Sunday, December 30, 2007

Simba, the prairie dog

We've had Simba for a little over a week now and he's a total cutie-pie! He doesn't have quite as many quirks as Austin did, although he does have a few. Simba is a yellow (very American) lab about 2 yrs old. His previous owners were having a child (unsure if it was their first or second) and felt they couldn't give him the time he needed. *sigh* I wish people treated their dogs less like disposable creatures and more like members of their family; however that could just be unfair since I have no idea what their situation was like...besides I digress, time to get off my soap-box.

Anyways Simba is an incredibly sweet dog that thinks he's a wookie and a prairie dog. He loves playing with Pete, they have some pretty good wrestling matches and you should see them zoom around the yard playing chase. Without Pete in the house, I think Simba would be more annoying to people about playing but he gets his energy out with the dogs and just comes to us for affection. He has the softest fur, a lot like Herbie and Harper had, so he's pretty fun to pet. If you stop petting him or just aren't giving him enough attention, he'll put his paw on your hand. If you still continue to ignore him, he'll stand up on his haunches with both front paws on your hand/arm and just stare at you. This would be his prairie dog impression. Simba has great balance since he'll do this until you give him the attention he so richly deserves. Course if he can't reach you to prairie dog, then he'll make soft wookie noises at you instead. It's humorous how much he sounds like Chewie sometimes; Mike and I just stare at Simba and start laughing.

Given the chance, Simba would hop on the couch and bed but Pete makes it pretty clear those are his territories now so Simba only gets on the empty couch sporadically and only on the bed in the morning when we call him up for his morning scritches. He moves to a different foster home on saturday but he's quite enjoyable while he's been here. I've even heard Mike state that if we weren't seriously thinking of adopting Pete, he'd be tempted by Simba. I have a feeling that Simba will be an easy one to adopt out in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Look Ma, one of each color!

We've had Austin for almost two weeks now and we're going to be moving him tomorrow to get Simba. I meant to blog about him earlier but since I never got around to taking any pictures, I kept putting it off. Mike finally took a couple of snapshots of him last night so I have no further excuses.

Austin is a 1.5-yr old yellow lab, surprisingly calm for a puppy. He is extremely cute but his face doesn't seem quite labbish. His face is rather wide, the eyes are a little further apart then most labs, and his ears are too small and they don't lie flat like the typical lab. We're not sure if he's mixed with something or if he was just a badly bred lab. Either way he is still quite cute.

He's a relatively easy foster except that he's a bit skittish about noises and new people. He'll bark like mad when he meets new people and takes about 5 minutes before he'll approach them. He'll also bark at various noises in the house (heat turning on, door closing, noises from the other room). Thank goodness he's finally settled down a bit and doesn't bark quite as much as he used to. Austin does love to steal toys/bones/balls from other dogs. It doesn't matter how many identical toys are on the floor, he wants the one in the other dog's mouth. Max seems to actually enjoy that game and will play keep-away by swinging his head away from Austin. Strangely enough Austin is the first dog that Max has actively played/wrestled with in a long time. They had some nice bang-up sessions around the family room, right up until Max lunges onto the couch (usually with one of us already on it).

So things were moving right along, then we got a call on Monday from Pete's family. They were giving Pete back to LRR because he started suffering from separation anxiety (eating the crate, the carpet, anxiety, etc). Since none of the foster homes ever noticed the problem, we're assuming it's because Pete needs another dog around if no one is at home. Pete's family knew they could not get a second dog, nor did they want to medicate him. Lastly, separation anxiety is so tough to work on, they knew if it continued further Pete might have permanent issues. So as difficult as the decision was, they gave Pete back because they knew it was the best thing for Pete. We felt so awful for the couple, they loved this little guy so much. So Pete is now back here with us.

Since we liked Pete so much the last time he was here, we're giving some serious thoughts to adoption. We have two weeks to make a decision before anyone else can see Pete. We plan to take him to the dog park and see how he does. He's adjusted to our household (and our couches and our bed) pretty quickly. We've noticed he does have some touches of dominance with other dogs (not with Max....yet). This will be new for us since the last three dogs we've had were all quite submissive.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Petey goes bye-bye

We had Pete's adoption today, so he now has new parents. This was the first time we've met them since they visited Pete at his previous foster home. They definitely seem like good dog people who will be really good for Pete. I think they'll provide Pete with the proper boundaries but will also love taking him for walks. Their previous dog had a lot of issues with other dogs so they always had to be on high-alert when walking and couldn't take their dogs to any dog social area. With Pete, they are really excited about taking him around the community and visiting other dogs/people. The cool thing is they live pretty close to my sister and like visiting her community area so I'll have to tell Jen to keep an eye out for Pete when she's out.

I've definitely bonded with Pete while he's been here, and he with me. He has a lot of great characteristics plus he's just a fun-loving puppy that has the perfect amount of energy. I'm gonna miss him, but I think Max is quite happy to be the only child again. Since we've had Pete, I've noticed Max withdrawing a bit even though the two of them got along so well. I think Max immediately takes the omega position when other dogs are in the house so he doesn't get on the bed or couch without some coaxing. Unfortunately I don't know how that will work when we find a second dog to adopt. We don't want Max to think he's being ousted but only one dog in the house just isn't enough. Hopefully the problem will work itself out when we find out perfect second dog.

Birthday stash!

The stitching girls (ahem...women) got together on thursday to celebrate my birthday (belated). With everyone really busy with holidays and life, it's always tough to celebrate everyone's birthday at the right time, so we get together when we can.

This year I got some great stuff from everyone which makes starteritis a big issue (ok, a bigger issue than usual). In the stitching area, I got a 2-yr subscription to an online stitching magazine which is cool! First, it's all online so when a new issue is released, I get an email, then I just go download the issue and only print out the patterns I like. The internet is cool! I also got two great patterns: Autumn Fairy Spirit and Stained Glass Tabletopper. I also got the specialty fibers for two Liz Turner Diehl patterns I have (from Sue who ALREADY gave me 25 skeins of yarn for my afghan!). Jenni gave me a whole handful of stuff: the Peacock Feathers shawl I've been drooling over, then she also included 2 hanks of Peacock green laceweight yarn AND a pair of circular knitting needles I could use! It's funny that the two best gifts I gotten this year are both for knitting stuff.

The timing is great since I just finished my Angel Lace Shawl so as soon as I finish my second afghan square I'll be starting the Peacock shawl. What a great haul this year!