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Fred’s Weekend

My world revolves around Fred for two more weeks.

(That’s when he’ll be done with his parvo vaccines and we will both have much more freedom!)

Fred The Newf (now 14+ weeks old) had a very good weekend.

It’s funny because his looks change daily.

One day he has a long nose, and the next day a wide snout.

One day he’s built like a fireplug and the next he’s long and lanky.

It’s normal puppy growth for a giant breed dog.

It was hot here over the weekend.

Fred was gifted with a small wading pool and it seemed like a good time to try it out.

He was very curious about the hose filling it up.

He loves to play with the hose …

And he was wondering why it was in this plastic bubble thing I call a pool.

And yes, Fred has already been in our real pool also – several times.

This little wading pool will probably pop in a day or two.

It was a nice diversion ….

Something interesting and new to break up the monotony of our parvo, home-bound, waiting period.

(Better known as the longest four weeks of my life??)

Fred’s backpack has also gotten too small for him.

“Really mom?  You expect this little thing to still fit me?”

Fred’s little backpack has always been empty.

It’s purpose has simply been to get him accustom to wearing something on his back.

(Preparing him to be my helper once he grows up.)

My arm has been exceptionally trouble-filled this last week.

Paul Newman had to make several attempts to reattach it to my body last Friday.

I can’t wait for Fred to be big enough to become my helper.

In the meantime, Fred has important things to learn.

Like what is that little creature called an ANT?

There’s just so much to learn when you’re only a fourteen week old puppy!

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My Thoughts on Dog Breeders

When I began looking for a Newfoundland puppy –

With the intent of finding my future pup to become a Service Dog –

I was exposed to the world of Newfoundland dog breeders.

I know some of you feel all dog breeders should become extinct due to the thousands of homeless dogs.

I acknowledge the reasons behind that thought,

But I, personally, believe there are benefits to maintaining some lines of purebred dogs.

I’m selfish and biased because of my need for a big, strong, dog capable of assisting me.

There aren’t many breeds who can help me with my particular physical needs …

And I’m grateful for my purebred Newfoundland who can.

Fred The Newf – Fourteen Weeks Old

My Newfie search began in earnest after I randomly met an extremely nice woman (retired Newfie breeder) last July.

We’re still in contact to this day.

She’s a woman of character.

I would never hesitate to get a dog from her if she were still a breeder.

Through her, I began my journey.

Those of you who have followed along these past several months know I experienced a “worst case scenario” with the breeder I intended to get a dog from.

Someone recently asked me if, now that I have Fred, I’ve forgiven Joan Casler from Heartsease for what she did to me and my family.

No.

I have not.

She did something really terrible.

(And yes, I’ve heard how she’s tried to justify it to other people.  What has been relayed back to me is NOT the truth of what happened.)

I’d like to think my experience with Joan was an aberration.

Perhaps, she is the really nice person I initially thought she was.

Maybe she had a bad day as a human …

We all do, right?

But those thoughts are fleeting because:

1)  If it were a momentary failure as a human it would have been followed-up with an apology and an attempt to right the wrong, and

2)  It doesn’t matter anymore – what’s done is done.

I’ve moved on.

I love Fred.

I’m (so!!) grateful I ended up with a great breeder who was professional, and ethical, loves the breed for the right reasons, and is truly a good person.

(All the things I felt were lacking with my first experience.)

But, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the bad experience.

It doesn’t mean I’d welcome the “bad” breeder with open arms.

Having a dog I love does not erase what happened.

(My vet – who was very involved in – and appalled by my first breeder experience, commented “having the top ranked dog doesn’t even begin to make up for a lack of personal integrity.”)

In other words, I feel like my search for Fred showed me the worst and best of dog breeders … all in one long journey.

Along the way, I “met” many, many, other Newfie breeders both in the United States and Canada.

I started calling them “The Dog Women.”

(I mentally nickname every person/group I encounter.  My apologies to all Dog Women but I’ve been flawed by this mental nickname process from birth.)

I can’t speak about other dog breeders.

I can only speak about my experience with Newfie breeders.

And …?

Most of the Dog Women I met were really good people.

I know there are bad breeders.

I know all is not perfect in the Newfoundland world.

But, I LIKED the breeders I encountered.

The Newfie community, as a whole, reached out and embraced me.

Literally, there were Newfie breeders all over the country stepping up to help me.

I was impressed with them.

I was touched by their genuine concern, and with their efforts to show me the Newfie world was NOT accurately represented by my first, terrible, experience.

(Although, I have to admit I still have a very bad, lingering, impression of the Dog Show World due to that experience.)

And, now that I have Fred, I continue to be favorably impressed with the Newfie community here in Southern California.

People have been welcoming, and helpful, and kind.

I guess, in the end, there is good and bad in every community.

I haven’t forgotten the bad experience …

I’m just grateful so many wonderful experiences have followed it.

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My Absurd Life?

I feel like a bomb has gone off in my, somewhat, organized life.

My life has turned to chaos.

Fred The Newf is, without question, the bomb.

This undeniable realization came to me  yesterday, as I baked cookies without pants on.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

I was baking cookies, fully dressed, originally.

(Like most people who bake, I assume?)

And then, there was a puppy under my feet and an attempt to quickly rebalance without falling.

The next thing I knew I was covered, from the waist down, in confectioners sugar.

My floor was covered also … much to Fred’s delight.

I promptly put sugar-sprinkled Fred outside, stripped off my pants, cleaned the sugar off the floor, and finished baking.

In fact, I forgot about my pantless state until I heard Fred barking at a man outdoors.

(I’m so happy Fred has watch dog tendencies!)

My house is almost all windows/glass.

I hightailed it to my laundry room …. the closest place I could “hide.”

In the laundry room I found some pants to replace the ones I had stripped off.

All’s well that ends well?

And yet,

I look around at my house …

There’s a gigantic (!!!) dog crate in my family room.

It’s bigger than many New York City apartments.

There are dog toys strewn on the floor of my house and outdoors on my patio.

Little bags of dog treats can be found at random intervals around the house.

A package of frozen, raw, beef, marrow bones is in my freezer.

The garden hose is unwound and laying across the patio …

So much quicker to wash sugar sprinkles off of giant puppy feet!

And, there’s adorable, fluffy, Fred.

He’s either chasing a hummingbird or a moth depending on the time of day – and catching neither, of course.

He’s snuggling as close to me as he can for hugs,

Or bringing me a toy to throw for him.

Yes, my life is definitely crazy right now.

Perhaps it’s best described as delightful chaos?

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Fred The Newf – 13 Weeks Old

Fred has been occupying almost all of my time.

Two days ago, Fred seemed to forget everything he has been learning … and then some.

Yesterday, Fred was as perfect as a puppy can possibly be.

Fred also seemed to quadruple in size in just one day.

Is that possible?

Here’s a quick iPhone peek at Fred intervening when I attempted to use a water hose:

Like almost all Newfies, Fred loves water … wherever he can find it.

At thirteen (and a half?) weeks of age, Fred has no idea of his (already big) size.

He often cuddles on my lap, unaware that only about a fourth of his body is actually ON my lap.

He gives lots of wet, sloppy, kisses but he doesn’t drool – yet.

He does, however, make a huge mess every time he gets a drink of water from his water pail.

(I keep his water pail outside.)

Fred whines/cries like the baby he is when he gets tired.

He also stares at the door leading into the garage for a good fifteen minutes prior to each meal.

(His food is stored in the garage.  I think he’s trying to will the food out of the garage and into his mouth?)

Also, because I wanted to share with you the awesome-ness of Fred’s gigantic paws I took one more short slo-motion video.

One of my neighbors brought Fred a new toy – he was thrilled.

I’m sorry neither of the videos are very good quality.

Maybe I’ll work on my video skills?

I might as well …

After all, Fred and I can’t go out and about much until he gets his last parvo shot at sixteen weeks.

Sigh!

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February 3, 2015

It’s sure been beautiful here lately.

I never get tired of trying to capture just a small sliver of beauty with my lens.

I love taking photos of a lot of different things, but it’s always the ocean that calls me back.

Time and time again.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Fred was very naughty yesterday.

I’m not sure why.

Maybe he’s going through a growth spurt and feeling ornery?

Maybe he’s testing me and/or some of his new boundaries?

Maybe he was just in a mood?

But, it’s impossible to get upset with Fred when he’s being a (naughty) puppy.

He’s just too cute.

Instead, I tried to praise him for the things he did that weren’t naughty.

I also told him today is a new day …

We will try to make it a better day.

Yep, today is a fresh start for Fred.

(Every puppy needs a few of those!)

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February 2, 2015

I had such a lazy weekend …

It was nice.

My son left California and I might have cried my eyes out saying good-bye to him,

But, the rest of the weekend was pretty much a pleasant, lazy, blur.

I binge-watched Sons of Anarchy for several hours.

In fact, I think Fred began questioning my judgment in men …

“Do you think she likes biker guys better than she likes me?” asked Fred.

Don’t worry, I played with Fred – a lot!

He’s growing SO fast.

He’s such a sweet, lovable, puppy.

I ate unhealthy food, drank good quality wine,

And, of course, I watched the Super Bowl.

Today, it’s back to reality.

I’ve had family and/or friends visiting almost continually since late November.

It might have been the longest, most drawn out, holiday season ever.

I can’t say I’m eager to dig into work …

But, it’s waiting.

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Fabulous Friday

Yesterday, in the afternoon, clouds rolled in.

Just before sunset, raindrops began to fall.

My son and I drove to a bluff overlooking the ocean for a walk in the rain.

The rain stopped and we oohed and ahhed at a beautiful full rainbow.

Then the sun set in a series of spectacular gasp-worthy colors.

It was amazing.

In fact, it might have been one of the most colorful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

And for once?

I didn’t have my camera.

I purposely left it home … not wanting to risk it in the rain.

In a way, it’s a good thing.

That sunset, with my son, will be forever etched in my memory and never hung on a wall.

I hope you have a great weekend.

I will be back on Monday with the latest … and, of course, more Fred photos.

Fred is accumulating quite a lot of fans.

It’s the sweetest thing ever – and so is he!

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This And That

I didn’t have time to write a “real” post for today, so ….

•  My oldest son is still here.  It’s so nice to have him home.  I seem to be cooking a lot while he’s here.  He has several favorite mom-meal requests.  We’re also trying to get a lot of activities in before he heads back to North Carolina.

•  Fred is such a good puppy.  He gets easier every day as he learns more and more.  He’s sleeping so much better at night.  He’s also doing amazingly well on a leash.  I’m really proud of the progress he’s making.

•  Yesterday, Fred became curious about the orange tree.  Orange trees smell wonderful!

•  Fred has a very good nose.  I’ve had retrievers before, but their dog noses didn’t compare to Fred’s.  I think he could be a tracking dog … he has the most amazing sense of smell!

•  I haven’t had much time for TV watching, but I’ve (finally) finished Season III of Sons of Anarchy.  I’m hoping we get a rainy day sometime soon so I have an excuse to be lazy and watch TV for hours.  I also keep having dreams about hot biker guys.  Coincidence?

•  Remember, I told you about purchasing a pair of new boots?  Well, I’ve been meaning to follow-up and let you know they’re VERY comfortable even when worn for long periods.  I realize everyone prefers different things, but I would definitely recommend  Frye’s Melissa Button Riding Boot.

•  I can’t believe the Super Bowl is this weekend!  Where did January go?  I think I lost the entire month in my new-puppy-fog.

•  Fred has been busy practicing for  The Puppy Bowl  Super Bowl weekend.  He prefers his footballs deflated … just like Tom Brady?

I’ll try to get a few more photos of Fred today.

I’ve been busy with my son home, but I know a lot of you are really enjoying the Fred photos!