Sunday, May 30, 2010

The grass is always greener in the other bowl

It seems like my kids are taking turns to be picky with their food. The whole of last week, Riko was not eating well. In recent days, my boy wasn't finishing his morning meal in one go. Both of them seem to exchange their bowls mid-way. Today, My boy left his last 3 bite-fuls for Riko.

Photo on 30 May 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Haruki, bath and beyond

As far as I can remember, Ruki always loved water. He started out with a modest metal basin. Pretty soon, he outgrown it.

He moved on to a mid-size earthen flat pot, which was home to grandpa's guppies at daycare. For a while, the fish and my boy shared the pool. Soon enough, the guppies moved out and Ruki became the exclusive occupant of the water feature!

At home, he is the primary user of the master bath. He heads straight to the bathtub after our walks every time.

Last Saturday, I bought a larger earthen flat pot for the garden. He was excited about his outdoor tub and went inside three times the first time. The next day, I had left some plants submerged in the tub and he refused to get in for the whole week. Despite all the coaxing, he only went in to dip his paws and quickly ran out. Weird.

Finally today, he's back inside for a full dip! Just reminded me of the time I accidentally clipped his tail with the car door and he refused to get into the car for the whole week. Makes me think his memory lasts about 5 days!

My girl doesn't like to get wet at all. Total opposites. I've started to train her to get into the pool everyday after walks now. She's only gotten her paws wet so far. When all four legs were inside and I asked her to sit, her little bum was just hovering over the water surface...HAHAHA..

It's my dream to get them a real lab/ lap pool when they grow up. :D

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometime I wish they could talk

Riko has been having irregular appetite for the past 2 weeks. Somehow, she manages to bounce back each time I wanted to bring her to the vet. During our daycare drop-off yesterday, she refused to get down the car. So off to the vet we went!

I related her typical morning regimen to the vet. Walk in the park-play with Ruki while breakfast is being prepared-eat breakfast hungrily-wrestle Ruki down after meal. But often now, she plonks on the kitchen floor looking all drained out after her walk. She can barely make it to her bowl :(. When she get there, she will just sniff and pick at her food. She will just nibble a bit and gets distracted by her brother eating nearby.

So, the vet said that maybe she's feeling pain somewhere. Any pain whining? limping? no...coughing after walk...not that I remember. He checks her limbs, gums, body, ears, heart beat, lungs and temperature. All is normal. Got her loss in weight. He said that LABs are prone to hip problems and tiredness after walks could indicate heart problems for LABs. Each time he said LAB, my heart skipped a beat. I'm thinking he thinks she's a LABRADOR...hahaha...

We came back with some general pain pill and B-complex for appetite. Today, I gave her half a usual portion (since Ruki has benefited much as her "clean up crew"). She ate a bit better this morning and even went over to Ruki's bowl to eat his unfinished portion. Ruki was sitting patiently nearby waiting to pick up everybody's remains. Ruki's such a doll.

I'm trying to monitor her emotional state. I wonder whether there's any correlation between my morning scolding of her to her lack of appetite later. It might be that she got really tired out between 5am to 8am - mucking around in the garden - digging soil and ripping out the stuffing in my garden chair. Despite all her mischief, she's actually a very sweet girl. I almost think she can't help herself to stay out of trouble.

Photo of Riko with the vet assistant

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pee business

I can't remember when Ruki started to pee like a big boy. But once he started, he has been tree marking, wall marking, tyre marking etc. Since my girl came, he has also mastered standing pee with a slight leg lift to cover her pee in the garden. ;)

Earth Day falls this month. I suppose Ruki will be affected by deforestation. So, save the trees, save the world and Ruki.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A spoonful of yogurt

The kids usually have yogurt before bedtime for some probiotic booster. For some strange reason, Ruki always licks the yogurt in this position. Sometimes, he gets so lazy he doesn't want to walk to the bowl. I have to bring the bowl to him! o.O Nowadays at feeding time, Ruki has already taken his sleep position in his bedroom.

Only Riko diligently shows up for her late-night snack in the kitchen.

Photo on 20 April 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In memory of Arwen

We found out on Monday that Arwen, my sister's German Sheppard was put to sleep over the weekend. Apparently, she stopped eating and was subsequently diagnosed as having cancer of the ear.

Arwen spent some time being fostered full time at day care. I remember she used to bark at me all the time and wasn't much the bonding type of girl. But, when my boy came...she mellowed slightly. My boy would always poke her for play but Arwen only tolerated him. She didn't eat much at day care, she was always skinny. She seemed to be yearning to go home to be with her other siblings. Sometime in Feb 2009, she got to go home! She managed to put on some weight but was still her barky self whenever we visited.

Here's my boy giving her a peck in the cheek. *sweets*

...which reminds me, I need to clean my dogs ears tomorrow.

Photo on 1 November 2009

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mariko's daily walk routine

I'm glad we are on a daily morning routine. The kids know that they get to go to the park each morning now. :D

Once we are out of the gate, Riko is always excited to get going. She wants to power walk when I just rolled out of bed 5 minutes ago! So, the first 150 meters is always a dash-jerk affair :(

Luckily, the park is a short walk down the road..

At the park, she usually heels with me. :D Well, unless there's some dogs or cats..then, she's lunging forward to get nearer. We haven't quite worked out the dog etiquette and self-control aspects yet.

We practise our daily commands. Like other kids, she doesn't see that learning these commands can be essential in her life. I hope she sees how important being a well-behaved dog is during pet therapy!!

Our walk takes about 20 minutes. I'm hoping to extend the duration once I sort out my bedtime routine. Strangely after her walk, she was trying to climb into the tub today like her big brother. So, I helped her in and she had a rinse. I don't think she expected to get wet in there. :)

Photos on 16 May 2010. Mariko is 7 months old

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The one who had a blond moment

My boy is on a medicated bath routine recently due to a skin infection. Today was bath day. So, after his walk, he was all-lathered-up and chained to the gate to prevent him from rolling around in his soapy self. When Riko and I came back from our walk, I rinsed the boy off, dried him and unhooked the line from his collar. I went inside to prepare breakfast...peering outside wondering why my boy was still sitting by the gate rather than in the kitchen...ready to eat. Weird. Then, he started to bark towards the house. Why was he barking at me inside?...his bark sounded if giving me a signal to get out of the house. Is he trying to get me out of the house? a danger warning?? Did I leave the gas on and the house gonna explode any minute? I looked over to the stove to check. Nope, no gas leak.

So, I walked outside to investigate. I realized that he thought we left him outside. He had his collar on (nowadays, he roams collarless) and he thought he was still tied to the gate!

And, I may have been reading one too many heroic dog rescue stories. I get teary-eyed every time. I honestly thought that I was having my own heroic moment with my boy. HAHAHA... I wonder who had the blonder moment today...:D

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The mystery behind my Mocha Girl

Because my girl doesn't come with proper papers, so I often wonder about her everyday..during our walks. Each time I seriously wonder, I receive "signs" that may provide some leads to her from my favourite ID website which features pets on furniture every Monday. Here's my girl's pose.

Maybe she is a not-so Great Dane like Bleau here...

or like Otto, the 2-1/2 year old Blue Weimaraner (ever a pup, she easily makes eye contact each time I talk to her. My boy is only getting better at this recently)

or LOOK, this photo of Yellow lab, Hailey and her "little brother" Diego a Weimaraner. They could be mistaken for my kids.

This is from Wikipedia. I've bold some similarities in her first 6 months so far.

Weimaraners are fast and powerful dogs, but are suitable home animals given appropriate training and exercise. These dogs are not as sociable towards strangers as other hunting dogs such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Weimaraners are very protective of their family and can be very territorial. They can be aloof to strangers, and must be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent aggression. They are also highly intelligent, sensitive and problem-solving animals, which earned them an epithet "dog with a human brain". They are ranked 21st in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being of excellent working/obedience intelligence.

From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog breed prized for their physical endurance and stamina. No walk is too far, and they will appreciate games and play in addition. An active owner is more likely to provide the vigorous exercising, games, or running that this breed absolutely requires. Weimaraners are high-strung and often wear out their owners, requiring appropriate training to learn how to calm them and to help them learn to control their behavior. Owners need patience and consistent, firm (yet kind) training, as this breed is particularly rambunctious during the first year and a half of its life. This breed is known for having a penchant for stealing food from table and counter tops whenever given the chance. Like many breeds, untrained and unconfined young dogs often create their own fun when left alone, such as chewing house quarters and furniture. Thus, many that are abandoned have behavioural issues as a result of isolation and inferior exercise.

Weimaraners are often kind to children, but they may not be appropriate for smaller children due to their tendency to knock a child down in the course of play. The breed is so full of energy that early training to sit (through positive reinforcement) is critical to prevent jumping in the future, as these strong dogs may knock over elderly people or children by accident.

It should never be forgotten that the Weimaraner is a hunting dog and therefore has a strong, instinctive prey drive. Weimaraners will sometimes tolerate cats, as long as they are introduced to the cats as puppies, but many will chase and frequently kill almost any small animal that enters their garden or backyard. In rural areas, most Weimaraners will not hesitate to chase deer or sheep.

This breed of dog tends to be very stubborn. However, with good training, these instincts can be curtailed to some degree. A properly trained Weimaraner is a wonderful companion that will never leave its master's side. The Weimaraner has been given the appellation "Velcro Dog", as when once acclimated to its master, sticks to its master at all times. Many Weimaraners tend to lean on their master when sitting or standing.


So, what do you think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sleeping on the job

It's a cool night so my boy usually likes to rest outside. He has a weird tendency to sleep glued to the gate this way all the time. It must be one of those nights, he wants to make sure that he doesn't miss out on any action even in his sleep.

Photo taken on 10 May 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Pampered Boy

It's 10 pm.

My boy came out of the bedroom to nudge me at my study. In the past, his nudge meant it's my bedtime. Nowadays, if it is this early, it means that he wanted me to turn on the air con in the room so that he can go to sleep. o.O

Kids these days....

Photo on 1 Nov 2009

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Cigarette Girl

For some reason, Mariko doesn't like chomping down her treats. She's rather just hold them in her mouth.

Photo on 7 May 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Vet Day

We were at the vet yesterday to get some medicine supplies. I also wanted Doc to check on mocha girl's progress since I've been paranoid about her petite size compared to my boy at the same age.

In the morning, my boy was attacked by Heran, a black lab-mix during his morning walk. Heran, being the more aggressive one since my boy was still a pup. Poor boy had given up being his they just bark at each other. Ruki suffered some superficial bites on his hind legs. So, good timing that we were going to the vet that very morning.

Mocha girl weighs about 40lbs now, which is double from what she weighed in early Feb. Her first check-up last Dec, she was only 7 lbs!! As I have no clues about her weight, I was fearing that she was still like 20lbs. So, 40 is good! We are hopeful that she's be a lean 60-pounder....which will make her a pleasant dog-walker. Doc says her puppy teeth have almost all (mysteriously) fallen out. I wonder where the teeth went because I never saw any lying around. Thankfully, Riko hadn't been very "bitey" girl so far. :D

Ruki was treated from his combat wounds....well, I'm proud that he didn't retaliate during the attack. Might be that my sweet boy was too shocked...hahaha... Surprisingly, I didn't freak out at all. We were just trying to calm Heran down. Doc said Ruki has a case of fungus infection which now threatens his attendance to an upcoming pet therapy session on May 23. So, both kids had a good medicated shower after their walks in the evening. :(

This morning, Ruki was barking at Heran as he was passing our front gate. So, I guess he didn't suffer any side effects from yesterday's incident. Looks like they will be mortal enemies for the time being.

Photo on 2 May 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Members have their privileges

The kids don't eat much junk food at home. But at daycare, they can be rather spoilt. In the name of "jaw exercise", Riko is getting some additional "chewies" daily to get her little head to develop further.

Photo on 2 May 2010