Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
At night we have yet to finalize our sleep arrangements. Seriously, this dog takes her damn time about getting comfortable. And the noises she makes ... well ... they are half frustration and half satisfaction and always annoying.
She likes to sleep ... close. Real close. Like, under my neck or on my head. Raimi also likes to sleep near my shoulders, I'm pretty sure it's because the pillows are super duper cozy and the fold of the comforter sort of envelopes his head. It can get a bit crowded. If I want to turn over it's a bit of an ordeal.
I've started call Leeloo 'Peck'. She's so small compared to Raimi it reminds me of the movie Willow. Madmartigan calls Willow a 'peck' which is a derogatory term for the little people - Leeloo is so naughty anything derogatory will do at this point. Although ... I can't think of an especially naughty thing in the last 24 hours so I suspect she is improving.
Currently Peck/Leeloo is chewing on her hind leg and moaning in annoyance. I can't imagine what is going through her brain but for some reason having legs is annoying her. Raimi is tired after our walk and was trying to relax on the couch but all the noise and kicking over here has driven him to the loveseat. Poor Boy.
We took a walk tonight and Leeloo is much improved. Although she has now decided that when she is sick of walking she makes her way up someone else's front path. It does take some convincing that we are only a block from home. She has stopped trying to head into the immediate neighbour's yards now and knows which is ours. She pulls ahead and starts her bounce when she knows we're close.
What a cute Peck.
Here she is on the couch with her niece London and her son Zero. To me it looks like someone made Curled Sleeping Ridgeback molds, painted them different colors and put them on a shelf. Big blowout sale on Ridgebacks! Buy one get one free! Mix and match! You break you buy ...
And here with London(right). Family resemblance anyone? That's Halo's "With the camera AGAIN?" look. Halo has had her picture taken a lot ... it's old hat for her. I can tell London would excel at the penitent ear clamming and apologetic looks that Halo has perfected.
Halo is just on the cusp of coming into heat and really ... what is better than a moody, sulky, sensitive and conniving bitch coming into heat? One that is 1000 miles away.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When she arrived she already knew the word 'no' - something she obviously committed to memory since she responds to that word best of any command. A handy little thing I didn't have to teach her.
She is pretty well house broken except when I'm not paying attention. Last night she trotted up and down the hallway a couple times before I caught on and popped her out - it was a huge step in the right direction.
She is learning to stack for showing and caught onto that very quickly: stand still = get a treat.
She now waits for her food knowing it comes faster if you are not bouncing around impatiently.
She is pretty well lead trained except we've never walked without Raimi. Treats will come in handy when that needs to happen. If she balks I don't drag her - she seems to find that an insulting indignity - but if I stop, loosen the lead and allow her the choice she always walks forward without hesitation.
And for the last few walks she's done something that I initially dismissed as unlikely. Today I was proven wrong ... and right. We always take the same route to and from our walk around the neighbourhood. On our way back she has been turning up the path to the house two doors down and when I hit the end of the lead(because I keep walking knowing it's not our house) she digs her heels in. This one. I have to convince her it's not our house. Then we got to the house right next door to mine. Stop. This one. More encouragement. Then our house and she stops. Today she proved my initial impression correct. THIS ONE! And she pulled the lead out of my hand and ran all the way to the front step with glee. It was freakin' cute. She is teaching herself which is our house. Impressive.
I tell you - it's quite a change from Boy. Boy who I will always love for his adoring eyes and steady presence ... but Leeloo ... scary smart.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Fully enclosed, gated, level, large, open, and close by. Legal ... we'll just plead ignorance TFN.
I was walking them on Friday and for the second time a suicidal rabbit shot past and wouldn't you know it, straight into the school yard where I was planning on letting Raimi having a bit of a run. Thank gawd Halo wasn't with us or I'd have been faceplanted in the pavement after Leeloo tangled my legs and Raimi and Halo hit the end of the lead. It seems too that Raimi hasn't forgotten that a rabbit was there doing evil rabbity deeds so I had to think of another place that would serve our purpose.
I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before - no one uses the courts in the winter, too dark, not cleared and frankly I'm not even sure people use them much in the summer. They are a bare two blocks from my house and are right next to a garbage can so clean up is a breeze. So for the first time we went to a tennis court to run and play. I took a toy for Leeloo to chase which Raimi promptly stole, squashing Leeloo in the process. Raimi ran back and forth kicking up the snow and half melted ice and Leeloo chased blowsy leaves across the court. I played with them for about 15 minutes until they waned toward boredom and then we headed for home.
Until something happens to stop the tennis court runs we'll be heading there - safe, secure, and probably against some sort of bylaw, but at least I'll know there is no chance I'll lose a dog to a rabbit dash.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Doesn't he look innocent? She still has his ear but I'd wager the loss of her leg would slow her down more than his loss of ear. It's not like he listens well to begin with. At least with her leg in his mouth he is less likely to make those gawdawful noises.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Then there's the typical stand off with them eyeballing each other with lips slightly raised and wrinkles in full force. A fake out lunge usually occurs after this sort of display and then the real fun begins.
More eye white and some baby teeth action. Raimi, you may notice, is holding onto her leg, not that it makes any difference considering he outweighs her by about 70 pounds.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Those large chain pet supply chains are a blessing because they are huge, have lots of good smells, people freely approach your dogs, are relatively safe, and your dog can meet and greet to their heart's content. A few unobservant people asked if Raimi and Leeloo were the same breed, I got the typical "Is he, uh, large for a Ridgeback?" and everyone always fawns over the puppy. A few treats bought and we were on our way home.
They have established a pretty relaxed relationship now and are very tolerant of each other - well, it's mostly Raimi's tolerance. Leeloo has figured out that Raimi can't reach her if she stands under him and so when they play she is between his front legs grabbing his neck a lot.
This is his annoyed but tolerant face. This was Night One and he was not sure he wanted this ... thing ... lying on him. He seems to have realized she is as much, if not more, fun than Halo because Leeloo will play any time you goad her. Halo won't.
Leeloo blends in with my decor very well indeed. She matches my cabinets almost perfectly - if she stood very still in the kitchen(unlikely) I practically wouldn't see her.
This seems to be a particularly favorite mode of sleep for Ridgebacks. Like fallen dominoes. Puppies amaze me with their ability to fall asleep in almost any position. They are so elastic that they look like they should be incredibly uncomfortable and yet they are comatose. Even Raimi all squished up doesn't look like he would be that cosy but he'll sleep like that for hours.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My dog is in danger all the time at the park. He is always under threat because of his testicles. Raimi is generally submissive but recently I’ve seen his behaviour and approach to dogs change because he gets challenged by most males he encounters. I realise he is growing up and into an adult intact male Ridgeback which makes me more concerned because one day, if he gets pushed too far, he may use his considerable strength and size and challenge back. It also concerns me that my big sweet boy’s personality is being altered by external circumstances.
Can’t have that.
So, back to the school yard, the walks around the block and the pull pull pull of him wanting more. He’s not the actual problem but he’s the one who has to pay. The bullies get to do whatever they want. I hate that more than anything. I guess I have a choice – I could neuter him right? Oh that’s right … can’t because he’s a show dog and his ‘job’ requires him to have testicles. He has just as much right as any other dog to go to the park; he is well behaved, listens to me, is social, friendly, generally submissive, and non-threatening … but we are segregated.
Since it’s getting so cold and it’s so damn dark it’s not much fun at the park anyway and if it were summer we’d just head to the lower park where there are very few dogs. Right now that area isn’t lit at all so no way I’m going there. Leeloo can only go for short trips because she gets cold and tires fast so the combination of circumstances has us grounded. This weekend we’ll head out for a big romp and hopefully my inner banshee will not be required.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Leeloo was very good. I had treats to lure her but I only needed to employ that a couple times. What is it with puppies and their inexplicable need to put the 'absolutely no damn way' brakes on when you're crossing the street? She followed Raimi happily most of the time but a couple blocks from home she got a bit cold and tired and was braking pretty often. Fortunately she responds to treats in almost every scenario.
She is the very first puppy who has happily gone down the flight of stairs into my suite. I carried her the first night home however yesterday she trailed behind Raimi like she'd been doing it for years. The entrance to my suite is a flight down to what would look like a dead end to a dog but down she went and into the house no problem.
It sure is simpler with Raimi for her to follow and learn from. She cues off Raimi for most things like going out to pee, waiting for food, relaxing on the couch. I have never owned a puppy without another dog to learn from ... ever in my life. There has always been an established dog to teach the rules of the road to a puppy.
Bedtime was a bit interesting. She seems to be unsure of what she wants. She dug around by the pillow for a few minutes so I pushed her underneath and she lay down and went straight to sleep.(Yes - I did blog some time ago how I just could not have a dog under the covers but ... she's a baybeeeeee ... we'll have to see how it goes.) I could tell she was hot but she stayed there, gradually working her way down to my feet and then through the night she moved back up the bed to the pillow.
That's when things took a turn. For whatever reason in her puppy brain she could not get comfy. Again with the moan groans and shifting every couple seconds, then a huge sigh, then more whiney moans, then shifting again, then sighing ... then ... I sat up and took stock.
Problem: she loves the pillows. Love them. When I sat up she threw herself down onto the pillows the second I was out of the way. I get it ... okay I get it. They are down pillows, the good fluffy awesome warm kind. I can understand why they would have a lot of appeal to a little baby seeking ultimate comfort. However, I can't have her sleeping on my pillows because she will quadruple in size so I picked her up and popped her next to Raimi and miracle ... she fell straight to sleep again.
She has the same lack of contrite expression that Raimi does when she's being told off for something except hers is more "Why?" and his is more "Guh?" Although, Christina, with Leeloo's sister Boo, commented that her other Ridgeback Arwen gets upset when Boo is disciplined and Boo just goes "What?" Raimi is the same way ... his expression is a mix of "But but but but ..." and "You like her more than me." I am trying very hard to give him big loves since he sees her as a bit of a usurper.
Leeloo thinks he's the greatest ... so we are in agreement on that point anyway.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Leeloo was playing with the velcro attached to the power cord to wrap it all nice and tidy when not in use. She bit into the cord while I was shoving her away and saying “No!” which she of course ignored. The battery indicator came on the screen and then when I was shoving the puppy away yet again I noticed the cable was unusually hot. I assume it had shorted and a fire was imminent. Anyway, once the replacement cable gets dropped off by my super awesome geek squad friend Phil I’ll be up and running again.
The laptop is on it’s last legs anyway and needs to be replaced. It has a large amount of crumbs, dog drool, and animal hair under the keys, is missing the ‘Pg Dn’ and ‘CapsLock’ keys and doesn’t have enough memory anymore for the amount of crap I pile onto it. I was hoping it would last past Christmas and get replaced in the new year. As long as one naughty puppy stays away from it I think we’ll get through the next 7 weeks.
Leeloo is like a hurricane on Speed. There is little in her path that goes untouched. Cats, chairs, coffee tables, slippers, Raimi legs, bath mats, socks, couch, kitchen towels, live power cords … it’s all fair game. I was so tired last night I couldn’t think but wanted to give her time to wear herself out before bed. She, unlike Halo, never looks contrite, when you tell her off for something she looks at you like"Are you SURE?" and then tries it again just for good measure. Raimi was losing patience so eventually I said “Enough” and off we went to bed.
I was a little concerned because while she sleeps through the night in a crate without peeing I wasn’t sure about how she’d hold it for her first night on a bed. I needn’t have worried. I got settled in bed, sat her down, had a few words with her, made her lie down, had a few more words and it’s like the light just went out. She curled up in the crook of my legs and was asleep in seconds. It’s like when you’re running all day and you don’t realize how tired you are til you sit and can’t get back up.
She was so good all night, she woke up once to climb up really close to my head and … lie on it. We shifted positions so that she was not actually smothering me and was back asleep in moments. She makes the same moany groany noises that Raimi makes when he settling to sleep … sort of low rumblings and sighs and then contented sleep.
Basically I’ve owned Leeloo for about 24 hours and she’s already taken over the joint. Tonight is going to be our first official walk on lead and I’m sure she is going to embarrass me … good thing it will be dark out.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Introducing herself to Raimi with deference.
We headed back to Calgary and after 6 hours driving we arrived to 3 inches of snow and cold. I don't think Leeloo has ever seen snow but she doesn't seem to care much about it - for now.
It didn't take Leeloo long to figure out how the roll-a-treat ball works.
Raimi watches her antics with a baleful eye ... "What have you done?"
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Erin told me that Leeloo likes her food. She was a chubby little chicken because the litter was group fed and she clearly knew how to get more than her fair share. Now it's easier to monitor her food so controlling her gluttony should be simpler.
I can't show up with a fat puppy at the park because I've been hassling a couple puppy people about getting the weight off their dogs! Hypocrisy abounds!
The evidence of a chunky monkey - take a good look - she'll never look like this again! White toes! So cute! I just want to squeeze them!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here he is at about 4 weeks perfecting his Mr. Incredible routine.
By 5 weeks he was already taking on cows - this is all that was left when I found him.
Oh look - doing something silly - hindsight is 20/20.
By 7.5 weeks he was all charm.
He sure loved his sisters but that transferred to his mom and me readily enough.
You always forget the details of when they were small - it's hard to reconcile with what is in front of you now. What I remember most clearly about Raimi's puppyhood was that just looking at him made my heart melt. Still does.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Raimi doing what he does best: looking like a dolt.
The 4 boys had a rowdy ol' bachelor time.
Rory, Raimi, Tucker and Levi.
Kika and Emma going.
Tucker - Raimi' s only litter brother - taking a breather.
Kika and Emma coming.
I love this picture. The Boy and a boy (Zach).