Finally! Some Words for Calvin’s First Weeks Home

Calvin is 14 weeks old and has had quite the exciting 5 weeks since coming home. I’ve had a hard time putting those weeks into words, they have been a journey to say the least. He’s such an interesting boy, I’ve had a hard time putting him into words too.

14 weeks old

Late thursday night after we taught classes his Auntie Nikki sat watching us as I snuggled him. I’d just brought him out of his crate where he’d slept through me teaching Tricks class and us closing up the store, he was still all floppy and sleepy, and she said, “Calvin is just so. . . amazing.”

We sat there quiet for a second watching him and I said, “I know isn’t he just the most. . . interesting puppy?” We both just sat there while he nibbled away at my face, saying hello. I told her I have the hardest time even describing how fascinating he is. He is truly such a unique pup. She says he’s like an old soul who is out for his last hurrah. That’s quite an astute observation and the best words I really have to describe him. He is a thinker. He has to sit back and watch new things, but then he just dives in with gusto! It’s very, very fascinating to watch him think and Mary Bethhad it right when she told me, “I think you’ll be fascinated with his brain.”

11 Weeks

Last week he discovered there was a world above his head. We were sitting under some trees and he sat watching the leaves wave in the breeze. He looked up, then he looked at the shadows they were making on the gravel, then he looked up again, looked down again, watching those shadows. I have no idea what he was learning but he was learning something. After watching, up and down, up and down, suddenly he just pounced and off went gamboling into play like, “Well that was interesting, back to play!”

He constantly makes me laugh and always amazes me. You can see him learning. We have a low profile bed, we got it when Meeka was sick so she could still get on the bed with us. One morning I watched him running around it from one side to other, around and around. He really wanted to get up on that bed! He never did figure it out that morning, but Ry’s been on puppy duty on Monday nights while I’m at work and that night I got this text on my way home, “Are you coming home? I can’t control this monster!” Turns out Calvin had got on the bed and of course peed. Ry said, “I didn’t even know he could get on the bed!” I didn’t either but apparently he’d figured it out that morning.

The whole ordeal with Magnus is really part of the reason I have a hard time putting Calvin’s journey into words. For those of you who don’t know, Magnus has Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia. On September 6, after 4 days of doing all we could do to save him we came home with little hope he would survive. The vet gave him 24-48 hours and the next 12 hours were 12 of the most agonizing hours I’ve ever lived. He had a major GI bleed and had started bleeding into his lungs. Everyone was praying for a medical miracle, but my positivity failed me and I set out to make his last hours as peaceful as possible. Then Friday afternoon, against all odds, he turned it around. He came out of it, the bleeding stopped and he survived.

And this is where I stop having words, some day I’ll put that drama all together, but as of now I’m still processing the whole thing. I’ll just say he is staying stable. He’s on a slew of meds, the worst of which is 20 MG of Prednisone. It makes him miserably ravenous and has totally changed his drive. Thankfully he will be able to be off of it eventually.

So with all of that happening and a few Real Life days I never counted on, Calvin’s first weeks home haven’t looked at all like I thought they would. But they have been amazing.

Each puppy is different. One of the biggest difference with Calvin is me. I’m in this great place where I don’t worry about training. With Maizey I was terrified of messing it up and knew instinctively there was something wrong with her, we did a lot of very structured training sessions. Practice, practice practice. Looking back I can see it didn’t really make her more reliable and was way too much pressure on her.

“I love my sisser!”

With Magnus I was no where near that intense and he was just easier anyways, but I had a lot of goals and expectations. Harldly any of which turned out to be important to me. They affected the training I did with him as a puppy, it changed my focus from puppy fun to preparing him and worrying about not messing anything up.

With Calvin all of that is different. I have just reveled in these weeks. We’ve done tons of training but hardly any structured sessions. We train as part of daily life. Sure some things are falling behind, we still don’t have down on cue. (Which I admit is a bit embarrassing, but he has his whole life to learn boring ol’ downs.) What we do have so far is an unbelievable connection. He’s got great focus, a pretty good little puppy recall, an adorable mat work, just to name a few things. I’m just not worried about it. I’m enjoying him. We all are. He’s fit in wonderfully.

Even Maizey likes him! It didn’t take near as long as it did with Magnus for her to buddy up with him. That was the only side benefit of Magnus getting sick. Because the internal bleeding was so dangerous he couldn’t be with Calvin at all. Calvin bumping him could have caused further bleeding, so they took a weeks vacation from being together. So my Stupendous Man set out to win over his sister, and win he did! They are good buddies now.

I don’t often share pictures of me, but this one is special to me. (Plus it finally shows the 40 pounds I’ve lost in the last two years!) It was taken on the day we found out Magnus was sick. Before we knew he was sick we took a trip to the canyon to celebrate our 14 year anniversary. It was a beautiful, happy day. Calvin has filled a place in our hearts and I just can’t wait to watch his fascinating brain grow!


Don’t leave me home mom!

Don't leave me home mom!


The As Yet Un-Named Puppy Needs a Name!

My puppy is eight weeks old today. I can’t believe it!

It’s official I’ll be bringing home this gorgeous boy next week. So far he’s fondly referred to as Super Bill, which is hilarious, but I really want an “M” name to go with my pups. He’s a gorgeous puppy and from what she tells me quite the character!

7 weeks

I fly out next week to meet him. I’ll spend a couple days getting to know him and a few of our long time blogging friends, then fly him home. The journey home should be quite a trip since we have to drive an hour and half across the border, fly to Detroit for a short layover and then catch our final plane home. Whew! Sounds exhausting already!

Thankfully I have Ryan to stay with my monkeys at home. I hate leaving them. I’ve never left Magnus for this long and of course leaving Maizey is just hard period. She doesn’t do that great in the days I work for more than 6 hours so how she’ll handle 4 days I have no idea.

I can’t believe everything these puppies already know! They’re working on house and crate training, wearing his harness, they are little tugging maniacs, I can’t even list everything they already know!

I wish I had more time to post, but I’m swamped with work and trying to get everyone ready for my trip, including me! I do need the input of your wisdom- I need a name! I do want to stick with the “M” theme I have going. This is my last pup for a long time so I thought it would be cute to stick with the theme. I have a few front runners, but would love suggestions. I won’t name him till I meet him, so you have a few days to let the names pour in!

He does have a registered name already: Embee’s Stupendous Man. But the call name is killing me, I just don’t have anything I’m in love with, so lets hear it folks! Let the “M” names pour in!

(I should add I have one non-M name in mind, but if you all inspire me maybe I can keep with my theme!)


3 Crates a Pink Suitcase & a Tiny Yellow Puppia = New Puppy Soon!!

3 crates a pink suitcase & a tiny yellow puppia = new puppy soon!!

Doing puppy prep stuff today. Got his crate all set up. I’m not sure how the whole crating thing will work with Maizey. She doesn’t use her crate much these days. Sleeps in it with the door open a lot. Neither of mine are crated much at all. I’m not sure how that will work with the new little guy. Do you crate your puppies while the older, wiser grown-ups get freedom? Does that seem to frustrate them? Ah. . . new frontiers come with so many questions!


Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Hiking to the Cobblestone Arch

These pictures were taken at 12:30 in the afternoon after the sprinklers had been on all night. It was beautiful.

"Are we there yet???"

"We're getting tired, where's this arch you promised??"

It was a good day, but now I'm cold and tired. I'm going to sleep all the way home!"


Bring Us Your October Walking Challenge Miles!

We finished up October with a grand 251 miles. I’m pretty happy with that! How ’bout you all? Getting out there with your pups?

There are officially only two months left in the 2011 Walking Challenge. For us that means we need 114 miles in 61 days. Honestly I don’t know if we’re going to make the miles. Honestly I don’t care! We have had so much fun this year. Looking back I can’t believe all the things we’ve done!

Walks, hikes, travels and biking have all played a part in our miles thus far. We’ve faced injuries, Maizey’s anxiety, rain, snow and heat. None of it stopped us so far and I don’t plan on quitting now! I’m going to finish up the year and no matter what that final number ends up being I’m proud of us.

I’m proud of all the Walking Challenge members! You guys kept us going. No matter what the goals are we’ve all achieved so much and I thank you all for supporting us!

Even if you’ve decided not to finish up the year I hope you all had fun. To me it’s been a great thing and I hope you all feel the same!

So on this un-Monday miles report I leave you with some pictures from our weekend. We had a great weekend of travel and hiking. We went to one of my most favorite places on earth and based on the hours it took me to de-sticker and de-mud the dogs I’m guessing they had a blast!
(I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I got a new camera and haven’t figured out all the kinks just yet. It was just too great a day not to share though so I’m posting them anyways.)

To be continued tomorrow in Wordless Wednesday. . .


A No Dog Vacation

I’m on vacation with NO dogs. Not one! I know you can’t believe it, but it’s true!

It’s our thirteenth anniversary next month so my mom and step-dad gave us a weekend away at a great condo in the mountains.

It’s been at least three years since I went on a trip with out a dog. That means in three years I have not had one day with out 4legged companionship.

The best part? I’m having a blast! Yes, I’m sure it would be wonderful to have them here with us, but I seem to be surviving without them. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t still subjected my poor Mehusbandy to more than his fair share of dog talk, but he’s a good sport.

The view from breakfast.

So far we’ve done a whole lot of. . . nothing! Which is the best part of vacation. I’ve never been one of those pack it in type of travelers. I’m the boring type who likes to get up late, eat leisurely meals, read and watch movies and other generally lazy things. Hey, we did play frisbee, toss the football and even swam today, so we haven’t been totally sloth like.

Tomorrow we may even take a hike in between yummy breakfast, yummy lunch and afternoon naps. Or maybe not. That’s the other beauty of vacation, you just get to live in the moment and it really doesn’t matter if none of your plans get done.

I was going to leave Maizey and Magnus with our trainer. She boards dogs in her house and they get to live and play with her pack of 4legged friends. We felt it would be a good chance for her to evaluate Maizey away from me.

It didn’t work out to leave them there so my mom took them for the weekend. I’m sure they’ll be fine, at least Magnus will. But it’s so weird to be without them. My mom’s already humored me by sending pictures and video and I’ve only been gone a night. I have very good family.

Two more days and then it’s back to the daily grind. I’m not looking forward so much to that, but I’ll be so glad to be back with my puppies again!