Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Play Days

Fridays are a bit different at daycare. They involve playing with Hrothgar! Hrothgar is a great dane puppy, huge, gorgeous, but an absolute sweetheart.

And here I thought Oak was getting big!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Second Class

We went to our second training class on tuesday. Oak had plenty of exercise(it was a Barkley day, then we played with Ranger, then we walked and played with Hudson) but he was still very hyper. He did absolutely horrible on the heeling section. He was bouncing around, jumping up, tried to steal the trainer's treats :), and didn't listen at all. More practice is obviously needed, for me and him! The rest of the night went well. He was more focused on me, stayed when he was supposed to and did pretty good on the figure 8 at the end of the class(first time we tried it). I think he's doing quite well and I'm happy with his progress so far. Unfortunately, he is still better at home then he is at class! Practice, practice, practice.
More news, Oak will have a new friend to grow up with. My daughter Mandy is getting a new golden puppy this sunday. He was born on Nov. 29, so he is about 5 mos younger then Oak. His name is Treeverwood's Chrysolite, Lite for short. I'm sure they'll be best buddies in no time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I remembered to bring the camera today. Yeah! Oak and Hudson had another great walk this afternoon. I got some great shots. Have a look.

This next one is of Hudson climbing every snow bank. No easy walk on the road for him, he thought plowing through 5 ft. snow banks was a better plan!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Puppy Play

We have a client whose new puppy doesn't like to go for walks, so today Oak and I met Hudson and his walker to see if he might enjoy walking better with another puppy for company. It worked perfectly! Hudson loved chasing after Oak. They walked, they ran, they played. I even brought my camera to take pictures. There were alot of photo opportunities. Lots of great shots. Unfortunately, I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera and I couldn't take any pictures at all!!! We are meeting them again tommorrow, so I'll be sure to take may camera again, with the card!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snow Play

So we are supposed to practice twice a day for 10 minutes. Well, we've been practicing once a day for 10 minutes. That's a start, right. :) He was starting to get bored after the 10 minutes, so I can see why you're supposed to keep it short and sweet. Also always end on a high note. That way he feels good, he enjoyed it, and he got treats. Let's do it again! Puppies have to enjoy what they are doing, or they will loose interest. I think will try some practicing at the dog park. We did this when he was going to puppy classes(the whole 2 he went to!) and he did really well. Lots of distractions there!

Today when we took Ranger to the park at lunch, we decided it would be fun to make a snowman. The snow was really packy and easy to roll, but boy was it heavy! I was rolling the snow, Ranger was crashing into it and trying to eat the snow, and Oak was just ignoring the whole process! We had a great time! They really love playing in the snow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obedient or Not So Very Much :)

Well, class last night was defintely fun, very entertaining, and a learning experience for me. My puppy who does everything wonderful at home where there are no distractions, tries to listen to what every other owner is saying to their dog and not to what I am saying! He didn't do too bad for the first class, but we really have to work on his focus. At home his eyes don't leave my face, at class, there are too many other facinating things to check out! He did do an absolutely wonderful recall though. The trainer called him from the other side of the room, I let go of his leash, and he went running straight to her as fast as his legs would take him. He also came running back to me when I called. His enthusiasim is so cute to watch.
Once again, we found out he is just to beautiful! Everyone thought he was the most beautiful GIRL they've ever seen. My handsome boy is going to get a complex :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to Class

Tonight is the first step on the road to my perfect, obedient, wonderful dog :) We are going to our first Novice class at 6:30pm. We have been practicing (a bit) and I think Oak is coming along quite nicely already. In fact, last night he made me very proud. Dishwashers are great! Puppies are great! Dishwashers and puppies together, not so great (unless you like your 60 lb puppy climbing onto the dishwasher door to clean off the plates!). So last night we tried something new. I put Oak in a down stay while I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. This was the first time we had tried this, and I thought he did really well. He did attempt to get up twice, but considering the job took about 10 minutes to complete, I was still very proud of him. Even my hubby thought Oak did a good job.
My plan, assuming I practice with Oak on a daily basis, is to enter him in obedience trials and get his Companion Dog before he turns one. Fingers crossed, that I keep the practice up! I'll let you all know tomorrow how well we did.

Today was also Barkley day at daycare :) Barkley is Oak's best friend and they play together constantly when they are together. Then Oak comes home and sleeps for 2 days :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

He's Growing Up!

On saturday January 17 we went to the off leash park for a walk. It was the first time Oak has ever lifted his leg to pee. My baby is growing up! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Little Bit of At Home Training

One thing Oak has learnt is to wait for his food. He loves eating, so can be very eager to munch down. To slow him down a bit, I have taught him to wait before he can eat. Since he is fed raw chicken, he eats outside, so I take him outside, tell him to sit and wait, then I set his dish down. He'll sit in front of his dish, then he'll look at his dish, look at me, look at his dish, look at me etc. back and forth until I give him his release word and tell him it is "Alright" to start eating. He always has such a hopeful look in his eyes when he looks at me. I always make sure to tell him he is a fabulous boy. Praise is very important when training a puppy. That and repetition! We are starting to do this with his treats too, because he can get grabby, especially when the other dogs are around.

One More Little Puppy Health Problem

Oak was enjoying puppy classes(we had been to 2 classes), he had a great time at daycare and he loved going to the dog park everyday. Then on Thursday November 7 he got a runny nose. It was just a bit of a runny nose at first. Clear fluid and out of the left nostril. I called my vet and she said to keep an eye on him and if it wasn't better by Monday we'd put him on antibiotics. She also suggested that I keep him isolated from other dogs until it cleared up in case it was something they could catch. Poor Oak, no park, no daycare, and no puppy class! I also started him on 1000 =mg of vitamin C per day and gave him warmed up chicken broth a few times a day. Over the weekend his nose started to run even more, and the mucous turned green. He was so uncomfortable in his crate, he couldn't seem to get his head at the right angle to breathe, so I let him sleep on the floor beside me(he hasn't been back in the crate since). We'd have to get up a few times during the night and wipe his nose. He started running away from me when he saw me with a washcloth in my hand! Poor little guy! We decided on Monday that it was time for antibiotics, so I started them monday morning. By wednesday he was worse!
He slept all that day and his head was so sore I couldn't even touch it. He wasn't chewing anything(toys, my hand etc), although it didn't stop him from eating. I checked out his gums, and they were really red and swollen. So I decided to try an old remedy my Mom used on me and I used on my kids when they were teething, I put some rye on my finger and rubbed it on his gums! I think it helped alot. It seemed to soothe the pain. I did it a couple of times per day for the next few days, then his gums started to turn back to pink and not look so swollen. Most of his adult teeth were coming in and most of his puppy teeth were gone(I managed to get 4 :). He also started to get his regular old exuberance back. Finally, he was starting to feel better. Unfortunately, his nose was still running a bit by the time saturday rolled around, so still no puppy class.
The following wednesday he was finally healthy again and could go back to the park, and back to daycare. Yeah! He was so happy to see his friends again. Unfortunately, on thursday he came in contact with a dog who came down with Kennel Cough the next day. Oh no! I was afraid he was going to get sick again! And he had to go into isolation again. No daycare, no park and no puppy class for 5 to 10 days, or until we're sure he's not going to get the Kennel Cough. I contacted the dog trainer and she said she would give us a credit for the Novice class in January, since he was going to miss the last 2 classes.
Luckily for us, Oak's immune system was finally up and running. He never got Kennel Cough at all. He just got really bored! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Puppy Class

We started puppy classes on Saturday October 25, Yeah! We were so excited! Oak made friends with Kiwi, a 4 month old pug. Before class the puppies get to play and expend a bit of excess energy. Oak was the only puppy calm enough to play with tiny little Kiwi. All the other puppies were big and boiterous and might hurt her, but Oak was very calm and they had a great time together. Oak was sitting, heeling and staying, but he needed some work on the down. I had entered obedience trials with Phoenix and we had gotten our Companion Dog and I was considering doing the same with Oak. Our trainer actually said she thought he'd be fabulous, because he is so focused. So, I guess the decision is made. We better start practicing!
We were still going to the dog park everyday and meeting new friends. We also practiced our recalls at the park. He'd come running every time, even when there other puppies to go see!
We would also head over to the daycare on occasion and play there. Being a puppy is such fun! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


You know, I figured having a puppy would mean less visits to the vet. I think it means more! Especially during the first few months! My vet told me she sees it all the time. She compared puppies to little kids in daycare, they catch every germ around! After the first few months a healthy puppy's immune system will kick in and he'll be able to fight the germs off on his own.
Once the worms cleared up, I found a flea on him! Just one, but that's all it takes. I figure he found it in my backyard. So, we called the vet again. Flea meds for everyone! That took care of the problem quickly and easily.
He had his final shots on October 1, then we had to wait one week, then he got to go to the dog park and meet lots of new friends! Yeah!

He loved running around the park, but this playing with other dogs, was a bit intimidating. We went everyday for about a week until he met Sam. Sam is a yellow lab puppy about the same size as Oak and they had a fabulous time playing together. The next time we went, he met Scout(a black lab puppy) and that was it. He loved meeting new friends and playing.

He also got to go to the daycare we run. Everybody was so BIG and BOUNCY! It was kinda scary at first, but then he made friends with Herman and it was ok. Herman is a cocker spaniel and just the right size for puppy Oak to play with.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Continuing Story

The breeder I got Oak from believes in a more natural way of raising a puppy(as do I). She required we just give him the minimum vaccinations, top quality food and he will not be neutered until he is 2 yrs old. He was on a high quality kibble when he came home, but we have fed our dogs BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods) for 7 years, so that is what Oak would be fed as well. So I tried changing his food, but his stools were not "perfect". Sometimes they were soft, then sometimes they were solid. They also weren't very regular. Most days he would go 3 times, morning, midday and right before bed, but sometimes he'd miss one or go more often. I thought maybe it was my attempt to change his food, so I stopped and fed him the kibble he had been eating. Then one saturday night about 5:30pm he started having a problem with diarrhea. Puppies are notorious for getting diarrhea easily. I think it is because no matter how hard we try to stop them from eating everything in sight, they always ingest something that upsets their little tummy. He would ask to go out every 15 min. and he went each time he would go poo(very liquidy poo). This went on until about 10 pm, when I decided it was time for a trip to the emergency clinic. He got weighed(20 lbs!), and checked out. He was eating, drinking and alert, so the vet was not too worried. She gave him a shot for his poor tummy and gave me some metronidazole pills to give him. I had to give him 1 every 12 hours starting at 2am. It was also decided he would be fed cooked chicken and rice until his tummy settled down( my hubby complained that Oak was getting better meals then him :) He continued to have to go out until 7:30 am the next morning, when finally we both got to go to sleep! Amazingly, he never had a single accident in the house all night! He's always go to the door and we'd go outside. He was such a good boy. I gave him the pills for the 3 days and his stools never got back to "perfect", so my vet decided we should try another stool sample(we had done one about 10 days earlier). Well, we found round worms in the stool. Finally, a solution to his problem. We gave him the deworming meds and holy crap, alot of worms came out over the next 2 days! I don't remember whether Phoenix had worms as a puppy, but it is highly likely. Puppies are notorious for getting worms, they can catch them very easily from the different things they pick up off the ground! When that happened, I decided to switch his food completely to a premade B.A.R.F. product called Healthy Paws and I'm so glad I did. Of course, we had to deworm the rest of our dogs(nothing showed up in their stools), but since Oak had worms, everyone else could have gotten them too. Puppies can be very stressful!

Shall We Begin

I think the very beginning was on Friday September 5, 2008. I lost my best friend of 14 years to hemangiosarcoma. It was very sudden and the house was just too quiet. Phoenix used to go with me everywhere. We walked dogs together, he'd be beside me when I worked in the office, he loved going for car rides. After about 3 days I couldn't take the loneliness anymore and I started looking for a golden retriever puppy. My search lead me to a wonderful puppy that I decided to name Oak. I picked him up on thursday September 11, 2008 a cute, tiny 12 lb ball of fluff. Oak had arrived and our journey of learning and laughter and absolute craziness had begun!
The first step was house training. It wasn't too bad. As long as you never left him alone, never stopped watching him, and could tell by the subtle movements(standing, sitting, any movement really :) that it was time to go out, you could get through an hour without an accident in the house! (Like every other 10 wk old puppy!) He wasn't a typical puppy as far as when he had to go. Most puupies need to go out as soon as they eat. The food goes in one end, and out the other! You could not guarantee he would pee or poo right after he ate. In fact, he usually only pood 3x a day. Morning, midday and right before bed. He'd eat, we'd go outside, he'd play, we'd go back inside, he'd pee! It had been so long since I house trained a puppy that I was a bit rusty. The first few weeks were very tiring and very interesting and I wouldn't change it for the world! Finally after we got a bit of a rountine going and he stopped having accidents in the house. Yeah, Success :)
Another important lesson to teach a new puppy is that his crate is his home. It's a great place to sleep and relax when the rest of the family can't play with you. Oak was very easy to crate train. He didn't put up much of a fuss even on the first night. We had to get up at 2am the first few nights to go out and pee, but after that I'd take him out at 11pm every night and he'd sleep until we got up at 5 or 6am.
We had our first visit with our vet on Monday September 15. He was perfect. (As I already knew :) His eyes looked good, his teeth looked good, his skin looked good, he had lovely puppy breath, he passed with flying colours! We also got a stool sample checked and it was perfect as well. We set up an appointment for him to get his final shots in October and off she went(I have a mobile vet, so she came to my house).