Archive for June, 2012

Trice is up in Seattle one more weekend to see the Tooey x Cork puppies as they head off to their new homes. Tooey was left back in Portland with just the boys – Me and the Coop.

They are not about to let me out of their sight, even if it is just a trip down the driveway to the trash cans. There was the off chance that I might have slipped out to go hunting without them. Not a chance.

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This blog’s Favorite Photographer got fan mail today. So appropriate since said FP’s favorite beers are usually the dark and hearty porters and stouts.


Card by Bryn Parry

This card will definitely go into the collection. The sender got the card in the UK on a trip there recently. The artist is Bryn Parry. Although his studio has a website, I didn’t see this card listed. I guess we’re just very lucky to get one.

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Last month on May 27th, Cooper passed his 4th Junior Hunter Upland test. He went 4 for 4 — 4 passes in 4 Junior tests. So we knew he’d get his JHU title — it was just a matter of when the AKC would publish the fact.

I’ve been checking their website semi-regularly, and finally found the confirmation today:

Next task? Get Tooey ready for Junior spaniel hunt tests? Get Cooper ready for Senior spaniel hunt tests? Or maybe get Tooey ready for Junior retriever hunt tests, or maybe Obedience? So many choices, and all of them good.

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Pink and Red left this morning for their new homes in Canada. Both Pink and Red are opinionated dogs who like exploring and playing with toys. I’m sure they’re very eager for new adventures with their new families.

Pink confident on the wobble board

Red jumping through the ring


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Maybe you are someone who can relate to this:

When Russ and I chose our first dog, we chose the puppy who ran up to us, the one who came when we called, the one who seemed to want to be with us. That was our beloved Kayak, the Malamute-mix who was with us a very-too-short 14 years. We didn’t do performance activities with her, no Obedience, no Rally, no working tests. We just went for hikes, walks, and trips, stayed home, and hung out. We loved her. I’m sure she loved us.

Now I’ve found that puppy again: the one who runs up to me when I walk into the puppy room, the one who comes when I call, the one who wants to be with me.

And I can’t keep him. My heart has broken into tiny, sharp slivers that make it hard to breathe. I cry every time I think about him. We’ll have to find him a home with someone else. I’m pretty sure I will stand it somehow, I’m not sure exactly how.

Mr Orange at 45 days old

Mr Orange has stolen my heart. He will steal someone else’s heart, too, the right someone who can love and teach a wonderful puppy who will become a heartdog, companion, and friend.

I wonder: Who is that someone?

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Tooey’s home. We are all happy. Cooper is thrilled.

Tooey is not exactly excited that Cooper is thrilled, but she does know she’s home. When we got to within a mile of home, in my rearview mirror, I saw her head pop up and look around. Immediately as she walked in the front door, she ran to check that:

  • Her rug is in place
  • Her crate is where it’s supposed to be
  • Cooper’s crate (she sometimes “borrows” Cooper’s crate) is where it’s supposed to be
  • The dog food is in the same location as before
  • Her bone is where she left it
  • The freezer (which likely contains her frozen chicken wings) hasn’t been left open accidentally
  • The middle of the bed is still as comfy as it’s always been

Having determined that the universe has not shifted in her absence, Tooey then located Russ, and leaned on his knee.

The one flaw in this whole arrangement is the strange absence of Tooey food. This just isn’t right, she says — I can see it in her eyes. Such a pathetic pair of eyes. Poor starving girl.

Well, she probably does think she’s starving, and for good reason. We’re not giving her much, especially in comparison. For the past almost 7 weeks, she’s been eating enormous quantities of kibble, raw meat, raw liver, and yogurt, all to help her produce enough milk for 10 demanding puppies. But now, and for the next two or three days, she has to get by on 1 measly cup of food for breakfast and another for dinner, plus a little parsley and sage.

This is one of those cases that being able to explain things to her in English would make this much easier (at least on me). This semi-starvation, plus the herbs, is all to persuade Tooey’s body to dry up her milk.

She started the process on her own. The pups have been eating more and more puppy food for several weeks, so they haven’t needed quite as much milk. Plus, in the last couple of days, Tooey has been doing her best, with low growls and discreet shows of teeth, to dissuade the puppies from nursing. With fewer demands, her body produces less milk.

But even so, her teats are still long and flappy. So we have to help. Not feeding probably doesn’t feel helpful to her, I’m sure, but that plus the herbs and a little massage with cool cloths, is the best we can do. Soon we’ll get back to full rations and a frozen chicken wing for dessert.

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