Thursday, November 3, 2011

Puppy notes

Dr. Jordan gave me this Halloween scarf
Shiner is growing like a weed, as they say. When we brought her home she was wearing a collar that measured  10 inches. Kendra gave her one of her custom, U of O Duck collars (so she'd be properly attired for football season). It's now at its full extension,  a little over 12 inches, and she's about to grow out of it! She gained two and a half pounds in the first ten days we had her. We haven't weighed her since, but I'm sure she's gained another 3 or 4 at least. She weathered her first vet trip with little strain. There will be several more to get all the puppy shots finished up, so it's a good thing it wasn't too traumatic for her.

She's become quite the little helper with ranch chores, showing a particular affinity for anything with a long handle. She rode Steve's shovel all the way around the house one day, and then "helped" me rake mesquite pods the next day.
Now, when we have similar work to do, she gets to watch from the dog run. She seems to like the little fenced yard, and watches happily while chewing on whatever is handy while we work.

It's so much fun to watch any young animal explore and learn about the world around them, and Shiner is no exception.

She doesn't seem to be afraid of anything, but is sensible enough to sit and watch a new situation until she's figured it out.... except when Ryloo, Kendra's 60 pound German Shepherd arrives with a blast. That sends Shiner bailing through the dog door for the safety of the house, at least until she's sorted it all out, then she comes back out and happily attacks Ryloo as they dash around the yard. 'Quite a pair they are!

She also loves to play tug-o-war with Glory. Shiner can hold her own now, so it won't be long before she's dragging Glory around.

She spends quite a bit of time just sitting out in the yard, watching the neighbor's goats, and the birds (which she has to take a run at ever so often, so she can see them fly), and the squirrels. She likes to follow the scent trails of the little critters too, munching wildflowers as she goes.... the purple ones are her favorites! (Yes, we have a few fall wildflowers, thanks to the rain we got last month.) Shiner's tracking instincts are apparently quite strong. If one of us disappears, to go do a chore or pick up the mail, as soon as she notices she sticks her little nose to the ground and off she goes, following our every step until she finds us.

Molly is accepting the little nuisance with more grace than we actually expected. It helps that she's not especially protective of food and space, so she shares readily. She isn't too fond of a barking pup in her face though, and has mentioned that to Shiner a time or two. I think Shiner will eventually get the message.

We finally have work started on our new deck, which is giving Shiner a whole new world to explore. They drilled holes for the cement piers yesterday, which involved mud (a favorite puppy environment), hand tools, colored string, and leather gloves. A veritable wonderland for Shiner! We're trying to keep her out of the activity, but it's not easy! Being a puppy parent is a full-time job!