Friday, November 21, 2008

Duke's Clean Bill of Health

Duke had his check up today along with his second round of puppy shots. He did wonderful of course. The doctor said he's got great conformation, his hips & elbows look great so far, he's at a good weight, his ears are healing nicely. Overall he said "he's a beautiful pup. How are you going to feed all that?" ;o) I was very pleased. I was a bit concerned about his weight. I thought maybe he was too skinny but no, Dr. Smith said he's growing so quickly & he's going to appear a bit on the lean side while he's growing up & to not be concerned as long as he continues to eat. So YEA!! He's passed out now. Pups usually sleep a bit after shots & a long exciting car ride. He is 16-17 inches at the shoulder (he was wiggling so it was hard to see exactly), from the tip of his tail to the tip of his nose he's 33 1/2 inches long & he weighs 23.7lbs!!! He's growing up so quickly, I can't believe it. He is making it through the night so great. He can go from about 10pm until about 5-5:30am. If he can't make it he comes to the side of the bed & stands up on his back feet on my side & whimpers; he goes out, comes back in and goes to sleep. Such an awesome puppy. The other dogs are slowly starting to come around with playing with Duke. Up to this point other than Boomer everyone else viewed him as the annoying little brother & they did NOT want to play with him. Jake played with him & Ruger played with him in the back yard yesterday. So cute! Boomer & Duke play hard everyday. Duke has learned if he gets Boomer to go in the crate with him that he can pin Boomer to the side of the crate and really rough him up. It's pretty funny to watch.

Enjoy the newest 8 week old pictures of Duke!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Duke News

Little Duke is doing FABULOUS!! I couldn't be happier with him. He's is so darn smart it absolutely amazes me. His ears are healing nicely and he doesn't seemed to be phased by it much at all. He has such a pretty shaped head. He's going to be beautimus with his finished ears. I started working on socializing him with scary objects a few days ago (umbrellas, bikes, strollers, etc). He's doing really great with it. The umbrella has been the hardest for him. He's fine with it as long as it's not over his head & open. He freaked out in the beginning, now he just startles a little when I open it. I need to start him walking on a leash, going up & down steps, walking on uneven surfaces, getting him used to loud noises; Fun stuff like that. It plays a huge role in his fear responses & how he handles things after he's 16 weeks old. The 16 week mark is when they are said to be "hard wired" and anything after that mark can be a bit more difficult to change so it's always best to get them used to as much as possible & teach him how to work through it while he's still really young. I really want to do volunteer work with him like taking him to schools & children's hospitals so he has to be as non-responsive to stimuli as possible. Ty is great at it but they said he "reacts too much". Meaning he got excited & turned around too quickly which could potentially be dangerous. They want to see a dog that will look & be alert but not respond dramatically whether it's fear or excitement. I didn't get Ty when he was a baby so I didn't get to work on all this stuff. Ty was a bundle of nerves & scared of everyone & everything when I got him, so I had my basket full of things to work on with him..... but I digress. So, back to Duke. So he's doing really well with everything that's being thrown at him. He goes Monday, 24th, to get the bandages off his head & we get to start the taping process. Then a week later he gets his 2nd round of puppy shots. Puppies have a lot of "stuff" going on in their lives. Okay, well that's it for now. More pictures to come of big Duke-man as an 8 week old!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Snip Snip Recovery

Duke went yesterday to have his ears cropped. Cropping is the removal of a portion of the outer flap of the ear to shorten & change the shape of the ear for either utilitarian or cosmetic purposes. Cropping alone does not give the ears the ears the erect form though. This comes with a process called taping, to train the ears as the cartilage forms to stand erect. Without this cropping & taping process the dog's ears lay floppy. Here's a picture off the Internet of a finished cropped ear. Duke should look like this soon.... not too soon I hope. He goes back to River Cliff Animal Hospital (where he had his ears clipped) Nov. 24th to have his sutures out. Then back a few days later after his ears are completely healed to start the taping process. It could take until he is 6 months old for them to stand. I'm hoping not though. We'll keep our fingers crossed. He's spending the next few days on heavy pain killers & antibiotics. Keeping him calm has been quite a challenge!

His ears aren't missing; they're taped to his head while they're healing.
He is doing so great with his training. He's sleeping on his bed next to our bed every night. He whines when he needs to go outside then he comes back inside & goes back to sleep. He's only getting me up about 2 times in a 8-10 hour night, which is great. I've been really bad & going against all my training and putting him in bed with me after Tom goes to work. He's such a great snuggler. He lays his head & neck across my neck & doesn't move. It's pretty darn cute. He was weighed yesterday. He's up to 20 lbs & 14 1/4 inches at his shoulders. He's a little monster!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dinner Time At My House

Whenever I have people over & it's feeding time, they always are in "aww" of how I do dinner time with the dogs. It goes a little something like this: 7 dogs, 7 bowls & nobody is allowed to eat from one another's bowl. They are not allowed in the kitchen while I'm preparing food & they can not come in until they hear the magic word "ok". I hope everyone likes my dinner time video.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Duke is 7 Weeks Old Today!

Duke is doing SO great. It actually scares me a bit on how well he's doing..... is there bad to come because it's so easy with him right now?? He is consisitently going to the door when he needs to go outside to potty (and to play), he absolutely knows what "no" means & he listens 98% of the time, the first time. He actually gets his little feelings hurt so easy. He pouts when you tell him no & he goes somewhere & goes to sleep. He got his first bath this weekend that he did well at. We had family over for my birthday & after opening presents there were ribbons & paper laying around all over the living room, he tried 2 times to mess with the mess & then he completely ignored everything. I've just never trained or had a puppy so easy & picked up on things so definitively in such a short period of time. I'm a picture taking fool with him, Ruger & Diesel grew up so fast & I don't want to miss any of it & I want to have plenty to go back & remember. Duke goes Friday to have his ears clipped. He's going to be so handsome. He has such a great shaped head already. Duke, Ruger & I met Lauren & Stella at PetSmart on Saturday. It was complete chaos because it was Pet Adoption Day. There were tons & tons of people, everyone wanted to touch him & hold him, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I wonder if the aggravation of people constantly wanting to hold & touch him is how a mother feels after the birth of her child. I had to finally decline people from petting Ruger & Duke just so Lauren & I could focus on what we were there for in all the chaos of the barking dogs. Duke got his little name tag & new collar this weekend. He looks pretty cute, if I do say so myself. He is becoming quite the little barn guy. He stays close to the barn, he's not intimidated by the horses (which is a little scary), he crawls up in the hay & falls asleep. It's just too darn cute. I don't think the rest of the gang has realized this one is here to stay. . . . .

We weighed & measured Duke yesterday. He's 17.3 lbs & he's 13 1/4 inches tall at the shoulder. I'm so cheesy, I'm going to do a Duke baby book. I know, I know, it's lame-o. But that's me :o) I with I had done it with Ruger & Diesel. Anyway, I hope you guys like the pictures.

Here are pictures from Duke's big weekend. HAPPY 7 WEEK OLD BIRTHDAY!!

Duke, 6 wks Ty 4yrs

Sleepy Boy

Aunt Casey & Duke

Duke after the morning at the barn

Duke's new fun toy (supervision only) :o)

He's a good hugger

Momma ("Dramaw") & Duke
Duke's New Baby

After Bath Nap

Friday, November 7, 2008

Duke the Man

Little Duke had a busy day this morning meeting new people at the barn for a lesson & meeting people at Tractor Supply getting his dewormer for the next few weeks. He's definitely going to be socialized. He's learning the hard rules of life like:

(In the words of Duke): do NOT bite the cats tail because she might pop you across the face. Do NOT grab mom's socks out of her shoes because you might get corrected & get them taken away..... but she always gives me a fun toy I can play with. Do NOT try to eat from another dog's bowl, nobody around here shares. Do NOT bite mom like I can bite other puppies because she won't play with you if you do that & it hurts her :o(. If I ring a bell on the door it makes the door open & I get to go outside!!!! That's a good thing I learned. Also, I better eat my food when mom puts it down because if I don't it goes away...... I just don't know where. And, if the other dogs are sleeping & I pounce on them it doesn't make them get up & play with me; they just keep on sleeping. And..... screaming in the crate at night hasn't gotten me anywhere but you know what if you're quite & you act like a good boy you get to come out & play & potty & stuff. And, I learned playing is hard work & it requires a LOT of sleep. I'm the best at that!!
Duke, Ty, Chase & Tanner
That's just freak'n cute!

Hard day calls for a nap

"Dad's good at holding me while I fall alseep. I love it." -Duke

"I'm not even scared of the vaccum anymore" -Duke

So that's Duke's update for today ;o)

Riley's Move'n On Up

We had a small string of progress today. Thank goodness! He stopped ignoring me & started responding again. We'll see how the rest of the weekend goes. I'm just not sure if he's going to be ready for that Monday go home lesson. On a more fun note. He & Diesel ran their butts off tonight & played so hard. Now he's passed out on the fireplace hearth. So cute.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Duke Jr. is finally here. He is the newest addition to our family. He is a 6 week old (born Sept 23rd) Great Dane puppy!!! He is so great. He's only been here a few hours so he's still adjusting; he also had a long 6 hour car ride home. He's pretty pooped. He is super outgoing. He came right in to the house & said hello to the whole gang without any hesitation. He had his afternoon meal, played for a bit & then he was out cold for a long nap. We have a dinner to attend this evening & he's going to join us so he'll get to meet a lot of new people. Thank you so much to Jan & Tony at for bringing this precious little guy into our family!!

Duke's first meal at home
Duke & his big brother Ruger.
Quick Nap

Kiss the momma!

All that play calls for hard sleeping. He couldn't hold his head up anymore & he just fell on his face, literally, alseep. Too cute!!

Riley's Slow Progress

Well Riley is doing much better these last few days. He's doing an avoidance tactic now..... he thinks if he doesn't look at me, I don't exist. No big deal really, just a matter of working him through his deal. It does mean he might not be ready to go home on Monday. We'll have to see how things progress over the weekend. We don't have much going on & hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can get a lot done!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Riley's 1 Week Update

Riley is such a funny guy. For the last week we have been working on polishing up his obedience commands & getting him to stop peeing when he sees me!! He would get so excited even just sitting waiting to put his leash on he would start peeing all over..... a bit frustrating. He is doing pretty well. He's a bit behind where I would like to be after a week but we're getting there. He is a little insecure & a bit of a nervous, excited guy that I have to get him to just stop reacting & think for a second. He loves, loves, loves the other dogs & of course the cats. We should start his remote collar introduction today. We'll see how he progresses over the next few days!!