Sunday, July 25, 2010

What a busy weekend!

As I sit down to write this, I realize how completely exhausted I am.  No wonder Kepler is fast asleep at my feet.  This weekend has been non-stop for both of us. 

Friday afternoon we went for a fun-filled hike at Bridgeman with Flash and Freddy, two dogs that I'm taking care of.   After a quick rest, it was off to little mans first agility trial.  As a spectator of course!  He watched his cousins Abby, Amigo and Tyler compete, and met lots of people.  Abby completed her ATCHC (Agility Trial Champion of Canada) on Friday night.  Go Abby super mutt!

On Saturday we began the day with the second week of his puppy class.  He is in a class with a great mix of puppies of all shapes, sizes and ages.  But sadly he is the only rescue pup of the bunch, a very depressing thing for me.  Luckily being the most popular and obviously unique guy in the class (and may I mention the cutest!) he may have scored one for rescue by showing the other owners how great a rescue dog really can be.  As a proud mom I must also say that although he is the second youngest in the class, he is definitely the most advanced.  He is the only dog who can lie down, come and drop it!

Next on Saturday we were off to my teams softball tournament.  We had missed the earlier games but made it just in time for the last game of the day.  Everybody on the team knows and loves Kepler since he has become a regular at the games since his arrival last month.  Wow it has been exactly a month since I brought this little guy home, time sure goes by quick.

Finally, Saturday night, we were off to the fireworks.  First a patio dinner where Kepler played with a nice little girl, then a long walk to the beach.  Once we got to the beach Kepler was beat.  He slept through the whole fireworks.  Puppies can socialize subconsciously while they are sleeping right?  He had to be carried back to the car at the end of the night, but he still got to visit with lots of people in the crowds.  We'll try to stay awake for the fireworks next week.

On Sunday we had a couple softball games in the morning, and then it was of to Caribbean days at Lonsdale Quay.  Again there were crowds of people, music, other dogs, BBQs, kids playing and other performers (including the cutest kid Michael Jackson impersonator ever!)  

At last, the highlight of our weekend was my friend Erika's son Loic's first birthday.  Happy Birthday Loic!!!  Kepler was very lucky to get an invite for some intense kid socialization.  Thanks again Erika!  Kepler played fetch and tug with the kids, and raced around the yard with them.  Then he just chilled out to let them pet him.  I must say he was a perfect angel.  He didn't nip at the kids at all, and he had a blast playing with them!

I've been bad with photos this weekend so I'll just post one cute puppy pic as I'm exhausted too and all I want to do now is curl up on the sofa with my puppy and relax with him after a great weekend that I will remember for a long time.

Kepler at 13 weeks, 20 lbs

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun at the beach

Since I've discovered how much Kepler likes water, I couldn't resist taking him to the beach the last 2 days in this beautiful sunny weather.  On Sunday Jody, Ryan, Kepler and I spent the whole day exploring Spanish banks and the Kitsilano area.   We hit the dog beach at Jericho first and Kepler and Ryan had a blast.  Jody and I even braved the water for a bit!  Poor Kepler wasn't big enough to get past the waves, so he was left barking in the shallow water.  I carried him out deeper a couple times and let him swim back to shore.  He loved it!  Each time he got back to shore he began barking at me to come and get him again.  Next we went along 4th and had some lunch and did some shopping.  It was such a great day that we didn't want it to end so we stopped at Kits beach on the way home.  The beach was packed and Kepler met lots more people.  See Jody's blog for photos of this great day as she was the official photographer.

This evening Faren, Jody and I took the dogs to Ambleside.  Luckily I brought my camera for this!

Super cute wet puppy!

Less cute dirty, sandy puppy!

 Pooped puppy!

And a video of his puppy scoots!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

He's gonna be a swimmer!

I can tell already that Kepler is going be a water dog.  He already is!  We went to Ambleside dog beach again this evening, and I couldn't keep him out of the water.  Ok, so he wasn't actually swimming....yet.  He was pouncing on the waves, snapping at the water to try and catch it, and boy was it cute!  He went in as deep as his chest and had an absolute blast.  

Also at the beach we met a 14 week old Boxer named Leo who Kepler liked almost as much as the water.  They wrestled, and raced, and raced and wrestled for over half an hour before we broke up their fun.  Unfortunately I'm a bad mom and I forgot my camera today so no pictures of the fun outing, but I will bring it next time for sure.

But I do have some cute photos from earlier in the week to share...

Playing with Flash...

 Relaxing at work after a long day...

The one and only time he will ever be a purse dog...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time Flies

Kepler has been part of the family for a whole 2 weeks already.  I can't believe how quickly time has passed by.  In that time my chubby little man has grown into quite the hefty boy.  No my Border Collie mix is not getting lean and leggy like I had expected, he is getting thicker!  I obviously didn't expect him to be athletic at this age, but I didn't expect him to be such a tank either.

This is a photo of his mom, Smiley.  She is a Border Collie X Australian Shepherd with a nice lean looking figure!

And my boy...(playing tug with his big bro Tycho)

Today Kepler had a playdate with my friend Heather's dog Daisy, a Poodle X Wheaten, who loves playing with puppies.  At first Kepler was too scared to play with Daisy, who has a very in your face play style.  But after Hobbes, another dog from the family, showed up, it was game on for Kepler.  Hobbes is a young Lab who Kepler had a great time playing with.  And later on, true to his nature, Kepler tried to hump poor Daisy.

Hobbes, Kepler, and Daisy

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I had an interesting experience today.  First of all, for those who don't know, I work in a veterinary clinic.  It's a great job because I like the people I work with, and I get to spend my days with animals.  The major bonus right's GREAT for socialization. Every day Kepler gets to meet many new faces, kids, men and women, all eager to visit with him.  Plus he gets to meet lots of dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes, as well as cats.   Its the perfect job to have when you're trying to socialize your puppy.   But today was different.  An appointment schedule for late this afternoon was for a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, about 2 weeks older than Kepler.  He was a big boy at about 35 lbs, compared to tiny Keps 15 lb frame.   I thought it would be great for my confident little guy to play with a bigger puppy.  However, I was literally speechless when I brought Kepler up for a visit, only for the Berners owner to shriek (thats right, she shrieked) and pick up her puppy horrified that I brought a dog near her "not fully vaccinated puppy."  I had no words to say so I just picked up my dejected puppy and slinked to the back of the clinic.

I know that in the past people thought that you had to keep unvaccinated puppies segregated from the rest of the world in order for them to avoid catching terrible puppy diseases (parvo and distemper) but I honestly thought that in this day and age people knew better.  That people knew about the importance of early socialization.  That people knew far more dogs are euthanized every year because they have aggression issues due to improper socialization, than dogs that die from parvo and distemper.  I realize a large part of the problem is that the veterinary community warns to be careful of some dangerous diseases out there, but puppies need to play with other healthy puppies in order to become healthy adults.   

On a good note, Tycho and Kepler had their first big play session tonight.  It was Tycho who was trying to initiate, and it took him a good 10-15 minutes of running around Kep and play-bowing before he could get the little guy interested in playing with him.  This is a huge milestone since Tycho has been very jealous of Kepler and grouchy towards him since he came home.  Now they are finally friends!

Sorry the video has no sound, and it's dark out, but still so cute!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guess what....

...I have a humper on my hands.  

So I already knew my little sweet Kepler was a confident guy.  He will happily approach a group of 10 adult dogs with his tail held high.  But until tonight I didn't know just how frisky he was.  He decided that it was fun to try and hump Flash, an 18 month Beagle X Jack Russell Terrier that I am taking care of.   Numerous times I had to pull him off of Flash and numerous times Kep jumped back on him.  I tried giving him time outs, which seemed to help a bit, but he would still try and mount Flash once in a while.  The two boys play really well together, but once in a while Kep couldn't fight the urge.  This is a new thing for me as Zeus and Tycho never really humped.  

A confident puppy is a great thing, but is my guy too confident?  When Tycho was a puppy he would submissively roll over to any adult dog that he met.  He was always playful with other dogs, and still is, but never confident.  Tycho also got beat up quite a bit when he was a puppy which sure didn't help with his shyness.  Nowadays he can be a bit of a grouch with other dogs, but I attribute that mostly to his bad hips.  Poor Tyke has very severe hip dysplasia that forced him to retire from agility over a year ago when he was approaching age 5.  Now, with a low dose of pain medication (meloxicam) he enjoys his daily walks, but can't run through the forest like he used to.

Puppy Tycho

My worry is that a confident 10 week old Kepler will turn into a bossy adolescent Kepler.  Thank you to Jody, Faren and Erika who keep assuring me that confidence is a good thing!  He plays very well with other puppies.  Jody took him on a play-date this week with Poppy a 4 month old Spaniel X and he also met Layla a 3 month old German Shepherd X at the park the other day and played very well.  Not bossy at all!

Warning cute puppy pictures below

"Kepler!  Off the table"

"But why, I look so cute up here, plus I bet I could reach some treats!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun Socializing

So I am proud to say that in his first week with me, I would guess that Kepler has met over 100 new people and about as many dogs. Thanks to his Aunt Jody finding fun events for us to go to we have been doing lots of socializing. We've been to Ambleside dog beach a couple times, Kits beach, Bridgeman park, gone to a couple softball games, and a BBQ among other things. On Canada Day we went to take in the Granville Island festivities and let me say that it takes a long time to walk around Granville Island with a puppy as cute as Kepler. We were stopped by just about everybody wanting a chance to have a quick cuddle with the little guy. Kepler had only one minor freak out at the parade. I think the noise of the tuba and drums from the band was a bit much for him, but luckily he recovered quickly with just a few liver treats. 

Kepler and his cousin Ryan (Jody's rescue Border Collie) on Canada Day

By the end of the day Kepler was fast asleep in Jody's arms

Yesterday we went to watch a bit of the Jazz Festival that has taken over the city.  Again we were constantly stopped by people wanting to visit with the cute puppy, and Kepler enjoyed every minute of it.   He is always happy to meet someone new.  He seems to especially like kids and actually seeks them out if they neglect to say a proper hi to him.  After about an hour of walking around checking out the booths we got some ice cream and picked out a spot on the grass. Luckily Kepler was so exhausted he slept on the grass like a perfect puppy for over an hour while we listened to the music.   On the way home we stopped in China town and Kepler met some very interesting people, not to mention the parade of protesters that we met at the corner of Main and Hastings.  All in all a good day of socialization for the little man.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Muttly Family

My life has been chaos for about a week now.  Puppy chaos that is, as I am the proud new owner of my very first high drive dog!  Hopefully.  He's a very calm and laid back dude, but that must be the calm before the storm, right?  After all he is a Border Collie X Australian Shepherd X Cattle Dog.  How could a mix like that not be high drive?

I should start by telling you about my past dogs.  I first owned Brittany, a rescue, thats right you guessed it, Brittany Spaniel.  She came with the name and we didn't have the heart to change it.  She was a stubborn lady who really only listened to my dad.  But hey, I was a pre-teen girl who loved dogs so I was happy to have any dog!  

A couple years after we got Brittany, I begged my parents for a dog of my own.  One that I could train, one that would listen to me, and one that I could take anywhere with me.  My parents finally agreed and we went to the shelter in hopes of finding a small-ish, light colored, female dog.  We ended up with Zeus...forever and always the love of my life.  Zeus was amazingly smart, so smart it was scary sometimes.  He was about 6 months old when we got him.  And he definitely wasn't small.  Our best guess is that Zeus was a Beauceron X Rottweiler.  That dog would have done anything for me.  He was far from perfect, but I loved that dog more than you could ever believe.  


Zeus became an only child after we lost Brittany to thyroid cancer around age 10.  After a couple years on his own, we decided it was time to get him a friend.  That's when we ended up with Tycho.  Tycho is probably the goofiest, happiest dog around.  He is constantly making me laugh.  He was my first chance at raising a puppy.  Tycho was about 9 weeks old when we got him from the Abbotsford SPCA.  He looked like a purebred German Shepherd, but he never grew in height.  We decided that he must be a Corgi X German Shepherd.

Tycho make a long story short, none of those dogs were particularly high drive.  They would work for me, which took a lot of motivation, but they didn't really want to work just for the fun of it.  Sadly, Zeus passed away November 15th, 2009, from complications from a very aggressive form of cancer.  7 months have passed, and I finally found myself ready to bring a new rescue into my life.  I have high hopes for Kepler and plan on keeping him very busy.