Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Puppy’

What’s The Deal?

Yesterday we visited a couple of animal shelters on the east side of Seattle.  They are impressively run – have informed and knowledgeable staff on hand.  The website is up to date and colorful.  Many animals pictured in need of fostering or adoption.  Because we too want to do our part – “save a life” and all that, we first turned to those places when thinking about a companion dog for our year old Bichon Frise puppy.

The choice to get a dog in the first place is a hard one.  We took our time.  We researched and researched.  We were appalled at the price of puppies.  Even more shocked at the price of adoption from a shelter!  We decided on a Bichon Frise puppy from a breeder some 150 miles from our home – got to meet both parents on site – was happy with the breeder who LOVES these dogs and owns 3 adult dogs herself.  The temperament fit with our lifestyle.  And we knew what we were getting and could train her to be used to music students coming and going out of our house.

Choosing to get a 2nd dog is even worse than deciding on the first one.  When visiting the shelters it became apparent to us that not just any dog was going to fit the bill for us.  We found a few cute little dogs – but upon further inspection, there was something about them that we knew would be an issue.  One poor little thing was what Greg called “street smart” or “kennel smart” and had all her defensive’s on HIGH ALERT.  Who can blame her?  It’s a “dog eat dog” (no pun intended) world out there – calling for growling and barking at all the other cell mates.  Most of them did this incessantly – something we are not used to.

I’ve searched on-line like Ebay Classified for pets (this is where we found Daisy) and Craig’s List in our area.  There are MANY dogs and puppies on there.  Problem?  Most want an obscene amount of money.  It doesn’t surprise me when they are purebred, even though we did NOT spend very much on our pure bred (and she has papers too) because our breeder believed that even people who don’t have much money should have the awesome opportunity to own a Bichon.  I have really appreciated that.  Especially now.  But what really surprises me are those that sell mixed breed puppies for $400 and up!  Good grief.

The adoption fee at animal shelters for a small dog or mixed breed is MORE than what we paid for our pure bred puppy over a year ago!  We just can’t justify it.  It seems to me that we would have more people adopting animals if people could AFFORD it.  I mentioned this to one of the workers who was helping us at the shelter.  I don’t think she appreciated it.  They should interview families and care more about the care and love that these dogs will receive than recovering their “fees” for boarding these dogs.

The bottom line is this:  We would like a companion puppy for our Bichon Frise.  Even though my husband and I work from home and have plenty of time with her – I think she might appreciate another dog to wrestle and play with.  I think it must get lonely for her.  We were told that a male small dog would be the best playmate for our female.  Also a consideration would be a similar temperament dog – like another Bichon, a miniature poodle or a mix of either of these two with other small breeds.  A low maintenance dog will be best because of the high cost of grooming.  But we simply can’t afford the high costs that everyone is asking.  We would have liked to “rescue” a dog – but to rescue a dog who is already an adult and set in their ways is a risk to bring into our home.  It is simply not an option for our dog and for our home and even if it was – we cannot afford the adoption fee.  What we are really looking for is another puppy we can train and who will be raised to fit into our lifestyle and our other dog.  An owner who cares more about that puppy getting an excellent loving and attentive family – then making $500-$1000 on each pup.

I know that many animal activists are not going to like my opinion on this.  But the only way my opinion will change on this is to lower the cost for people to adopt and more people could enjoy having a their first dog or would maybe be willing to adopt a second one.   We cry out “save a life” – “save a dog or cat” and then make it so difficult to own one.  Dogs are expensive – need grooming, shots, good food and a lot of time and energy.  Why make them SO expensive to purchase, knowing how expensive they will be to own?

We were lucky.  We never thought we would be able to own a pure bred like our Daisy.  She is a gift and a little miracle to our family.  We need another miracle puppy to take into our home and love.

Do your research – there are breeders out there not looking to make money – just looking for loving families to take care of their animals.  The right one will care more about you than your money.

Just something to think about.

God Bless

Just A Tick?

 

The other day we had quite the adventure. Our puppy had been acting funny and protecting her mouth. We knew there was something wrong, but as she is a little drama queen, we tried to downplay her episodes and see if the sudden yelping and crying out at random times throughout the day would just simply go away.

Because we are first time dog owners and have never had a puppy, I'm sure we have once or twice jumped to conclusions about her throwing up occasionally – usually bile when she's too picky to eat. Or thinking not eating is a serious sign when she simply does not feel like eating. And there was that one time when something irritated her tummy and she kept throwing up. We finally took her in and the doctor told us it was fairly normal when a dog gets upset, that anything to further irritate the tummy will result in more throwing up. We made it through that long night and next day – gave her pepcid for another day or so and then she was fine.

But this was different. She would not let us near her mouth to see what was wrong. The more we tried the more she screamed. She would not let the nice doctor examine her – so it was decided that she would have to be sedated. A couple of hours later we got the call. There was nothing wrong with her. No reason at all for her to be acting so fussy. No reason why she would be favoring her mouth, wouldn't bite and play. Nothing at all. We brought her home and as the pain meds wore off she was no better – in fact she seemed fussier than ever – yelping and screaming out at random times – tail tucked down and under. I consulted with the Vet on the phone – as their office had just closed. I told them there WAS something wrong. I don't think she really believed me and sent me to another Vet office in Covington that was still open.

At this point we were feeling really silly – but we knew there was something wrong with our dog. The Vet was very nice at this new place. We explained what we had been through and that she was examined from stem to stern and that it was determined there was not anything wrong with her. He listened and examined the puppy who was not too keen on strangers after her ordeal. She did like him though, and soon she was at ease – although still appeared to be troubled. He would lean down and let her come to him and the gently pet her. After spending 20 or so minutes in the room with us – he explained he was going to take a closer look. We could tell he was not convinced that this was nothing. And he ruled out neck or mouth pain almost immediately after probing around. We could hear her yelping from a back room as he was taking a closer look. Within a few minutes he came back in the room and explained that he had almost missed it – but what he found when pinpointing the origin of pain – was a TICK. Attached to Daisy's lower lip on the outside, buried deep within her hair. It had burrowed its way into her mouth making it very uncomfortable for her to eat, bite or act normal.

After he removed it (more screaming and yelping) she was fine almost right away. The nurse said she even hugged her 🙂 I was so relieved for Daisy – but also SO GLAD I wasn't losing my mind – that I could have KISSED that doctor and almost did! He was amazed to find a tick as they are not very common here – and he was also surprised that she would have the reaction to the tiny tick that she had. However, we who know her – were not. She is like the “princess and the pea”. The tiniest thing troubles her – and even today she is still recovering from 2 shots of pains meds and so much man-handling. What a sweet sensitive girl she it!

When you know a person or animal very well – you just know when they are not acting normal – and no one can tell you differently, right? Can a thing like just a little tick cause so much drama? Now I know the answer to that. YES!

 

Well, that's my story. The true ones are always the most fun – I mean, you just can't make this stuff up!

Take care and God Bless

 

A Quick Fix

Today we made another discovery with our 7 month old puppy, Daisy.  She is not a normal dog.  She is picky like a cat.  She does not scarf down food – instead sniffs it and sometimes will eat it.  If it suits her.  She eats to live – not the other way around.

Because she is a small white Bichon Frise – she also has tear staining issues.  We’ve tried everything.  But since being on more of a raw diet (fresh meat, freeze-dried and air-dried raw) she is much improved.  We were also told to get stainless steel bowls for her water and food.  She had pink porcelain before – but just in case any dye could seep through – we decided to try them.

Well believe it or not – she was FREAKED OUT because she could see her reflection in the shiny new bowls.  We tried to coax her to drink her water but she would NOT go anywhere near those scary things.

So we returned them and got plastic.  With plastic there is no clanking of her tag against metal or porcelain – so a double bonus.

But with these new bowls – there was another problem.  They were scary and deep.

She simply would NOT put her face inside the bowl to eat her food.  Drinking was okay because she didn’t have to go as far inside the bowl.  But in order to eat – we would have to put her food on the floor beside the bowl or hand feed it.  Because she is still a puppy – it is important for her to eat – tough love doesn’t work for growing puppies.

But we made a discovery!  When we brought the food up higher in her bowl – she went right to it and ate it just fine!  So Greg got a plastic lid – and with a little hot glue – he glued in to the inside of her bowl.

Guess who is eating now? With NO PROBLEM.

It was such a quick fix – so cheap and very little effort. And now we can all relax and know she is getting enough to eat 🙂

It’s the little things in life – that cost nothing, that give the most satisfaction.

When was the last time you had a “quick fix”?

God Bless

Things That Go SQUEAK In The Night

I am used to unusual noises in our home – especially at night.  We live in an older home and it likes to POP and CRACK at the most inconvenient times – like when I’m all alone.  When we first moved in – almost 10 years ago, I was downstairs in my office – and the wind blew a door shut upstairs.  I was SURE there was someone in our house!  It sounded creepy like footsteps above me!   And going to sleep was difficult at first.  But over time I have become accustom to it.  When we have guests here – often they will hear something above their heads and then look at us quizzically, and then ask, “are you sure there is no one home”?   We will then nod and look at each other with knowing looks (we could really have fun with people if we chose to) and say, “it’s just our old creaky house – it likes to settle.

It is also not unusual for Greg to be gone until the wee hours of morning.  He is a contractor in his “other” job, moonlighting for a company called “Northwood Construction” and they are contracted out to many Starbucks stores in the greater Seattle area.  So his job includes, and is not limited to:  window washing after hours, high dusting, pressure washing and light maintenance.  Last night it was another late one.  He has become an expert at slipping in very quietly – that is until we got a puppy. Dogs have an uncanny way of smelling and hearing you before you arrive – and our puppy is always looking for someone to come and see her and is listening intently – especially for Dad to come home after working.

So Greg can not exactly slip in unnoticed anymore.  Daisy will jump off the bed, and I will hear her running down the hall, clickety click – down the stairs and then to the back door wagging her tail madly and waiting for that magic moment when Greg opens the door.  Last night was no exception.  But Greg was very quiet and soon I drifted back to sleep.  The next thing I remember was hearing a very loud SQUEAK from one of Daisy’s toys and wondered to myself, “why is she playing with her toys in the middle of the night?” and then I heard a very LOUD CRASH – which had me sitting straight up in bed yelling, “Greg?  Is that you?  What’s going ON?”  This was accompanied by Greg laughing out loud and saying, “well – first I tried to turn out the light down here, I stepped on this blasted squeaky toy and then in the dark, I knocked over the coffee table!”  We had a good laugh as I accused him of playing with Daisy’s toys and telling him I was sure it had been her!

It’s the little comedies in life that give an extra sparkle to relationships and have us looking at ourselves and others with humor – as we all try to  take ourselves a little less seriously.  And folks, if you can laugh at things even in the middle of the night – then I would say that you have passed the test and have found the little things are some of the most important things, after all.

Here’s wishing you and yours a little more comedy and a little less tragedy as you discover laughter and the true medicine it is 🙂

God Bless

When Love Conquers Fear

The other day something interesting happened in our home.

Our 7 week old puppy Daisy was still learning her way around our house.  The  stairs to our second story were and still are scary – she was scared of the fireplace.  The hardwood floors scared her as she would slip on them.  For the first couple of days even her food dishes were scary.

We worked with her and helped her through her little fears, which seemed very small to us.  We trained her to use her doggie door – although she was scared of that at first too.  We would patiently sit by her and coax her.  We would go outside on the deck and wait for her to do her business – over and over again until she was more comfortable and would go running through the door without us.

The second day we brought her home – I was exhausted and really needed a nap before teaching that afternoon.  I brought one of her little beds from Greg’s office and put it beside my bed in hopes that she would  see me in the bed above her and all would be well.  Greg built little puppy stairs at the foot of our tall bed for her – but until then she had been too afraid to use them.  So I knew she would feel safe just seeing me in the bed next to her and go to sleep.

But before I knew it – this scared little puppy saw me go into the bed and quickly jumped up – with a force that overturned her little bed – barked, cried and shook – sized up the menacing stairs at the foot of the bed – and then – she took a running start and ran up those stairs!

Love had conquered that day.  Her strong desire to be with me outweighed her fear.

I realized that many of us live in an unhealthy place of fear – instead of in a comfortable place where love motivates our hearts and guides every choice we make.  Even the scary ones.

Many times I have allowed my fear to keep me bound in a place where I feel safe – but it is not necessarily where I want to be – nor the place where God has called me to be.

Love needs to be the place of highest motivation – and like our puppy who loves me more than her fear, I need to be letting my love for God be stronger than my fear of trusting Him.

When was the last time your love was greater than your fear?  When was the last time God asked you to trust Him – and because you loved Him that much – you simply did?

God Bless

Driving Miss “Daisy”

Many of you know that my husband and I became parents again – and at our age too!  No – it’s not a human baby, although we have raised two children and they now have homes of their own.  No – this time we took on a puppy – and not just any puppy.  A very special Bichon Frise puppy – all curly white, pink tummy and joyful bundle of happiness  🙂

We’ve been waiting since July for the day where we would go pick her up and drive her home.  There have been a few twists and turns along the way – which made the waiting harder – but wait we did.  Two weeks ago we went to visit and pick out just which special puppy would be “Daisy”.  And  at the right time where she was old enough to leave home – we took the journey to go and get her – this past Sunday.

Now I have not been the parent of a “baby”  human or otherwise – in 20 years.  So this was no easy task – I can assure you.  And although she is very good – and really smart – she is still a baby and very needy – more for attention than anything.  She does not like me out of her sight – so when she is “passed out” after eating, doing her business outside and playing hard – I have a few minutes to myself to shower, dress or anything else that needs doing without a puppy in tow.

Daisy is a sweet bundle of love.  Well worth the inconvenience for a few nights of adjustment without the usual amount of sleep,  to make sure she is comfortable and safe.  And since Bichon’s prefer human company over anything else – she not only sleeps with us at night – but stretches out and takes up most of the bed too!

For those of you that have had a puppy – or a Bichon Frise dog of any age – I think you’ll agree that they are worth the effort and give lots of humorous moments, love and sweetness – all the while looking adorable and cuddly.

I’ve met many new friends online who also have one of these special dogs and have discovered a bond of friendship with them, sharing our love of puppies and experiences with them.  And I’ve had countless support from many of my friends who have either a dog or cat – and think of them very much as their own children.  The love and encouragement have been priceless over the past several months and I feel as if I look at things in a strange new way, like a whole new world has opened up to me.

And I think – what a creative God we have!   He even cares about little puppies and made each of them with love and care – attention to detail that bring out a very special tugging at our heartstrings when we see them.  Recently I saw a program about puppies.  There is a chemical released in our brain when we are around a puppy – bringing out pure joy and happiness.  How many have said they love “puppy breath” and wish they could bottle it?   Me too.  Yes – there’s something about a puppy.

Below is a picture of our little Miss “Daisy” and a video too.

You know the saying, “puppy dogs, rainbows and ice cream”?  Well now I say it with new meaning and understanding.  There’s nothing better than a puppy 🙂

God Bless

Meeting A Certain Miss “Daisy”

Daisy is the name of a certain Bichon Frise puppy that we are adopting in two weeks.  We went to meet her yesterday where she lives with her mom, dad and brothers and sisters – almost 4 hours from our home.

When we arrived we were greeted by the breeder, Monica and all the adult Bichons, Tara, Meggie (the mom) and Gig (the dad).  They were warm, loving and embracing upon first meeting us in the yard and followed us into the house with kisses and hugs.  Monica then took us downstairs to where the puppies were and they have to be the cutest and sweetest puppies I have EVER SEEN.  All fluffy white little clouds of “puff” with big black eyes and noses.  They all wanted to be picked up and held and we tried to hold all of them.

When “Daisy” the tiniest one of the bunch was handed to me, she was shaky and not too sure about the strange new people – but after a few minutes we were great friends.  Her sister really seemed to like me too – and is only a little bigger than Daisy.  It took me a few minutes to see how they both would react to me – or “choose me”.  And once Daisy was back in my arms again and began licking and chewing on my fingers – the choice seemed pretty clear.  When a puppy does this and looks you right in the eye as if to say, “you’re mine” – it’s all over.

Needless to say we took many videos and many pictures too.  And we have such wonderful memories we were able to take back home that will always be with us.

I would say that this puppy got into our hearts – and we feel very blessed.

Enjoy the following videos from our adventure with “Daisy”.

God Bless




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