But, once again the puppies surprised us. They settled right in. Of course, it helps that they now have stairs to play on. They LOVE the stairs.
This Christmas we decided to do something different. We decided to get another place- one that's close to where Mom works and super close to Grandma and Grandpa. I didn't really know what to expect bringing the puppies and the cats to a different house and then staying there. We had never taken the puppies anywhere to spend the night. I expected that they would be a little nervous and that they would pace up and down and not be able to sleep.
But, once again the puppies surprised us. They settled right in. Of course, it helps that they now have stairs to play on. They LOVE the stairs.
The cats completely surprised us. They don't travel well. This is not a surprise. They pooped their cat carrier on the drive to the new place- also not a surprise. Once we got there though, we put a baby gate up in the doorway to the upstairs bathroom so that they have a safe place. We put them a cat tree on the stair landing so that they could come downstairs and still have a refuge to get away from Mr. M. Before long, the cats got bold enough to even venture downstairs and come into the living room. They discovered the little window on the stairs and have been sitting in the window to look out. They found our closet and have been chilling out in the closet. They have actually been acting more at home than they did at home.
Besides the stairs, the puppies' favorite part of the new house is that they get to run down to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Pretty much every time we go outside, they go to the back gate so that we can go to Grandma and Grandpa's. It's the best game ever. Christmas Day they got to take turns going down and visiting with everybody. Miss S got to play with kids for one of the first times. I think it was her very first time playing with kids where she even got to be off leash. Mom's nephews are 4 and 6 and are a little shy with dogs, but it only took them a few minutes to completely warm up to Miss S. Miss S was extremely polite and didn't jump up on them or try to steal food off of their little table- which was at a perfect food-stealing height. She was interested in saying hi to everyone, but for the most part, she just napped on the floor while all the present opening was going on. We were very proud of her.
I didn't have any pictures of Mr. M on Christmas Day, so here is a picture of him from last year. What a difference a year makes! He was so tiny!!
I was just thinking about posting something and realized how different the puppies all are than they were this time last year. This time last year, we didn't even have Miss M yet. Mr. M and Miss S were really small- like 25 pounds small. Mr. C and Miss B seemed really big to us at the time, but they weren't that big either. It's funny how big they have always seemed. I think it was because the others were just so small that Miss B and Mr. C looked big by comparison.
Then, not quite a year ago, Mom got the best Christmas present ever.
With the cold front we are having now, Mom has been in a holiday mood. She was cleaning up on Saturday and moved some things around while folding clothes. She noticed that one of her teddy bears had fallen on the floor, but she didn't think about it too much because Miss M and Miss B were out helping her. Neither one of them seems to mess with stuffed animals too much. When it was Mr. M's turn to help with the cleanup effort, Mom forgot that the teddy bear was within puppy reach. Mr. M is not quite as friendly with teddy bears as Miss M or Miss B. Mom noticed that Mr. M and Miss S were being a little quiet- not usually a good sign. When she went to check on them, she noticed a trail of stuffing. It didn't take long to remember the teddy bear that Miss B had been using as a pillow. Unfortunately for the teddy bear, it was just too late for the bear to be rescued.
Miss S and Mr. M have an understood agreement when it comes to toys and treasures. When one has a toy or something fun, they will sit and wait patiently for a while to give the first one a chance to chew on whatever it is. Then they eventually take it, at which point the first puppy lets them chew on it for a while before eventually taking it back. They take turns. Notice Miss S waiting patiently for her turn to tear up the teddy bear.
Finally, Miss S took the opportunity to take the teddy bear (or what was left) and decided to relocate to a safer spot so that she could have more time alone with the teddy bear.
As with most games, the destruction of the teddy bear soon turned into a group effort.
Miss S tried to convince Mom that they weren't actually making a mess. Miss S argued that she and Mr. M were trying to make fake snow to use as holiday decorations. Mom didn't quite buy it.
In between folding clothes and picking up pieces of teddy bear, Mom managed to at least get the table looking a a little more festive.
Yesterday was the 4th of July, and the puppies did not appreciate it at all! We dropped by to visit some friends for a little while, and decided that we should leave the puppies at home. We were glad we did because some of their neighbors let off firecrackers early, and it would have really freaked the puppies out. It's one thing for them to be scared of fireworks while they are safe at home. It would be really bad to have them freak out and get loose in an area that they don't know. The friends have an Irish Wolfhound puppy named Miss K. Miss K is only 3 months old but is already taller than my knee.
Once the firecracker fun started, Miss K decided she had had enough and that it would be way safer in her Mom's lap.
When we got home, the puppies were totally freaked out. It's actually illegal to set off fireworks in our neighborhood, but I think some of the neighbors may have been setting off firecrackers while we were gone. The puppies were so nervous that they wouldn't leave our sides. They wouldn't even potty at first. Every little sound made them start barking again. Miss M was so nervous, she just stood by Mom shaking. It took a little while for them to calm down. Until about midnight, people would randomly set off a firecracker. The puppies would crowd around us again, Mr. C would start barking and Miss M would start looking worried again. I felt really sorry for her. We took then out for a potty break again a little after midnight, but they just did number 1 and ran right back inside. I suspected that they needed to do number 2 but were too scared to stay outside long and just held it. Miss M slept cuddled up next to Mom all night. This morning, they all went right out and did number 2.
Today, we had fun with the kiddie pool in the backyard. We made the mistake of letting the puppies out before the pool was totally full. The little ones jumped right in. Then Miss M and Mr. M discovered that the hose was still on...
This is why we can't have nice hoses.
We let the puppies play for a few minutes and then took them inside so that we could put more water in the pool. Once the pool had more water and it was a little cooler outside, we took the puppies back outside. At first they were a little hesitant to jump in because the water was higher than they had seen before.
Then Mr. M discovered that it was even more fun with deeper water.
Miss S and Miss M were both a little nervous about getting in, but once we put them in, they kept going back for more pool time. We think they realized that getting in the pool cooled them down. They all took turns playing chase and then getting back into the pool. Miss B and Mr. C are a little less convinced. We put them both in and they enjoyed it while they were standing in the pool. Before taking them back inside, we put Mr. C back into the water to rinse off the dirt. I didn't have to fight him at all. We told him to get in the water and he gently stepped into the pool. I think we are making progress,
Lately, Miss M had been a little disappointed in the kitties. Kitty P still doesn't want to play with her, and Mr. M has turned into a kitty hog, who doesn't want to let Miss M play with Kitty S. She hasn't had much kitty play time lately and was very sad about it... until today. Mom and Dad decided to take a short nap mid morning and let Miss M nap on the bed with them. At one point, Mom got up to get some water, and the cats followed her back into the bedroom. Kitty P wasn't interested in sharing the bed with a dog, but Kitty S jumped right up. Miss M was soooo happy. She got to snuggle the kitty a little and the kitty started playing with her- even chewing on her foot anytime she would take it off of the cat. We usually feel like the puppies are being too rough with their heavy paws, but the kitty purred the whole time, so apparently, she was okay with it.
Kitty P has been warming up to the puppies a little bit, but they don't trust her. She has scratched them a couple of times and even drew a little bit of blood on Mr. M when he got a little fresh one day. Today, she tried playing with the puppies several times- batting at their legs when they would walk by where she was laying on her back under a bar stool. The dogs didn't pay a bit of attention to her. I think they felt like it was a dirty trick.
The puppies have all been doing really well with their training and are getting better at leaving things alone when told. They have had lots of practice at "Leave it," this weekend. Miss M got to leave a frog alone. Miss S and Mr. C got to leave the trash can alone several times. Mr. M got to leave the sign in sheet for Dad's classes alone. Miss B has been trying her hardest to be good- which takes a lot of effort, and all of the puppies have been listening better in general. We were surprised by Miss M yesterday. She doesn't really like going into her crate and most of the time tries to run into the other room. If Mom is in the other room and Dad is putting the puppies into their crates, Miss M usually runs to Mom, hoping for Mom to let her stay out. So yesterday, we went to put them in the crate for breakfast, and Miss M started walking out of the room. Dad said, "Miss M. Go to your crate." It wasn't in a rough voice- just a normal speaking voice. She stopped, turned around and walked right into her crate. Mom closed the door, but we were so happy with her that we let her right back out as a reward.
We thought about taking the puppies to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Easter, but their two legged cousins were going to be having an Easter Egg hunt, and we are pretty sure that our puppies would find all of their eggs and eat the candy before the boys even had a chance. The puppies are very skilled at finding small plastic things to chew on. We bought them some of the Easter egg toys at PetsMart a while back. They had the plastic eggs torn open within minutes and had removed the squeaky toy inside. Unfortunately, they were more interested in the plastic eggs than in the fuzzy toy and proceeded to chew them into tiny sharp pieces, which we then had to pick up before they could eat them. So an Easter egg hunt would have been a bad idea. Plus, it was rainy today, and we didn't really want to go anywhere. Instead, we played in the house.
As an aside, our puppies have a habit of rearranging holidays. At Christmas time for example, we can have a tree, but presents underneath it are risky, given their love of opening boxes. They actually save us quite a bit of money at Halloween. We decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to have candy for trick-or-treaters. The puppies like people, but I don't think they would understand the costumes. I think it would freak them out too much. So instead, we save money and our waistlines by not buying candy- which is handy since we usually end up with way too much candy left over.
In honor of the New Year, Mr. C tried to put on his happy face.
This New Year's Eve, we decided to shake things up a bit...just kidding. We took Miss M to have her stitches out. That means we are one step closer to being cone-free! The vet was very pleased with how her ears are looking so far, so we can't wait to see how they look. We've noticed a difference with her ears as compared to when Miss S and Mr. M had their's done. The vet recommended that we let them play together to keep their attention off of their ears. I think where we messed up was that we still let them sleep in the same room- not separated. We noticed that Miss M's ears looked a lot less raw at the base than the other two did. We've come to the conclusion that at night while they were supposed to be sleeping, the other two were licking the antibiotic gel off of each others' ears. Since Miss M sleeps where we can see her but separated from the other puppies, her ears are nice and dry. So a word of caution if you are contemplating have two puppies' ears cropped at the same time, it's a good idea to separate them at night so that they don't lick each others' ears.
On the way back from the vet, we noticed that she started out calmly sitting on Dad's lap but then got restless. We couldn't figure out what was wrong and thought it might still be the anesthetic wearing off. She kept trying to climb into the back seat. On a whim, Mom turned the heater down slightly just to see what would happen, and she curled up and went back to sleep. Apparently, Miss M is fairly particular about temperature. She was restless because it was a little too warm to sleep. We've decided that she is the princess of the bunch. We haven't taken any new pictures in the last couple of days. So here are a few of our previous favorites.
And just like that, the holidays were over and it became 2015! Happy New Year!
Only in Texas can you sit comfortably in shorts to sew fleece jackets for your puppies for the temperature drop that evening. On Saturday, Mom and Dad had some errands to run. Mr. C has just about outgrown his size M harness- the straps are let out as far as they would go and it is still fairly fitted. Mr. M just barely fits his size S harness. We already had to replace Miss S' harness a couple of weeks ago and decided that Mr. M's harness had seen its last comfortable use over Christmas. So, we needed to make a run to Petsmart. The Petsmart closest to our house however, doesn't always have much selection of collars and harnesses for larger puppies, so we decided to make a little run to the Petsmart in Galveston. (Any excuse to go to Galveston is a good excuse as far as I'm concerned). We wanted to beat the incoming cold front, which meant that we just happened to be there around lunch time. Oh darn. After lunch, we decided that a trip to La King's was in order so that Mom could try out a few of the indoor functions on her camera in a place other than our living room or kitchen. The fact that they have the best homemade ice cream may or may not have influenced our decision to go there. We showed remarkable restraint in not buying any of their handmade salt water taffy, fresh chocolate goodies or ribbon candy. They make pretty much all of their goodies themselves, so trust me when I say that we showed remarkable restraint in not buying any candy. Anyway, here are a few of the pictures from our excursion. I am happy to report also, that we did in fact get the right sized harnesses and they fit very well. So it was a successful trip. We didn't tell the puppies about the candy shop (or the fact that we were so close to the beach).
I think Galveston is one of the only places in Texas where you can get away with keeping Christmas decorations and lights up for a long time without feeling silly. Some houses just take down the wreaths and trees and then add a little bit of purple and green to their lights to make them Mardi Gras lights instead.
Mom and Dad decided to take all of the puppies along with them to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas. After all, how could the fuzzy kids get left alone on a day filled with boxes to chew up and turkey?
As soon as we got there, the puppies each went about their normal business. Mr. M found his favorite toy and went to work on it- after the gift bags he was interested in were relocated to the coffee table.
Miss S and Mr. C decided that the smartest thing to do would be to keep Grandma company in the kitchen just in case she needed any help with the turkey (or any other people food). They are always eager to help.
Miss B decided that the safest thing for her to do ( and the least likely to land her in time out) would be to find something to chew on near Mr. M.
Miss M is still trying to find her groove at Grandma and Grandpa's. This was only her second time there, and she isn't big enough to jump in Grandpa's lap to give him kisses like Miss S. She doesn't know where all the good toys are kept yet and hasn't realized that keeping Grandma company in the kitchen always gets you treats. So instead, she tried chewing on Mom's shoe.
Then she went to the kitchen to see what Miss S was doing.
Miss M finally realized that there were toys to chew on in the living room. That Mr. M is pretty smart- and rarely lands himself in time out. She decided to follow him more.
The day after Christmas was just a nice quiet day at home. We all played in the yard for a while so that the puppies would be good and tired when Mom and Dad went to the grocery store.
This Thanksgiving we had dinner at the beach, which the puppies all thought was a great idea. Mr. C felt that if we dressed them all in festive banadas, his chances of getting turkey would be higher. Mom was happy that he was so eager to get into the holiday spirit and picked out some harvest looking material. Originally, we were going to make them all fleece jackets, but the forecast called for temperatures in the upper 60's, which seemed a little too warm for fleece.
After getting to ride in the car for a while- one of their favorite activities- the puppies got to get out and visit with tons of people they had never met and three other dogs. Miss S really really wanted to play with the miniature pinscher, Minny, but Minny disagreed. Miss S can't figure out why all of the little dogs she meets are scared of her and don't want to play. Her two-legged cousin tried to help her out by holding up the little dog for her to smell, but the little dog still didn't want to play. By the time we left, Minny was more comfortable with the puppies, but wasn't quite comfortable enough to play.
By late afternoon, the shade and breeze on the balcony started getting a little too chilly and the littles started shaking. So we held them on our laps to warm them up. The older puppies stayed in the sun a little more and were too interested in what everyone else was doing to notice the cooler temperatures. At that point, we were wishing we had gone ahead and made the fleece jackets. Texas weather is so unpredictable.
It was a very good Thanksgiving. The puppies were thoroughly worn out by the time we left and slept almost all the way home.
We've been getting into the holiday spirit around here, and the puppies have been giving us a hand with the decorating. They are very diligent in their efforts to shred things in the living room. As demonstrated by Mr.M below.
They are all very considerate in making sure that no treats get left behind to clutter up the kitchen counter. They also offer to be taste testers on anything Mom is cooking- you know, just to make her feel like she is doing a good job at baking for the holidays.
They check out any stray boxes laying around the house to make sure that no gifts are left behind.
They also make sure to warm up the bed for Mom and Dad. It's like an electric blanket but without the electricity. Only really, it's like having a fossil fuel powered blanket. I'm sure they violate EPA emissions rules at times.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.