Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Cassidy & Co at 7 Weeks

Well, here are the terrors, probably the last photos of them all together before they go off to their new homes.

I think this photo is simply stunning. Can you see the autumn leaf in his or her mouth, so cute! You can also see how fluffy they are getting now.

I think they must be waiting for food here to all be so attentive. The funny thing about this is that they're all outside their run, and the person taking the photo is inside!

We always wondered why Oscar was so obsessed with brooms and brushes - I think we now know if he too learned to chomp on them from an early age! Their ears have grown lots in the last week or 10 days. They are still floppy, cute. Look at those big paws now.

Apparently their absolute favourite toy is a cardboard box, so we shall dig one out for Cassidy. It's always the way isn't it? You can spend silly money on the latest toys, and kids will want to play with the packaging. It seems the same rule applies to puppies!

Looks like this pup has decided s/he's "King of the Castle"!

I love the different facial expressions and body language in this photo. You can really start to get a feel for their individual personalities. Cassidy is to be one of the two bigger boys, who are apparently like two peas in a pod. Puppy number 6 must have been off for a wander when this photo was taken.

And I think this photo must be one of the cutest ever. All six are her if you look closely and can decipher the mass of furry heads, paws, tails and fat puppy tummies!

48 hours and we'll be picking Cassidy up. We're still not sure whether to take Harry over when we go so he can meet him on "neutral" turf, or just bring Cassidy home for the big hello. Any thoughts from people who have introduced a new pup or dog?

Katy and Martin x

Monday, 29 October 2007

A Gift For Me!

Guess what? I am finally free of that daft cone, excellent! It feels wonderful to be free again, and I'm sure ma and pa are appreciating not being bashed in the shins by me numerous times a day! My foot is totally healed and not at all itchy, so hopefully that's the end of that little saga!

I was so pleased, I had to do a little happy dance around the garden! Oh my, look at my mad ears!

And then, to top it all, a parcel arrived all the way from Switzerland! Ma told me it was from Faya, Oscar's sweetheart and it was for me! Gosh, I was stunned. What a sweet girl. It smelt divine and I simply could not wait to see what was lurking within.

Would you look at that? Nice non-slimy, safe chews. And not one, but two!

I think this short video aptly demonstrates how terribly thrilled I was with my gift. Thanks you Faya! Pa is opening a present of his own in the background, I'll tell you more about that another time.

I like to eat my chewies out in the garden where I can enjoy the fresh air and enjoy the last of the sunshine before autumn sets in in earnest.

I made sure that there were no squirrels lurking who might try to intercept my yummy treat. All was quiet, excellent.

I had a sniff to see which end I should start on. It smells so yummy, I can't even describe.

And then down to the serious business of chomping. It's nice and hard, so should give the old pearly whites a bit of a workout, and it should last me a fair while too, so that should please ma's purse-strings!

Merci beaucoup Faya! Tu es gentille! I think Oscar had excellent taste in girlfriends.

I'll leave you with a clip of me munching. I hope I don't make you dribble on your keyboards!

We pick Cassidy up on Friday. I take it you all heard he managed to escape from the breeders and crash the party or Stella's cot at any rate)? I am certainly going to be kept on my tippy toes with that young whippersnapper I can see!

Toodle pip,

Harry x

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Welcome Stella!

So our good pal Stanley has a new sissy, and what a gorgeous little minx she is! Scruffy and Lacie set the challenge of writing a welcome limerick for her so here goes!

A fiesty young Lakie called Stella
Came to live with that Goober Stan fella
Poor old Stan was in shock
While new sis ran amok
But he had to admit she was bella!

I also got tagged recently to play this game by Blue recently, but was busy dealing with silly cones and itchy paws. It's called the Name Game ...

1) YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (favorite stuffie + tail characteristic) - Hmm, I don't really "do" stuffed toys, but if I had to I'd choose a tree rat I think, so Squirrel Straight

2) YOUR GANGSTER NAME: (favorite kong-filler + favorite cookie) - Marmite Nutty Crunch

3) YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color + favorite animal species) - Green Dog

4) YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name + city where you were born) - Tawny Stafford...does that sound like a girl's name??!

5) YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of ur last name + first 2 letters of ur first name) - Watt-ha, har, har, what-ho I say!!

6) SUPERHERO NAME: (“The” + 2nd favorite color + favorite drink) - The purple water!

7) NASCAR NAME:(the first names of your grandfathers) - Stephen, hmm not very exciting and racy is it?

8) STRIPPER NAME: (your favorite scent + favorite treat) Cheese cheese. Hmm, I don't think that would draw the crowds...

9) WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names) Mary Leo

10) TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (your vets last name + major city that starts with the same letter) - Drove Dover, hey, an anagram!

11) SPY NAME:(your favorite season/holiday + favorite flower) - Winter Rose...sounding like a girl again!

12) CARTOON NAME:(fav fruit + article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Banana Nudey!

13) HIPPY NAME:(What you ate for breakfast + your favorite plant) - Biscuit Bush

14) YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (“The” + Your fav hobby + fav weather element + “Tour”) - The Walkie Sun Tour!

That was jolly good fun, play along if you'd like!

Toodle pip,
Harry x

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Oh Boy!

We had a lovely afternoon playing with the puppies on Tuesday. Harry came with us and seemed to enjoy the drive. He hasn't been great in the car up until now - lots of pacing, whining and panting, but today he seemed much calmer. It was a beautiful warm day so we could have the windows open (he loves sticking his nose out and catching the breeze!).

This is the view from the breeder's house and it's the same in any direction - pretty picturesque isn't it? I would love to wake up to that view every day, but imagine it could be quite bleak living out here in the winter.

Harry enjoyed romping in their huge double-fenced field, and had a good old bark with Oscar's mum and big brother! He didn't manage to catch one of the many pheasants running about though. He loved being made a big fuss of, and they thought he was great and will make an excellent big brother.

The puppies had changed so much even since last visit only 9 days ago! They have grown bigger and are much more playful. They just love fuss and attention and are all super confident. I love the one clinging to the back of David's jeans! Maybe it won't be so amusing when it's my ankle!

We were mobbed by puppies as soon as we went through the garden gate. Mainly because they thought we were great new chew toys I reckon!

Here Martin is having a cuddle with the littlest girl pup. She is growing well, she's just smaller than the others. I met the couple who are likely having her, and they said they'd like to keep in touch, so that will be nice. She is to be named Lottie. Hopefully other new owners will want to exchange phone numbers/addresses too, and as the breeders are keeping one, we will always be able to meet up easily with her.

Martin's shoe laces provided a great new toy, and the ragger tuggie was discarded in an instant! Apologies for some of the photos being blurred but they are so fast, plus their tails were wagging nineteen to the dozen.

Here are two of the boys working hard on those laces. Teamwork almost got them undone!

Their teeth are fully through now and they are testing them out on everything. It's great that the weather has been so mild as it means they have been able to play outside for a while most days. Apparently they day before they had explored the lawn and done lots of grass grazing and leaf munching! not sure a wrought iron table makes the best chew toy though puppy! We have been reading Ian Dunbar's puppy training book, so young Cassidy is hopefully going to become a Kong/chew toy-aholic rather than a furniture muncher.

How do you choose who to play with when confronted with 4 adorable little faces gazing up at you?!

Martin is the Pied Piper of the puppy world!

Those paws are getting bigger! Their fur has grown lots since last visit, and they are starting to get fuzzy now rather than being sleek. I am determined to start hand stripping Cassidy from an early age. That way both of us will get used to it while there's not too much surface area to contend with!

They really are adorable. You can start to see their individual characters coming through more and more. They are all very confident, and all are very good at coming when called. I suppose at this age they are like little sponges soaking up new knowledge. They all know to come when called and sit.

They were all keen to try these steps out! Maggie (mum) and Annie were up and down them and they so wanted to try, but weren't quite brave enough to go more than one or two steps high. We will be putting the baby gate back up once Cassidy comes home so there are no accidents on the stairs and no damage to young joints.

Before we left they had their supper - some Weetabix and warm milk - it didn't last long! There were 2 bowlfuls, and while they started out with two identical bowlfuls, none of them could resist wandering between the bowls to see if there was anything better on offer!

Listen to the contended slurping of 6 little puppies, bliss!

With full tums they went to snuggle up together in their crate, apart from this little guy who decided to catch the last warm rays of the day.

So yes, as the title of the post reveals, Cassidy is a boy! Unfortunately, we still don't know which of the three boys he is, as only David was home today and he wasn't sure which one was selected for us. They are all beautiful, confident, healthy and happy though so we don't mind. We may pop back across early next week so we know for sure, or just wait until the weekend and go to pick him up.

We are really excited now!! Time seems to have passed quickly the last few weeks, in part due to Harry's arrival I suppose. He has given us focus again, which had been so lacking since Oscar's death.

Here's Martin having some snuggles. Sorry it's sideways on - I forget I can't record that way sometimes, doh!

They are all having so much fun together. It seems sad that they're all off to their new lives, but such is the way of the world, and they'll all have lovely new families, and as I said, hopefully they'll all get opportunities to meet up in the future.

Only 8 more days until we can go back to pick Cassidy up! We will have to get Oscar's crate and the baby gate out next week and start getting ourselves and the house prepared. I have told Harry to catch up on his sleep while he can!

Harry's paw is much better. The sore area is all dry now, though I think it is still itchy. We have let him off wearing the cone when we are keeping a close eye on him, but if we are out or overnight he has been wearing it so he's not tempted. Now it is healed I may ask the vet if she can bandage it for a few days to prevent him fiddling during the itchy last stage. That will be so much nicer for him than the cone!

Katy and Martin x

Katy x

Monday, 22 October 2007

On The Mend

I have been most lax at thanking some new friends for awards they have so generously given me in the last week or so. I do apologise, I have been busy getting used to my new life, practicing my computing skills and trying not to bite my foot in a Perfect Tosca manner!

Scruffy and Lacie and Butchy and Snickers gave me this "I LOVE YOUR BLOG" award. Thank you so much, I am honoured. I know a lot of you have received this already. I will pass it onto Oscar's darling Faya.

And little cutie Clover, and handsome Marvin gave me this Halloween themed award. You're making me blush! I'll give this to Mojo, as she is a sweet little Airedale puppy and I know she'll be a great real-life friend to myself and Cassidy.

Thank you for all your extremely kind comments on my lampshade head. I am feeling rather less foolish now as it seems a number of you have been subjected to the same indignity. I am managing to get about a little better, and when I am under close supervision, ma and pa have let me have a snooze without it, bliss!

As you can see, my foot was fairly sore. It looks worse as the vet shaved my hair off as she said that helped control the infection significantly.

The darker area is tough skin. Ma thinks this suggests that I have had this problem for a while and it wasn't treated. The fresher raw bit is where I was biting at it. Looking at it now I am not impressed with myself for making such a mess of my foot! It has healed up lots now though and thanks not the girly pink pills I am much less itchy. I finish taking them tomorrow morning and to be frank I'm a bit sad, as I was getting them hidden in a nice piece of cheese. Note to others - pretend you don't like taking tablets and you too could enjoy the same lumps of delicious fromage! Hopefully this is the last of the infection, but if it flares up again it seem the vet will have to do some investigations to try and deduce the root of the problem.

I went to talk to Oscar to tell him how silly I felt being a big conehead, and he told me ma and pa made him wear one too! Do these people relish making dogs look daft? He told me the looking forlorn thing really works well for getting cuddles and treats. Thank you for the tips little man.

See how well Oscar had perfected the sad cone head face? I need to work harder I think!

We are hopefully off to see the pups tomorrow or Wednesday, and we should definitely be able to decide which one is Cassidy, or perhaps young Cassidy will choose us. Either way it's all very exciting. I passed Oscar's old training school on Saturday morning as the young puppies were going into class and I had an excellent time playing with a baby Labrador. His owners were astonished when ma told them I was 10 - "10 months?" they said, har har har!
Toodle pip,

Harry x

Friday, 19 October 2007

Helmet Headed Harry

I can't believe I'm letting you see these photos, but I hope by now you're all my friends and you won't laugh so much that you fall of your computer chairs.

I have a pesky poorly paw. I had been surreptitiously nibbling and licking at it for a few days to try and sort it out myself, but ma and pa noticed on Monday that I was really going at it. They tried their best to distract me with cuddles and lots of filled Kongs as well as lots of "noooooooo's", but I had such a strong urge to meddle with it that I simply could not leave it be.

I was off to the vet on Wednesday anyway for my vaccination booster, so ma told the (very pretty) vet about it and she had a look. She said I had a nasty skin infection, and my self-prescribed nibble therapy had simply landed me with a secondary infection to top it off. Well, how was I to know? I was just trying to sort it out myself so ma and pa didn't spend all my treat funds on vet bills.

I had to have my paw shaved and cleaned thoroughly. I didn't like this as it was on my sore bits and the vet made me wear a muzzle as I was grumbly with her and a nurse had been badly bitten the previous day by another dog. I was just trying to tell her it hurt. I have never liked my back feet being fiddled with - I had a nasty experience having my dew claws removed as a young pup I think. My old owner told ma and pa about it so they were able to let the vet know I wouldn't like it. Anyhow, once the vet had finished, she gave me lots of cuddles and liver treats and we were friends again. I had my injection with no bother, needles are no problem for me.

The vet isn't sure why I got an infection.. She said it could be something I've walked on (grass, other foliage), food, maybe a bit of stress at moving house (though I am loving it here so I don't think it is that), dust mite allergy (ma was a bit put out at this suggestion!) or perhaps I already had it when I came to live here and my previous owners hadn't picked up on it. Anyway, I have some rather girly pink tablets to clear up the infection and this remarkably embarrassing collar to wear so I break the nibble cycle. I went back to the surgery for the nurse to have a nosy at my paw today and she declared it much better already, hurrah!

Ma is going to take me to the behaviourist at the surgery so I can start to be desensitised to having my paws touched. Ma says this is why it's important to get young puppies used to having every last bit of them poked and prodded. Good luck with that Cassidy! The behaviourist says I have just learned to growl to humans to tell them to back off when they hold my paws and it is a very common issue for dogs not to like having their paws fiddled with. I need help to bury the old memories. She reckons with her help ma and pa should have some skills to work with and help me realise it's not that bad.

So I had to greet my new grandma, grandad, uncle, aunt and baby cousin looking like this! How shameful. And I keep bumping into everyone and everything. They gave me a long/wide cone as they said I had a long nose - how rude! Ma has seen some more flexible ones, so if I have to wear this for longer than a week, she says she may get me one to make getting around the house a bit easier.

I do a very good "woe is me" face don't you think? I actually don't mind wearing it all that much and haven't made a big fuss at all, but this face does get one lots of treats and snuggles. The first night I didn't sleep much, but now I have worked out how to get comfy properly.

Getting up the stairs is a bit tricky, but I have just about got it sussed. It requires holding your head high and then it's full steam ahead!

Thankfully, ma and pa don't make me wear the darned thing when I go for my jaunts around the neighbourhood. I would hate all my new found friends to be laughing at me.

I had great fun with my grandma, grandad and other new relatives. Baby Leo is simply gorgeous and smelt all baby sweet, aah. I have a few photos, I'll post them over the weekend.

Toodle pip,

Harry x

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Settling In

Hello chaps, hope you're all well. What about those pups hey? I can't even begin to tell you how good ma smelt when she got home. I couldn't keep my nose away. I'm looking forward to meeting them all, as well as lovely ladies Maggie and Annie, Arthur who is Oscar's older brother and as mad as a bag of frogs by all accounts, and Stella who is Oscar's ma. I reckon I'll know who I want as my new little bro or sis in a jiffy.

I am settling in very well here. I got a lovely new bed last week. I am just too big to fit comfortably on Oscar's old bed, plus ma felt it was quite thin and not ideal for my stiff legs. What she failed to realise however, is that it's far comfier to sleep like this, so the majority of my big muscly body is still on the floor anyway, har har! Do you see how my ears stick up when I sleep? Ma says I look silly, I say I'm just keeping alert for anything interesting.

I have also been doing lots and lots of cuddling with pa. I really do love him so much. He gives the best scratches and ear rubs. Pa says that even though Oscar loved him lots, he was always more of a mummy's boy, so pa is happy that I enjoy his company so. Us boys have got to stick together I say. I honestly am not quite as huge as the photos of me beside pa would have you believe. I know they say the camera never lies, but I do believe it adds 10 pounds and makes me seem like a humongous 'Dale. Yes, I am a tad bigger than average, but I am honestly not a giant! I have longer legs than the standard and I weigh a respectable 28.5 kilos (63 pounds) - all muscle of course!

I have also been making the most of the last few mild, autumn day before the wet, cold weather sets in. I like lying at the end of the garden so I can keep an eye on everything - the house, the tabby next door, cars coming and going. An Airedale's work is never done.

Today however I was a little preoccupied as I had a nice chew on the go. As I don't play with toys, chews are a good source of fun for me.

I let ma take a few photos *sigh*. All I really wanted to do was get my gnashers around the chew, but I understand I have to keep the lady of the house happy. You will see that I will always have green or yellow glowing eyes on photos. I'm not a Halloween ghoul, it's because my eyes are a bit cloudy due to age. I can still see very well though, and hopefully I still look handsome in photos!

Chomp, chomp, chomp. Ma doesn't really like rawhide chews that much, but I seem to work my way through anything else in seconds, and I am not interested in faffing about getting biscuits out of Kongs, just licking a little peanut butter or honey out of them. Do any of you have any good ideas for safer, healthier chews that can keep my huge Airedale teeth busy for more than a minute?

Working up a good mushy mess now. I did end up with lots of rawhide stuck to my beard. Ma says that's another reason why rawhides are bad news. I suppose if I am ever going to grow enough beard to enter Stanley's beard contest, I don't want to have ma chop big chunks of it out when she can't brush the rawhide tangles out!

Ah well, time for a nap. Pa tells me that my new grandma and grandad who live in Spain are coming to stay tonight along with pa's brother, partner and Leo, a little baby human who is only 12 weeks old. Sounds like lots of potential ear scratches are coming my way, jolly good news!

Toodle pip,

Harry x

Monday, 15 October 2007

Cassidy & Co 14th October

Well as you can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Wales to see the puppies on Sunday. They were so much more active than two weeks ago and much more fun to play with!

As it was a mild day, David decided they could go outside for a play. They had a bit of lunch but weren't overly enthusiastic. Perhaps it was too different having their dinner outside when they're only just getting used to eating solid food. Or perhaps they were too interested in investigating me!

They are being very good at keeping their bedroom area in the house clean. As soon as they got outside nearly all of them did their business.

All the pups were very inquisitive, coming to have a look at me and the camera. Once David came back from making me a cuppa he asked why I hadn't got in the run with them, so I quickly did and had 6 puppies trying to get on my lap!

They all have their sharp little puppy teeth now, so were testing them out on everything, my fingers and wrist included. One the whole they weren't biting hard though.

Maggie is a fantastic mum. She is happy for anyone to play with the pups and just keeps an eye on things. Even though all their teeth are through, she never makes a whimper when they are suckling even though they are obviously clinging on to her with their teeth!

They all seem to like going in their crate when it's time for a nap. We will use a crate, so this is good news. It will keep the pup safe overnight and when we have to go out, and mean Harry can have some peace and quiet too.

They looked so cute all snuggling in together. I guess whoever ended up at the bottom of the pile was very cosy!

Here's mum Maggie. She really is the most beautiful looking girl with a sweet nature to match. I'm sure she will miss the pups when they go off to their new homes (though one girl is staying), but I'm also sure she'll be ready for some rest and recuperation.

Here's Annie. She is also the sweetest little thing. She adores the puppies too, and is like a protective aunt, always checking to make sure they're all OK.

I went on my own today, so was obviously not going to pick a puppy without Martin being there, but I didn't get drawn to any one in particular despite being there for 5 hours! They are all so gorgeous, and all seemed equally confident, healthy and happy. David said they will decide which one they are keeping next week, then we will have second choice. They are keeping a girl, and another couple who popped over today really, really want a girl too, so there is one girl and all 3 of the boys left.

We will go back next weekend or during the following week after to see them all and decide. We're also going to take Harry over to meet everyone.

And now for the best bit! Some puppy films! Here's Maggie giving the pups a quick milk fix. She feeds standing up now and it won't be long now before the pups aren't getting any milk and are totally weaned onto solids. As you can see, although looking a bit long suffering, she doesn't complain about the six little piranha 'Dales clinging to her.

Here are the 6 little tykes doing their thing - chasing leaves, playing, eating, testing out their teeth and investigating the strange human pointing a camera at them!

And here they are investigating a cardboard tube. They are just starting to become interested in toys and playing, so in the coming weeks will be introduced to various items, most of which will undoubtedly be tested out with the teeth!

And after a long afternoon, it was time to snuggle up in a big puppy heap for a snooze, after a bit more biting of tails and ears of course!