Thursday, August 26, 2010

OhWow! Grown up almost!

The last few weeks have been a busy blur of talking to potential puppy people, taking care of puppies, and trying to do my work-work all at the same time. But the puppies have continued to grow and have adventures and I've been trying to document their experiences in pictures, if not in words. I've been diligently updating the puppy photo galleries.

From the N litter (picture gallery), Navarre and Nineva and Nick have all gone to their awesome new families and have been expanding their worlds daily. Nora continues to charm me with her hoyden ways and Nemo remains unflappable. Both of them are still looking for the right homes, but I really think that they both need owners who are interested in more than just a house pet. Nora is a little wild-child who likes to throw herself into new things and Nemo keeps surprising me not just with his super calm attitude but also with his very high ball and tug drive.
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And the O puppies (picture gallery) are almost 8 weeks old now--five of them have new owners, but due to travel and weather and work and whatnot, some of them will be hanging around here for a few more weeks. Little Olivia (pink collar girl) will be the first to go home--to an active family with three kids who will maybe adore her as much as she thinks she deserves to be adored. :)

Next to go home will be Orion (on Sept 3), one of the three solid black males, to his new owner Chris, who is excited to get into SAR work with him. Today I introduced all the puppies to the pool, carefully putting them on the top step or two of the pool to cool them off and show them where the steps were. Orion looked around and promptly swam a 7-foot circle away and back to the steps--calm as you please. None of that newbie splashing either--he swam like he'd been doing it daily for the last three weeks. Just to show me it wasn't a fluke, it did it again a few minutes later. Good thing Chris lives near the water, I have a feeling Orion is going to insist on regular swims.

Shortly after that, Organa (littlest, darkest sable girl) will be going home with a long-time friend of mine who has been training and competing in herding with Jedi from my J litter. Organa will be going by the call name of "Leia" to match with Jedi. :) "Leia" is a little badass, much like her namesake--Terri's gonna have her hands full!

Then as the weather cools off in early September, the red-collar boy, Omri, will be flying to his new home out in Denver where he's going to be doing schutzhund and personal protection training. He'll be flying via the all-pet airline, Pet Airways--where the cabin stewards are all vet techs and there is no such thing as waiting on the tarmac in a crate! What an awesome service--I hope that it continues to grow and expand and offer an affordable alternative for pets to fly.

Finally, in mid-September, Ms. Flufferbutter, now named Onyx, will be going home with her new family. This is quite the most delicious puppy--she's almost irresistably cute and has been since she was 3 weeks old. I hope Michelle is better at withstanding the power of her charm, because otherwise her family will spend all day, every day, rubbing her pink belleh.

That leaves me with three O puppies looking for homes. I've talked to a lot of interested people, so hopefully it won't be long before they have their places too. Little green collar girl, Oda, has been giving me the eyeball since she first could see. I think she wants to stay here and I am so, so tempted. Sooo tempted! But I really want to concentrate on getting Hunter and Jubilee and Lynx some more training, doing some herding and tracking and BH titles on all of them. And that means I don't really have the time (or energy!) to spare to raise up one of these puppies the way they deserve. But, dang, isn't she a looker?

That's pretty true of all of these pups, though. Super consistent litter, all with sound and "forward" personalities, very affectionate and human-focused, great pigment, great heads, compact and strong bodies, and plenty of drive to boot. Olivia is the only definite "pet" in the bunch--and that's mostly b/c she'd rather snuggle than do most anything else.

I've named the 3rd sable girl "Outlaw"--she's shown consistently good confidence, good drives, and a lot of human focus without any hint of insecurity or neediness.

The third male, also solid black, I'm naming Obsidian. He's going to be a big boy, and he's got a good sense of humor and a relaxed confidence that I'm really liking. He's shown very nice drives and likes to carry a ball around. I'm hoping he finds a working home as well--I suspect that he might grow into to a bit "too much" for the average pet/companion home. On the other hand, he's not extremely dominant, so with someone who's had GSDs before, he might do just fine as a companion. He's another puppy I look at and think, "Oh, it would be TOOO bad if he had to stay here with me... I could make room for another boy dog, couldn't I?" But then I smack myself upside the head and move away from that daydream. :)

As much fun as these puppies are, I still look forward to the day they have a whole family to love on them. I go outside every night and sit on the front porch with them and am hugged and loved by eight puppies at once. I try to give everyone some lap time and scritch everyone's belly and let everyone kiss my chin and just snuggle a little bit. But I end up thinking there's not enough of me and that these guys are just so hungry for attention and for a bond with a human. So while it's always sort of sad to be sending them off to their new homes, I hope that it will fill that need for each of them and also, I hope, for their new persons.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fighting Canine Cancer -- We Bite Back

 Daybreak (lost to cancer, 5yrs), Diesel, Dare (lost to cancer, 4yrs), Daria (euthanized at 6 weeks, failure to thrive)

There's too much adorable around here, it keeps dragging me away from the computer! But as this picture from 2003 reminds me, these babies grow up to be our beloved friends--and we are losing too many of them to cancers of one kind or another. So I wanted to link and support this WE BITE BACK fundraiser to fight canine cancer. This fundraiser spearheaded by Sheli Rhodes, handler of Agility Victrix MACH Blackthorn's Deva, is targeting $5,000--and they're almost there!

If you don't want to donate online and you're in Virginia or nearby, there's a fun doggy event at Sheli's Love on A Leash, Saturday August 28th--see Love on a Leash Dog Training and Agility for info on how to get there.

Sheli says:

We will start Agility, Obedience and Rally Run Thrus at 4 pm. Obedience and Rally will be inside, Agility outside.Come let your dogs try out the agility equipment!!!!
We will have raffle items, food and some activities. We will have the paw prints again this year to decorate and put on the wall in honor or in memory of someone that is always in our heart.
The balloon release was amazing last year.  We had markers and stickers on hand to decorate the balloons, so many of them went up bearing the name of a gone but not forgotten Best Friend. Everybody got so quiet as the balloons went up. They were blue, pink, and  white. It was quite a moving sight.
We will have the luminaries walk at the end of the evening.
It was just beautiful last year with the sun going down. We lined the walking field with different colored bags we decorated and put tea light candles in. We are having a much shorter day this year. Unfortunately we started too early last year and lots of people left before the luminaries walk. Hope more can stay this year. Things should finish up around 8'ish.

If you would rather mail a donation instead of donating online, you are welcome to send your donation to

Love on a Leash, LLC
3225 Harpine Hwy
Harrisonburg, Va. 22802

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nike, Ever-Patient Grandmother....

The three stooges.... Lynx, Musket, Macha (all Nike grandchildren)

Nike and her daughter Jubilee: