Monday, August 20, 2007

Downward Dog

Katie has become my new yoga partner. Shubot, our kitty who passed away a few years ago used to do yoga with me. Katie isn’t quite as adept at partner yoga as Shubot yet. Sometimes she will lie quietly beside me other times I have to give her a toy to keep her busy. She loves to hang out with me though no matter what I am doing. She is such a wonderful, precious friend. Katie's thoughts on the subject are below.

What on earth is my Mama doing? She is so strange sometimes.

Time for Savasana (Relaxation Pose) - This yoga stuff can really wear a Newf out.

Then when I get bored with Savasana I can chew on Mama’s toes :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lixit is a Hit

Our Lixit kit came in today. Katie was in a big hurry to try it out so Dad installed it for her before he even changed out of his work clothes. That is doggie dedication!

Katie loves her Lixit! It took her a whole quarter of a nano-second to figure out how to use it. Now she can have fresh running water whenever she wants. No more having to wait for mom to let her drink out of the bathtub facuet. Although she will probably still do that for variety. Thanks Dad!

Click here for a link to the faucet extender we used.  You will need to buy a short hose to go with it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Attack of the Boston Terror

Wednesday night on the way home from our evening walk, Katie and Scarlett were attacked by a Boston Terrier. It wasn’t funny at the time, but I woke up at 5:00 this morning laughing hysterically at my mental picture of it.

We were almost home when this dog just burst out of it’s house. It pushed the storm door open with it’s head and them started running straight towards us barking like a maniac. He definitely wasn’t looking to make friends. It was hard for me to comprehend a 15 pound dog hurtling himself at a 95 pound and a 50 pound dog. I decided to send Katie, our group ambassador, forward to greet the crazy critter. I kept Scarlett close by my side in the hopes that the owners would capture the dog before it got to her. Well, the dog went after Katie and started biting at her extremely hairy neck. His muzzle was so smushed in (much more so than in the above picture) that I knew he wouldn’t be able to hurt her. Katie just stood there looking at him with curiosity, trying to figure out what he was trying to accomplish. I guess he quickly became disgusted with her lack of reaction so he circled around and turned his attention towards Scarlett. Now, Miss Scarlett is 14 years old and she has zero tolerance for aggressive dogs that get in her face. She is still quite feisty. The owner of the dog was coming towards us, so my goal was to keep Scarlett from biting that dog until the owner could retrieve it. I pulled up on her collar to try to keep the BT’s head just out of reach of her mouth. I succeeded and no one was hurt. Although I wouldn’t have blamed Scarlett if she had bitten that dog (and she really, really wanted to). He was very rude and aggressive for no reason. I have nothing against Boston Terriers, but this one didn’t seem to be too smart. Oh well, at least it was good for a laugh after the fact. Katie’s reaction was the funniest part. It was like, “Mom, I don’t understand the game this little guy is trying to play, but I’ll be a good sport and let him play it”.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August Referrals from China

The CCAA in China recently sent out the latest batch of referrals. Like last month, they covered seven calendar days. The chart below shows what the trend has been on the number of calendars days referred each month since January of 2006. For people who are not familiar with adoption from China, I must explain that one specific week may have many more dossiers logged in than the following week. So, the chart below just gives us a rough idea of how things are going. BOTTOM LINE FOR THE HAPPY HAUS FAMILY: It’s going to be a very long time before Lily comes home. My homemade estimator is telling me it will me 21 months until referral. But that is based on history and things change constantly. [Note: chart wouldn't show up after transition to blogger see Jan 2008 chart for more up-to-date information.]

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Does This Look Like a Watchdog???

Well, appearances can be deceiving. We do indeed have a budding watchdog in the Happy Haus. I never dreamt when I got a Newf that a watchdog was in our future. I thought they were way too friendly to fill that role. But, as Katie matures she seems to be developing quite a keen intuition. She rarely barks, but when she does it is because something is out of the ordinary and she feels we need to pay attention.

Two weeks ago she barked an extremely loud bark at the kitchen window and then walked up to it and looked out. I was curious to see if there was anyone there, so I walked outside and discovered 2 people on the other side of our privacy fence. Katie couldn’t have seen them, but she knew from inside the kitchen that they were out there. They turned out to be people that were touring the vacant house next door which is for sale. She never barks at the neighbor who lives on the other side, but these people were not regulars.

The funniest example of this happened at home tonight. I took Katie and Scarlett on a 5 minute very slow walk because it is blazing hot here. (This is what I call a psyche out walk to trick them into thinking they have been walked) During our short absence Gary arrived home from the gym. We came in the back gate and Gary heard us so he started up the hill to meet us. Katie barked at him quite loudly (it wasn’t a I’m-happy-to-see-you bark) and started charging towards him. It was apparent that she thought a stranger was in our backyard and she was not about to cower in a corner. I was telling her “Katie it’s just Gary” but until she got close enough to smell him she could not be convinced. Upon close inspection she decided that yes indeed it was just her own dear old dad. She then immediately shifted from watchdog to a circling dancer of joy. I am guessing that she remembered that the house was empty when we left and then someone who didn’t belong there was in our yard. Hmm... I wonder what she would have done if it hadn’t been her Dad? She is such a sweet and friendly girl when we are out and about. It’s like she has never met a stranger. My guess is she would probably just check a stranger out, decide they were just fine and them honor them with a slimy kiss. Any volunteers to help me test this theory? :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Katie’s Wonderful Water Weekend

Written by Katie, the 9 month old Newfie puppy

The above picture is of my first time swimming with my lifejacket on. I was a lot calmer and more confident in the water with the extra help even though I thought the whole life jacket idea was ridiculous. [Picture credit goes again to my stepgrandad John :-]

Here I am modeling my life jacket and floating ball.

Yes, I know, I am the cutest doggie ever. My dad and mama say I am the sweetest too.

Next, mama set up the sprinkler for me since I really prefer it to the pool.
The water tastes good!!

YUM!! I bet I drank a gallon of this delicious water.

I must attack and kill this ferocious water

I love this sprinkler game, but having this much fun can sure wear a girl out!

After all this water fun, mama bathed and blow dried me. I used to be scared of the dryer when I was really little, but now it relaxes me and makes me sleepy. It’s definitely time for a snack and then a long summer nap in the cool air conditioning in grandma and granddad John’s house.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Newfs Are Not for Uptight People

I used to be quite uptight, maybe even slightly obsessive compulsive. Thankfully, I rid myself of most of that during the last decade. Dearest, darling Katie is helping me make sure that those old personality traits are completely obliterated. Today she decided that it’s not enough to bring truckloads of dirt into the house, sling drool around to cover entire rooms, and leave hair all over the place... no, she must also eat the drywall. Today she thought to herself “that lady needs a test to see if she has really learned how to take things in stride”. So, this is what she did today in the sun/dog room. You can even see the teeth marks in the sheet-rock. Is Katie worth it? Of course! Bring on the spackle, paint and another Newf :-)