Rudy is in the lead with Domino closing in fast!

 

Rudy’s owners organized and hosted a “puppy reunion” at their home yesterday afternoon. Four of the M&M’s and their mom, Moira, were on hand for a really fun time.

In attendance were Domino and his owner, who came all the way from Maryland; Andy and his owner; Sky and his owners (both Andy and Sky live in New Jersey); Rudy, of course, since it was held at his home and their mother, Moira.

It took me a while to warm up to my brothers, but I never did figure out what to do with that "Frosty Paws" behind me!

All the dogs got along surprisingly well. Owners were convinced there was some “littermate recognition” going on even though Sky and Domino hadn’t seen Rudy or Andy since they had left the litter almost exactly two years ago. Domino and Rudy had a ferociously good time chasing each other; often with mom, Moira, mixing in or actually getting between them when they got too rough. Sky, right, was a little shy at first but warmed up after a bit. Andy and Rudy had gotten together previously, but this was the first time Moira had been with her pups since they left home in 2008.

Moira and Andy

Andy follows mom, Moira, on one of the many perimeter checks all the dogs did while visiting yesterday afternoon.

I have lots more pictures, and I’m sure all the owners have some good shots, so send them to me and I’ll set up a puppy reunion page!

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Here’s an update on Domino from his family:

Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you.  Ditto on the congratulations from Kim.  You’ve certainly achieved a lot with both your dogs!  It’s funny that you mention Morty possibly being a therapy dog… I’ve been thinking the same thing about Domino for a while.  I started checking into programs and found out there are a lot of different types out there.  Some are extremely strict, others not as much.  I’ve had Dom in 2 basic training classes, not because he’s bad at it J, but because I don’t keep up with it that well.  I expect to start him in an advanced class soon, and hopefully that will fulfill the requirements for the “easier” therapy dog groups.

I would love to hear the others are doing also!  As for Domino, he is doing great.  I can’t believe he’s going to be 2 years old.   Like Rudy, he gets along well with just about everyone.   He did have an unusual barking episode at my husband’s nephew this past weekend, which is the 1st time he’s ever done anything like that.  Domino initially greeted him in his typical friendly way, but later the nephew went to another room and when he came back to the room we were in, Dom barked.  The nephew doesn’t seem to be much of a dog person and wasn’t particularly friendly towards Domino, so maybe he was voicing his displeasure!  We did immediately correct him, though, and that was the end of it.  Nonetheless, it was a little strange.

On another note about barking… we’ve noticed with all our dogs that they don’t really start barking until sometime between the age of 1 and 2.  Domino was the same and wouldn’t bark even if Rosie was barking her head off at a squirrel or deer in the yard.  But just recently, he started.  Guess he’s “finding his voice”!   

He also has a way of “speaking” to us when he wants his dinner and he’s been doing this for a long time.  It’s sort of a whoo-whoo-whorl hound dog sound and his lower jaw moves up and down like he’s trying to talk.  He’s very serious about it and it’s hilarious! 

He’s also a sun worshipper!  It can be 90 degrees and he’ll seek out the sunny spot on the floor or want to lay on the deck in the sun.  Meanwhile Rosie is on top of the AC vent.

He’s also quite the jumper off the deck steps.  If there’s something interesting in the yard, he’ll run down the first 3 or 4 steps, then hurl himself over the remaining steps.  Maybe I should try him in an agility class J!

Since I’ve heard some of the other dogs swim, I would love to find out if Domino would.  We just haven’t had him around water yet.  Rosie, the Golden Retriever, doesn’t like to swim.  Go figure.

Other than that, he continues to crawl up into our laps occasionally to sleep in the evenings.  It’s not as often, though, since we got him a comfy cushion by the fireplace.  He also lays right by me when I’m cooking dinner and lays or leans up against Kevin or I under the table when we eat.  Health, weight are good… no infections, also all muscle as Rudy is.  I, too, continue to put water in his food.  We occasionally give him some table scraps, but not much at all.  All in all, he is just a pleasure to have around.

I would love to see the other pups!  I guess the rest of you live in NJ or eastern PA??  I’m in the central part of MD but am more than willing to drive if there’s any interest in a puppy reunion!

OK, I’ll stop rambling!   Take care!!

Marilyn

Rudy’s family would like to know how his littermates are doing, and has provided this update on Rudy:

Rudy is a sweetheart and gets along well with people, kids (large & small) and 97% of all other dogs.   There is that 3% he doesn’t like, which recently came out and wonder if it is because he is getting older – not sure.   However, IF he does misbehave we correct him immediately (thanks, Janet).  At about 10 months of age, Rudy started laying down when another dog approached and would lay there waiting for them to come to him.  This is not something we taught him and people are always amazed when they see him do this.   Rudy loves our boat and will not let us leave the dock without him.  It’s actually very funny to see him sitting there waiting for us on the boat.  Yes, he does wear a life jacket.  Rudy gets lots of exercise (walks about 2-3 miles a day) and the pulling has significantly decreased for me (thanks Janet).   I use the harness when I walk him and my husband uses only his collar (regular cloth) and has no issues with the pulling.    However, all bets are off when Rudy sees a squirrel or birds and then he becomes a Rudy kite.  He seems to think that he can either fly or climb trees.  Actually, he did catch a rabbit in our yard but then didn’t know what to do with it.  The thrill is in the chase.   Rudy loves his rawhides, which amazes us because he is missing so many teeth on the sides and then loves to bury the knot part of the bone.  It’s actually very funny to watch him because he gets very focused on finding just the right spot (corner of the couch inside or digs a hole outside).    In the off season, we take Rudy to the dog beach in Manasquan beach and he loves to frolic with the other dogs and swim in the bay, which he loves to do in the summer as well.  

Health wise – weight is great and is all muscle, has had a few ear infections and one bladder infection. 

Food – we still add water to Rudy’s food, as we don’t want any stones to form and try to keep him as hydrated as possible.   Rudy doesn’t get any table food – except for on occasion.   He loves his frosty paws and always runs out side to eat them, which is where he enjoyed one with his brother, Andy last summer.   That was a fun time and should do it again. 

Training – We did take a class at St. Hubert’s and that was great and then I signed up for one puppy play group, as I wanted to make sure he played nicely with other dogs and to get him some exercise because it was winter time. 

Janet, thanks again for breeding such a wonderful litter and if you did breed another litter, we might do a second puppy but would need to see where we are in life at that time. 

p.s. we still use “puppy, puppy, puppy” and Rudy still comes running.

Rudy’s family has reported that they’re having a challenge with Rudy pulling on the leash when they walk him. He gets walked at least two miles a day; sometimes twice a day. They have tried nose leads, the gentle leader chest leads and he still pulls. With so much walking, they’re at a loss to understand why he’s pulling. Well, because he can and because in his mind, pulling gets him a fabulous two-mile walk!

There are several methods to stop a dog from pulling. My dogs are taught the “With Me” command from the first time they get a collar and leash put on them. With a four-foot leash and a prong collar (if you use a prong collar, it needs to be fitted correctly–should be slightly loose–and it needs to sit high on the dog’s neck) you start moving forward saying, “Andy, with me”. There should be NO tension on the leash. As soon as the dog starts to move ahead of you, i.e., just before they get far enough to put tension on the leash and start pulling, give a short pop away from the dog and release on the leash to get their attention at the same time giving the “With Me” (or whatever command you use as long as you’re consistent), praise and give a treat when they return to your side. Never put constant pressure on the leash and collar, just a short, quick tug to get the dog’s attention. Constant pressue will cause the dog to just pull against you.

As usual, there’s more than one way to “skin a cat” (my 17-year-old feline hates this phrase!).  My good friend, Peggy Rogan, who has owned and trained Dalmatians all her life suggests an alternative that she has found works well. With your dog on your collar of choice and a leash, start walking. As soon as the dog gets ahead and starts pulling, stop dead in your tracks and look down at the spot on the ground to your left where the dog SHOULD be. As soon as the dog gets the hint that there will be no forward motion, he’ll figure out he needs to return to you. When he’s back in the spot you want him in, praise and treat, if the dog is food motivated. Start walking again, stopping immediately anytime the dog pulls on the leash. There is an excellent video of this technique here.

Everyone who walks the dog will have to be consistent with this training. As with any habit, it will take repetition and practice to change your dog’s habit of pulling you along on “his” walk. Dals are smart. He’ll catch on with practice that if he wants to move foward on “your” walk, it won’t involve attempting to pull your arm out of its socket!

Morty CD

Morty poses for his Companion Dog title photograph with me, the judge and the handsome leather lead he won.

On Thursday, March 25, 2010 at the Non-Sporting Club of the Garden State obedience trial in Edison, NJ, Morty earned the third leg of his AKC Companion Dog title earning a first place in the Novice A class. He is now CH Erin’s Third Times’ the Charm CD. Morty has not gone to many dog shows since he finished his Champion title and was so excited to see our two-legged dog-show friends, even giving some of them that “Dalmatian smile”. You know, the one where the raise their lip on one side of their mouth and people think they’re snarling when they’re actually smiling! Edison shows are held at the Raritan Center, and it is a noisy, distracting environment for owner and dog while they are trying to focus on heeling and recalling. If you’d like to learn about getting started in AKC Obedience, click here.

I’m not certain what Morty and I will do together from a training perspective because to continue in Obedience we would have to figure out some way to overcome his almost complete aversion to retrieving or even picking up a dumbbell.

Would love to hear from all you M&M owners and find out what everyone and their pups are up to!

Morty, Dyson and Moira

Morty and Moira have been joined by Dyson

We have an unexpected new member of the family…my “foster child” Dyson. A close friend who helped me whelp Moira’s litter, had a litter of seven puppies on September 22, 2009. I stayed at her house and helped with the delivery. Unfortunately, when the pups were about ready to go to their new homes, my friend became critically ill. Two of the seven puppies still did not have homes, so I offered to take them. I found a home for one, and am taking care of the seventh, Dyson, until we see if he has show potential and my friend recovers enough so she can decide what to do. In the meantime, Morty is not pleased that his routine has been disrupted, although he is very gentle with the new puppy, and Moira is teaching him how to rough house.

Since holiday celebrations will be at my house this year, and we put the tree up on Saturday, I was at a temporary loss as to how to keep the 12-week-old puppy AND my 15-month-old granddaughter away from the tree. Especially after it took Dyson less than a nano-second to snatch a low-hanging felt ornament and streak off through the kitchen. The solutions, I think, is pretty elegant.

To read about my friend’s litter of puppies, go to Luv My Spots!

New use for an ex-pen

Morty & Moira pose in front of the Christmas tree, which is now completely protected by an exercise pen!

Back on August 12, just a couple of weeks after they turned one year old, Andy and Rudy managed to get their humans in the same “spot”, at the same time. Rudy and Andy knew they would get along famously and played like brothers. Of course, the pups were surprised that the humans had so much in common. Both had been owned by two other Dals prior to being lucky enough to have been adopted by them, and had similar experiences with their Dals. Here’s a photo that Andy had his human take so it could be shared with everyone.

Rudy and Andy

Rudy (blue collar) looks up to his younger brother (by two hours) when they met in August.

So she doesn't have spots! I still love her like a sister!

So she doesn't have spots! I still love her like a sister!

Domino, the only M&M with two brown eyes, went to a home with a four-(now five-) year-old Golden named Rosie. One other M&M went to a home that already had a dog. Domino’s owner had loved Dalmatians since she was a kid and had been thinking about a new Dal since her last one, Brandy, died.

With the postings about Morty, Andy and Rudy all loving the water, Domino’s owners are anxious to see if Domino would like swimming. Rosie doesn’t like to swim, but Domino’s owners have some nice ponds nearby. I’m sure they’ll let me know if they discover that Domino is a swimmer too.

Now that my swimming pool is closed for the season, and the Meyco cover securely fastened down, I STILL have to be prepared for wet dogs barreling into the house. Two years ago when we closed the pool, Moira figured out that if she was thirsty from running around, she didn’t have to go back in the dog door into the kitchen to get a drink. She could just walk out on the pool cover, she would sink down a few inches, and the water would come up a few inches. She’d get a drink, then go back to running around. Morty would never have tried this on his own, but was more than happy to have Moira figure it out for him. So, if she can see the bottom, i.e., the dark cover, she’s fine with being in standing water. Forget it when the pool is open. She’d rather sit up on the deck and pout that nobody is playing with her. She’ll come down and steal Morty’s floating toys that he retrieves. A real spoilsport!

I enjoyed getting pictures of three of this litter’s puppy owners, Enzo, Sky and Rudy. Enzo now has a new, two-legged brother, Antonio, born just six days before the puppies first birthday. Enzo’s family reports that he’s doing much better with listening and obeying and is very curious about the baby. Morty was very curious about my granddaughter, Lulu, who is now 10 months old. I’m still extremely cautious with the dogs around the baby, especially now that she is crawling. In fact, at first, when the baby cried, it seemed to upset Morty, so I kept him behind a gate in the kitchen whenever I was taking care of the baby. Moira, on the other hand, would come over, sniff, look at the crying baby and walk away as if to say, “Been there, done that, not interested.”

Where's my birthday present?

Where's my birthday present?

 

Sporting those same mesmerizing eyes as his mother, Moira, Enzo (left) is sitting patiently while his picture gets taken.

Also with double blue eyes is his littermate, Sky (formerly known as Mandy). Sky recently accompanied her owners on a vacation to the Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina. This is a B&B that welcomes “Well loved and behaved pets in the Pet Friendly Cottage”, and Sky is certainly both! The pictures below show her relaxing on vacation and helping her owner drive!

More and more places welcome pets when travelling. We recently spent a week in a rental house in Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island in NJ and, of course, took Morty and Moira with us. Although we can’t get Moira interested in swimming in the pool, she walked right into the bay at the end of our street. The dogs aren’t thrilled with beach vacations as they are crated when we’re at the beach just to make certain Moira doesn’t get bored and do something that would prevent us from getting our entire security deposit back. Morty, in particular dislikes being out of his routine and they both miss being able to run out the dog door into the fenced back yard whenever they please.

Sky helps Dad navigate on their recent vacation in NC.

Sky helps Dad navigate on their recent vacation in NC.

 

Sky relaxes on vacation.

Sky relaxes on vacation.

What is really funny about the picture (left) of Sky peering over her owner’s shoulder is that Morty does exactly the same thing when we’re riding in the truck. He’ll alternate between resting on the driver’s left shoulder and the passenger’s right. It’s always interesting to learn what mannerisms, personality traits, etc. puppies have that are the same or similar to their parents. 
During the summer, when someone is in the swimming pool, Morty is right there. He has toys that float that he can retrieve. We have discovered that “blue” is nto a good color for the floating bone, since it is the same color as the blues in the pool liner and is difficult for him to see. Although we think it’s pretty funny as he continues to swim in circles looking for it. Although he doesn’t go swimming when there are no humans in the pool, if he and Moira are running around like nuts, it is far, far easier for him to walk into the pool up to his chest to get a drink than go in the house to his water bowl. More than once, I have stepped in a puddle in the kitchen because a dripping wet dog has just come charging through the dog door. I can often be heard screaming from the garden, “LOCK THE DOG DOOR!”Apparently Rudy (formerly MJ) also loves swimming. According to his owner, “We introduced him to swimming at a beachfront dog park in Manasquan and once he was in and playing with other dogs, that was it. He frequents a boating beach called Tices Shoal with the family every weekend. He also loves going fishing with me and the guys in the bay.”

 

OK, I'll rest, but I won't get out of the water!

OK, I'll rest, but I won't get out of the water!

Where's my floating doggy bar with biscuits?

Where's my floating doggy bar with biscuits?

It seems like all the folks I heard from recently, which also includes Domino (Milo)  and Andy’s (Mikey) have all happily survived the trials and tribulations and joys of the first year with a Dalmatian puppy. According to Rudy’s Dad, “The best attribute about Rudy is how he tries so hard to be a great dog. it is hard to describe but I am sure you know what I mean. We have a few neighbors down the shore who are former dal owners who come out of there homes whenever we are walking him and they just love him as well. We have been socializing him with as many people and dogs as we can and it is really  paying off. Anyway, thanks for whelping such a great dog. If I could clone him, I would in a heartbeat….”

 

Pictures should be coming soon of Domino and Andy, but in the meantime, Domino’s Mom reports, “He is doing great!  Still very friendly and affectionate… still crawling up in our laps to sleep in the evening and wrestling with Rosie!” And according to Andy’s Mom, he’s doing wonderfully and her life would not be the same without him. And, along the lines again of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, she reports, “Andy swam for the first time at the Manasquan reservoir last Sunday.  OH MY GOD,  HE LOVES TO SWIM!  He loves the water, and had a huge smile on his face as we was paddling back to shore.”

 

Hopefully, we’ll hear from Cupcake’s family soon and get pictures of Andy and Domino. I’ll also keep trying to touch base with Max and Milo’s owner.

Today the puppies are all one year old. It is hard for me to believe that a year has passed. I have received updates and/or pictures from the families of Enzo, Rudy, Andy, Sky and Domino. I will be posting pictures tomorrow along with the updates. Today we’ve just got a few minutes in between enjoying a visit with my granddaughter Kristina, who is visiting us from Kansas, and going out to a summer party.

I hope everyone gives their puppy a special treat for their birthday!