Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rally Girls

Katie and I went to our sixth Rally class last night. For those of you who are not familiar with Rally, it's similar to obedience, but is a lot more fun. The main differences are that your dog does not have to be in perfect heel position, you can give a command more than once and you are allowed to talk to your dog. The judge wants to see a display of teamwork between the handler and the dog. Talking to your dog is my favorite thing about it. Katie loves to hear my voice. It really peps her up and gets her attention. Also, rally trials are set up as a course with stations, so every time you do a run it will be different. There are 31 different station possibilities for rally novice. Some are very simple like a left or right turn, fast or slow heeling, a sit or a down. Other more fun and challenging stations are mingled in like 360 degree circles and walking a serpentine pattern around some cones. We are also practicing the advanced and excellent exercises in class and we are doing pretty well. We both LOVE rally. We hope to enter our first competition in Hot Springs, AR this September.

A kind guest at our dog school took the below pictures for me. Unfortunately some of these really needed to be in action mode, but I am making do with what I have . We can just say they have a impressionist look to them and call them photo art.

Look at Katie's excellent attention. I am so proud of how far she has come. The most important thing for me in any class is that Katie and I both have fun. On the few nights that I forgot to focus on having fun, our class didn't go as well. Lately, I am keeping it in the forefront of my mind and we are both doing great and having a blast.

Katie and I just completed the very challenging halt/90 degree pivot/halt. This is not an easy exercise and it's more challenging to us than most teams due to the size of Katie bodacious booty :-) She has to quickly swing that big rear around and tuck it in fast... very tricky. Note her beautiful attention again. I love it!

Katie STEPS over the tiny jump, but at least she went over it correctly. Some dogs wouldn't go over it unless their owners did it first.

This photo is a very artsy one - haha.
Katie and I are doing an about left turn. She is still paying attention :-)

Another Impressionist Photo...
This is the stand your dog and walk around it exercise.

My Little Girl Suddenly Seems Grown Up

Today is Katie's 18 month birthday. Since around the age of 6 months she has been slowly starting to settle down and mature. In the last month since Louis has been home I have seen her mature much more rapidly. I think it's because she is such a good big sister and mother figure to Louis. She seems to concentrate so hard on that job that she doesn't have as much time to be a crazy puppy herself.

Lately I've been able to walk Katie most of the time without her training collar (she just wears her leather buckle collar). She is listening to me so much better and paying attention for the most part during our training sessions. Last night she kicked booty in Rally class and it was all because she is learning to pay attention.

Last night I took Louis outside to use the bathroom around 11:00. Katie was with us as usual. She heard something outside our gate and let out several very deep and loud warning barks. Katie rarely barks and when she does she means business. She was sending a very clear message to whoever or whatever was out there. "Don't come near me and my family or else you will have me to deal with and it won't be pretty." The three of us went back inside, turned on the security system and went back into the bedroom. After I got Louis settled in his crate, Katie walked to the bedroom windows which overlook the front yard. This is the same direction she had been barking outside. She stood there at attention looking out the windows with a very quiet growl coming from the base of her throat. After several minutes she laid down and went to sleep. I figured the danger, if there was any, had passed, so I followed Katie's lead.

I had no idea when I got a Newfoundland that I would be getting a watchdog. I figured that they were all too friendly to fill that role, but Katie has been showing protective tendencies since she was 6 months old. Now I have heard of other protective Newfs. It's really the best of both worlds to have a dog who is protective yet loves meeting new people.

I love my grown up Katie girl. She is such a lovely young Newfie lady.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Louis' First Brag

Today on a total whim I entered Louis in an AKC Fun Match (not for points). Our plan was just to go and socialize, but after receiving some encouragement from some people there I decided it would be fun to try showing him. Louis was barely eligible as he just turned 3 months old (the minimum age) two days ago. I have never shown a dog, so I was pretty clueless. Thankfully Louis was shining bright enough to hide all my mistakes. It was a good learning experience for us both.

Our first time in the ring was breed specific. Since Louis was the only Newfoundland he won Best of Breed and First Place :-) Not a big accomplishment, but we had fun. He trotted around the ring looking like the beautiful, happy puppy that he is.

Next Louis competed in the working group. He was up against a beautiful little Saint Bernard puppy, a Mastiff, a Portuguese Water Dog, and a few others. When Louis was announced the winner I was such a proud mama... and to think I almost didn't enter him.

The next round was for Best of Show. Louis did great again. He was such a trooper especially considering this was the longest he had been awake in his whole life. (He tried to catch a little shuteye between rounds, but that only lasted for about 5 minutes.) Best of Show ended up going to a Welsh Terrier who Gary says looked like it was walking on air. I wasn't paying attention because I was focused on Louis. After the show the judge approached me and said she had a hard time deciding between the Terrier and Louis, so basically Louis was the second pick of all the dogs that were there. She also said that he is a great dog and she hopes we continue to show him. I must have heard that comment from at least 10 different people.

Now we are seriously considering showing Louis. Gary and I had such a good time watching our baby strut his Newfie stuff and Louis seemed to really enjoy it too. After all of the encouragement we received I think it would be a shame to not at least try it once or twice. There is no telling what will happen. He might go through a gawky stage that makes him unshowable for a long time. He might become obnoxious when his hormones start flowing. Also, he will likely end up competing against his litter mates and I know there is at least one he can't beat. But, we will likely give it a try and see what happens. No matter what he will always be our sweet little champion - even when he weighs 150 pounds :-)

Lining Up With the Other Working Dogs

Louis giving the judge his best cute face featuring his
beseeching eyes :-). She whispered to me "He is a winner."
I thought it was just a compliment I didn't realize he was going to be
THE WINNER of the working group.

Louis is announced the winner of the working group.
Gary and I are thrilled; Louis says "Is it lunchtime yet?"

Taking a catnap before the next round.

Round 3 for Best of Show
With that cute face looking up at me I could have done this all day.

Louis' First Ribbons

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Puppy Playtime

Little Louis has been very playful today. He has throughly played by himself in the rain, with Katie, me, his dad, his toys and even some garbage like the empty green tea box below. Notice Katie's very lazy play style above. She doesn't even bother to get up from her favorite nook under my desk. Most of the time when she and Louis play she is laying down. He does most of the moving around which usually involves crawling all over her.

Louis in our dirty dog room complete with toys and freshly chewed sheetrock. I hope all this playtime wore him out so that I can get a good night's sleep tonight :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Seas the Day

Look at our cool new blanket...our first official Newfie paraphernalia. It's a blanket from the upcoming National Specialty of the Newfoundland Club of America. Hundreds of Newfies and their people will converge in Warwick, Rhode Island to celebrate the Newfoundland breed through competition and camaraderie.
Thank you Bonnie and Bill for the lovely blanket
(and for our precious Newfies :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Newfie Saturday

I spent most of the day with the dogs. I took them to the vet to get weighed (they actually love going there), gave Louis a bath, groomed Katie, took Katie for a walk and even took the dogs with me to get the oil in my car changed. They are always such a hit when I take them out in public... people flock around them. The pups get lots of love and I get lots of questions. There were several children there, so Katie got to practice her kid skills. She is doing so much better. She was 100% calm and Newf-like yesterday. I think my little girl is growing up and getting over some of her kid fears. Louis is getting much better about riding in the car and no longer minds wearing his doggie seatbelt. So, we made progress with both Newfs yesterday.

My Newfie kids crack me up. When I am trying to take a picture of just one of them the other usually manages to get at least some body part in the picture. There are 2 Newfs in every one of these pictures... some more obvious than others.

An Early Morning Play Session After Breakfast

Grooming Time for Miss Katie

Sitting Pretty

Louis' First Bath at Home (He won't fit in the bathtub much longer.)

Louis Is a Good Boy
Katie Wants to Make Sure Little Brother is Ok

Resting Near Big Sis After the Bath

P.S. Katie is holding steady at 110 pounds, Louis weighs 33 1/2 pounds (5 pounds more than Katie weighed at the same age of 12 weeks old)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Family of Five

When Gary and I first merged our lives together and moved into the Happy Haus we became a family of five. Our other three family members were my two Siberian Huskies, Lincoln & Scarlett, and Gary's cat, Shubot. Our family of five felt like just the right size and made our home feel so cozy.

We had to divide our home into sections to keep Shubot away from the Huskies. I thought it was going to be really hard to make sure they were kept apart, but we developed a system which we were both quite vigilant about maintaining. Soon it was second nature to keep certain barriers closed and we never did have any clashes between the species.

In 2005 we lost little Shubot at the age of 16. Our home didn't feel the same without her. She had become my yoga partner and I missed her sweet presence on and off my yoga mat. I still often think of her gentle soul. Gary had gotten Shubot as a tiny kitten, so her passing was a big loss to him.

In 2006 we lost our precious Lincoln at the age of 14. At this point our home began to feel positively strange to me. Three beings was just not enough to make our home feel full. For a couple of months I thought about getting another dog, but at that point in time I thought our daughter would be coming home from China the following year. Knowing that Natalie would require a lot attention, I felt like it wouldn't be fair to have a puppy around that would also be very hungry for my affection and time.

As the months went by, the wait for our daughter began to increase each month instead of decreasing as logic would suggest. During the late summer of 2006 I was estimating that Natalie would come home around the summer of 2008. I couldn't stand the sparse population of our home any longer. I decided that due to the extended wait for our daughter I had plenty of time to acquire and train a puppy.

I began my search for a good breeder of Newfoundland Dogs. I was extremely fortunate to find great breeders just 35 minutes from our house. I didn't choose them because of their proximity (that was just a wonderful bonus). I chose them because of their dedication to improving the breed and because of the excellent care that they give their Newfies.

Our sweet Katie was born on October 29, 2006 and was ready to come home at the beginning of 2007. Suddenly, the Happy Haus felt quite a bit more full. It took a few months for Scarlett to accept Katie, but eventually they became good friends.

During 2007 the wait for our daughter continued to lengthen. I again readjusted my estimate for Natalie's homecoming - this time to the end of 2009. I began to think about getting another Newf puppy to keep Katie and the rest of us company. This puppy should be almost full grown and fairly mature by the time of Natalie's arrival.

We had to wait a while for another litter of Newfs, but finally our little Louie was born on January 24th. He came home at the end of March and for the first time in almost 2 years the Happy Haus had its original number of occupants. Again our home had quite a cozy feel with a little bit of crazy thrown in: we were faced with another animal separation challege. This time we had to keep Louie from jumping on Scarlett's old bones. We created a little fenced off corner in the kitchen for Scarlett so that she could be with us, but sheltered from the puppy's exhuberance. This arrangement worked very well.

Now that Miss Scarlett is no longer with us I find myself missing her little cream colored body with the cute red head along with her sweet & sassy attitude. Even though the time was right for her to go there is a void where Scar used to be.

I'm not sure why, but five just feels like the perfect number of bodies for our little cottage. I am doing my best to live in the present moment, and when I remember to do so, there is no choice except to feel happy and fufilled. This wait for our daughter has been my greatest teacher, so I actually feel grateful for its length.

When the time is right we will be a family of five again. Our house will be overflowing with laughter from 2 adult humans, deep barks of protection and satisfaction from 2 big Newfies, and the delicious sound of giggling coming from our precious daughter, Natalie.


Katie (17 months old) and Gary

Louis (12 weeks old) and Gary

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dear Scarlett Has Left Us

Scarlett, our Sweet Siberian Husky
4-1-1993 to 4-15-2008

My dear girl Scarlett decided that 15 years was a long enough life. This morning I carried my poor girl into the vet's office to give her the gift of peace. Thankfully she had a good life up until the end and she did not suffer. Just last week she was actually running around a little bit like a much younger dog and being very demanding about going for her daily walks promptly. She was also very vocal about letting us know when she wanted her Kong. A few days ago she almost completely stopped eating. She was already quite thin, so this weakened her quickly. We could tell that she was not going to bounce back this time; she was ready to go.

I have shed so many tears today, but mostly it was a good experience. I held my baby on my lap and cradled her head in my arms while we were waiting at the vet's office. I gave her so many kisses and she returned every one of them. She was so sweet and good even as the vet gave her a sedative. She passed very peacefully and I am filled with gratitude for that.

Scarlett will be missed in our family, but I am happy to think that now she is with her brother and best friend, Lincoln waiting for us all at the rainbow bridge.

Click here for a link to the tribute I did for Scarlett's 15th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Me and my sweet girl

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baby Louis Update

Little Louis is adjusting beautifully to his new home and family. As you can see in the above picture he is feeling quite comfortable here. Even though he is a lot larger than your typical 11 week old puppy, after one quick look at his cute face and the way he moves you know he is a baby. He loves to be held and cuddled like a baby too. I am trying to pick him up a bunch since I know the time is coming way too soon when I won't be able to.

Louis is about 95% house trained. In the last week he only had 2 accidents. The dog door has really made his training easy during the day. I only allow him in the kitchen and dogroom, so he is never far from the great outdoors. At night he sleeps in a crate at the foot of our bed and I take him out whenever necessary. His crate has a divider panel that keeps his living quarters just the right size to prevent him from having any accidents in the crate.

The first several nights were quite rough for both Louis and me. He was missing his littermates badly and I was missing out on the majority of my sleep. Thankfully, I took some time off work, so I was able to take daily naps during the main portion of our adjustment period. I tried so many things to make Louis feel secure and cozy during the night and after much trial and error I finally found the magic combination: soothing music played on a continuous loop from my ipod all night long, his crate raised up level with the bed so that he could see and hear me better, a nightlight, a blanket covering his crate to make it feel more like a den, a small fan to blow air through the den and also for white noise, Katie's favorite stuffed animal, an old slightly smelly sweatshirt of mine, Newman's Own organic chicken heart shaped treats every time he goes in the crate and my fingers dangling through the bars when he needs to be comforted. Obviously, I was DESPERATE for sleep to try so many things. Gary kept asking me when I was going to give up and I said "Never". Finally, on about the sixth night he started sleeping well and most nights I only have to take him out once for a potty break. I think that's pretty amazing for a puppy of his age. Now the only problem is that I decided to take away one of his crutches by lowering his crate back down to the floor. He eats 3 meals a day in his crate, so along with bedtime and potty breaks that means me lifting him in and out of the crate 5-6 times a day. That's not too bad with a 30 pound puppy, but in a month he will weigh about 42 pounds. Louis is not happy with this new arrangement and he has spent a few hours each of the last two nights telling me how he feels about it. I hope tonight is an easier night since tomorrow is a work day. [Monday morning update: I give Louis a B- for his sleep performance last night. There's room for improvement, but it wasn't too bad]

Louis and Katie have an incredible relationship. As you have seen in a bunch of pictures they love to cuddle. They also like to play although their "play" could more accurately be called "Louis attacking Katie". He loves to bite her ears, lips and tail. Katie is unbelievably patient with him. I have had to get on to him a few times to tone it down a notch and he seems to be not quite as ferocious now.

Louis is going to puppy school mainly to learn social skills. He has also learned sit, down, stand, come, and structured walking. In my opinion, Louis is quite brilliant :-) He is always the first one in his class to grasp a new concept. Practicing at home has been quite a challenge because big sister Katie doesn't want to be left out of the fun. She kept getting in the way until I finally figured out that I could be giving her a lesson of a different kind at the same time. Now when it is time to work with Louis I put Katie in a sit or a down stay. It was so hard for her to stay at first while little brother was getting all the treats and the glory, but she finally realized that if she held her stays mama would pull out all the stops for her when she was released. This evening Katie was in a sit stay while Louis and I were working for a few minutes. When I was done with Louis I said my usual very chipper "all done". When Katie heard that she popped up. I hadn't intended to release her, but since I did say her release word she was free. Then it was her turn for treats, praise and lots of love.

After only two weeks in our home, Louis has completely won our hearts (that actually probably happened the first day :-). We are so happy that he is part of our family now and we are looking forward to sharing many adventures with him.

Louis Showing Off His Playing Skills (We think he is quite talented ;-)
Louis Making a Classic Newf Face (You know the one that looks kinda sad, but in reality the Newf is ecstatic on the inside.)

The Young Master in His Domain with His Faithful Nanny, Katie, Watching Over Him

Louis in Shadow and Sunlight
Big Sister and Baby Brother

Got Milk?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Newf Puppy House Guests

A few weeks ago I agreed to puppy sit this weekend for the two puppies that Bill and Bonnie, our breeders, are keeping for their kennels. Those two puppies are Rhett (pictured below) and Johnny (formerly Mr. Blue). Well, two of the people who had reserved puppies changed their minds at the very last minute. While I feel sorry that these people won't get to know the joy of one of these fabulous pups, I'm glad that the puppies aren't going to a home that may not be fully prepared for them. Newfies are high maintenance dogs and need tons of love.

So, instead of two puppies we are keeping four (the additional ones are Vivian and Clint). Plus we have our Louis, Katie and Scarlett... SEVEN dogs at the Happy Haus. This house is not very big, so this seems slightly insane. It's lovely though to have them around. Other than constantly cleaning up after seven dogs, it really is fun. Every time I go near them they swarm around me begging for love and petting. They are sweet, sweet babies and thankfully they are much calmer than Katie's litter :-)

Wilbon's Gone With the Wind (Rhett) formerly known as Mr. Yellow
Louis has only been home for a week and I was afraid that having his litter mates here would cause him to backslide on his sleeping patterns. The first four nights he was home were pretty awful for both of us - as is to be expected when a puppy is learning to sleep without his littermates. The fifth and sixth nights were still not good, but quite a bit better. Thursday night, the first night of the puppy sitting, was not any worse, so I was happy that he at least didn't regress. Then last night... perfection!!! He cried for about 5 seconds after I put him in the kennel (it is raised up at the foot of our bed so that he can see me and so I can put my hand through the bars to comfort him). Then he slept non-stop until 2:00 a.m. At that point I took him outside to potty and then put him back to bed. He cried for a couple of minutes but then fell asleep and was completely out until 5:45. It was heavenly :-) He is so cute when we come in from going potty in the middle of the night. He now walks all the way through the house right up to his kennel and waits for me to lift him up and give him his tiny treat. He is adjusting beautifully to our routine.

Some of the puppies want Katie's stick

Katie is such an angel with the puppies. She is very calm and patient with them, but whenever they scrap with each other she gets very agitated. She barks at them (as you will see in the video below) to try to get them to stop. A few times Katie was so concerned when she heard one of them squealing, as a sibling bit their ear or some other convenient body part, that she gently pushed them apart with her head. Once they were separated you could see her body visibly relax. Then another pair would start to scrap and her brow would wrinkle with worry again. She doesn't understand why the babies play so hard.

Scrapping puppies (Green and Louis, I think)

Silly puppies could be outside, but instead they decided to all cram into this little space to have a pre-lunch snooze.

The puppies chow down as Katie longingly licks her lips. Don't worry, I gave Miss Katie a treat afterwards for showing such marvelous restraint.

A short video of Katie and the 4 visiting puppies:

If you don't mind getting incredibly dizzy you can watch the following video. I apologize for the horrible camera work. I find it almost impossible to shot footage of the puppies and interact with them at the same time. Their cuteness is too distracting.

Friday, April 4, 2008

We Thought We Had Escaped the Storm...

Last night we had terrible storms in our area. For a long time the lightening was continuous. It was like watching a non-stop fireworks show. The tornado sirens were wailing for about an hour and a half. One tornado touched down just a couple of miles away from our home. When I left for work this morning we felt fortunate that everything was fine at the Happy Haus. We came through the night with no damage and didn't even lose power like 47,000 other homes did.

When I came home today at noon this is what greeted me... Look at the birdhouse on the left side of the picture and then look at the picture of the Happy Haus which is always at the upper right corner of our blog. That will show you a good before and after shot. Our house and the path leading to it are completely obscured. A large maple tree fell from our neighbor's yard onto our fence, our power lines and finally landed right in the middle of our beautiful plum tree :-( We don't know how much of Penelope we will lose.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where Am I Supposed to Put My Legs?

Katie and Louis have now teamed up against me. They have decided I should give up using my computer and play with them instead. Actually, they are just trying to be close to their mama which I, of course, love. Scarlett is just to the left of the desk in a little pen to keep her and Louis separated. So, the four of us are occupying about 10 square feet of the house... very cozy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Just When I Thought They Couldn't Get Any Cuter...


"Mama stop taking pictures. Can't you tell we are trying to get some rest?"

Ok, I'll stop... for now :-) It's not my fault you guys are so cute and sweet together.

Katie and Louis BFF

A Tribute to Scarlett on Her 15th Birthday

15 years ago Lincoln, my one year old Siberian Husky, was a very sad puppy. Every time I would leave for work he would cry pitifully because he hated to be alone. I was already planning on getting another dog, but due to Lincoln's sorrow I sped up my plans and began looking for a playmate for him. My search lead me to Wisconsin which was the home of the owner of a sled dog team made up completely of AKC registered Siberian Huskies with quite a few champions in their bloodline. (Picture at right is of Scarlett at about 3 weeks old) I wanted a red and white female who I had decided I would name Scarlett after the heroine in one of my favorite novels. When 10 week old Scarlett was put into my arms for the first time my heart melted. She was so beautiful and so cuddly... well she was cuddly for about 2 minutes then she decided that she wanted to get down and explore the world. That was the first time Scarlett showed me her feisty side as she struggled to get down.

It was a two hour drive back to our home near Minneapolis and Miss Scarlett slept most of the way. Once we arrived Scarlett quickly claimed a little nook in the kitchen as her special sleeping spot. Lincoln was curious about this new creature who was in his home so he kept going to her nook to check her out. Again Scarlett showed her feisty and fearless spirit. Each time Lincoln would get too close she would growl and attack him by biting his neck and coming away with a mouth full of white fur. Lincoln was shedding heavily at the time, so this was fur he needed to lose anyway :-) After a few days of Scarlett being on the defensive I began to doubt that they would ever be good friends. But just as my doubts appeared suddenly L&S decided that they absolutely adored each other.

After Scarlett's arrival Lincoln became a different dog. His spirits were always up. He was still happy to see us when we came home, but didn't bat an eyelash upon our leaving for work. Linc and Scar were best friends for 13 years until Lincoln's death at the age of 14 years and 3 months in May of 2006. We always hoped that Linc would be the first to go since he couldn't bear to be without his Scar girl. Scarlett, on the other hand, is quite independent and although she likely missed Lincoln she was fine on her own. Snow Dogs, Late April in Minnesota
During their long friendship L&S had a blast traveling around the country in a pickup truck with us for all of our vacations. We never went anywhere that didn't allow dogs. The truck had a camper top and a sliding window that joined with the cab. In this window we mounted a fan that drew cold air from the A/C into the pickup truck so L&S were always comfy. We drove thousands of miles together and they always loved to go for car rides. We also went on many camping trips during which L&S would carry their own food and water in their doggie backpacks. One of our traditions was to make pancakes for breakfast during these trips. The dogs always got at least one or two pancakes each. Since they didn't get much people food at all this was a special treat for them. During her lifetime Scarlett has walked and hiked for thousands of miles. I believe that all of that exercise is the reason she has such good mobility for an elderly dog. Brushing Scarlett at one of our campsites (see all the hair near the tree?)
Taking a nap during a hike on Madaline IslandSkijoring in Minnesota...
the dogs were kind enough to wait for me each time I fell down :-)

One of Scarlett's greatest pleasures in life was hunting (I think she is done hunting now, but never say never). In our yard in Minnesota she killed countless rabbits, squirrels and shrews. At our current home our yard was invaded by rats about a year and a half ago. At the age of 13 Scarlett proved that her hunting skills were still intact. She killed the rats one by one within a week or two and we haven't seen any since. Sorry to be graphic, but when Scarlett is making a kill it reminds me of a National Geographic special about wolves. She turns into a wild creature and the rest of the world goes away for her. She can't see me or hear me as her mind is 100% focused on her prey. Scarlett's incredibly high prey drive was always one of my least favorite things about her, but I accepted that it was part of her nature. This is one of the reasons though that I decided she would be my last Siberian Husky.

Walking after an ice storm in Arkansas

On the positive side, Scarlett has the exact opposite type of interaction with humans. She loves every person she has ever met. If you offer her a biscuit she will take it so very gently from your hand. She loves children and is great with them. When I take her to the vet her reaction to having her blood drawn is to quietly lick the vet's hand. She is such a gentle sweetheart with people.
Scarlett kissing her Auntie LeahWhen Katie entered her life 15 months ago Scarlett was quite appalled. How dare I bring this obnoxious puppy into her kingdom. It took about 3 months before she accepted Katie completely as a member of our pack. Now she has decided that Katie is quite handy to have around. Katie alerts her to things she can not hear and Katie keeps other dogs away from her on walks.
Scarlett thinks little Louis is fine as long as he stays at least two feet away from her or when he is sleeping. We will keep them separated for a while since Scar doesn't need a puppy jumping on her tired bones.

At the age of 15 Scarlett has some arthritis in her rear legs. She moves slower than she used to, but she still can walk up and down stairs. She has an occassional day when she just doesn't feel well and only wants to sleep. However most days she is very eager to take a 15 minute walk twice a day. If I fail to take her on time she won't hesitate to tell me exactly how she feels about my failure as a dog mama. She still has the same feisty spirit that she had the day she was first put into my arms.

Happy 15th Birthday and much love to our sweet and sassy Siberian Husky Scarlett!