Saturday, March 28, 2009

Marshall Update

It's been a little while since you've heard from Marshall, so time for a little update.

I've been hearing a lot from this little guy! We're working through what seems to be a barking phase. Through the tips of the trainers, I hope I can say we're making progress. But I must say that in the past few days, I've actually been "listening" to him, and asking myself WHY is he barking? I've noticed that he is barking sometimes to sass me, so I know how to deal with that. Othertimes, I've learned that he's trying to tell me something. Then I remembered that part of his job will be to Alert. So, I am learning to process WHAT he is trying to communicate. As a novice puppy raiser, I wish I would learn as quickly as Marshall.

One example: The other night when it was time for bed, he wouldn't settle in his crate and he was barking. I got up to see what was up. There was a toy beside the bed. I put it in his crate. He didn't play with the toy, but immediately went to sleep. Do you suppose he was telling me the toy was out of place? Interesting to think about, so I continue to watch and learn to listen and respond with encouragement or correction, as the situation deems appropriate.

Also, this little guy can find things I never knew were lost. Just this morning, a ball that made it's way beside the dryer, behind a closed door. Marshall was scratching at the floor by the door. So I thought to investigate. There was the ball beside the dryer. (I did laundry two days ago and I always keep the doors closed!)

I can't wait for the rain to stop so I can utilize the tips on the searching game that Julie gave me. Not only will it stretch his little brain, but I will be able to mold his potential....and burn off some energy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lots of Progress on the Pupstart Center, too!

Thanks to Leadership Greenville Class 35--and several fabulous sponsors--renovation is moving right along in Easley. This short video clip shows a volunteer crew working on the whelping rooms that will house DFA's future litters of puppies. Next week we'll pose these guys with some DFA dogs! :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Making Lots of Progress!

I'm not fast enough (or good enough) with the digital video cam to get usable shots of all our puppies, but here are about half of them. I gotta tell you, this is not too shabby for five-month-old puppies!!! These guys look fabulous....we have a great crew of volunteer raisers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Momma Demi takes a break

Sable family

Sable sisters

Closer look....

The O's are here!

Here is the first photo of the O puppies: six boys, four girls. Mommy Demi is proud and resting comfortably. :-) For those who might not be familiar with what a sable pup looks like at birth, these kids will all be colored pretty much like Logan and Lucy, just a little variation in shades.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rainy days are training days

Following the instructions of our trainers, I've started keeping Marshall in his prong collar with a tab when we're just hanging around the house. I think we're beginning to see some progress on counter surfing. But training continues, especially tougher on rainy days when you can't get out to burn off puppy energy.

He also has gotten used to the tab dangling from him and has stopped trying to chew on it. So I know it will be useful in getting the job done.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow Pose

Lucy posing in the snow with her DFA uniform. Just a little on the nose for a taste later.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Marshall goes to college

Marshall spent several hours on the Furman campus enjoying the lake, ducks, dogs, walkers, and sunshine. He can't wait for the evening concerts...maybe some of his brothers would want to join him for a puppy/parade/picnic one evening once the concerts start?

He did really well with the ducks. Maybe because he doesn't really know what they are...but when two geese flew over his head, he took an interest and watched them ski to a landing on the water. A little "let's go" and he was quickly on his way.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Celebrating Spring

Today I took Marshall to work (crated in the car). For our lunch-time outing, we walked to Fall Rivers Park. Along the way we stopped at the hot dog vendor. Marshall sat patiently while my lunch was prepared. Then we sat on the garden steps at the park. Marshall help his "plotz" pretty well. He had to be corrected a few times to lay back down. But again a lingering lunch hour for a little dog is a long time to hold still. But he did great! He watched the scenery instead of the hotdog. On the way back to the office, we stopped in an art boutique that had a sign "paws welcome" so I took advantage of the invitation--to take a dog into a store with lots of breakable items. The people wanted to pet him, but we told them no. The resident dog barked a hello, as well as one of the workers after learning that Marshall could not be petted or given treats by strangers. Of course all the "barks" were merely friendly hellos.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

McIver is Off!!!!

This picture is blurry because McIver has his head in the bin as it is moving down the hall and he is trying to eat the food in the bottom. I told Sherry the story. Since she thought it was funny, I thought I would post the picture. Perhaps a publicity photo for DFA? No?

McIver Meets the SNOW!!

McIver, Lucy and Calhoun had a blast in the snow. As you can tell they just ran around like crazies. Lucy is sort of tiny compared to the boys so she got cold first. Calhoun loves the snow so much that he stayed out until his little paws were numb. And then there was McIver. He loved every second of it and did NOT want to come inside. He ate snowballs and all kinds of fun stuff.

As you can see in the picture below, the 3 of them are always into something. I cannot begin to guess the number of times they ran around this bush chasing each other!

An off day for Tucker

Everybody (even a really sweet, smart dog) has their off days . . . and today was Tucker's. If I were giving him a letter grade I'd give him a D- and send a note home to his mother!! :o(

We went to the mall, a place he's been quite often. His infractions were: prancing/pulling on the leash, barking at his reflection, pooping, whining at children, more pulling, peeing, scarfing Cheerios after I said leave it, . . . . shall I go on??? I was bewildered and couldn't help laughing - this is so out of character for him. The only reason I wouldn't give him an F is because he didn't bite anyone (I know he would never do that - just making a point). On the car ride home I don't know who was more worn out, me or him!

He's always so good in public, so I'm not sure what happened inside his head. A cashier who sees us pretty often even commented that he was more "active" today. I guess it was just a surge of those adolescent hormones. But I can't let him think this is OK, so if I have the energy we may go back to the mall again tonight, just to be sure he knows who's really in charge! I'm sure he'll be back to his usual professional self.

Monday, March 2, 2009

a REAL snow day

Marshall can't figure out what keeps falling from the sky...the ice dropping from the branches of the tree. He runs around the tree trying to figure out where "it" went. Also, throw him a snow ball to play with and disappears. But he is enjoying the free chewies (ice) that is in abundance and free for the taking.

Milliken's First Snow

Milliken and Mary Kate loved the snow that we got last night! They enjoyed running and playing in the newly fallen snow. It was so funny...when I opened the door for Milliken to go outside, he ran and slid across the deck! (Don't worry, trainers, he only ran out the door when I gave him permission to go!) That's a pretty smart move, because, he figured out if he got a good running start, and then stopped, that he would slide in the snow! He is always amazing me with his intelligence and playfulness. Both of them needed a nap today because they played a lot in the snow. I think we got about 4 or 5 inches here in Spartanburg. I hope everyone is enjoying their snow day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow day

Marshall started to go to church with me this morning, but when I got there, I discovered I forgot his collar and leash, so he took a nap in the car. But he did get an outing....we went grocery shopping. He walked well beside the cart, although I had some challenges pulling a leash and pushing a cart. Good thing I wasn't chewing gum! I made him sit while I made my selections and plotz while I paid. He did very well.

We spent the rest of the day in front of the fire place. I took the risk of taking a nap without crating him, and he just found a spot in front of the fire, beside the couch and dozed off and on with me. When we each would stir, we would go out for some reststops. He entertained himself with a squeek toy and then would fall asleep. It give me comfort to know that he can settle down on the "rainy days" where we can't really get outside to run. He knows his job each and every day.

He also lost two teeth today. How much is the tooth fairy these days?