April 10, 2005

Little in the Way of Dogs

Just too busy with Graham's 5th birthday this past week to deal with the dogs. Oh, they still got attention...just nothing memorable to write about. Which, in a way is good when there is a puppy in the house.

Pont did have a day of record bowel movements on Friday. He must have had eight total BMs. All formed and solid. That was followed on Saturday by the Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream variety. Two Imodium-ADs and he was back to normal. Maybe he ate too much garden mulch or something. No worries.

Glynis has been enjoying her helping of French Cut beans this week. We give both dogs raw carrots with their evening meals and at the suggestion of a Greater Twin Cities Whippet Club friend, we also began with the beans. Glynis will eat beans raw off the vine in the garden each summer. So we knew this would be a winner. Pont, (aka, The Goat) suprisingly has no interest to date.

We also made another trip to the Frisbee park this past weekend. On the second throw, Glynis came up a bit lame. She didn't even try to run through it. She knew she was done for the day and was happy to just watch Pont attempt to run Frisbee's down. Glynis was a little sore for a day or two but was back to normal by Sunday.

With the warmer weather we were able to start walking in the woods again this past week. We walk in French Regional Park which is located on the north shore of Medicine Lake in Plymouth and offers 7 miles of turf hiking trails. It was Pont's first excursion into the deep, dark woods full of new smells and animals. We usually spy a deer or two along with turtles, fox, weasels, and snakes. But nothing this week except for plenty of deer tracks.

Shameless Plugs

Jackie updates her Garden blog with some recent happenings including Graham's 5th birthday and the magnolia's are starting to bloom.

Posted by maasx003 at 5:07 PM

March 15, 2005

Rawhides

Back on January 16, I had wrote about using a series of products produced by C.E.T. Dental.

For Pont, we've been using the medicated chews. Called C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews with Chlorhexidine, these chews are patented and available exclusively through veterinarians. C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews combine the mechanical action of rawhide, the renowned antimicrobial power of chlorhexidine and the trusted C.E.T. name in a convenient, palatable chew for dogs. We tried them with Glynis as well, but her history of having a sensitive stomach eventually caused her to vomit....even with the petite sized chews.

We also brush the teeth of both dogs daily with C.E.T. toothpaste. And we can notice a huge difference with Glynis (soon-to-be nine years old). Pont's teeth look incredibly white. Even for a pup.

We had moved Pont up from the petite sized chews to the medium sized chews back in February and he continued to do very well. When Pont hit 30-lbs we moved him up to the large size this March. The bag indicated this would be on the low end of the range for his size but still within the window weight wise.

This past weekend, Pont experienced diarrhea and vomited twice. Being old hands we did not panic and just cut back his regular food and substituted rice. I also gave Pont 1/2 tab of Imodium AD after each loose bowel movement. By Sunday night his stools were returning to normal and were fine by Monday.

We figure the large sized rawhide was either too much for his still developing digestive track or he just bit off too large a piece and swallowed it.

Again, we did not panic knowing that if a large piece of rawhide is eaten, it is usually digested with time and rarely causes a surgical problem; however, it can make your pet uncomfortable.

I'm going to be cutting the remaining large sized chews in half and then sticking with the medium sized chews in the future. But I'd like to hear other stories of people using rawhides and having any issues.

This whole episode was minor compared to the time Olivia ate a whole roll of paper towels. For the next few days after that, Olivia literally had sausage link poop. Each stool was connected by a paper towel. Hope I just didn’t ruin your lunch or supper!

Other Stuff

Check out Jackie's new blog if you haven't already. Of course, the Vikings have had a very quiet off-season so far so my Vikings blog hasn't really had much to say (choke-choke!).

Posted by maasx003 at 11:58 AM

February 18, 2005

How NOT to Wake Up

It was a typical Thursday morning. Pont had started his “I gotta pee really, really bad” whine from inside his crate around 4:15 AM. Since I’ve been pushing 14-hour days at work of late, Jackie has had the honor and privilege of rising early to trudge across a cold floor to let Pont outside.

From the warm and comfy confines of our bed, I then heard the usual morning ritual: The squeaky crate door swings open. “Let’s go potties, Pont,” says my bride to the puppy. That’s usually followed by the sounds of happy paws skittering across a wooden floor. Sometimes, the paw sounds are broken up by a too-excited puppy sliding into a wall or even a “No, Pont. It’s time for potties, not chasing your stuffed bunny.”

The backdoor slides open and all is quiet. Sometimes, I fall back asleep and may even have time for a quick dream, typically about space aliens and volcanoes, our son Graham’s topics of choice these days. But before I drift off, I always pile a pillow or layer of covers over my head.

Because then the backdoor opens again, followed by a sound that can best be described as 20 or 30 very over-weight elephants charging down the hallway. Then a slide along the carpet as direction is changed and a 27-pound ball of fur leaps directly onto my head and sticks his wet, cold nose into the tiny breathing space I have left below my head “armor.” This creature then settles down between me and my wife and we are allowed at least one more hour of sleep.

Only this particular occasion was slightly more eventful. Everything was normal up until the carpet-sliding-ninety-degree turn into the bedroom. At that point, Pont leapt a bit too soon. Instead of a graceful landing on his Master’s cranium, he sailed into the bedside table lamp. The heavy glass lamp crashed down, missing my head by a few inches. The clock and phone went flying too. And somewhere in the mess was Pont, who upon turning on the lights, had a face that seem to say, “Why the hell did you move those there?”

In a few moments, order was restored. The only casualty was a small chip in the headboard, which could have easily have been my head.

I have now taken to wearing a helmet to bed along with a nut cup. Who knew?

Some Photos

Pont

Pont

Glynis

Housekeeping

I retooled the left navigation area of the site. You'll now see a 30-day rolling calendar that will highlight doggie-related events such as birthdays, lure coursing practices and events, as well as any other special dates as it relates to the dogs.

Next, you can see the local weather current conditions.

That is followed by regular site related functions such as the Search, Archives, and Recent Entries. I have also added a new video of Pont and Glynis playing....well, more like Pont pestering. (Sorry for the quality!)


Posted by maasx003 at 10:26 AM

February 13, 2005

Saturday Dog Fun

First thing Saturday morning we packed everyone into the van and headed to the Vet where Pont received his last puppy shot. He is all set now for a while.

We had a different Vet than last time and he was not concerned about Pont’s rear legs. If you’ll recall, on his first visit, there had been concern from another Vet about his rear legs being bow-legged and one leg showed some resistance. On this visit, the Vet commented on how muscular his rear legs were. And while he noticed some resistance when stretching out Pont’s rear legs, he attributed that to Pont not knowing what was going on and being a little scared.

Jackie asked the Vet about Pont experiencing some carsickness. Pont seems to not relish the thought of being in a moving vehicle. He drools. Often soaking the person holding him and has some gas attacks that has his human family rolling down their windows and sticking out their heads. I thought it was the dogs that were suppose to do that!

The Vet thought it could just be some puppiness and to keep an eye on it. He suggested meclizine for the meantime. Meclizine is the active ingredient in motion-sickness medications. Being a licenses drug dealer (pharmacist), I happen to have a good supply of the stuff at home. The Vet also asked if Pont had ever thrown up, which he hasn’t. More on that later.

Pont weighed in at 27-lbs so he is growing like a weed. Glynis, on the other hand, weighed in at 40-lbs which is not that unusual for her winter weight. Nonetheless, we are going to begin restricting her meals and treat intake for a bit.

Coming back, Pont of course began drooling and passing wind as if he had eaten a couple of cans of beans. I was just approaching the driveway when Jackie yelled, “He’s going to throw up!”

So I stopped the van halfway up the driveway and Pont proceeded to toss his cookies in the middle of the driveway. He must have been listening to the Vet.

In the afternoon, I gave Pont a ½ dose of meclizine and about 1-hour later we again piled into the van and headed to the Frisbee park. The Frisbee parked, as coined by our son Graham, has enclosed softball diamonds in which we can let the dogs loose and chase Frisbees until they can’t move any more. Which is saying something for a whippet. And since it was in the mid-50s we couldn’t resist being outside.

Glynis is a fantastic Frisbee dog. I have yet to be able to out-throw her. Sort of hard to out-throw a dog that can run nearly 40-mph. But this was Pont’s first time. Pont became excited when he saw Glynis chase the Frisbee and was soon aping his older sister. While Pont didn’t leave all fours and leap high into the air to snatch a Frisbee, he nonetheless enjoyed picking up a Frisbee and running to and fro.

Both dogs enjoyed their time out. Glynis seemed to have extra stamina, perhaps wanting to show-off to Pont. Both dogs became filthy as the ground was thawing and you could see them throw water trails from their feet as they sped along. Both dogs got immediate baths upon returning home.

When you watch Glynis run you get the impression of a powerful, dominating force coming straight at you. Sort of like a fullback in a football game. She has the whippet look with low forward reach and the strength of the rear movement in profile. Sometimes with Glynis, I can lose the shape of her outline as she has good reach and drive on the move, but flattens out from wither to croup, and consequently doesn’t hold the classic whippet shape. Glynis also has unrelenting will and would keep running on one leg during a lure-coursing event if she needed to. Which is another reason why I retired her early. She once came up lame during an event and still kept running despite the one bad wheel and was mad as hell when the lure operated stopped the winch. She loves to run.

The excursion also let me see Pont run near top speed for the first time. With Pont, I got a sense that he has yet to show me his top speed. At times, he went into a whippet form and during those times his body parts were truly harmonious and balanced. Like a finely trained sprinter. I thought he had better form than Glynis. The only thing that concerned me was that he appears to tremendous driving power from his rear legs. So much so that he “bounced” from his rear legs as he sprinted along. Almost like he hasn’t got sprinting all figured out just quite yet. But you could see he will be a very fast dog once he figures out how to use his God-gifted ability.


Posted by maasx003 at 9:22 AM

February 9, 2005

And We Think Pont is Strange

Pont has done some strange things that we can pass off as just being a puppy and not being quite street smart at this time. Like:

* running down the hall with toilet paper
* drinking out of the toilet
* sleeping on top of my head
* not understanding that ice is slippery
* running without looking and bonking into immovable objects such as walls

But then there is Piper. Here's Piper helping "as usual" to unload the dishwasher. It's also one of her favorite places to hang out & sleep!!

Too funny! That's why each dog is as individual as a child. You just are never sure what to expect next.

Posted by maasx003 at 3:13 PM

February 5, 2005

Baby Teeth

Lately we've been finding Pont's favorite toys with bits of blood on them. I often catch Jackie cleaning little spots of blood from the furniture or cleaning bedding. What's going on?

Pont has been shedding his baby teeth. We've found one. But mostly we just get blood clues here and there.

The weather has been great this week with temperatures creeping into the lower 50's. That has meant extended walkies. It also means a complete wipe-down upon our return as both dogs pick up water and mud along the way.

Pont and Graham have become the best of friends. Pont always gets a hug each morning when Graham takes off for daycare. Then, Graham and Pont will chase each other around the house each evening after Graham gets home.

The there is the Sunshine Gang who lay on various couches each day. Especially the ones near windows so they can make sure they won't be missing out on any of the action.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:18 AM

January 29, 2005

The Water Dog

Olivia loved being in the water. I'm not sure that all Dalmatian's do, but ours did. She especially loved to run along the shoreline of any lake and dive in and out as she went along. It got to the point that we carried a towel in a backpack whenever we knew that our walk would be along a lake.

We would also bring along some tennis balls. We'd toss a ball in and off would go Liv to fetch it. She seemed to never tire and a few times would even lose her bearings and start to swim out to sea. Then we would call out to her to get her turned around and headed back towards shore.

There was also the time when Glynis was a mere 10-weeks old. Off we went on a walk to Medicine Lake as a family. Even cousin Koko came along as my sister and brother-in-law had come to see the new puppy. Olivia seemed to be extra happy that evening, as if she was going to teach her sister and cousin the fine art of chasing a ball in the lake.

Glynis would follow her older sister into the water not getting much past the first joint on her legs. Glynis did not like the water in the least. She sat amd shivered along the sidelines as Olivia and Koko frolicked in the water. Glynis was not, and would not, be a water dog. She was a Princess. Olivia was a Tom-Boy.

But Glynis stayed right there on the shore, watching her older sister. Whenever Liv would exit, Glynis would excitedly run up and congratulate her on bringing back another ball. Glynis was Olivia's cheerleader.

Now, Glynis is the alpha dog. Pont is the wanna-be. And Glynis is doing a terrific job and teaching Pont the ways of the Maas household. She should, as she had one heck of a teacher.

Posted by maasx003 at 8:28 AM

January 25, 2005

Funny Moments with Olivia

We had several funny moments with Olivia over the years. I'd like to share some of those with you.

The Race

In 1993 I saw a blurb in the local paper that there was to be a K9 race held in St.Paul. In conjunction with the Humane Society, there was to be a 5K race in which owner & dog ran together as a team. Well, having spent 3/4's of my life running in various road-races and participating in triathlons I could not resist entering Olivia and I.

We trained together for a few weeks. Olivia got use to staying right by me on her leash and to not jump in front of me. She was doing great and it brought us even closer together.

The day of the race we got right up on the line for the start. There were a lot of dogs of all sizes. But Olivia and I were very confident we would be victorious. We were a TEAM!

There was no gun so as to not startle the dogs. But the start was pure chaos anyway. Dogs went after each other and leashes became tangled and it was absolute hilarity for the spectators. But Olivia and I got off fairly clean. We found ourselves up near the lead pack after things thinned out and order was restored.

We kept moving up as we ran. Liv and I passed dog after dog until we were in the lead pack of runners. With less than a mile remaining, I started to position us to be able to make a kick at the end and not be boxed in by the other owner-dog teams.

We could see the finish. And I was just about to tell Olivia to kick it into high gear when I felt the leash go taut. I got yanked back and when I turned around to see why, there was Olivia stopping to urinate.....in the middle of the street...in front of the finish line crowd....as dogs passed on both sides.

We still finished 3rd and still have the plaque that was presented to us. We never did race again. But that one was a thrill.

The Canoe

Each summer we make a trip to Strawberry Lake to spend time with my parents who have been camping there each summer for as long as I can remember. The summer of 1993 was no different. We made the 4-hour drive to a little north of Detroit Lakes and found ourselves back at Strawberry.

One afternoon we were a little bored so I decided it would be a great idea to take out the canoe and go onto the lake. I also decided it would be a great idea to take Olivia out with us.

Olivia had been out on a boat with us many times but never a canoe. She also loved, I mean absolutely loved being in the water. So, I should have seen this one coming.

Jackie, myself, and Olivia all got into the canoe. Liv was in the middle. We paddled out and began to go along the shoreline about 50-yards from shore. My grandmother and mother were also on shore and called out to us and waved. That was all that Liv needed. It was as if she heard "treat!" being called out.

Olivia bounded out of the canoe, which immediately capsized. Jackie was frantic when she surfaced thinking that Olivia was drowning as she could not find her anywhere. I walked (walked because we were standing in about 2-feet of water) over to my wife and pointed to the shore. There was Olivia, shaking herself dry in front of my grandmother and mother...who were now shrieking about the wet dog.

Now that was funny!

Thin Ice

Along one of our usual walking paths are a series of ponds connected by canals. In the summer, we always had to worry about Olivia stopping to have her fill of goose droppings when the geese came during the nesting season. In the winter, we would let her off the leash and she would fly around from pond to pond along the canals darting in and out of rushes and reeds. She was in her element.

One unseasonably warm winter day in 1996, we had let her off her leash when she spied a muskrat. Off she went like a rocket chasing that muskrat who was looking for one thing...open water.

The muskrat found the open water and Olivia was unable to put on the brakes in time to stop on the slushy ice. In she went, head first, and with no muskrat to show for it.

Now wet and angry, she came bounding back to us where she was consoled over the indignity of losing to the muskrat.

And was a little wiser for it.


Posted by maasx003 at 7:11 PM

January 23, 2005

Let it Snow....

We finally got some snow in the Twin Cities. About 8" in our area. This meant that I had to shovel paths and several large areas in the backyard so that the Princess (Glynis) and Prince (Pont) would actually go outside to do their required business.

But Pont soon warmed to the idea of frolicking in the snow. He even enjoyed Graham's big snow fort....for a while.

Glynis and Olivia always loved being in the snow together.

both5.jpg

We'd often take them out onto frozen Medicine Lake and just let them have at it....neither would ever stray far from us although one could see Glynis decide to race the occasional snowmobile. You would then see an astonished snowmobiler slow to take a look at what kind of animal go run alongside his sled at 40 mph.

But more often than not, Olivia would simply sniff along the frozen cattails and reeds along the lakeshore and then leap in as if she smelled an animal and Glynis would happily trail along not knowing what had her older sister so excited.

We've yet to take Pont onto the frozen lake. I'm sure he would enjoy it. We may try later this week when temperatures climb nearer 30-degrees. At my age, the cold just makes my old "war" injuries ache even more. I'm sure the same is for Glynis. The two of us would rather be huddled in front of the fire fast asleep. Just as Olivia did so many years ago.




Blog Site Additions

You'll notice a few updates to this dog blog off to the left on the navigation bar area. First, is the addition of the Top 10 Whippets as ranked by Dog News. Second, are a couple of RSS feeds. RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs. I've added the local weather for Minneapolis and a link to the dog community. Now, you can keep up with the weather for Minneapolis and dog-related news!

Posted by maasx003 at 2:54 PM

January 20, 2005

Eat, Jump, Sleep

What do you get when you combine a goat....

_39183119_goat150.jpg

....and a springbok (jumping antelope)?

TSpingb3.jpg

Pont of course! Pont has now been caught eating the coffee table in the living room. Minor since the table is not exactly on the endangered list just yet. So, this week Pont developed the nickname of Goat.

Pont has also taken to showing how high he can leap. From any angle. At any time of day or night. Pont smacks into your chin. Pont jumps onto Glynis...and off..and on...and off...and on. Pont jumps onto Graham…and off…on. You get the picture. Pont leaps (springbok-like) over any plant in the backyard.

I can be woken from a dead sleep when I hear Pont's footsteps flying down the hallway at about 160 mph. Then the sound of Pont sliding on the carpet to make the 90-degree turn into the bedroom. And the inevitable leap onto the bed....right smack dab in the middle of the ol' family jewels. I've taken to wearing a nut-cup to bed.

But he does make all of us laugh and the companionship between Pont and Glynis has risen to fever pitch. They now play together throughout the evening. They even get into I Can Bark Louder Than You death matches. Pretty funny stuff.

The companionship between Pont and Graham has increased as well. Graham has become a very good brother who needs to check on Pont before he leaves for school each day. When Pont whines at being crated, Graham attempts to soothe him by saying, “It’s okay, baby. It’s all right. We’ll be home soon.” Graham loves to run down the hallway with Pont tearing after him. His only sore spot is when Pont jumps on him (see paragraph above) in the morning before he is fully awake.

And progress has been made in the training arena. At the end of Thursday evening, Pont will have gone exactly one week without a single accident in the house. That makes us plenty darn happy.

With the warmer temperatures we've been able to take the dogs for walkies, which they really enjoy. We have to hose them off in the laundry room to remove the slush and mud, but they then take a little nap together afterwards.

Now, if we could only work on the goat traits.....

Posted by maasx003 at 11:08 AM

January 16, 2005

Teeth: Clean and Chattering

Funny how dogs don't waste time going outside to do their business when the temperature is below zero! You know it is Dad-Blasted-Cold out when the poop is steaming as it exits the dog. Sometimes I'm surprised that our whippets aren't frozen into place as they squat.

But, we do take the time to put coats on both dogs whenever the team is below 40-degrees when we go for walks and also when the temp is below 20-degrees whenever they have to venture outside to answer the call of nature. They will even romp and chase now and then before the realization of frozen paws sets in.

Who Else Brushes?

I've always tried to keep our dogs choppers pearly white. But it isn't easy. Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs. About 85% of dogs have some form of it and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath and tooth loss that could follow. Chronic infections can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, where they can do even more damage.

So, I'm opting to try a brand new approach that I learned of when I took Pont in for his first checkup. It is a series of products produced by C.E.T. Dental.

First they have medicated chews. Called C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews with Chlorhexidine, these chews are patented and available exclusively through veterinarians. C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews combine the mechanical action of rawhide, the renowned antimicrobial power of chlorhexidine and the trusted C.E.T. name in a convenient, palatable chew for dogs.

Second is a rinse. If it’s difficult for you to brush at first, C.E.T. antiplaque Oral Hygiene Rinse and Gel provide antibacterial action and superior plaque prevention.

Third, and most importantly is brushing. Daily tooth brushing is the best at-home method of ensuring your pet will enjoy good dental health. C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpastes for dogs contain the C.E.T. Dual Enzyme system to inhibit the formation of plaque. Formulated specially for dogs, they contain no foaming agents and are meant to be swallowed. Poultry, malt and vanilla-mint flavors are well accepted by pets and make brushing easy.

I picked up the chews and toothpaste to start with. A 30-count bag of chews set me back about $15 and the toothpaste was another $10. You are to give one chew per day and brush once per day. The vet technicians have been using these products on their dogs and are seeing good results. We're going to give it a whirl as well. Anyone else use these products yet?

Let the Whippet Season Begin

Now that the Vikings season has ended, the question around the Maas household is..."When is the first coursing event of the season!?!?"

We've already begun having Pont chase a white bag attached to fishing line around the house or outside. He, of course, caught on immediately. I'll also try to begin doing some very slow jogging with Pont when the weather starts to get warmer in order to build up his endurance. The slow jog, by the way, is for his sake, not the geezer that is his Master!

What does everyone else do in the off-season to keep their whippet in semi-shape?

Posted by maasx003 at 3:38 PM

January 12, 2005

Pont and His Visit to the Vet

Pont's 16-week visit to the vet went smoothly. We've been going to Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital since 1990. That's when I owned two ferrets and had just moved up from Texas and needed a good small animals clinic. We've been customers ever since.

Pont was cuddled, then weighed (20.8 lbs.), then oooohhh'd and ahhhh'd at, then brought back to the examination room.

He was given the once over by the vet. Only concerns were possible over-bite (nah!) and bow-leggedeness in the rear (bah!).

When it was time for shots, the plan was to give Pont a treat of yummy soft puppy food. A large portion in fact. He inhaled it before the shots were finished but he was so busy looking for more that he didn't even notice the remaining shot.

Then it was back home to Sister Glynis who didn't seem too put out by being left behind.

Pont Training Update

Pont went 72-hours accident free which was a very good run. The most recent accident can be laid squarely at my feet, however. I was working from home and finishing an e-mail when Pont entered the room I was working in and was sniffing around. I failed to pick up on the sign. I finished my e-mail and went to check on him and saw the wet spot smack dab in the middle of the hallway.

But ever since we went to the new routine of crating he has been doing very well. And he's down to one over-night pottie break as well...which fits his age perfectly.

A rule of thumb is to add one to a puppy's age in months to equal the number of hours he can be expected to be confined comfortably without eliminating. Pont is four-months old so he should be expected to last 5-hours. So, we're in bed by 10 or 11 most evenings and Pont usually whines between 3 and 4. He's right on target.

Other

You can also see a new video showing how hard it is for 8-year old Glynis to do her business outside now that 16-week old Pont is around.

See Nanook of the North





Posted by maasx003 at 4:53 PM

January 9, 2005

Ch-ch-ch-changes....

We made some changes over the weekend and it seems like they are working. We were having basically one to three accidents a day and that just wasn't cutting it for us. Especially since we had remodeled the house recently.

The first thing we did was to move the kennel out of the master bedroom and into the Sun Room. We did this first thing Friday morning. Anytime we felt we couldn't pay 100% attention to Pont, he was coached into the kennel and rewarded with a treat. Yeah, he whined like a screaming monkey at first. But, I was surprised at how quickly he quieted down.

Next, we decided to eliminate him sleeping with us. Pont now sleeps in the kennel at night. Glynis is very near to him as she sleeps on the sofa in the Sun Room. Jackie and I have our bed back and Pont was not the least bothered by this move. He whined for about 5-minutes on Friday night and hasn't whined since.

Over the weekend, there was only one accident on Saturday night. Pont got so good that he even was out most the day on Sunday when the Vikes blasted the Packers. We think (and hope) the changes have been for the good.

We'll continue to stick to our guns and hope for the best. Pont continues to interact well with all of us, although my wife has pegged him as a Daddy's Boy which may be true.

Np photos this past weekend as we were busy with the big Vikings game and also Graham, our son, has been suffering with a bit of a bug. I hope to post more photos soon.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:55 PM

January 6, 2005

Gross!

"Pont! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

I wonder what the neighbors thought at 5:04 am this morning when that scream came out of the sub-zero air. Let's set the stage.

Pont had gotten up a bit earlier this morning. Usually he stirs a bit in our bed, stretches and gives us a few kisses. He then does his nesting routine of pawing at the blankets and circling before laying back down for a few more valuable minutes of sleep.

But this morning he was ready to go. Roosters were probably freezing outside and unable to crow, but Pont wanted to wake everyone up now.

So up I got and trudged to the door, put on his little winter puppy coat and out we went. Glynis followed and did her duty in about 50 seconds flat, being the vet she is. I let Glynis back inside and returned to Pont who seemed oblivious that the temperature was hovering around zero.

Pont's M.O. these days is to explore every inch of the backyard, leap after every blowing leaf, look at every overhead airplane and bird, and then realize that his paws are frozen and he cannot move. At that point I have to pick him up and carry him back in for a few minutes while he warms up. Then back out to make sure he's down both No. 1 and No. 2.

Well, this morning was much the same - until Pont squatted to poop. I was just standing nearby wishing I was back in bed when Pont finished, turned around and then began to enjoy breakfast.

Was it the piece of carrot embedded in the poop? Was it youth lashing out against the Master? Or was it just tasty? Whatever the reason, Pont was swiftly carried back into the house where his mouth was sanitized with 22 gallons of every solvent known to man, thoroughly brushed and then scented with doggie mouth spray.

All this on top of the fact that Pont’s running record of 48 hours without an accident came to an abrupt end on Wednesday evening when Pont, who had been let out 15 minutes prior and done both No. 1 and No. 2, decided to urinate downstairs as Graham and I played with his Justice League Superheroes.

It was almost to say, “Ha, Superman, you have nothing over me! See my powerful stream! My super power is to gross you out!”

So, how did your morning start today?

Photo of the Day


Posted by maasx003 at 10:24 AM

January 3, 2005

Pont No Accidents!

Wow! Pont has gone 32-hours without a single accident in the house! We think that's something big. I'm sure other dog owners understand.

Over the weekend Pont has picked up on recognizing his name. He has learned to lay in his little padded bed in the kitchen while we eat. He has learned (almost mastered!) the sit command. As the Photo of the Day suggests, he has starting to spoon with Glynis on the couch in the Sun Room – when she allows it. She is still guarding her space from this new invader.

Photo of the Day

That's not to say there haven't been issues. But it seems for every step back, Pont takes several steps forward.

This will be a tough adjustment week for the little guy. It's our first full workweek after two relatively easily weeks lounging at home. I'll be coming home over lunch every day this week to let Pont out and stretch his legs. It is so fun to watch a puppy run around outside. Each time it is as if it was his first experience as he leaps from place to place, sniffs every plant and rock, tries to catch a blowing leaf or eat ice off the ground.

Posted by maasx003 at 8:34 PM

January 1, 2005

Cake Eaters Part II

Yesterday I wrote about Glynis and Pont eating a Snowman cake and expressed my dismay since this was not typical Glynis behavior. Not only that, she was being a very bad role model for her younger brother.

Upon reflection I recalled that Olivia also enjoyed the fine art of cake eating. For her first birthday in 1993, we threw her a party and invited all the neighborhood dogs plus friends who owned dogs.

Jackie made a special Dalmatian cake for the party using Oreo cookies and Junior Mints as Dalmatian spots. She left it on the kitchen table for a moment while she tended to some things for the party outside. When she returned, one of the cake's legs was missing and Olivia had Oreo cookies all over her teeth.

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Perhaps it's just doggy nature that "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too," especially when it involves cake. And the Master is not around.

I'm sure Olivia would have enjoyed the Snowman cake just as much as Glynis and Pont did!

Posted by maasx003 at 9:57 AM

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