Monday, February 25, 2008

Puppy Love

Last night I went to visit Louis' litter again. The pups are now 4 1/2 weeks old - an age that I would freeze in time if I could. The next time I see them they will be a pack of little monsters, biting at my clothing, hands, feet and whatever else they can sink their needle sharp puppy teeth into. Of course, I will gladly brave 10 sets of exploring puppy teeth in order to be surrounded by cute baby Newfs. They are worth it :-)

Their little personalities are starting to show. Bill and Bonnie said they were calling Mr. Red my dog because they thought I would like his personality the best. They were SO RIGHT!! If I had to choose right now I would pick Red and feel very good about that decision. He is a sweetie pie. They said he comes to the fence whenever he sees them and stands on his back legs asking to be held. When I was there he was in my lap more than any other pup. He reminded me a little of Katie when she was a baby. Dark Green and Light Green are my runners up for now. All of the pups are very friendly and curious. Most of the time I was there I would have at about 7 of the 10 surrounding me.

Only about 3 more weeks to go until we will know for sure which puppy is Louis. Here are a couple of pictures of two of my favorites. Red man is the one who is belly up. He struck that pose a lot when I was there.

Even though I've seen it happen before it's still hard to wrap my mind around the immense amount of growing these babies have ahead of them. They will gain about 3 pounds a week for the first several months. I am looking forward to watching Louis grow and giving him lots of love during his lifetime.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Raindrops on Roses & Whiskers on Kittens

Roses and kittens??? Gimme a break. MY favorite things are playing and eating, but definitely not in that order.

Dad had the day off today, so I made my cute face to talk him into playing tug the rope with me. It's not too challenging to talk him into stuff 'cause he loves me so much. Of course, he had to waste perfectly good playing time to take this picture, but finally he got with program and had fun with his best Newfie girl.

My mom read about Texas Taffy on Nanook and Pooka the Newfs' site. In case any dogs out there haven't heard of these, I gotta tell you: They ROCK!! My mom won't let me eat rawhide because she says it's too dangerous but this taffy is just beef jerky for dogs. I can chew it up without the danger of large chunks getting stuck in my gut. I like it so much that I barely noticed when Mom dremmeled my toenails as I was chewing away. Don't forget to ask your favorite human to get you some of these yummilicious treats.

Love and sloppy Newfie kisses,

P.S. Texas Taffy is available at in bulk packs of 30 which is more economical than buying them individually. Plus, one of these yummies is just not enough.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Purple Poser Puppy

Mr. Purple was cracking me up during a recent visit to Louis' litter. He is such a poser... he just did one cute thing after another. At only 2 1/2 weeks old he definitely has Newfie cuteness down pat.

Mr. Cool

Showing off his walking skills



Look at my cute rear!


Restin' with my sister, a fellow poser

After all that posing it's time for a rest!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcome to the Year of the Rat

We recently attended our third Chinese New Year celebration since we made the decision to adopt Natalie. Back in 2005, I felt sure that Natalie would be born in the year of the Dog like both my mother and I were. As the adoption timeline began to grow instead of shrink I was a bit sad that it seemed unlikely that Natalie would get to share the year of the dog with me and her grandmother. I resigned myself to thinking that Natalie would be born in the Year of the Golden Pig. After hearing that a "Golden" pig year only comes once every 60 years and is considered to be very lucky in China, I decided that I would be thrilled if Natalie was born during that lunar year. Now it looks like that is very unlikely. My best guess is that Natalie will be born during the current lunar year: The Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first of the 12 Chinese animal signs and is a symbol of renewal. The fact that this will most likely be the year of Natalie's birth is definitely a reason to celebrate. But whether she is a Dog, Pig, Rat or Ox, I know that Natalie will come home to us at exactly the right time.

Children doing the dragon dance while walking on bubble wrap to make the firecraker noises.

Grandmother's 90th Birthday!

February 8th was my grandmother's 90th birthday. My father, aunts and uncles hatched a plot to try to have 90 cards sent to my grandmother for this very special occasion. They reminded all of her friends and family well in advance of her birthday. To fully understand the response she received, you should know that my grandmother is practically a saint. Everyone who knows her loves her. She spends much of her time doing things for others. She rarely seems to think about herself, so I was delighted to witness the almost child like excitement with which she approached her special day. She relished the role of birthday princess... I don't know of anyone more deserving.

My Aunt D spent a few days with grandmother before her birthday. Each day they would drive to the post office to check Grandmother's mail. The cards were pouring in. The day before her birthday she opened the PO box and was disappointed to find just one slip of paper inside. She pulled it out and saw that it had the word "excess" written on it. She went to the postal desk and was given a stack of about 50 cards. The next day my aunts, uncles, father and I accompanied her to the post office and again there was a single slip of paper inside her mailbox telling her to pick her bundle of cards up at the counter. The total at that point was over 180 cards! She also received several bouquets of flowers and a big bunch of balloons (she is pictured above with the flowers from me and my sister, Leah) It was wonderful to see so much joy on my Grandmother's face. Her blissful happiness was a gift for us all.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Katie got tagged

We have been tagged by Kathyrn and Ari. Since my mama was just recently tagged I have graciously offered to complete the tagging task this time. Now you get to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about me, Katie the Newf.

We are supposed to reveal seven quirky (and previously unknown) things about us. Only 7??? I'm sure I could think of at least 100. I'm a pretty quirky and special girl.

1) The first toy I was given at the Happy Haus was a stuffed dog who at the time was about the same size as me. I used to cuddle with him in my kennel. I was too little to recognize that he was a dog. I thought he looked more like a bear, so I named him BearBo. BearBo is still in one piece and is still my favorite toy. You can see a recent picture of BearBo and me by clicking here.

2) My favorite game to play with mama is catch the DinoBo as he dances around and sings his silly songs. DinoBo is a Booda toy that is so fun to play with. Mama helps him dance around and then he tries to bite me on the nose, but I always bite him first. Love bites though - not hard bites - I don't want to hurt my DinoBo.

3) With dad I like to play a gentle game of tug the rope. Mama gets on to us if we are too rowdy, so we can't get as wild as we would like to. She'll never know what we do when she is not looking... hehe.

4) I love my mama and my dad both so much, but I show my love to them in very different ways. Every time I see dad, even if it's only been a 1/2 hour since I last saw him I wag my tail like crazy and try to lick his ears because I'm so happy to see him. I don't give mama an enthusiastic reception unless she's been gone for a few hours, but I don't like it when mama leaves me behind. If dad leaves me behind, no problem, but I like to be beside my mama every waking moment. I don't mind her going to work at all because she is very predictable with that schedule. Also since she explained that she needs to work to make money so she can buy me lots more food, treats and toys, I'm all for it. But, even though I am a dog I totally understand the concept of the weekend and she better not try to leave me home then or else I will give her my sad eyes which she can never resist.

5) I try to help my people out whenever I can. For example, I always carry Scarlett's flexi lead for mama from the back door up to the gate when we are about to go on a walk. This is my special job and if mama forgets to give me the leash I give her "the look" to tell her that she is losing her mind and needs to get with the program. Also, the other day mama was washing dishes and I was hanging out beside her as usual. My sister, Scarlett, started hooting and hollering the way she does when she's ready to come inside. Mama was trying to finish up the last few dishes while Scarlett continued hooting away. I didn't want my sissy to have to wait and I was also ready for some peace and quiet, so I went to the door and pushed it open with my big head. Scarlett came in and I immediately went back to my spot beside mama. Then my mama started going on and on about how smart I was to let Scarlett in. Sometimes I think she underestimates me, but she's starting to learn that I have almost unlimited potential. What I really want to know is where is my cookie. Doesn't my brilliance deserve a treat?

6) Scarlett is my ancient (almost 15 year old) sister. Even though she is wayyyyyy older than me I take great delight in bossing her around. The funny thing is that she loves it when I boss her. When I told this to mama she didn't believe me, but once she saw it with her own eyes she realized that Scarlett does seem quite joyful when I block her path as she is trying to come down the backyard steps. We have choreographed a whole intricate routine which no one could replicate if they tried. We like to do it every day when our people come home. We call it the Dance of Joy. Whenever we do the dance Scarlett acts like she is 2 years old instead of 15. I think she loves having a bossy little sister who also is her big sister since I weigh more than twice as much as she does.

Before mama opens the gate each morning for our walk she always says "Wait". I know what it means, but my sister sometimes likes to ignore the command (or maybe didn't hear it because her ears don't work that well). To help mama out, once the gate is open I stand with my body positioned across the opening so that Scarlett can't go out. Once mama says her happy "OK" word then I step aside to let sissy out.

7) Wow. I have a lot to say about myself, don't I? Only one left.. hummmm.... When mama and dad brought me home they said they would use my pretty white foot as a gauge to know when I needed a bath since it does show dirt more than the rest of me. Well, little did they know their plan was not necessary. I think I must be part cat because I am obsessed with being clean. I give myself spit baths anytime I get a speck of dirt on me. This means I only get bathed after swimming or on the rare occasion that I get too dirty to clean myself.

I had to cram a lot in because I know little Louis is soon going to be constantly trying to steal the spotlight from me. Now we are supposed to tag seven friends, but since we just did this recently we are going to follow Kathryn and Ari's lead and tell all of our readers that we would love to know 7 quirky things about you. If you decide to participate, just follow these simple rules:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Happy Tagging! And to any of my dog friends who participate: tell your people you deserve an extra cookie after all of your hard work at posting. Cookies rule!

Much love and drooly kisses to you all,


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Where's Louis?

(Click on the picture to see the Newfie cuteness up close)

I feel so lucky today... not only did Gary and I get to visit Louis' litter at Wilbon Newfoundlands this afternoon, but we actually got to hold the puppies. They are absolutely precious and it was so wonderful to know that one of the seven boys is our sweet Louis. I'm glad I was able to hold him at 10 days old. I hope that it made some kind of imprint on his brain, so he will know how much we loved him from the very beginning. We hope to visit the litter at least once a week until Louis is old enough to come home. That will give him a chance to get to know us at least a little bit and hopefully make the transition to his new home easier.

It's impossible to know which puppy will be Louis at this point, but light green was very cute. Of course, so was purple, dark green, light blue, dark blue, yellow and red :-) [pink, peach and orange girls were also cute, but I was mostly focused on the boys this time] Every puppy in the litter is thriving and at 10 days old they are already incredibly strong. It's going to be so hard to choose when the time comes. I told Bonnie and Bill that when it is our turn to choose we want which ever dog is the sweetest of the boys that remain, but we probably couldn't go wrong with any of them.

Yellow boy was the biggest of the group and is obviously quite a ham already.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Who Knew a Trip to the Vet Could Be So Much Fun

Katie figured out today that her doggie seatbelt would allow her wriggle part of her body into the front of the car and closer to her mama.

This morning I took Katie to the vet for her annual shots and check up. We had to wait for at least 45 minutes for the vet to see us because a very sick kitty had to be seen for an emergency first. We made good use of the time by recruiting every person who came through the lobby to help us practice for the canine good citizen test which will be given at the end of March. Katie's weakest area is sitting still while people approach and pet her on the head. She loves everyone SO much that she has had trouble containing her exuberance in the past. We have practiced this now with about 40 strangers and she is getting quite good at it.

Our mutually favorite person in the vet's lobby was an 11 year old girl named Halley. She did lots of training practice with us including a very nice stand for exam. Halley played the role of examiner and Katie stood perfectly still for her. The 3 of us were having so much fun together that we were sorry when the vet tech finally called us to go to a room.

Katie had not been to the vet's office in quite a while, so I wasn't really sure how she would react to the experience. Our vet was extremely thorough. He checked her eyes, ears, teeth, heart, skin, weight, did a heartworm test, all her annual shots, and a fecal. Katie was a perfectly behaved sweetie the whole time. The vet commented multiple times about what a good dog she is. He said "It seems like she is so willing to do whatever you ask of her. Like she is thinking 'just let me know what would you like me to do next'." It was nice to hear this and to realize that my little girl is growing up and becoming more mature. I was also glad to hear that her weight is just right and that her ears were perfectly clean. I have never had a dog with ears that folded down, so I've been making an effort to keep them very clean... it was good to get confirmation that it's working. By the way, I have a good a ear cleaning tip from Bonnie, Katie's breeder. Take a container of baby wipes and dump out the excess fluid then add your ear cleaning solution. Now you have handy wipes to make ear cleaning a breeze. I use a 50/50 blend of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.

It's always so delightful to take Katie places with me. She tends to brighten the day of most people she meets. Of course, there are always people who are terrified of her just because of her size, but the majority of people we meet seem to take one look at her sweet face and just know that she is a big teddy bear without a vicious bone in her body.

Katie and I are now pictured on the homepage of the Little Rock Dog Training Club. It's a small picture, but hey, it is a picture nonetheless. I am in a striped sweater and Katie is easily spotted by her single white paw. Katie feels kind of famous now and I won't burst her bubble by telling her that no one would probably recognize her in that little picture without being told about it first.