Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hopes and Wishes in a New Year

Zoey and Faith sure enjoy being together. When they were tiny, they were frequently together in the random pictures I took so I find it ironic that they remain together. Faith is sitting up in the picture.

I had the puppies in front (it is fenced) and they literally stop traffic on our street. A mom and her two sweet kids made a U turn to see puppies; I invited them in and got some really great pictures, if I do not say so myself. It is hard not to take great pictures with cute puppies and cute kids together!

A puppy rule that every kid in the neighborhood knows not to violate is "do not pick up the puppy" and so all of these pictures are because the puppy initiated the interaction. This is Whitby with his new friend.

This is cute and quiet Sydney.

Sydney decided that she had just about enough of Hudson and his movie star looks so she decided to try and maim him. Heidi will like Sydney quite a bit!

I am not sure which puppy this is but I love the picture :)

Sutton is not as big as the other boys but he sure is lovely, isn't he?

This is guess who doing guess what...sigh...

Rock Star aka Hudson

Another look at the future star...

Sutton thought this girl was delightful, especially because her hair was such a clever tug toy!

Puppies are not unlike people -- they hurt us, they love us, and we always go back for more.

Geneva is the smallest girl -- she is a petite darling and QUIET. I bet she would not even be noticed on the two acre grounds of a small hotel! And I am certain the California air would agree with her -- doesn't she look like Kaibab's Get Real?!

Or maybe quiet, sweet Geneva could be Kaibab's Gotta Be Kidding??

Look at how sweet this picture is - I love it!

Happy New Year!! I am looking forward to 2009 and will spend some time this morning writing out hopes and wishes for the year. This is really a gentler way of saying that I will be goal setting but a goal sounds so important, as if not achieving it would constitute failure. Hopes and wishes lay out a vision, and just seems kind and optimistic.

I certainly hope and wish our Glitterati will continue to thrive and be happy. I hope and wish that I will make the right choices of homes for them -- such a big responsibility that weighs heavily on me. Right now a woman in California is trying to convince her husband that three berners would be just fine and that a quiet Glitterati would fit right in (hence the references in the pictures). He responded in a most clever way -- never have I seen "HELL NO" and "OVER MY DEAD BODY"presented so poetically! Sometimes the best home is just not available to a puppy, and sometimes a great puppy is not available for a wonderful home. This matchmaking process is a challenging one with so many pieces that have to fall neatly into place.

Puppy assignments will not be made until they are 7.5 weeks old. I will be keeping a girl and could never pick a favorite puppy -- how sad would that be?! Picking a favorite means rejecting others, and I love them all. Therefore, my puppy will be picked on something more objective -- her structure. Whichever girl is the "best" in terms of her structure will stay with me. Of course, this assumes good temperament but I have no concerns with temperament. So the girl that we think is most "correct" will stay with me; I suspect this will not be an easy choice as all of the girls are quite lovely.

Although we may well have several in the litter who can finish championships and are therefore show puppies, not all will be placed in show homes. Many so-called "pet" puppies are just as lovely as "show" puppies, but are just not in a show home. I limit the number of show homes and so this limits how many puppies get designated as show puppies. A show puppy is not spayed or neutered until the championship is done; therefore, I limit placement of show puppies, and I am very careful about the people I trust with them.

What are your hopes and wishes for this new year? Whatever they are, my hope and wish is that you enjoy the journey they take you on. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful and Happy New Year.

P.S. One advantage of not drinking is that it is 6:30 a.m. on New Year's Day and I am clear headed and off to walk my dogs ;) Hope your day gets off to an equally good start!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Picture Perfect Afternoon

WOW! Look what I figured out! Kathy and Joan will be so happy to have the pictures explained :) The above is Sutton trying to make off with Bella's leash.

Okay, I have already admitted that Jamaica is a wee bit barky -- here she is standing on the porch and barking for reasons known only to her. Sigh.

This is Pugsly -- I mean Whitby. He has one seriously cute face!

Joan brought Bella to meet the puppies and here she is greeting Faith. Notice Faith's gray coat -- this is normal, although unusual. Her adult coat will be black -- this is a puppy coat thing. Bella is Faith's aunt because she is Halo's littermate.

This is Joan and Sutton.

Geneva is looking up at the camera and Jamaica took a break from talking to chew on a bush.

Elizabethanne brought her poodle, Chase, over to meet puppies -- here is Ireland saying hey! to Chase.

Okay, so she is a little vocal -- but look how cute Jamaica is!

But Sydney is also adorable -- and more quiet!

But Jamaica is so adorable and has so much personality -- decisions, decisions...

Hudson -- well, there is a reason we call him Rock Star.

The puppies had fun tormenting Chase. Their previously perfected rotation attack methods came in very handy as they were able to tag team. Luckily for Chase, he is significantly faster and more agile!

Here is Bella greeting her youngest cousins or whatever relationship they are :)

Toronto -- isn't he too cute?!

As you can see from the pictures, the puppies had a busy day yesterday. They met two dogs and spent time outside. Elizabethanne agrees this is a rather noisy litter but she blames Cadi for this attribute (if it is from Cadi, clearly it is an attribute). I know, of course, that the bark gene comes directly down from Ready, who is Cadi's great-grandfather; bad weather and bad luck can also be blamed on Ready ;)

The puppies did great with the two dogs. They were playful and curious, and are starting to trot and run. Jamaica fancies herself a border collie and tried to nip at Chase's heels but he was too fast for her. Bella was not sure what to think about all her small relatives but was a good sport, which is a good thing-- she will soon have a Glitterati boy sharing her home (and tormenting her, no doubt).

I hope your day is picture perfect! Happy New Year from us and be safe if you are celebrating (or even if you are not!). Thanks for your visit.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Confidence in Baby Steps

As you can see from the photos, the puppies enjoyed (sort of) some time outside yesterday. It was interesting to watch their reactions -- a few were quite unsure about that cold white stuff and the new place. When I let Cadi out to join them, all were instantly fine. It reminded me how confidence starts from the outside -- if a puppy or child does not get chances to be competent and experience new things in a safe, secure way then s/he learns to be fearful. But if we support them and their efforts to step out on their own, then they learn to be confident and sure of themselves.

That said, it is also true that people and puppies arrive with a temperament. The idea that babies and puppies are blank slates that we can mold and shape into what we want is not really true -- they have hard wiring that we must learn to work with. Part of what I love about training dogs is that each one presents unique intellectual and creative challenges to me because they are so different, even though they are related and have been raised together.

Zoey and Faith, from the F Litter, are good examples. Faith is bomb proof and loves everyone and everything. She is sweet and friendly and just a love. Zoey, who was the wild and bold puppy in that litter, sometimes takes just a minute to warm up to new people and places. You can see her brain working as she sizes things up and makes a determination about what to do. I recognize Zoey's temperament because it is familiar -- Asia (her full sister, age 17 mos) was like that. And so I know what to do to help Zoey grow in her confidence, and I also know not to worry about it -- she will be fine. In fact, she will be more than fine -- Asia is my easiest and most devoted dog, and Zoey appears to be following in her pawprints.

Cadi's temperament is like Faith -- bombproof. She was born with confidence and it only grew. You could see her spark from the time she was a tiny puppy. Nothing bothers Cadi -- except elephants. She had an elephant encounter on one of our walks -- the zoo is close and the elephant fence is right by the sidewalk. Cadi and the elephant surprised each other, and ever since that happened she has not liked elephants or even the zoo. Luckily, we rarely encounter elephants!

Cadi does have more energy than is really safe for one berner to possess. Her tail is known as a dangerous weapon and she also likes to fling herself at the feet of everyone and anyone. When someone comes over or comes home, she grabs something to carry and runs around happily carrying whatever it is in her mouth. She loves everyone and is just a very happy dog. And Cadi is brilliant in a very clever way. When she was a puppy she figured out that putting her stuffed kong in a hole would help her get at the filling better -- it was like she was using a tool! She still does this, and really does amaze me at what she can puzzle out.

I am feeling very positive about the temperaments in this litter. The Glitterati are more vocal than the F Litter -- I am not sure what this means yet. They are curious and engaging. This morning I put a box in their pen and watched as they climbed on it (and fell off). Zoey and I went in to sit with them -- they love to play with Zoey. Sutton was barking and play bowing, and all took turns with Zoey and also sitting in my lap. They are better at mouth-eye coordination and can now grab my hair -- ouch.

We are starting to be able to tell some things about structure. As we expected, we have lovely rears and so far the toplines look great. Cadi and Jed both have nice heads and the puppies take after their parents. The eyes are darkening up well -- Cadi had black eyes as a puppy and I think we will have no light eyes in this litter. They are very fluffy -- this is one thing we were looking for by breeding to Jed -- Cadi does not have enough coat so I am pleased to see puppies with tons of it. They are still cobby little puppies, and this is also what we were looking for. No puppy is freaky or spooky, and I am very happy about that. I love how interactive and friendly they are, and of course, I have to say that they are even more adorable than yesterday.

It is time that I have to get serious about puppy placements -- my least favorite part of breeding. I have sent away a couple of people recently who wrote or called and basically said, "got pups?" I probably should be more understanding but I find those inquiries offensive. We put so much into breeding these dogs well and there is so much info out there on the dogs and their families that when people ignore all of that and want a puppy -- any puppy -- it just bugs me. I know we all have to learn sometime and I do direct them to resources so hopefully they will learn the ropes and how to make a better first impression, but I guess I want smarter puppy owners -- ones who do their homework and appreciate what we are trying to accomplish.

I am excited about the homes that will be getting a Glitterati puppy -- I have committed most but not all puppies. I will ask the new families to provide an introduction so that you can all get to know them.

I have dogs to walk so let me get to the pictures. The first one is Whitby attempting the steps -- he is doing pretty well, don't you think? Sydney found a nice place to curl up and chew things, and that is her with the hose and football. Galen had taken a puppy in and I was counting heads and getting six -- not good. I counted three times, double checked that Galen had just one and went off looking for the stray. I found her in a large hole the big dogs have dug over the years -- that little adventurer was Jamaica and she was nonplussed at her predicament.

The two puppies together are Sydney and Jamaica, and there are two pictures of Ireland -- a lovely profile of her standing and then one of her sitting. Hudson is in the photo coming towards the camera and the group shot is a test! Can you name all the puppies in that picture?

I hope you have a wonderful day doing things you are good at doing, and growing in your confidence as a result. Thanks for your visit and also your fun comments.


Sam and Liz are one of the Lucky Glitterati Families, and I asked them to share pictures of their holiday in Brazil. Liz sent these pictures (and descriptions) this morning from Brazil (isn't the internet grand?) -- it looks like they are having a bit too much fun! And Kiko, the many emotioned pug, seems to be having fun with grandma -- does grandma do berners?!

The pictures did not upload in order so consider it a mystery to match Liz's description to the correct picture!

1. I couldn't resist attaching one of Kiko, who is sleeping on his bed at his grandma's house
2. There is one of me and Sam drinking coconut water out of young green coconuts in front of the Senhor do Bonfim church (a famous cathedral) in Salvador, Brazil.
3. Me and Sam sitting at a restaurant drinking Chopp (draft beer) right on the beach watching the sunset
4. Sam with me, Sam's dad, Sam's aunt Marinalva, his cousin Alessandra at her condo that overlooks the beach
5. A beautiful presentation of a traditional meal in Salvador: Moqueca -- a stew made with fish, shrimp, octopus, coconut milk, spices, and red palm oil, a little bowl of farofa (cassava flour mixed with egg), a little bowl of rice, and a little bowl of Vatapa (paste made of shrimp, farofa, coconut milk). Salvador, Bahia (Salvador is the city, Bahia is the state) has a population of over 80% people from African descent, because when Portugal colonized Brazil this is where the ships of African slaves were taken. Today, the culture, food, music, art, and dancing are brimming and rich with African influence and history.
6. Another I couldn't resist: Grandma giving treats to her two grandson's, Kiko and my sister's Jack Russell (now called Parsons Russell I believe) named Chico.
7. I don't know if you can see this very well, but it is a photo of a Brazilian martial arts troup. The Brazilian martial art is called Capoeira (pronounced cap-wet-a) and it was created right here in Salvador. It was devised by African slaves who wanted to prepare and train for a revolt and it was made to look like dancing so that the slave masters could not detect that slaves were training in a very deadly form of martial art.
8. A photo of a very bright green iguana hanging out in a tree about three feet from our restaurant table. This restaurant was called Paraiso Tropical and its chef is world renowned and everything he serves comes directly from his orchards and gardens, which you can tour right at the restaurant.
9. Two giant sea turtles at the Tamar Projeto (Turtle Project) -- the Tamar Projeto has locations all around Brazil and its goal is to ensure the continuation of the species. The one we visited was at a very beautiful beach called Praia do Forte.
10. Me and Sam in the Pelourinho -- The Pelourinho is a very famous square in Salvador and all of the colonial-style architecture has been preserved. It used to be a place where African slaves were put into a stockade, but now serves as a center of African-influenced culture, food, and shopping. It's a beautiful place with an eerie history. It also houses the museum of the famous Bahaian novelist, Jorge Amado.
11. Sam lapping up the sun on the beautiful beach of Guarajuba. You can see the blue water behind him (which was very warm!).
12. Sam with his dad, his cousin Felipe, and his step-mom, Fatima at the Praia do Villas (Praia means beach).

Something Different

I normally correct any little errors I see but today's Blog is a PowerPoint and a pain to change now that it is posted so ignore errors please! I hope you enjoy this...