25 April 2011

Our Zoë

We took a big chance today.
We went out for about 3 hours.
Dogs....loose in the house.
We came up with a bunch of scenarios:

We'd need a new sofa
We'd have no shoes left
Our living room rug would be in pieces
Our coffee tables would be reduced to wood chips....

As we approached the house, we saw a couple of flashing lights in the distance.... Kypros let out an audible "Oh-oh...".  We laughed when we saw that it was a back-hoe making its way down our street.

We imagined that the dogs were in the house making sandwiches, playing poker....

The key went in the door.  Inside??



The casualties?  A towel.  One beat up sandal.
We are so proud of our babysitter:  Zoë.  She is the world's best dog, paws down!

We love you baby!!

24 April 2011

Her opinion counts too!

Is Zoë contemplating Coullah's arrival?

From our point of view, Zoë is adjusting beautifully to our new addition.  But is she?  Does she like that we made a decision to give her a new little sister???  Or, did she enjoy being an only child??

I wish that I knew the answer to any of these questions!!!!  I wish that we could have sat her down and talked about it.  If only dogs had 'thought bubbles' above their heads!!  

Have we seen any signs of sibling rivalry?  Nope.
Have we seen any aggression?  Nope.
Have we seen any possessive behaviours?  Nope.

What we have witnessed is:

Food sharing.
Lots of kisses and licks.
Tail wagging.
Play fighting.
Chase games.

Kypros and I can only hope that our two Blues become the best of friends.  There is only so much we humans can do, the rest is up to our dogs.  I think the most important thing we can do is give them their space, give equal hugs and love, but treat them as individuals - with their own likes and dislikes.  We've already seen the huge difference in personality between the two.

Relaxing in the shade on Easter Weekend

Zoë:  Is playful, energetic, sensitive and a free spirit.  She looks at you with her big brown eyes and you can see her searching your face - I swear she can read my mind.  Zoë is very emotional and is pure joy.  Belly rubbings are tops on her list.  She loves being outside - she is a real 'tom girl' - nothing is too wet or too muddy for this girl.  Trail walks are always popular, loud traffic - NOT!!

Watching Zoë run through an open field is really a beautiful thing. The pure joy on her face is a sight to be seen. Her exuberance is unbelievable and her happiness makes us smile every night when we open our door and she rushes out to greet us.

Coullah: Being new to our family, we have already discovered a few things about our little 10 month old Blue. She is a real girlie-girl. She is a super snuggler with a BPS 'sweetness' that is ten-fold. Those of you who have a BPS know what I mean here! Coullah *loves* belly rubs and ear scratches. She always looks to see where we are before she acts. She is lacking in confidence, but we think that is just age and the fact that she's in a new environment. But, she is constantly looking to Zoë for leadership and direction. Coullah has been a 'country girl' for 10 months and I don't see that ever changing.

Every minute that Coullah is with us brings her closer to her new pack. We hope that she accepts and grows to love Kypros, Zoë and me as much as we are beginning to love her.

As we travel down our path together, I will share our funny moments, our serious moments, our beautiful moments and everything in between.  Enjoy our new journey everyone!

23 April 2011

Coullah 101

Who is this little Blue??
Brighthope's Aftershock "Coullah"

Our new little Blue was named after the Ontario Earthquake of 2010.  She was actually born the day of the earthquake - June 23 - hence the name, "Aftershock".   So that makes today, April 23, her 10th month Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday Coullah!!!

Happy Girl!!!
Doggie parents:

Mom: Shireoak Eye of the Storm, "Marne"
Dad:  Ch. Brighthope Free Reign "Reign"

So, to get the lineage straight:  Suede is Zoë's dad.  Reign is Suede's son.  So, that makes Zoë and Coullah second cousins. But we're just going to refer to them as 'sisters'!!

Coullah looks on as Zoë gets a brushing

Her first night with her new family:

What a lovely little girl!  She slept throughout the night - so did Zoë for that matter.  A wee bit of snoring, but that's it.  We have been so impressed with Coullah.  We took her away from Brighthope, the only home she's ever known and asked her to live with us.  It must have been overwhelming.  New people, new dog, new house, new smells, new sounds, new routine.....  With all of this, she has been so good.  So much to ask from a wee pup.  All we can do is love her and hope that her transition will continue to be a smooth one. 

I know that Zoë is doing her best to welcome her new forever friend...

Snuggling on the sofa

22 April 2011

Welcome Home Coullah!

After a nice visit with Vicki and Dave at Brighthope Kennels, and a warm goodbye, we left Hanover with one extra passenger:  Coullah.  She was so good in the car.  Curious, she cuddled up next to me and watched out the window for the 2 hour drive.....

Once at her new home, both our doggies walked into the house and tails started to wag!

After a nice long drink of cold water, we took both our Blues outside for some playtime. 

Coullah in hot pursuit!

Our two Blues had a romping great time in the backyard.  Coullah did a ton of investigation into every inch of her new backyard.  Luckily, she has no interest in chewing wood - one of Zoë's favourite things to do. 

Zoë gets down to business!

Coullah takes possession of the ball

One thing that we didn't expect so soon was the amount of kisses we'd get from our new little one.  She is such a sweet, sweet puppy.  She came over at intervals to cosy up to both me and Kypros - showering us with kisses and cuddles. 

Coullah: Absoulutely beautiful
After dinner, we set up Coullah's crate with a couple of Zoë's baby blankets.  But, where is she right now??  Well, as I type, she's snuggled on the sofa with me.... xo  There's already been a couple of belly rubs - a BPS favourite!  Of course, Zoë is our first Blue, our Angel, but Coullah has quickly found a special place in our hearts.

Thank you Vicki for yet another wonderful puppy!!!  Stay tuned for Coullah, Day 2.  We'll get to know Coullah...who are her doggie parents??  Is she related to Zoë??  How did she get the name "Aftershock"??

Brighthope's Aftershock:  Coullah

19 April 2011

Here comes Coullah!!

Just in time for Easter.......

The adventure begins Friday!!!!  Stay tuned......

12 April 2011

Leash-Free Expectations: The annual rant

I haven't done a dog park rant in about a year - and unfortunately, it's time for me to address leash-free etiquette yet again.

The issue:
Last Friday, we were at our local leash-free. It was a great bunch of dogs (and people!). At one point in the evening, a gentleman entered the park with his female bulldog, "Angel". He kept her on leash. He made his way around to each dog to see how his dog would react. Zoë was over at the other end of the park. Someone asked this owner if he would be taking Angel off leash. He answered that "I have to see about this dog first" (meaning Zoë). He headed over towards Zoë. I don't know what type of body posturing Angel did, but Zoë immediately put her tail down and slunk away - back towards us and the other group of dogs.

This should have set off an alarm in the owner's head. It didn't. He approached the rest of the group and took her off leash.

Angel immediately b-lined for Zoë. She immediately attacked our Blue. Zoë is not the type of dog that will fight back and immediately cowered, but the Angel persisted. It lunged continuously at our little Blue. I quickly reached in, grabbed Angel by the collar and pulled the 90 lb dog off and away from Zoë. Meantime, Kypros secured Zoë.

We quickly took Zoë to the opposite end of the park. She sat beside a picnic table shaking. We checked her and found that the Bulldog had cut her right beside her eye.

The gentleman had meanwhile re-leashed his dog and was making his way towards us. He kept his distance, but asked, "Is your dog OK?" Kypros answered that she had been cut by her eye. He didn't acknowledge this, but turned back, reached down, patted Angel on the head and walked away.

No apology. Nothing.  Nada.

The Skinny:
Angel has been coming to the dog park for about 1.5 years. Apparently, she was boarded for a week and after that, the owner witnessed a serious personality change - aggressive and hostile. He stayed away from the dog park for months, walking his dog around the park, but not bringing her in. He has recently started bringing her back in.
We also learned that night that Angel has a "problem" with black dogs.

The question:
If the owner knows his dog has 'issues', why isn't she muzzled and for that matter, why bring her in at all?

My opinion (for what it's worth):
At a leash-free dog park, there is an expectation of safety. As responsible owners, we need to trust not only the dogs, but the people who frequent the park. Many of us pay our volunteer membership rate of $10 to Leash-Free Mississauga. It seems that those who cause the most problems are non-members who always shout about their "rights" to be in the park. Fine and fair enough. But please people, if your dog is aggressive, if you don't have control, please keep your dog away from the responsible dogs and their owners.

Zoë, by the way, is fine and dandy. She has been back at the park since and had a great time. She is still the best of buddies with Rocky the American Bulldog - proving it’s not the breed, its’s what’s behind the leash that counts!!!

That's it for tonight everyone - thanks for the opportunity to rant!!!

09 April 2011

"Zoë, where's Coullah???"

Coullah isn't a little puppy anymore!!!

I received an email late last week from Vicki at Brighthope Kennels.  On return from a great trip to Germany, she found that two females had gone into heat - Allure and COULLAH!!!!

We made the decision to keep our new addition at Brighthope until her heat is over - in about 3 weeks.  
According to Vicki, Coullah doesn't understand why she can't play with her friends..... poor baby!!

Kypros and I were looking forward to picking her up this weekend - and have been asking Zoë for the last couple of weeks, "Where's Coullah???"  Oh well, it gives us more time to get the Spring gardening done and potentially get the work on the basement underway.

Vicki will keep us posted on how she's doing and when she estimates the heat to be over.  Then, up to Walkerton we'll go and pick up Zoë's "little sister"!!!!

Our two Blues: Coullah (left) and Zoë (right)

05 April 2011

Lullaby and Goodnight....

There's chocolate.  There are cakes, pies and pastries.  But none of them compare to the incredible sweetness of a sleepy puppy.  So, consider this a warning - the next set of pictures are some of the sweetest you'll ever see - definitely, under the category of things that make you go, "Ahhhhhhh...."

After a high energy day, Coullah spent some down time in a fenced off area - she got cuddled a ton and finally fell sound asleep...for those of you who have had a puppy in your house...you know that soft puppy breath, those little sighs.....need I say more???

Time for a nap....

Those eyes are still open.......

Out like a light....

Sweet dreams little Coullah....

01 April 2011

One puppy + One blanket

It sure doesn't take much to amuse a BPS puppy - and Coullah is no exception! No expensive toys required for this little Blue.   She quickly dragged her cuddle blanket out and amused herself for about 15 minutes - an eternity in puppy time! 
"What do we have here??"

"Nice and soft on the chin"

"...smells good too...."

".....REAL good..."

"There's GOT to be a treat in here somewhere!!!"

"...or maybe it's just a dead worm..."

"I'm bored!  I'll go see what Zoë is doing!!!"