Déjà Blu Puppy 2014

Dam:  CH Blue Fairy’s Fifth Element, RN, CGC, VO

Sire:  Am., Can. CH Bearsden’s MacDougal Agryll

Table of Events

Puppy Videos

Good News.. Bad News

In Summer 2014 we made a decision to breed our girl Leeloo – CH Blue Fairy’s Fifth Element, CGC, RN, VO. Her 2012 litter produced 4 wonderful puppies: 2 AKC Champions and one more in the makings. After evaluating several candidates, we decided to use a proven Sire – MacDougal, Am. Can. CH Bearsden’s MacDougal Agryll. This would be a repetitive breeding. Leeloo’s sister Mamba was bred to MacDougal back in 2010 producing our most favorite Otterhound Ozzy (GCH Blue Fairy’s Wizard of Oz, CGC), his brother Woody and sister Scarlett.

Breeding took place in mid-July and ultrasound in mid-August confirmed Leeloo’s pregnancy. Leeloo handled her second pregnancy very well. She had a lot of energy and most of all enjoyed gradually increased food amounts! We continued our trips to the beach and evening rabbit hunts up to the delivery date.

One week before expected delivery date we had an Xray done to see how many puppies were hiding and to our surprise, we only saw one. Mixed feelings and mixed emotions. Good news and bad news at the same time. It took a couple of days to get used to the idea of raising a singleton puppy. Then, we got excited again and started the preparations. We knew that the puppy would be delivered via a C-Section and a single puppy might require additional care and attention in the first weeks of his/her life and social stimulation as he/she was growing up. We had a Pack pow-wow and knew, we were all ready for the challenge 🙂

It’s a Girl !!!

Monday, September 15th, 2014

The big day finally arrived. Our C-Section was scheduled for 5:45am. Perfect time to avoid traffic and hot temperatures. We’ve been having record heat wave in San Diego area. We arrived at the vet’s office right on time. As we suspected, we were going to assist in the surgery. What a great opportunity to welcome the newest member of the Blue Fairy Pack 🙂

Our puppy girl arrived at 6:30am. Black and tan beauty! We were pleased to see a lot of brown markings and a white tie. She was big – 1lb 7oz, strong and very vocal from the moment she took her first breath. We tried to feed her right after the surgery, but she was not really sure what to do and definitely did not want to accept any help from the humans. She voiced her opinions loud and clear! Showing personality from the moment she was born 😉

Trip home was uneventful. We had whelping areas setup but Leeloo was not about to get in the box with all heat outside. She decided to settle in her usual spot in the bedroom. We didn’t mind since our priority was to get our puppy girl eating as soon as possible. We were lucky: although Leeloo was still recovering from surgery, she did not mind nursing the puppy. But she was not too interested in the cleanup. Lucky me! Our puppy girl on the other hand, continued to be vocal even when she was eating! And when I tried to move her to a “better” nipple, well.. I heard it all loud and clear. She was in charge!

In the evening, Leeloo finally made up her mind and claimed her puppy. It was fun to watch the decision making process. Earlier in the day, it looked like Leeloo was not sure if the puppy was hers and if it was OK to interact with her. It started with gentle nudges, sniffs and kisses. Then a little break to think about it. Repeat and add a little bit of cleanup. Another break and repeat. I was relieved. I was ready to give up my potty duties 😉 As midnight rolled up, Leeloo was comfortable in her whelping box area and completely focused on caring for the puppy. On the flip side, she chose me to be her assistant throughout the night. She kept whining every time the puppy “strayed” to cuddle up for a nap with a toy instead of her – the Mommy. So I had to move the pup back under Leeloo’s protective nose. Literally. Great and challenging first 24 hours. We are just getting started!

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Week 1: Labor of Love

The first week can be best described as “labor of love” and we all know that “love is a battlefield” ;). Raising a singleton puppy was not as easy as we initially thought. With the extreme heat in SoCal in the last couple of weeks, we found ourselves with a challenge to keep the puppy warm and Leeloo cool and hydrated to produce enough milk. Our puppy girl did not lack the enthusiasm in suckling her Mom – noises and paw action were suggesting that she was getting enough food, but the scale was telling us a different story. We had to step in and start supplementing her meals with milk replacement formula, following nursing. Fun! As the temperatures at night started dropping down, we had yet another challenge: making sure that the puppy stays warm, since there was no puppy pile for warmth and cuddles. My maternal instincts kicked in. The whelping area next to my bed became the headquarters for the week. We slept together, we ate together and we stayed warm together (I’d say Leeloo and I were more on the steamy side 😉 ). Who needs sleep when there is a little puppy in need! I have to admit though I missed spending time with my other dogs. But.. I was on a mission!

The good news is that every day, our puppy girl was getting bigger and stronger and we saw her weight moving in the right direction. She’s still opinionated, but in time, her noises became more content, unless of course she was not getting her way. Did I say she is also cute..? I can already see brown/red highlights coming thru her black coat. A beautiful white tie and white dot on her chin complete the picture. Too bad it will likely all go away as the coat evolution continues.

The most important update for Week 1 is the name! With help from good friends, we decided to call our puppy girl Olive. Strong and confident, just like the main character in a TV show Fringe. Pretty cool ?

Leeloo is extremely protective of her puppy and our Pack seems to get the message. Everyone except for Phoebe. Not a surprise. Phoebe’s been the “little one” since the day she was born and she’s not very used to following the rules, especially when her curiosity takes over. She simply kept ignoring Leeloo’s warning growls and eventually Leeloo started ignoring her. Expression on Phoebe’s face was priceless: “I’m a baby and I’m not a threat” look. So far, it works! Phoebe is assisting with Leeloo’s feeding routines (including licking the bowl!) and gets to watch the puppy nurse and move around from a much closer distance than the other dogs. Ozzy does his walk by the whelping box (like he’s not interested) but his big smile and tail wagging gives away his true feelings 😉 Bella does not want to get in trouble with her Mom and stays away for the most part. Mamba has been very respectful and keeps her distance. However, she is the first one to smell my hands and clothes to make sure she gets to know the new Pack member by scent. It will be fun to watch Pack dynamics as the puppy grows and “officially” meets the rest of the family.

Week 1 Videos

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Week 2: Stepping Up!

The second week was full of changes big and small. We started the week with a trip to the vet to remove Olive’s dewclaws. We waited with the procedure a bit longer than usual to let our girl grow bigger and stronger. It was the right decision – our puppy girl handled it well. Leeloo had a health check too to make sure she was recovering well from the surgery. Both girls got clean bill of health 🙂 Olive handled the drive like a pro: nursing one way and napping on the way back. Good traveler already!

We started developing our daily routines: feeding, followed by a healthy nap. Leeloo continued her duties and kept puppy Olive clean. But, she started spending more time outside the whelping area. In order to keep the puppy warm, I started putting Olive into a basket with a blanket and a toy, so she could cuddle up and not be left out in a large area by herself. Once of the disadvantages of a singleton puppy is lack of littermates for warmth and company. I was very surprised that after a few days, Olive started finding her way to her basket and I’d find her inside snoozing away, surrounded by her toys. Too cute!

Olive has been getting stronger and more determined to walk every day. Her crawling around slowly started transforming into pushups and wobbly steps. Balance is a challenge and the butt is still a little heavy. Watching our puppy girl learning to walk is fascinating! She’ll be running in no time 😉 I can’t believe how fast her toenails grow. I trimmed them 3 times already and they are still sharp. Poor Leeloo! Nursing is no fun for her!

Daily transformation of our puppy has been amazing. She’s now a round, fuzzy creature and her ears almost doubled in size since the day she was born. Good sign for an Otterhound! We are anxiously waiting for the eyes to open. Any day now!

Week 2 Videos

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Week 3: Hello World 🙂

It seems like the eyes opened overnight. On Sunday night (Day 14) I thought a saw a tiny shiny mirror in the left eye and on Monday morning I saw two big black-blue eyes staring right at me! And once these beautiful eyes opened, the world was not enough for our little puppy girl. She begun testing boundaries of the whelping area and insisted on searching for her Mom. Finding her napping next to Leeloo in the middle of the bedroom is no longer a surprise. Escape artist already! Thankfully Leeloo is never too far and she always alerts me when our puppy is out of her view. Team work!

As the heat wave returned to San Diego, we setup a playpen downstairs and started introducing our puppy to the living room and the rest of the Pack. Ozzy has been patiently offering his services and kept his distance. Once we moved downstairs, well.. the entire Pack was ready to meet the new arrival. Even Mamba started cautiosly approaching the playpen. Phoebe used to being center of attention could not figure out what was so special about that new tiny dog-like creature, but she was curious to find out. Bella knew the game. After all she took care of Phoebe and her littermates. However, Bella was very respectful of her Mom and a little scared of Ozzy, who decided the puppy was his for the most part. Well.. he was OK sharing with Leeloo (kind of). It was hard for him to hide his enthusiasm and cleaning the puppy was getting very intense at times, but the puppy didn’t seem to mind and Ozzy’s tail was clearly telling us he was in heaven.

Life downstairs presented new opportunity for our puppy to explore new and larger area: the living room. It became obvious that although the eyes were open, the nose was leading the way. Scent hound in action! Walking has been getting easier every day, although turns and rapid stops usually were ending with a roll-over and lots of squeeky noises. Very funny! Amazingly, when the puppy gets tired of her adventures and it’s time for a nap, she somehow finds her way back to the play pen, her Mom, and ultimately to her basket.

This week enjoyed watching new behaviors such as tail wagging and growling. The first time I saw our puppy wag her tail was when she saw her big brother Ozzy nose-to-nose for the first time. Coincidence..? We’ll never know. Growling happens occasionally when she does not get her way. For example, she’s walking one way and I keep turning her around or when we attempt to play tag. Ears are working well too. We noticed she’s reacting to the other dogs barking. Did I mention that our puppy is also interested in playing and chewing..? The teeth are coming! Poor Leeloo! Despite of regular trimming, the toe nails are sharp and teeth will only make nursing more uncomfortable. Hard to believe how fast things change! Upcoming weeks are going to be even more amazing 🙂

Week 3 Videos

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Week 4: Catch Me If You Can!

It’s hard to believe how much our puppy girl changed in just one week! She mastered the walk and got pretty good at “almost” running. She does not quite run yet, although there is an occasional rabbit hop here and there, but she walks really REALLY fast with her head up and tail wagging like crazy. Daring us to catch her 🙂 And once she takes off, it’s not easy, believe me! In addition, her independent nature started to blossom. When she sets her mind into going in one direction, she will get there and it’s not a good idea to pick her up because she will wiggle and scream letting you know that she knows exactly what she’s doing! Attitude anybody..?

We had a great time watching the new pack dynamics develop. Our puppy girl has been spending the daytime downstairs with the rest of our hounds under Leeloo’s watchful eye. Ozzy has been helping with keeping puppy clean since week 3, Phoebe has been curious, but not too sure how to play with the puppy. Bella was working hard not get in trouble with Oz and Leeloo. Mamba – well.. she’s been patiently waiting for her time with the new Pack member. This week everyone got their wishes.

Our puppy has been mastering the art of play: the stalking, the paw and the deadly shake. We saw her trying her skills on toys and her Mom Leeloo. Leeloo was not too sure how to react to her daughter’s attempts to play, pulling her ears or chin hair. You can almost tell that she’s confused why nursing was not enough. Very funny! But.. the youngsters were just waiting for their moment to take over. Ozzy continued to be focused on keeping the puppy clean but did not mind being chewed on. Phoebe was still trying to figure out why the puppy is sooo slow and can’t just take off and chase her in the yard. I told her to wait just a couple more weeks! Then, there is Bella. Yet again she proved to be the perfect big sister. Somehow she knew the balance between the play and the cleanup. She just lays down and lets the puppy have a good time with her ears, chin and tail. What a great Mom she’s going to be! Mamba was the last to interact with the puppy. She did smell her here and there, but kept her distance to avoid potential conflict with her sister Leeloo. Towards the end of the week, Leeloo finally sent the vibe that it’s OK to say hello and Mamba was in heaven. Gentle and loving. Her expressions were priceless! Too bad they all have to share just one little princess..

There was one more HUGE development last week: our girl started lapping. We knew she had a giant tongue – she’s been a very good kisser 🙂 But her instincts were focused on sucking and transition to lapping liquids needed time. She was so enthusiastic, that instead of licking, she would dive in nose first. No wonder Otterhounds drink from the bottom of their water bowls! Then, one day she just got it. Went from a snorkeler to a pro-licker overnight. Her Mom Leeloo was not too happy about having a little competition, but the puppy loved the new food challenge. Introduction to weaning next week. Pretty good stuff!

Lastly, the true name of our little princess revealed itself. Mike has been calling her Cali – tribute to California. I started calling her Khaleesi – tribute to Game of Thrones, one of our favorite shows and character Daenerys Targaryen. After all, our little puppy easily tamed the 3 dragon hounds Ozzy, Bella and Phoebe 😉 So.. we both got our way and a new name for the new Blue Fairy family member.

Week 4 Videos

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Week 5: It’s Jungle Out There

Week 5 was all about growing up, the great outdoors and becoming part of the Pack. At the beginning of the week, we started weaning and introduced our puppy to the back yard for potty training. Starting early!

Transition to a mixture of dog food, rice cereal, goat milk and yogurt was easy. We practiced lapping for a couple of days and now we just gradually started changing the ingredients. Piece of cake! Meal time became the favorite part of the day. We also used it to practice name recognition and come command. Why not? I must admit, it works like a charm: puppy Khaleesi runs to her bowl at the sound of her name as fast as she can. She even found her way to our outdoors water bowl to drink after her meal. Good girl!

Then, there was the great outdoors! From the very first time, curiosity and new smells took over and our girl was ready to explore. The big dogs provided security and company. Ozzy was watching for hawks and other dangers. Bella was leading the play with Phoebe’s assistance. Leeloo would make an appearance from time to time to provide a snack. Despite of sharp teeth and claws, she continues to nurse her puppy several times a day. Mamba would stop by for quick check on everybody and whenever our puppy would make a noise or the play got too rough. After all, that’s the job of a Pack Manager!

Throughout the week we have been developing a routine: meal time, potty, play and nap. Repeat. Every day the “chores” were becoming easier and now I had helpers. Good for me and even better for the puppy. Our princess desperately needed playmates of her own kind. Toys and humans are not the same as littermates or other dogs. Thankfully, I could not complain about the lack of volunteers. Pack in action! Leeloo accepted the fact that her daughter was big enough to play with the rest of the pack and that they mean no harm. Bella and Ozzy dominated puppy-sitting duties: Ozzy with cleaning and Bella with entertaining. They just love their little sister!

It was also time to replace the big play pen with a crate to keep the puppy safe when needed. Usually, when it was time to take the rest of the Pack for a daily run or when the “kids” were in the mayhem mode. We put her favorite blanket and toys for comfort. The new setup has been working really well. For most of the day, Khaleesi has been roaming free in the living room with the big dogs. She even has her favorite spot to nap around the couch. Unless, she decides to wrestle her friend – a toy cat in the crate! He is about her size and lets her win every time 😉 Then, they fall asleep cuddled up together. Very funny!

Our new mission this week: potty training. After all, it’s more fun to keep carpets and floors pee-free! With the discovery of the great outdoors, regular trips after each meal and playtime became a habit. Towards the end of the week, our training started to pay off. We did not have any overnight accidents in the crate and the puppy started giving us clear signs she “has to go” and even made it outside by herself all the way across 2 rooms. Despite of a few indoor accidents we are definitely moving in the right direction.. literally 🙂

Week 5 Videos

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Week 6: The Chew

Our puppy Khaleesi has been growing up fast and transforming at an amazing pace from a tiny squeaky creature into a fully functional little dog. In the last week, her legs and body coordination improved significantly. Our girl mastered the famous Otterhound trod, but still hops like a rabbit to take off for a run. Very funny! Rapid stops and turns are still a challenge, but her speed is unbelievable. No problem keeping up with dogs or humans! I’m getting used to having a curious companion happily strolling along everywhere I go, inside or outside the house. Khaleesi learns to explore the yard and walk on all surfaces: grass, dirt and stones and I have an assistant in my daily chores. Fun for all!

The ears continue to get bigger. They are just enormous in proportion to the body. All good. Otterhounds are famous for their giant ears and that’s how it all starts. The paws are equally huge. She’s got a lot of growing up to do and Blue Fiary hounds never complain on the lack of size 🙂 The tail never stops wagging! Khaleesi is happy about everything and everyone she meets and the tails says it all. Every day is an adventure and she loves every minute!

This week was all about mastering “stalking” and hunting her pray seemed to dominate all activities. Khaleesi’s definition of pray was very simple: anything close to the ground that moved (or not). Nothing was off limits. Our feet & shoes and the tails of our hounds were her favorite. If was funny to watch Ozzy, Bella or even Phoebe when they realized that their cute, little puppy had teeth and could actually do some damage or cause pain. They would jump up and growl at times to tell the puppy to back off. Learning process for all. Khaleesi had a simple strategy: sneaky yet cute approach and not-so-sudden attack. She would start chewing gently at first, looking for a right spot to sink-in her teeth and finish the job with the ‘deadly shake’. Thankfully, our hounds are shaggy and she was chewing mostly on hair, but when a tooth caught flesh.. well.. the reaction was mostly a surprise. They just could not believe that there were real teeth behind that angel puppy face. Ozzy was the only one willing to pay the price and sacrifice his ears, providing he could continue licking the puppy clean.

The other most excellent chew toys this week were human hands and feet. Mike had much more patience and tolerance for pain. His forearms were the proof that puppy teeth and the killer shake can tear up skin in a second. Towards the end of the week I started introducing the word “No” to protect my arms from deadly teeth. Littermates usually correct each other when biting gets too painful during play and with a singelton pup, it was time to start the early “human” education. She quickly understood the concept and easily switched from biting to licking when reminded of course 😉 Smart girl!

Throughout the week, we were testing other indoor and outdoor objects to satisfy chewing needs: toys, sticks, leafs, sprinkle heads and anything else the teeth could find. Even Ozzy’s favorite orange ball was an awesome chewing alternative. Too bad I did not take pictures of Ozzy’s facial expression when puppy Khaleesi simply picked up the ball right from his paws. Priceless!

Oh yeah.. then there was that other yummy stuff to chew: food! We slowly transitioned our girl from ground dog food/rice cereal mixture into regular kibble. It takes a bit longer to eat now, since licking does not quite to the job, but our Khaleesi has great appetite and nothing can stop her from finishing her bowl. Leeloo is still providing a snack in-between meals. Amazing, considering teeth and claw action during nursing. Despite of all new things to taste and chew, Khaleesi loves her special times with Mom and there is nothing better that a nap right at her side. And I know, that Leeloo enjoys every minute too!

Week 6 Videos

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Week 7: Dancing With Dragons

Growing up is a lot of fun in the Blue Fairy headquarters and week 7 was a blast! Khaleesi finally became big enough to play with the rest of the Pack. She was no longer just a passive receiver of their affection, she now was able to engage them and keep up.

They youngsters Ozzy, Phoebe and Bella were “game” and were looking for any excuse to share a toy or steal a chewy. Phoebe used to her status as a “baby” is working hard on finding the balance between being involved in puppy activities and getting her usual amount of love and attention. We heard more commotion in the yard and more mayhem indoors and our puppy was in the middle of all action: tong out and tail wagging.

We never get bored watching Khaleesi playing tug or sharing a toy with Oz or Bella. It is clear that they know they can win, but want to challenge the puppy and see how strong she really is or how hard she can pull and still hold on to the toy. These are some smart hounds!

Leeloo continues to be a very good Mom and spends time with her daughter daily. Amazingly, she still allows her to nurse! It’s not a very pretty picture watching a giant puppy latched to her Mommy. I also doubt there is much milk left, but they both love it and look content during and after nursing. Moment of Zen! Nothing better than a little snack in the afternoon followed by a short play session. Heaven! But, Mom has no problems jumping up on the couch or going upstairs when the chewing gets rough and let the “kids” take over.

The exploration adventures continued under a watchful eye of the adults. It’s easy to find our girl by looking for one of the big dogs, usually Bella, watching a bush or a fence. Clear sign that the puppy was close, likely chewing a stick or a leaf. Teeth continue to preoccupy her brain and it’s just the question what she is chewing: an object – toy or a stick, a dog – someone’s tail or each, or a human. Mike’s forearms are still not safe. I’ve been lucky so far and have to bite marks. “No biting” command works for the most part. Shoes and feet continue to be in danger. Work in progress.

We established pretty consistent daily routines. 7am wake up followed by breakfast of champions, mixture of play and potty training and a healthy nap. The cycle repeats 4 times a day, except activity level has been increasing every day. Luckily, we have helpers and human involvement is no longer necessary. Oh yeah.. we still have to prepare the food. Our girl has great appetite and meal time is the highlight of her day. Dinner time is fun when the puppy is lined up with the big dogs waiting for her bowl. She’s part of the Pack.

Week 7 Videos

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Week 8: I’m a Big Girl Now!

This week was a combination of fun and business. This growing up stuff is not always easy. It was time for a vet visit: checkup, the first round of vaccines, microchip and blood sample draw for the Otterhound epilepsy research at University of Missouri. Oh yeah, we also had to get the stool sample tested for worms and parasites. Covering all basis and get clean bill of health.

We setup a big crate in the truck with familiar blankets and toys to make the trip comfortable. Then, we loaded Mom Leeloo and big sister Bella for company. Family adventure! Our girl handled the car trip very well. She settled after just a couple of minutes. She was alert and observing her new environment. If she was bigger, I’m pretty sure she’d have her head out watching the road.

At the vet office, Khaleesi was a star! Who can resist a puppy with giant ears and expressive face..? And she loved the attention. Her tail just kept on wagging 🙂 The first part of the visit – the exam was fun, almost like petting. We were pleased to find out that our puppy is healthy and strong as expected. The tough part involved needles and Khaleesi was not too happy about it. Thankfully, it only took a few minutes. On the bright side, the puppy slept on the way home. The new experience was exhausting. Good healthy nap. Ready to roam as soon as she got back in her yard. No memories of stressful events of the morning. Very cool!

Once we were done with the business portion of the week, there was nothing left to do but eat, play and sleep. Easy to do for the puppy! Every day challenge was to keep up with the big dogs and continue discovering all corners of the yard and the house too. Stealing a ball from Ozzy: piece of cake. Chewing on Bella’s ear: done! Even the doggie door could not stop our Princess. She would growl at the doggie door at first hoping it would open or get closer to the ground so she could easily get thru. Once she figured out the climbing part, it was all over! All we could hear is the noises and puppy showing on the other side just a few seconds later.

The toughest part of the day for me are still mornings. Our Khaleesi seems to follow the morning sun and wakes up right at sunrise. Being a good puppy parent I have no choice, but to get up, take her out to potty and start her day with breakfast of champions. The good news is that she is ready for a nap within about half hour after her breakfast and I can catch up on a TV show before it’s time to go to work. I guess I have a new routine too and it’s not sleeping in..

Khaleesi has great appetite and has shown very good manners during meal time. She patiently sits even with big dogs around and knows that her bowl is coming. With the lack of competition from littermates, one of our concerns was that she might be a picky eater. Not the case! Meal time is a good time for all Blue Fairy hounds and our newest family member is no exception!

Bella continues to be the big sister and almost a constant companion. Daytime puppy entertainment is her responsibility. Ozzy tends to step in after the sunset, when it’s dark and I cannot use my phone to make a video. Bummer 🙁 Phoebe continues to compete for attention and occasionally plays with the puppy in her own way: she’s social and likes to hang around, but freezes when puppy gets too close. Very funny. Mamba continues to supervise the kids and the puppy, but does not get involved unless there is mayhem and some order is needed in the yard. Leeloo has been nursing almost thru the weekend, but in the last few days it seems that Khaleesi lost interest in her Mother’s milk and prefers the “real meal”. Growing up indeed!

Week 8 Videos

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Week 9: Life is a .. Beach 🙂

It has been our Blue Fairy tradition to introduce our puppies to our favorite playground: the beach and it was a matter of favorable tides and weather for our Khaleesi to hit the sand. We just had to get ready!

Early in the week we started getting our puppy used to a new accessory. She was fitted with a collar, almost new hand-me-down from her big sister Bella. Khaleesi is not very enthusiastic about being constrained and controlled in any shape or form. She truly is an independent spirit! We were working hard on keeping her distracted and entertained, so itching and scratching were interrupted with play and meal times. After a while, she almost forgot that the collar was on. Not too bad.

Next step, was to get re-acquainted with car rides. We used a carry-on bag to provide crate-like environment. It worked great for us humans and the puppy. Khaleesi immediately settled for a nap and was not interested in neither a chewy nor a toy. Ready for the road!

The week went by really fast! We noticed a big jump in Khaleesi’s activity level and overall body coordination. She can now easily keep up with the big dogs around the yard. They run, they chew and they dig together. Pack entertainment! She also ventured up the steps for the first time. I watched her cautiously climb up the stairs, stopping every few steps to take a break and look around. But her face expressed nothing but curiosity and determination to see what is going on up there. Ozzy guarding on the top of the steps did not scare her or slow her down. After all, he’s the big brother even if he growls from time to time.

It’s actually very funny to watch how Khaleesi conquers Ozzy and does not pay attention to his growls, posturing or acting all grouchy. She just jumps on top of him and takes charge, despite of the noises he makes. She just knows he’s just pretending to be all big and bad and he’s really a puppy at heart. Amazing how well they share a toy or play tug. Ozzy even started throwing a ball for his little sister so she can chase it. They usually play together in the yard at night, when Bella and the girls are more interested in getting their beauty sleep.

Trip to the beach was a natural progression of all things we’ve done earlier in the week, starting with a smooth car ride. We had a great time meeting people, other dogs and exploring brave new world. The first steps on the beach were a piece of cake. No hesitation. The tail was up and the nose was down. Hound in action. After a few minutes though, our Khaleesi must have realized that she was no longer in her familiar environment and needed a minute to think about it. Or maybe it was a new experience of walking on a leash. Who knows! We went thru a period of many stops, sits and looking around. Keeping up with the Pack became a challenge. But once we caught up, Mom and the rest of the family gave our girl sense of security and she immediately went back to checking things out. She got her feet wet in ocean waves and even started nibbling kelp – the favorite beach snack. Good first beach day 🙂

Trip home was an opportunity for a nap, right before yet another challenge and another new experience: the very first shower. All our dogs get rinsed off from salt water and sand and our Khaleesi had to follow the program. As expected, she handled it well. Warm water and lots of rubbing to get dry was pure fun. Too much fun perhaps, because our girl just fell asleep bundled up in a towel. Great conclusion to an awesome week!

Week 9 Videos

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Week 10: The Final Countdown.. And More Beach Fun!

Hard to believe how fast the last week with our Khaleesi came upon us all. Seems like only yesterday she was a tiny squeaky hippo-like creature and now she is a fully functional little dog: running, chewing, and playing. There is no stopping her now!

This week we had a lot of fun making every last minute count and create more unforgettable memories. Khaleesi has been a wonderful puppy, easy going, confident and fearless. Great temperament and a lot of personality. She dominated her big brother Ozzy and even conquered the reigning puppy of the Pack: Phoebe. These last two weeks Phoebe found the way to play with her young niece and I even caught a few tender moments between the two. Bella proved to be an awesome caretaker. We never got tired of watching sisters in action. Mamba played her leadership role and Leeloo was a perfect mother to the very last day. Raising this puppy was truly a Pack adventure.

In the last few days, we noticed that our puppy girl developed a fascination with anything and everything “up there”. Suddenly, she decided that the couch, the armchair, the bed, the stairs were just the place to be! Her daily activities included finding new ways to climb up whenever she could. Stairs were the most tricky, because within just a few seconds she’d be roaming in my home office or upstairs bedrooms. And we all know how the roaming usually ends: unauthorized chewing and pee mistakes! Not a good habit to develop right before going to her new home. Also, although going up was a piece of cake, coming down was a real concern. Our stairs are pretty steep and the puppy was just not equipped to manage her limbs and her body down the stairs. Not good for her joints and dangerous. It was time to put up the puppy gate. I can still hear her whining on the bottom of the stairs. I can also see her little face smiling back at me from the top of the steps when she found her way around the barrier. Very funny!!

My favorite times throughout the week were our evenings on the couch. Khaleesi and I established a routine, where after a mayhem with the Pack, she would come up to the couch ready for a few minutes of chewing followed by a nap and cuddles right on my lap. Nothing will warm your heart more than a puppy snuggled and dreaming right next to you. I promise. My puppy girl decided to make these last days together more special than expected. Even her sharp teeth did not bother me too much, as long as I had a chewy or a toy in my hand. She trained me well.

This week, we also practiced good manners: siting for meals and treats, and licking the spoon without swallowing it whole 😉 We also spend some time with the most important behavior: the ever challenging “Come” command. I quickly discovered that food in my pocket was making a huge difference. Amazing! These simple training techniques work on dogs of all ages. I started keeping kibble in my pocket and call her randomly when she least expected. After just a few hours she was consistently coming when called. Smart girl! Let’s hope it lasts..

Towards end of the week, we returned to the beach. Twice! Each time our puppy confirmed she was truly a SoCal hound. She showed no fear or hesitation and welcomed all new experienced with enthusiasm. She loved running on the sand on and off leash. She enjoyed munching on kelp, just like her Mom and the rest of the Pack. Chasing a ball with Ozzy was fun too. She even took the first steps into the ocean and almost swam. Meeting new people was a piece of cake. After all, who can resist a long-eared Otterhound puppy? Our Khaleesi loved the attention. Breed ambassador in training.

After beach activities were equally entertaining. Khaleese handled her first “bubble” bath very well. She barely fit in our kitchen sink, but neither warm water nor the shampoo seemed to bother her and she definitely loved being wrapped in towels afterwards. Toe nails continue to be a little more challenging. She just thinks that any attention towards her feet means it time to chew the offender. Work in progress.

The last day at the house was pretty uneventful. We followed the daily routines: early wake up call, breakfast, mayhem and a nap. Repeat the cycle as many times as possible. Phoebe took over morning entertainment from Bella. I guess she gave up on the idea that the puppy was leaving so she figured she’d teach her a thing or two. Little did she know things were about the change.

The trip to Khaleesi’s new home was a family affair. We prepared a comprehensive “puppy package”: health records, care instructions, training materials and other useful Otterhound information. We also packed all kinds of comfort items: blankets, toys, food and chewies, even her favorite stick from the back yard to make the transition to the new environment smooth and stressless. Then, we loaded the entire Pack in the truck. After all, they had to certify that the new home met the Blue Fairy standards and our puppy had a lot of familiar scents left behind.

Upon arrival, Khaleesi did not waste any time. She immediately started exploring the new house. She found a way to access to the garage from the yard thru a doggie door in minutes. She also took over toys of her new housemate Wesley. Wesley is a 7 year old Coton De Tulear, and if given a choice, he’d much rather have Ozzy join his Pack. The boys hit it off from the very first time they met at our house a few weeks ago. Watching the giant Oz running parameter and marking territory following his white fuzzy friend was fascinating. Despite his wishes, Wes got a little girl instead. She’ll steal his heart very soon!

After a couple of hours of play and sniffing, it was time for dinner and a nap for the puppy and for us to say our goodbyes and return the Blue Fairy headquarters. We knew our puppy was in good hands and she would be surrounded by people who will love her as much as we do. Happy ending for us and a new and exciting beginning for our precious Princess Khaleesi.

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