Every Sunday Tilly goes to her small dog play group. Today happens to be Halloween and a lot of her ‘playmates’ came in costume. We have quite a few Dachshunds in our group and they have the most amazing costumes designed for their long bodies. We had the classic weiner between a bun, purple dragon, a jockey, flower, angels, dracula, princess, superman, ladybug, bumble bees and a clown. It was very entertaining.
We have Hope with us for a short visit and sleep over. We just love it when we get the opportunity to spend some time with one of our former foster ‘kids’. Everyone two and four legged enjoys the visit. I was up bright and early his morning and took them all for a walk and then we came back and had breakfast. Sleeping beauty, aka Don, was still sound asleep so we all ran upstairs and jumped on the bed to try and wake him up. As you can tell by the picture Don is a very skilled sleeper. Even with 4 dogs in bed nothing interferes with his beauty rest…..well maybe there is a little hint of a smile on his lips.
We just received Tilly’s Canadian Kennel Club registration in the mail today (thanks Chris!). This was the final step in transferring ownership from the breeder to us. They combined the Kennel name with her name so her official registered name is Caruaidd Tilly.
I blew it. Tango didn’t wake us up last night to go potty so I thought she was on the mend…..big mistake. I went to work this morning with plans to come home around 10:00am to let her out. Well I got busy, lost track of time and didn’t get home until noon. I knew the second I opened the door and my olfactory sense kicked into overdrive it wasn’t going to be good. The poor girl had projectile diarrhea on the mat at the back door, all over the family room and even upstairs on the hallway rug. I rushed in and opened the back door to let her out and she ran past me and exploded some more. Oh but the good news doesn’t stop there. I opened Tilly’s kennel and she was all wet. Guess who else has diarrhea. She went straight into the sink for a full muzzle to tail bath…..yuk! It’s a good thing that blogs don’t come with smell-a-vision and I won’t gross you out by posting any pictures of the fall-out. On the positive side, Tilly is all soft, silky and smelling wonderful. It’s a good thing I love my ‘kids’.
I’m working at home today because poor Tango has a bad case of diarrhea. I was able to capture this cute video of Tilly trying to entice Wally to play with her. She has a chewed up straw in her mouth that she wiggles in front of his face. When she drops it he grabs it and the game is on. You can see him pushing his muzzle in her face so that she can grab the straw and the game can continue. He is just such a sweet, gentle boy when he plays with her…..I just love my golden boy! Sorry the video quality is so poor. I had to use my phone to capture the moment because my video camera was in another room and I didn’t want to take the chance of interrupting the interaction by getting up and leaving the room.
We took our kids and our house guest Hope for a free run. The grass was so tall that in places all I could see was the tip of Wally’s tail curled up high over his back. Forget about finding Tilly….it was impossible. She had a great time running through the grass and chasing after her much bigger buddies. I captured this cute video of everyone just being a dog and having fun….not to mention running into my camera. Check out Tilly’s giant ears flapping like wings as she runs.
Just got an email this morning that the folks over at DrawtheDog.com have published the picture of Tilly looking out the front door. Check it out by clicking on this hot link…..Big World. How exciting!!!
If you are not familiar with DrawtheDog.com…..6 days a week they publish a cartoon inspired by pictures they receive. You can subscribe and get the picture emailed to you each day.
I think I am going to order a copy of the print. Thanks DrawTheDog!!
It doesn’t matter where I go in the house, all the dogs have to come with me. My sewing room floor is covered with dog treats, toys and of course fabric and thread scraps. Every so often someone gets bored and lets me know……”hey Mom…..we need a little attention here”. It was Tilly’s turn today. She kept sitting in front of me with her rib bone in her mouth…..very cute. I happened to have my cell phone with me so I was able to capture this quick video. If you look on the wall behind Wally, you will see my Bargello quilt starting to take shape.
On the weekend we brought our ‘kids’ over to Susan’s house and they had a fun play date with Hope. She was so excited to see them that she was doing laps in the backyard. For a puppy who had several homes and a bit of a rough start in life…..she is doing so well. She is quite the flirt and she just loves men. As soon as Don sat on the swing she was right up there beside him. Susan says she never jumps up there normally. Here is a short video of all the ‘kids’ together.
Today we are celebrating two milestones. Nine years ago today Wally joined our family as our first foster dog. He was only supposed to be with us for a year but we have been blessed with 9 wonderful years and hopefully many, many more to come. He has the most beautiful personality and a gentle spirit. He has fathered 51 puppies, many of whom have gone on to become guide, assistance, hearing or autism service dogs.
Over the years he has welcomed 7 long term foster puppies and numerous short term fosters. They have chewed on him, jumped on him, used him as their play thing and at the end of the day they have crawled on top of him and gone to sleep. For an intact male he is truly amazing. If it were possible to clone him and keep him in our lives forever, I would do it without hesitation.
June 22nd, 2001
And last but not least, little Tilly is 6 months old today.
Wally’s favourite toy is his giant stuffed bear. It is bigger than he is but he will drag it around the house or outside so that he has it with him. Normally anything that is stuffed gets killed quickly in our house…..everything but Wally’s bear. Over the years he has never shared his bear with any other dog…..but for some reason he has relaxed the rule for Tilly. She has found a hole in the back seam and she is always pulling the stuffing out. Even though she just had 4 teeth pulled and has numerous stitches in her belly from her spay and hernia repair…..it doesn’t seem to stop her from wrestling with the bear. It’s feet are larger than she is. If you listen closely you can hear her snorting as she pulls at the red nose and the heart appliques on the paw.
Tilly has been taking it easy since her spay on Tuesday. I didn’t have the heart to put the cone head on her but even if I did, it wouldn’t have helped. The good news is that she doesn’t lick much but the bad news is that she is really itchy from the belly shave. I had to come up with a plan “B” to stop her from ripping out the stitches while she was scratching wildly and to stop Wally from licking her belly. He is obsessed with it. If I don’t watch closely, she ends up soaking wet from his licking. I went to PetsMart and they were clearing out all the summer dog clothes so I was able to buy a long muscle shirt for $4. It completely covers her incision and protects from her scratching. I’m embarassed when she goes out in public with her shirt because it says “Don’t act like you are NOT impressed”.
I just got a call from the Vet’s office. At first my heart stopped because the Vet tech sounded so serious. Tilly is doing great but she has 4 baby teeth that never fell out and they are doubled up with her adult teeth so they wanted to know if they should remove them. I think we are going to have to re-mortgage our house to pay this bill. It’s a good thing that this little girl is so darn cute and loved to bits.
This morning I am dropping Tilly off at our Vet’s office so that she can be spayed. I was hoping to wait until she was 6 months old (she is 5.5 months) but our boy Wally has been telling us for the last few weeks that she is starting to become a young woman and is close to coming into heat. The boy’s nose…knows. He has alerted to a female in heat up to a month before it starts and he has never been wrong so we have learned to trust his nose. Hopefully she won’t have to wear one of those cones on her head to stop her from licking her belly. I think she would find it very stressful.
Tilly’s long coat has just started to show promise but I guess we will have to start back at square one because they will likely be shaving the long hair on the side of her belly. When I go back this afternoon, I will be bringing Tango with me so that she can get her annual exam and shots. We need to provide proof that she is a healthy dog before she can qualify for her RCMP certification in a couple of weeks.
Three friends and I are in Calgary to attended the CAPPDT (Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers) conference. We arrived yesterday at noon, hit a few local quilt stores and then settled into our hotel rooms. I am really looking forward to hearing such experts as Jennifer and Steve White and of course the guru Karen Pryor speak. I have been awake since 5am and now I am waiting for the others to surface so that we can walk the dogs before the first session begins at 9am.
This is the first time Don has been left alone with the 4-legged kids and he knows I am a little worried. He sent me these picture to show me that everything is ok at home.
I found a new MeetUp group for toy and small breed dogs. In the summer they meet weekly at a fully fenced outdoor hockey rink. It is great because the dogs have tons of room to run around and play and we don’t have to worry about anyone getting lost or running away. There were over 20 dogs at today’s get together and everyone got along really well. It was wonderful for Tilly to have so many dogs her size to play with. One of the Papillon’s was celebrating it’s first birthday so there was doggy cake for all the 4-legged participants and even a little treat for each human. I can’t wait for our next play date.
We’ve had Hope as our houseguest for the last 2 nights. She was one of our foster puppies in 2008-2009 so she is well known to Wally and Tango. She loved playing with little Tilly but she was a little rough……I guess she has never had any experience playing with a small puppy. Everyone survived and a good time was had by all. Hope was very good a remembering the house rule for only going potty in the restricted zone but she either completely forgot or ignored the rule of no swimming in the pond. Thank goodness we hadn’t moved the fish outside yet.
I don’t know what it is about Tango and Tilly but it seems like every time I find the two snuggling together they are in some weird position. First it was Tilly sleeping with her muzzle parked right up against Tango’s butt and now this. Tilly’s neck is sandwiched between Tango’s two back legs…..like she is in a wrestling death grip choke hold…..only she is peacefully asleep. Strange but true?!?
We went for an off-leash run with Susan, David and Hope this past weekend. There were so many gopher holes in the field it was like walking an obstacle course. I was concerned that one of the dogs would hurt themselves and possibly break a leg while they were running around and playing. Wally, who is not normally a high prey drive dog, was fascinated with some of the holes and began digging in them. I got a good group picture at the end. You can see how tired the dogs are with their giant pink tongues hanging out while they were panting profusely.
I love weekend mornings. I’m always the first 2 legged member of the family to wake up. As soon as I am starting to stir Tango is right there waiting to say good morning. I just need to snap my fingers or whisper ‘OK’ and she is on the bed in a microsecond. She loves her morning cuddles and she is so anxious to plant a kiss on my face that I often end up with a french kiss. Wally is more like Don…..not a morning person. It takes him a while to stretch and slowly come to consciousness and then as he approaches the bed you can hear the loud thumping of his tail against the mattress. Wally is a ‘spooner’…..he just loves to mould his body to mine and snuggle in close. Our little Tilly prefers to get as close to your face as possible. She will sleep draped across my neck or mouth.
If I get up for a potty break, by the time I come back Tilly has staked a claim on Don’s neck and the big ‘kids’have taken over my side of the bed.
I know my ‘kids’ have a ton of toys already but I couldn’t resist buying this one. It is a giant yellow and green crocodile with 16 squeakers in it. There is nothing Wally and Tango love more than a stuffed toy with a squeaker….but 16 of them…..now that is a toy! It was a big hit with all 3 dogs. So far they have only killed one squeaker…..no holes, no missing appendages and it is still fully stuffed.
I found a local Cavalier King Charles Spaniel group on Meetup. Now that Tilly has had all her shots, we can finally go to one of the group get togethers. We met at the Doggie Style Deli on Sunday. It was the first time that she actually really got to play with another dog. At the off-leash park, all of the dogs we encounter are either so much bigger than her, they play too rough or they aren’t interested in her…..so she has never really had the opportunity for a good play session. Although all the Cavie’s today were bigger, they all got along very well. The owner of the Deli had a German Shepherd that was really interested in Tilly and played much more gently with her than Tango does. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera so I had to rely on my iphone. I got some fun video and a few blurry pictures of the gang together.
Back: Honey (Cocker spaniel), Cecil, Chloe Front: Tilly, Charlie
When we were trying to decide which breed we should get, one of our most important criteria was that the dog had to be great with kids. Up until now, the only interactions Tilly has had with children was walking by a few at the off-leash park. Today we spent the day with Susan and her granddaughters Petra and Gwen. Tilly definitely lived up to the Cavalier promise of being great with kids. Even when the girls got excited, jumped and made loud noise……Tilly seemed to take it all in stride. At first she was far to excited, jumping up and licking the girls like crazy. It took a few minutes but she quickly settled down and just enjoyed being with them. The visit ended with Petra and Tilly curling up on the couch together……so sweet!!!
Today is kind of a bitter sweet day for us. On the happy side, we are celebrating Tilly being 4 months old but on the sad side, this is our last play date with Garnet. Tonight Garnet will be leaving his foster family that he has been with for the last 14 months, and moving on to a new foster home. He is such a sweet, wonderful dog and of course he is incredibly handsome like his father Wally. Yes, Garnet is another one of Wally’s children who hopefully will go on to help someone as a Guide, Assistance or Autism Service Dog. Goodbye Garnet…..you will be missed by everyone!!!
Here are a few pictures and a video from our last puppy play date:
Does this look like a happy face? Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she didn’t seem to mind getting bathed in the kitchen sink. She just stood there quietly and when it was all over she climbed into the towel to get dry. Now she smells like a combination of lavendar and rosemary. Very smoochable. Of course, as soon as she was dry she went outside and starting digging in my vegetable garden. I think we are going to have to put up a Tilly-size fence to keep her out.
I was thrilled to discover that spring may have finally sprung. I noticed that I have some beautiful crocuses blooming. I just love the first sign of spring. I look forward to going out into the garden each morning to see what is peaking up out of the cold ground.
On the weekend we always try to get the dogs out for a few off-leash runs. Tango lives to play with her chucker and Wally and Tilly are just happy to be outside with us. Here are a couple of videos from our weekend. The first one is just video of Tilly and Wally enjoying being at the off-leash park. The second one is Tango playing with her chucker. She is obsessed with it. If you watch her closely you will see that when she is chasing the ball, she makes herself more aerodynamic by flattening her giant ears against the top of her head. As she closes in on the ball they stand up straight almost like air brakes to help her slow down.
I walked into the family room this morning and got a real chuckle…..it is not hard to tell that this is a ‘dog house’. The carpet was covered with toys, stuffing and of course dogs.
When Tilly wants to cuddle or sleep she seems to prefer Wally but when she is in the mood to play, Tango is definitely her first choice. Here is a cute video of her doing her best to get Tango to play with her. When she does succeed at getting herself a playmate…..she is almost overwhelmed by the intensity of the game.
Today was a big day for little Tilly. This morning, bright and early, I took her to meet our Vet and get her 3rd set of shots. She did really well, with just one small cry when he stuck the needle in. She weighs a whopping 2.8 kg. That means that she has only gained .1 kg in the last three weeks. She was a big hit in the office and one of the Vet techs took her in the back so that everyone could oooh and ahhh over her.
We got Dr. Scott’s blessing to take her on her first trip to the off-leash park. I wanted to go at a quiet time so that her initial visit wouldn’t be overwhelming with all the dogs and people. She was true to her Cavalier heritage and was a complete social butterfly. She had to run off and meet every dog and every human. I was really proud of her. She even managed to come back when she was called.
Then it was off to Don’s office to meet his co-workers. She was pretty tired from all the running at the off-leash park so she was on her best behaviour. They all smooched her up. It turned out to be a very long day for wee Tilly. We left the house at 8am and didn’t get home until 2:30pm.