Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Apologies

I gather from the burst of panicked messages in my inbox that I have terrified many of Dexter's fans by telling you all that he was unwell and then disappearing from the internetz.

Never fear, Dexter is just fine. We have traced back the cause of Mr. Yakky and his 3 Upchucking friends to a bad batch of beef in our freezer. All 4 dogs took turns having a bad tummy for a couple of days apiece, hurling at inconvenient hours (middle of the night) in hard-to-clean places (rugs, under the bed etc.) and now after a short fast and a lot of Pepto Bismal fights, everyone is back to their usual selves once again. Mr. Woo is so fine that today he brought home a rabbit that I had conveniently run over for him up the road, but that's a story for another time.

Yesterday we went to visit our great friends Ruedi and Nobu on their sheep farm on Vancouver Island, and we dropped Brother Sean off with them for some bootcamp. Sean is going to be just fine with a little structure in his life. Folks, at the risk of being inundated with indignant commentary from the crazy peanut gallery, I offer you this one piece of advice:

When you raise a puppy, don't be afraid to have *expectations* of him.

I don't mean ridiculous expectations, like the emails I get from adopters about 8 weeks old puppies - "is he housebroken and obedience trained?" - but I'm talking about expecting your puppy to be a good canine citizen and giving him the tools to be exactly that. Your puppy doesn't want or need your undivided attention and hand-flailing wuvvies, he wants and needs structure, boundaries and your confidence that he can achieve what you want and need him to be. Smart puppies are sponges, and when all you give them to soak up is nothing, that's what you're going to get back when you wring 'em out again.

I can haz boundaries plz?

Sean learned yesterday that you are not allowed to bother the chickens, and that Ruedi is confident enough to chase Wootie off of sheep. This is confidence that Wootie does not have in me ;-)

The trip to the Island took up pretty much my whole day, and we got in very late last night, so no photos. Today we were up early and off to a puppy playdate!

Recognize any of these lovely faces?

This is sister Ginny:

This is brother Ace:

This is brother Paddy:

And this is Curry the Kelpie, who is not related to us, but we love her anyway :)

Dexter had So. Much. Fun.

I am having, like, such a good time, Food Lady!

He no longer beats the snot out of his siblings, but plays very politely with them, and sometimes even lets them win.

A puppy watching a puppy chew on a puppy.

Same activity, different role playing:

Group shot of the brothers - not so successful, akshully.

And after all these fun times, Dexter had a nap on the bleachers whilst The Food Lady socialized herself at the agility trial.

He is definitely back to his usual self, the only residual effects of his bad beef episode being room-clearing farts that made us kind of unpopular at the trial :)

My camera is now visiting Uncle Jeff's Workplace, where the sensor is going to be cleaned because the camera is giving me fits. I do have a back up camera, but I can't promise I'll be able to do much in the way of photographing for the next few days, so I hope these puppy shots will tide you over until the camera comes home again.


  1. hooray for happy tummies! what fun to see the pups together!

  2. Great play photos! Not good about the bad beef episode, but glad that is being cleared up (or out...) :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  3. Yuck about the messes.... brings up bad memories of stomach bugs that my crew have gotten in the past. Ew. Ew.

    I do wish more people had expectations and boundaries for their dogs.

  4. Great to meet Dexter at the trial today.
    I schmoozed with a celebrity:) Glad the tummy upset is sorted out, no fun for all involved.

  5. Really glad they are all back to normal.

    Love the kelpie. I have never seen one with a border collie tail before !!!

  6. Yay! Dexter is not dead. Feeling much better now.

  7. Glad they're all okay now!
    I love how he does his intense eye contact thing even when he's in the middle of a tussle and being chomped on!

  8. Thank goodness, I was worried! :)

  9. That's not the kelpie's tail! That's Paddy's tail as he is running behind her.

  10. All puppies need boundaries, but the herding/working breeds can't really function in people society without them.

    Solo is so named because he was an only pup-and he definitely had a learning curve getting along with the other pack members and learning to wait his turn. In spite of all this structure-he adores us all. Go figure.

  11. GIGO (garbage in garbage out) is another way of looking at training a puppy or even an adult dog. Or even a human.

    Glad your pack is well again and wish the same for your camera so you don't keep us waiting too long for the next installment.

  12. Yay everyone's back to normal and feeling good :)

    btw food lady, you got the best looking puppeh in the bunch! ;)

  13. Wow. Expectations of puppies. Funny how many people just don't seem to have them. Very good advice!

  14. Glad to hear everybody's OK!
    And I can't wait to hear the tale of Wootie and the dead rabbit.

  15. Curious what you feed your dogs. Homeade dog food? (what one of mine is currently on due to allergies.)

  16. Glad the critters are feeling better!

  17. Nice fuschia leash with the tinkerbell designs on it Sheena! Poor Dex, thank goodness he's man enough to bite you for doing that to him...

  18. He didn't bite me! But he gave Wendy a black eye ... hahahaha! You people and your gender obsessions - Dexter is secure in his masculinity!!

    Amy, I feed my dogs raw. Always have, going on 10 years now. Wouldn't do it any other way.

  19. Raw diet.. Enlighten me please? What do you feed them?

    Been told by my vet that my dog's eye infection is chronic, antibiotics do not help. (Done them all.) Groomer suggested he has food allergies and I put him on a white fish and potato diet. Week 6 and not working out, eye still goopy :(

  20. Excellent photos, all of them! Ginny particulary cute. Paddy had so much fun.

  21. Amy,

    I would really suggest doing an internet search for raw diets for dogs. It's a personal decision and you should research before you decide if it's something you want to pursue, not a diet plan for me to outline here. There is tons of information online about feeding raw!