Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello there!

It's been a busy, interesting Christmas week - with family visiting and feasting.  The Dog Woods Pack have been included in the festivities - with many yummy treats going around  (much to Snoopy's glee ... for some reason she's been one perpetually hungry dog since she returned from the Vet!) and new toys. 

It's interesting to note how the dogs know the difference between their new toys and old ones even though they look exactly alike.  It's funny ... like Joe and Trixie.  They would wrestle for the one TuffTire everytime we play 'Fetch' but when I produce a new one - thinking it would be nice that they each have one to carry about, they ditch the old Tufftire in favour of the new one and wrestle each other for new Tire. 

Then there's their individual colour preference.  Tuffy likes blue - give him the black and blue, you can actually see his eyes light up at the blue ... and he'd go runing after blue ball instead of black.  Joe on the other hand prefers either black or red.  

So before the next round of busy-ness sets in and I won't have time to sit down and write, I'd like to wish each and everyone of you good readers and your adorable furry members of the family a very Happy New Year.  Here's to good health and peace! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snoopy's Back!

Hello there everyone!

I am please to report that Snoopy's back home at Dog Woods and is up and about.  The great news is that her liver is back to 'normal' - (some cell count which I fail to grasp) and she's been constantly asking for treats - which is very normal Snoopy.  She's lost some weight because of her liver issues - which is good for her because she's alot more active being a lighter basset.  It could be that she's alot hungrier since she's now recovered, hence the hopping and prancing about - trying to get our attention so she'll get fed a treat or two.

Am glad she didn't have to stay at the Vet's for very long.  Infact in a mere couple of days, the Vet called to say she was ready to come home.  Missing home sure worked wonders on Poopy girl who had to be put on a drip for a couple of days.

We're not exactly certain what caused her liver problems so we're monitoring the environment to keep an eye out on possible things that may cause liver problems.  The Vet said something about bacteria that rats carry that may cause liver to react.  Admittedly, I've seen a couple rats scuttling about ... so maybe that could just be the problem. Kill the rat and save the dogs!  Easier said than done since rats (which I gather is related to squirrels) are equally cunning ... our traps don't seem to be working for some reason.

A feline addition to Dog Woods would be a helpful alternative but unfortunately no cat would ever come near Dog Woods (what more consider to stay) - for obvious reasons. 

Ratty thoughts aside,  I'd like to wish everyone of you good furry and fur-less readers a very happy Christmas and a Wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Anna Up, Snoopy Down ...


My bad. I've been away... only to return with alot more to do and organize!  Putting that aside, am happy to report that Anna's out of her 'cone of shame', her stitches removed and she's looking like her old self.  Am really amazed how fast her wound has healed.  Dogs truly have tremedous healing prowess! 

Anna - back to sniffing business

However on the downside, I noted upon my return that Snoopy was looking a little sluggish.  She wasn't eating.  Not like her to refuse a treat even! Usually she'd be the first to wolf it down her share of treats before the others and give you an expectant look for more! 

Had the good doctor come by yesterday - when he couldn't find anything physicaly wrong with her - apart from the bad plague buildling up on her toothies, he had some blood drawn to be tested.  Snoopy apparently has some liver infection - external boo-boos I can deal with, but internal ailments worries me. 

Snoopy looked a little perkier after the doctor gave her a couple of shots - although I daresay, she wasn't the least pleased at being poked and prodded.  I was hoping her appetite would return but she still refused her dinner (maybe she's just tired of the same ol' stuff).  She had a little bread after, but that was it ...

The doctor recommended a couple days stay at the Vet's - deciding to put her on a drip so her liver can clear out whatever toxins that's affecting her.  She wasn't at all pleased that I had sent her in.  Out of the entire Dog Woods Pack, Snoopy hates the doctor most.  Even the sound of his car sets her off barking!  I don't think she's ever forgiven him for poking and prodding her when she was a wee pup - she had such sensitive skin then.  It's still sensitive (and the humid weather doesn't help much) but at least she's no longer suffers from red angry bloody itchy welts. 

I do hope she recovers soon - admittedly I've got a soft spot for Poopy Girl (Snoopy) - she's the only pup in the pack that knows how to say 'Please can I have some more?' in dog language that is.  Can't wait till I can bring her back home ...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Anna, Tuffy and UP

Hello there!

Anna's back.  The good news is her lump is a mere cyst - that formed over an old injury (possibly due to the violent confrontation Trixie and Anna had a couple months back).  So no worrying cancer cells there ...

The bad news is, her face is in stitches.  Not all of it but just the sight of stitches under her lef eye coupled with that post surgery puffiness - let's just say, Anna's not looking her sharpest.  The poor girl also in a 'collar'.  While her appetite's there (she wolved down her dinner in no time at all) she's still a little awed (judging from the droop of her usually pointy Dobie ears) from having her lump fixed.

As for Tuffy's lump, the doctor's confirmed it's merely a bruise swell brought on by injury.  The lump should go down in time, since our Alpha Basset has had a history of 'fat lumps' that soon disappeaered over time ...

I do hope face heals quickly.  Anna being Doberman likes looking sharp and right now her self and face esteem has taken quite a beating and she still hasn't quite figured out what for!  Poor poor girl.

On a brighter side, I finally saw UP (Pixar) yesterday (like my animations) and it was as good as the reviews.  One of those movies that leaves you with a 'feel good' feeeling at the end.  Dug the canine hero of the movie reminded alot of Tuffy - the underdog who later became Alpha dog.  It was quite hilarious ... although Dug's a golden retriever in the movie - some of his physical demeanor, flappy ears, rotund body, drooling  tongue, and how scared/brave he was and  how eager he was to please ...

Tuffy - Dugs-y!

Then there were a couple of Rottweiller and Doberman characters in the movie that seem to fit Joe and Anna.  And how all dogs would somehow loose their train of thought (play or sniff) if anyone yells 'Squirrel!' - hehehe.  In Dog Woods that would be me doing a version of a high pitched mouse squeak and the pack would come running to investigate.  Sometimes, if they're quick enough they'd catch sight of a squirrel making a dash across the branches above and that's when the excitment begins!  It's a pity my camera is never fast enough to catch them in flying action. 

So yes, there's much relief and one's thnkful that the pups inspite of the occasionally oddments on their bodies are happy and healthy.   Anna, as i write this has gotten over her awe and is now prancing about - doing the usual 'damage' with her cone ... it's looking somewhat 'dented' already (i think she's discovered it's a useful 'ramming tool' with Tuffy at the receiving end).  Sue, i simply must go order one of collar rubber tubes you mentioned a while back ...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh dear ....

This is what happens when you try to fix something that's not broken ... :p  I thought i'd try to add a little Christmas cheer to 'Tuffy's Tales' only to have unwittingly delete my previous templates and widgets.  At least now, with a little tinkering around I can now begin to edit Tuffy's page. My previous template upload attempt - while was nice and green Christmassy ... had all the page's edit tabs so nicely hidden away, I had trouble working the page.

While I feel somewhat regretful over what I've just done ... (All that history on the sidebars! Gone at one silly, uninformed click.  Is there a way of reverting to my old page?  Does somebody out there know?) I suppose on the the bright side, this minimized page is a blank canvas for make-over.  Hopefully, this time I won't mess up the page tamplates and widgets.  So Op Pack, Martha Bailey (you've got fantastic looking blogs)... anyone who's got some idea about personalizing blog pages pray enlighten this blur human ...

Putting my editing mishaps aside, Anna has just gone in for her biopsy.  We'll see how that turns out.  I hope to be able to collect her home by this evening.  Alwas feel so sorry for the dogs when more invasive procedures have to be taken - just because of one suspicious looking lump.  Speaking of which Tuffy boy has a lump on his side too - after being snapped at by Joe.  Joe has this thing about NOT sharing his toys - The TUFFTIRE is official the Rottweiller's, and the Rottweiller's alone. 

The other dogs only get to play with TUFFTIRE only after Joe goes into his pent to snooze.  As for the wee mesh ball  (in previous post where Tuffy was chewing on it) ... it's not quite as robust as they put out to be.  They've given the mesh a good chew and it's looking decidedly too fragile for another episode of Dog Woods rough and tumbles ... I've since retired the ball for fear of some pup (Joe particularly ...) greedily deciding to swallow the rubber bits.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy December!


Happy December!  It's amazing as well as somewhat disconcerting how fast time goes by.  Soon it'll be Christmas and then another new year - 2010 - wow's been a decade since we celebrated the millenium!  Yet it doesn't feel too long ago since that happened!  It's when the realisation hits you, that so much time has passed, I'm always confronted with that question - did i use that time well?  How much have I achieved?  That question almost always leaves me somewhat anxious - how do you actually  measure achievements?  Objectively you could use types of material yardstick,but not all accomplishments can be accurately measured that way. 

 I reckon the dogs are not quite as concerned (as we humans are) about accomplishments, effective use of time and the concerns of againg ... they live life and enjoy every moment of it, more so the mischevious ones and have no regrets.  I've always thought we could learn a thing or two about living life from our four legged friends - at least about savouring the moment and worrying less.

Speaking about worries - Anna, our resident Doberman has a worrying lump just under her right eye which I recently discovered.  Apart from that worrying lump (that doesn't seem to hurt even if i apply some pressure on it) she looks to be in the pink-est of health.  Trotting about enthusiastically, with a healthy appetite.   Then there's a couple of Fur kids - Tubby and Dexter that I think are a little under the weather.  While they're active and eat well, they look like they've lost some weight.  I wonder if they've got worms ... or is it merely their human who's got nothing better else to do but to fret about the state of seemingly healthy dogs ...

While the Furkids, I can deal with (been supplementing their diet with high concentrated vitamins), I had the good Doctor to have a look at Anna's lump.  She's due for a biopsy tomorrow. So we're keeping our fingers crossed - paws too (if the dogs worried as much as their human) that its merely a hardened 'fat lump' ... :p

Will report again when she gets back after the Doctor's done tests on her lump.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas came early this year ...

You could say, Christmas came early this year for the Dog Woods Pack ...a box of recommendedly robust looking toys arrived in Dog Woods from Singapore last week.  I suppose you could call them a spoilt lot - having their toys specifically imported from the next country ... thing is, we're down to our last Holey-Moley Ball (I bought them FOUR this year - the other three are no longer safe to play with - with bits almost falling off) and not one of the pet shop in the country now have them in stock! 

While the pet shop do sell some toys, but at the rate the Dog Woods Pack goes through them - shredding 'em before you can holler 'Nooooo!'  ... you think it's simply not worth even the buy.  The problem starts when they decide to swallow the bits that ends up blocking their digestive system ....

So far, it's only been Joe who'had his digestive system blocked and unblocked (via surgery) ... although he recovers soon enough and is always game for a game of fetch, having to go through the experience of surgeries and recovery with Joe is enough for us to be wary and more selective of toys for the pack.

While ideally I would have liked to get hold on a few more of them Holey Moley balls - they being suited for both big and small dogs.  The selection of robust looking toys that arrived in the Dog Woods Pack toy was met with much enthusiasm.  Joe's been happily snorting with approval with his TuffTire.  It's since replaced his Holey Moley Ball in his game of fetch.  Being a Rottie, he's not let Trixie even near his precious new tyre - not if he can help it!

The Basset and the Furkids however prefer the small mesh ball (which needs to be kept away from Joe just incase he decides to swallow it whole!) being similar to their favouirte Holey Moley. Admittedly, the TuffTire is a little to bulky and heavy to play tag with but that's not stop the Furkids from chewing on toy.  Unlike Joe, they're a little uncertain on how to 'play' with tyre.

Because the toys are not readily available (forced to import and you're not certain too whether they will be in stock) , I'm forced to 'ration'  them.  One type of toy each at a time and they have to 'share'  - (which am afraid, dogs are not very good at) ... but I get them to chase toy so everyone gets to play along ...

So here are some photos of the the toy hoggers ... enjoying their moment with their new toy before I come along and make 'em work for it.  ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rehoming Donny


I meant to write about rehoming Donny but as you can tell I've been slacking the last couple months in my blog postings. 

Yes, Donny and the rest of the pack had some issues.  Once nursed back to health, he had the tendency to bully the lot into subservience.  It was not only dominant posturing but snarly show of teeth, intimidating growls which usually end in major fights.

And it wasn't very pleasant at times - having to break up fights at least once a day.  It got to a point where I had to put Donny on a long leash while the rest of the pack were out.  He would protest of course, they being able to roam about free while he was only given a 20ft diameter range to roam.  The others, both Bassets and the Furkids especially having learnt their lesson would stay at least 21ft away from Donny or risk being attacked. 

While Donny seems to have a soft spot for Trixie - mainly because she's female and look most like him.  However, the feeling wasn't mutual.  She's snapped back at him telling him to back off and knowing Trixie ... she does a mean snap when she wants to make a point.  The only time she doesn't snap is when she has something to hold in her mouth - which explains why in most action shots, Trixie is holding on to something.  Look at poor Anna for instance.  I no longer them Anna and Trixie play together for fear of another bloody confrontation.  The last time resulted in Anna having stitches in her frong leg 'elbow' and having to be on a course of antibiotics to prevent infection and inflammation!

While that's Trixie's capabilities to inflict grevious injuries.  There also Joe to be reckon with.  The Rottie is not known to like to share - esp. his toys.  I taught Donny, with his months being with us, how to fetch and he discovered, he liked the game.  Only he wasn't allowed to play fetch while Joe is playing fetch - the Rottie will run any dog or pup down - even Trixie's cowed.  And Donny being a newcomer doesn't know the rules of the Dog Woods Pack just yet and I wasn't going to risk having the new boy torn apart over a game of fetch.  Which lead to him being confined to the crate whenever Joe and Trixie were out on their daily game of fetch-snatch until one fine evening Donny learnt how to open his crate door (for some reason all the dogs in Dog Woods seem to have acquired knack of opening doors) and let himself loose.

He seemed to get on with the bigger dogs just fine but would pounce on the poor Bassets plodding about.  And you know how it is with dog fights.  The minute one starts, the rest wants a bite too.  No joy.  Can't possibly have water hose on standby all the time to spray down fighting dogs. 

I found Donny a nice home with a family of two girls.  They both seem to get along.  Apparently the  man of the house is so taken to Donny, he even puts him to bed come bedtime.  He's also very impressed that Donny doesn't need to have a leash when taken on walks.  He'd automatically walk at the same pace as his human.  In the event he goes off following an interesting scent, he'd always come when called.  And as for his fear of storms, he gets to spend his stormy days cowering in the living room of his new home.  Hopefully he doesn't do much harm to their furniture!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pinkest of Health ...

Spoke too soon about the Furkids learning to respect boundaries ... this morning while feeding the pack their breakfast, I discovered that Brandi was outside the gate - sheepishly looking to be let back in! Was a little worried that Dexter may have sneaked out too since he was no where to be seen, but being a little less adventurous and street wise, but after calling for him, he appeared looking abit groggy.  I reckon I must have woken him from his sleep and being a sweet pup as he is, he simply had to come when called. 

I suppose now that Brandi is back in the pink she has the energy to be up too all sorts of mischief.  While am glad she's recovered, am not too thrilled she's managed to find her way out - yet again.  Quite glad that Tubby's in the confined to his play pen area. 

As i write this, I've just discovered that Tubby's  now gone with Dexter as his sidekick... *sigh* The puppies or rather 'teenagers' are simply bent on going out. At this age, I  reckon the boys are looking for 'girlfriends' ...honestly dealing with sick lethargic pups is possibly less worrying than adventurous ones - who disappear into the bushes the minute they find a weakness in the fence!

Must go check fence ..... and wait for them to return.  :p

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bout of Tick Fever

Brandi, Tubby and Dexter especially have been looking quite pale and lethargic lately.  From hyper pups they're looking like they've ran out of steam ... Tubby usually bounding ahead is for once trailing tiredly behind.  Which is unsual.  Dexter on the other hand looks like he's about to keel over if he were to take another step!  Brandi has been sleeping more than usual. 

Judging from their warmer than warm bodies, pale tongues and gums, I figured they must have the fever.  I suspect they got it from the ticks they picked up after one mad dash outside a couple weeks ago.  I thought I got rid off all of them but I guess the damage has already been done.  They've been bitten.   

Anyway, the good news is the Furkids are on the mend.  The Vet came and gave the three of them a shot of antibiotics.  Another to be repeated in three days time.  Additionally, they're also on a course of antibiotics ... Though am not certain if it's a good thing in the long run to douse them with so much antibiotics but since the doctor have started them on it, the only thing to do is to get them to finish them. 

Their appetite has gradually returning.  Dexter is actually eating something after refusing food for a couple of days.    Out of the three sick pups Dexter's got it the worst. He was actually drooling when the Vet came to give him his shots.   With him not eating , I had him swollowing liquid vitamins instead - to boost up his immune system.  Needless to say, Dexter is looking a little skinnier and longer than usual. 

As for Brandi and Tubby,  I suspect may have gotten off mildly mainly because they've been exposed to what bad things ticks bring being out and about more.  It so happen that on that evening a couple weeks back, Dexter decided to follow suit (usually he's quite happy yapping from the inside of Dog Woods alerting us that his delinquent siblings are out where they are not supposed to). 

Thankfully, Wally's spared from the fever.  He's the only pup out of the four that stays within the boundary fences - with his mom.  So we're keeping them - the sick and health separated for a while.  Have taken tick prevention measures - bathe the entire nine canines (it's a good thing they're rather fond of showers) and fumigated the lot!  

Hopefully with them being on the mend, Brandi, Dexter and Tubby will learn (like their brother Wally) that it pays to stay inside the spaciousness of Dog Woods and not try to make a mad dash outside.  They've actually been fairly good after that long outing a couple weeks ago.  With hindsight, maybe they were already not really feeling so well after their 'adventures'.  Tubby - the usual ring leader who leads the mad dash out has been as good as gold since.    I hope he's finally learnt some self control!  I've observed, being pack animals, once there's no a ring leader with a bent on going outside, the rest are quite contented to do their own thing and stay within the grounds of Dog Woods.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fur Kids

Three brothers ((from Left to Right) : Dexter, Wally (note his bendy legs) and Tubby

I do agree, the Fur kids were adorably cute!  Had I been less realistic I would have kept all nine!  Having to decide which to give away was possibly the most agonizing of experiences.  You can't help but love them all and each of them had furry unique characters of their own. 

Dexter for example, I wanted to call him Wombles (from the English cartoon character 'Wombles family') because for some reason as a wee pup his front legs would wobble after playing about with his siblings.  But it was difficult getting the others to learn his name ... so I picked a more common name, Dexter - whom some at Dog Woods have taken to calling him 'Gangsta' instead!  So Dexter the Gangsta it is ... but unlike his macho tough name, out of the four residing Fur Kids, he's the sweetest of the lot.  Though he does have a tendency to wander off on his own.  I'd like to think of it as an independent streak. 

The other three are more pack oriented.  Wally for example, is a true  Momma's boy.  Where you see Anna, you'd see Wally close by.  Needless to say, he being Momma's favourite he's deemed the Alpha Fur Kid whom the others let him get first priority with toys and meals or suffer the repercussions.  True to my previous description, althoug he looks like his dad, Tuffy he's really quite a Doberman in behaviour.  There's a certain proud gait about him inspite of being born bold legged.  For a while as he was growing up I was worried he would be lame - he did hobble quite a fair bit with his bend-y looking legs - rather like a ballerina in perpetual plie (minus the grace of a dancer).                                                                      Wally

Tubby being the chip off the ol' block is the most mischevious of the lot.  If you've read the previous postings of his 'adventures and mishaps' - he got me worried sick for awhile.  Since he was such a pro at finding ways and means of getting out of Dog Woods,  I took to confining him a pen for all our sakes.  His safety, my sanity, the rest of the fearful non-dog lovers outside - though I know he's really quite harmless.  Just, the reaction of most non-dog lovers (in my part of the world) whom for religious and cultural reasons perceive dogs as an 'untouchable' seem to react almost hysterically even when confronted by a cute shih-tzu. 

Then there's Brandi who's the shy-est of the lot.   Being theonly girl she tends to be a little more subservient to the boys. But once she trusts you she's possibly the most affectionate of the four.  I remember as a wee pup she'd insist on clambering onto my lap and happily sat there for as long as I let her.  Now that she's grown and can no longer fit into my lap she'd stand on her hindlegs and give you a hug instead.  'Brandi's Hug' that's what I started referring to her affectionate returns. 

Having said that, she's also a co-ring leader to the FurKids escapades outside of Dog Woods - being Tubby's faithful sidekick they would disappear for hours - and I'd always end up fearing the worst.  But almost always (thank God), they'd appear rather sheepishly outside the gates - after worn out from their grand adventures outside, waiting to be let back in.

While it's always a relief to know that they know their way back home, their unsupervised escapades outside isn't something am thrilled about. The Furkids clearly know it is unbecoming behaviour and they usually get verbally reprimanded.  Yet they do it regardless and look sheepish soon after.  It's interesting to note how sensitive dogs are to our tone of the voice. A more gruff tone and they sheepishly know they've done something wrong ...

I'm quite glad that all my efforts of fixing fences and looking for naughy puppies wandering outside are paying off.  The Fur Kids lately have been quite good - they no longer make a mad dash outside even when the gates are open. I suppose the the novelty of the great unknown outside of Dog Woods has run its course.  They're finally learning to appreciate that there is no place like home!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Furkids Nine

Proud daddy and some of his pups

Baby Dexter and Brandi in the background

Once not a long time ago, there were nine cutest little furkids whom Anna and the rest of us at Dog Woods both four and legged doted on them. Because they were born with Anna's Doberman black and brown Doberman markings nobody quite believed me when I said Tuffy was the father!

Yes, Anna and Tuffy were an odd couple. And yes they did produce some pretty cute puppies - 3 females and 6 males. Most who first saw the pups said it was Joe that did the job - since he too was black and brown ... but Joe was 'fixed' and there were no other whole male in the vicinity except for Tuffy...

Before the pups were born, I couldn't help but curiously speculate how they would turn out. A larger more solid version of a sausage dog? A miniature hound? - i.e. Tuffy look alikes with Anna's long legs? Or a dog in between - something like a beagle - hound looking, not quite as tall as a Doberman nor as short as a Basset. I wasn't really far off from my guesses - since they all turned out somewhere within those three guesses.

The nine pups - three had more of the basset looks - broad, short and long whom we named Tubby (being truly chip off the ol' block), Buddy and Pinto. The next three that had most of Anna's markings but were built like their father (the sausages) which we named Dexter, Baxter and Eva. The next batch had their father's markings but were slimmer and taller (though not quite as tall like their mom) whom we christened Zsa-Zsa, Wally and Brandi. Interestingly, the older they grew the lighter they became. Today, they are not quite as black furred as they were when they were wee puppies.

The Furkids that remained with us at Dog Woods are Tubby (chip of the ol' block - escape artist extraordinaire and leader of puppy mischief, Dexter - who looks most like Anna but behaves like Tuffy, Wally who's colouring is like Tuffy but behaves like Anna and Brandi - the only girl who looks like a miniature hound.

From left to right: Tubby, Wally, Dexter and Brandi

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anna's Arrival

Like the lull between present pack of Joe, Snoopy, Tuffy and Trixie - Anna only arrived at Dog Woods about a year and a half later. She was the only adult dog that came to stay at Dog Woods. We were told she was about two years old - but without proper documentation you can never tell for sure. But she was possibly the sleekest looking dog i've seen - dark and elegant. What struck me most what how sharp she looked - from the shape of her nose to her pointedly cropped ears.

Naturally, she was of unsure of herself when she first arrived. But after taking her for a walk about Dog Woods she soon relaxed - sniffing out her new home and leaving her own scent - a ritual, I believe for dogs (whether male or female0 in making the area theirs.

The bassets - Snoopy and Tuffy took to her almost instantly. Tuffy was the more curious of the two. Being male he simply had to make sure that the new dog would not be a potential threat to his already precarious underdog status (Joe was alpha male then and would occassional give Tuffy a hard time). Little did we nor Tuffy know then that Anna would be instrumental to his rise to TOP DOG of Dog Woods.

Joe and Trixie being the bigger and rougher of the then Dog Woods pack were gradually introduced to Anna. Joe would the bully of an Alpha Dog then was constantly surprised by Anna's tenacity. She would not have him shoving her about and being slimmer and longer than Joe was she had an advantage of nipping him in spots where he couldn't get back - like holding on to his forehead while he snapped into the air. For once, I worried about Joe than for the new comer!

There were some initial posturing when it come to introducing Anna to Trixie but Anna being the newcomer smartly realised that it would be wise to tow the line. And towed the line she did until she become a mother to Tuffy's puppies. Now that the puppies are grown, they - the remaining four automatically form Anna's pack which possibly explains the fights between Trixie and Anna.

Two perceived alpha females trying to usurp each other for TOP DOG (female category) spot. Truth be told the real alpha female is actually Snoopy. Being being a basset she prefers to sit back and relax rather than competitively gallop about chasing down all manner of bugs, creatures and strangers. Although she may be a basset of few barks but when she does, every pup, Joe, Anna and Trixie included obliges!

Anna's pregnancy was really an accident. Since all the female dogs had been fixed, Anna's going into heat a couple months after she arrived went on undetected until of course Tuffy started baying and was constatly at her heel since she never really allowed him to catch up with her! We thought then that he was merely 'infatuated' ... all a passing phase. Looking beyond all his noisy wailings, we thought that it was a good thing he was finally getting himself some serious exercise. We were right about the love sick passing phase - just we hadn't planned on the puppy part.

It was a month later - noticing Anna's increasing girth and appetite that we begun to suspect. Was she or was she not pregnant? If she was who can the father be? (Not Joe, he's fixed too!) - we didn't think Tuffy was capable of the job - being much shorter and slower than she was. It was only after the good vet's visit (Joe's best friend other than us) that confirmed that Anna is indeed pregnant and she was due soon judging by her size - which made us panick a little. I for one had no clue about whelping puppies. Although once upon a time ago, my dog did have puppies but I was but a child then.

But the puppies arrived one moon-less Saturday night. All nine of 'em. And Anna was the best mommy ever who fed, cleaned and didn't leave their side (except for when she need to do her business) until they were waddling chubby 3 weeks old.

So that was how Anna came to stay - which made the pack of five and along came the Furkids and for a while there were fourteen canines tearing about Dog Woods. But five have since found loving homes of their own and we decided to keep the four - which makes up the present Dog WOods Pack of nine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trixie the Pixie

With now Joe, Snoopy and Tuffy - the pack felt a little incomplete. There was Snoopy and Tuffy who got on well and played at basset's pace and Joe who sometimes wanted to join in the fray didn't quite get on as well as we hoped ... the Bassets felt he was too rambuctious and would loudly protest - esp. Snoopy. Although low, she had the loudest protest when Joe did something she didn't agree (like mischeviously sitting on her) and surprisingly he'd back off. He would however pick on Tuffy - and Tuffy for a while was terrified of Joe - not daring to move a twitch when Joe was up and about.

So Joe needed a playmate - as robust and rambuctious as he ... and along came Trixie - who's first deed was to nip us all in the butt (Joe included) when she first arrive. She was a wee little thing then but oh so much spirit ... too much infact! Which explains why today most cuts, bruises and grazes are Trixie inflicted :p (Joe and Anna getting the brunt of it all).

She's the only dog at Dogwoods that came with formal papers. Registered as the masculine Rohan Jupiter ... from the Land Under the Winds (yes, there is such a state next to us), the breeders that her to us claimed she came from a lineage of champion Malinois. But since we're not into showdogs nor breeding, she's since been fixed (too bad) and spents hier time guarding Dog Woods and wrestling Joe out of his favourite toy.

"Tic-tic" or 'Tiiiiiiiiicccccc!!' - is what we call her at Dog Woods who thankfully have outgrown her nipping habits - at least when it comes to us humans. But when it comes to her canine buddies, in a frenzy of competitiveness, she sometimes forgets and nips to get ahead (which explains Joe and Anna's wounds). Trixie, as I've already mentioned has loads of spirit. She simply must win - at everything ... even at running. Must always outrun the pack! If they do one length, she'd do two!Pe rhaps it's part of her Sheepie lineage, her herding instincts, Trixie likes circling the Furkids or Joe and I while we're playing the game of 'fetch'.

There were also a few other of her bad habits which we're glad she's outgrown, one of which is her 'flying hug' which would never fail to knock the wind out of anyone (that's if we're prepared) ... on some occassions she'd come from behind and well, someone usually goes off balance :P

With the exception of Trixie, the Dog WOods Pack are home-schooled (at least in the obedience sector). Trixie on the other hand needed some extra firmer help ... So Saturday mornings, Trixie's 'teacher' would come to visit and teach Trixie and yours truly a thing or two about handling a wilful Malinois. Trixie seemed honestly awed by him and would do anything he'd tell her to while she'd pause whenever yours truly tried. Her teacher said something about my being too soft spoken need to sound meaner so the dog would understand this human mean business!

Out of all the dogs put together, Trixie is possibly the fastest, fearless and most determined. It's a good thing she keeps her chasing within the perimeter fences of Dog Woods. We've seen her chase an intruder right up to the top of his van once ... bet he since learn to leave Dog Woods out of break-in list! ;)

The only thing that Tic is afraid of are firecrackers. You'd see her scrambling for cover - even climbing the house grill just to get inside house to cower next to yours truly begging that I stop all that dreadful noise ... not that I can help it. It's part of the festive culture (which happens more than twice a hear) in our neck of the woods. I don't suppose ear plugs work on dogs ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuffy trails

When Tuffy arrived at Dog Woods, he was barely a few weeks old ... the size of a grown guinea pig! Tiny, compared to what he is now. Poo-pee girl who was a couple months older than, was at least a few times his size. And Joe who always treated Tuffy as the underdog until his Furkids came along could swallow the basset in one gulp, if he wanted to! I won't be surprise if the Vet told us he was heavier than Joe. The furboy is short and compact - heavy enough to totter anyone unprepared by his bulk over.

Tuffy, 'Tub" or "Tubby" - short of Tubular soon became his nickname. Mainly because he reminded us of an overstuffed bolster with legs or the midget Jersey Cow. Unlike Snoopy who's always sniffing for opportunites for treats in between meals - Tuffy spends his time in between meals snoozing - preferring his Zzz to treats!

In between Zzzs and a meal, Tuffy assumed the role of Dog Woods ambassador using his furry looks and charm to his advantage where he soon grew to be the favourite amongst visitors to Dog Woods. He'd greet them with his extended paw - his version of a pawshake and a greeting of "how do you do?" He'd trail visitors everywhere - even to the top of the dreaded stairs and then insist that his humans help him down! He's even one the friendliest terms with the Vet - Yes, even after all his share of poking and prodding! This nosey basset always insisting on poking his nose into the good doctor's bag, sniffing out all the great medicines inside until he's pulled aside.

Another activity that our Tub (of lard) does with relish is to remarking his territory - esp. the all the lamp posts out side of Dog Woods. He's not allowed outside unsupervised since the ol' boy, inspite of his cuteness can be quite an intimidating force. Imagine short furry bulky dog with flapping ears running towards you, growling menacingly ... it's really all fake bravado (since he does that to Joe and his Fur kids all the time!) But it's enough to set any stranger running - which makes him want to give chase even more!
Tuffy boy is known not only as being the father of our ( fortunate accidental) Basset-Dobie furkids but also for his baying! A typical characteristic of hounds, so I was told. He has a special bark for joggers, a growling bay for intruders, a bay to complain that Joe has been pushing him around (yet again!), a bay that dinner's late, a welcoming bay when we get home, a complaining bay that he's not getting enough attention, a bay that he should be the centre of attention and NOT Snoopy or the Furkids, that it's too hot, or too wet ... the list goes on. Tuffy being most verbal of the dogs in Dog Woods has even lost his bark once or twice after his over enthusiastic non-stop bayings when one of the furgirls went in heat. (Thankfully, we no longer have to deal with that since all the furgirls all been fixed! I don't think we nor the neighbours can stomach another non-stop episode of love-sick bayings!)
Interestingly enough, having Furkids and expanding his Basset gene pool has given Tuffy a leg up over Joe's tenacious brains and brawn. The change is evident. Tuffy is now TOP DOG and Joe no longer pushes him about like he used to!

This blog, "Tuffy's Tales" began mainly because of him. An underdog who once trailed after Snoopy and got pushed around by Joe the Rottweiller, is now reigning TOP DOG of Dog Woods - with Furkids on tow!