Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

The results are in! I was really curious about what breeds might be part of Kodiak so I had him take a doggie DNA test a couple of weeks ago. The company I used has 185 breeds on file and they identify breeds down to the 12.5% (great-grandparent) level. For Kodiak, they were able to determine three dominant breeds that make up 62.5% of his DNA (two at 25%, the other at 12.5%). The remaining 37.5% they say is “mixed breed”, meaning there wasn’t anything else at least 12.5%. In fact, they couldn't determine any other breeds at more than 5%. In other words, Kodiak has three breeds that make up more than half his DNA, and the rest is who-knows-what. Its possible that the "mixed" portion could be a breed that they currently can't test for, but its also possible (and probably more likely) that his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were just really friendly dogs. Before I tell you what he is, any guesses?

Kodiak’s stats:
Approx 9 months old
18.5” at the withers

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here's Where I Whine A Bit

This has been a really crappy week. Duncan's colon is apparently still annoyed, even after his meds. Reyna's managed to vomit up some very nasty stuff on the one piece of carpet I have in the house (naturally). My butt still hurts from the long drive and a day spent in a very uncomfortable chair (the trip itself was fun, more on that later). Wednesday, I picked up Mikey for some petting and he somehow managed to dig a rear claw into the exact center of a very sensitive part of my anatomy. The darn thing still hurts. Woke up Thursday morning to discover that my back is acting up and I'm having trouble moving my left leg. To top it off, I woke up this morning to discover a chest cold has come to visit. I'm not going to say it couldn't get any worse, because I know it could and I see no reason to tempt fate. I swear, I am so ready for this week to be over.

Okay, I'm done whining. For now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cranky Colon

The vet thinks Duncan has a cranky colon, but he also thinks we caught the problem before it turned into a pissed off colon. Duncan's on meds for five days to see if that helps the problem. If not, we'll have to reassess. The good news is that the vet didn't find any tumors or other indications of really serious problems. Since Duncan would not demonstrate his primary symptom during the visit, the vet asked for photographic evidence. I managed to get a nice shot this morning. If you're really curious, here it is.

In other vet news, Kodiak went with us yesterday to get microchipped. Southeast German Shepherd Rescue includes a microchip and registration as part of the adoption package, which is great. Kodiak had a little trouble with the doorways, but he did beautifully with the techs. I wasn't sure I was going to see him again, considering all the squealing that I heard when a tech took him into the back... Another tech even asked me where'd I get him and does he have siblings. Kodiak was so full of himself after the visit that he pranced all the way back to the truck.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Sigh. Duncan gets to go to the vet Friday morning. I'd describe the rather worrisome symptom, but I'm guessing that not everyone's stomach is as tough as mine. Let's just say that it has something to do with his back end, and not the walking parts. Anyway, with luck it'll be something minor and easily resolved. Let's all cross our paws...

Monday, March 14, 2011


Sunday afternoon, I took the boys over to John's for a visit (Reyna stayed home because she was still tired from Saturday's trip to the hospital). It was Kodiak's first trip to John's, so I knew it would be interesting.

Kodiak got to smell chickens for the first time ever.

And then he discovered a doggy's dream - composting horse manure.

My boys.

Kodiak got to meet Cheyenne, a neighbor's dog. He did fine with her, which wasn't surprising. Cheyenne and Duncan got along, too, right up until Cheyenne jumped on me and Duncan decided he wasn't too happy about that. Right as John told the neighbor that Duncan was a very passive dog, the growling started.

And finally, the main event - introducing Kodiak to the Horses!

Indy's a good Horse! for an initial meet and greet. He doesn't get too worried about dogs in the paddock.

Indy was more than willing to walk Kodiak for us.

Up close and personal.

By this point, Kodiak was comfortable with John, and he wasn't even worried about the Horses!

This is Jack. I think Kodiak was just a smidge more worried about him.

After visiting with the Horses!, we relaxed on the porch for a bit. Kodiak didn't want to climb the stairs at first, but when Michelle pulled up behind him in her car, he decided that maybe those steps weren't such a bad thing, after all. I was very proud of Kodiak - he met several new animals and people, he let John hold him, and he let Michelle and her friend pet him. One of these days, it'll be hard to make people believe he was ever feral.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

She's A Good Girl

Reyna didn't get to go to the hospital Thursday because of the rain, so we went Saturday afternoon instead. We got there at 1pm and had to sign in at the Critical Care waiting room. It took us almost 20 minutes to get out of there because several people wanted to pet Reyna. We spent our shift on the Pediatrics floor this time. We were given a list of 10 patients, and in over 2 hours, we only managed to get to 7 of them. Some of the patients (and their parents) just didn't want to let Reyna leave. One of the parents said Reyna is a hero - Reyna's visit was the first time her child had smiled since she'd been admitted to the hospital. Its really hard to tell a parent and patient that we have to go after hearing that. Reyna was a good girl, tolerating lots of hugs and pets, and even doing a few tricks (until I ran out of treats). We finally made our way off of Peds and back to Critical Care, where she was mobbed again. 1pm to 3:45pm is a long time (for both of us) to be socializing with a bunch of strangers, but Reyna did a wonderful job - and she was one pooped pup after all that. Its a good thing she doesn't have class tomorrow, because she's still worn out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Miracles Do Happen

Tonight, in what I can only assume was a hunger-induced delirium, Kodiak put his head in Reyna's dinner bowl.

While there was food in it.

That she was eating.

He even snagged a mouthful of food before my heart started beating again and I got him out of the way. Miracle of miracles, Reyna actually didn't eat Kodiak in retaliation. Either she's getting very mellow in her old age, she was in a hunger-induced delirium of her own, or she really likes Kodiak. I don't know which it is, but I'm grateful we aren't making a trip to the emergency vet.

Big Steps For Little Paws

Kodiak's made some great progress this week. He had his first all-by-himself class this past Sunday (well, not ALL by himself - I was there, but Reyna and Duncan weren't). The class was held in a small space in a store, and although he was stressy going into the store, he settled down nicely in the enclosed space. Its easy to tell when he's worried because he'll stop taking treats. He actually let the other people in the class pet him (on the chest, not the head), and he even worked for a few minutes with another person. The other dogs in the class were small breeds, so he looked like a big dog for the first time ever.

Monday was our regular session with Suzie, and Kodiak got a lot of first time experiences there, too. He learned that he can pay attention to me while scary things are happening (he couldn't actually look at me, but he was willing to touch my hand and take a treat). He also learned that he could walk past terrifying orange cones.

I took him out on an errand today. He had a little trouble going into the store, but after a couple of minutes he was willing to take cookies from an employee. The odd noises coming from the storeroom worried him, but he handled it pretty well. He seems to be learning that I'm his safe place and that he can come to me when something scares him. He still has a ways to go with getting comfortable in parking lots, but I did manage to get some hand touches and a bit of heeling from him before we left.

All in all, I'd say he's had a very good week.

Monday, March 07, 2011

That's My Girl!

Today was a big day for Reyna - she earned her Intermediate Trick Dog title! (I still have to mail in the paperwork in order to get the certificate, but all the hard stuff happened today.) Reyna had to perform 12 tricks from a specific list, and she did a lovely job.

Reyna's first trick was "pick a card." She did it on the first try, but Suzie missed the photo op. This is Reyna's response to Suzie's suggestion that she do it again...

Here's Reyna "identifying objects." She knows "squeaky," "rope," and "ball." She's learned to put her paw on the correct item (when she feels like it).

A not-so-great photo of Reyna "sitting pretty." Poor Suzie just isn't used to my camera, and I'll admit, its not the best for those quick action shots.

Reyna's "waving good-bye."

Reyna likes to use her feet, so she paws my hand to indicate "where's the treat."

Reyna has a lovely "paws up."

"Wipe your paws" is a trick Reyna initially learned several years ago - and then she started eating the rugs...

This first clip shows a few tricks - "food refusal," "hide and seek," and "over/under."

And this video shows a very impressive "Easter egg hunt" (finding hidden treats). This is the first time we've ever asked Reyna to do this trick, so she really had to figure out for herself what we were asking.

For those who are counting, her 12th trick was "heeling forward."

This is Reyna's opinion when asked how she felt about earning her Intermediate Trick Dog title. Let's face it, she's always more interested in chasing her tail.

Reyna was such a good girl today! I'm so proud of how well she did!

Friday, March 04, 2011

I'm In Trouble

This is a pup who knows how to use the Power of Cuteness.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lots Of Newness

Reyna didn't get to go to the hospital today, as she's managed to lick a nice open wound on her front leg. Paws crossed it doesn't get infected, because we just can't do another month of antibiotics.

Since I had some free time, I decided to take Kodiak to PetSmart. He handled the parking lot fairly well, but was definitely freaked out by the doors that opened on their own. He spent about 5 minutes just sitting on the carpet inside the door, looking around and shaking with his tail covering as much as possible. Once he started walking around, he did okay. Carts and some of the displays were very scary. He did fine on the scale (34.4 lbs, up 5 lbs from his vet visit on 2/4) and really enjoyed meeting the dogs. We walked around for about 40 minutes, just getting comfortable with a new place. Before we left, he'd let a couple of strangers pet him and he was walking (mostly) confidently past carts. His tail was no longer tucked under, and I actually saw it wave a few times. Right as we were leaving, he sniffed a spot where another dog had peed (yellow stain was still on the pallet) and he completely lost it and started drooling excessively. I debated staying a few more minutes so that wouldn't be his last memory of the place, but I could tell that he wasn't going to be able to deal with that. He was very happy to get back in the truck and he calmed down almost immediately. We'll go again in a few days.

Oh, another customer suggested he's mixed with Australian Cattle Dog, because of his body shape. Who knows? I love playing "Guess That Mix!"

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, Reyna!

Today is my little girl's 7th birthday! Since her birthday falls on a weekday, we had a little celebration this past Sunday. The pups' Aunt Mary joined us for cake and photos.

Reyna was a very patient girl, tolerating her photo shoot with grace, dignity and tongue.

Kodiak, on the other paw, was very curious about the camera. Probably wondered why it wasn't focused on him...

We even managed to get everyone together for a family shot. I think this one turned out very nicely.

Happy birthday, baby girl! You're such an important part of my life, I hope you have many, many more!

AOE - L1

Yesterday I was asked to provide photographic proof of Duncan's AOE. Here it is!