Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winnie's here !!!!

Franna did a great puppy post, so instead of me re-doing it, why don't you all go read that blog right here... We were not sure if we were actually going to come home with her yesterday, or have to meet up at the airport and get her today... Thankfully the breeder decided that we could take her yesterday when we went up to make our final selection. I decided that she suited the name "Winnie", so that is what it will be. Her "formal" name will be Winroc Winsome Winifred. Lots of new experiences for such a little girl to learn. Stay tuned as she grows up !!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Look !!!

I really liked the changes that Michelle made to her blog last week. Using a different background really makes Blogger look MUCH better. I went and looked at the website that she mentioned, and discovered that they really ARE the cutest backgrounds... But none of them came across to me as something that a guy would use on his site. So sitting here bored this morning I searched and discovered the site that has this little red Corvette. Not much in the world cuter than that IMHO :) And finally, just so we can tie a Corvette into my interests (like THAT would be a problem :), here is a photo from last year's online racing...


Puppy catch-up

Well, it has been a month already since I last updated you about the puppies. We have not seen them in person since the last time I blogged about them, but we are going up to see them this weekend. I am sure that we will have plenty of new photos (and videos!) when we get back, so this is just a filler with a few of my favorite photos that I have received from our breeder... Here we see them just one week after my previous posting. In one week, they became much more outgoing and are beginning to be interested in exploring the world around them. I think that these photos will "bigify" if you click on them, but I can never be 100% sure one way or the other with blogger... We are also starting to see some of the traits that will become important in life. While I will never expect or train my dogs to retreive yogurt tubs for me, with a little training, I could expect them to do this with bumpers or dumbbells in competitive events, with pheasant or quail or ducks when out in the field, or with keys and the phone and such when doing service or assistance work. It is all based on the same type of training...

Of course, one of the other nice things is that when you have 8 brothers and sisters, you never have to sleep alone, or get cold when you are asleep :) And by having the puppies get comfortable with being in a crate now, it will make it MUCH easier on the new owners (me included!) as the puppies will know that their crate is a safe and happy place to go, and hopefully, there will not be any major issues getting them to go in and settle down. I know that some people may think that it is cruel to "lock up" a dog in a crate, but I tend to disagree with that assessment. And you can tell by looking at the photo to the left how stressed out they are about being in the crate :)

The following week, mom and the puppies were all moved downstairs to a much bigger area and they were introduced to... the great outdoors !!! Of course, that was all well and good, but as you can imagine, once they were outside, they immediantly wanted to come back inside :) I know when I was a kid, my dad used to complain on Christmas morning that my brother and I spent more time playing with the boxes than we did with the toys that came in those boxes... This must be kind of the same thing :) And now, the puppies are starting to realize that it is a mighty big world out there! Why, there is even water that falls from the sky every now and then. Sometimes it is good to be able to find a safe spot to sit and check things out. It is even better if you have a friend or two to share it with you...

And this brings us to the photo that was taken just this week. As you can see, they don't like people at all :) I still do not know which of the five girls I am going to get. As I mentioned earlier, we are going up this weekend to see them and rank them in our own mind. Then next week on Friday we will go up and decide along with the breeder which one will for sure be ours. At the moment, I do not have a color preference, but if we end up with the choice of two who are otherwise equal, I may go with a black one this time. Unless, of course, I like the yellow one more :) That's it for now, I am sure that Franna and I will have plenty to talk about after our trip, and plenty to share with you in the next week or two... I do think that I have decided on Winnie for a name, unless some other "W" name comes up that fits the puppy to a "T"...


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Proud "Dad"...

My step-daughter, Jennifer, and I have a great relationship. I came along when she was 15 (she's almost 25 now), and still in the throes of her teenage angst. We decided early on that she didn't need another parent, she already had two, but would prefer to have an adult friend to help her see things and offer truthful advice without trying to be a parent at the same time. I never told her "don't do this" or "do that". Instead, I would explain the pros and cons from my perspective and let her make the choice. And usually, that worked out just fine :) Of course, that didn't lessen the friction that would sometimes come up between her and her mom, but I was in the unique position to see both sides and offer my assessments. Sometimes one or the other of them was in error, and I would let them know that, but usually, it was just a matter of Jenn wanting to fight with someone (anyone !!!), choose her mom (who would not fight with her) and then calming down from whatever had really been bothering her and peace would once again reign. Franna will NOT fight at all, trust me on this. Jenn is (much) more emotional, Franna is (much) more logical and I am somewhere in the middle. That means sometimes I want to pick a fight too, but I know that it is stupid and a waste of time even while I am trying to do it :)

One of the things that I managed to pass on to her is my love for the automobile (and unfortunately the knack for driving a bit TOO far over the posted speed limit :). For her 17th birthday, she had a party and invited many of her school and 4H friends over. That was the year that I bought her a tool kit. Not a cheap one, but a nice big one with lots of tools for a variety of situations. She thought it was great, although I think that some of her girlfriends were a bit puzzled over it as a gift choice for a 17 year old girl. She still has that kit and we have added a few odds and ends to it over time. She always wanted me to teach her how to do things on her or my vehicles, but due to college (first mine, then hers) and living on opposite sides of the state once she left home, we never really got a chance to do this. She learned a few things, she can change her own oil, filters and sparkplugs... Anyway, just before Thanksgiving last year, she purchased a 1991 Firebird to replace her beloved PT Cruiser that was totaled in an accident (not her fault). Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, she started having problems with it not starting all of time, and after replacing the battery (it needed to go anyway, trust me :), we decided that it was the starter. She managed to get it over to our house for Christmas, but with all the snow and such that we had on the ground, we never got a chance to actually get it replaced. So I did what any Dad would do, I bought her a Chilton's auto repair manual, a new starter and sent her on her way back home to the east side of the state. Actually, I was less than thrilled about this turn of events, but there wasn't anything I could do about it as she needed to get back to go to work. Once she got back, she dinked around for a couple of weeks trying to find someone who would help her change it out, but finally this past Monday, she decided just to do it herself and get it done. She called and we talked before she started and reviewed the process a little bit, cleared up a couple of items she was unclear on and I gave her a few pointers about safely putting a car up on the jack stands and such. I didn't hear anything for a couple of hours, then she called and told me that she had the old one out! There you go, that was half the battle! So we talked for a few minutes about the potential gotcha's for putting the new one in. I didn't hear anything from her for a couple hours again, then she called to say that it was done, and I listened to the car start over the phone :) :) :) It sounded just fine to me, no awful grinding noises or sounds like things are about to fly off or anything like that. Thanks Jenn for this proud "dad" moment :)