30 May 2011

Cruelty in the 'hood

On our way back from a nice walk with the girls the other night, Kypros and I passed by a neighbourhood home that has two German Shepherds.

We remember when this family got their first dog - she's just a wee bit younger than Zoë.  Oh, the attention she got from them!  Oohing and ahhing over her flopping shepherd ears.  She was in a public park way before she should have been, but what can you say??

Fast forward about a year or so. Another dog appears in the backyard - a male.  Big and barky.  The 'man' of the house tells us in broken English that he bred lots of Shepherds "back home" and has always had dogs.  Great.

Hence began the raft of problems and complaints from the neighbours.  Both dogs barked constantly, neither seemed to be exercised that much and very little enrichment activities appeared in the visible backyard.  I think there was one stuffed animal at one point.  Complaint after complaint - various visits - about 7 I believe from Animal Services.  Everytime, their hands were tied.  The dogs had been provided with food, water and shelter......No evidence of actual cruelty.

Then last summer, the dogs were brought up to the leash-free park - neither well socialized.  Guess how long that lasted?  There were a couple of people at the park that asked him to leave and not return.  They haven't been back since.

Fastforward to the present.....

Life for this dogs appears bleak.  There are medium sized wooden dog houses in the backyard.  Both dogs are locked into their respective 'house' for the night.  I hear them rustling around when I pass by in the early morning.   The female had her first litter about 5 months ago - so young. I can't imagine Zoë haven pups so young.   It appears that the pups have disappeared - I guess sold somewhere....

A walk is provided in the morning and sometimes in the evening.  That's it for the exercise it seems.

When we passed by the other night, one of the dogs started barking at us and our Blues as we passed by.  Just as we were passing their backyard a loud cry sounded - this man (who has always had dogs) had whipped it with a folded leather leash.    We had initially thought the dog had run into the fence.The dog continue to cry in pain as we walked on.

We should have told him off.  We really should have.  Why didn't we?

Food for thought, I guess.

That's all I have to say about that.

29 May 2011

10 Things to love about Coullah

It's hard to believe that Coullah has been with us over a month now. She has fit in so wonderfully with our family, it seems like she's been with us forever.

Everyday, we find something new to love about our little BPS. Here are 10 things to love about her:

1. Babbling. Yes, she speaks - kinda hums to herself and to us! She natters away when she first gets up in the morning, when she's alone in a room and when we come home at night.

2. Her walking gait. Coullah walks very differently than Zoë. Zoë almost prances along, Coullah plods...'doop, doop, doop'!! It is especially exaggerated when she's in full sniffing mode!

 3. Her bedtime. Same time everynight. 8:30-9:00pm. She just gets up and goes to bed. Plain and simple.

4. Her big brown eyes. She has the most beautiful eyes - must lighter than Zoë. Big, brown expressive eyes - alot like her momma, Marne.  Doesn't she look alot like her mom??

Lovely Marné
5. She loves being groomed. Coullah just relaxes - and almost fell asleep.

6. Her playfullness. Coullah loves to play - especially with Zoë's things!! Sometimes, Zoë will bring a toy over and just give it to Coullah, sit back and watch her play with it. (Zoë is such a good dog!!)

7. Belly rubs. Coullah greets us by laying on her back for a belly rub. She'll stretch her back legs out for the ultimate massage while she curls her front legs into her chest. She loves getting her rubs!!

8. She's great on leash!!!! Yahoo!! Kypros and I have a new rule (well, it's my rule, Kypros doesn't like it much!!): I walk Coullah and he has to take Zoë "the ultimate pulling machine"!!!

9. She already has a bunch of nicknames: Cools, Cooler, Baby C, Coulio, Coullah-moullah, Cou-cou.... embarrassing but true!!

10. She is the ultimate sweetheart!! What a super snuggler she is! Coullah is the sweetest dog you'd ever imagine. She is so gentle and just wants to crash out with you during a movie night or on the bed. Coullah likes to be close and will snuggle up tight, or rest her head on your lap. She's an angel for sure!

Beautiful Coullah

25 May 2011

Guess who's Two?

Happy Birthday Zoë!!!

Ah...memories....Our first Blue is now Two!  We love you Zoë!!  You are a beautiful and smart girl and have been a great big sis to Coullah and we're so proud of you.  Big hugs and kisses for your birthday... (and maybe a birthday biscuit or two....or three..!!!)

18 May 2011

Where is the sun?????

It's been raining for DAYS.   It's gloomy.  It's muddy.  It has to end sometime, doesn't it?

I think we're all in need of some sunshine.  In the meantime, I like to think of just a week or so ago and how absolutely exquisite our apricot tree looked and smelled...just like a little piece of heaven

During these rainy, dark days, it's also great to see our two Blues playing in the backyard.  Coullah is definitely our snuggly, 'house' dog.  Zoë likes to go out no matter what the weather.  Coullah will take one look outside and turnaround and go relax on the sofa - Zoë is full speed ahead.  She is proud of showing up back at the door covered in dirt and mud, always with a satisfied grin.

Right now, as I type, Coullah is completely stretched out on the sofa, mumbling to herself now and then (a topic for another day!!) while Zoë sits on the floor below chewing on a toy.  Coullah winds down and is ready for bed around 8:30 everynight.  Zoë can be more of a night owl - but usually takes herself to bed around 10 pm or so.

Anyhow, more about our Blues in the next post, but until then, here's a picture from sunnier days:

Our two Blues - May 2011

16 May 2011

Runaway Blue!!!

The front door opened.  The sun was shining.  The birds were singing.  The park across the street beckoned ... "Coullah"......

So what is a 10-month old BPS to do??  You got it!!

The happy wanderer returns (with a little help from Kypros)
Over to the park she went, with Kypros in hot pursuit.  Zoë stayed back with me - wagging her tail and looking ever so pleased with her young protégée.  Funny enough, when Zoë was around Coullah's age, she did the exact same thing. 

Just wait until Coullah spots the Mourning Doves under the Blue Spruce... and the robin nesting on the downspout... and the bumble bees on the honeysuckle....

01 May 2011

Coullah's First Week

Well, week one is over.  We certainly can't thank the weather for cooperating.  It has been so rainy and overcast here.  Every time the doggies come in the house, we have 8 paws to wipe!  Zoë knows the drill and sits for a wipedown; Coullah, well, she's learning!! 

Coullah follows Zoë everywhere!  Us too for that matter.  She is a super snuggler and enjoys cuddling on the sofa.  Both girls share toys well and absolutely love running around in the backyard.  We can't wait to get the doggie pool out this summer - it'll be great fun for both of them.  Do I think getting Zoë a friend was a success??  Yes, absolutely!!!  Both dogs tire each other out and provided us with many laughs over the last 7 days.  We're also convinced that Coullah is pleased with her forever home as well.

This past Saturday was a rarity - we experienced beautiful sunshine and wonderful warm temperatures.  Kypros and I decided to take complete advantage of our one day of nice weather and spent our day in the backyard with the Blues.

I don't know about anyone else's Blues, but Zoë, and Coullah (it seems so far) aren't *huge* fans of hot weather, but as long as there's some shady areas, all is well. With a large bowl of cold water and a toy or two, there wasn't much complaining. 

Coullah catches some rays

Sleepy Zoë

Check out Coullah's brown highlights!!
Could she be related to this guy???  Zoë has some brown on her as well, but not as much as our new Blue.  Vicki, this question is for you!!! Are we correct that Copper (I believe that's his name...) is Suede's son???

Handsome Brown 'Blue' at the BPS Picnic 2010.