Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meet the Rest of Our Canine Companions

We promised Sassy she would be the star of the next post so here she is!! 

Sassy is a 13-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi and was originally Bobby’s mother’s dog.  Sassy has been with us since his mother passed away in 2008.  Sassy was quite spoiled and well fed when she came to live with us.  Since her arrival we can report she has lost the 20 pounds of unnecessary weight, she acquired from eating a Pillsbury biscuit every morning while his mother was alive. (Carbs are the devil!!)

Although the extra weight has taken a little bit of a toll on her joints, she still frolics and tries to be the boss!!!  She is a herd dog after all!

Sassy loves the farm.  Being a natural herd dog, she loves to run with and bark at the other dogs as she tries to herd them up.  

She frolics and splashes through various puddles after a rainstorm. 

She also drives us crazy by coming to a dead stop in front of us while walking out to the barn or goat shed.  It seems to happen for no clear reason and we frequently find ourselves nearly tripping over her.   Being the most fur laden canine we have…she occasionally manages to sneak into the house covered with mud and likes to lie on the hardwood floor.  When it’s rainy or wet outside, it looks like someone took a sponge and dabbed fairly large mud spots on the floor no matter how much we dry her off before letting her back in the house.

We introduced you to Selene, the wiemaraner puppy we rescued in our initial post. 

We can report that nearly two years later, she is happy as can be.  We installed underground dog fence around the entire ten acres of the farm so that the dogs could run and frolic to their hearts content, as dogs love to do. 

She is quite sleek and long legged.  We call her our “Speed Demon” because she loves to run the length of the property full steam.  Not one of the other dogs is able to keep up with her.  As a result of her early life of abuse, she is very needy.  It is impossible, even after two years, to give a little attention to one of our other canine companions without Selene trying to get her head rubbed as well.  For this reason we also call her the "fun sucker" as she always tries to steal their lovins! 

Despite her speed demon antics while outside, she is a completely different dog inside.  She frequently curls up on one of the dog beds or sneaks onto our bed, where she is calm and angelic.  

Don't let this angelic photo fool you....but we love them dearly.

Shamus is the newest addition to our little pack of canine companions. 

He is an eight-month-old Rottweiler puppy.  When Eric graduated from high school, he saved up all his graduation money, which he used to order a Rottweiler puppy from Germany.  He named her DamÄ“ (pronounced Dama, which is German for ‘lady’) and she ended up being “the dog” of Eric’s life.  After she passed away, he felt he would never have another Rotty, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Back in August, Bobby,Eric, and Eric's sister Becky began searching for a Rottweiler pup as a birthday present that Eric’s mother had been hinting for, she has very fond memories of DamÄ“ as well!   We managed to find a beautiful eight-week-old female puppy about an hours drive from us. 

The female puppy soon to be known as Becca

Fortunately, the breeder was coming to town in a week to do an obedience class and could bring the puppy with her for us to see.  Over the course of the week, various emails went back and forth.  The night before the planned meeting, the lady emailed us that she had a male puppy that someone had put a deposit down on but had since decided not to get the puppy.  “Did we know anyone that would be interested in him?”   

Shamus and Becca with their mother

While Eric is reading this to Bobby, his eyebrows climb upward and his lips curl up into an impressive grin.  What was Bobby to do?  Eric clearly wanted this little male puppy as he is showing me the picture.  “Isn’t he a handsome boy?”  Again, fate was telling us something and we both felt compelled to listen.  He sent the breeder an email and asked her to bring both puppies the next day.

We all three met the breeder in the local park and both puppies were exactly what we were looking for and hence, came home to the farm with us.  

A week later the female puppy was given to Eric’s mother for her birthday and now goes by Becca.  The male stayed with us and goes by Shamus.  Shamus is now eight months old and already weighs over 85 pounds.  He has the most laid back disposition for a Rotty, which we feel is the epitome of ‘Just BE’.  We got lucky and recognize it for what it’s worth!  Becca comes to the farm often to spend the week-end when Eric's mother and step-father travel. 

So now you've met all of our canine companions.  They are certain to make more appearances in future posts.  

Our next post will be an introduction to our other four legged farm friends.....the pygora goats.  Additionally, we will be announcing the winner of our giveaway.  So thanks for stopping by and and come back often.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Our Bulldog Adventure

It’s a little past midnight on January 12th, 2011. It’s cold, very cold, and snowing.  Neenee (pronounced Nay Nay) our 4-year-old English Bulldog is laboring with her third litter of pups

Do I still have back legs?

OMG.....I can't breath!!

She had been able to naturally whelp her other two litters, which is unusual of English Bulldogs who typically require a C-section. 

However, something is not right! It’s not progressing like it should.  Bobby is checking her progress over and over, while Eric tries to reassure and comfort her.  The first puppy is breech and must be pulled out by its tiny feet.  Neenee seems better after the first puppy is out; however, something still seems wrong!

We decided it was time to load her in the truck and make the 45-minute trip to the emergency vet clinic.  Bobby is in the back of the truck with her and Eric is driving like a mad man in the snow.  She starts having some significant bleeding about half way there, but he doesn’t tell Eric.

Upon our arrival, the vet recognizes the seriousness of the situation and wants to proceed with an emergent c-section. She asks if it comes down to saving momma dog or the puppies, what would we want her to do?  “Save the mother” we both say simultaneously and without hesitation.
How could you not love this face??

Bobby happens to also be on call for the NICU and gets a call while talking to the vet.  She realizes what his day job is and insists that we both come back to help resuscitate the puppies, IF they make it. 

We are each handed a lifeless puppy to dry, stimulate, and cord clamp.  It’s not looking good at first but then one begins to breathe and move. Then the other starts as well!! Puppy after puppy are handed to us, all of which we are able to get breathing and moving on their own.  All told five puppies make it!

Neenee must recover from her anesthesia, so we are setting in the waiting room with five bulldog puppies lying on a heating pad in a box.  Five hours later, as the sun begins to show it’s self, we load Neenee and her new puppies in to the truck and head home.  It’s been a long night and we both still have to be at work in a few short hours.

Just an hour old!
Needless to say the next few weeks are fairly sleep deprived….at least for the humans in this story.  Neenee is trying to recover but not wanting to eat.  Fortunately, Bobby has a way of getting her to eat for him by talking in a funny voice and saying things like, “come on baby nee, you got eat for your babies”, etc. 

Unfortunately, Bobby is at work at feeding time.  Eric calls and says he can’t get her to eat.  Bobby relents and agrees to try to talk to her on the speakerphone.  So in the NNP office of the NICU, there stands Bobby talking baby talk into the phone with a half dozen people watching on.  At first, Neenee doesn’t buy it but after a few tries, Eric reports, much to his chagrin, that she is eating.  A sigh of relief overcomes the office; after all we ARE in the baby business.

Neenee picks a favorite puppy in the very beginning…bringing her up against her face and putting her front legs around her. Eric is quite smitten with her too! He dubbed her the beauty queen!

That's Sophie snuggled up between her front legs!

Bobby falls in love with the littlest puppy.

It should be against the law to be this cute!!!

About six weeks into it, while having some puppy time in the floor and discussing which one to keep; we both look at each other and say “are we crazy?”.  Realizing that we are probably going to keep both puppies, Neenee’s (Eric's) favorite and Bobby's, too!!!!!  The other three puppies are placed in very nice homes and we do occasionally get updates on their status. 

Sophie being frisky!

The puppies at play time!

Bulldogs apparently love noses!

Neenee and Eric’s favorite is now known as Sophie. Sophie is a big girl like her mother and has the stubborn attitude to match.

Like daughter!

She has very selective hearing….only responding at meal time, usually.  She loves to chase the deer in the field and frequently goes to the edge of the property to bark at the neighbor’s horses.  They ignore her of course. 

Bobby's favorite now goes by Sadie, she is of a slighter build like her father.  She has quite a quirky personality. 

She is at times very skittish and jumps at the least little sound.  However, she is far more adventurous than her sister. 

She tends to go off by herself and explore.  She loves the wooded area next to the creek and is definitely the apple of Bobby’s eye.

As for Neenee, she has made a complete recovery of course.  She loves the recliner that she barely fits in. 

When we moved to the farm this past July, she grieved for 2 months because her favorite recliner wouldn’t fit in the family room.  To this day, if she doesn’t come when called, we know to look in the den, because sure enough there she is in her recliner, fast asleep and happy as can be.  We should also mention Neenee is the only dog that sleeps in the bed with us.  OK, perhaps we spoil her just a bit.

Thanks for stopping by..... more about our canine friends coming soon.

~Bobby & Eric~