accomplishment ACE Adopt the Internet Day advocate AKC ALIVE Andrea Arden APDT attention aversives Be the Change for Animals beagle beds Bianca bibliophile birthday blessings blog hop BlogPaws board and train Boston Terrier bullied by the blog C-WAGS C.L.A.S.S. call to action CCPDT CDSP certification Certified Pet Dog Trainer change chapter 1 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Christmas Cincinnati click and treat clicker expo clicker training coming when called commitment common sense communication competion coupon cpdt CPDT-KA craft crisis response Dads Daisy decisions dog shows dog training dominance Easter economy emotions empathy equine Face of Crisis facebook family focus food Fortunate Fido Frames of Mind fraud Gardner giving goals group class harness holy week house guest humanity Husker Ian Dunbar individuals instinct integral internet Jade Jean Donaldson joy K9 Chaplains K9 Comfort Dogs Karen Pryor Ken McCort Lake Township Lana Mitchell learning learning theory leash aggression life experience lifestyle training living positively mama beagle Meagan Melissa Alexander minature horse Morgan Specter Mr. Chewy mule Nevada Humane Society Never Shock a Puppy normal Northern Illinois University Open House openminded opportunity pack theory Parents of Murdered Children party Patricia McConnell peace personality pet blogger challenge Pet Blogger Hop Pets without Parents Philadelphia polite greetings POMC positive reinforcement positive reinforcement clicker training precious priorities product review puppies puppy class Rainbow Bridge Rally Obedience relationships relaxing research review rewards routine safe versus dangerous service dogs SPA sports stress success Sue Ailsby Sweet Spots Doggy Ice Cream TDInc. teacher technology The Clicked Retriever therapy dogs thinking time tools tornado toys training plan training tip travel tricks twitter unconditional love video work in progress

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chapter 3 -- We have puppies!

Actually, we have 10  puppies!!!!  Yes, it's true and yes, we feel a bit overwhelmed.  But at the same time we feel incredibly blessed because they are all doing well and thriving under the watchful eye of their wonderful mother.

Tuesday (10/19/10) evening about 10 p.m., Lucy's water began leaking.  So we all took her to the whelping box and we ALL started nesting.  Our daughters prepared to sleep on the floor in the living room in between puppies while Ken and I got comfortable for what we were sure would be a relatively long night.  Lucy got comfy in her whelping box and alternately rested and paced in the pen we put around the whelping box.

About 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday (10/20/10) morning, puppy #1 was born.  It went like clockwork -- as did all of the puppies after her.  There were several breech puppies, but they all were born with only a little assistance from Ken or me. 

The girls stayed up through puppy #2 and then went to get a little bit of sleep.  I stayed up through puppy #4 (around 5:00 a.m.) and then I went to get a little bit of sleep.  Ken handled puppies #5, 6, and 7 by himself.  The only issue he had was with puppy #5 -- when he took too long weighing and tying the cord, Lucy got a little inpatient with him and started barking!  For puppies #6 and 7 he worked much faster!!!

Around 8:00 a.m., I got our oldest daughter, Meagan, up and moving and we took over for Ken so he could sleep.  By 9:10 a.m. we had puppies #8, 9, and 10 delivered and snuggling with mom and their siblings.  Lucy was wonderful and alternately kept track of her new babies and panting through contractions.

They are all doing well, eating, sleeping, gaining weight.  All of the puppies weighed between .62 and .79 pounds -- good size puppies for such a petite little mama!!!  We have no idea (yet!) what the daddy was, but we are having fun speculating.  Lucy is a great mom and we are constantly amazed by how well she is handling all ten puppies.

We are a "theme" family -- we like to have themes for things -- parties, events, and puppies!!!  We had a theme all picked out (Charlie Brown characters) before the puppies arrived, but when we had so many girls, we had to find a new theme.  So, we decided on characters from musicals!  Thankfully we can keep Lucy -- it's from the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."  Can you figure out which musicals the rest of them came from?

Mama Lucy resting with all the puppies.  10/20/2010

Puppy #7 Girl -- Elphie

Puppy #5 Boy -- Emmett

Puppy #9 Girl -- Belle

Puppy #4 Girl -- Glinda

Puppy #3 Girl --Nellie

Puppy #10 Girl -- Cosette

Puppy #8 Boy -- Zuko

Puppy #1 Girl -- Dolly

Puppy #6 Girl --Sandy
Puppy #2 Girl -- Millie

What better day to premier the puppies than on a Saturday Pet Blogger Hop?!?  These are all great blogs and this is a wonderful community of pet lovers.  We are proud to be a part of the Hop.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Pet Blogger Hop Saturday

Sometimes it happens that a dog (or other animal), no matter how loved, is in an incompatible situation.  And to be the best advocate for that dog is to find her a new home where the environment, the situation, the family is better suited.

We had this situation unfold over the last couple weeks.  A wonderful young dog was living on a farm.  But she somehow got hold of a very, very young baby farm animal and killed it.  So the family had to decide whether it was a training issue, a rehoming issue, or a euthanasia issue.  We worked with them, tested the dog, observed the dog and recommended rehoming.  Last night, a friend connected us with a family looking for a dog.  It looks like it's going to be a perfect match!  For this dog, it just took a little while to find the right home for her.  We are happy to have been a part of this dog's new life and are thrilled to know that she will live a long and happy life.

It's the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop -- enjoy these great blogs!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog the Change for Animals

Today marks another day to blog the change for animals.  This is a day for animal bloggers to share our thoughts and our blog space regarding helping animals.  I thought a long time about this post.  How can I, with my relatively small number of followers (blog, Twitter, Facebook), make a significant change for animals?  How can I, with my economically affected, somewhat limited income help animals?  How can I, with my own animals, my family, and a small business, find the time to positively influence how animals live?

I came to an epiphany this morning -- none of that matters.  What does matter is my willingness to try, my ability to help even one animal, my perseverance and hope in the indomitable human spirit and our capacity to love and care for others. 

So, my blog the change for animals message is simple and concise -- take that first step.  It doesn't matter if it's a small step, a baby step, or a giant step -- just take it.  Adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue, secure your animals in your vehicle when transporting them and tell your friend to do the same, take a training class, donate a training class for another family adopting a dog, be a dog walker or a lap for kitties for animals without families yet, donate food, litter, toys, blankets, beds -- whatever is needed, donate to the "Never Shock a Puppy" initiative to help buy safe, humane collars for dogs, transport an animal in its journey to a forever home, donate to the breed rescue of your choice, volunteer to write a newsletter article, edit a newsletter, stuff envelopes, or donate a prize for a fundraiser, spend time with children teaching them about safety around animals, kindness to animals, and exemplify being the change not only for animals, but also for children too!  There are infinite ways to be the change -- one is going to work for you, right where you are in your life at this particular moment in time.  So take that first step and start being the change for animals.

A couple weeks ago we received a call that changed our lives.  A local rescue called to tell us about a pregnant beagle that was found wandering in a parking lot.  We have not fostered dogs in the past for a variety of reasons, so the call was not about us fostering her, but about helping them to find a foster home for her and her yet-to-be-born puppies.  It was a call to step out of our comfort zone.  No one knew it at the time, but it was.  It became very clear, very quickly that it was our call to get out of the boat and to do what is good, right, and necessary and be the foster family for this mama beagle and her puppies.  Lucy (formerly known as "Daisy") has been with us a week and will forever be with us in our hearts.  We know she will be adopted to a loving family once her puppies are weaned and we are excited at the prospect of giving them this wonderful, loving dog.  We are impatiently awaiting the arrival of her puppies so we can love them, work with them, and prepare them for lives with their forever families.  We are honored and humbled by all this means not only to us, but especially to the mama and her puppies.  We took that first step -- will you take it with us by finding what you are meant to do to be the change for animals?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chapter 2 -- Waiting...

Mama Beagle has been with us one week today and we are still waiting for puppies to make their appearance.  It's definitely a lesson in patience for all of us!  I can't imagine how Mama Beagle must feel -- and I have to wonder how dogs view the pregnancy experience.  She gets bigger every day and it's exciting to feel the puppies poke at us and move.

We have tentatively changed her name to Lucy and plan on naming the puppies with Peanuts character names.  She looks like a Lucy to us and is responding to us calling her that.  She is very comfortable with us and prefers to be on someone's lap at all times.  We are amazed at her agility with that big belly!  She is still jumping up on the couch and maneuvering the steps just fine.  She is a good girl and so far, the worse thing about her is her obsession with food -- she's a terrible beggar!  We are working on it, but not worrying too much about it right now since we have to wonder if it has something to do with the puppies and her need for increased food.

Some photos from the last couple days:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chapter 1 -- The Arrival at Our House

Mama Beagle's arrival at our house last night was relatively uneventful.  She does not like the stairs to our basement where the whelping box is, but she doesn't mind being picked up and carried, so I guess that's kind of a non-issue.  Our girls already love her and our dogs are just fine with her.  We are keeping her in the kitchen, basement, and backyard right now -- just during the acclimation period.

No puppies during the night.  We all went to bed wondering since we have heard that a big change like moving her to a new house could induce labor.  She appears to have slept well.  

This morning she is full of energy and tail wags for all of us.  Whenever she sees one of us, she is all a-wag and wanting to be petted.  She lays by the gate in the kitchen with Husker, our Golden Retriever, laying on other side.  It's almost like he's keeping watch over her.  She has not eaten yet today, so I am keeping an eye on her.  It may be that the morning's activities were too much fun to watch or that labor is imminent (or any number of other things!).   She is drinking water and pottying just fine!!!

Here are some photos from her first night with us:

Wow!  Look at that attention already!!!

Trying to get an "aerial" view of the belly.

Mama Beagle's very large belly!

Meeting our Daisy through the gate.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Chapter

We are about to open up a new chapter n our lives as a dog family -- tonight a pregnant beagle mama arrives at our house to have her litter of puppies.  She was a stray, found in a parking lot, pregnant and alone.  Attempts to find her family were made and no one has claimed her.  We really contemplated this.  Is this the right time?  Do we have what she needs?  Can we make a difference?  After discussing it, we decided this is the right time, we do have what she needs, and we can make a difference.

So this little beagle mama will have her puppies in our cozy, warm basement surrounded by new faces -- new, but loving and dedicated to helping her and her puppies.  Her name right now is Daisy, but we will be seeking a new name for her as our beagle's name is also Daisy!  We have decided to get to know her and then give her a name that fits her.  Our daughters are excited at the prospect of all those new puppies to find just the right names for!!!

We are nervous and excited and looking forward the new chapter ahead.  We will chronicle as much of the experience as we can.  Stay tuned for photos of beagle mama after she arrives tonight...