Sunday, November 26, 2017

It’s Like Having A Kid

Our days have changed – a lot. Ever since we got this little “kid” Dixie, we are constantly occupied with either watching over her, making sure she gets outside when necessary, feeding her, training her, walking her and playing with her. And it is all so much fun. At 6:30am I have to get up and let her out. Good thing is that I normally never used to sleep in, so I am the type A human being. That being said when I hear the storm howling around the house, my motivation to get up that early has its limits.
When I am ready to stoke the stove, Dixie has taken in her customary position in front of it, making it somewhat difficult for me to retrieve the firewood. We have dubbed her the “Stove-Dog” as it is the place where she spends a lot of time during the day. Little puppy feels cold, little puppy likes to be in front of the wood stove.
1-20171126_113950She also enjoys looking into the flames. It is like TV for her.1-20171121_142232
Bea has started to take Dixie on some longer walks off the property and down the village streets, but Dixie’s level of energy seems boundless. She has grown somewhat and last week she weighed in at 18.4 pounds at the vet office. Tomorrow we gotta go there again to get her the last booster shots. Then, hopefully, there will be a while until we see that guy again.
1-20171126_115051                                  Chewing on an apple
1-20171126_115000                         Dad did a “Selfie” with me.
Reading over what I just wrote, It occurs to me that I am sounding like a new-baked father who is reporting on the progress his new-born kid is making. But, really, if you look at it, it’s not so much difference. We have become dog-parents again and we take that pretty darn seriously.

Once in a while we try to do something different and head down to the beach. Here are a few shots I did the other day. We are still blessed with a lot of blue skies and sunshine.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dixie Goes To The Vet

Yesterday afternoon we noticed that Dixie had a problem. She was peeing much too often, like several times over 30 minutes and we couldn’t keep up to lead her outside. Females are prone to bladder infection and today we had to go see the vet, and it was quickly determined that we had been right. It was indeed a urinary tract infection. Now, that is not too dramatic in itself as the good doc had antibiotics right there in his office. 2 weeks with that and the problem should be gone for good. Meanwhile, until the drug kicks in, we still have to deal with that problem. Good thing is that Dixie still seems to be a happy dog and doesn’t seem to be depressed. We’ll see what happens over the next 2 days.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dixie Meets Summer

Summer is a Standard Poodle and belongs to our neighbours. They had been so kind to offer to let Dixie meet Summer. And that’s where we were headed this afternoon.
Arriving at their place, Summer, who is a 6-7 months old puppy but much bigger than Dixie, was acting totally wild behind the fence. Wild enough to make me think she would easily crush little Dixie.
They would first meet with the fence between them, than both dogs walked together – each on a leash. Then the moment came we all were anxiously awaiting: Both dogs got off the leash.

And the race was on.
1-DSC_0207 1-DSC_0212 1-DSC_0209 1-DSC_0211 
1-DSC_0228Both dogs chased through the enclosure like the devil was after them. It was obvious to all of us watching that Dixie had a great deal of fun and it didn’t take long until she was chasing the poodle around, even jumping over him, both dogs rolling around, taking aim for the next jump. I saw Dixie wild-eyed looking straight at Summer. She looked crazy, but had tons of fun with that poodle even though summer was at least double her weight and size.

It is safe to say that Dixie surprised bigly. While we had thought her to be somewhat timid, she showed us her real temperament.

While we were told that Dixie would be a cross between a Great Pyrenee and a Border Collie we think we have found out her real make-up. We have a picture of her mother, an Anatolian Shepard but her dad remained unknown, – until now.
pups9            The entire litter with mother in background

Dixie is almost a true copy of an English Pointer, which most likely is her dad. The left pic is Dixie, the one to the right an English Pointer.
1-DSC_0142 1-English Pointer 01
Below: And this is how she might end up looking as an adult.
1-Englis Pointer 02

Thursday, November 16, 2017

She’s A Quick Learner

The last 4 days Dixie has shown us that she is an amazing learner. Not only has she understood that her P+P business has to be made outside, but she has also started to let us know when it is necessary to step outside. She has also understood that there are two adults in this household and that anybody else doesn’t belong and needs to be met with caution. But maybe the most amazing progress has been that she now sleeps through the night. And I have also smartened up by getting off that couch and rather put the couch pillows on the floor where I can actually stretch out my 6ft. body length. The last 2 nights I have been resting with my head only inches from her crate. We went out at 5am and went to sleep again. Now, THAT is my kind of puppy.

The stream of visitors coming by our house has not subsided. I need to start the coffee maker again. Smile
1-DSC_0016 Murals on a barn wall in Maine
1-20171112_090428Fall leaves under water
1-DSC_0100 1-DSC_0078
While I was driving Bea had been looking out for birds

Not only has Dixie proven to be very smart, but she is also very playful, affectionate and lovable. And she likes to put smooches into my face.

The video below (Dixie’s Play) is a bit long so I put it on YouTube.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dixie Becoming A Local Celebrity

The news of a new puppy on the island has been spreading fast and in order to handle all visitors we had to set up visiting hours. This morning’s first visitor told us that Dixie had been hot news during a church supper where people had been wondering who had already seen the puppy.
Of course, we welcome everyone to see Dixie, as it is very good to become socialised for her. Whenever she sees strangers at the door, entering the house she runs away and goes hiding in a corner. That is not a
desirable trait for a dog. As you can imagine it can quickly become a problem once Dixie reaches adulthood and her full size. So we are happy about the visitors trying to gain Dixie’s trust. Having a goodie for her, of course, helps the cause.

Last night, it was Bea’s turn to spend a night on the couch, while I turned out the light upstairs. Now, whether it was the spent night on the couch or the 4-hr-long drive on Sunday, I don’t know, but my lower back is aching like crazy.

Weather has been getting colder and the air feels raw, but after all it is actually the middle of November and we are more fortunate than other parts of the country as we have no snow yet.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Mere Four Hours South: Lewiston, ME

Our trip south through Maine ended in Lewiston, Maine’s 2nd. largest city.
Though the day temps never made it much above the freezing mark, we enjoyed a great blue sky with lots of sunshine.
1-DSC_00051-DSC_00071-DSC_00081-DSC_0006         Blueberry field in Maine

After around 4hrs. driving we reached Auburn and Lewiston.
1-DSC_0045As mentioned previously, we explored a nature preserve called THORNCRAG. The tall mature forest was impressive.


The TV-Program showed an old Batman movie and I don’t know whether it was the ridiculous movie or the drive south but we both fell asleep early.

Morning came and I got excited about picking up Dixie. But yet it was still too early. Shortly after 7am we left the motel to do a little sightseeing before breakfast. Lewiston is an old French city and we had already seen a multitude of churches.
The most famous one is the Basilica of the Saints Peter and Paul and since Bea was born close to the German city of Cologne with its famous Cathedral, we wanted to see this great church in Lewiston.
1-DSC_0059The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
While the building is not very old, it was finsihed in 1936, it bears the architecture of historic European Cathedrals, its colorful church windows could easily stem from the 17th century.
1-DSC_0063      1-DSC_0064 1-DSC_0065
1-DSC_0058One of the most amazing parts of the services held at the Basilica, are the different languages. Mass is held in latin, french, spanish and english.

Lewiston’s history is connected to textil industry. But the start was the Androscoggin Falls, which offered plenty of energy for starting a lumber mill.

1-DSC_0067Driving through Lewiston on an early Sunday morning is a good idea as traffic is still very sparse. The city is neighbour to the city of Auburn, just across the river and both cities have lots of historic buildings to show.

For us it was time to have breakfast so we went back to the same Denny’s Restaurant as the evening before.
1-DSC_0083 These guys were just hanging out in a shrub at Denny’s
1-DSC_0094On the way over to Casco we stopped by a scenic lake. Most of the shoreline was occupied by private buildings though, some of them scraggy old cabins, others looking pretty expensive, all of them being vacation properties.

My previous posting describes our ride back home.

Having a puppy means you gotta be close when you new companion needs to his/her business, cause you don’t want that to happen in the house. So, obviously, you need to be in the same room as your puppy at night. For me, that meant to spend the night on the couch. After Bea had gone upstairs, Dixie started to give a free concert. The modulation of her singing was downright impressive. From the highests scream to the darkest angry growl everyting was present. I turned off the light, but it didn’t help. I turned it back on and she was still performing. I got up and started playing with her. My hopes that she would get tired paid off. After she went back in the crate and a few more high-pitched sighs, she fell silent. Suddenly she slept, and so did I. 2 hours went by and the whole thing repeated itself. But now I put her on the leash and led her outside to do a pee, which she promptly did. Back inside, I gave her an old baseball caps to play with. She eagerly grabbed it and carried it into her crate. Then, all-of-a-sudden, she slept. back to the couch I went.
2 hrs. went by and we did it all again. The rythm was set. At 6:15am I got up for the last time, meeting Bea coming down, in the kitchen. It was time to call it a night. Soon, I had coffee ready and a fire in the stove.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sweetie Pie DIXIE Is In Canada!

We picked up Sweetie Pie Dixie at 9:30 Eastern today and I think Dixie wasn’t the only one being stressed out. We had a smaller borrowed crate for travel and she lay down there and fell asleep pretty quick.
Made it home at 4:30pm Atlantic and unpacked the van.
One thing we noticed right away, was that the picture we “landed on” through Petfinder wasn’t our Dixie. As you can see in the first picture there was a black tail root, while our Dixie has an entirely white tail. Also look at Dixie’s speckled coat, hardly a speckle on the Petfinder picture! Somebody must have swapped the pictures. But that is not really a problem. We love Dixie just the way she is.

We stopped a couple of times, mostly to give Dixie opportunity to walk around and do her business, and she showed off her happy mentality. She is indeed a happy dog and likes to play – like all puppies. But when playtime is over she also enjoys a good nap.

Here are just a few more pictures of her. I will post pictures of the trip and our little sightseeing in Lewiston tomorrow.