Fred The Newf will be six months old on Thursday.
Here is a recent photo of Fred nuzzling one of his favorite balls:
Fred The Newf LOVES his toys!
Yesterday, I took Fred to a park where he got to meet a lot of other dogs.
Our main objective, however, was to meet the woman who will be babysitting Fred while I’m at the Kentucky Derby.
I’m very protective of Fred.
Usually, I won’t let anyone take care of my “baby” except family members.
I wanted to know Fred felt comfortable with his future babysitter.
I also wanted to go over a few Fred-Things with her.
(She owns a Newf and has fostered SEVENTEEN Newfoundland dogs in the past!)
Even when I know someone is very experienced with dogs, and Newfoundlands in particular,
I still feel communication is extremely important.
For instance, I told her I don’t want Fred near ANY tennis balls … even those belonging to other dogs at a park.
A Newfie we know of died with a tennis ball lodged in its throat.
Newfies are BIG … a ball or toy that is safe for most dogs can be life threatening to them.
(Two other friends of mine have Newfies who have undergone surgery because they swallowed parts of tennis balls.)
This is the type of thing it’s easy to assume a dog sitter “knows,”
But, in fact, assumptions are how things end up going wrong.
Fred with a Newfie sized ball.
At the same time, Fred’s sitter shared a lot of great information with me.
Once she understood the reality of my arm, she realized it would become increasingly difficult for me to groom Fred myself as he grows.
(So far, I do Fred’s baths and nail clippings myself. I haven’t attempted to trim his ears or feet yet.)
She gave me the name of a woman who grooms “tons” of Newfies.
I know I’ll find that information very helpful in the near future.
Giant Breed dogs aren’t like “normal” dogs.
They need different care.
Newfies are very big, but they have very fragile bodies.
It’s important for me to build a support network of people who understand Newfies, and Fred specifically.
As a service dog in training, he is with me MOST of the time.
But when he isn’t …?
I want to feel he’s safe and being well taken care of.
Have I mentioned how much I love this dog?