Tag Archives: Pflouff

Day 4

Today was Pax’s turn at the vet. We got a “senior” package for him this year that included x-rays and a teeth cleaning. Since I’m home on vacation, I figured this was a good time to get that done.

His teeth and x-rays were terrific, but they found a couple of weird things. First, he had infections in both ears. Now, before you think I’m a horrible pet parent, he showed ZERO sign. No scratching, head shaking, sensitivity — not even a weird smell in his ears (and yes, I do check). Not only were his ears infected, but they were impacted with hair! Icky. They did a deep cleaning and said he never showed any signs (head shaking, sensitivty, etc.) even after that!

Second, when they went in to clean his teeth, they found two long gouges in his tongue — also impacted with hair. How gross is that? The vet said that he probably cut his tongue on a bone or a sharp chewy, and then got hair stuck in it when licking himself. He grooms himself a lot, so I can totally see that. Still… oogie.

He’s home now, and sleeping. He hasn’t eaten yet or showed interest in anything except sleeping. Poor guy.

River had a hard day too. He fell on his head — twice! Let’s not go into these bad parenting moments. Sigh. (He’s fine.)

His day wasn’t a total loss though. With Pax at the vet, River finally got some quality time with Pflouff. They’re not playing, exactly, but there’s definite positive interaction. Lots of it, actually. Wish I had pictures, but I drained the camera battery last night.

The only problem is that Pflouff plays really rough, so I kept having to shut her down (by cautioning “gentle”). Her play style is very physical — lots of body slams, jumping and punching with the feet. She jumped at River twice and scared him. He’s just not up for that kind of play yet. She outweighs him… just a little bit. 😉

What did we train today? Mmmm… mostly I did sessions with the target from the Manners Minder. I LOVE that target. Being able to send him out to a target will be critical in teaching him handling for blinds in field work, so I wanted to get a jump on it. I also did a few reps of sit in heel position, some informal puppy recalls, and a few puppy retrieves with stuffed toys.

Housebreaking is going fabulously. Really, really well. (I have to get my brags now, because next week when I have to go back to work, all this early work will go to hell in a handbasket.) We have a VERY high success rate outside. Whenever I see him get distracted and start sniffing, I scoop him up and carry him outside. The only mistakes have come when I’m distracted — hence the reason things will go badly beginning next week! A couple of times he has even gone to the door to let me know he’s thinking about going outside. Good boy!

To be clear, though, at this point, he is NOT housebroken, and the success is due much more to my vigilence than his bladder control. He is learning to hold it, but that’s a relatively new conscious capability for him, and it will be a while before he gets it all figured out. In the meantime, it will be up to me to ensure he experiences success outside, not inside.

Sorry I don’t have any pictures today. Hopefully I can get a picture of the dogs together tomorrow. I’d like to get some video too. Wonder if my camera is charged up…?

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Pflouff’s first shows

We did it! We did our first shows and didn’t suffer abject humiliation. We survived the weekend and are even still on speaking terms. (Friday night, not so much.)

The weekend started Thursday night when Jay and I put Pflouff on the kitchen table with the Manners Minder — bless the Manners Minder — and brushed her out. Friday morning I took her down to the local pet wash and bathed her, and then at noon I took her to the show grounds so Jenni, her breeder, could groom her for the show. I know nothing about grooming, and I’m terrified of scissoring her. What if I do it wrong? Jenni said it’s just fur, and it will grow back, but STILL.

Jenni spent maybe an hour on her, and she looked so much better when she was done. It’s August, plus she’s blowing out the last of her puppy coat, so she doesn’t have a lot of coat right now. The most noticible thing to me is that she has a flat top on her head. She has lost the poof of puppy fur, but her adult fur hasn’t grown in completely. So she had to go out in public with flat hair!

There was a fun match on Friday at 4, and Jenni thought it would be a good idea for me and Pflouff to enter. That gave us a chance to get in the ring once before the “real thing” on Saturday. The fun match had a class for 4-6 month old puppies (which is younger than allowed at sanctioned shows), so Jenni showed her 4.5 month old puppy (and Pflouff’s half brother), Darwin.

There. Were. So. Many. Dogs. The match had at least 200 dogs entered, and so it was 6:30 before we got our turn. Pflouff was absolutely done before she even went in the ring. It had been a LONG day for both of us. Fortunately, there was no pressure, so we just went in and tried to do what we were supposed to do. She lost to Darwin, but he ended up getting Best Puppy in Match (of all breeds), so I don’t feel bad about that.

She held it together so well on Friday, even though it was a super long day. I’m constantly impressed by how well she handles the show environment. She doesn’t lunge at other dogs; she just kind of takes it in. She caught on pretty quickly to what I wanted her to do in the ring too.

We had to show at 9 on Saturday, so we were up and out early. Jenni got her cleaned up, and walked me through the show process. She really took care of me this weekend, and I REALLY appreciate it! The show on Saturday was the most successful. I was shaking like a leaf, but Pflouff did everything I asked her to. I wish we had photos from that day, because I’m pretty sure she looked a lot better.

Sunday we showed at 10, so we didn’t have to be out as early. I wasn’t nervous on Sunday, but Pflouff was less together. We were just discombobulated in the ring. She jumped around a bit, wanted to sniff when gaiting, and wanted to sit instead of stack. I expect she was just plain tired. It was a long weekend!

There were three dogs in her class each day, including her sister Inky. The third dog was a bronze. Jay brought the camera on Sunday, and we got some photos. This first picture was when we first walked in the ring and set up. I’m at the back of the line. Jenni is in the middle and obviously knows what she’s doing.

Here’s another picture of us, after we gaited around and set up for individual examination:

This final picture is (obviously) Pflouff gaiting. I wore black pants and black shoes, and unfortunately that makes it look like Pflouff has five legs. Trust me she doesn’t. Just the four standard issue ones. Her back is a little rounded there — I’m betting I was trying to hold her head up. That choke chain is about to choke the life out of her. (Saturday really was better.)

Oh well, like I said, we survived — and that’s the important thing, right? I don’t know that it was the most fun she has ever had, but she seemed to really enjoy the time out with me. She was excellent in the car — rode quietly and waited to be asked before jumping out — and she wasn’t bad on leash. If someone actually trained her, she’d do really well!

After we showed on Sunday, Jay and I went to the 3C’s truck and spent a fortune. We bought a nice grooming table, arm, and loop and a pair of nice thinning shears. They didn’t have the blower I want, so we didnt’ have to drop the cash on that one. Jay was a sweetheart who supported every bit of it. (He even darned the big hole in my pants pocket on Saturday night!)

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It’s official: Pflouff’s first show is 8/22

Jenni Lott called me this morning and told me I had 3 hours to get Pflouff registered for the Redmond shows. Probably didn’t want to give me a chance to back out!

It’s technically three days of shows, but Pflouff is entered only on Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to bathe her on Friday, and then take her over to the show grounds so Jenni can turn her into a show dog. I’ve got a lot of raking to do between now and then to get all the old coat out. Thankfully, she’s not matted.

I panicked as soon as I made the decision to do it. Pflouff will likely be in heat — her sisters are in now — and she is just under a year old, so she has teenager brain. Jenni has Inky entered in the same classes, so I’ll have to do my own showing. The problem with this is that Pflouff is just plain untrained! Oy.

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Pflouff and Aslan

Aslan has been smitten with Pflouff since she entered this house. Just one or two “lessons” from him early on (roaring, not even putting his teeth on her), and she has been the perfect playmate — completely respectful, but a great wrestling partner when he wants one.

Sigh. Until today.

Aslan got his summer haircut today. A couple of years ago we began shaving him for the summer. Murder on the coat, but he’s just a pet, and he’s sooooo happy when he’s cool and comfy. Well, he came home from the groomer tired, cranky — and looking completely different. As soon as he got out of the car, he and Pflouff were fence fighting.

I’m used to him being growly after grooming and vet appointments, so I just separated him from the others. I’m using an ex-pen, so he’s not banished… just not able to interact with them.

Problem is, PFLOUFF won’t let it go. He has had a nap and dinner and a chance to stretch his legs and relax, and he’s feeling much happier. But Pflouff apparently thinks he’s the devil incarnate. She went charging up to him hackles raised and barking when I went up to feed him a treat. (He, I’m glad to report, was more interested in the food than in her. So he got extra!)

I’m hoping that with a few more hours this evening plus a good night’s sleep, they’ll be back to normal tomorrow.

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End of vacation blues

My vacation was fabulous. Didn’t go anywhere special or do anything earth-shattering… and that was wonderful. Great weather, freedom to just relax and hang out, quality time with my husband and the critters. Loved it! (Did I mention the great weather? SUN, warm temps, and lots of spring color. Heaven!)

Today is my birthday. Low key, just like I like it. We forgot to make timely reservations, so Jay and I went out to diner at The Melting pot last night. Yum! A splurge, but it was a yummy splurge. We’re going out with neighbors tomorrow night — not technically a birthday celebration, but I can pretend, right?

My mom told me to do something exciting today, so we bathed Pflouff. It was definitely exciting, though more so for her than for us. I quicked one of her nails, and DANG that girl can bleed. I’ve quicked nails before, and yes, they seem to bleed a lot and forever, but I’ve never seen one bleed like this. It bled for TWO HOURS. We packed it with styptic powder twice at the pet wash, and then I packed it twice more when I got home. If it hadn’t worked that last time I was going to take her to the vet.

Poor Pflouff. I was going to try to clip the hair between her pads, but I think she had enough foot trauma today, so I let it go. I trimmed her ears just a little. I wasn’t happy with my thinning shears though. They were cutting more than thinning, and so the line on her ears was too… unnatural. I was afraid to do any other trimming, because we want to put her in a show in early June.

I am SO intimidated by grooming!

Anyway, the day’s excitement is over, and so is my vacation. Back to work on Monday… and I’m not looking forward to it. (I told Jay on the way to dinner last night that we needed to rob a bank so I didn’t have to go back, but ridiculously honest man that he is, he wouldn’t go for it.) Please know that I am very, very grateful to have a job to go back to… I’m just feeling the end-of-vacation blues. I think I’ll send Jay for a lottery ticket.

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