Monday, March 31, 2008

Katie and Little Brother Louis

After knowing each other for only three days Katie and Louis are already the very best of friends. Katie is Louis' sister, friend, protector and yet another maternal figure. K&L are about 60% related by blood. They have the same father, CH Sparnoir Lokie Muz A Me Wilbon (Loki) and on the maternal side Katie's grandmother, CH Wilbon's Rider on the Storm (Tempest), is Louis greatgrandmother.

Katie is so sweet and patient with Louis. He loves to bite her tail, lips, ears, etc. and she is so tolerant of all of his "attention". When they play together Katie spends a lot of her time laying down so that Louis can have easier access to her. She will roll on her back and let Louis crawl all over her. She absolutely adores him. They play tug together and Katie will let Louis win. You can see her giving him just enough challenge to keep him interested, but not enough to make him fall down.

Scarlett thinks Louis is ok as long as he stays 2 feet away from her. Yesterday when Louis went up to Scarlett's little fence and jumped up on it Scarlett started growling at him. When Katie heard the commotion she ran over and growled back at Scarlett. I've never heard Katie growl at another dog (and she has met at least a few hundred). Katie was not about to have anyone threatening her baby brother - not even her older sister.

Who Fits Best Under My Desk?

or Katie???

I guess it depends on how cozy you prefer your quarters :-)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hooray, Louis is Home!!!

Louis has been home for a couple of hours and already he has found his favorite spot to nap under my computer desk. Of course, this is also Katie's favorite spot, but I made her give little brother a turn. He fits under there so nicely. Every time Katie tries to fit her enormous body in the desk nook the whole desk shakes and rattles.

Scarlett got to briefly sniff Louis before I put her in the upper yard. She was very calm around him... no growling or anything. Katie followed Louis around the middle portion of the yard. She wags her tail every time she sniffs him. If she puts her nose close to Louis' face he gives her sweet puppy kisses.

Louis seems to be very relaxed in his new home. He has already played with some of his toys, taken two naps and pottied outside. I can't wait until his Daddy gets home from work to see him. He is an awesome puppy... so beautiful and very sweet. Don't tell Katie, but I think he is sweeter than she was as a pup. He's definitely a lot calmer and doesn't seem to be a big chewer like she was. He is quite a bit bigger than Miss Katie was at his age. He is 9 weeks old and weighs 25 1/2 pounds. No wonder he needs to nap so much. All of that growing must be exhausting.

Scarlett says "Mom, I can't believe you brought another of these things to MY house. Wasn't one enough? I'll just check him out from behind this gate. That's plenty close for me. I still have nightmares about how that crazy Katie puppy kept jumping at my head when she was little."

Little Louis Stylin n' Profiln' in his new yard
Louis checking out his new digs as both of his sisters watch.

Katie says "Louis is so cute he makes me all drooly".

"Yeah, I'm cute and super sweet. I'm going to fit into this family just great. I may even teach them a thing or two."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Katie's First Videos...

I was trying to get Katie to speak and then whisper. She didn't do it quite right the first time, but I posted it anyway because I liked the guest appearance by Scarlett. If you listen carefully to the end of the second video you can hear Katie whisper or at least see her mouth moving without much sound coming out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mr. Red is Our Louis

It's official! Mr. Red is going to be our sweet Louis. His registered name will be Wilbon's WhatAWonderfulWorld after one of my favorite Louis Armstrong songs. Our breeders have been calling Red "Louis" for the last month. Also, before he was born I bought a red collar for him. Red must be the pup meant for our family :-) Bill said that Louis is one of the most outgoing puppies and that he should be great in rally or obedience. Since Bill and Bonnie were considering keeping him for their kennels I'm sure that his conformation will also be great. Not that I am planning on showing him...I don't want an unneutered 150+ pound dog for a family pet. It's good that Louis is going to be beautiful though because I wouldn't want him to get a complex when he is beside our gorgeous Katie. Most importantly, Louis is a sweetheart (like his namesake). When I visited on Friday he gave me the sweetest puppy kisses. He gets to come home in 4 days. Yipee!

This is the only picture I have of him at 8 weeks. He has one eye closed because of the camera flash. I'll post a better picture on Friday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

King Fisher Trail

Friday evening Katie, Gary and I went to Pinnacle Mountain State Park and walked on the King Fisher and the Base Trails. I climbed into a hollow tree and Katie jumped up on it to try to figure out what I was doing.

"Mama what are you doing in there. Come out and play with me."
[How could anyone resist that sweet face?]

Katie and Gary in front of rare virgin timber

Katie is finally starting to enjoy water like a real Newf should. This is the first time she went into the water by herself. She had fun chasing after sticks that Gary threw. She hasn't quite grasped the concept of bring them back, but she still thinks it's a fun game.

After our little hike Gary and I had a picnic dinner by the river while Katie ate a delicious bowl full of dog food. It was a lovely spring evening with a perfect temperature and no mosquitoes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Difficult Decision

My dilemma is that I have to decide which of four wonderful puppies is Louis. I'm sure everyone feels sorry for my plight :-) They are all such very sweet Newf babies. A few weeks ago I was leaning towards Red and I think I still am. It's just so tough when you are surrounded by Newf puppies who take turns showing you how special they each are. I get to see them again this Friday. At that point I will have to finalize my decision so that the other people who are getting boys can choose... I think all the pups have homes except for one. Wish me luck please. This is going to be tough.

Our Canine Good Citizen

Wilbon's Katie Scarlett O'Hara, CGC

Katie passed her Canine Good Citizen test yesterday with flying colors. Even though it covers fairly basic tasks I was a bit nervous as it was my first time to participate in any type of dog test. One aspect that made it challenging was that training collars were not allowed. I have been working with Katie for a while to wean her off her training collar. Most of the time she does great, but occasionally the puppy crazies still take hold of her. (Even though she now weighs 111 pounds she is still a "teenage" puppy at 16 months old.) She took the test in her regular buckle collar and was just fine. I wasn't a bit worried about the sit stay, down, or recall; what scared me was the distraction test. For the first part they were throwing metal pans on the floor - no problem... Katie could sleep through a thunderstorm. The part I was worried about was when a person goes by on crutches because Katie sometimes picks the strangest things to fear. Recently, she was scared of a woman who was using a cane. Maybe she has gotten over this because she wasn't a bit worried by the crutches during the test. The last exercise was me leaving Katie with a handler for 3 minutes while I went out of sight. The dogs were allowed to move around next to the handler during the exercise as long as they did not bark or appear anxious. Katie, however, acted like I had put her in a sit stay even though I had not given her any command. I watched Katie through a one way window as she sat like a beautiful statue beside her handler. He said she did not move the entire time. As I returned to her the judge announced that Katie passed the test. I am so proud of our sweet girl.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Charlotte's Angels

Last night Gary and I had dinner with our friend Charlotte, her mom Jean, and three of her children who were adopted from China: Raeghan (age 4), Riley (age 4 1/2), and Rachael (age 3). Dinner was delicious and we had an absolute blast with the kids. When I asked Charlotte what I could bring she responded, "Your energy". That was SO true. They are a high energy bunch and oh so fun. Charlotte's ability to take care of three children so close together in age is amazing. The facts that they are all such sweet kids and that Charlotte has a lot of patience and love seems to be what makes it possible.Gary, Charity and Raeghan

Raeghan and Charity being silly

Rachael and Riley attacking Gary... a very fun game!

Settling down with Gary

Rachael showing Gary how her computer works

Raeghan and Charity playing

Charity and Rachael

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Spring has arrived and Penelope, our plum tree, is covered with beautiful pink flowers. This is my favorite part of spring at the Happy Haus. Yes, we name our trees here :-) Click on the picture below to see the pretty blossoms up close.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Captiva Island

Last weekend Gary and I went to Florida to visit his parents. The four of us took a water taxi to Captiva Island to stay in my friend's beach house there. North Captiva is a unique place because it is only accessible by boat. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island. Everyone travels around on the beautiful white sand roads by golf cart.

Gary's parents on the golf cart outside the place we stayed.

Osprey outside the kitchen window
He was a very cooperative photo subject.

Australian Pine
An invasive species, but still a beautiful tree
Osprey Nest

Thistle & Bee

Brown Pelicans
Being goofy

Wild Shore of Captiva Island

Tangle of vines along the state land trail leading down to the beach

Charity and Alice

White Sand Beach on Captiva Island
We had it all to ourselves :-)

Cactus Flower


Gary's Parents on their first ever Kayaking Adventure

Pelican Tranquility

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Katie's First Snow

This morning we awoke to a rare snowfall. It was Katie's first snow and she loved it. When we went for our morning walk she was so fiesty. She has decided that we should move to Canada so that she can experience this loveliness on a regular basis.

Katie is so talented... she can drool even when it's snowing :-)

Scarlett is a snow veteran. She was born in Wisconsin in a pack of pro sled dogs. She also lived in Minnesota for 7 years.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

March Marathon

We live on a marathon route, so every March we get to watch thousands of people run in front of the Happy Haus. This year the four of us took a walk down the sidewalk paralleling the race. In the background of the above picture you can see a few of the 9,000 people who participated this year. It takes a few hours for the whole group to pass by. I have so much admiration for people that have the drive and ability to run 26 miles - although my knees cringe at the thought of doing it myself.

All along the route people cheer the runners on in their own way. One of our neighbors down the street was playing a hammered dulcimer. The music was absolutely gorgeous. Our unintentional contribution was our dogs. Katie had an especially strong impact on a lot of runners. When they saw her their faces would light up and many of them would say "cute dog", "what kind of dog is that; she's so cool", "looks like a cuddly bear", "beautiful dog" etc. For a minute or two Katie would take their minds off of their weary legs. A few people actually stopped running for a minute to pet her. One guy, who was dressed in a loud Hawaiian shirt with mismatched pants and a Jimmy Buffet parrothead on his head, said "I love your dog." Gary replied that he liked the guy's parrot hat. The parrot guy said "Do you want to trade?" We simulanteously said NO as we were laughing. Afterward the thought popped into my head that if someone offered me a million dollars for Katie I would say no just as quickly as I did to the parrothead.