Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
(Kamelrose WhisperLily, baby "Whisp" photo taken October 2006 when she was 5 months old)
There was heart ache and tears when I learned that the litter of Chihuahua puppies I anxiously awaited were still born. My "special" puppy, I thought and had hoped for was in that litter..."Maggie's" litter that would never be.
"Judy" was expecting a litter shortly after "Maggie" and I waited - daring to hope that the litter would be born alive and that there would be a smooth coat female just for me.
(Dam: Kamelrose Judy in Disguise "Judy" with her female puppies right after they were born 27 May 2006: one smooth coat white puppy with red sable; one long coat red sable with white markings; and one fawn with white markings. Sire: Tinypaw's K'Rose Buckaroo "Bucky".)
27May2006, "Judy" gave birth to three females. The breeder, Kim Kincaid of Kamelrose Chihuahuas, and I had been in touch since she had placed me on the puppy waiting list for a pup from "Maggie's" litter and she sent me photos of "Judy's" litter and I kept my heart from choosing a puppy from the litter.
All puppies are cute and it would have been oh so easy for me to fall in love with a specific puppy. Kim was going to be keeping any that were show prospects. I was one of several on the waiting list. I kept my fingers crossed that one of them would be a smooth coat. Kim thought that there were going to be at least one smooth coat in "Judy's" litter.
(Kamelrose WhisperLily "Whisp", fawn with white markings female smooth coat tiny Chihuahua. Photo taken 13 June 2006)
After a couple weeks of waiting Kim let me know that the little tiny fawn with white was to be mine if I wanted her, as she was a smooth coat and was tiny, far too small for Kim to show. Wanted her ?!? What a silly question. Of course I wanted her. Now I let my heart get involved and I had decided that if my little Chihuahua puppy wanted to be a long coat instead of a smooth coat it was okay with me...she could grow yak fur and I would still want her and love her. If she grew yak fur I could shave it off for the summer and let her grow it back for winter warmth. This was going to be my "special" puppy and I would love her no matter what kind of fur she ended up having.
CallaLily, my fawn with white smooth coat female Chihuahua in house Service Dog is now 8 years old and I was looking forward to her helping me raise yet another Service Dog as she has such wonderful retrieving skills. She raised my mobility Service Dog, a Doberman named Rain, teaching her the finer points of retrieving, the rules of the house and many of my vocabulary words. It is a big help to have assistance with a new puppy - especially when the helper is a dog too.
I am not new to Chihuahuas and I know that though they may be small they are also smart, feisty, bold and brave. This new puppy I named WhisperLily after a tiny lavender wild flower, as my Chihuahuas are named for Lilies. This "special" puppy also proudly carries the name of her breeder in her registered name Kamelrose WhisperLily.
This was how Whisper came into my life.
(Kamelrose WhisperLily "Whisper" meeting CallaLily "Cally" for the first time 14Aug2006 when she was 11 weeks 2 days old. Whisp is a real puppy not to mistaken for nor confused with a McDonald's Happy Meal stuffed toy. She weighed at 11 weeks 4 days old, 1 lb 8 oz .)
Whisp came to her forever home here in MN when she was 11 weeks and 2 days old. Her breeder, Kim Kincaid of Kamelrose Chihuahuas, did a wonderful job socializing this little doggie as well as keeping her with her mother dog "Judy" and litter mates to learn the valuable life long, all important dog communication skills.
Whisp went with her litter mates, after their first vaccinations to the grooming shop where Kim works as well as on 'field' trips to a nursing home/assisted care and a child day care center. "Judy", Whisp's mother, showed her puppies about toileting outside as well as running and playing in the grass as well as many lessons she was going to need in the future.
Cally is greatly enjoying Whisp both as a tiny Chihuahua playmate, her first, but also one to nurture and guide and show the world that exists in and out of the house. When Whisp startles by a sudden loud noise in the alley or in the house she quickly looks to Cally who is solid and calm and goes about as if there was no startling sound. This helps Whisp learn that these sudden sounds are nothing to worry about.
Since Whisp joined my family I have continued with her socialization, in this all important first 16 weeks of life window. I made a pouch for Whisp to ride in close against my chest, where she is not only secure but can hear my heart beat which is calming to her and she is very inquisitive on our daily outings. She is very friendly and outgoing, wagging her tail and licking any and all folks she meets. I think she even likes zooming along in the electric wheelchair, as she is far too tiny and mentally immature to learn to walk along side it, with the wind blowing her ears. When we get home, after a drink of water and a little lunch plus a trip outside to relieve herself, Whisp goes happily into her crate for a several hour nap. Whisp walks along side me, for the short distances I can still walk, quietly on a loose leash.
As I had done with Rain, Whisp is now "dressed" when she leaves the house on her socialization outings. This is to help her learn that when she is "dressed" she is working with her best manners in place and when she is naked, at home, she is just a puppy free to do puppy things.
Whisp watches with great interest and anticipation as I "dress" Rain, my mobility Service Dog. I have learned that I need to dress Whisp before Rain as Whisp gets way too happy wiggly to get her "dressed" in her tiny 'In Training' vest (size xxxxs which is way too big for her) as she knows we are heading out on a new adventure.
Today 4 September 2006 Whisp reached a mile stone. She went up the outside wooden open back deck steps to the wheelchair landing for the first time. My little girl is growing up :)
Time will tell if Whisp will grow up to be a Service Dog or a Therapy Dog or both.
6 January 2007
Whisp successfully completed her Level 1 Obedience, is reliable in her her housebreaking and has begun to learn some basic Service Dog tasks like bringing dropped items to me and going to get an item for me that I indicate. For these reasons Whisp is now a officially a Service Dog In Training (SDIT).
Whisp is now officially a Service Dog In Training!
(Whisp SDIT upstaging Cally SD in this first official SDIT photo, 6 January 2007.)
(Whisp SDIT looks so proud with her official promotion from prospective service dog trainee to actual Service Dog in Training! Note how her xxxxs training vest nearly doesn't fit her now across her chest as she has grown "so big" !)
I plan to have Whisp take the AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test and TDI (Therapy Dogs International) test when she is a year old....she is now 32 weeks old. On Sunday 14 January 2007 we will begin Agility class. My goal is to have fun with Whisp, work on her basic commands while in the distracting atmosphere, in preparation of the two tests. The equipment in this Agility class are for the big dogs but we will make a go of it anyway.
Whispy is a Service Dog!!
The socialization of Whisp and her littler mates began from the day that they were born 27 May 2006. Kim, their breeder, handled the puppies every day. They were raised in her home and exposed to the normal every day things of a household.
When Whisp and her sisters were 7 weeks old they got their first vaccinations and began going to the grooming shop. There they had a bath and learned to walk on different floor surfaces and began meeting all sorts of people.
(Whisper bring smiles during nursing home visit 24Jul2006)
24 July 2006, "Judy's" puppies went to a nursing home where they got handled by many people and gave kisses to all.
9 August 2006, the puppies were finally able to go to a children's day care...their visit had been delayed as some of the kids had head lice and the puppy visit was cancelled until the head lice problem was cleared up. The children really enjoyed spending time with the puppies.
14 August 2006, Whisp came to her forever home when she was 11 weeks and 2 days old...5 days earlier than planned as she and her mom "Judy" had 'gotten into it' and Whisp suffered a injury to one of her eyes. Whisp was quite full of herself and refused to back down when "Judy" told her NO! Her eye was well on the way to being completely healed.
After a day or two of acclimating herself to my home, routine and meeting my pack, Whisp began going on outings with Rain, my mobility Service Dog and me. I made her a pouch that held her close to my chest with a clip that secured her to it from the ring on her 'In Training' vest. She really enjoys the outings and meeting all sorts of people. She hasn't met a person yet that she wasn't willing to kiss.
Whisp rides nicely in the truck secured by a tiny seat belt between Rain and me. On the trips home from the outings Whisp sleeps very soundly, processing what she has seen while we were away from home.
(Whisp visiting with some children at Dog Daze in the park on 22Sept2006)
22 September 2006 Whisp went to Dog Daze, an event in one of the City parks. She had a great time meeting and greeting folks. She loved to watch the dogs doing fly ball and agility demonstrations. Whisp saw dogs of all shapes and sizes, colors and fur types. She even won 2nd place dressed as an ear of corn....a real little Corn Dog!
22 November 2006 I just marvel at this little dog. Today when groceries were delivered Whisp sat near her crate watching the man bring in the groceries, wagging her tail. Then she went in the kitchen to watch him unload the boxes and sat while he reached down to touch her head, still wagging her tail. I wanted Whisp to be the only one loose in the house for this delivery as I wanted to see how she was going to behave when all alone with no pack members to follow so I didn't say anything at all to Whisp - she was completely on her own. She behaved perfectly and I couldn't be prouder of her.
20 December 2006 Cally is the "official" watchdog for the house as well as the sun conure Talon Tallbird. When either give the alert the house noise rises sharply and considerably but stops as suddenly when I give the word. To date Whisp has not joined in the din. When I am expecting deliveries I put the dogs in the bedroom except Whisp. She sits nicely as I answer the door and wags her tail in greeting be it a delivery man just dropping off a package at the door or welcoming in the grocery delivery man into our home. Of course she gets lots of praise and a treat for her friendliness to strangers.
(Whisp and Cally playing. Photo taken 6Sept2006)
Milestones and Learning Process
Whisp's first milestone was coming home to my pack at the age of 11 weeks and 2 days of age on 14 August 2006: Rain 90# 2.5 year old female Doberman mobility Service Dog; SmokeyHaze 7 year old 13# male mini schnauzer; and Cally 6# soon to be 9 year old female in house Service Dog Chihuahua.
(Whisp using her front paws like hands. Photo taken 17Sept2006)
I have noticed something unusual. Something that I have not seen in any of the dogs that have share their lives with me. Whisp, being very strong and lithe is able to stand on her hind legs and pull her front legs up and back and spreads the toes of her paws much like a cat. She uses the toes of her front paws much like human fingers, flexing them to hold onto objects as well as using her dew claws to assist her, and spreading them wide like a human hand. Her dew claws assist her in maintaining her hold as she climbs, as well because they also flex as her toes flex.
31 August 2006, today I watched Whisp on the cypress mulched switch back, a winding path way down a steep hill in the back yard, check out the small river rock terracing below. She wouldn't jump down to any of the rocks but rather would reach a front paw down to see if she could touch the rock she was interested in. If she couldn't touch it she didn't attempt to climb down on to it. If she could touch it she would immediately climb down onto it.
2 September 2006, today Whisp was jumping down on river rocks in the terracing that only two days earlier she wouldn't attempt. She is gaining confidence daily.
4 September 2006, Whisp went up the wooden open back deck steps to the wheelchair landing for the very first time.
6 September 2006, Today Whisp scared the beejeebers out of me. She had climbed up on the couch and suddenly leaped off onto the hard wood floor
14 September 2006, Our first emergency veterinary appointment for Whisp. She was outside with Cally and SmokeyHaze and was probably playing 'mountain goat' and fell, hitting her head (see "Adventures and Mishaps). She didn't receive any permanent injury but has a new healthy respect for the edge of the couch or other high places and is no longer leaping off high things like the couch, choosing instead to use the footstool as the other Chihuahuas do.
17September2006, a "used", nearly 12 year old cream colored 6# female Chihuahua was added to Whisp's pack...her name was Lily but I've added a front name to it making it SurpriseLily as she was a surprise. In case you hadn't noticed all my critters have two names - Rain's name is RainbowMist. Lily's owners are now both dead and she was left in that empty house now up for sale and was bound for the dog pound if no one took her. Whisp is getting to know Lily and ignores Lily's snarking at her and all the other dogs.
This brings up a very important thing for folks with pets to think about...if something were to happen to you how is your beloved pet going to be cared for?
In Lily's case a friend of the remaining dying owner, promised to give Lily a home. Upon the death of Lily's owner that friend took Lily but her daughter's dog didn't tolerate Lily so the friend dropped Lily off at her original home, now up for sale and being shown. Lily had lived in that house for several weeks, basically alone, before I found out and brought Lily home...to her forever home here with me and my pack. Lily was due to go to the dog pound where she would have been euthanized, when the executor of the estate returned in October if no one had taken her. Lily had had a lot of loss in her life and then virtually abandoned. This should have NEVER happened!!
So I urge you all to think about what will happen to your pets if something happens to you and you can no longer care for them...we all need to make plans for our pets, now while we can.
...okay so now I'll climb off my soap box and get back to talking about Whisp's milestones :)
15 September 2006, When it was afternoon nap time for the dogs they lay in a heap on the couch. For the first time little Whisp joined the heap. She climbed up on Cally using her and SmokeyHaze as a mattress and Rain's rump as a back rest. They all slept snuggled like that for about 2 hours.
26 September 2006, Whisp, using the telephone directory below the chair along side my bed, climbed up onto the bed all by herself, using her front paws like hands she flexed her "fingers" including her dew claws and pulled herself right on up.
27 September 2006, For the first time Whisp jumped up into her crate on her own. The door to her crate was nearly closed and it sits on top of Lily's 14" tall crate, set so the backs of the crates are even leaving a lip or landing place for Whisp at her crate door. She is very cat like and light on her feet. One moment she was on the floor and poof! she was suddenly going into her own little crate.
28 September 2006, Whisp again jumped into her crate for rest and a chew on a chewie toy after running around like a crazy dog for nearly 2 hours. She slept a bit then came out and took up playing where she had left off. This is a first for little Whisp.
6 October 2006, Whisp now easily climbs up onto my bed using the phonebook to chair route but still will not attempt to get down off the bed, tho she leaps up and down off the couch using the footstool or the towel covered box with great ease. Her fall during her 'mountain goat' adventure certainly has stuck in her memory.
8 October 2006, this morning Whisp, using the phone books along side my bed, jumped up on the chair as easily as could be....she is magical! She still is unwilling to get off my bed by herself, for which I am thankful.
9 October 2006, a valuable lesson was learned today. I was in the kitchen making spring rolls which caused me to be in the kitchen longer than usual and Whisp and Lily came in during that time. I accidentally stepped on Whisp's toes - she squeaked and left the kitchen immediately. Lily stayed under foot but Whisp didn't return. After checking Whisp's paws there was no obvious injury nor limping but she sure learned not to be in the kitchen under foot.
14 October 2006, well it's been exactly one month since Whisp's 'mountain goat' lesson and she has yet to jump off the couch...good girl! She also, like the others (except Lily) stay out of the kitchen when I am working in there...again, good girl!
18 October 2006, I knew it would be too good to last...Whisp has gotten brave enough to now get down off my bed by herself. Thankfully she has opted to use the phone books below the chair, along side the bed, to make her travel up and down safer. She doesn't need anymore headers to the floor.
25 October 2006, today Whisp was spayed and micro chipped. Whisp was purchased as a companion pet, not show potential, and part of the purchase agreement was that she would be spayed. This is a non issue with me as all my dogs are spayed and neutered for their health. Her little bed is all made up with clean soft toys to snuggle as she recooperated.
Last week, 16 October 2006, Whisp went in for her pre-op exam including blood work and weighed in at 2 lbs 9 ozs! She also got her vaccinations and developed a shot reaction at the injection site which was examined today by the vet. Today Whisp weighed in at ...drum roll please....3 lbs 1 oz !!
29 October 2006, This afternoon was Whisp's first real freedom from her crate since her surgery. Her incision is healing nicely and she isn't licking or bother the stitches at all. She is getting back to being regular, the first few times were ouchy for her as she cried. He appetite has also returned and she is fast and active as ever. I've removed the footstool and towel covered box to keep her off the couch unless I put her up there while I can supervise her. I also removed the phonebooks near the bed for the same reason.
4 November 2006, this morning I took out Whisp's spaying stitches...all three of them. She lay on her back and didn't even squeak when I pulled them free after snipping them. What a good puppy. I give tons of credit to her breeder, Kim Kincaid, for all the socialization and handling that Whisp got before she came to live with me. Kim had clipped her nails and bathed her twice and it shows. I have no problem at all clipping Whisp's nails. She sits nicely as I clip the front nails and lies on her back cradled along my ribs and left forearm while I clip her back nails. So snipping and pulling her stitches wasn't an issue for Whisp. Whisp also now has access again to the couch and bed....she is taking full advantage of both and enjoying herself.
17 December 2006, yesterday was a first for Whisp....I heard Whisp had something hard in her teeth and asked her what she had in her mouth. I had expected that she would drop what ever it was and run off or just run off with what ever it was still in her mouth. She did neither. Whisp came right to me and I put my hand down and she put the object in my hand. WOW! She has been paying attention to Rain and Cally getting things for me. I immediately gave Whisp a treat and lots of praise.
I have tried unsuccessfully to get Whisp retrieving by tossing a stuffed toy. She would run and take the toy to Rain's big dog bed and then dance off. With Whisp bringing me an object, then putting it in my hand she seems to have completely skipped the basic retrieving stuff that both Cally and Rain did before they got to this step.
Today Whisp again brought me an object, a piece of paper, and placed in my hand looking for the treat she knew would follow. Good little Whisp:)
13 January 2007. Learning Process: Whisp learns about barking.
Whisp does not bark in the house when someone comes to the door when the other dogs all bark nor does she bark outside. Whisp has learned that if she says "buff, buff" the others will come running to see what she is alerting to. She is a very observant little dog and quite aware of her surroundings, she just hasn't seen the need to bark.
Whisp loves to watch TV, especially the ones with animals, be they in ads or on PBS. Anyway, this afternoon Whisp was watching a PBS program about Cheetahs and saw a herd of spotted deer grazing. She watched very intently then began to bark very loudly. The grazing spotted deer stopped grazing, their heads and tails went up and they began to run away. Whisp leaped off the couch running toward the TV barking loudly as she "chased" those spotted deer right out of sight. It was just too funny!! When Whisp was sure the deer were indeed gone she came back up on the couch and settled in once again on my lap. Rain had awakened during this barking episode, looked at Whisp, looked at the TV (Rain loves to watch TV also but it was her nap time), groaned and went back to her nap. Whisp remained "glued" to the TV and continue to chase more animals away...keeping us all safe LOL!! None of the other dogs even looked to see what Whisp was barking at.
16 January 2007. Learning Process: Whisp begs for the first time.
Since Whisp's agility class on the 14th I have stayed home. The weather has not been good. We got a snow storm on Monday the 15th and the temps fell and we had dangerous wind chills, 25-35 degrees below zero, in the morning of the 16th. I had an errand that I had to run and due to the dangerous wind chills decided that it wasn't safe for me to even take Rain, my Service Dog with me in case of an accident or sliding off the roadway due to black ice. I would have enough keeping me safe and surviving such an event and did not want to worry about the survival of my Service Dog too. Rain knew she wasn't going with me because I did not take off the mini horse coat she wears in the house in preparation of getting her "dressed" in her soft harness for work - a sure sign to her that she is staying home.
As I was getting ready, donning my layered winter clothing, Whisp came running over and jumping up and down began to cry and whimper. She wanted so much to come with me. This is the first time that Whisp had begged about anything, including food. Needless to say her begging didn't do a thing for her, though it did pull my heart strings. Whisp, like Rain, stayed home for their own safety.
24 January 2007. Learning Process: Whisp learns about haircuts.
SmokeyHaze', mini schnauzer, coat had "gotten out of control". I had not stayed up on his grooming and took him to the groomers. I have been grooming Smokey all of his life except for two visits to the groomer when his coat had gotten matted. He is such a sweet boy and waggled his tail at all he saw in Petsmart. I had swallowed my pride and the trip to the groomer would let me start with a clean slate, so to speak.
Rain and I went to get Smokey a couple hours later and his face still looked like a schnauzer but the rest of his was shaved. He looked so cute. Rain has watched me wash and dry Smokey, she has watched me groom Smokey at home...but not all in one day. Rain waggled all over when she saw her boy and smelled him all over. Smokey was still waggling as we left the store.
When we got home, after Smokey and Rain and a little time outside to take care of business, I let Smokey in . Suddenly Whisp was giving a rapid alert bark...a first! She didn't know who that strange dog was that came into her house and she was letting everyone know, LOL!!
I called Smokey up on the couch. Cally and Rain joined us as did Whisp, but Whisp barked every time Smokey looked at her. He didn't smell like Smokey, he certainly didn't look like her boy Smokey and Whisp was letting all of us know that there was a strange dog sitting on the couch. It didn't take long before Whisp climbed down from the back of the couch to get a real close look and a good sniff before she acknowledged that that was in fact SmokeyHaze, her boy, and she kissed his face and checked his eyes for eye goobers.
9 February 2007 Learning Process: Whisp shows creative thinking
Tonight after finishing my dinner, a single serving food item in a plastic tray cooked in the micro wave, I let Cally begin the cleaning of the dish. Cally is very good at this task. As there was cooked on cheese Cally brought the dish back to me when she was finished cleaning it as well as she could. I noted that there was still some stuck on cheese that Cally wasn't able to get. Whisp asked if she could take a try at it and I held the dish for her. As Cally does, Whisp immediately put her foot in the foot dish to help hold it still while she tried to scrape off the stuck on cheese with her little teeth. When Whisp couldn't get the food off the dish she did something I have never seen or have a dog do....I've had lots of dogs, very smart dogs....but none have ever done what Whisp did. I'll get to it in a second.
Cally does tricks to get treats, one of the tricks is "diggy diggy" which she does on command. SmokeyHaze has picked up the trick and will also do it on command. When those two are doing "diggy diggy" Whisp will sometimes join in as they all dig really fast on the blanket. Up until now it has only been a trick, a command with a trick.
Now back to Whisp and the food dish. Try as she might she couldn't get the stuck on cheese off with her teeth so she suddenly began to do "diggy diggy" on the stuck on food. She scraped some off, cleaned her toes, licked the dish of the particles she got loose and then did "diggy diggy" again until she had completely cleaned the dish of all stuck on food, licking her toes clean when finished.
This absolutely amazed me. I have never ever seen a dog uses its claws to scrape stuck on food from anything, then clean its claws, then clean the dish of the particles that were scraped loose continuing until the dish was completely clean. Whisp was actually using her claws as a tool! ....what in the world will this little dog do next?!!
Whisp is MAGICAL!!!
(Whisp wearing her size xxxxs 'In Training' vest...much too big for her. Photo taken 21Aug06)
27 September 2006 At this point Whisp's training is informal, at home or while out with me. She has learned to sit quietly, no begging for food when I am eating. She waits until her dog dish is placed in front of her and does not try to steal food from any of the other dogs. She sits and waits for her treat as the older dogs do and she doesn't worry that I am going to forget to give her her treat.
Whisp rides quietly in the truck or in the pouch against my chest when I am using my wheelchair.
Commands Whisp knows, although these are not as yet reliable:
Whisp's housebreaking is nearly complete. She either goes outside or uses a puppy paper by the door. She cries to go outside when she is crated. She wakes about 12:30-1:30A to go outside and then is able to sleep until 7:30-8A. I am pleased with her toileting progress.
I think that toilet training small dogs is a little harder than big dogs. Their messes are much smaller and aren't as easily noticed, they themselves are much faster thus harder to catch 'in the act' and because the are small they think that they have gone a good distance from their little perspective as they may have gone 75 of their paces and only made it to the back door where as a large dog could easily cover the same distance in 10 paces....
28 September 2006, last night Whisp asked to go outside at 10p and slept until 7:30A...a first!She is first to the door when I call the dogs to go outside and I've seen her turning fast circles at the door to indicate that she wants to go outside. The temperature this morning was 42 degrees and Whisp didn't seem to notice it at all. She loves to be outside running and exploring. I have knit her two sweaters so far for when the temperatures drop further. Whisp appears to be well on her way to being totally housebroken...no accidents in the house in more than two weeks now.
6 October 2006, running the risk of "jinxing" Whisp...I now consider her housebroken. She has not had an accident in the house in more than 3 weeks despite Lily's toileting indiscretions. Lily I am also glad to say has stopped that foolishness and is now asking to go outside too. I had been expecting Whisp to have a set back with her housebreaking but it was for naught.
14 October 2006, the weather here in Minnesota has taken an abrupt turn toward winter with a couple of nights dropping into the low 20's. After a couple of cold nights I finally relented and turned on the heat in the house. Whisp has been staying warm wearing one of her many hand knit sweaters or her new polar fleece hoodie and if that isn't enough she just nestles in with the pack on the couch. Whisp has maintained her housebreaking with no accidents despite the cold temps outside when the small pack members head outside. During the day if she needs to "go" she uses the puppy paper by the door in the laundry room....good girl!! When the weather becomes really cold Whisp will be staying inside as she is so tiny it wouldn't take much for her to "freeze up" and tip over, something my Chihuahuas and Miniature Pincher did when they get too cold. I am no longer able bodied, not able to sprint outside and scoop little Whisp up should she get too cold. Thus, as a precaution, Whisp will use a puppy paper over the winter months.
30 October 2006, tonight I signed Whisp up for Level I Obedience with Maureen, a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) certified thru Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers one of the nationally recognized certifications for dog trainers. She is also an actively involved professional member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). This means that she advocates and uses gentle, dog friendly methods of training (like clicker training) and is able to communicate with other APDT members through out the country and abroad on a daily basis if questions arise or to talk about training. Whisp's classes are for 6 weeks beginning in December 2006.
4 November 2006, Whisp is now reliable on these commands:
Up House (get into crate)
Off (get down)
New Commands, not yet reliable:
Whisp does not: jump on to nor jump at nor stand up and put her feet on humans begging to be touched.
*Whisp does not put her teeth on humans even in play.
2 December 2006, Today was Whisp's first day in Level 1 Obedience class. The trainer, Maureen enthusiastically uses positive re-enforcement. The training room was very cold for humans and dogs alike. Whisp sat on her little polar fleece blanket on the training mat for most of this first class, we worked on focus as well as sit, while I sat on an inappropriate canvas sling chair so that I could at least reach Whisp to give her her treats. I moved Whisp to the seat of my wheelchair for the "down" portion and she seemed very content to just be down for the rest of the class. She certainly has her long sit and long down pat.
I am going to have to modify and adapt the homework. I automatically "click" with my tongue rather than use the word "yes", that Maureen is asking the students to use, to mark the behavior I want to capture. I am not going to change to her 'word' as clicking is second nature to me and works for us and that is what is important. I am going to continue to use the commands that I am used to - some differ from Maureen's and that is okay.
Of course Whisp is the tiniest dog in class. There is a rat terrier but it weighs about 9 lbs and is a little shorter in height than SmokeyHaze.
This should be an interesting class. I hope, with a warm coat on Whisp (and me) that Whisp will want to move around in class next week instead of just sitting on her little blanket.
Whisp is reliable on these commands: down, stay
New Command: look (focus on me)
10 December 2006, Whisp second class went very well. We both dressed a bit warmer although the temperature outside was unseasonably warm for December in MN. We worked behind a visual barrier so that Whisp would relax and focus on what I was asking her to do as well as move around. I had set down her little blanket but soon noticed that she wasn't moving off it. I removed the blanket and she had to work on the training mat. Oh, we also had an electric heater which Whisp liked. She moved around, peeking under the visual barrier. The area was too small for me to move but a little forward and a little backward in the wheelchair. I hope to be able to work with Whisp along side the wheelchair by the next class period. My house is too small for my wheelchair so we will try working up in the alley while the weather stays so warm.
Whisp is nearly reliable on this command: look (focus on me)
New Command: help (come to me immediately- right now!)
17 December 2006, Whisp and I had a lot of fun at class yesterday. Our trainer introduced us to walking on a leash - a new way and I learned a lot. Whisp was no longer behind a visual barrier and was working along side the wheelchair for her sit, down, look, stay so the time I put in last week working Whisp along side my rolling desk chair paid off.
We had not been able to work with the wheelchair up in the alley even one day so I spent all our training sessions using my rolling desk chair. Whisp was able to walk right along side the chair and turned with me when I turned toward her and way from her in our journey from here to there. I had hoped it would be enough to help Whisp walk along side the wheelchair in class.
In our class yesterday walking along side the wheelchair posed a totally different problem for Whisp and me - Whisp wanted to walk between the wheels to see the dogs working in the center of the training area....EEKKK! I stopped moving and we just worked on her other commands.
When I got to thinking about Whisp and the wheelchair her behavior made sense. The wheelchair is parked in the house and she, with the other little dogs, move around and under it as they would any other piece of furniture which of course are immobile. The times Whisp has met me coming home she greets me in the kitchen so she is on the right side of the wheelchair and stays quite a distance away as I pass by on the way to parking the wheelchair in the dining room...there would be no reason for her to try to walk between the wheels because I am very close to the wall on the left side.
What had felt so daunting even one week ago no longer feels that way. I am enthused and excited about watching little Whisp blossom.
During class, Maureen took Whisp and worked with her a little on walking on the leash and then with my permission handed her off to a friend who was observing our class. Whisp was also allowed to walk out in the training area dragging her leash as the other dogs and people worked on either walking or basic commands. She was wearing her little hooded sweatshirt to keep her warm with her little harness on top of it to which I clipped her leash....she walked rather funny so I eventually took off her sweatshirt and she seemed much more comfortable as she now moved freely. Whisp did so well and I am very proud of her!
The rat terrier in the class was a no show yesterday. Last week at the end of class the rat terrier came over to see if she and Whisp would be alright as the terrier was afraid. Whisp didn't want any part of it and went under the wheelchair. It would be too bad if they dropped out as I saw such a big change in Whisp from last week to this week that they did not get a chance to experience that with their rat terrier by missing class.
19 December 2006. Yesterday, after careful planning, I went and got a piece of clear rectangular Plexiglas and drilled two holes in the upper end (long side) through which I threaded a piece of cording. Using a retractable tactical baton I hung the plexiglass and adjusted the length of the cording so that the bottom of the plexi was approx 1 inch above the floor. The plexi was wide enough to completely block the space between the front and back wheel on the left side. I laid the extended baton on the wheelchair seat cushion and with the back of my upper left thigh it is held securely in place. I took Whisp's leash and made a knotted loop at the right distance from the baton down to nearly the floor which would give Whisp slack in the leash when it is clipped to her vest.
This morning Whisp and I headed out to Petsmart. I knew that the store would be pretty empty at that hour of the day and day in the week. Once there I got everything arranged and clipped Whisp to her leash and off we went. At first I set the wheelchair speed at the slowest so that Whisp could get the hang of walking along side as well as being able to investigate all the smells and sights of the store that were now within her reach for the first time.
We spent 1 1/2 hours in the store going up and down the aisles, turning toward and away from Whisp and by the time we finished Whisp was trotting smartly along side at a brisk clip. I am so proud of her as she had gone from walking along side a very very slow wheelchair to about a fast human walking pace.
30 December 2006, I see I forgot to note Whisp's obedience class last week. Oh well. We had a great time. Today was week 5 of 6. We worked more on leave it, long sit, long down. The class was introduced to drop it by using toys in class. This is something that I will not teach Whisp. Whisp is already bringing me and trading with me for a treat or praise things she picks up from the floor. As a Service Dog this is a task that she needs to do and we are at the beginning of this and it is going well. Whisp also got to show off her loose leash walking along side the wheelchair and she did me proud. We only covered less than half the length of the training room, turning around with Whisp not missing a beat and returning to our originating spot in the room - that is quite a distance for such a little doggie.
Whisp also went over to visit with the rat terrier and her "mom" during class, a couple of times. When Maureen came around to meet and greet each one of us Whisp was seated along side me like an old hand. Maureen gave Whisp one of Whisp's tiny training treats which of course Whisp took nicely...and very willingly.
The new training schedule came out and I am disappointed that Maureen is not offering the Level 2 Obedience during early hours, so will not be able to go right on with the next block of lessons. I will check again later to see if she does offer a day time class - but even if she doesn't Whisp's training will continue.
....maybe we will sign up for the "tricks" class taught by another of the professional trainers at the same facility who also uses clicker training. But I need to mull on this one.
Commands that Whisp is solid on: long down, long sit, leave it, look, help
6 January 2007 Today was Whisp's last Level 1 Obedience class. She did very well in this class and I am pleased with how she did. Toward the end of the class today the dogs were turned loose in the training room to meet, greet and play with one another. Whisp is uncertain of these "strange" dogs and I kept her on my lap as I moved the wheelchair close to where the dogs were playing so that we could meet and greet them knowing that Whisp was protected. There were two young labs and one large lab all playing - tumbling and rolling and playing chase. The rat terrier was also a little uncertain of the exuberance of the other dogs play and stayed near her owners.
As there is no Level 2 Obedience class being offered during daylight hours I decided that Whisp is going on to Agility for Fun - a class not geared to showing in Agility but in building confidence. Agility class begins January 14th in the early afternoon for 6 weeks. This should be interesting for both Whisp and me...to say nothing of the agility instructor, Jeff.
14 January 2007 Today was Whisp's first day of Agility....we had a BLAST!!! Everyone in the class is new to agility most of the dogs have had some obedience training. I decided that I was going to work Whisp on her leash without the plexi wheel protector and holding her leash with my left hand while being extra careful and vigilant. Whisp was nervous at first and as the group was a little unruly to start off and encroached on our space Whisp growled. For most of the class Whisp was on her own 4 feet, either walking or sitting quietly by my side.
We got to work on two pieces of equipment today. First we were introduced to the dog walk ... only the two end pieces lying on the floor with the middle raised section removed. Whisp was hesitant at touching it when it came to our turn. When we were introduced to the tunnel and the explanation given those of us waiting our turn could work on the pieces of the dog walk. Whisp immediately got on the dog walk and trotted along side me to the other end with a bit of encouragement and me holding her leash. We did this 2-3 times before it was our turn at the tunnel.
The tunnel was scrunched up and held in place by PCV pipe holders. I had difficulty getting close to it but with Jeff's help we managed to encourgage Whisp close to the opening.
Then we worked on praising our dogs when Jeff dropped the end of the teeter toter again and again getting them used to the loud bang.
Jeff put the dog walk back together again and we got in line to have our dogs walk the entire length and heights of the dog walk. Whisp went the entire length with a bit of encouragement but she didn't hesitate out of fear nor did she fall off or jump to the ground when we neared the end.
We stayed after class to work a little bit with Jeff as he felt that Whisp would do better without all the other dogs. At the tunnel, Jeff removed the PCV bracing at the near end so I could get close. Whisp went right in so I zipped to the other end and called her to me and she came immediately. I took her back to the other end and in she went and I sped to the other end just in time to meet her as she came out. She looked so happy and pleased with her self and I showered her with praise and kisses...of course some yummy treats!
We then went back to the dog walk and with me holding Whisp's leash she immediately went up the ramp, crossed the flat raised center section and down the other ramp. I let go of Whisp's leash and she trotted around exploring, her ears up with her tail curved over her back. She was relaxed and enjoying herself so I went over to the dog walk. Whisp came right over and I motioned her to my left side and moved forward and up onto the dog walk Whisp went dragging her leash. I moved quickly along side the dog walk and Jeff said Whisp trotted the whole way beginning to end. I was unable to see her but felt that by me moving slightly ahead of her she would just follow me which is what she did.
It was so much fun!!!
Whisp slept all the way home. She was one little doggie. When we got home she went outside with the rest of the little dogs and now she is fast asleep in her crate for a well deserved nap.
21 January 2007 This afternoon was Whisp's second Agility Class. This little one sure amazes me. The WOW factor of last week wasn't there today because there were now 9 folks with their dogs and family members in the small training room and it was very crowded.
Today we began warming up on the dog walk and Whisp was excellent. We were unable to work with the tunnel as it had the PVC bracing on it and I couldn't get close to it with my wheelchair. Jeff asked me to come early next week so that we could work on it.
Jeff had us treating our dogs as he dropped the end of the teeter as they grow more accustomed to the sound of the board end hitting the floor when dropped.
The new equipment today were the jumps, A frame and teeter. Whisp used a jump that was at it's lowest setting and she did just fine. I think the bar was about 6" off the floor.
The A frame was lowered a bit as this was the first time for the dogs and Whisp had no trouble with it at all and we did it several times.
While waiting we also did the dog walk successfully every time.
When it was time to try the teeter Whisp was first in line and got on the teeter with no hesitation, motored quickly to the center when Jeff had me stop and mark the spot for Whisp - I clicked - then had her move forward slowing all the while treating her as he slowly lowered the board to the floor. Whisp was able to do the teeter successfully each time.
As the class was too large - Jeff only wanted 6 in the class but the computer sign up didn't close down when 6 was reached - is dividing the class. We will be switching to Saturdays instead of Sundays and I am very glad. The 3 others switching to Saturdays have well mannered dogs, two of which are very willing to do what is asked of them as Whisp does. The other dog is skittery and unsure. I don't know if we will be able to go in early to work on the tunnel, I'll ask when Jeff emails confirmation of our "new" class for Saturday.
Today's class wasn't fun for me, as it was last week, because it: was crowded; there was now a really snarky dog in the class; the unruly dogs were still unruly; people stood in the way of the jump when Whisp and I were working and I had to ask them to please give me room in which to maneuver my wheelchair; when in line, people cut infront of us as if I didn't exist like they didn't even see me in my wheelchair in line at all...not a fun class for me. I was still enthusiastically cheering for Whisp as she did as I asked despite how I personally was feeling. I had hoped for the blast I had experienced last week, that never came during this class.
I am looking forward to next class with only three other dogs, though admitedly more reserved than I had after our first class because of this second class.
27 January 2007 Today at Agility was really fun for Whisp and me as there was really lots of room for us to move. Turns out that there are only three of us in class: the Silken Windhound; the shepherd mix and Whisp.
We warmed up on the tunnel, jumps and dog walk. When class started we all did the tunnel, starting with it totally scrunched and working up to it being more extended and bent in different directions.
Teeter was next and Whisp ran right up the ramp, on my command stopped in the middle then proceeded down the ramp while I treated her, Jeff was lowering the teeter. One time near the end I moved away from the teeter and Whisp followed me jumping off the equipment just before the end. I had to consciously pay more attention to my driving so that Whisp would stay on the teeter to the very end.
The chute was introduced and Whisp went thru several times as Jeff held the far end open. After a few times thru Whisp was pushing her way thru the collapsed nylon of the far end of the chute like a pro.
We began working with the weave poles. They have an interesting way to teach this skill. The right side PCV vertical poles are mounted to a thin long metal slat. The left side PCV poles are mounted similarly on another thin long metal slat. The two are connected by a metal slat that allows them to be moved further or closer together keeping their stagger. The poles are too tall for me to be able to reach above them while guiding Whisp. When the poles were space far apart Jeff had Whisp at one end and called her to me as she ran straight between both the right and left poles. As the poles were narrowed Jeff ended up holding Whisp's leash as he could easily reach over the tops of the poles as I zipped along side calling Whisp who ran stright up the now very narrow middle. Jeff was going to make some shorter poles so that I will be able to hold Whisp's leash and clear the tops of the poles.
Whisp had a lot of fun save for two incidents. The Silken went after Whisp and Jeff talked with the owner about controlling her dog's prey drive. To think that this very owner had asked at the beginning of class if she could work her dog off leash. I am glad Jeff had said no as I probably wouldn't have Whisp unless she had been able to scoot under the wheelchair. Both occassions the Silken came from behind me out of my sight - I couldn't have protected little Whisp. On the second occassion Whisp started crying because she was so frightened. I made sure that I stayed well away from that dog.
Today Whisp learned a lot, did a lot of walking as she spent the majority of the class on her own paws and we would nearly circle half the room to get lined up for each obstacle. She slept all the way home.
29 January 2007 During Whisp's class we had a needed rest break during which I overheard the Silken's owner/handler telling Jeff about her dog, the Silken, being shown by her in Lure Coursing. I was not familiar with sight hounds or that dog sport so it did not raise any red flags with me. I talked with a friend, telling her of class and what had happened. She told me about Borzois she used to train, show and do Coursing with them and how sight hounds run down their prey, grabbing it, shaking it violently to snap the prey's neck to kill it. Silkens are a Borzoi hybrid - they look like small Borzois. and she told me what Coursing was....I was shocked!! I should have been told that that Silken was involved in that sport, what the sport consisted of so that I could make an informed decision about beginning the Agility class.
I emailed, 28Jan, Jeff expressing my concerns about the Silken and Whisp being in the same class because the Silken had gone after Whisp twice. Jeff said he had talked with the Silken's handler/owner and assured me that she will keep better track of her dog. Jeff also said that he would be sure to place himself between the Silken and Whisp and I agreed that I would keep as far away from the Silken as possible. I think that we will be able to continue with class and that there won't, I hope, be any futher incidents with the Silken.
With Jeff's assurances of keeping Whisp safe, I have agreed that Whisp and I will be in class on Saturday. I will be hyper vigilant, not relaxed as I had been, during class to make sure the Silken is no where near us. Should we have any and I mean any problems with the Silken we will not return for the rest of the classes. I feel very sad that Whisp's and my fun relaxed training time together in this class has been spoiled.
30 January 2007 After much thinking about the pros and cons of Whisp staying in class as well as my fear of the handling skills of the Silken's owner and me feeling very vulnerable, seated in the wheelchair, around large dogs that are not not under control of their owners (Rain has been attacked 6 times by large dogs when I was on my little 3 wheeled electric scooter, and in a previous occupation I was mauled by a large dog when I was abled bodied and spent time in the hospital from those bites) and figuring out if it was worth the $5o left in classes. My answer was NO.
I emailed Jeff to let him know that though I enjoyed him as our instructor I was dropping out because this particular class wasn't for us....these were my issues and my issues only, no one elses. I suggested that he have an agility class for tiny dogs and we surely would return for that.
Whisp is much too precious to me to risk her life like that and I can now live with my decision.
4 July 2007 Whisp’s Service Dog training has been going well but it is obvious at this point in her life that she lacks the “sparkle in her eye” that both Cally and Rain have when working. I have decided that Whisp will be going back into agility classes at a different training center to keep her body and mind busy. Maybe in a year or two Whisp will want to be a Service Dog and all that that entails....
20 July 2007 Whisp began Agility last night at a different, well established dog training center in a neighboring suburb. We had so much fun! The training room is HUGE!! Whisp did very well and we are looking forward to next weeks class.
30 August 2007 Whisp graduated from beginning Agility last night. She just loves the equipment. By graduation night Whisp was working off leash better than on leash. Off leash she is able to do the pole weaves (with guides in place), the A Frame, Dog Walk, Tunnel and Jumps. She doesn't like the Tire as it is very wide and to get it low enough for her to jump thru the PVC pipe at the base of the stand is added to the width. She is getting used to the Teeter and her body weight making it lower and she rides it to the ground before exiting. In no time she will be doing this piece of equipment like a pro! We now have one week off before the next block of lessons begin. Whisp and I will be there!
9 March 2008 It's been a while since I added to Whispy's blog. Whispy went on with Agility at the training school where she took Agility 2...we repeated it to make sure we had a solid foundation. We were to graduate near the end of January but in looking over the next Agility class, Agility 3, it was too unstructured for me. I went in search of another training school and located one that began the last night of our Agility 2 class. We skipped graduation and began classes with the new training school.
This new training school is wonderful. We are taking classes at the livestock arena at the Uof M, running on deep wet sawdust. Because the space is so large, whole courses can be set up so we began to really learn sequencing. Whispy has truly blossomed in this new venue. At the new training school we began with their Agility 1, boy am I glad! For the first time I can really zoom my wheelchair and Whispy can run full out. We graduated from Agility 1 last Thursday and were promoted to Agility 2. Promotion is not a given, it has to be earned so I am so happy that Whispy and I are doing this well.
Monday 10 March 2008 we begin Agility 2!! And Whispy also passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test :)
(19Aug2006 Whisp learning to move about on the small river rocks in the back yard, not brave enough to jump down on to the rock, yet)
Adventures and Mishaps
As with all youngsters there will be both adventures and mishaps - no matter how careful we are because they are young, lacking in knowledge of the world about them, curious about everything and learning how their bodies move.
14 September 2006 First Emergency Visit to the Vet
The day was a beautifully warm, sunny fall day and I sent the little dogs out to enjoy the day while I fixed their raw veggie snack. Rain sat at the patio door watching them. A few minutes after sending the little dogs out side Rain barked and I went to the door to see what she was barking at. The three little dogs were standing at the patio door waiting to come in. Whisp's body posture was low, head and tail in line with her back.
I opened the door and they came in. Whisp went to the couch and began to cry. I reached down and placed the fingers of my hand under her body to lift her up when she began to scream. I was startled and again tried to pick her up and she continued to scream. I lifted her up and quickly visually examined her - I saw no obvious compound fractures of her legs, her head and tail were still attached to her body so I placed her carefully on the couch. She just kept screaming.
Alarmed I called her vet and we left immediately for an emergency vet appointment. By the time Whisp was weighed she had stopped crying and there was now a swelling above her left eye. By the time the vet came in the swelling now extended down the left side of her face. Whisp was quiet and not herself.
Chihuahuas, as with human babies, are like badminton shuttle cocks...they always land head down and tail up. I suspected that Whisp was playing little mountain goat on the small river rock terracing and lost her footing, falling and hitting her head.
As I sat in the exam room waiting for the vet I looked at my dear sweet Whisp cradled gently against my chest and knew that if she was blind in the left eye due to the fall it would be okay, I would still love her with all my heart. If she had a brain injury it would be okay, I would still love her with all my heart. I knew that if she died I would be devastated and feel guilty for not sitting outside, as I usually did, while she was outside with Cally and SmokeyHaze...because I am an 'over protective' mom.
Luckily Whisp wasn't seriously hurt and she learned a valuable lesson. She rested in her crate for a day and then was absolutely back to normal though she didn't want to leap off the couch any more, choosing instead to use the towel covered box or the footstool both along side the couch as her way up and down safely.
Oh the joy of running!!
Nearing the tunnel
Entering the tunnel
Beautiful little Whisp
13March2007 "For Lease: One Hard Working Chihuahua" ....
I was thinking about leasing Cally out. She has been kind of moping around the house after the grand adventure last Friday when all 5 dogs went to the vet. I am amazed I was able to manage that many all at once…never again though. This morning when Rain and I left the house on errands Cally seemed very busy and didn't even notice us leaving. When we got home I was so tired I lay down to take a nap. I was awakened by Cally barking in the living room but drifted back to sleep when she stopped. ...I felt Cally walking on me and could feel her staring in my face with her feet on my chest. I slowly opened my sleepy eyes and there stood Cally with a mischievous look on her face with something in her mouth. As she was so close to my face it took me a moment to see what she held in her mouth…
"Hey I want to see!! Let me look!! I wanna see the dead mousy thing!" "Cally when will I be old enough to catch mousy things too? Huh? When? Oh it looked like so much fun and I can run way faster than you!!"
"We just came home from the vets. I didn't have to get any shots. YAY!! ...but everybody else did." (10 March)
"Hey I'm checking my teeth....the Vet says I have extra canines!...Just LOOK!!"
"I guess everything is okay, just ask Cally. It is Smokey....why, I knew it all the time."
Whisper watching Cally helping me with the trash.
Cally sporting her new Service Dog (SD) vest posing with Whisp dressed in her Service Dog In Training (SDIT) vest. Whisp has grown into and nearly out of her SDIT vest - check the earliest photos of her wearing this xxxxs vest, 21 August 2006. Whisp is still so small compared to Cally that it is actually hard for me to remember exactly how tiny Whisp actually was when she came to live with us.
After venturing 1/2 way down the wheelchair ramp Whisp had decided that enough of this snow and came right back to the patio door to be let inside...she was still moving really funny!
With the coming of winter the nights are getting longer in MN and seemingly much darker. Whisp's brightly colored sweaters do not help me find her in the blackness of night. I put a "pet blinker" on her that blinks pink and teal. With her moving about fast, very close to the ground, she reminds me of a tiny brightly colored fire fly flitting from here to there.
Trying to capture Whisp playing firefly in the back yard with a digital camera was very hard. I took approx 20 photos to come up with just these two. Even though the pet blinker is blinking in pink and teal one would be hard pressed to say those are the colors that showed up in these photos.
Whisp in her new coat from Santa.
" Look Whispy... My mouth is still bigger than yours!!"
Whisp eating breakfast as Rain waits to see if there will be any left overs. There is absolutely no food guarding by any of the dogs.
Whisp working hard on chewing what is left of a hard large Greenie bone. She has begun losing some of her baby teeth and chewing feels good.
Whisp enjoying what is left of a large Greenie bone.
7 November 2006, drum roll please.....Whisp weighed in at an even 3#s at the vet's when she went for her parvo booster.
Cally, like Rain, is a High Plains Service Dog. She wears this custom made Circle E harness when she is working as a Service Dog away from home. The handle allows me to easily set her down or pick her up from the wheelchair. Cally is a 6# Chihuahua and will be 9 years old 4/07. I am hoping that little Whisp will follow in Cally's paw prints and become a Service Dog also.
Nose to Nose. Whisp's entire nose would fit inside one of Rain's nostrils with room to spare.
Afternoon play time
Whisp hanging out with Rain along side my chair as I work on the computer. My house is chilly and Whisp has found that sitting on Rain keeps her warmer.
2November2006. Whisp was spayed on 25October and on that day she weighed in at...drum roll please.....3 lbs 1 oz!!! Her weight dropped due to the pre-op fasting and no eating after surgery but she is eating well and gaining back what she lost.
Whisp taking an afternoon nap in her crate, one tired puppy.
Whisp in her small crate sleeping with her worldly possessions
"BOO!!! Did I scare you Cally?"
"So this is what a thick fur coat feels like....SWEET!!!"
Whisp in her third hand knit sweater. It is bright so that I can find her among the fallen leaves.
Whisp and SmokeyHaze just hanging out on the couch together.
"I've got it Smokey....I've got it!"
22September2006, Whisp meeting some children at Dog Daze. Whisp really enjoyed the day watching all shapes, sizes, colors, fur types of dogs that came to the event. She also was very interested in watching the dog event demonstrations: obedience, fly ball and agility. She also met all ages, heights, skin colors, male and female, wearing all sorts of things including caps and hats, back packs, on roller blades, men with facial hair....and she kissed them all.
22September2006, 2nd Place at Dog Daze - "Corn Dog" costume. Our State Fair had just ended and it is known for selling many food items on a stick, with corn dogs being one of them - thus this was a tongue in cheek costume and when people realized it there were audible groans.
17September2006 "'Scuse me, let me just climb up here for a better look."
17September2006 "Hey Rainy, can I tell you a secret?"
17September2006 "Don't worry little buddy...I know CPR!"
17September2006 "Say Rainy, do you have faucets down there?"
17September2006, "My goodness, what a big tail you have Rainy!"
17September2006, "No my tongue is longer than yours Rainy....LOOK!"
16September2006 Whisp and SmokeyHaze
16September2006 Whisp checking to see if SmokeyHaze' eye needs cleaning
16September2006 bath time for SmokeyHaze
16September2006 "Wait I want to be in the photo too....There how do we look? Aren't we cute?"
16September2006 Whisp's tear streaked face, after her fall playing "Mountain Goat" in the back yard, see Adventures and Mishaps.
15September2006 Baby Whisp sleeping with her piggy
15September2006 Baby Whisp sleeping
11September2006 "No, no don't look Cally!!" Whisp wearing her first store bought sweater - it is too short in the body and too big around and right after the photo she walked right out of the sweater
6September2006 Wild Whisp playing with Cally
6September2006 Standing on her hind legs, Whisp licking her nose
6September2006 Cally and Whisp playing
21August2006 Whisp in her xxxxs "In Training" vest for further socialization outings.
21August2006 Whisp out on the back yard wheelchair boardwalks.
21August2006 Cally and Whisp in the back garden by the goose decoy
21August2006 Whisp by the goose decoy in the back yard
19August2006 Whisp is uncertain about how to get down from the small river boulders. She is growing into her body and learning how it all works.
19August2006 Whisp checking out getting down from the small river rock boulders. Whisp did not step nor jump down on that lower small river boulder this day. She was too uncertain and being cautious.
16August2006 Whisp in her 10" diameter bed with all her worldly possessions. The little brown squirrel is from AKC and it is a mini, for those of you familar with their toys. The little bed is from the small animal section - made for ferrets - as dog beds aren't made this little, which you can see is way too big for baby Whisp.
14August2006 Whisp and Cally first meeting - Whisp is more relaxed
14August2006 Whisp in her temporary housing
14 August2006 Close up of baby Whisp and Cally. Whisp, 1 lb 8 ozs at 11 weeks 4 days of age.
14August2006 Whisp meets Cally for the first time. Whisp weighed 1 lb 8 ozs Cally weighs 6 lbs ....no this is not a McDonalds Happy Meal toy with a normal size Chihuahua