Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve, and Finn is helpful..

We woke up to snow this morning. My son went out to shovel the walk and driveway.

Finn of course wanted to help.

By help, we mean play in the snow, of course.

"How can you just shovel snow when there is a puppy who wants to play with you?"

"Come on, it's fun!"

"Aren't you finished yet?"

"Come and PLAY!"

See, no one can resist a playful puppy in the snow...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Because of schedules (6 people with very different jobs and work schedules), we held Christmas early. Sunday we had all of the family over to celebrate.

Finn helped decorate the tree.

Posed for photos.

Helped with the 12 days of Petmas. (see Pawcurious, a great blog!)

He also helped with cleanup after dinner. 4 huge ham slices slid onto the floor, and Finn caught them on first bounce and was gone! Score!

But, Finn didn't get to open his present, because Santa hadn't brought it yet. Surprise! it got here today. A new fancy (expensive!) memory foam bed.

Merry Christmas Finn!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


At 4pm we are 18 inches, and it's still coming down. We are all inside decorating the Christmas, tree, which Finn is fascinated with.

But earlier today, we had fun in the snow!

Walking on the leash, not so much fun..


But then we got to run...(notice Finn's "Squirrel!!" moment at the end)

Later, in the back yard..

The tree and garden spirits were not concerned with the snow

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

He speaks!

When a delivery guy came to the door today, a new event happened.

Finn woofed. Just 3 woofs, but it was a big event!

We are obviously feeling pretty sassy and empowered now.

The White Dragon!

Finn is not fond of getting in vehicles. Part of that is the worry about were we are going. His earlier trips in the car were to the vet, and then to us, so either he was getting a shot or his world was ending so not a good start for car travels.

We have had varied success with him getting in vehicles. Cars are easier, but he is more reluctant, as that is usually vet or worst of all, to the pet groomer! (no, we will not be doing THAT again) Our old Suburban was a bit harder for him to get into (he would put his front paws on the tailgate, then we lift his back legs up) but generally it was going to the barn, which is a fun place!

Then we bought the White Dragon...

Or so Finn is convinced it is. It's really high, and there is no way he can climb in, and instead of the nice bed of the suburban to stretch out on, he has another slippery seat. We got him in once, without much fuss, but then he realized it was a dragon, and was going to eat him.

The next time we tried to get him in, ensued a scramble worthy of trying to get a cranky toddler in a car seat..if the toddler was 140 pounds and had legs longer than your arms. After 20 minutes and two adults wrestling with him, he was in the truck, but was not happy about it. He sat braced in the seat shaking, panting, and waiting for the dragon to chew him up and digest him. When we got to the barn, he vaulted out of the truck with olympic speed.

The transport home was a little less traumatic, as he realized he HAD to get in the truck to get home. We also used the 3 step horse mounting block, and with a little encouragement, he was able to get in the truck on his own.

He was still expecting to be eaten though..

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day!

Mmmmm Mince pie! (our own recipe)

Sausage rolls

Bill works on Katie's laptop

Guys in the kitchen cleaning up.

Notice how helpful Finn is being!

It was a good day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Play dates - the good, the bad and the ugly

Yesterday and today we had play dates scheduled with a group of neighbors. Since Finn was not socialized before we got him, chances to play with other dogs will help him to become more relaxed and confident.

Or so I hoped. Of course an important part of that is that the other dogs are relaxed, friendly, and non-aggressive.

While walking our dogs in the neighborhood over the last 9 month, Finn has shown nothing but friendliness and tolerance for other dogs. Some we had had play dates with before but only one or two at a time. We met yesterday, with 4 other dogs, 3 we knew and one new one. Other than the young puppy yelping from too rough play, and a growl at Finn when he tried some mounting behavior, everything went great. (All the dogs are neutered, I think Finn wanted to roughhouse, and didn't know how so he tried that) I found out the one dog we didn't know, they had only had for 3 weeks. A mixed breed dog, lab or chessie mixed with something. I was a bit concerned, since they hadn't had him long, and he had just been neutered, but they all seemed to play ok.

Today we met in another yard, and we got there last. For about 15 minutes all went fine, then for no reason any of us could see, the new dog attacked Finn. Finn simply tried to get away, not understanding what was going on, but the other dog kept going for his face and throat. This wasn't simply a dominance issue, Finn backed down immediately. In any pack once the other dog backs down the fight is over. But this dog kept going after him. I immediately called Finn, to get him out of the yard while the dog's owners tried to pull him off. Finn could outrun the dog, if he would just go, but I don't think he heard me calling him, or was too focused on avoiding the other dog. Once the attack was broken, he came immediately to me and I let him out of the yard to safety.

I didn't see any wounds immediately, but when I got home I found he had been cut on his face and mouth. Painful, but not serious. Finn has had all his shots, and since they just adopted the other dog, I know he has had his. I'll talk to my vet tomorrow, but for now the wounds are washed, and Finn is keeping them pretty clean himself.

So, instead of Finn having a good experience of play, he was introduced to aggression, something he had never experienced before. Could I have prevented it? Yes, I should have been more cautious. 3 weeks is not enough time to learn what kind of personality a dog has, and not enough time for his new owners to establish who was boss. I should have waited for a time when he wasn't there. Dogs can surprise you, no matter how long you have them (like Finn and his mounting behavior, where did that come from??) but I should have realized there could be issues and kept Finn from this experience. It was my responsibility to make this decision for my dog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baltimore Irish Festival

Today we took Finn to the Baltimore Irish Festival. We went as part of the Potomac Valley Irish Wolfhound Club to showcase the breed and let people pet and fall in love with them.

We had a great time!