Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30th Learning to Stack

At our class last night, Princess learned to stand on bricks and tolerate me moving her legs around. She did great, picking up on what I wanted her to do, even though she didn't like it. Once I got her in position, though, she held it like a champ. That girl will do almost anything for a piece of hotdog. She will also show me her displeasure at having to stand on bricks though. Each time I took her off the bricks, walked her around in a circle then came back to them, she'd put on the "oh hell no!" brakes. Good thing I'm in charge and able to coerce her to cooperate. She won't climb on the bricks herself, but once up there, she'll stand perfectly still and not move her feet once I've placed them. She's such a happy good-natured girl! I'm so proud of her.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28th Drawbacks and Advances

One drawback to the electric fence has reared its paw to us. Two puppies have decided it is too risky to pee outside and one has decided it is okay to poop on the deck instead of in the yard... sigh. It was three pups, but I've reconditioned one that it is okay to be in the yard. On to the other two when I can catch them.

On a better note, though, we have had no breakouts since (knock on wood), and Samantha is back to her happy self and there is quite a bit less tension between her and Freya (sigh of relief, but still on our guard). Seems being on a tether is very stressful for her, much, much more so than the threat of the electric fence. It only took her once to get the idea that the wire was bad, and she has avoided it ever since.

Buck was our worry last week (again). Not sure how he hurt his foot, but inbetween the first and second toe of his right rear, he hurt himself, and topical antiseptics were not helping. We ended up taking him to the vet for some antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory/pain medication Friday. By Sunday night the redness and swelling had gone down, and it was apparent he was on the road to recovery. He seems to be our injury prone boy, poor guy.

Saturday we took Samantha in for DHLPP booster and Freya for 3 yr rabies and DHLPP. Samantha was acting oddly skittish which is highly unusual for her. Normally she loves all people, and when Jim takes her to the college, she does fine with crowds... odd... Freya on the other hand, though a bit shy was tremendously mellow! What a change she has made from the frightened pup that first came to us! I was very proud that she didn't try to hide from the vet or the tech, and endured it all with only a stiff posture and wide eyes. Last trip to the vet was a struggle to keep her still and not trying to hide under or behind everything in the room. Also in the waiting room, she kept calm and still, sitting by me and not reacting to the very large black GSD that was barely under the owner's control that was posturing at her. That could have been very ugly had she decided to return the aggressive posture. The dog was twice as strong as the owner, it was pretty obvious who was in control. I'm so glad I took so much time walking, socializing and leash training Freya! She is just one fabulous dog!

Princess spent a lot of time with me just cuddling and watching TV when I finished my outdoor chores. She actually watches what is going on in the strange moving picture on the wall, unlike the other dogs. Sometimes she even smiles at the TV, and I wonder how much she really understands.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just a reminder

These two wonderful pups are still looking for good quality homes. We will interview potential owners very carefully so be ready to answer questions as well as we are ready to answer yours. We care very much about each of our pups and will always take them back for any reason within 30 days for a refund as long as they have been treated well and are in good health. We will take back any puppy after that time but no refunds will be made. We are happy to ensure our puppy's future in the event they can no longer be taken care of. We do NOT want to see any of our puppies ever end up in a shelter! Please call us first and we will do what we can to bring them home.

Buck is a sweetheart, loves to follow you around and generally be by you for most of the day and all night if you let him. He's a gorgeous buckskin-red and white boy with light blue eyes. Buck has been neutered and housetrained. He has had some basic obedience training. He is very loving and thinks he's a lap dog. He loves to sit with you and watch TV. He also loves walks and running around in the yard. He is a very social dog and should not be left alone for long periods of time. He is good with other huskies, unknown disposition towards other small animals as he has not been raised around them.

Ace is a beautiful red and white girl with blue eyes. She is also very loving and will curl up next to you on the couch. She loves to run around and get her exercise, and would make a great puller for dog powered sports. She has a great disposition and is very social. She is good with other huskies, but has had little exposure to other animals. She is house trained and has had basic obedience training.

Both she and Buck have had some crate training, but should not be left alone for long periods of time.

To enquire about Ace or Buck, e-mail me at zharrlord at yahoo dot com.

June 22nd Rough Week

The upgrades are finally done, Jim is feeling better, and things are starting to have some semblance of normality. Well, as normal as it gets around our house anyway.

Saturday I finished the electric fence and we powered it up from the solar charger. The meter we bought said it was hitting the 1kv light. Not enough to injure, but just enough to give the pups a deterrent from digging out.

We were finally able to let Samantha run the yard off-lead again. All was fine until a deer ran across the back, then they were all at the fence trying to get out by the rockpile that covered their last escape hole. One by one, they probed the rocks until they contacted the wire, yipped, jumped back, some running for cover in the house, some hiding behind me as I watched from the porch.

Samantha and Freya thought something was attacking their puppies and ran up and down the fence with their fur straight up looking for whatever had made them yelp. After I reassured the puppies, Samantha saw a squirrel and decided it was her turn to find a way out. She trotted up to the rock pile, and began sniffing next to it, contacted the wire, yelped and jumped back ten feet with every hair on her body on end. She circled around menacingly, then ran into the house. Poor Samantha. I hate to do this, but I'd much rather have them learn to stay clear of the fence than to have to pick up their dead bodies from someone's farm.

The dogs have learned very well over the last couple of days that the wire by the fence is not something to take lightly. It won't shock them if they casually brush by it, but if they put a foot or a nose on it they will get a slight shock. Samantha is happy to be off-lead in the yard and in the house while the gate is open again, though she still thinks there is some invisible monster lurking by the back fence. We can rest somewhat easier knowing that our dogs are safe and not in danger of being shot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15th Husky Wool anyone?

I now have a 5lb milkbone box full of compact husky hair, and still have enough for another. Anyone out there want any husky wool?
The pack is playful in the morning, but by the time it heats up above 80 degrees they are all napping in the air conditioning. This morning Buck was bobbing for insects in the horse trough and blowing bubbles. It was so much fun, he decided he'd try it in the bucket in the house. Not cool Bucky boy! go splash around outside!

It would have been fine, but he decided to dig-splash the water everywhere! So, I'm counting down the days until I can afford to replace the carpet with hard wood.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14th Hot, Muggy, Lazy Days.

Buck amuses himself by blowing bubbles with his nose in the horse trough.

Work has triple timed me, so I took the weekend off, and good thing I did as the pups decided to take another holiday Friday morning even after all the rocks that were stuffed in their escape hatch. They simply got Freya and Yukon to dig them another... Samantha, thank goodness, was tethered and unable to lead them astray, so they were all recovered within 20 minutes. So, I found a 250lb + rock that I rolled halfway across the yard to cover the hole in its entirety. This labor in the 90 degree weather and 70% humidity had me soaked through and through with sweat and still not straight after drinking a gallon and a half of water.

Sunday I spent the first half of the day putting up isolators ~6inches from the bottom of the fence. I hate the thought of putting down electric wire, but I've got to have some kind of stop in place while I finish up putting concrete down along the base of the fence. Hopefully it will discourage them from digging out again. bleh... I need to move further north... it is still too warm here....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9th Another Busy Week

Saturday I went to the dogshow in Lexington and saw a lot of beautiful dogs, though none of them were Siberians. There were a few shelties, a couple of corgis, a keeshound, a teacup pomeranian, a viszla, a portugese waterdog, a poodle, a cairn terrier, a couple of german shepherds, a couple english setters, a king charles spaniel, a couple chinese chins, and a belgian shepherd to name a few. I had the pleasure of helping out a couple of times with the canine good citizen by being an 'extra' person/crowd to guage the dog's reaction to a lot of people milling about. Intermittently I was allowed to pet the keeshound named 'Chris' who was a real sweetheart. I also got to hold the teacup pom who was such an adorable little boy! He was so calm, I almost couldn't believe he was a pom! He was just content to be held and petted and loved on that he hardly moved a muscle except to tell us when another dog came in the arena. He was such a cutie, and so tiny but loveable! I'm not one for small dogs, but that little guy was a treat.

It was a fairly small event, though, quite freindly and I wished I had brought Princess anyway. Ah well, live and learn. Of course it was rather hot and humid though, so she may have been a bit miserable there. We stayed until hunger pangs dragged us off to lunch, and we went to eat and stop by the Tractor Supply for dogfood, treats and various chewies.

Monday morning Princess was getting tired of Freya picking on her, so she wanted Samantha to come with her outside to supervise so that she could go potty in peace. She ran to the door, then ran back to Samantha, whined, licked her face then ran to the door. She did the same to me, then back to Samantha. We were both loathe to get up, so Princess picked up the leash on Samantha's collar and dragged her to the door. That Princess knows how to get what she wants...

This week has been a couple of nightshifts, but it is hard to tell puppies to let me sleep in! They still think I need to be up at 5am to go outside and play with them. Okay, so I've spoiled them into a schedule... At least they are happy, and once they are tired and fed thier breakfast and morning treat, I can go back to bed... maybe.

This afternoon the dogs all went nutso at the fence, howling, barking and trying to dig out, so I went down to the back fence to see what the fuss was about. A twelve inch diameter snapping turtle hissed at the dogs through the chain link and kept snapping at them just short of their noses. Knowing that the situation would not resolve itself in a good or timely manner I intervened and went outside the fence. Grabbing up a wood box, I distracted its biting end while flipping it over (this so I could safely get ahold of its tail and avoid its business end). Grabbing it up by the tail, it must have weighed between 10-15 pounds, quite hefty and dangerous. I took it to the embankment of the creek, and set it down as it hissed and snapped at me. It was a marvelous old female who was trying to find a safe place to lay her eggs, but I had to dissuade her from trying to find that place in my dogyard. Hopefully she got the message.

Our flea and tick oil, and heartworm chews finally arrived (only 3 months late...), so I administered one of each to the dogs on Tuesday. Today, while Freya was at the fence and trying to engage the turtle and I was out moving the turtle from the fence, Jim said he thought she had a slight siezure. This worries me, as I've heard some dogs can have a reaction to ivermectin that is in the chews. We will be again keeping a close eye on her. I examined her carefully when I came in and nothing appeared to be wrong, no ear infection, clear and responsive pupils, etc. I'm not sure what he saw, but I'm hoping it was not a reaction to the medicine and I'm praying it is not a stress related siezure. If it is stress related, this could severely limit her racing career, and she loves it so much.

Later though, she was racing around the yard like a black and white streak of lightning. She is fast and amazing! I'm hoping the earlier episode was just my husband's misinterpretation of some doggy inter-active body-language.

Tensions are still a bit high between Samantha and Freya, which is unfortunate, so we have to supervise their interaction at all times. I thought I'd let Samantha run a bit this evening, but had to cut it short as she started posturing at Freya and inciting a fight. Luckily I chastised her before it began and she backed off immediately. It is unfortunate that Samantha does not like the idea of Freya having fun and playing anywhere near her, sigh... When they are just lounging around, they are fine together. They even laid down in the crate together with no posturing or animosity. I just don't get why Samantha has a problem with Freya playing. Poor Freya.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4th Princess in the Office

I guess I'm rather fortunate to work in a place that allows me to bring in a pet once in a while. Today Princess is snoozing at the opening of my cube. She still loves to greet everyone, though is still a bit shy of overhead petting. I'm hoping she'll get over it quite quickly, which is one reason why I brought her to work. She gets lots of attention, though she wants to play with the cat, the cat doesn't want much to do with her. I keep their association quite controlled since Princess has not learned that cats are pack members.

G'kar went to the vet today to get his chekup and his rabies shot and dhlpp booster updated. They say the lump is just a fatty lump, and his limp is arthritis in the hip, (two sighs of relief), but other than that, he is very healthy for a 14 year old dog. :) A bit ornery, but that's my old man. He wouldn't let them put him on the table, so the doc examined him on the floor.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2nd Merry-Go-Kennel-Den

This kennel has seen a LOT of use. This was originally the kennel I bought to transport Valkrys and G'kar from NC to KY. Neither dog was ever really fond of the kennel, so after being here for a month or so, we took them down and stored them. When the puppies got to be about two months old, though, I pulled this crate out of storage to help aclimatize the young'uns to crate training to make it much easier for them to transition into their new lives in new homes. It was a smashing success, and became the main puppy playhouse of Christmas, Kirby, Ace, and Princess. Eventually it became the Princess Palace, but then she decided she liked sleeping on my bed more than in the crate (yeah I'm a sucker for a pretty face, plus I have a queen size bed). The crate became a little disused until I rearranged my room and put it at the foot of my bed instead of beside it. It has now become the Doggy Den, and every dog awaits their opportunity to spend time in the Den. Even Yukon has decided he likes the Den and has spent time lounging in it. It is almost like a parade, as one dog gets up, another goes and claims it. Freya has been in possession of the Den the most, and spends many hours burying her milk bones in it and guarding them from all comers.

On a side note, both Freya and Samantha have fully healed with no infections. Thank goodness for antiseptic spray for dogs! That and spray on bandages are essential in my home. Princess' toe is still a bit sore, but she is almost completely recovered as well, but now she is blowing her winter coat along with all the other dogs. So, it is snowing husky hair at our house. Too bad you can't sled in it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1st Anyone Want Husky Wool?

It's that time of year again that all the world becomes one great big ball of shed husky fur. With 11 dogs still in the house, you can guess we have mounds of it. Probably as much as a small sheep farm, and we don't even have to shave the dogs for it. They conveniently drop it off on the couch, chair, bed, clothes, carpet and curtains for us to gather.
Xena has officially become a member of our permanent pack. James has stated that he wanted a puppy of his own, and that puppy was Xena. So starting today, he is responsible for her training, care and behavior. I hope it will be a good experience for him being responsible for her, and Xena can stay with us which is a bit of a relief for me as I was very concerned about placing her in just the right home. Turns out, she already is. :)
One of the folks who got a puppy from us has a relative interested in Ace, so she too may be bound to another home soon. I will miss her, just as I miss all those who've gone before. That would only leave Buck and Cat. Cat I am intending to train up for sledding, take him to a race or two and find him a good mushing home. He's such a natural, I won't even consider a non-mushing home for him now. He loves it with every fibre of his being, and I could hardly disappoint him. So that leaves little Bucky boy.
He's such a sweetie, but sometimes a bit of mischief in his blue eyes. I caught him yesterday splashing in the horse trough and blowing bubbles with his nose under water.... silly little boy!