March 11, 2006

I Love Carrots

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Posted by maasx003 at 8:54 AM

March 8, 2006

Licking Chops

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Posted by maasx003 at 8:49 AM

March 6, 2006

Pont, the Skinny Boy

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Posted by maasx003 at 8:47 AM

February 19, 2006

Are You Laughing at Me?

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:50 PM

February 16, 2006

Sun Dog

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:45 PM

February 10, 2006

Boy, Meet Dog. Dog, Meet Boy

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:35 PM

February 9, 2006

Every Boy Should Have a Dog

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:34 PM

February 8, 2006

Whippets are Always This Cute

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:32 PM

February 7, 2006

Yes, I am Cute

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Posted by maasx003 at 5:31 PM

January 25, 2006

Dreaming of Spring and Sun

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Posted by maasx003 at 9:46 AM

January 22, 2006

Snow Frolic

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Posted by maasx003 at 10:29 AM

May 9, 2005

Second Practice of the Season

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.

Glynis walks down wearing her orange muzzle.

Glynis was already looking for the lure...and for me!

Aaaannnnd she's off!

Whippets approach 40 mph very quickly.

Glynis hits stride.

Airborne! That's why we practice at the airport!

Just look at those eyes!

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?

Pont walks down.

Pont doesn't wear a muzzle yet so he can 'attack' the lure at the end.

Pont starts to get moving.

Pont in motion.

Pont starts to stretch out.

Ponts gets a little airborne.

That's my boy!

Pont nears the finish.

Pont completes his run.

Here are some additional photos of some of the other beautiful whippets in attendance.

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Posted by maasx003 at 9:47 PM

April 25, 2005

Colder than a Witches...

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.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:26 PM

April 24, 2005

Ticks & Other Parasites

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!

Posted by maasx003 at 7:20 AM

April 3, 2005

The Return of the Frisbee Dogs

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:

Glynis tracks a Frisbee

Glynis skies

Did I mention Glynis will be 9 in May?

Glynis and Pont run together

An anxious Pont bites the hand that feeds him

Coach and pupil

Water Break

I'm all ears

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!

Misc.

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.

Posted by maasx003 at 7:51 PM

March 26, 2005

Return of Demon Dog

Poor Pont. He really does try so very hard to listen and obey. You can just see it in his eyes that he wants to be a good dog. But then he does something very bad. It's as if he has an angel on one shoulder saying, "No Pont! Don't chew that!"

And on the other shoulder is the demon exhorting, "Yes, Pont. Delicious it is, Chew...chew...CHEW!"

Well, this photo is a the result of Pont giving into the demon side this past week.

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I had left him happily chewing a rope toy on the sofa in the living room as the rest of us got ready for work. Five minutes later, a pillow had been chewed through. White fluffs of stuffing everywhere, even at the corners of his mouth. Caught red handed.

We're hoping the angel has more authority over Pont this coming week. I'm sure his little bottom does too.

Have any demon dog stories of your own? Share them using the Comments link below!

Posted by maasx003 at 8:48 PM

March 20, 2005

More Head Scratching

Just once I'd like to have a dog that does not experience any medical issues that have you guessing. With Olivia we had seizures late in her life that came out of no where. Eventually she succumbed to cancer about 18-months after the seizures started and we just elected to not do an autopsy.

With Glynis, we had stomach ailments within her first year that lead to a special diet and careful monitoring of what she eats. She was restricted to a venison and potato diet (I should eat so well!) and gets Tums twice a day.

You already know about Pont's little bout with loose stools and some vomiting two weekends ago. He bounced back to normal after 24-48 hours. I had a suspicion to his medicated rawhides and cut those out. Midweek I gave him a 1/2 of one. Sure enough, Saturday came and he again had wicked gas, loose stools, and vomited twice. By Sunday he was fine.

I'm not alarmed because 1) he is eating fine; 2) is drinking normally; 3) urinating normally; 4) eyes and gum tissue look fine; and 5) is showing no signs of listlessness and is perfectly normal in all other regard.

So, I'm going to just go with his food only. No treats, no rawhides, no steak tidbits from the table. If the symptoms go away and he has no other episodes then I'm sure it is the rawhides. If the symptoms start up again later this week, in he goes to the vet.

If anyone has any other thoughts or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or just e-mail me.

Pont's weight is now up to 31.5 lbs and Glynis is down to 37 lbs.

Photos

We invested in a new digital camera this past week. The Canon 20D and it's a real beauty and we can utilize our exisiting array of Canon autofocus lenses. I highly recommend this one. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail. I can't wait to use it outside to capture the two speedsters. Here are some recent shots.

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Pont and Glynis

Glynis

Pont and Glynis

Posted by maasx003 at 4:20 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

March 6, 2005

A Boy, His Dog, and a Bunny

Pont and Graham have become great friends. As soon as Graham comes home from preschool he hunts down Pont. Then Graham grabs Pont's favorite stuffed animal, Bunny Rabbit, and The Great Chase begins.

For a good 20 to 30 minutes just about every night, Graham runs squealing throughout the house holding Bunny Rabbit with Pont giving chase. Both enjoy this play period immensely. Sometimes, Pont even catches Graham and steals back his beloved Bunny Rabbit and Graham turns from chasee into chaser.

Updates

Pont, now 5-months, has broken through the 30-lb barrier weighing in at 31-lbs this past weekend. He is almost up to Glynis now in terms of height...probably no more than 3-inches shorter than his older sister. Glynis has trimmed 3-lbs from her weight. That's probably due as much to playing with Pont as it is that we cut back her food.

Both enjoyed very long walkies this past weekend as neither had to wear their winter coats due to temperatures being in the high-50s. They loved it...but hated the melting snow leaving huge puddles in the backyard.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:12 PM

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 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 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.

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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 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

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 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