Monday, September 29, 2008

Last Day of Julep's Visit

Well, Julep is going home today and it has been a wonderful couple of weeks. She has socialized and bonded with her family, specifically her sister Audrey. They do everything together. Whenever we spy on them, they're usually playing with each other. Whether it's rolling around, chasing each other or eating from each other's food dishes, these puppies enjoy each other's company. So here is a blast and a look back of them together in some shots we took a couple of days ago. Below photo - Julep is on left.

Below: Ming is snoozing while her mischievous puppies try to wake her. Audrey is next to Ming. They quickly made their escape when Ming woke up.

Below: Julep is in back. It's not often when we can get still shots of both of them together. Notice Audrey's nice beard (not quite Maynard G. Krebs yet) growing in. It'll disappear when she either shaves or gets more hair.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Puppies' Family

The picture above is of Ming (mother).

This is a picture of Nevin (father).

This is a picture of Madelynn ("Maddie")(grandmother).

This is a picture of Elvis (grandfather).

These are pictures of Ming and her sisters (the aunts). Ming is in the middle. Katie is to her right and Maggie to her left.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Day in the Life of Julep and Audrey - Got a Minute?

We are heartened to hear about how well-received our videos and pictures of the two sisters were. Therefore we continue to film and present to you their interaction. First up is Julep and then you'll see that "playing" going on as she tries to dominate Audrey. Meanwhile Ming is in there as a "potted plant" (with apologies to Brendan Sullivan, Esq.). Anyway, this video is about a minute in duration.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ming's Family

So, a few days ago, we posted pictures of Ming at around 5 months. We are now posting pictures of Ming's sister, Katie, at around five months as well (the 3 pics to the right). We have reposted Ming's picture here, above. Katie is beautiful and we can certainly see the family resemblance amongst the puppies, Katie and Ming.

In a few days, we will be posting pictures of the puppies' parents (Ming and Nevin), grandparents on Ming's side (Maddie and Elvis), and great-grandmother on Ming's side (Molly).

Claiming Your Space

Sometimes when the puppies go out, they exhibit signs of over exuberance . It gets pretty hard to control when we have three dogs seeking the leash, biting the leash and moving around when the leash is being put on. This predicament was in our minds as we surfed YouTube (yes again), we noticed this Caesar Milan video and thought it was appropriate. It shows the steps needed for the owner to take charge and claiming "space." In doing so, the dog obeys. After all, we are the "alpha" - pack leader and should dictate the expected behavior of the pack. It's a good principle. We hope you enjoy it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We Knew The Puppies are SMART.....

We have been hearing from the puppies' caregivers and some have been receiving professional training (individually or in a group). These are a few of the comments that the trainers have made to the caregivers:

(about Duncan)
"By the way, he is the best pooch in his puppy training class. The teacher says she has never seen such an obedient and laid back Westie."

(about Tucker)
"We have started puppy school. The trainer is a judge as well. She commented on how smart he is!"

These are a few of the comments from caregivers:

(about Piper)
"She’s the sweetest, smartest puppy ever (you’ve probably heard that before!)".

So, we knew they are all very SMART, SWEET, quite resourceful too. But I think Duncan takes the prize here because he has graduated to doing HOUSEWORK! He is doing the dishes, the laundry, and guarding the house! We always knew he is the sensitive male type.

What Did Ming Look Like Around The Puppies' Age?

We got to thinking about similarities of the puppies and Ming. Of course we know that they are cute and they look like Ming but readers may be wondering. As we dug up our old photos we got the approximate time frame give or take a couple of weeks. It's about 5 months or so now.

What do you think? Do any of these resemble the 9? We think so!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Walk with Three

What's life with three dogs? Some may argue that it's a lot easier than with 9 puppies and one adult dog. There are differences. The puppies were somewhat contained in a holding pen and Ming was the only one that had to go out consistently. Now with two puppies in addition to Ming, going out can be a handful. Here is a video of a nice long walk. There were two people walking them and all three dogs (as usual)are inquisitive. Dog owners know that a nice pace may be interrupted by the scent of another dog. Keep this in mind as you are viewing the opening seconds of the video. Each dog is "taking it all in."

These dogs can get their leashes tangled up; this has occurred on multiple occasions. Nevertheless, each dog really enjoys the exercise. Typically, Mom Ming lead the pack and the puppies follow behind keeping an eye on Mom. But when Ming is very far ahead and the puppies are behind being distracted. Mom does look back and wait for them. We noticed in an ideal setting that Julep and Audrey like to walk abreast of Ming in almost a "v" formation. As we walk on a path that is residential and opens up on a larger road, the traffic and noise do not faze the puppies. Each morning, all the puppies clamor to get out. More on that another time.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Keen Senses of A Westie

We were taking a morning walk and in a section, Ming gets really excited. What could it be? We don't know but you can see that she is clearly excited. It was difficult to hang onto the leash and record her. For sure she smelled whatever she was excited about. We could not see what see was after but we suspect that it was a squirrel. Meanwhile, Ming's daughters were oblivious of it all.

It's heartening to know that the instincts of a Westie are quite high. For the young'uns, we believe they'll develop this over time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

SoS or Sisters on Steps

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since Julep arrived and we must say that she is getting along really well with her sister and mother. Rarely do we get them together to stay still. In this instance, we were readying for our morning walk. As you can see, they are clearly compliant. The added bonus was that they stayed together long enough and still enough for this shot.

Look at their likeness. There are traits that come straight out at you to tell you that they are indeed related. Well, it's like human kids, they look similar yet there are small things that set them apart. Both look very much like Ming when she was a puppy at their age. We're happy that they also have some quintessential Westie traits; notice their very black noses and eyes. In the picture (for you at home keeping score), Julep is on the left. You may be wondering what the pillows in the background are all about. It's our feeble attempt at preventing the puppies from going upstairs. Often when they are out of sight, we get suspicious. It has worked so far!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Uncommon Westie Tricks

Boy this YouTube stuff is such a time drain but there are some whopper nuggets out there. There are a lot of bad videos too. We spare no expense in filtering out the bad and bring you stuff you may not see everyday. First up is the ability to put one's dog to sleep on command. Weird for sure.

Second - the obligatory 'play dead' trick but with a human finger 'gun.'

Finally, teaching your dog to close drawers and doors. I think this may be in Swedish.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Treadmills Plus

Talking about Ceasar Milan's techniques spurred me to look again for Westie treadmill videos. So... if you'll indulge me and be amenable for some gratuitous Westie treadmilling..

Here is one in an obvious therapy capacity using water. Ok it started off as a treadmill and wound up to be a swim.

OK - so I had one last one here. It has nothing to do with Westies at all but it was so random and captivating that I need to share this. This is in Japanese if you were wondering. It's ok to tap your feet along with the song. It's rather catchy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Dog Whisperer - A Clip on Running Away

We were on vacation and one day, we caught a National Geographic Dog Whisperer marathon on TV.  Needless to say we were engrossed in the small vignettes of success from a guy named Caesar Milan, a.k.a, the Dog Whisperer.  

His show on the National Geographic channel is quite captivating. It's on one of his shows that validated our one time experiment to use a treadmill to walk our first Westie named Hobbes.  Anyway, we were surfing through YouTube again and found this worthwhile video clip where he helped a firehouse Dalmatian stop from bolting out when the doors opened.  Hope you enjoy this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Awww - A Blast from the Past - 9 Again

We were fooling around with many of the internet applications out on the web. There are a lot, believe me and it takes a lot of our curiosity. One particular one enables streaming video from a cellphone (a special one that can do it - we have a Nokia N95 for this task). Anyway, we stumbled upon a website called that captures in realtime and saves your streamed video on their website. Anyway, we found the website again and what did we find? A video of all 9 puppies when they were sleeping and probably a couple of weeks old. Here's going down memory lane - well about 30 seconds worth at least!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Follow-up Video - Julep Close Up

A self-explanatory title.  Here is a really close up video of Julep.  As you can see, she is rather calm.  This contrasts the time when she first arrived.  She is getting used to the place and being with her mother Ming and sister Audrey.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Julep Loses Hair!

While many dog owners groom their dogs using shears, true Westies need to have their coats stripped. Yes it does sound a bit rough but in essence it's a lot of plucking and pulling softer puppy hair to get at the wiry rougher coat that Westies are known for.  Julep does have a lot of soft long hair when she came to us (see also the post below with the video) and it's been a multi-day effort in getting at the undercoat.  Here are some pictures of her.  She does look a lot different than when she came to us.  No, it's not entirely done yet.  We'll follow up with finished shots later. 

The background and table should be familiar with those who follow the blog.  Julep was very cooperative for these sets of shots.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sleeping Arrangements

Now that Julep has returned, she quite frankly gives us abundant material for this blog. Anyway, all of the Westies stay in their crates in the night. Audrey and Julep have no sense of property as each wanders into each other's crates/beds. They even have the audacity to enter mother Ming's!

Additionally, we've partitioned off a small section to give them stretching room in the times that they're not roaming around the house. Hopefully, this forced togetherness will accelerate even more bonding. In this video clip, Julep and Audrey are playing with each other.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ming, Julep and Audrey

So how did Ming greet her offspring Julep? Initially, we believe that she didn't know who Julep was. Julep was just another Westie. As we put Julep in the pen with Ming, there was some growling and we were a bit concerned. So we took Julep out of the pen. We re-introduced them about 30 minutes later and discovered such a wonderful thing...Ming sniffed Julep in the ear and in the rear - as she used to sniff all her puppies every morning. (After sniffing them, Ming used to sniff their droppings. When she was satisfied that everything was normal [I guess an off smell indicated illness?], Ming would settle down and feed them.) Anyway, Ming's expression changed and she realized that Julep is her daughter. She started licking Julep and Julep was giving her puppy kisses back. Ming tried to clean Julep the way she used to when Julep was a newborn. It was so heartwarming to watch. Julep and Audrey, also after some initial period of growling, began to run around the house and play together. When they were done, they looked for the air conditioning vents. When they found one, they sat on it to cool off.

Here is a video of the three calmly interacting.

Casey Meets Actress Sissy Spacek

We recently heard from Casey's caregivers who sent us the following message: "...when I took Casey in for her vet appt today, she made a new friend. As we were walking across the parking lot, Casey pulled towards a puppy (born 1 day after her) to play. When I looked up to see the adult near her I realized it was Academy award winning actress Sissy Spacek!! ... She marveled at how beautiful Casey is and asked to hold her. Casey covered her in kisses and was absolutely adorable with her. Sissy said that she is the most beautiful puppy that she had ever seen and said that Casey had made her day...It was really exciting for me especially hearing her go on and on about how precious Casey is." Way to go, Casey!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Julep Returns! (For a visit)

No, Julep hasn't come back permanently. Rather, she is staying with us for a while as her caregivers are going on vacation. It was an interesting re-immersion to the place that she spent her early months. We placed Audrey and Ming in a pen as Julep pulled up. We didn't know what to expect so we played it safe.

Julep ran around the house looking at every nook and cranny. Meanwhile Audrey and Ming sensed a newcomer entering their territory got anxious and tense. Yes, they even barked. All parties sniffed each other and there was a bit if growling going on. Nothing really to worry about but we have three very dominant females here - Ming, Audrey and Julep. As the time passed, the Westies got acquainted more and more. We first had Audrey play with Julep and they sniffed each other like all dogs do (you know what I mean, right?). Anyway, as the minutes passed, Audrey and Julep were playing fabulously together. Neither was trying to dominate each other secretly, we think they know that they're related.

Here are Julep (left) and Audrey hanging out.

Julep is looking for Audrey.

But what of Ming and her interaction you ask? Well you have to stick around for the next post.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hey, It's Tucker!

Tucker's caregivers just got us some photos of him. As you recall, Tucker was Yellow-Black also affectionately known to us as "Bumble Bee." We are told that he likes water as well and enjoys boat rides. Like all of Ming's offspring, Tucker has really bonded to his new family. It's great to see all of Ming's pups check in.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Piper Checking In - Snoozing and In Nautical Garb

We are so thrilled that Ming's offsprings' pictures are rolling in. Here we have Piper. As you recall, she was the nautical one. Her caregivers are seagoing types and have gotten a nice life vest for her when she goes on dinghy rides.

Piper cuts a good figure in her vest. Quite fashionable we'd say. After the rides and play, like most Westies they like to curl up in a good spot and zonk out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Julep's Toy Box

As many caregivers have checked in and shared their love of their Westie, we enjoy getting a peek into their lives post leaving the nest. Many have set aside special spaces for their pets, special sleeping quarters, an outdoor play area and of course showered their pets with toys. Well Julep is no different.

Here is Julep selecting one of her many choices in her toy collection .

And the toy 'box' also appears to have another use as a nice bed.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September is Here! Close Ups of Casey

We're back from our break! We're just getting around to posting some new photos. Here is Casey in a couple of close-ups. We note Casey's having inherited the beautiful, big eyes and the cute black (very Westie) nose from Ming. Kudos to Casey's caregivers in getting a still shot. Audrey is a challenge still in this department!