On Monday, May 9 we attended the second lure coursing practice for us this season. This time, it was very nice at the Crystal Airport as opposed to the freezing temperatures we experience two weeks prior. It was in the mid-60s and despite a brief shower early, the practice went well.
I ran Glynis once, given her age (almost 9), and I don't want to push it with her. She did fabulous as always and she had a great time. Special thanks to Laurie Erickson fo walking my dogs down.
Here are some photos of Glynis in action.
Pont ran twice, just not as far as Glynis as he's still a puppy and it is best to play it safe. Pont also had a great time. No barfing in the car tonight but we still had some drool. Perhaps we are making progress?
Here are some additional photos of some of the other beautiful whippets in attendance.
Tonight (4/25) was the first lure coursing practice of the season for the Greater Twin Cities Whippet Club at the Crystal Airport location. This is a much closer practice field than what seems like a 3 day drive to Farmington.
I'm guessing over 20 whippets showed up on this fine late spring day in Minnesota. Yep, it was in the lower 40's with an on again-off again rain...which felt like sleet at times. Probably because it was sleet.
I froze my ass. I'm just glad I decided to bring the dogs winter coats before leaving the house.
Pont still has yet to get over his car sickness issue. I'm just glad I made a purchase earlier in the day. I got a portable pet kennel since it can fold to less than 2" thick when not in use. Cool idea. And it actually did go together "in seconds" as the label promised it would.
On the way there, Pont threw up a bit. I don't know what is with this dog and being in a car. I'm just glad I had the new kennel.
Pont did well his first time on the lure. He was at first startled by the movement of the lure, then decided to tag along and check this thing out. On his second run of the night, he took out after the lure right away. Mission accomplished for Round One. Pont will chase the lure.
The old vet, Glynis, knew what was up as soon as she saw dogs chasing the lure when we first arrived. It has been easily five years since she last participated. Probably seemed like days to her.
Glynis screeched with delight each time she saw the lure and the dogs giving chase. And then she got to run once. Just once, as she is almost nine and as I stated at the beginning, mighty cold.
She ran 200+ yards in nothing flat. Showed no signs of the Frisbee muscle pull from a few weeks earlier and finished strong.
On the way home, Pont threw-up what seemed like all of last weeks meals. Again, thanks to my favorite purchase of the day, the van was saved and the kennel easily cleaned out and disinfected.
Now, if I can just figure out this car sickness thing before we have to make that long trek to Farmington, we'll be set. I'm listening to all suggestions at this point.
Ah, spring. Flowers are blooming and all the snow is finally gone. That also means spring allergies for me and I need to start popping lortadine for a few weeks. It also means it is time to start medicating the dogs.
For years, we've walked along the wooded turf walking trails of French Regional Park. We do that as soon as the snow is gone and up until Minnesota's state bird, the mosquito, becomes too bothersome to walk there.
Since we are in the woods it means ticks are inevitable. We've always used Frontline Plus. It's a great way to kill ticks and prevent Lyme disease. We've never had an issue with allergies. And that included the highly skin-sensitive Dalmatian, Olivia.
It also means the start of dosing for heartworm prevention. We actually don't start using Heartgard Plus until June 1st, but we always purchase it from our Vet when we pick up the Frontline. Again, we've never had an issue with this other than forgetting to give the chewable tablet the 1st of each month through November.
How about you? How do you handle ticks and other parasites? Any issues or problems?
Practice Starts for Pont
Starting this coming Monday (4/25), Pont will start attending the Greater Twin Cities Whippet Club lure coursing practices at Crystal Airport. I hope to occasionally post some photos. I also hope Pont is a good boy and plays nicey-nice.
Pont is now only 1/2-pound away from equaling Glynis' weight. Big boy, that puppy!
When she was quite young, Glynis adapted to catching Frisbees like a fish does to water. This was quite a thrill for me. Olivia was never a Frisbee dog. I'd toss it and she would look at me in a manner that told me she was above chasing down things for her Master.
Glynis, on the other hand, would chase Frisbees until she couldn't move. Which is saying something for a whippet.
This past weekend was the perfect temperature. Mid-50s on Saturday and mid-60s on Sunday. So we went twice. Glynis couldn't wait. Pont was excited simply because Glynis was excited.
Glynis, of course, did spectacular leaps into the air. Twirling and dancing to grab the disc out of the sky. Pont started to get it but was content to simply chase a Frisbee rolling along the ground and carry one in his mouth. I can only hope the light-bulb goes off in his head later on.
Pont also developed a nasty habit of running alongside Glynis and bumping into her, shoulder to shoulder like some kind of Roller Derby King. Vision's of DQ's in lure coursing danced in my head. I sighed.
The excursions also gave me a chance to use the new camera in high speed situations. Here are some of the results:
What do you and your dog enjoy to do for outside exercise? Frisbee? Tennis ball? Water games? Leave a Comment below and then get outside with your dog!
And if you didn't hear about my April Fools Joke that I pulled on Vikings fan you best read about it. I duped hundreds and hundreds of Vikings fans this past Thursday.
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 Pontís rear legs. If youíll 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 Pontís 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 hasnít. 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, ďHeís going to throw up!Ē
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 Ĺ 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 canít move any more. Which is saying something for a whippet. And since it was in the mid-50s we couldnít 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 Pontís first time. Pont became excited when he saw Glynis chase the Frisbee and was soon aping his older sister. While Pont didnít 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 doesnít 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 ďbouncedĒ from his rear legs as he sprinted along. Almost like he hasnít 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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!
First was Olivia Kachina Kodak (aka Liv)
Olivia loved to run, and run, and....
....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)
Glynis, a whippet, could run like the wind. This often made Liv really mad. Unless Glynis was looking like....
...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.
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 Northwindís Pont Robert (aka Pont), our newest addition to the Maas family. Pont is another whippet. And will be our first male dog.
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.