Thursday, April 30, 2009

Morning Romp & Matilda's Funny Behavior....

Here is the crew romping around outside. They LOVE their new play much that sometimes they disappear for a while rather than cuddling up with mom. **sniff sniff** But I'm so glad they enjoy it...that makes me happy. :o)

Here you will also witness Matilda's aversion of the beeping noise of a trucks back-up alarm. Even if we are inside & have a truck backing up close to the house she'll run upstairs & hide. Heck, even watching this video she sat up with her ears sideways listening - Silly girl! But funny enough, she doesn't mind the bus when it turns around after dropping off the girls. To sounds the same as any other back-up alarm. Maybe she is okay with it at that very moment during the day because she knows something good will follow (kids coming home)?? LOL Anyway....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well trained? Or........

So this morning Maribelle was outside in the play area sniffing around & curiously watching the Chickadees flying about. CUTE! So I grab my camera hoping to catch something worth while. By the time I get back Milo had joined her. I hear Maribelle sniffing by the lower window I had accidentally left open yesterday & Milo came over to give her a sniff. I snapped a picture. They both look up at me immediately for a moment before BOLTING inside!

What? I can't even take a candid picture w/o thinking they'll get some sort of treat in return?! Them relating my shutter releasing to treats is generally how I keep their attention when doing posed pictures & its great! For candids...not so much.

Here is this mornings one & only capture. Not earth shattering by any means. Just proves that my Chi's are either well trained....or well spoiled!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Such a life....

Hubster & I have been planning this new puppy play area for a bit and this weekend got started on it! He quickly threw together an outside potty area (for those that don't know - our pups are doggy door trained) last fall just before the snow started flying so we always planned on redoing that anyway. Well, he hasn't (re)done the potty area part yet but off of the potty area he's made a nice fenced in play area out on the front lawn. When he's finished, I believe they're will be a potty area still but we'll be able to close the play area for times when we're away. That way the pups don't stand outside & bark for hours on end (would they do that?) or they don't get doggy napped or any other bad thing that could happen. :o)

I plan to have the hubby make some nice sunning decks for the play area as well, not to mention we already have a pool for them & a sandbox we need to get in there & fill. In my next life I want to be a Chihuahua.....

You can see our "winterized" potty area to the right of the sunroom - but again..that will be redone soon I hope!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Canine Photography

I'm just LOVING Canine Photography. I'm usually more into children but pups are so much fun & I'm hoping to get some more clients with the canine "special" I'm running. **crossing fingers** Anyway, I photographed my dads Bassett Hound yesterday & it went really well it inspired me to shoot some new "portrait" type photos of my Chi's. Shooting outdoors proves to be a bit harder with these guys...there are so so many distractions but I did manage to get some nice captures. I think anyway!

And my dads Bassett Hound for fun... (excuse the watermark...I posted this on my photo blog & always watermark those pics. ;o)

Crazy Boy Milo!

I guess this would look like a typical video to most of the Chi owners out there but if you know Milo & how lazy he too would get a kick out of his reaction to my playful body language & expressions I was giving him. He's such a funny boy...

(please excuse my was totally wind blown... LOL)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Girls Day!

This week is vacation week for my 2 daughters and today is basically our only "free" day all week so we all decided to hit the lighthouse for a walk & the beach again! This time the Chi girls tagged along. I knew Maribelle would be a bit of a challenge since she is our "barker" and a few times I had to sit with her until she stopped..but all in all she wasn't too bad considering all the people she saw.

It was a treat that one of Gabby's friends arrived at the beach just after we did - she has a little 4lb pomeranian named Mouse. YAY...the opportunity of socialization! It's sad but that's one of the first thoughts in my mind when I saw them. Mouse is a little jumping bean full of energy so I figured Matilda wouldn't be thrilled. She acted very curious to see Mouse & went over to sniff but Mouse was so excited Matilda quickly got her teeth out. :o/ She's a funny girl...she's great with calm dogs or dogs that ignore her. LOL Excited dogs tick her off if they get too close. From a distance they're okay & she'd never go out of her way to bite another dog. But if they come in her space with that energy, she won't have it.

Maribelle, I'm SO THRILLED to say does well with other dogs! She jumped away from Mouse a few times when he was trying to pounce on her but for the most part she was very interested in him. I think they would have even started to pay if they had been together a bit longer. It was so cute...and they are the same size which was nice too.

Anyway, two captures of my 4 girls... :o)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beach Bums!

What a busy day! Miss Mari tagged along when we went to drop off Auntie Sue's birthday card. She had fun & got spoiled by Auntie as always. My sneaky suspicions were right however - Maribelle is starting to get motion sickness in the car! She's never had a problem but both last week & today during a longer ride she got sick. Today could have been caused by a mixture of the kitty treats Auntie Sue spoiled her with & the ride. Last week it could have been being out on the town & then riding - nerves maybe? I hope it was a fluke thing as she's never had a problem with riding & always sleeps the whole ride. It was funny though...I had a small bag open today "just in case" & the next thing I knew it had vomit in it. Great aiming Mari - it was almost like she knew what it was for! hehe

So we got home, I dropped Mari off & grabbed Milo & Matilda & went down to meet my mother at the Light House & walk around the Point. It was such a beautiful day & the ocean was SO pretty! The pups really enjoyed the walk as well & took well to seeing people around. Anyway, heading from there...I took the 2 pups to the beach! They LOVED it! New smells, new sounds, new sights. It was a perfect visit all except for Mr. Milo, after sniffing 2 boys that were there as well, charged at them barking after they started getting a little "loud". Just when I thought he'd really overcome this vice of his! He really does listen to my corrections though but sometimes I just don't catch him in time (as this behavior totally comes out of nowhere).

Otherwise though, it was SO great to walk on the beach with the pups & let them play in the sand. Matilda even practiced digging holes - it was too cute. Next time I will bring my video camera. Today, I did manage to bring my regular camera & took a few pictures before getting occupied with chatting with a fellow visitor. Here are a few photos from our "ocean" outting...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Simple Things...

Sniff, Drool, Roll??? & Scratch! And I will add, no beetle was harmed in the making of this video. He made it to our baseboard heater & was not to be seen again....

Maribelle at Work

Maribelle has been coming to work (Assisted Living - graveyard shift) with me on a semi regular basis since we got her back in December. She does great after getting settled in but does get a little overwhelmed with all the comotion & people around when we first get there. I am confident she'll get better with age at this where it seems like my older ones have gotten more confident with new people as they've gotten a bit older as well.

Anyway, I love seeing the smiles she brings out in the resident night owls. She will sit with them - even though she does get squirmy for her mama (she does this with even my hubby if we're not at home) but she does settle down & snooze in their laps after a few minutes. It's wonderful! And I think, even though Mari is happier sitting with her mom that she does enjoy it too. She is a great help at hearing if anyone is stirring...she'll perk right up & look to see where the odd noise is coming from. Often giving her little pre-bark growl. Thankfully, she has only really barked a couple times at work being as it's in the middle of the night and all. ;o) But even if she snoozes throughout the night...she is more exhausted than I am when we get home & crashes long before me!

So here are a few snaps from her most recent night at work...and please forgive the crappy quality of my cell phone pics!

On alert - "WHAT WAS THAT?!"

"Will you just pick me up now? I'm getting so sleepy"

"Zzzzzzzzz that's more like it.."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It happened...

I knew it was can only walk so long in our little village before you actually cross paths with another dog. I mean, we live in a quiet neighborhood but it's not a ghost town! We have passed dogs at their own houses with out much trouble. A few barks but nothing major. Today however, coming back from a 3 mile long walk, here I see a man with a yellow lab coming towards us.

"He's a bit crazy but he's friendly" I hear the man say...

Little do you know what YOU'RE in for buddy!! My little 4-9lbs dogs may look innocent & harmless but.... Not 2 seconds after he said that he started in. Little innocent Maxwell with his insecurities. HE FREAKED OUT. I stopped, dropped my walking stick (never know when you'll come across an off leash crazy dog!), bend down & tried to "shhh" not only Maxwell but now Maribelle who as I said yesterday is the worst barker of all. I picked Maxwell up by the scruff of the neck supporting his tush with my other hand & after lifting him a bit I heard it. The most odd ear shreaking SCREAM I'd ever heard come from a dog. And it wasn't a short scream - it seemed to have lasted a good 2 minutes by the time it stopped. For sure the man walking the lab thought I was killing Maxwell though I wasn't doing a thing to hurt him...he was simply rebelling my attempt to block his focus on killing this dog 20 times bigger than he....he did not want to loose eye contact! By the time I could realize it even Milo was in full bark lounging toward the lab. Milo has had issues in the past with other dogs but he has come so far & always listens to my corrections. Not this time...and not that I blame him. Hearing that shreak I'm surprised *I* didn't start barking!

We sat there & sat there, well after the man & other dog were out of sight. It's funny after such a big panic you could hear both boys give a big "HUFF" as if to say "there, we showed them!".


I actually know what I need to do in order to help his insecurities but the resources are basically none existent around here. Though I was **this** close to turning around & asking the man if we could walk with him and his dog but I'm sure he would have thought I was completely off my rocker. We need a dog park, meeting place, play group, ANYTHING around here where you can go & sit with your dog until they are calm. Everyone moves so quickly around here that there is no way I can achieve that "calm submissive" state needed in order for him...THEM to move on with out being in that state of panic. It's so frustrating!

Oh & Miss Poo myself after seeing a Newfie at the vets? She didn't make a peep. She was simply trying to get a wiff of the 4-legged passer byer. At least I can say...what a good girl Matilda was!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Funny Observation & Some Outside Photos

So I've been trying to be really good about taking the pups out walking every day...or at least every NICE day. I'm getting more brave about taking them down the busier route since Matilda has stopped tripping me trying to run away from traffic. I figure this is the only way I'll get them exposed to not only more traffic but also more people & dogs. It also keeps them thinking & prevents them from getting bored with the same route. Yesterday we managed to walk past a mellow yellow lab who was sun bathing in his driveway w/o incident. Whether my pups are getting better about seeing dog or whether they just didn't see the pup both times we went by I don't know...but I call it an accomplishment either way!

My observation today? Well, I may have said this before but Maribelle is by far my most mellow or at least friendly Chi. She's the only one that has never show any sort of aggression (none of my Chi's I'd call aggressive but the other 3 have displayed fear aggression at one point or another). If this is true than why is she my biggest barker?? I was able to stop & talk to a couple friendly ladies w/o a problem...except for Maribelle who kept barking at them despite my corrections. She continued to bark at another neighbor who was picking up sticks on his lawn. I stopped & made her sit until she was quiet which I think is key... I do have to remind myself that last summer while walking the gang, all my Chi's were noisey & "unruley" in the beginning when they would see someone on their walk, so hopefully it's one of those things that will get better with age..and exposure!

Onto photos...I took each of the pups out for a very mini picture taking session. It was super windy, noisey & not to mention my 2 brat cats were following us around everywhere rolling on the ground (as they do to "tease" the pups) so it was difficult to keep the attention of the Chi's. Milo was a star & didn't get distracted at all, Maribelle I kept on the club house part of the swing set so she was contained, Maxwell I did good to get him to look at me for one picture & even Matilda, who is ALWAYS so happy to keep her eyes on me for a treat, was loosing focus. The smells & sounds of spring are SO enticing!

"Whats that smellllllllllll???"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sneaky sneaky sneaky...

I think Maribelle being "out on the town" yesterday was a bit much for her as she had a bit of diarrhea last night & this morning...or perhaps it was the little bit of whipped cream she cleaned off of my iced mocha? Regardless, instead of giving her her reguler Innova EVO I cooked up some rice & peas in hopes of settling her little tummy. Knowing the other pups would "mow down" on her special breakfast I locked her in one of the crates. After a couple minutes I checked on her to find she was picking threw the rice & peas I'm guessing to find her real food. Unusual - any of the other pups would have loved the special meal! So I thought I'd give her a couple more minutes to decide if she would settle for the rice & peas or not.

I swear not a minute passed when I heard an unusual sound of munching. I looked over & saw Milo & Maxwell by the crate Mari was in. I got up to get a closer look & the little boogers were finishing off Mari's special breakfast!! NAUGHTY BOYS!

We discovered a few months back that Maxwell was the master of opening a crate if something stuck his fancy inside. I forgot this fact when locking Mari in this morning. However, he must have gotten better at this skill as I didn't even hear the crate latch rattling!

Here is a video of our "investigation" we set up a couple months ago to see how Maribelle was escaping from her crate...there you can see just how clever Mr. Maxwell is a long version but the escape happens I think within the first minute...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maribelle out on the town...

I met my bestest in town this morning for a walk, some shopping & a coffee. I love taking one of the pups each time I go into town - it's great for their socialization which with these Chi's is a never ending process. Not only is it great for their socialization - I also find out in the process that there are more Chi's in our small town than I had originally thought! I've only actually seen a handful around but I'm forever running into people who have a Chihuahua at home and also share the same love I have for my own. Which in turn makes me feel a little less crazy about my Chi obsession!

Who knew a little pup could be such a conversation starter!

With all that aside I've got to give props to Miss Maribelle for being our most social Chi. She, funny enough, has been one who we've socialized the least. Though I do take her to work with me at an Assisted Living facility every other week (graveyard shift I will add), we didn't do the puppy kindergarten class like we did with the other 3 #1 because I believe the curiousness of the other (larger) puppies toward a smaller pup did more harm than good & #2 I'm quite sure I could probably teach a puppy kindergarten class after having 3 others attend in the past year. LOL So far with my experience GENTLE socialization works best with this breed rather than the "make them deal with it as often as possible starting as early as possible" approach I was originally suggested to do with the first Chi. I've come to this conclusion because of the simple fact that the two Chi's I socialized the most are the most timid. Interesting! Maribelle does however, get the "grumbles" with certain people and for some odd reason, children as I found out today. Which is funny because she is constantly around kids...and is fine when new kids come in the house. Just something more she'll have to be exposed to more so she will get used to seeing them in different settings...

Here is a photo of my pretty Mari - taken last night. She is 6 months now & her adult coat is really growing out nicely...she is even getting that nice ruff on her neck finally after being almost bare there throughout her "puppy uglies"! She is a gorgeous Chi to boot...if I say so myself!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vomit in your crack?

This is not something I'm proud of...and let me tell you I'm the last person who really wants to show my butt to anyone. But this is a must share story mostly because this.... **sigh** .....isn't the first time it's happened.

I'm sitting here in my comfy chair learning ahead to reach my laptop, looking threw some photos I had just taken of my daughter. The pups are sitting on the back of the chair I'm sitting in & next to me. They had been playing around, had gotten a drink of water & apparently were settling down for a rest.

You know, Chihuahua's have small stomaches so when they are thirsty & drink they tend to over do it. What happens when they over do it? Ya, up it comes. This time? Right down my crack!

Oh yes, it has happened before...and by the same evil little dude! Last time, I don't remember how, but it went down the **uhhhm** front. Not sure which was worse but both felt incredibly NASTY!!


The damage?...well, you know.

Matildas Annual...

Matilda had her anual vet check yesterday. I was a bit nervous going in because I know how much she dislikes being handled by people she doesn't see on a regular basis however I kept my best "pack leader" costume on in hopes of keeping her as calm as possible. My favorite vet was there & took the time (as she always does with my Chi's) to get Matilda comfortable with her. She was able to do her exam & even check her teeth w/o an issue. Unfortunately she was called into an emergency just before blood draw/vaccination time. The aids there are great, I love them. But when it came down to holding her still for the poking she wasn't very thrilled. Panicked in fact. She looked for something to grab with her mouth though instead it looked like she was trying to swallow their heads. She just didn't know what to do or what she was doing. After about 5 seconds of that she just sat there wide eyed & waited for them to do their job. When they were done she couldn't run back to me fast enough... And if that wasn't enough excitment for one visit...

We walk out into the waiting room. There was a yellow lab waiting to be seen. No problem - Matilda never has had an issue with long as they aren't over excited or over nosey with her. Better said, as long as they basically ignore her she's fine with them. So I'm paying for our visit when this huge...I mean ENORMOUS St Bernard walks out of an exam room to the scale which was right behind us. I've seen these dogs before but this one was by far the largest. Matilda nearly had a heart attack trying to run away from this dog. When we got out into the car she was panting like crazy (which she doesn't do unless running around outside in the summer time) then I notice...she got so scared she emptied her anal glands. Poor Matilda! The only thing I can think of is the large Newfoundlands that tried to attack her in town last year...perhaps she related the size to this calm St Bernard. Needless to say Matilda is apparently deathly afraid of XLARGE dogs...

Here she is - later in the day happy & content in her very own home. Oh & the stats of her check. She weighed in at 7lbs 15oz (though the harness she had on weighs 3-4oz itself). Healthy though has a couple baby teeth they'd like to take out (in which the vet seemed less than impressed that they were not remove during her spay, as was I but more on that another day). She also has a bit of tartar build up already which I knew about & despite our tooth brushing routine. I'm guessing they'll probably do a cleaning the same time they remove her baby teeth.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bath Day!

It was bath day for all the pups today & Miss Gab (aka my future photographer) took some pics throughout the process...

Even our big dog Zander had a make over (bath, dry, brush **including thinning out his undercoat which was horribly thick**,trim & nail clip)...which took over 2 hours. But my he looks mighty handsome (and happy about it!). :o)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maxie the Misfit

Poor Maxwell is usually the first to be in your lap - generally burried in your shirt or robe or whatever he can squeeze into. Gabby had a nice pile 'o chi's going on after she got home from school (and quickly changed into her jammies as you will notice) before Maxwell noticed he was being left out. Casually going over & trying to fit in Matilda decided it wasn't the right time & gave hime a little growl & show of teeth. We don't tolerate this kind of behavior & quickly correct it when it slips their little Chi minds. It doesn't happen often but it does happen on occasion...after all they are still somewhat young & learning.

Of course Maxwell in the mean time walked away & just sat looking at me. I couldn't help but to feel sorry for him. However, it wasn't long before he was right back over there & was able to find a nice comfy spot right on top of everyone else....

Sewing for Til

Continuing on my sewing spree I made Miss Matilda a top similar to Maribelles but with fabric to better match HER color. :o)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sewing sewing sewing...

Some reading may know & some may not know but I was a big sewer back in the day. Designing & sewing little girls clothing not only for my girls but to sell as well. I've not had my machines out in the past couple years except for one time last fall when I made my pups some jackets - otherwise they've been collecting dust in our spare bedroom.

Anyway, feeling a bit ambitious I dug them out, dusted them off, took an hour to thread them (hey, it's been a while!) & looked threw the mounds of "scrap" fabric I've got. I could never figure out why I kept these I know. They're the perfect size for little doggy items! At any rate, here is my first creation for Maribelle...these colors I thought would look smashing with her coat color....