Another Shade Of Bailey

December 6th, 2016

Last week was an unusual week.  We had the pleasure of billeting a young man from the provincial cross-country ski team that was training at our local ski club for 7 days.  He had stayed two years ago with us when we shared our living space with an 18 year old cat.  Bailey was going to make a bigger impression on him than our senior cat did.  My sons kept in touch with him since this first visit.  The boys had told him about our new furry addition and he had followed Bailey’s antics on the blog.  We expected Bailey to be very excited to see him as she often is greeting guests in our home.

Monday night came and the reaction from Bailey was not what any of us anticipated.  Upon entering into the house, the newcomer was subjected to Bailey woofing loudly – definitely not friendly sounding.  Her woofs are usually restricted to one or two rather than a string of them.  I wondered if Bailey was ever going to stop.  She did by following up this performance with a low growl-like rumble.  It was a new side to Bailey that I had never seen before.  Bailey was not being very welcoming to our guest who took it in good stride.  The only positive thing was that she still wagged her tail.  It was going to be a long week.

To further confuse things, our guest was named Daley which sounded similar to Bailey.  A number of times, I caught myself calling Daley Bailey and Bailey Daley.  If I was confused, Bailey was even more so.  Could life get any more complicated?  The first night, Bailey continued to woof and growl at Daley.  I am sure he was relieved to learn that Bailey did not go downstairs.  It was a safe refuge for him and more importantly, the location of the fooseball table.  Bailey was not too pleased that her boys were hanging out more downstairs with the stranger.  She would lie at the top of the stairs, listen to their shouts of glee from scoring at fooseball and respond with a string of woofs.  Should they come storming up the stairs, Bailey would emit her growl.  The boys and I moved Bailey away from Daley to allow him to get by.  It made for a tense atmosphere.  Bailey finally settled down in the evening when the boys headed out to cadets and Daley joined the team for an evening of bowling.  Bailey enjoyed her nightly walk followed by grooming.  They returned and Bailey resumed her barking until she was kennelled for the night.  Peace at last.

The next morning, Bailey was back to her old self.  She came into the house, waited for her towel dry, sniffed her stuffie bear and made her way to the food dish.  Life was normal again.  At precisely 6:45 am, the door to Cam’s room opened.  Bailey dashed down to greet her Cam.  Most mornings, Bailey nudges the door back and saunters alongside his bed until she reaches his face.  The kisses begin at this point.  However, Cam had given up his bedroom to our guest and slept elsewhere.  Bailey certainly wasn’t expecting Daley or his luggage blocking her path.  The barking resumed.  I hurried over to make sure that Daley wasn`t being held hostage.  He was understanding and did not react in any way to antagonize our sweetness.

We tried different things such as having Daley give one of Bailey`s favourite treats to her.  She took the treat but, immediately started woofing again.  I tried to distract her without much success.  I finally resorted to sending Bailey for a timeout in her kennel pen located within our attached garage.  Separation from the pack seemed to help.  She woofed less upon her return to the pack.  By Wednesday night, Bailey seemed more accepting of our guest.  The growling seized and the barking became less frequent.  I gave a sigh of relief as  Bailey approached Daley in a friendly manner – tail thumping the wall as she circled around him enthusiastically.  Our sweetness had returned in full Newfie glory with drool hanging from her mouth.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Bailey had slimed his backside.  Still, I am left wondering what other shades of Bailey might be revealed in time.

 

Screen Time

November 22nd, 2016

We are a bit of an anomaly in this technological era.  Our family does not subscribe to cable or satellite services.  No one has a cellphone and only one of our computers is hooked up to the internet.  WiFi is non-existent in our household that still relies on using a modem to connect to the worldwide web.  Not quite technologically backward, we manage to survive in our high-tech world.  It’s a conscious choice that we have made.  Bailey does not seem to give much notice to the various screens scattered around the house – 3 laptops, 2 personal computers and 2 televisions.  Once in a while, Bailey surprises us with her sudden interest in the television.

save-youOur televisions are used to watch DVDs of movies or those shows packaged as complete seasons borrowed from the local library.  Without 24/7 television offerings, our nights in front of the big screen are special.  We enjoy a variety of snacks and drinks to celebrate these occasions.  Everyone has their preferred seating spot including our sweetness.  Bailey happily stretches out at our feet in close proximity to being rubbed and more importantly, near the tantalizing yummies.  Once the food goodies disappear, Bailey falls into a deep sleep oblivious to that night’s show.  Imagine our shock when Bailey bolted upright with a loud Woof while we were watching an episode of “Once Upon A Time”.  The scene involved Pongo, a Dalmatian, frantically barking to draw attention that his owner was gone.  Bailey was obviously disturbed by Pongo’s distress and sat blocking the television to get a closer look.  More woofs followed until Pongo exited the scene and our gal could resume her siesta.

It was not the only time.  Another dog movie called “Max” which told a story about a German Sheppard retired from bomb sniffing duty in the Middle East woke up Bailey and caused her to start barking in front of the television screen.  Max was reacting in a protective manner – growling and barking to fend off the bad guys.  It appeared that our sweetness identified on some level with this dog in the big box.  Okay, she reacts to the sounds of other dogs especially ones in distress.  movie-fanaticAlong came “The Martian” and Bailey came to life once again but, not a dog in sight.  In an emotionally charged scene where the main character played by Matt Damian finds his food source destroyed, Bailey acted agitated, woofed numerous times and remained fixated on staring at the television screen.  We were told by other Newfoundland dog owners that this breed has a strong empathy with humans.  Bailey loves her sleep and arousing her can be quite a challenge.  Springing up from a deep sleep to verbally respond to the distress of another dog or human seems to suggest that our girl shows a high degree of emotional intelligence.  It makes you wonder if Bailey sees our television as the doorway into another world in need of her protection.caught-up-in-plot

 

 

The Silent Whistler

December 1st, 2015

Snow PuppyBailey and I take regular hikes on the local nature trails.  She is confident about venturing off the trails now to explore things that attract her eyes or nose.  The paw prints of another dog or a squirrel chattering angrily at her from a branch above can send her bounding into the snowy drifts to investigate further.  I do not mind her going off to explore the surrounding area as long as I can see her.  When Bailey gets out of my eyesight, I simply give a short blow on her dog whistle.  Most of the time, she comes scampering towards me in the hopes that a treat will be given.  We are still working on consistency.  Two weeks ago, the temperatures dropped to a low of -16 degrees Celsius.  Temperatures up to this point had been hovering around -5 degrees Celsius.  I added a few more layers of clothing while Bailey needed nothing more than her shaggy fur coat.  The two of us headed outside with much anticipation as the sun shone down on the sparkling snow.

Whose The Slow One Now

It was not long before Bailey was off trail in pursuit of a blowing leaf.  I walked a little further and waited for her to catch up.  Bailey was clearly consumed with tracking the leaf now nestled somewhere under a grouping of fir trees.  I tried calling her – no response.  I think that she has been taking pointers from my teenage sons.  Like when they get called for dinner and no answer is given that they heard you.  You resort to the intercom to confirm – only to be told peevishly that they had heard the call.  One does not have an intercom out in the woods.  Instead, I lifted the silver metal dog whistle to my lips.  I took a deep breath before blasting air through the whistle.  Things felt somewhat different this time.  The whistle was very cold as it had hung around my neck on the outside of my jacket.  My lips tingled.  I should have given the situation more thought but I did not.  I pulled the whistle quickly from my moist lips along with skin.  I was in pain.  Blood soon followed.  I had a revelation.  I had broken the cardinal rule of living in the north.  One must not touch anything metal with a wet or moist body part.

Bailey Takes In The Beauty Of Jean LakeWe had been espousing that rule to our sons for as long as I could remember.  They listened for awhile.  Then, my youngest son stuck his tongue to the schoolyard’s basketball post in senior kindergarten.  He left about a third of his tongue’s top layer on the pole.  No mother deserves that phone call from the principal.  My husband and I wondered what possessed him to ignore the warnings of his parents, teachers, lunch monitors and principal.  I understood better now.  I just did what I had always done – blown the whistle to get Bailey’s attention without thinking about the cooler weather.  However, Mother Nature sent a clear message to me that definitely got my attention.  Bailey and I finished our hike in silence.  My lips have recovered after a week of applying medicated lip balm.  Like my son’s pole licking adventure, this story has become part of our family’s colourful history to be laughed at for years to come.  The whistle will hibernate for the winter only to emerge once again when spring arrives.

P.S.  At 44 weeks, Bailey is now 48.2 kg or 106 pounds 4 ounces.  Life happens unexpectedly and no posts were made on the blog for 2 weeks.  At 43 weeks, Bailey was 47.3 kg or 104 pounds 4 ounces.  At 42 weeks, Bailey was 47.5 kg or 104 pounds 11.5 ounces.

Can't I Stay Here

Bailey Lunged & I Plunged

November 3rd, 2015

Trail WalkingIt has been a little over a week since this incident occurred.  I am still feeling the effects.  As I mentioned in previous blogs, Mother Nature blessed us with an early appearance of snow in the middle of October.  Sometimes, if we are lucky, the rain comes along or the temperatures rise to melt it away.  I was hopeful.  It must be the ex-British Columbian in me that holds out for a green Fall.  So, the leaves did not get raked as I was still waiting for the trees to drop all of them.  Why rake more than one must?  I have lived for the past 22 years in three Northern Canadian communities.  That first year, I remember clearly (to my amazement) snow falling on my birthday in September.  I should have expected yet another early start to winter.  The snow came.  Snow FaceBailey has been thrilled beyond belief.  She has been sticking her head in snow – searching for what I have no idea.  Looking For TreasureBeing thirsty is no longer a problem on a walk for Bailey with snow everywhere.  Our sweetness will happily crunch on ice or snow chunks while I work up a sweat shovelling the driveway.  I have six and half months of snow removal to contend with.  But, this story is not about snow shovelling.  With temperatures hovering between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius, the snow softens during the day and hardens up at nighttime.  Walking in the evenings or mornings can be treacherous as the roads and sidewalks are slick.  As often the case, our area will get a little dusting of snow which covers these slippery hazards.  One has to exercise much caution when out for a stroll and even more so with a Newfoundland puppy.Wait There Is Treasure Here

My husband and I were taking our regular nighttime walk with Bailey.  The night was clear after lightly falling snow in the afternoon.  The wind had picked up speed since we left home (about 35 km per hour).  Leaves were swirling around us.  Luckily, we were on the finally leg of the walk.  I had Bailey on leash, not heeling, but loosely ahead of me.  Engrossed in our conversation, I missed seeing a leaf catch Bailey’s interest.  She lunged for it.  In doing so, I slipped on a thin layer of snow covering an ice patch.  I plunged sideways into a snow bank.  I gave a cry.  I am not sure if it was due to being taken by surprise or I felt something pull.  Thankfully, I had enough sense to let go of the leash.  Being dragged by a 100 pound Newf down an icy road was not a pleasant thought.  My husband came to my aid as I lay in the bank and asked if I was alright.  I snapped back with “Get Bailey!”.  A dark night and a black puppy chasing a leaf on a road is a owner’s nightmare.  By this time, she had stopped about 10 feet ahead.  She gave a look back.  Her face seemed to say, “What are you doing lying in the snow?“.  It quickly changed to “Is this a new game?” as she charged towards us.  My husband grabbed her leash.  I struggled up.  I did not hurt too much at first.  My body was achy as I groomed Bailey later that night.  By bedtime, I was desperate for pain relief.  A heating pad and a couple of anti-inflammatories helped greatly.  I awoke the next morning to a piercing pain shooting down my right leg.  I was not able to bend the leg or get myself out of bed.  My husband helped me get upright and took over Bailey’s early morning business walk.  He is not an early morning riser by nature so I appreciated his sacrifice.  The crutches came out of storage which helped my mobility around the house.  My regular routine had to be shelved for a few days.  Bailey enjoyed the extra snoozing time as I lay out on the sofa.

I Found TreasureThese days, we are taking more walks on the trails with Bailey off her leash.  Here there is no ice.  Bailey can chase leaves to her heart’s content.  I do not have to worry about traffic.  Happy TrailsMy leg is slowly healing.  Things could have turned out worse.  Thankfully, our sweetness was not hurt.

P.S.  At 40 weeks, Bailey is now 44.6 kg or 98 pounds 5 ounces.

Where Is Bailey

A Senior Moment

August 25th, 2015

Bailey with new pack membersIt is hard to believe that 2 weeks has gone by since my parents arrived from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  At the start of their visit, we were wondering how Bailey would react to having two seniors in the house for 24 hours a day.  She was delighted.  There were four more hands to rub her (and she took full advantage of it).  Bailey made sure that they were properly greeted with much tail wagging and slobbery kisses.  As the first week progressed, Bailey became calmer.  This outcome was a good thing.  Everyone was starting to relax.  My dad discovered that Bailey could not resist coming to him if he woofed like a dog.  My dad woofed a lot during the visit.  When she came to him, he would give strong rubs around her ears, under the chin and on top of her head.  There was nothing delicate about these rubs.  Bailey was in Newfie Heaven!  I could see that rubbing Bailey was having a positive effect on father.  He smiled more.  My mom, who is not overly fond of dogs – especially giant sized ones, joined in the fun of throwing Bailey’s stuffie (now, a stuffed bear).  I learned that my parents really need to practice their throwing skills.  Still, Bailey retrieved her stuffie over and over again even as the weather became warmer.  She just slowed down her waddle to a very slow one.

As the temperature climbed here, Bailey preferred the coolness of our garage.  Soon Grandpa and Cameron were joining her there.  Chairs were set up around a coffee table.  They played numerous cribbage games while Bailey milled around them for awhile before plunking herself down on the cool cement floor for a few Zzzs.  I suspect that she mooched their snacks with great success.  My husband’s man cave had been transformed into a senior recreation centre – card games, snacks and naps.  In the evening, my dad would keep me company as I groomed Bailey.  He shared his family history with me.  We talked while Bailey lay on her towel.  I think that he was surprised that now, owners brush their dogs’ teeth.  Dad could see that Bailey really liked this part – beef flavour toothpaste is her favourite.  Yes, I freely admit that I tasted it.  I decided to stick with my old mint flavoured toothpaste and let Bailey have hers.  My dad took a few photos to show the folks back home what grooming our girl entails.

Bailey and I were still on our own for morning walks.  For some reason (known only to my boys and their grandparents), sleeping later was preferred to heading outside at 6:30 am for a stroll with Bailey and the black fly squadrons.  However, the afternoon and evening walks were different stories.  Sometimes, one of my sons would come as would one of my parents.  Other times, Bailey and I would be joined by both parents.  Bailey was just content.  She was out with her pack.   Every few feet, Bailey would check to see if they were keeping up.  If not, she would plant her rump down in a sitting position and refuse to budge until they caught up.  Bailey’s sensitivity to their mobility issues made me realize that I needed to be more patient and compassionate.  Bailey was my wake up call.

One last rubTomorrow, we say goodbye to them.  Bailey will greet them as she has for the last two weeks with a wag and lick.  More photos will be taken before we leave to the airport.  Both they and Bailey have made an impression on one another.  It has been a good one.

P.S.  At 30 weeks, Bailey now weighs 38.3 kg or 84 pounds 7 ounces.  Bailey is officially 7 months old.

The Perfect Walk

July 7th, 2015

Life is usually not perfect.  I learned that experiencing a perfect month, week or even a day is not likely to happen.  So, when everything falls flawlessly in place, one appreciates it.  Bailey and I had such a moment.  The morning began in the normal fashion.  That was until we clamoured outside for our first walk of the day in the early hours.  At 16 degrees Celsius, the temperature was not too hot or cold – just right for a stroll.  Temperature plays a big part on Bailey’s mood.  There was no glare from the sun which was hidden behind cloud cover.  A warm breeze greeted us with the promise that no bug spray was necessary.  I suspected that Bailey was relieved not to be squirted with her special insect repellent.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Bailey was motivated to get her business over with.  Her timing was perfect as I was able to bag and dispose of it with relative ease – a dumpster was nearby.  Most mornings, Bailey spends a considerable amount of time looking for that “perfect spot” which is usually not close to any public garbage can.  When this happens, I find myself carrying the bag until we arrive back home.  There’s a lot of stuff in that bag and it emits a very fragrant odor.  In the warmer weather, it can get quite ripe.  Her walk can often be a two bagger one.  Fortunately for me, today’s walk did not involve a large volume and disposal was quick.

We settled upon a comfortable pace and proceeded through the nearby playground.  Bailey ignored the temptation to gobble the rocks hidden in the grass.  I was treated to a litter free walk which meant not having to pry pieces of garbage out of Bailey’s mouth.  Old discarded chewing gum is one of her favourite contraband items.  Most mornings, I stoop down to collect litter left on the ground.  No bug spray needed and now, no trash strewn around to pick up.  The walk was becoming more enjoyable.

The two of us made our to the adjacent baseball field and completed a circuit to close the gates.  Once that was done, Bailey sat and waited while I walked across the field to the other side.  I blew the silent whistle and she charged quickly towards me.  Watching Bailey thunder closer and closer can be scary as she is not always the best about putting on the brakes.  Today, she stopped in front of me with space to spare.  Bailey resumed her sitting position in anticipation of the cheese treat.  The second and third times went equally well.  I was pleased.  More importantly, Bailey was happy that I was pleased.

We began to head back towards home.  The street was quiet except for the sound of my footsteps, Bailey’s panting and the rustling tree leaves from the wind.  I smiled at seeing the breeze ripple through her fur.  I noticed that her puppy fur was starting to give way to patches of shiny adult fur.  I wondered where the time had gone.  I glanced around to observe the chirping birds and the flowering gardens without any thoughts of the upcoming busy day ahead.  Occasionally, I would notice Bailey looking up at me.  She would softly nuzzle my hand when our eyes met.  Everything was right with our world.  I realized that Bailey was heeling without any need of correction.  She was not straining on the leash.  Instead, we were in sync as we sauntered side by side down the street – the perfect partnership between owner and dog.

P.S. At 23 weeks, Bailey is now 31.2 kg or 68 pounds 11 ounces.

A Leap Of Faith

Look Ma No Leash

June 23rd, 2015

Sunday was “the day” for Bailey to get a taste of real freedom in the outdoor world.  I am talking about the world beyond our yard.  Up until Sunday afternoon, Bailey’s outside excursions have always involved a leash or one of the two long cables set up in the front and back of our house.  She is always supervised because of the wildlife such as wolves and bears that live in the surrounding forest.  It is not unusual to have sightings on a regular basis.  Since our area has already had a few rabies incidents originating from the local fox population, dog owners need to be constantly vigilant.  Bailey has only roamed free without any restraints inside the house and garage.  Every dog owner faces that moment when it is decided to let the puppy go off leash.  In our case, I was not present to see her first taste of freedom.  I heard the news after the event from my oldest son and husband who were quite pleased with themselves and Bailey.

The two of them had taken Bailey out for her evening walk.  Somehow, their stroll through the playground ended up in the adjacent baseball field.  The field is kept up even though it gets very little use.  The three entry points are easy to secure – perfect to keep an energetic puppy from accessing too much freedom.  I had been scouting the location for a few weeks as a possible spot to liberate Bailey.  I just was not ready yet.  Was I a helicopter mom in need of help?  My husband and son thought so.

My rope my preciousBailey was familiar with the place as we had walked her around the fencing (but always on the leash).  After they checked that the gates were closed, Bailey was unclipped from her leash and her special rope was thrown.  She did not realize this freedom until she was a distance away from them.  Then, she got a case of the zoomies – a Newf Net Forum term used when a dog races around like it is chasing an invisible rabbit.  Think of Bailey at her top speed (not often seen by us).  The zoomies only lasted for a few seconds before Bailey got refocused on retrieving her rope.  After ten rope fetches, Bailey was showing signs of slowing down.  My husband thought it best to end the session on a good note and called to her.  Bailey returned with her rope and stood patiently as her leash was attached.  The two proud owners arrived home with a contented puppy.  I realized that no harm was done and taking that leap of faith in our loved one is often rewarded.  Bailey has made an important step towards discovering her full potential.

 P.S.  At 21 weeks, Bailey is now 28.4 kg or 62 pounds 10 ounces.

Here I Come

Did you call

Driving Miss Bailey

Driving Ms. Bailey

June 9th, 2015

For the past week, I have felt like a chauffeur for Miss Bailey.  It’s not because she is finally going in our van for drives.  After all, she accompanied us from Perth, Ontario where her breeder lives to Labrador West (a distance of over 1500 km) with little fuss.  We have taken Bailey by van to the local ski hill, shopping mall, vet office and nearby lakes.  The difference now is that Bailey has graduated from her kennel to a real seat.  It should not have been a surprise for us to find her filling more of the kennel space as each week went by.  I guess one gets use to doing things the same way.  Change often means more work and moving Bailey to a seat was definitely that.

You see our growing Bailey not only was on the verge of outgrowing her kennel, she was getting more difficult to pick up.  Our breeder advised us to avoid having Bailey tackle stairs and other high drops to protect her hips and elbows for 18 months.  Bailey is expected to hit 100 pounds by the end of her 1st year.  She is already over halfway there at 19 weeks.  Bailey needed a ramp to get herself into the van and up onto the seat.  But, we first needed to tackle how to keep her secured on the seat.

Buying a harness contraption that functioned as both a leash and seatbelt restraining system was the easy part.  The more difficult task was to convince Bailey to let us get the harness on her.  She thought it was a great game to have two of her favourite people trying to figure out how to get a black harness properly attached on an extremely excited, black furry puppy.  We could not help ourselves from laughing as the harness kept getting twisted as Bailey attempted to plant tongue kisses on us.  She was also trying to bite it as if it were a new chew toy.  What a great game!  It took us several tries but “the training bra” as we now refer to it was on.  Bailey was not sure about this new contraption at the start.  For one thing, it was connected differently (further down her back).  When she turned, the leash was now in front of her nose and easier to grab.  However, she eventually began to understand that the harness meant walks and walks were good things.

Next, I had to find two coverings for the bench seat.  The boys’ summer throws were the perfect size.  I did not think that they would miss them or even notice – they did.  Thankfully, Bailey’s charm was enough to convince them to part with their treasured “blankies” (they are 12 and 13 years old after all).  The last task to do was the construction of a ramp.  We spent Saturday morning cruising the local home improvement stores in search of a suitable ramp.  The ramps available were heavier than Bailey and therefore, not much use to me.  My husband and eldest son found themselves building a hinged, wooden ramp from leftover lumber.  That male bonding experience (the best kind since it involved the use of power tools) lasted a little over an hour.  The ramp was set up across a step that leads from the garage to the house.  The proud builders could not wait until I had tested the product before Bailey was allowed near it.  Our timing was perfect.  She was highly motivated to get into the house for her second meal of the day – the ramp did not faze her.  I am not sure Bailey saw it as she rocketed up it to her food dish.  These last couple of days, Bailey has been practicing on the ramp and doing well.  The real test will be next weekend when she uses the ramp for the first time to get herself into the van.

At the moment, Bailey enjoys lying out across the bench (the boys have been relegated to the very back seating bench) or sitting up to look out.  Bailey eagerly hangs out by the van’s side door to let us know that she wants to go for a ride.  Once buckled in, she waits for the windows to go down.  I smile to myself upon seeing Bailey with her tongue hanging out and wind blown fur in the rear view mirror.  I cannot help saying, “Where would Miss Bailey like to go today?”

P.S.  At 19 weeks, Bailey is now 25.5 kg or 56 pounds 3.5 ounces.

Queen of the Dog Walk

Kissed By An Angel

Bailey & MoosieMay 19th, 2015

It was bound to happen sooner rather than later and I was the culprit.  Since bringing Bailey home at 9 weeks of age, we have been careful about giving her free range of the house.  Don’t get me wrong.  Bailey is not kept on a leash while inside.  We just make sure that she is supervised to limit the amount of headaches for her and us.  Someone is always nearby to see that the wood furniture does not take the place of Bailey’s rawhide bone or we don’t miss her attempts to alert us about going outside.  However, someone fell asleep on the job last week.

I am one of those people who get up early in the morning around 5 am.  Is it because I have a paid job that starts early?  No, I just like the solitude of the morning.  This is a time when I can collect my thoughts, savour my coffee and now, hang out with my Newfoundland puppy.  But, like any puppy (just bigger), she’s energetic and hanging involves being active.  We play fetch the moose (or a few other items depending on Bailey’s mood), take numerous tours of the yard and fit in a couple of short training sessions.  This type of activity has replaced my book reading on the sofa for the first hour and a half of my day.  The only thing is that the 20 minute nap taken by me before the boys explode through the door afterschool does not happen anymore.  I admit that I miss my nap.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I was feeling more tired than usual because of the morning spent on spring cleaning the bedrooms.  Bailey and I also had been enjoying the milder weather outside in the yard.  When we returned inside, Bailey retrieved her stuffed moose a few times but, I could tell she wanted to rest (and so did I).  I seized the chance to get a book and lay down on the sofa with the sun streaming through the window onto me.  Bailey lay beside the sofa with her moose safely secured in her mouth.  I stroked her fur for a few times as I read.  That’s the last thing I remember.

When I bolted awake, it was to a slobbery pink tongue that has grown in size to match our much bigger Bailey.  I had been in a very deep sleep and awoke with a shock.  But, not before Bailey had got in a few good licks to the face and ears.  Not an issue unless your pooch has been treated recently for roundworm – that’s an earlier blog post.  As I went to grab the book, my hands grasped something very wet and slimy – definitely not a book.  It was an extremely wet stuffed moose.  I guess Bailey had caught her second wind and decided to put her moose on top of my stomach in the hopes of getting my attention.  I was in the Land of Nod or, as my boys say, “deader than dead”.  By this time, I was awake enough to know what had happened.  Like a guilty employee who had fallen asleep on the job, I surveyed the area for anything out of place.  Nothing. I was safe!  I looked back at Bailey who was still sitting beside the sofa in front of me.  She was patiently waiting to resume our game of fetch the moose.  Her mouth was open with that bright pink tongue hanging out in what seemed to be a big smile.  It was in that moment I felt “kissed by an angel”.

P.S.  At 16 weeks, Bailey is now 20.3 kg or 44 pounds 12 ounces.

Play With Me

The Flying Sprinkler

Friend or foeMay 12th, 2015

As a new puppy owner, one can only imagine what the first meeting between another dog and yours will be like.  When our family was finally able to pick up Bailey from our breeder’s place, we saw that she was comfortable with the other adult Newfoundland dogs on site.  So, we expected that Bailey would be receptive to other dogs. One thing about Labrador West is that the people here love their dogs.  Our street has mostly dog households.  We seemed to be the only ones without a furry critter.  As news spread of our new arrival, people would stop by to welcome Bailey and us to the club.  We explained that Bailey would be able to officially greet other dogs after her last set of shots around the 25th of May.  It meant keeping eager dogs apart from ours who did not see what all of the fuss was about.

So, I was caught off guard last week.  Bailey and I had been enjoying an afternoon in the front yard.  I raked up leaf debris and watched Bailey’s antics while taking the occasional sip of coffee.  Bailey was attached to her long lead.  She chased stray leaves blown by the wind, pulled blades of grass up like a goat, licked the remaining snow patches and sunned herself on a cool spring day.  Our peace was soon to be disturbed.  Seeing no one in sight, I decided to take my coffee cup into the garage and place it safely on the work bench.  I had barely reached the bench when I heard a cry from Bailey.  My mother instinct kicked into overdrive as I dashed for the garage door.  At the same time, Bailey came hurtling through it like a freight train.  As I reached down to reassure her,  Bailey jumped into my arms while spraying me with a stream of urine.  It was too late to do anything.  I carried her outside to see what had happened.  What I found was a couple (and their 7 month old husky) apologizing profusely for scaring her.  After placing Bailey down in front of me, I realized the true condition of my pants.  With urine running down my legs, I carried on as if nothing had happened.  I learned that Bailey, upon being approached by a very enthusiastic husky and two strange people, decided that a full retreat was in order.  However, once I arrived, Bailey was only too happy to greet the visitors.  Bailey did not seem scarred by the experience.  However, I have not forgotten the embarrassment of meeting new people in such a state.

P.S.  At 15 weeks, Bailey is now 18.8 kg or 41 pounds 7 ounces.