Muddy puppies will grow into dogs

a pup 5/30/09Yesterday was a rainy, humid, day. But puppies don’t care about muddy feet, floors or food bowls – they just want to play! And so, against my wishes but in line with my instincts I let them out when the rain had let up a bit. They had a blast! They were rolling around with Chloe and chasing each other and basically getting into the best kind of puppy trouble – the dirty kind. And I noticed something, how much Chloe seems to really enjoy being a mama.

Now we’ve had a series of mamas and each has been different; Bella, our first, was a strict mama, her tag line would be “now cut it out all of you and behave!”. Sweetie, our mama from last year would have the tag line, “Here’s how to be in submission, and here, and here and here…now get me out of here!”. And Annie‘s would be, “Where’s my KONG? Where is it? Oh, you want to nurse – FINE, hurry up I have to find my KONG!!” But Chloe’s would be “Hi you guys! How are you? Wanna wrestle? OK! I love you all.” It is heartwarming and so sweet to watch. I can’t wait for a warm sunny day to get some video on it to share with all of you.

Chloe and her pups 5/30/09Puppy adoption interviews are going well. I’ve met some wonderful families full of love and eager to share it with a puppy. Watching them choose a puppy makes me wonder what is it exactly that we respond to in a puppy? Mostly I think it is looks and what those looks tell us about the kind of dog we hope it will be. But what most people don’t realize is that the description of the kind of dog the puppy will be is really just a story – an invention made up of what that puppy represents, how it reminds them of a past pet, or is the opposite of a past pet, that sort of thing. Most people don’t really chose based on temperament (though, with this group you can’t go wrong – with a mama like Chloe) or energy level match – though some do go into the process with those ideas in mind. But I tell you, I can tell a family that given their set of criteria one puppy would be better than another but most don’t listen once they have gotten their eyes on a pup – they just fall in love and the story line begins.


Puppy update on Miley

Here is a note received from one of Sweetie‘s puppy families. Kaylee and her family adopted a pup we called her Ryan, they renamed her Miley. This is from their daughter, Miley’s owner. Thanks Kaylee!

Hey, Miley (Ryan) is doing really good!! I can’t believe she’s one already! I love Miley!! We named her Miley now!!!! I try to take her on a walk everyday!!! I feed her at 3:00 pm. everyday! My Mom feeds her at 5:00am. everyday, and Miley goes in my Mom’s room and licks face at 5:00am. everyday!!!! She sleeps in my room since I got her a really big bed! She’s up to my knee, and I am “58” and a foot and a half from the ground to my knee! Miley weighs 40lbs! She’s still a little skittish around some kids. But she’s doing really good! She can jump through 2 hula-hoops, sit, lay down,shake, and lots more! She loves to bark at other dogs when they walk by! I can’t pick her up anymore! Miley grew a lot since we got her! When I come home from school she jumps on me like she hasn’t seen me in a year! She does it when we come home from the store too! I’ll try to send you some pictures of when we first got her and what she looks like now! Thank you for Miley! She is the best dog ever! She fits in our family perfectly!

From, Kaylee

Happy birthday to Sweetie’s puppies

We received a note from one of Sweetie‘s adoptive families reminding us it is that litter’s birthday! Thanks for the reminder, Barb… here is her note and a photo of Mia.

Mia is 1 year old

Mia is one year old

I know you’re busy with a new litter of (very cute) puppies, but we thought today would be a perfect day to let you know how Mia‘s doing, since it’s her first birthday. I’ve also attached her official first birthday portrait 🙂  Mia is loving agility training! She is a natural born jumper. She will jump over hurdles and through tires all day. She even likes the tunnel. She has turned out to be pretty skittish (new things really rock her world – don’t leave a cabinet door open, or empty a room of furniture for the carpet cleaners – these really freak her out). Agility class has really helped her be more comfortable with noise and change, but it’s an ongoing issue. 


May 22, 2009 • Tags: , , • Posted in: puppy update, story update, Sweetie • No Comments

Chloe and pups settling in

Chloe and pups 5/19/09Getting the family at week 3 is so different! I realize that usually by now I have all the puppies identified by personality – who is more outgoing, who is more vocal, that sort of thing. But the best I can do now is count them, and there always seems to be the same one missing… she’s always off in some corner snoozing all by herself. It could be the same puppy each time, or another one who looks like her, there are three tricolor pups…who knows? I made sure that I held each one tonight and said “hello.” The one mostly white male with back dew claws does stand out for me but that’s about it. The rest I can identify in my mind but have no idea who is who. There are two pairs of pups who look similar, one male and one female each. And I think one of the golden ones that looks like the white one is a male too – he’s got the cutest face! It is crazy how cute he is. I know I say this each and every time but THESE are the cutest puppies ever…

Chloe is a dream. I walked her today with the “pack” – my four and my neighbor’s. She did well, better than Sweetie and way better than Annie. She is a calm dog, submissive and willing to listen but likes to run away from me when I want to “nab” her to bring her inside or to brush her. She has asked for snuggles a lot more than I thought she would so soon. She is a very loving dog. Someone is going to be WAY lucky to have her.

May 20, 2009 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Chloe, observations, pups • No Comments

Puppies are coming! Puppies are coming!

The phone rang early this morning. H.E.L.P. has a mama dog and her seven 4-week old pups in need. As is often the case, we know very little about this group, but we will soon enough – they will be here in a few hours!

Here is what we do know. The mama is believed to be a 40lb Golden Retreiver mix. She had her litter of pups four weeks ago and is coing to us via the same shelter in Fulton County Illinois that brought Sweetie and Annie into our lives.  If you haven’t, you should read up on their stories here on

So put back on your daily reading list – we will be writing, posting photos & videos of this new fostering experience!

Sienna bounds like a doe

Here is another update on a puppy from the Sweetie litter we fostered in the summer of 2008.  Little Cookie has grown into a fine Sienna!  Here is a note and photo from her forever family…

Sienna smiles in 2009

Sienna smiles in 2009

I  adopted Sienna a/k/a Cookie several months back. She’s close to 8 months now and doing great. She’s a beautiful teen pup (around 40 lb. now) but much sweeter than a human teenager. Sienna is still the best dog ever. She’s so smart and so good. She only chews her rawhide bones or toys (occasionally a cat toy), but not our shoes or anything else (yet). She knows how to roll over and leave it (leaving her food or anything else until we say okay – save for live animals); she’s been doing these tricks for awhile. I wish I had the time and resources to get her into agility or something fun like that – she would be so good at it. We take her for plenty of walks so she can release some energy and so I can feel like I’m getting a work out. We have a little lake near our house that makes for a good mile or so walk there and back, and she loves chasing the ducks away. She loves making us run after her with a frisbee in her mouth, thus we have yet to teach her to catch a frisbee and bring it back. You should see how fast she is. She leaps and bounds like a doe. Another reason she’d be great at agility. She still goes to my mom’s house once a week for play dates, as my mom is still unemployed and has an older dog (Buddy, purebred white cocker). Sienna’s helped teach him good pack behavior, since he was always a loner dog before meeting her. `Although she has tons of energy, she loves to sleep and cuddle too. She still sleeps in bed with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.