Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Year of the Ox

Saturday evening Gary and I attended our local FCC (Families with Children from China) Chinese New Year celebration to welcome in the year of the ox which officially began on January 26th. We visited with some friends, ate lots of delicious Chinese food, browsed the Chinese store and watched adorable children do the Dragon Dance.



When we first began the adoption process I really thought that Natalie would be born in 2006 and be a Dog like me and my mother. When that seemed unlikely I looked to the next animal symbol of the Chinese Zodiac. On February 18, 2007 the year of the pig began, and it was a very special year of the pig that only occurs every 60 years. It's called the year of the GOLDEN pig and babies born during GOLDEN pig years are thought to be very lucky. I let go of my dream of a Dog baby and embraced the golden pig. As the months slipped by I could see that was not to be either. On February 7, 2008 the year of the Rat began. I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of a rat, but time quickly passed and the animal shifted again. Now it seems highly likely that Natalie will be born in the current year of the Ox. Below is a description of the Ox personality. It sounds great to me although I would probably find something positive in whatever animal ends up being our daughter's symbol.

From WikipediaThe Ox is thought to be the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The Ox is a power sign, like the Rat, Snake, Dragon, Tiger, and Monkey. They're quite dependable and possess an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people, according to tradition, need peace and to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to make . An Ox person has a very mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

Traditionally, people born under the influence of the Ox are thought to be kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told how to make they like to stick to their own individual idea.

The Ox, it is thought, works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active

The Ox, according to tradition, is not extravagant, and a modern interpretation of this is that the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox to try a but they mostly .

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome in small gatherings because of their humble composure and reverent nature towards the host. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.


Photobucket

Hooray for Healthy Newfs

Katie and Louie went to the vet on Saturday for their annual shots and checkup. There weren't many people there, so I took advantage of the opportunity to work on some obedience exercises. I like to practice in unusual places to get them used to performing well with distractions. The staff and other customers were very impressed by their obedience skills and by how pretty they are :) I enlisted a few people to play pretend judge and pat the dogs down during their stand stays.

Katie and Louie practicing their down stays. One woman asked "How do you get them to do that?" I told her they have been going to school since they were tiny. What I didn't tell her was that if they had a trainer more experienced than myself they would probably be even further along LOL
Photobucket
The vet checked them from nose to tail and said they are in excellent health. Their hearts are strong, ears are clean, teeth look good, etc. He also said their weights are perfect. Katie is 110 and Louie is 109.

While we were waiting to pay our bill we made friends with this tiny little dog. She was a little nervous about Katie and Louie until I included her in a couple of rounds of hot dog treats.
Photobucket

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Yesterday was little Louie's 1st birthday! One year ago I received a phone call from our breeders telling me that Robin and Loki's puppies had arrived. There were 3 girls and 7 boys. We were getting second pick of the litter after our breeders made their choice, so we were thrilled that there would be a lot of boys to choose from. I met the puppies when they were ten days old and held every one of them. I didn't know which one was Louie, but I knew that one of them would be our baby.
Photobucket

Photobucket

The second time I visited the litter the pups were about 2 1/2 weeks old. Bonnie told me that Mr. Red had already managed to climb out of the whelping box. I thought to myself "We definitely shouldn't get Red. He's going to be a mischievous troublemaker." Ha ha... who did we end up with? Mr. Red, of course. He had the sweetest personality and that was our top priority. Bonnie and Bill knew that I would fall for him so they started calling him Louie when he was about four weeks old. We definitely ended up with the perfect puppy for our family. Gary, Katie and I all adore and love Louie so much. He is very affectionate, brilliantly smart, and is quite a handsome Newf puppy. We are so grateful for everyday that we share with Louie.

Louie during his first few minutes home at the Happy Haus
Photobucket

And now the birthday boy would like to tell you all about his big day.

Birthdays are super cool. Even though I get tons of attention everyday of the year I got even more on my birthday. I love to be the center of attention, so it worked out great.

My day started off the usual way. The first thing I do everyday is cuddle with my Dad.
Photobucket

After a delicious breakfast I played in the backyard with my toys and my sister.
Photobucket

Since it was my birthday I decided to be generous and let my sister Katie harass me for once. Usually I spend most of my waking time jumping on her and stealing her toys.
Photobucket



This is me pretending to be grown up :-)
Photobucket

My favorite thing in the whole world is to have my pack together. I don't care what we do as long as I have Mama, Daddy and Katie by my side. Since it was my birthday though we got to go somewhere very special. We drove for about an hour in the car until we got to this place called Petit Jean State Park. We got to hike on a cool trail called the Seven Hollows Trail. Katie and I loved it.

Here we are at the natural stone bridge
Photobucket

And by a big rock with Mama
Photobucket

Since we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves we decided to practice our recalls. This is our favorite obedience exercise because we get to run and when we get to Mom or Dad we get cookies!!!

Here's a video of our first recall from the perspective of Mama who had to eat our dust as we ran to Daddy.


Here's our second recall taken from the perspective of Daddy as we raced to see who could reach him first. Who do you think won??? :-)


Running to Daddy is fun
Photobucket

Me and Katie pretending to be cave bears
Photobucket

Photobucket

After dinner and my special birthday sardines it was time for a rest with my sister Katie who is also my BFF.
Photobucket

Birthdays are the best! I plan on having lots and lots of them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Growing Up

Our little Louie is growing up. Next Saturday he will be one year old.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I think he will still be our goofy puppy for awhile longer :-)

Photobucket

Friday, January 16, 2009

Therapy Newf

Katie is getting very relaxed in her role as a therapy dog. She really seems to understand the purpose of our visits now. She has come such a long way from the puppy who used to be terrified of anything with wheels. Look at her now:
Photobucket

When we visit children at Easter Seals she is completely at ease around the wheelchairs. (Child's face blurred to protect privacy)
Photobucket

Some of the children like to walk Katie. For safety purposes I keep two leashes attached to her so that the child can "walk" Katie while I still maintain control. Katie is starting to do a great job of slowing down her normally incredibly fast pace to match the slower paces of the children. Katie brings so many smiles to their faces and to mine.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pinch Me... I Must Be Dreaming

Guess what we got in the mail today???? Our second I171H (approved as of 1/6/2009) which is now good until 7/6/2010!!!! For non adoption people it may be a bit difficult to understand the great excitement caused by the receipt of this document. The I171H basically means that you have been approved by the Department of Homeland Security to bring an orphan into the country for the purpose of adoption. The document only has a shelf life of 18 months, but there are a few loopholes which I took complete advantage of in the hopes that we wouldn't have to do this three times. Most of my adopting friends who were logged in around the same time as us are getting ready to file for their third round because their second round is about to expire. For the last couple of months I have been mentally biting my nails wondering if DHS was going to process our paperwork correctly or if they were going to make us start all over with the I800A form (an expensive and extremely time consuming document). Now it appears that we might actually get by with only going through this red tape nightmare twice! Hooray!!!!! I am truly ecstatic!

By the way, the Chinese government has completed referrals for the month of February 2006. We were logged in on July 22, 2006, so we are definitely getting closer to bringing Natalie home. I predict she will be home in late spring or early summer of 2010. We are finally on the downhill portion of the wait for our daughter.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...