I Poke Puppies With Sticks

Today, I was a terrible, horrible, awful dog mommy. I loaded the kids into a crate, popped them into the back of my Element, and hauled them all to the evil Vet’s office. There, a stranger poked them, prodded them, and finally jabbed them with a needle.

Cheer Up, Emo KidPoor puppies! Almost everyone bore it with typical French Bulldog stoicism, except for Pixie. Pixie, as we’ve discussed previously, has mastered the art of being the Saddest Dog in the Universe, and put it to good use today. She cowered on the table, shivered in terror, and yelped in pain when she got her vaccination. Pixie then turned her soulful moo cow eyes on me, with a look that obviously said “Why are you allowing these horrible things to happen to me? First, the bare floor. Now – this. The reign of terror never stops”.

I, of course, immediately felt like the evil monster that I so obviously am. Poor Pix has been using her sad dog Emo powers on me ever since she got home, and has parlayed it into being carried around tucked underneath my arm, like a fashionable clutch purse. She then watched the Sex and the City Movie with me (and she agreed that Carrie should have told Big to get bent once and for all. Pixie is a pragmatist).

I then fed all of the puppies tiny dishes of frozen yogurt (courtesy of Pixie’s new daddy), and contemplated the fact that I am personally responsible for unleashing a small army of spoiled rotten puppies onto an unsuspecting world.

C’est la vie.

Weekend Update

I am SO FAR BEHIND on email that it’s not even funny. I swear I haven’t even looked at my inbox for a week, since I am having a really hard time juggling working ‘outside’ the house with web stuff. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to keep up with your email when your job consists of sitting in front of a computer for ten hours a day. It’s not so easy when your job involves working for someone else – someone who might object to paying you a salary while you surf the web and answer emails.

All of this is in aid of saying “I know I owe most of you emails!! I know that people want to know more about the Jamboree (I’m meeting with them on Wednesday – more details, including final rates and a code to use when booking your room, will be posted on Friday). I know that people have emailed with questions about puppies. I know, I know, I know! Bear with me, I’m getting to them all a bit at a time…

Last night, I let Paris jump up on my lap, and recoiled in horror when she promptly deposited a puppy sized clump of hair on my shirt. She’s in the middle of a shedding cycle, big time, likely hormonal since I doubt that the freezing weather has kicked her into shedding her winter coat.

I decided to take her into the dog room and go over her with the furminator, and after 20 minutes of grooming, using everything from the furminator to the shedding rake to the curry comb, this is what I ended up with —

For the final touch, I went over her with the shop vac – seriously. She’s such a good girl! She just stood there while I sucked the rest of the loose hair out of her coat. I can finally touch her without a giant cloud of hair floating up into the air, although I’m sure she’ll need another go over tomorrow. Bear that in mind the next time someone tries to tell you that Frenchies don’t shed.

When we moved to this house, we relegated all of the crappy pine furniture to the basement, on the theory that we don’t really care if puppies gnaw on it. This includes the Leksvik coffee table, which has since become a great favorite with every single puppy that has come through our house.

In my opinion, the puppies haven’t really graduated from cute kids to budding junior trouble makers until someone makes it into – and then through – the coffee table. It tends to happen all at once – one minute, the table doesn’t even register on their radar, the next minute, puppies are tumbling through it like lemmings over a cliff. This weekend, Heart suddenly decided that the table was her FAVORITE THING in the world, and she was followed quickly by Jellie Bean, who also decided it would make a wonderful place for naps.

Butters followed Jellie, although Jellie Bean seemed less than thrilled about sharing her new ‘special place’. As usual, it was inconceivable for the puppies to use one of the other openings in the table – no, they have to be in the same opening that the other puppy is inside of.

An hour later, as I went to put the puppies away, I had a hard time finding Butters. She turned up inside the table, passed out and sound asleep, and looking pretty comfortable. I didn’t want to wake her up, but this photo was just too cute to pass up.

The rest of the photos are over on Flickr. OK, back to email catch up…

Bright Green Tunnel O' Fun

I think it’s important that puppies get exposed to lots of stuff – as much stuff as possible, in fact. I pop them in the playpen before I vaccuum. I keep them out when I have guests, so that they meet people. I give them crate time. I put little collars on them, and let them drag around a leash. I do as much I can to acclimate them to ‘real world’ situations, other than start their table training (because I’m a slacker, and I suck at training Frenchies to stand for the table).

For this litter, I really lucked out with an item I picked up from the discount section of Pet Edge. It’s a cat tunnel – a simple tube of velour, meant for cats to climb in and out of of. It has a hole in the middle, and the ends of the tube are filled with stiff, crinkly fabric that makes interesting noises.

I popped the tunnel down on the floor, and unleashed the puppies.

Initial response? Trepidation.

Followed by curiosity.

On the heels of which comes the discovery that – hey! It makes noises!

And you can climb on it!

Followed by the discovery that, for the brave, you can climb in it.

Finally, the puppies discovered that, with a team effort, you can roll it across the floor, lumberjack and log style. This proved very popular, especially when it was rolled with Thor inside.

The whole photo set is over on Flickr. Oh, and a bonus set – sleepy puppies.

Oh, and if you check on Blip? There just might a new movie.

Poor Pixie, Color Controversy & Economics 101

Poor Pixie. As I mentioned yesterday, Princess P doesn’t like her delicate toesies touching the bare floor. Put her on a bare floor and she flattens down, drops her ears and makes herself as teeny tiny as possible. We now put down a towel for her to start out on, and from there she seems to be willing to make forays out into bare floor land. It’s all about knowing she has a safe, no slip base to return to if she feels nervous. When we can’t take the unbearable sadness that is Pixie on the floor, one of us ends up picking her up and putting her on the couch for snuggle time. And so a Princess is born and raised…

Ms. Heart and Rumble, on the other hand, have taken to floor time like champs. It gives them a chance to bark-bark-bark in Tessa’s face, steal Dexter’s soccer ball, and run behind the couch. In other words, typical hellion puppy behaviour.

A full photo set is at the end of the post, or over on Flickr.

Color Controversy, Redux

A storm is brewing in French Bulldog show ring circles south of the border, and it’s all to do with ‘bad’ colors. A certain pioneering Blue French Bulldog breeder found herself summarily dumped from the FBDCA, and it’s served to reignite the controversy over Blue.

Is Blue mouse? Is mouse even a color? What color of mouse are we talking about here, exactly, and what kind? Field mouse? House mouse? Coffee mouse? It’s all terribly exciting, but I can’t help thinking it’s all a bit wrong headed, and that the timing for this is bad, bad, bad.

The UK pure bred dog fancy is in the middle of a world altering crisis. Standards are being forcibly re written, on brachycephalics in particular, and with no apparent logic or reason other than to pander to the general public. Little attention has been paid to real, workable schemes to correct health issues. If and when the BBC special that set off all of this brouhaha makes it onto American television, we have to wonder – will the same thing occur here? Will there be the same outcry? Will we all face a witch hunt in which we’re vilified as being the bastard children of Joseph Mengele (and that’s no exageration – there was a lot of references to pure bred dog breeds being an ‘experiment in eugenics’, with a clear inference that dog breeding=nazi experimentation)?

With all of this hanging over our heads, I can’t help thinking that we need to get our ducks in a row when it comes to cleaning up real, concrete, life threatening conditions — in other words, is this really the time to make the isssue of color one into some kind of sturm und drang, ‘oh, we’re all doomed’ soap opera? I kind of feel that it’s this kind of nit picking, fiddling while rome burns stuff that makes the general public feel we’re more concerned with the cosmetics than we are with the concrete.

If someone can show me a single, solitary, scientific study showing a link between ‘bad’ colors and bad genetics, I’ll be the first to jump into the fray. Until then, this is all just smoke and mirrors, and comes at a very bad time indeed.

Economic Crisis Solved!

And now, Natalie Portman and Rashid Jones present their solution to the Global Economic crisis, after which we do our own bit for world peace and financial stability.

See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die

Our own contribution:

Floor Time

The pups are now old enough to spend some time out on the floor, interacting with the ‘big dogs’ and getting into trouble. Pixie is un thrilled about the concept of a bare floor — we discovered that we have to put a towel down for her, or she’ll just sit in one spot, frozen. Even with the towel, she’ll only venture one foot off the edge – anything else is uncharted territory for her.

Here’s some footage of the kids spending some quality time on the floor. Look for the footage of Pixie pre and post towel placement.