Saturday, January 31, 2009

Big Excitement!

Today Sydney started going to the front door when she wants to go potty! That is indeed Big Excitement in my book :)

Can you believe it was ten weeks ago that the Glitterati arrived? A ten week old puppy is still such a baby and yet there is so much they are having to learn. In the past two weeks those little babies had to leave their family and join a new one. They had to begin to learn all kinds of skills -- about peeing, biting, coming when called (or not), where to sleep, who to love, what to chew (or not) and so on -- and they have to do all this while still such a small little creature. It is a wonder that their little heads do not explode!

It sounds like all the Glitter puppies are doing well and honoring the Puppy Job Description -- do you remember that from October? Here it is again:

"Puppies must be cute and fluffy, capable of melting the stoniest heart. The puppy must scamper playfully, sleep soundly, and be very happy and excited about everything. Must love people, other dogs, cats, and their mother. Must be capable of peeing every 30 minutes, preferably away from the designated potty area. Must love pine cones, sticks, grass, flowers, bugs, toys of all kinds, water bottles, the wind, and everything else on the planet. Those wishing to be puppies must have sharp teeth and good biting skills, and be willing to exercise those skills at all times and on all objects and people. Must have a repertoire of cute sounds, including barking, growling and whining. Must be able to sustain whining for at least 30 minutes and preferably between 2 and 3 a.m. Must be capable of eating every 12 minutes and exhibiting all signs of starvation ten minutes after eating. Must jump on people playfully, lick innocently and bite wickedly. Must grow by leaps and bounds and scampers!"

Sometimes we forget that puppies are not small dogs -- they are babies. So many of the things they do are exactly what they should be doing given their stage in life, and we cannot and should not punish a puppy for being who and what they are. In fact, we should learn from them about authenticity!

I thought you might enjoy seeing an F Litter girl -- this is Maya (Darby) who lives in Virginia. She looks so much like her older full sister, Asia, to me.

Grandma Cindy sent this cute picture of Glitterati Mika (Ireland) now living in California with John and Kristine.

And now some pictures from Sydney's afternoon -- first on the agenda was getting a bath from the Assistant Feline Puppy Nanny, Karma.

All clean from her bath, Sydney enjoys some girl talk with her sleepy cousin, Asia.

Finally, Sydney settles in for a nap, thankful for such a soft and patient big cousin.

I hope you are enjoying being who and what you are, but hopefully that does not involve biting anyone or peeing on the rug!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Little Bit of News

Things are settling down nicely here in Montana. We still cannot drive the van to the house but have gotten used to driving the big truck the three miles to the van. The electrician found "loose connections" and repaired those so I think we are safe. And it is supposed to be above freezing during the day for the next week -- maybe some of the ice will melt?!

Specialty Training Week One has gone very well. I am very happy with how well Zoey is tracking and added a turn to today's track, which she did without trouble. I met all of Cadi's training goals -- five days of obedience, three days of agility, and two days of tracking! How can I accomplish so much?? Consider that there is not that much to do out here! I work, hang out with Galen, hike with the dogs and train them. I will make some adjustments in Week Two and get ready to check off more little boxes :)

This is a picture I took this evening from our deck as the sun was going down -- isn't it lovely?

Now that Cadi and Sydney have reached an agreement to stop nursing, they are playing more together. Here is Cadi, Sydney and Zoey having a three way tug with a toy.

Sydney went to work again today and also did two little hikes so she is tired. Actually, I think she is just resting up so she can be our 3:30 a.m. wake up call again tomorrow -- sigh...

Did I already mention Maize's news? I do not think so... Maize had ten puppies in two litters -- all ten have been evaluated for hips and elbows. All ten cleared hips and 8/10 cleared elbows -- a very good rate for each (although we wish the elbows were 100% also). In addition, Molly (human, age 13) and Fiona (Maize's daughter) earned an agility title this past weekend, and that made four working titled offspring for Mrs. Maize -- so she is a Top Producer of Working Titled Dogs! Maize is the Glitterati Grandma so you can see those puppies have good stuff behind them :)

I hope you have things to celebrate -- if nothing seems obvious, keep looking because there is always something!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sydney's First Day of School

Sydney spent the day at my office at the university and her Auntie Heidi even took her lunch break when I taught so she could puppy sit! Sydney met all kinds of new people and did a great job.

In addition to people, Sydney loves her cats! Karma pushed a pen off the counter so that Sydney could chew on it -- isn't she nice?!

Worn out from her busy day, Sydney uses Noah as a soft pillow.

And Sue sent this lovely picture of Ruben (formerly Hudson) -- isn't he handsome?? He is probably wondering what happened to all the snow!

I certainly hope you are having a wonderful day, filled with good friends!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Social Sydney and Specialty Plans

It was a lovely day here! The water ran, no smoke from electrical sockets, the truck is not stuck, and the blue sky and bright sun made the snow look like a field of diamonds. Yes, it was cold but at least it was above zero! I walked all the dogs, tracked with three of them, set up the training room downstairs and practiced one jump agility and some obedience with Cadi. For my efforts I was able to check off quite a few little boxes on the sheet titled, "Specialty Training, Week One" that is prominently featured on the frig.

The National Specialty is a Big Deal to me, and I like to do well with my dogs. That is easier when one has just a couple of dogs, but suddenly I find myself with SIX and that is a bit overwhelming -- so I decided I must be organized if I am to achieve my Specialty goals.

The first thing I did was goal setting. I sat down and wrote out my goals for each dog, and then I reflected on what was realistic and revised them a bit. Based on the goals, I set up a training schedule for the week and will do this each week until the Specialty. Let me give you an example -- Cadi-Bug will be in Novice B obedience, agility, the TDX test (if she gets in), rally, and possibly draft. If she has coat back, she will also do the whole beauty pageant thing but that doesn't require much in the way of training.

So, for this week (I started on Friday so the week goes Friday - Friday) Cadi has to track twice, do five days of obedience, and three days of agility. I never practice for rally so that is not on the schedule and if I do draft, we will just practice for 4 -5 weeks prior so that is also not on the schedule. We are doing well -- the two tracking boxes are already checked off, three obedience boxes are checked, and one agility box is checked -- pretty good considering it is barely ten degrees here and it is only Monday night.

And so each dog has a training goal for the week -- well, the dog doesn't but I do FOR the dog :) Even Zoey is on the schedule -- she has to track three times a week and already two of her three boxes are checked off! I cannot decide what to do with my life but by golly, I can check off boxes :)

The semester starts tomorrow, and Galen has his first day of classes. I will miss the peace of mind that a Puppy Nanny provides and still cannot believe he is choosing college over a life as a Puppy Nanny -- clearly I did not raise him well enough :( Sydney is going to work with me and will hang in my office for some of the time, and sleep in her crate in the van the rest of the time. I am planning to make her a therapy dog and so got permission for her to sometimes come to work -- she starts tomorrow :)

Sydney is quite social, and she really likes the other dogs in the family. In this first picture she is chilling with her grandma Maize.

And in this picture Sydney is cuddling up with her cousin, Asia.

I sure hope you have someone -- two or four legged -- to cuddle up with, and that instead of endless snow you see the field of glittering diamonds :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Windy Fun

Here is nine week old Sydney showing what fun can be had with a plastic bag and a good, stiff wind...

Good Question

Kaibab's Good Question would have been an excellent G litter name! But it isn't -- it is just the topic of today, based on an email that I got from Carol, who always asks such good questions.

The question of the day is that given all I seem to have in Salt Lake City, why Montana? Why not stay put in Utah? This is a question I ask myself a lot.

After teaching part-time for the many years I was in school, I got my first full-time faculty position at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I spent three happy years there but wanted to go west, since that is where I am from, and so I took a position at the University of Utah. I immediately knew it had been a mistake -- but I cannot really say that because so many good things came from my time in Utah. But I will say that the "climate" at the School of Social Work was not a good one and I could tell that right away.

Things went okay for a few years as we had a wonderful administration who kept things balanced but suddenly they all moved on or retired and a new Dean came in who did not understand the unique dynamics of the school -- it was a disaster, and especially for me, who had enjoyed the protection and good will of former administrators.

I went from Golden to dust in a matter of months, and left disillusioned and heartbroken over the loss of what had been a fast moving career; I also sued the School and the University. The lawsuit was about making certain such things never happened to anyone else -- they leveled me and I am hard to level. They made changes, we eventually settled the lawsuit in a way that I was satisfied with, and I felt good about fighting for justice without being vengeful; even a lawsuit can be character building :)

But the grief I felt and the disillusionment were incredibly profound and really took a toll on me and my whole family. Academics can be so dirty and wrong -- I have since called that university the University of Evil, which does not thrill Kim, who graduated from there :)

As I was licking my wounds, a position opened up at the pediatric hospital two miles away -- they needed someone to start a bereavement program. And so I started working there, helping people who were even more broken and sad than I was -- and I healed.

Kim and I had married and were raising our combination family -- we could not move so that I could take another faculty position and truthfully, I was so burned that I was not sure I wanted to ever step foot in another university. But time helps a lot and when BYU asked me to teach part-time, I hung up the phone and cried because I felt like I had been invited to come home.

And even in my clinical position I kept doing research and in so many ways acted like the academic I wasn't -- and was. I loved my clinical work at the hospital but I always felt like a round peg in a square hole -- it was where I needed to be to learn all the lessons I needed to learn, but it was not "me", if that makes sense.

Finally the kids were all graduated and I started looking for faculty positions -- my number one criteria: the people have to be nice. A close second was that it had to be in a place where we wanted to live -- west, smaller town, rural so we could have land.

The University of Montana fit my requirements and offered me a very nice package -- just one problem -- Kim had been promoted. He needs to work three years at his higher rank to maximize the promotion in his pension. He could move today but it would cost us a good amount of money for the rest of our lives. I do not care and want him to move now, but respect his desire to realize the full benefits of his promotion (okay, most of the time I feel that way ;).

And so that is why I am in Montana and he is in Utah, and this will continue for 14 more months unless I just cannot stand it and insist he move here or I go back there. My wonderful job is here and my wonderful community is there -- and therein lies the dilemma. Would I feel differently if Kim were here? If I were more settled and did not have a foot in two places?

When I am in Utah, I want to stay there but when I come back up to Montana, I want to stay here -- see the problem?! As I was driving to/from the Invitational in December I was wrestling with this whole thing, and in the end I decided not to decide but just to write the book -- I am not sure exactly how they are related but I have learned to trust process.

I never in a million years thought that having my career blow up in my face would be a good thing -- but it was and I am better in every way because of it. So many of the best experiences of our lives come because fate or God or whatever pried our fingers from that which we held so tightly and booted us into the abyss. Once the tears and panic stop, you see a whole new world and if you are open to it, a new way of being -- and then the gratitude comes and you are not quite so scared the next time you find yourself in what seems like an impossible place. I guess one of the best things I have learned is Trust -- and so I sit here on the mountain trusting that everything will be okay and likely better than okay -- no matter what happens.

So no answers to Carol's inquiry but now you better understand why it is such a Good Question :) What do you think I should do? Maybe I should start a poll :)

Where we live in Montana is not brutally cold but this morning we have wicked winds and so the wind chill is bitter. I knew this was coming and so had some stuffed frozen kongs and bones ready for indoor chewing this morning. Everyone started with their own and look at this picture of Halo-- there is a political message in this, I am sure :)

Zoey is such a sweet, wonderful girl -- I love the temperaments of the Halo/Zack kids and Zoey certainly reminds me why I feel that way. Here she is chewing on the tracking line that Asia won last year at the Specialty -- she doesn't hurt it and it makes her happy so whatever :)

And here is Zoey again, being chewed on by cute Sydney! Remember there is just 2.5 months between the girls -- isn't it amazing how they grow?

I hope your Sunday is a warm, happy one and provides you with ample opportunities for gratitude!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Montana Adventures

At the risk of assuring that none of my friends ever want to move to Montana, I want to share my latest adventure and also some pictures of the girls.

So far this week we had three days of no water, smoke pouring from an unused electrical socket, the van three miles away and a landlord who -- well -- is testing my character. Yesterday the four wheel drive truck that I bought -- even though the aforementioned landlord assured me that I did not need four wheel drive -- got solidly stuck in our own driveway. I dug, I put traction sand down, and I cried -- to no avail.

Some things are best just left for a new day and so that is what I did -- just left the stuck truck stuck and hoped we did not have an emergency. This morning I put rugs under the tires and tried again -- nothing. And so I trudged up the hill to a neighbor I have never met and asked for help and ten minutes later he came over in his big old truck -- with chains on the tires -- and got the stuck truck unstuck. I congratulated him on being someone's hero today.

The landlord was on her way over with an "electrician" whose name she has not given me even though I have asked twice. I decided that it was best for all involved if I left -- especially after I took a hard tumble on ice and thought even more uncharitable thoughts about her, as if even that was now her fault. And so the puppies and I headed off to town to do some shopping, and that is sometimes better than cookie dough, although a bit more expensive.

The landlord told Galen that I had overloaded the circuit, which just is not the case and besides wouldn't that just cause the circuit to blow rather than pour smoke out an unused socket??! (thanks to Elizabethanne for pointing that out). Another electrician is coming on Tuesday -- one I have spoken with so know he is a real electrician -- and so I intend to have a good conversation with him about things.

So, we have running water, we have not burned down, and the truck is no longer stuck -- things are looking up, wouldn't you say?

This is where the truck was stuck, which explains why we have throw rugs in the snow.

This is a beautiful sight -- the unstuck truck!

Yes, it is hard up here but look at how beautiful -- this is Zoey right behind the house.

Here is Sydney at nine weeks old -- she weighs 17 pounds now and is a fun, easy puppy.

And here she is again -- striking a pose.

I suspect I am supposed to learn something from all this but wonder if I could skip the lessons and know what it is?! So far I have learned that I hate renting, miss my house, my husband, my friends, and the paved streets with those wonderful snow plow drivers. But the darkest of winters is always followed by a spring, and so we just hang in there and wait for things to change -- because they always do. Soon the hillside will be covered with wildflowers and all this will just be a really funny story....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good Karma and Wallowing

How is it that I come across cats that so love dogs?! These are pictures of Karma -- the cat that I picked up at a Barstow, California gas station in December.

This is Sydney getting a bath from Karma.

Once Sydney was done, Karma moved on to Halo...

I guess it is also rather unusual that I have dogs that so enjoy cats. I attribute this to the fact that every dog we have has been raised by the Feline Puppy Nanny, Noah, who apparently recruited an assistant in Karma.

When we were out to dinner in Utah this past weekend with Ireland and Cooper's new families (and Cali and Kate, who we miss very much) we counted up the Kaibab dogs we expect at this year's national Specialty: SEVENTEEN! This includes five F Litter puppies; the Glitterati will be too young to compete but maybe Cooper, Ruben and Sydney could come just to say hey to their friends :) I suspect we would have many willing puppy sitters!

This has been a challenging week for sure. Sometimes it is easy for me to dismiss how I am feeling because I so well know that others have it so much worse. While perspective is a good thing, it is also okay to feel rotten and sad about one's own trials -- even as we recognize that others have it much worse. I am not other people -- I am just me -- and so these are my trials and I find acknowledging how I am feeling allows me to feel it -- and then move on. Fighting with ourselves about how we honestly feel just gets in the way -- sometimes you just need to wallow and eat cookie dough in order to get on with things. Doesn't seem like it would make sense or work -- but it does :) Unfortunately my mixer is in Utah so no cookie dough but a little wallowing is good for the soul -- I feel much better, and that is helpful because today's trouble was smoke pouring out of an unused electrical socket... and did I mention the mixer is in Utah?!

Isn't life just one opportunity for growth after another?!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Water was finally restored this afternoon -- I have never been so grateful to wash dishes! No water is just one of the issues -- I cannot drive the van up the ice covered road and so it remains parked nearly three miles away and I use the big truck to go back/forth to the van. I have been stuck several times in the truck on our driveway and there is a two foot mound of iced snow in front of the door to the house that we have to climb over to get in and out. This is particularly fun with a small puppy who is being house trained. But at least we have water again and thank goodness for the big, old four wheel drive truck. Winter does not last forever -- I need to remind myself of this frequently.

Sydney is adjusting well. Her housetraining is coming along nicely. If she is not loose -- which she is a lot -- she is in an x-pen that still has a potty zone as she is too little to "hold it" for any length of time. She also sleeps in her x-pen, and is doing relatively well with that. She is having fun stalking cats, eating snow, biting Zoey and Faith, playing tug with Asia, and chasing Cadi around to grab a snack.

This evening Sydney took a break from biting at Cadi's tail to let me take this picture.

And here is Sydney with her long suffering grandma, Maize.

I have heard from all of the new owners and the puppies are doing so well! Rock Star aka Ruben (Hudson) met Nancy Stewart today and she was complimentary of him. Cooper (Whitby) went to Alex's class for his birthday and did a great job meeting all the kids. Zaida (Jamaica) went to see her vet who could not hear any heart murmur so that is great news. Mika (Ireland) looks to be having fun in California -- I got to see some great pictures of her.

I hope you have running water and that you appreciate that fact!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Last but Not Least and Running Water

We traveled to Montana yesterday and met Gail at a rest stop, making me feel as if I was engaged in a drug deal instead of sending off the last puppy to his new family! Sutton is now Murphy, and you can see from this picture that it was a good match :)

The rest of the evening went downhill quickly. We live in a rented house/cabin outside of Missoula. A plumber who was to fix a broken pipe yesterday could not do the job because the plumping is not to code and so what was to be a simple task is a bigger one as a result. They can fix it on Thursday but in the meantime we have no water. The landlord may be able to get it handled sooner -- let's hope.

We knew this in advance so had stopped to buy water, but the next problem was that we could not drive up the road to the house. The landlord had assured me prior to renting the house that I did not need four wheel drive -- well, let's just say that it is true if one does not mind hiking almost a mile in the dark, which I do. And so St. Heidi came up in her dad's big truck and drove me to the house to get my big truck that I bought after all the people who live out here laughed when I told them what the landlord said about not needing four wheel drive.

In the dark -- and unless you live in the country you have no concept of dark -- and the ice, we ferried all dogs and cats and water and "stuff" to the house in the truck, and then left the van 2.5 miles away. I was not having warm and happy thoughts about Montana or the landlord or any of this, as you might imagine.

So Heidi saved the day and we all made it in one piece. I miss Kim, running water, street lights, central heat, and my driveway. This morning I am not feeling like this particular adventure is what I want to do with my life, and I think the first step is to try and find a new place to live...

On a happier note, Sydney is adjusting well and appreciates having the whole Dairy Bar to herself!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Temperament Tests

Edie gave her permission to re-post the temperament tests so they are on YouTube. She wanted me to mention that if anyone has any questions about how/why she does testing you may write to her directly at:

I have re-posted most of them and will do the rest as time permits.

It sounds like the Glitterati who are in new homes are doing well. Joan will be by this morning to pick up Toronto, as I mentioned, and then we will head for Montana, meeting Gail along the way to deliver Sutton. The weather looks good and Heidi has done a great job taking care of our house in Montana (BIG THANKS TO HER). I am sad to leave Kim, other family and friends, and Utah, as you might imagine, and the weeks have flown by. But to leave is my path and so off we go on yet another adventure -- how grateful I am to have options and adventures in my life!

Have a wonderful, appreciative day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Time of Transitions

No matter your political inclinations, I hope you are able to appreciate living in a time of historical significance as we begin the process of transitioning to a new president -- a man who could not even have voted in the not so distant past. It is a reminder to all of us that we live in a constantly changing and evolving world, and I look forward to a time when others who live without fundamental rights can have their day in history.

My grandfather was a well known historian and professor -- first at Princeton and then at Berkeley. When I was about 12 I remember asking him what history was, and he answered that it was anything that happened in the past. I told him that I had dropped my pencil yesterday and so was that history? I still smile at his answer: "yes, but it is not very interesting history."

Each of us creates our own history -- by dropping pencils or becoming president. That history is uniquely ours and yet touches the lives of others, and so we do not make our personal histories in a vacuum. Our Glitterati are becoming part of other people's life stories -- or personal histories. They won't show up on CNN or FOX, but that does not make them any less significant. The beauty of history is -- I suppose -- that we get to decide what is interesting and what is not. I think creating puppies that will go on to become part of another family's history is an honor, and that the opportunity to blend my life story with other people is a unique privilege that the puppies have created for me.

Last night I was thinking how grateful I am for the friendships I have made through the dogs. Cindy arrived last night with John and Kristine, and I was once again struck with how easy our friendship is -- she is like a sister to me. Cali and Kate went to dinner with us, and I drove home thinking about how grateful I am to have had a chance to become friends with Cali and Armand, who are such wonderful people -- and the chance to see other people's children grow up is such a special joy. And the new families we are welcoming into our lives -- how exciting to be building relationships with such special people. The puppies have given all of us the opportunity to blend histories with people we would have not otherwise met, and so once again I am reminded that it is not "just" a dog.

But we are down to "just" four -- the puppy formerly known as Whitby and now Cooper left early this morning to make his way to a new life in Oregon. The puppy formerly known as Ireland and now Mika will leave later this morning for her new life in California. Tomorrow morning Joan will arrive early to take the puppy formerly and currently known as Toronto (aka T-Town) to his new life a few miles away from our Salt Lake City home, and then the rest of us head for Montana to continue creating our unique and personal histories. It is definitely a bittersweet time -- a time of stark transitioning.

Here is my long-suffering husband who definitely deserves an award for being such a great guy! He is holding Hudson (now Ruben) and Sutton.

This is Whitby (now Cooper) and his new family -- Ralph, Jennifer and Alex. The two other kids are home in Oregon waiting to meet Cooper.

John and Kristine were very happy to finally meet their new little girl -- the puppy formerly known as Ireland and now Mika.

This is Jennifer and Alex yesterday as we all visited with the puppies.

While Sue from Arizona was bundled up in sixteen layers and still shivering, Armand demonstrates climate acclimation.

And here they are -- the Glitterati at eight weeks with members of their fan club.

As we make our way through life, writing the pages of our personal histories with all the drama and joy and sorrow that life contains, we all definitely need a fan club. We need people who think what we do is interesting, and who answer our questions, celebrate our joys and share our sorrows -- I hope you have such a contingent and if not, that you will work on creating one. Thank you for being part of the history of the Glitterati -- you are appreciated.

Friday, January 16, 2009


We are getting ready to hand off puppies to their new families -- once again a reminder that joy and sadness are the two sides of life's coin. Some pictures...

Kay and Sue will be taking Rock Star home to live with his great-uncle Riley and his uncle Dillon; Hudson's new name is Ruben.

This is from Thursday -- but I think it might be my most favorite of Cali and Kate.

This is also from Thursday - this is Joan with her puppy, Toronto. Joan promises to have a name for him when she gets back from her weekend in New Mexico.

This is Jamaica with her new family -- Barb and Keith. She will also soon have a new name -- Lucy?

Hudson -- now Ruben -- was quite tired from all the fun of meeting his new family and fell fast asleep in the food bowl!

Interesting Website

Temperament Tests and etc.

I took down the temperament tests because it made Edie, the tester, a little embarrassed :) I am going to make DVD's for the Glitterati owners and if anyone else wants one, please send me a private email (

Kay and Sue arrive at about 2 today and Liz will be here a couple of hours later. Joan is seriously bummed as she had a trip planned this weekend so she will miss seeing everyone else. Tomorrow we have three puppy families arriving from three different states, and the first two puppies will leave. On Sunday three more puppies will leave, and then Joan will pick up Toronto on Monday morning and Galen and I will head back to Montana with the gang. Sutton, who will be going to live with Gail in Montana, will be traveling with us.

This all seems a little unreal to me -- it has been months and months of pregnancy and puppies. Since my main reason for being involved with berners is not to make more of them, this has been a long stretch of relative inactivity in the things that I enjoy doing the most with the dogs. That is not to say it has not been a very special time with its own rewards and blessings, but I am anxious to get back to "normal" life.

I will post pictures tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It is hard to believe that the Glitterati are nearly eight weeks old and getting ready to leave for their new homes. Several of you have asked if I will continue to write the Blog. I have decided to use this Blog as "Recent News" for our website so yes, I will maintain the Blog but I will not write every day and I will also not just write about the Glitterati. Thanks to those of you who have so loyally followed our Blog and helped create such a caring Glitterati community :)

Our wonderful Utah vet, Dr. Kris, came over this morning. All puppies received a thorough health check and their first vaccine -- a parvo/distemper only combo. She found a very, very slight ejection heart murmur in Jamaica -- she rated it as 0.5 out of 5. It is her opinion that it is innocent and that she will outgrow it, but I have shared the information with Barb so she can make an informed decision about whether to take Jamaica. There were no other issues identified with any puppy.

I talked to her about additional vaccinations as some new owners' vets have asked about them. Dr. Kris is not a hippy, holistic vet (that is not bad! she just isn't one) -- she is a moderate traditional vet. She does not believe any additional vaccinations are warranted and was especially surprised that some vets strongly advised the adenovirus. We talked about the Lepto vaccine -- she does not recommend or use that either. The incidence of vaccination reaction is very high with that, and she worries about secondary reactions involving the immune system later down the road. Finally, I asked about the use of glucosamine with puppies -- she stated that it has not been proven safe or unsafe in puppies, and so she would not recommend it; she does recommend fish oil.

Very handsome Toronto will be making his home with Joan.

This is our sweet Sydney -- she highly recommends new owners bring bully sticks for puppies and a present for the Puppy Nanny ;)

This very adorable Ireland is going to get spoiled by Grandma Cindy and grudgingly tolerated by Grandpa Vic -- she will be John and Kristine's little girl.

This is Rock Star saying "hey" to his Aunt Heidi, who wants to steal him and nibble on his cute head.

The litter sweetheart -- Geneva.

Here is Dr. Kris checking out Ireland.

It is time to meet our last family! Many of you have enjoyed getting to know Liz, Sam and especially their many emotioned pug :) Although they live in Illinois, I was able to meet Sam and Liz in November when they were here so that Liz could check out the University of Utah. I am sure you will agree with me that they are a perfect family for a sweet Glitterati puppy:

"Hi everyone! We are Liz & Sam and we currently live in Urbana, Illinois. Sam works as a systems analyst for USA Today and Liz is a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology. We moved all the way from Orlando, Florida two years ago for Liz to pursue her doctoral work. Liz works with people who have experienced many kinds of challenges, but she is especially interested in working with people who have experienced trauma and also working as a social justice activist (We both got to attend the Proposition 8 Protest in Salt Lake City when we were visiting in November!). Liz is really excited about getting involved with therapy dog work and taking her future therapy dog to VA hospitals to work with veterans. Liz and Sam would also like to pursue draft/carting work with their future Glitterati family member and have already gotten started in our draft/carting work reading! In our spare time, we love to go to parks, lakes, and beaches with Kiko (our pug), read, play board games, ride bicycles, volunteer at our local Bike Collective and Food Co-op, travel, cook, enjoy time with friends, go to social justice events and protests, and dance!

We are fairly new to berners and feel grateful to Mary-Ann for believing in us and for trusting us with one of her precious little ones. As many of you know we've been a pug and cat family up until recently with Kiko the 'many emotioned' pug, Lilith the cat, and Mr. Bentley who is forever in our hearts. Last April Mr. Bentley crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and we have missed him dearly. He was a very special little guy who came to us as a rescue through our pug play group in Orlando, Florida. He and Kiko got along famously and we all (including Kiko) went through a long grieving period last spring/summer.

Over time we started our search for a new family member, and when we stumbled upon the Bernese Mountain Dog breed we were immediately smitten with their beauty, history, and well-known gentle temperaments. As we learned more about the breed through going to dog shows and talking to breeders, joining the Berner-L and other listservs, and reading from the BMDCA website it became more and more clear this was the right breed for us. We wanted to "try out" living with a large dog while also helping a rescue dog so we got involved with BARC (a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue group). Pretty soon we received our first charge of fostering a six year old berner girl named Carly. Carly was as sweet as they come, but she had never lived inside before and didn't know much about eating good foods or housetraining. We applied patience and love to her care and were surprised at how resilient she was and how fast she learned. Carly spent about six weeks with us before getting adopted and going on to her forever home. The experience was wonderful and we began looking more seriously into berner breeders. We were really impressed with Mary-Ann's thoughtful posts to the Berner-L and contacted her to learn more about her and her breeding program. In November, we visited Salt Lake City and met Mary-Ann, Kim, Jake, Cassie, Zoey, and Asia. Of course, all of our research and reading was confirmed when we got to spend some time with them and we feel very lucky and blessed to be given this important charge of being Glitterati parents!

We started a blog and hope to keep it going with the adventures of Kiko and his new baby sister: Right now it has a little history about Kiko and a dedication to Mr. Bentley Fartbottom. Feel free to check it out and follow the adventures to come!"

Liz arrives tomorrow and on Saturday will be flying home with the perfect little therapy dog -- Geneva :) We are very happy to welcome Sam and Liz and their crew to the Kaibab family.

I certainly hope you are choosing to have a joyful day, no matter what is going on in your life. Thanks for your visit!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wet Puppies

Marianne asked about the wet puppies and so I thought I would share these pictures. To me, the most significant criticism of Sydney is that she has more leg under her than Jamaica, and I agree with this. I wanted less leg than Cadi and while both puppies have less leg, Sydney has more than Jamaica. When the puppies are wet, you can see that while she still has more leg, the difference between the two is not that great.

I needed to factor in other things as well. While I would prefer less leg, I like Sydney's front and topline a little better. Jamaica does not have a bad front or a bad topline but I just prefer Sydney's a little more. And Sydney has a more pushy temperament -- while Jamaica is an upbeat puppy and fun, she is also an easy puppy. And so I also needed to consider which puppy really needed to be with me and which one would do better with Barb, who is taking the other show girl.

Watch Sydney's temperament test (Jamaica's will be up soon) and you will see that she is more like a high powered sports car -- they are a lot of fun but not everyone can drive one. Jamaica is also fun but easy -- a convertible perhaps! And so it was not just about what I wanted but how the puzzle pieces best fit together, and luckily for me, it happens that the best way for it all to fit together means that I got the puzzle piece that I wanted.

It is hard to judge puppies from pictures -- I get to see them in real life and so have information about them that is more complete than what words and pictures can do. I got great input from people I trust -- and my final choice disagrees with some and agrees with others. But since I am the one who lives with the choice -- and I mean that literally -- it is appropriate that the choice is mine to make, even as I so appreciate the feedback I received.

So these first two pictures are of the two girls -- first is Sydney and then Jamaica. Keep in mind that it is hard to get good stacked pictures of puppies!

And here are the same two puppies from the front -- Sydney first and then Jamaica.

And this is Rock Star -- he is not a hard puppy to stack or love.

So looking at the pictures, what are your thoughts? And it is perfectly okay for us to disagree -- some of us already have!