December 31, 2004

Bad Eating Habits

We decided to not press our luck on Thursday and stayed home from work rather than drive in the freezing rain that hit the Twin Cities. So the Maas family had a great day around the house.

Jackie had made a Snowman cake. Mmmm, mmmm delicious!

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We couldn't wait to dig into the cake at lunch time. Alas, two minor members of the family also thought the cake looked yummy and began to help themselves. This was a first for Glynis who has never put her paws on the counter before. And she set a very bad example for her younger brother who now has been placing those big puppy paws on the counter and table any time it fancies him.

When the rain stopped, we all piled into the family dog cruiser and headed to the Vet to pick up some food for Glynis and also show-off the new addition. We have to get food at the Vet for Glynis as she has a sensitive tummy and is on a venison and potato diet. If only I could eat so good!

Pont was fawned over by everyone at the Vet's office. He has his 16-week checkup scheduled for next month. Pont has now decided that he does not like riding in the dog cruiser and whines while in his Mommy's lap. Graham spends time petting the puppy and telling him that "Daddy and I are good drivers so you have nothing to worry about."

During the evening we had a great time roughhousing. We also captured on camera why they call it "doggy pile" which can be seen in today's photo of the day!

Photo of the Day

Posted by maasx003 at 8:48 AM

December 29, 2004

Pont Goes for Walkies!

It has been 8-years since our last puppy, Glynis. So we've been struggling with our memories and old dog logs to see what has worked for us in the past as well as what we did wrong. I thought I'd summarize and invite your feedback on what has worked for you, the reader, when raising puppies. Use the comments link at the end of this blog entry.

Pont is doing very well. Very much a puppy with boundless energy. Jumps on everyone and everything and we're trying to work on that. Glynis has been a complete saint so far. She just runs away. They have been playing off and on. Pont seems to know when he needs to back-off....sort of. But no tears to date. They are getting along very well as you can see here.

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What has worked:

1. Pont has been on 2 walks and is doing surprisingly well on the leash. I think that is mostly due to Glynis but he hasn't really struggled or anything. I haven't made any attempt to keep him beside me. I'm just happy he has allowed the leash on and is actually walking with it. When we are deep inside the woods in an enclosed area, I let them off the leash and race with them. Pont seems amazed that he cannot keep up with Glynis who just smokes him at this early stage. It's funny to watch him chase after her.

2. Sleeping has gone very well as he has been sleeping with us. He sleeps through the night and the last few nights we haven't had to taken him out until 5ish.

3. He has been eating all his meals the last few days. We've increased from one full cup (1/2 old and 1/2 new) twice a day to 1 1/2 cups with a carrot or two thrown in. And he's been finishing that off. Growing boy.

What needs work:

1. Recognizing his name. We're wondering how long should we expect before he starts to recognize his name? So far, 'puppy-puppy-puppy' has worked better than Pont. The more we work on it, the better it has been.

2. Obedience. When should we realistically begin some elementary obedience? I have started two things. I throw a squeaky down the long hall and he has to bring it all the way back to me. That has been going very well....about 80% of the time he will do it. I have also started asking him to sit before he gets a treat. This is what Glynis does and I was hoping he'd pick up from her. But I'd say he'll do it about 10% of the time right now. So I figure I'm pushing the sit command at this point. We're going to just let puppy be puppy.

3. House training. We've had 2 pottie and 2 poopy accidents to date. So it's coming along. He's been in his kennel for as long as 4-hours now and has yet to go inside the kennel. We will start stretching that to maybe 6-hours next week. I've been coming home over lunch from work and plan to do that for a while yet.

4. Generally jumping and being underfoot. But that's been pretty funny at this point. And we realize he'll soon outgrow it. Only other thing has been he digs in the dirt of one particular house plant so we'll move that or just make sure he understands that is a 'No'. Even Graham has been using the 'No' command very well.

Speaking of the two boys, I posted a new video of Pont and Graham chasing each other in the house. Check it out using the left navigation bar under Movies. You'll have to cock your head a bit as I had to hold the recorder sideways, sorry.

Think everyone is extra tired with the energy of a puppy running around the house. Check out the Photos of the Day!

Glynis Photo of the Day

Pont Photo of the Day

Posted by maasx003 at 6:55 AM

December 27, 2004

Glynis History Part I

Glynis came to us on June 29, 1996. It was four years exactly to the date after the purchase of Olivia (our Dalmatian).

With Olivia in tow we drove to Farmington, Minnesota and spent nearly three hours looking at and discussing whippets with breeder Dinah Harlow. We agreed to try out a 8-week old red brindle for two weeks as were were concerned about how Olivia would react to a new baby in the house.

Glynis took the car ride home fine. She had no accidents the first day and even cried by the door to be let out. I set up a kennel, purchased a kennel pad, a bowl set, a black leash and collar (to match the black tiger stripes!), a mouse fleece toy and a small rope toy. But Glynis was more interested in Olivia's toys.

Glynis slept a lot the first few day. Olivia was very tolerant of her new sister. Perhaps too much so as Glynis enjoyed pouncing at you and also prancing alongside while one walked. A little nip by Olivia would have set her straight!

We got to bed about midnight that first night. I got up to let Glynis out at 1:30 AM and again at 4 AM. At 5:30 AM Jackie got up with both dogs and they got fed. Olivia went back to bed with me while Glynis fell asleep on top of Jackie on the sofa. It was a rough night as Glynis cried practically the whole night in the kennel.

Looking Back: We learned that toughing it out in the kennel was not a smart thing to do. With Pont, he will sleep with us until he gets use to everyone. We'll then try confining him with Glynis to one room of the house. He will be kenneled only when we are at work.

Looking Ahead: Glynis turned out to be a great Frisbee dog. We can't wait until we can take Pont along to the enclosed ball field this spring to see if Pont can "sky" like Glynis can as picture below!

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Glynis Photo of the Day

Posted by maasx003 at 3:12 PM

December 26, 2004

Pont Report for 12-26-2004

Pont continues to adjust to home life very well. Ever the puppy, he has been caught chewing on things he shouldn't be or driving his older sister, Glynis, crazy. Glynis, now 8-years old, has been having fun playing with Pont. At first hesitant, Glynis has now been getting more and more frisky. Pont usually steers clear of Glynis as she charges down the hallway with a squeaky toy but soon charges in.

When outside Pont does a high energy routine we call FRAP-ing. FRAP stands for Frequent Rapid Activity Period. He runs in circles and chases Glynis until Glynis chases her back inside. Pont is too young to know when his feet are cold and has been carried in twice now, unable to move. Too funny.

Pont has been eating well...usually on the run since he is hell-bent on not missing anything taking place in the house.

It has been difficult to take photos of Pont since he is in constant movement. But here is one where Pont is taking a breather with Glynis.

Pont Photo of the Day

Posted by maasx003 at 9:14 AM

December 23, 2004

Pont Report for 12-23-2004

Pont had his first full day with the Maas'. He started at 4:30 am with a trip outside followed by a two-hour snuggle in bed with Mommy and Daddy. He ate all his breakfast. Stools are good, although the second is a bit soft but nothing to worry about. He is being switched over from his puppy food given by his breeder to a lamb-rice mix by going halfies with each. So some soft stools are to be expected while he adjusts.

I also posted Pont's impressive pedigree. Give it a look.

It was still too cold (-2 F) today to give the dogs a walk, althought Jackie did play chase outside with Pont for a few minutes to help him blow off some energy. Which he did.

First accident happened in the evening. Our fault as we were all bust preparing for relatives arriving 12/24 and since Pont had been out an hour earlier we didn't see the signs until it was too late. No biggie. We'll keep better tabs on him now. Later that evening he also "told us" he had to go out by walking to the door, then us, then the door and back to us until we numbskulls caught on to the very smart puppy.

Pont's first movie can now be seen using the left tool bar. Navigate down to the Movies section and you will see the link. Due to size constraints. most movies will come and go. I advise you also have DSL or cable modem to view. I recommend viewing with Windows Media Player but any media player should do.

Pont Photo of the Day

Come back Saturday for Xmas Eve photos!!!!

Posted by maasx003 at 8:02 PM

Why Pont?

So, you're probably asking "why Pont?" Silly name for a dog, right? Here is the history behind the thought process that went into the name.

One of our favorite places in the world is a sheep farm bed and breakfast in central Wales. It is called Cyfie (pronouned Ke-Vee-Ah) and we stayed there almost yearly from 1995-1999. While other people are seeing the shows in London, we high-tail it out of the big city and ride the rails to Shrewsbury or Cardiff to rent a car and then motor into Wales to stay at the farm. Not unusual for us to have spent the whole vacation there. Then Graham was born and we haven't been back since...but that's another story. Here's a picture of the farm.

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During each stay, we would walk a few miles on a narrow road through lush pasture lands dotted with gamboling lambs; down into a valley cut by a rushing stream and waterfalls; past shaggy grazing horses and into the tiny village of Pont Robert.

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Most trips we were accompanied by Bracken, the farm’s working Welsh Border Collie. To this day, Bracken remains the smartest dog we have ever met. Here is Bracken and myself in a photo from March, 1995.

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For a long time we even considered getting a puppy there and flying it home. But then, we studied Border Collies and found them to be true working dogs. Adept at herding sheep, they will herd anything....from squirrels to kids. And if there is nothing to herd, they can be quite destructive. And that's where we left the plans for our very own Welsh Border Collie lie and turned our fancy to whippets. But that's another story having its roots in Edinburgh, Scotland.

As we were saying, we would walk from Cyfie Farm into Pont Robert. Our destination was the village pub, the Royal Oak, an area landmark for centuries. We’d have a pint to drink, myself usually a pull of Guinness and Jackie the local cider. Bracken was welcome in the pub as long as we stayed by the fire, a necessary thing after trekking through a soft Welsh rain. When we think of our wonderful times in Wales, they are topped by the memories of our visits to this cozy pub.

In Welsh, “pont” means bridge. Pont the Pup will remind us of our happy times in Wales and he will be a “bridge” from Olivia to Glynis and to the next generation of our family dogs.

We gave Pont’s name a lot of thought. Now that you know the story behind it, we hope it makes you smile as much as we will smile every time we call him.

Pont's First Night:

We brought Pont home on Wednesday. Cold trip as we headed north to Saginaw which is near Duluth. Temperature at the start was -3 F and had fallen to -11 F by the time we arrived to pick Pont up.

We had a great time meeting Pont's mommy and all his siblings and cousins. Kay Nierengarten spent time with us to go over everything with Pont and get started on the AKC paperwork.

On the way home we had Pont in a little kennel. About 30-minutes after leaving Saginaw I looked in the rear-view mirror to see Pont on Jackie's lap. Spoiled rotten after 30-minutes.

Upon arrival at his new home Pont spent a lot of time getting aquainted with every room, every corner, every smell. He fell asleep several times for short naps but was a real dynamo. He ate all his supper like a good boy and had half of a baby carrot.

When it was time for bed we placed Pont in his kennel. About five minutes later he was asleep. Oh, he fell asleep alright. But not in the kennel. Between Jackie and I on our bed. Don't ask! This did lead to issues later when Graham also tried to climb into bed with us but we all adjusted fine.

All in all Pont is adjusting very well. No "accidents" to report at this time. He's even gotten Glynis to wrestle with him. Pont especially loves to follow Graham from room to room and generally nibble on everyone's ears.

He is also a brave little puppy. Nothing is too high to jump on or off from. He also has picked out Graham's largest stuffed animal to drag around. A large shark which is triple the size of young Pont.

Tomorrow is Xmas Eve and Pont will be introduced to more relatives both human and K9. I'm sure he will be hugged and touched more than even Pont thought possible.


Posted by maasx003 at 7:01 PM

December 15, 2004

Introducing....

First was Olivia Kachina Kodak (aka Liv)

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Olivia loved to run, and run, and....

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....RUN! So we needed a dog that could keep up with her energy and enthusiasm.

So along came Glynis Cyfie Bryn (aka Sister, Rooster, Snow Shark, Baby Girl)

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Glynis, a whippet, could run like the wind. This often made Liv really mad. Unless Glynis was looking like....

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...and in that case Olivia pretty much bolted back to safety!

Olivia passed on due to ravaging cancer about a year after Graham was born. We were devasted and often felt a piece was missing. But, we were a happy family nonetheless. Graham came to call Glynis "Sister" and became best friends.

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But you could see that Glynis missed a doggie companion. Someone she could speak to in her own terms. Someone to share the couch in the sunroom with. Someone to cuddle up to when everyone was gone. Graham thought Sister needed a brother.

Introducing Northwind’s Pont Robert (aka Pont), our newest addition to the Maas family. Pont is another whippet. And will be our first male dog.

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View Pont shortly after birth

View Pont at Two Weeks Old

View Pont at Four Weeks Old

Over the coming weeks, we'll be looking back at the history of Olivia and Glynis sharing stories and celebrating their lives. We'll also be keeping everyone up-to-date with the progress of Pont. In the next blog entry, you'll get the answer to "why Pont"?

Until then, we'll be wiping floors and getting fingers nipped and all the other wonderful things with owning a puppy. We hope you enjoy the blog. Come back often and by all means, leave a comment by using the comment link found at the end of each entry.

Tah-tah!


Posted by maasx003 at 2:55 PM