Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do Newfies Shed??? Just a little...ha!

People that Katie and I encounter on our walks usually admire her pretty coat and then ask if she sheds a lot. I always tell them that she sheds quite a bit when I brush her, but that I don't see much Newf hair floating around the house. Lincoln and Scarlett, the huskies, used to leave copious amounts of hair everywhere they went. I was expecting the same from a Newf, and I am really pleased that I don't find Newfie hair in our butter as most Newf owners do. I brush Katie throughly twice a week and try to do daily touch ups. Tonight I really went crazy with the furminator as you can see. This is all from her rear end. Isn't it strange how the dead undercoat on the table looks grey instead of black?

If you are ever considering getting a Newf refer back to this picture and remember that they are high maintenance and not for the faint of heart or arm. I am building up some serious arm muscles from all of this grooming.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged - 7 Things...

I was tagged by Journey With Reese

~The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours.
~Post the rules on your blog
~Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself
~Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog
~Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

1. I sometimes prefer the company of animals to people. Of course, I frequently have the need for a "human" conversation with one of my dear friends.

2. I am an avid reader now, but as a child I was a voracious reader. One summer I read over 100 books - at least a book a day. My mother would sometimes bribe me with buying me more books if I would take a break from reading for a few minutes to talk to her.

3. I have lived in 21 different houses and apartments during my 37 years on the planet. I'm planning on staying in the Happy Haus until I can no longer walk up and down the hill that is our backyard.

4. My favorite thing to do is hiking with my sweet husband and my dogs. Being out in nature is what best helps me to remember that everything is One.

5. As a child I was terrified of dogs. I got my first dog, a Siberian Husky named Lincoln, at the age of 21. Now my dogs are like my children and I love most dogs I meet.

6. I am fascinated by Buddhism and consider myself to be about 50% Buddhist. (I'm not 100% because I haven't reached that level of self disipline yet :-) Note to conservative family members: Buddhism is NOT a religion. It is a philosophy, which if followed by everyone just might solve most of the world's problems.

7. By the time our daughter Lily comes home I am planning on having our Newfies trained to pull her in a little red wagon. She will be the most stylin' and very loved child. I hope she doesn't mind having dogs as her only siblings :-)

My seven random people/blogs are...
Ni Hao Y'all
Charlotte's Angels
Lily and Kate
Pickle Chatter
Not So Nuclear
One More Day to Forever
Always in My Heart

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today is Louis' BIRTHday!!!!!

Our precious little Louis was born today. His Newf Mama Robin gave birth to 7 boys and 3 girls. One of those 7 boys will join our family in 9-10 weeks. We are so excited and thrilled :-)

Happy BIRTHday to Louis and the other 9 puppies!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Newfoundland Club of America

I recently received acceptance into the Newfoundland Club of America. I am so excited to be a part of a group of people who share the common goal of further improving this wonderful dog breed. There is a link in the list on the right side of the page to the NCA website. They have some great information about Newfies and also have a list of breeders who have been members of the club for at least five years and who have agreed to follow the NCA ethics guide. Our breeders, Wilbon Kennels, are the first on the list. After Gary met Bill and Bonnie a few times he commented to me that they were among the most ethical people he has ever met. They do take wonderful, loving care of their dogs. I feel so fortunate to have them as our Newfs' first human parents and as my teachers, mentors and friends.

I'm looking forward to delving into some Newf related activities with Katie and Newf2. First on the list is carting. We can't officially start draft work until the dogs are two, but Katie and I are going to start some training to allow her to get used to the harness and the feel of something lightweight dragging behind her. Eventually, I hope to have her pull a small wagon and give rides to children. There is one child in particular who will probably get hundreds of rides of the years from her Newfie siblings :-) I love to visualize little Lily being pulled around by our Newfs. I think they will all be the best of friends.


Last Thursday I tried to teach Katie the "Speak" command like I taught Lincoln, the Husky, by saying the word and then giving an example bark. Katie looked at me with a puzzled face and could not figure out what I was trying to ask her to do. Friday I went on the internet and found a tip that said you should say speak right before you have someone ring the doorbell. Gary and I did this routine just twice and Katie grasped the concept in less than two minutes. We did some more practice today and Katie decided this is great fun.

Waiting for a Command

Full Body Woof!

Howling Woof!

Katie says, "Yes, I am drooling just a little, but you would too if your mama feed you yummy wheat-free organic treats like I get. See my older, but much smaller, sister Scarlett in the background? She gets treats for free because she is a very senior dog. Mama makes me work for mine. Don't tell her I said this cause I don't want those pup treats to stop coming, but to me the "work" is a treat in itself. After all I am a working dog and we are happiest when given a job."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blog Change

There were somethings I loved about using iWeb for our blog and other things I hated. I finally made the decision to switch to Blogger and now have comments turned on. Please leave a comment and let me know if you think the new format is better or worse than the old one. It should definitely load faster. I'm kind of new at all this, so I'm open to suggestions. I wanted to make the blog easier for everyone to load and read because I'm sure I will be posting a lot once Newfie2 is born :-) I started blogging after we had already had Katie for awhile, so I missed the tiny puppy phase. Katie has turned into such a blog hog though; I don't know how she is going to bear to share the spotlight. See... she is pouting already.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Don’t Mess with My Favorite Watering Hole

We recently replaced our old 1940 Kohler clawfoot bathtub (which was in rough shape) with a beautiful new clawfoot tub that has a fancy faucet and handheld shower combo. Above is a picture of Katie drinking from the original bath/faucet combination when she was a much younger pup. Ever since Katie has been tall enough to reach the faucet she has come to it every evening and looked at me with sad eyes until I turn it on to give her a drink. I can resist her sad, pretty eyes for almost a full second on a day when I am feeling particularly strong. In other words, Katie usually gets instant gratification when it comes to her bathtub drink. 

When we moved the old bathtub out and the new one in we had to wait a few days for the plumbers to come install it. Katie cracked me up by going to the tub where the faucet would be and giving me her sad eyes. Could you resist this sweet face? And she did this EVERY evening until it was installed. One night I got a big plastic cup full of cold water and held it near where the faucet would be. It seemed to satisfy her since she stopped the sad eyes routine for the evening.

Finally, the plumber came and installed Katie’s new drinking fountain. She tested it throughly and has given it her Newfie slime of approval.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

We’re Not Going to be Lily’s Parents Anytime Soon

There hasn’t been much news to report about our adoption and certainly NO positive news. Most months I don’t even bother to post about how many days were covered by the latest batch of referrals from China. As you can see from the chart below the trend is not looking very good. January has typically been a big month for referrals. In 2006 they covered 18 days and in 2007 (which overall was an extremely slow year) they covered 19 days in January. This January they only covered 5 days. Yikes! This is not looking good at all.

This is sad news for us as waiting parents, but even more important is the impact this has on the lives of the children who are living in orphanages desperately needing loving families of their own. One of the lessons I have learned from this experience is patience, and I can wait as long as it takes for Lily to come home. I breaks my heart though that there are likely tens of thousands of children who need families and tens of thousands of families who are waiting to welcome them into their homes and hearts and bureaucracy is keeping them apart. I hope that in the near future decisions are made at both the local and the national level to reform the adoption system in China in a way that truly puts the children first. I don’t expect this to happen because I know it is an incredibly complex, highly political situation, but I am going to keep holding on to the hope that it will.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hooray! We’re Going to Be Newf Parents Again

(Picture is of Katie’s litter at 3 weeks old... can you spot Katie with her cute little white foot?)

I received a call from our dear breeders yesterday saying that their bitch is definitely pregnant with “too many puppies to count”. Yeah!! That means there should definitely be a pup for our family in this litter. We have been waiting a while for another Newfie and I think the timing of this one will be perfect. Katie is maturing quite nicely and should be a great help to me in training the new pup. She will be able to help show it the ropes and the house rules. Plus, the pup can chew on Katie and save our hands from its needle sharp teeth :-) Katie has so much hair that she will never feel those tiny fangs. In fact, Katie has had a lot of exposure to many little puppies and she loves it when they jump on her head and bite her neck. Sometimes she will lay down on the ground to give them easier access.

I was planning on waiting to announce this news until the litter was actually born (which should be in about 3 weeks), but I was just too excited to hold it in. Newfie2 should come home around the end of March.

Here’s a picture of Katie at 6 weeks to tide you over until I have a picture of Newf 2. There aren’t very many things in the world as precious and cute as a Newf pup. Although Katie is every bit as wonderful at 14 months old... just cute in a different way.

Katie at 8 weeks