life hard to rotate walking him and Valkrys with running the four pack. It took four weeks to finally allow G’kar to socialize with the boys with supervision, and another week after that before he would socialize with Samantha. They still look at each other and growl, so there will always be room for improvement.

One thing that made life easier was that we found a great place to shop for all our dog needs. In nearby Georgetown there is a Tractor Supply Company that carries high performance dog foods, dog treats, dog houses, etc. It was also with great pleasure I found that they had a pedal cart that would be a great dog-cart! With a large grin, I picked up the pedal cart, some horse leads for traces and gig line, and we had a makeshift training rig! Too bad the weather was not so cooperative. When it wasn’t raining hard enough to make hail, it was too hot to run. On the nice days, I ended up having to work as our site was going through a major upgrade, and my son did not feel comfortable, nor have enough experience to train the dogs himself. So it was many days later before we finally harnessed up Samantha to see how much she remembered of her earlier training.

For her first time back out, I trotted beside her, and James trotted beside the cart, ensuring it kept on track and was stopped when she stopped. The cart itself was pretty sturdy, and it had been a long time since she had pulled, so we didn’t push her, but let her set her own pace and watched for fatigue. She was very happy to be in harness again, but it didn’t take long for her to get tired, so I unhooked her and walked her back with the leash while James pushed the cart back. All that evening she stuck to me like glue and has become my shadow ever since whenever I step in to the house or go out back with the boys. Freya is still very shy and only allows herself to suffer through petting when we corner her. Not exactly the way I would like to earn a dog’s trust, but it soon becomes very clear that we will have to employ heavy human socialization in order to bring her around. At least being a puppy, she will quickly adapt to socialization with people rather than canines. Her first heat was not long after this decision, and the clincher on bringing her in to the house, house training and rigorous socializing with the bipeds. We would take her out front and on the leash to do her business as taking her out back was a struggle with the boys so eager to introduce her prematurely to motherhood.

I’m sure the first day was traumatic for the poor pup, but at least she had Samantha, G’kar and Valkrys in the house to ease her fears. After the second day, she no longer ran until backed into a corner to allow petting, but would sit with her head down, ears drooping and shoulders hunched as she was petted. The third day saw only the slightest flinch but soon had ears up and tail wagging. By the fourth day, she began to actively seek out my company, coming up and sitting or laying down next to me. By the fifth day, she was jumping on the side of the bed with Samantha to get her morning luvin’s. By the sixth day, she would let me pet her outside if there was no one else out there. By the second week, she now comes to me, and lays down for a belly rub regardless of who is around. She still has a ways to go, but this progress is tremendous and makes me very happy.

Another thing that has me very happy is Demon. He too has been very shy, but took to me immediately, I just seem to have that way with dogs most of the time. When we got him, he was skin and bones and looked like in another week, he may have starved to death. With his fluffy fur, you would have never known unless you spent time petting him. Something I'm sure had not been done in some time. Over the three weeks, he began to fill in and put some meat on his bones. With his ability to satisfy his hunger, his shyness began to recede until he is snuggling with James and I on a regular basis. He still is a bit shy of Jim, but will let Jim pet him if Jim is petting Yukon. He has become quite affectionate, and I call him my fuzzy teddy bear which was very quickly adapted to fozzy bear.

Leash training has been difficult, but as always, Samantha has taken right to it. She is a very smart dog that is overjoyed to please her new people. She is such a joy to be around, loves everyone and all the other dogs except G’kar… sigh…