Photobucket Photobucket Therapy dogs spread happiness, love, and cheer to people who otherwise might be lonely, sad or slow to heal. This is the journey of Cayman, a longhair miniature dachshund and his journey and experiences visiting becoming a therapy dog.

Did you know that pet visits often spark good memories of a person's own pets? Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world. It's been suggested by science that petting a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healing.



Guestbook- PLEASE Sign!

Loyal Followers

Monday, June 23, 2008

Its Me or the Dog- I Will Have the Perfect Pet!

I am so proud of my "wittleman"! All this weekend, Cayman has gone in and out of the puppy playpen we set up to put him in while we are away at work! He is actually comfortable with it and accepts it which is a huge relief for me as it means he will not freak out when left in it alone.

Yesterday Cayman showed a very nasty side of himself. What happened was he was in my mom's room, sniffing around as he normally does while my mom was cleaning when all of a sudden he started yelping as if in pain. My mom rushed over and scooped him up and then exclaimed that he peed on her. Well, we though it was pee at first but the telltale smell gave away what he really mom got sprayed with anal gland secretions!

The anal glands are small, paired sacs located on either side of the anus between the external and internal sphinter muscles. Sebaceous glands within the lining secrete a foul smelling liquid that is used for identification of members within a species. In dogs, these glands are occasionally referred to as "scent glands", because they enable the animals to mark their territory and identify other dogs. The glands can spontaneously empty, especially under times of stress, and create a very sudden unpleasant change in the odor of the dog.

We searched the floor for anything that he could have possibly hurt himself on like a sand spur in the carpet or something. All we found was a pine needle. We think while sniffing around he must have poked himself with the pine needle in the eye or nose or something so he started yelping, then when my mom came out of nowhere and scooped him up, he must have gotten startled and excreted on my mom. It was really funny but I also felt bad for him at the same time, getting scared and all. So I washed his little butt off and sprayed him with his new dog cologne and all was better.

Cayman woke this morning at 5 am to be let out which wasn't too bad. Nils let him out and he settled down so I could lay in bed for another half hour till my alarm clock went off. If he continues to have this scheduled then its not so bad. But the waking up closer to 4 am is a bit more of a problem but we are getting a routine going slowly but surely.

He is getting really good with the sitting on command. I have tried to squeeze in a couple short clicker training sessions each day with him and I am seeing results already. He is practically throwing sits at me for a click and then a treat.

Today I finally got my "Its Me or the Dog- How to Have the Perfect Pet" by Victoria Stilwell!!! Victoria Stilwell is this brilliant dog trainer on the show with the same title, "Its Me or the Dog" on Animal Planet. In the show series, Victoria visits the homes of troublesome and problematic dogs and their owners and shows them how to correct behavioral issues while maintaining a leadership role with the dogs. Its really good, one of my favorites. She is kinda like a British (?) Cesar Milan in the sense that she looks at dogs as dogs- not furry children, accessories, or humans. Her training method has a lot to do with "speaking dog" and getting them to do what we ask of them in a language they understand. I even like how she incorporates clicker training into some of what she does. Sure, the majority of the dogs on her show have behavioral issues, something Cayman does not (and hopefully never will) but I watch her to get ideas on how to prevent them before they even happen.Everything is very positive, much like the same approach in the last dog training book I have been reading "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller meaning there is no physical punishment and gets the dog to think for themselves instead of just reacting in fear.

 I have been trying to get this book for about three weeks but it has been sold out everywhere. I got lucky- the Borders about 28 minutes away from my work had one copy on the shelf so I had them hold it for me so I could pick it up on my lunch break. Unfortunately, I was about 15 minutes late back from my break, but hey, I got my book! I plan on kicking back with my "wittleman" and digging into it tonight after work, maybe even with a glass of wine!

Other good news- I have gotten in touch with a local low cost spay and neuter clinic. I had left a message with them on Friday but it was after hours asking what the criteria was to qualify for a low cost neuter. Many of those low cost vaccination or spay/neuter clinics mention "low income or government assisted" on their webpages, which I am neither. I am just looking to save money! They returned my call and said it was pretty much open to anyone (which it should be- overpopulation is a real problem!) and the cost was only...get this....$80! Now that is more like it! I doubt that includes any pain medications or antibiotics but its a much better start. The woman also started quoting the prices for the vaccinations and they were super low too (my current vet quoted my $119 for my next appointment on July 12th). I like the idea of having a family vet, one that knows my pet, rather than some clinic, so it is something I will have to weigh the pros and cons for.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pool Party Pup

The birthday party was super fun. My aunt and uncle with their three kids didn't show up so Cayman actually got to stay for the whole party. He even went swimming himself! Well, my husband put him in gently and let him swim to me a couple times. He didn't exactly look like he was all that thrilled to be in the water, but he obviously wasn't too fearful because he kept coming back to the edge of the pool, almost looking as if he was considering jumping back in!

He spent most of the day sunning himself poolside. Spoiled dog.

We ended up giving him a bath as soon as we got home. I didn't want the chlorine sitting on his puppy skin for too long as it would dry it out. I got a cute picture of him with a little mohawk!

The rest of the night was pretty chill, we were all so tired from the excitement of the party. Cayman went to sleep in his kennel easy enough but as usual, woke us up at 5:00am. He was quiet off and on till around 6:30 and by that point I had thrown in the towel of getting anymore sleep as now our daughter was up.


Raising a Toddler and Puppy At the Same Time

Last night we got Cayman off to bed the way with a nightlight and a soft bone shaped toy that we rubbed all over ourselves so it smelled like us. As soon as we turned on the nightlight and put the bone toy in his kennel, he walked right in and laid down, his head resting on the bone toy like a pillow and was quickly off to sleep. So far so good!

Or so I thought my night would be restful and easy. Boy was I wrong!

Raising a puppy and a toddler at the same time is harder than I thought. This morning, around 4 am, my daughter, woke up crying for eggs of all things, and when I told her it was too early to have eggs, she threw a fit which woke up Cayman who then started his crying and whining episode which woke up my husband. Nils took Cayman outside while I tried to settle Shaylee down. When Nils returned and put Cayman back in his kennel (he peed and pooed outside!), Cayman quickly settled down. Then Shaylee had one of her meltdowns- kicking, screaming and crying for the puppy and her pacifier. I tried to tell her that the pacifer was in her hand already obviously, she was overly tired due to the early hour. Her commotion stirred Cayman up so both of them were crying and causing quite a racket. Let me remind you we are living with my parents and younger brother in a three bedroom, two bath house- all in tile with cathedral ceilings so everything echoes. So everyone in the house was woken around 4:30 in the morning to a screaming and crying two year old and puppy. Sigh. Luckily I was able to get them both settled and neither one stirred again till about 6:30am.

And before I forget- ANOTHER DRY KENNEL NIGHT! I swear, I might as well quit mentioning this since it doesn't appear that its gonna change- Cayman is an ol' pro at this by now! So I will only mention if he has any setbacks.

Cayman is also handling his half of a chicken heart every other day. All the dogs get one and they love it.

Today is my daughter's 2nd birthday party (her actual birthday was the 18th) so Cayman will get to join us for half of the party and then will enjoy the 2nd part of it in his puppy playpen (or not enjoy is probably what I should have said). With four young kids, one being autistic, at the party, we want to wear him out but not overly stress him. He tends to sleep quite a bit, typical for pups his age, and we don't him to constantly want to be bothered by a bunch of young kids all hyper on cake and ice cream. But this way, by getting to join the party for at least half of it, we can get him socialized with other people. That and most of the guest have not gotten a chance to see the long awaited puppy they have been hearing about for months!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Power of Positive Dog Training


I am so very pleased to tell you all that last night was the first night that Cayman slept through the night in his kennel! Hurray!

So... right at 4 am I instinctively woke up, prepared to deal with the whole crying and whimpering. But heard nothing! He was still fast asleep! I actually laid in bed for a good 45 minutes, just waiting for the crying to begin. I eventually feel asleep and woke only to the sound of my alarm clock, set at 5:30 am, my usual time to wake to get ready for work.

I am still trying to discover the secret.... Last night my younger brother decided to move back in (Nils, my husband and Shaylee, my daughter and I all moved back in with my folks so we could start saving for a house of our own) with my parents and us. So last night, I went to bed with Shaylee as I always do around 11pm. Anthony, my brother, and Nils stayed up later. I am thinking that is was the fact that Anthony was playing with him so late that it might have worn him out?

Or maybe it was the fact that when I did get up at 4 am, I noticed that my brother had left a light on in the laundry room which shown just enough light to put a faint glow in our room down the hall. Could it be he just needs a nightlight?

Yesterday, while I sat at work, completely missing him, I Googled a bunch of information on crate training, puppy crying at night, and the like. I did find a pretty good article on, which is the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on "How to Crate Train Your Puppy". I printed it because a line, in all caps, stated " DO NOT GO BACK TO PUPPY UNTIL AT LEAST 3:30 OR 4 AM" which was his normal waking time, and another sentence that said "The early mornings come with puppy territory, like 2 am feedings and babies". It had a lot more information and all the times outlined where that of Cayman's schedule! So it just confirmed that what he is doing is normal. And the best part of the article was that stated "Once he learns this lesson [ referring to the not being let out of the crate when he cries but rather when he is quiet] and it will take about 2-4 nights- he will look on the crate as his special place." Last night was his sixth night here, and therefore his sixth night in his kennel, so even though he drug it out a little longer than the experts estimate, he still did it! I am just hoping he will have another night like last night!

So tonight we are going to recreate last night- using a nightlight and keeping him up as late as possible to see if that helps. And he had another dry kennel this morning, by the way! Whoo hoo!

Okay so far having my little brother move back in has been good. Yesterday, since he did not have to work, Cayman got a free pass out of having to be locked up in his puppy playpen we set up to put him in when we all leave for work. Sure, Cayman had someone to play with all day which he had probably been getting used to since I spent the Saturday we picked him up till Wednesday with him. Downside is that Anthony is not so good with remembering that Cayman is still needing to go outside every so many hours to relieve himself. So after work, I came home to three little piles of poo, and two puddles of pee. Oh and the cat decided to puke so I had that to clean up too. Sigh. I went over the puppy rules with Anthony (no people food or table scraps, let him out whenever possible and actually go out there with him, no getting up on the furniture unless he is on your lap and never, ever let him jump off the furniture on his own).

Prior to coming home, I stopped by Petco and bought two clickers, that SPA dog cologne I blogged about before, and some Halo Dream Coat supplement for Cayman. Today after work I am starting clicker training with Cayman, with the help of the book "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller. Its one of the top ten dog training manuals out there. I bought it when it first came out in 2001, when Zoey, our toy poodle, was just a puppy, but never actually read or applied it to any pet yet. Lesson one is Turn On the Clicker. Basically you just keep feeding him treats after clicking the clicker so he learn that right after that click sound, comes a treat so that when you start applying actual commands like "sit" he knows that after the click comes a trick but only after he performs what is asked of him will he even hear a click. The click acts as a marker, indicating that whatever he is doing right at that moment is what is earning him the treat that follows. I will get more in depth into his training and the different lessons later.

Nils is off of work today so Cayman gets yet another day of not having to be confined to his puppy playpen. Spoiled puppy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cayman's 4th Night and 1st Walk

Nights are getting a bit easier with Cayman, or should I say early mornings are getting easier. Cayman didn't start his crying until about 5 am which was only 45 minutes earlier than I would have to be getting up to go to work anyhow. And he had yet another accident free kennel! Hurray! He has also been doing excellent with the housebreaking, only one accident all day yesterday! Hurray!

Zoey, our toy poodle is finally warming up to the little guy. Yesterday they played together for a good half hour or so! Zoey has always been very gentle with animals younger or smaller than her and she is displaying that same gentleness with Cayman as well.

This morning Cayman got his first bath. He received one the week we picked him up but this was his first with us. It started with Shaylee and I getting ready to take our morning shower and he kept jumping up against the tub and crying. So I told him "I don't know if you really want this, but okay..." and pulled him into the shower with us. He didn't cry or try to get out, he just walked around a lot. So now he smells fresh and clean!

This morning Cayman went on his first walk. My grandmother watches our daughter while we are at work and to keep our daughter's schedule normal and to get Cayman adjusted to his new home, she is watching Shaylee even though I am on a mini vacation. Since my grandmother only lives four houses down from our house, we took Zoey and Cayman on a walk with us. I attached an extra leash to Zoey's harness so that Shaylee could learn how to walk a dog properly while I held onto the other leash attached to her harness, just in case. Nils, my husband, walked Cayman. At first Cayman sat down and refused to walk but after I called to him, he begun walking. It was a lot of stop and go the whole walk to my grandmother's but once Shaylee was dropped off and we turned back towards the house, he did much better. The trick is allowing him to walk close to Zoey. I guess he feels more comfortable walking alongside of her. So even though the walk was short, which was acceptable considering how little he is, Cayman did rather well. I look forward to when he is old enough to go for longer walks with me and the other dogs. In the meantime, we will continue the short walks whenever possible.

Cayman is a Canidae Canine Now

Cayman had been weaned off the food the breeder had him on, which was Nutro Max Puppy. For the past few days he had that mixed in with his new food, Canidae Life Stages. But he had been sneaking bites form the other two dogs bowls when they walked away and they were strickly on Canidae. And since he has shown no sign of any issues with digestion, he had his first bowl of just Canidae this morning. I specifically chose Canidae Life Stages since it is formulated for dogs of all ages, puppy through senior which is our situation here.

Here is what their website states and some more information on the food:

" At CANIDAE Pet Foods we have created our All Life Stage Formulas for your dogs called CANIDAE, and our All Life Stage Formulas for your cats called FELIDAE. These formulas are true, All Natural, All Life Stages, feral type diets that provide optimum nutrition for the ones you love.

In nature your pets couldn’t choose between a puppy, kitten, or light formulation, only a diet of mainly meats and small amounts of grain. They simply eat more or less, depending on age and activity levels. CANIDAE and FELIDAE both contain more than 50% of high quality meat proteins. We have also included digestive enzymes that closely resemble those found in nature.

Puppies will require a higher caloric and calcium phosphorous intake than an adult dog would, therefore we suggest feeding twice as much to puppies up to 6 months of age. Our standard recommended feeding guidelines for an adult dog is 1 cup for every 25lbs of body weight. You can be assured with 468 kcal per cup, your puppy will be getting more than most standard puppy foods on the market. Our beliefs are the same for your felines as well. With FELIDAE we offer 521 kcal per cup with a recommended
feeding guideline of 1/4 cup per 5lbs of body weight. We have found that free choice feedings work out best for kittens and nursing queens.

You can be assured your Adult dogs and cats are getting the best they deserve with our feral type diets which contain; 4 Antibiotic and Hormone free meats as the main ingredients which also includes whole grain Rice, balanced omega 6 and 3 fatty acids, probiotics, digestive enzymes, antioxidant vitamins, chelated minerals, and a total of 10 natural skin and coat conditioners. All of this without the use of allergic irritating corn, wheat, soy, or other cheap grain fractions or fillers. Just the perfect diet for your canines or felines.

Overweight dogs and cats don’t deserve lower quality ingredients to lose weight like; beet pulp, bran, hulls, flours, or any other cheap fillers. They simply need your help in providing them with the proper amount of high quality CANIDAE or FELIDAE. Feeding at least twice a day and approximately 50% less than our standard recommended feeding guidelines will yield you the results you are looking for. Exercise will not only help the condition of your pets, but will also bring you closer to your loved ones!

Senior dogs and cats require smaller quantities of a more efficient food, like CANIDAE and FELIDAE, not excessive amounts of low cost undigestible fillers and fibers. Senior dogs and cats intestines become less efficient with age and are less able to digest and absorb, therefore feeding low quality fibers and fats are an extreme disservice as well. CANIDAE and FELIDAE include probiotics, digestive enzymes, and chelated minerals for better absorption and utilization of meats, carbohydrates, and fats.

Senior/Overweight – In the event reducing volume intake isn’t something you’re interested in for your pets, we have created the perfect Senior/Overweight formula designed especially for you and your pet. CANIDAE PLATINUM for your dogs and FELIDAE PLATINUM for your cats. Both formulas are lower in protein and fat, lower in calories, yet designed with optimum calcium/phosphorous ratios, skin and coat conditioners, and contain glucosimine and chondroitin, all packed into a meat based food.

Breeding and Working dogs require higher calories without excessive volume. Breeders can also enjoy the fact they are doing the absolute best for their dogs and cats with only purchasing one formula for their kennel. At whelping, the food in the bitch or queen is what produced the high nutrient milk, therefore there will be no digestive troubles when the food is introduced to the puppies and kittens. Working dogs will require a higher caloRic intake, therefore increasing the amount of food consumed will offer superb performance."

CANIDAE® All Life Stage formula is formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Four Human Grade Meats – Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Fish
10 Natural Skin & Coat Conditioners
Balanced Omega 6 & 3 Fatty Acids
Guaranteed Viable Micro-Organisms
Guaranteed Enzyme Activity to Help Breakdown Cellulose
Superior Digestibility
Antioxidant Vitamins & Amino Acid Chelated Minerals
Excellent for Problem Skin & Allergies
Holistic & Herbal Benefits
Formulated for All Life Stages – Puppies, Adults, Seniors & Overweight
Excellent Palatability - Dogs Love CANIDAE®

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

Crude Fat

Crude Fiber


Lenoleic Acid (Omega 6)

Vitamin E


Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)

Ascorbic Acid
Cellulase (a)



(a) One carboxymethyl cellulose unit (CMCU) is that amount of enzyme which liberates one micromole of reducing sugar (expressed as glucose equivalents) in one minute under the conditions of the assay.

Daily Feeding Guidelines

Dog Weight

(to 6 mos. old) (with exercise)

2-10 lbs.
1/2-1 1/2 cups
1/2-3/4 cup
1/4-1/2 cup
1-4.5 kg 60-170 grams 50-100 grams 30-50 grams
10-25 lbs.
1 1/2 - 2 cups
3/4-1 cup
1/2-3/4 cup
4.5-11.3 kg 170-225 grams 85-112 grams 60-100 grams
25-50 lbs.
2-4 cups
1-2 cups
1/2-1 cup
11.3-22.5 kg 225-450 grams 112-225 grams 60-112 grams
50-75 lbs.
4-5 cups
2-3 cups
1-1 1/2 cups
22.5-33.8 kg 450-560 grams 225-340 grams 112-170 grams
5-6 cups
3-4 cups
1 1/2-3 cups
33.8-45kg 560-675 grams 340-450 grams 170-340 grams

Puppies up to 6 months old may be fed 3 to 4 times daily. Puppies six months to a year may be fed twice daily.
Feed Pregnant Dogs up to 50% more during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. Nursing mothers require twice the amount of food as suggested in the daily guidelines and may be fed 3 to 4 times a day.
The above Daily Feeding Guidelines are a good starting point on the amount of food suggested to be fed on a daily basis. If you feed more than once per day, simply divide the Daily Feeding Guidelines by the amount of times fed per day.

Calculated Caloric Content
ME (kcal/kg) 4125
ME (kcal/g) 4.13
ME (kcal/lb) 1875
ME (kcal/cup) 468

All Natural Ingredients
Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Herring Meal, Flax Seed, Sun Cured Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Chicken, Lecithin, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Linoleic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Inulin (from Chicory root), Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Solubles, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (source of B2), Beta Carotene, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Papaya, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And the Learning Begins

Today was Cayman's 1st time being put into his "puppy playpen" while I took my daughter, Shaylee, to get her first haircut. He was NOT happy about it at all. Even when outside, getting into my car, I could hear him yelping. Poor little guy. Its yet another new adjustment he will need to get used to, especcially tomorrow since I will have to leave him again to go buy party supplies for Shaylee's 2nd birthday party this Saturday. And I go back to work on Thursday so he will be alone from about 9:30am till my mom comes home for lunch around noon, and then again until 5:30pm when my mom and I get home from work. Weekends will be easier for him since there always seems to be someone home then.

We also worked on responding to his name and the "sit" command today. He did really good! He sat when given the command about 90% of the time. The other 10% was him trying to sit up prarie dog style or jumping up to get the treat. He is also doing really well with the housebreaking. He has had one poo accident this morning and thats it. He has gone and done his business each and every time I let him outside. Other than the waking up at the crack of damn (or even before) he has been an absolute dream of a puppy! I couldn't have gotten luckier. I am only hoping that he continues this trend of being such a good boy and look forward to the first night he sleeps thru the night.

I have also begun working with his feet, meaning touching them and holding them to get him used to them being handled. Other than my poodle, Zoey, I have yet to have a dog that sits nicely during a nail trim. I made the mistake of not conditioning them to be used to their feet being handled until I got Zoey as a puppy. To practice the feeling of his feet being handled, I trimmed the hair that grew out from between his paw pads with a pair of grooming scissors. Now he not only has neat and tidy paws but also got about 10 minutes of feet handling time. He squirmed a bit but was good overall.

Cayman Dreaming

Cayman's 3rd Day Home

As usual, Cayman woke us up at 3:30am with his whimpering and crying. Good news- still maintained a dry kennel ALL night! Hurray! I think he is an old pro by now. Bad news is we are still trying to get him to sleep through the night. Geez, sounds like I am talking about a human baby here! As usual, Nils got up with him and took him out to go potty and as usual, he did nothing except stay night at Nils' feet and as usual, it was me that continued to shush him while I snapped my fingers to get him to settle back down after being returned to his kennel. Ahh, the trials and tribulations of puppyhood! But we are patient with him, he is a baby after all, and he will learn soon enough.

Cayman did really well with pottying outside yesterday as well. Sure, he had the random accident (pee-pee) here and there, but mostly went to the puppy pad we keep out, just in case either he or our poodle, Zoey, have to go potty and we are busy doing something else. I did take him over to my grandmother's house when I went to pick up Shaylee, my daughter, and when we returned home he went #1 and #2 outside which means he was such a good boy, he held it the whole time I had him down on the floor in her house and on the passenger side seat of the car, and still no accidents. He is one smart pup!

Roxy, my parents' beagle mix, has taken a liking to Cayman. She is old, probably close to 10 years, but grew up with Ciji, our first weenie dog. She would walk over Cayman and gently knock him on his side while she stood over him, sniffing and licking in his ears, which was her favorite thing to do with Ciji. She is very tolerant of him except when he jumps on her backside. She is sensitive there, probably due to age. She even tolerated him sneaking a bite out of her food bowl. She protested with a whiny bark but did not act aggressively at all.

Zoey, our poodle on the other hand, is not as motherly towards him as we expected. Zoey has always taken a liking to smaller or younger animals whether they be Sterling, our cat, when she was a kitten, one of my pet rats I used to have, or any orphaned and abandoned baby animal I hand raised when I worked at the vet clinic. She isn't aggressive to him or anything, she just makes all attempts to avoid him. If he bounds happily after a ball that was originally thrown for her to fetch, she gets all bent out of shape and snaps at him. She never is close enough to actual bite him, and I doubt she would anyways. She is like a teen girl yelling at her baby brother to leave her alone. He just sits back and looks at her like "What's your problem? I only wanted to play with you!" Hopefully she will warm up to him more as she accepts the fact that he is a new member of her pack and here to stay. Everyone says it is because she is jealous of the attention we are giving the new puppy. Not that she has anything to worry about, she still ranks higher in our little pack structure. After all, she is the only dog allowed to sleep in bed with us.

As with so many different aspects in both Cayman's life, our other dogs, and our own, its all a matter of getting adjusted. I have to say, Cayman seems to be doing just fine and I have a feeling he is going to be one awesome dog!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cayman and the Mirror Puppy

As promised, I have uploaded the video of Cayman discovering that "mirror puppy". I have to warn you - its an overload of cuteness!

Cayman's Wellness Checkup

This morning Nils and I took Cayman to Miracle Mile Animal Hospital for his examination. We met Stacey Bradley, DVM who I liked very much. She was very friendly and I liked her "bedside manner" she had with Cayman. She read over his health certificate which was issued by the breeder's vet. Her only concern was that the kennel cough vaccination was missing from the list of vaccinations given. She said technically its required by law but we could catch up on it when we bring him back for his next series of vaccinations.

She than began her examination of Cayman, exclaiming how adorable he was the entire time she ran her hands over him. She checked for hernias and said his little testicles were appearing fine although they had yet to drop. She checked his knees and felt his head for an open fontanel which  is the area at the top of the skull where the bone plates merge. This will usually close when the puppy is 4-6 weeks of age, but sometimes they never completely fuse, leaving a hole in the top of the skull. His fontanel was fine. Thank goodness.  I was so afraid when she started listening to his heart. I kept thinking, "Sure, he looks perfect on the outside, but watch him have something horrible like a heart murmur going on inside". Dr Bradley assured me his heart was fine and that he was indeed as perfect as we hoped.

She gave us a Puppy Pack that included a bunch of information like brochures on puppy wellness and vaccinations and our first month of Sentinel which  given once a month for the prevention of heartworm disease in dogs. We explained to her that we have always used Revolution on our other pets in the past for this same type of protection and she went on to explain the differences, pros and cons of each medication.

Sentinel which is in a flavored tablet form, is given once a month for the prevention of heartworm disease in dogs and also protects against hookworm, roundworm and whipworm. Sentinel is also used to control fleas by preventing the development of flea eggs. Sentinel does not kill adult fleas or protect against ticks.

Revolution is a topical parasiticide applied once a month for the prevention of heartworm disease in dogs and cats. Revolution is also used on dogs for the treatment or prevention of fleas, certain ticks, ear mites and canine sarcoptic mange but does not protect against internal parasites.

Both are waterproof which is good.

Sentinel is cheaper. I can order it from for $58.99 for a 6 month supply of the 2 to 10 lb formula. Revolution is more expensive. So it looks like we will be a Sentinel family from now on.

I gave Cayman his first monthly dose of Sentinel and he seems to be doing fine with it. I do know that Revolution, when I put it on my cat, Sterling, she ends up with a bald spot where it was applied. I never noticed any bald spots when I used it on Zoey, my toy poodle. Cayman has a beautiful golden coat. I don't think I want to try Revolution on him just in case he has the same reaction as Sterling.

We then discussed the matter of neutering him. Nils and I were quick to answer whether or not we planned on doing it. "Oh yes! " was my answer. I DO NOT plan on breeding and definitely do not want a peeing and humping machine! I was then given a quote for Cayman's neuter which can be done when he is 4 to 6 months of age. My quote was ranged from  $324.42 to $406.00!!!! Yee-ow-ser! I remember back when I was a vet tech assistant and even without my employee discounts, neuters were NEVER that much! That was more what you would spend on a spay since they are more complicated. So now I am considering having a different vet do the neuter when he is of age. I can't believe with all the problems of overpopulation that vets would charge so much. I mean, I have assisted this type of surgery and its not that difficult or complicated. Spays are much more complex. Sigh. Guess I have a few phone calls to make the next two days I have off from work. Having a puppy sure gets expensive! Thank goodness he is worth it!

And onto the cuteness! Cayman playing "Don't Get My Belly"!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cayman's 2nd Day Home

Cayman’s second day at his new home went really well too. He discovered his reflection in my parent’s mirrored closet doors and spent a good majority of the day play bowing and lunging at the “mirror puppy”, beckoning it to play. We got a cute little video clip of it.

As far as accidents in the house, Cayman has had a few. But he did pee-pee outside all on his own twice and pooped out there once (I caught him circling and ran him outside). I must have looked like a lunatic when he made the first poo-poo outside, praising him like crazy. Since the grass is nearly as tall as he is, anyone just passing by would think I was praising my lawn, unable to see him by the tall grass. Thank goodness my  neighbors know about him already! LOL!

Shaylee, my daughter, has really taken to Cayman. Even though she is only two, she is extremely gentle with him, petting him softly. Once in a while she tried to pick him up and we have to remind her that “he’s just a little baby and we have to be very careful not to hurt him”. She likes to take his tail and wag it for him saying “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle”. It’s really cute. She does get upset when he takes a nap though. She cried for quite some time yesterday afternoon because Cayman was sleeping in the middle of the kitchen floor instead of playing with her. She is still too young to understand that all babies need to take naps. I think it was that she was cranky and needing one herself.

Cayman’s second night went even better than before. He managed to stay asleep and didn’t wake up whimpering and crying till 4:30am. Ahh, it’s like having a newborn baby again! LOL! We took him outside to go potty (which he did not do and instead tried to settle down in the grass to go back to sleep!) and returned him to his kennel.  When he started his whimpering and crying again I would shush him sharply and snap my fingers and he would settle down. This method seems to be working as within about 20 minutes he is settled back down and sleeping again. The best part of last night- NO ACCIDENTS in his kennel! Hurray!

Today Nils is going in late to work since he will be accompanying me to Cayman’s vet appointment. Part of the sales agreement for Cayman stated that we have 48 hours to have him examined by a vet of our choice. I made an appointment at a VCA hospital in town a couple weeks ago so today we will have him examined, discuss the age and cost of getting him neutered, and see about getting a prescription for Revolution. I prefer Revolution since it is flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventative in one. I have had great success with it with my other dogs in the past and feel it is the best preventative on the market, and the most convenient too.

Today I will also be taking Cayman to Petsmart to buy some training treats. Since I will not be returning to work until Thursday, I am using this mini vacation to get some training with Cayman accomplished. I would love to work on getting him used to walking on a leash so that we can start taking him and the other dogs (Zoey, our toy poodle, and Roxy, my parents’ beagle mix) out each evening. That and continue to work on learning his name. Even since we decided on the name, we had the breeder call him that from the start so he would learn faster. He seems to come almost every time we call him but  I want to work with him more so he looks up at our face when we say it, not just following us when we call him as we walk away. Also while at Petsmart, I want to look into their puppy education classes. Although I plan to work with Cayman at home, I would like to get some sort of more formal training with a professional too. Petsmart seems to be the best deal as it is a 8 week course for a little over a hundred dollars. I just hope they have a high success rate.

Cayman Comes Home!

Last night Nils and I FINALLY got to go pick up Cayman, our longhaired miniature dachshund puppy right on his 8 week old birthdate! When we arrived to the breeders house, we were happily greeted by several dachshunds including our little man, Cayman. We were pleased to see that all the dogs had excellent dispositions, even Raven- the black and tan longhaired female who had a litter of 4 week old pups on a large pillow in the middle of the living room floor. This litter of puppies was the litter we were originally waiting for but after much thought, decided to go with a pup from a previous litter. Raven was very trusting even with two complete strangers picking up and cuddling her young puppies. It was a good sign that all the dogs in this particular breeder’s care had excellent dispositions which is what we were expecting to have in our little Cayman as well.

Our breeder went on to show us the kennels where the dachshunds all sleep at night and proudly boosted that Cayman has finally stopped the crying and howling at night and even has stopped wetting or soiling his bed unlike one of her older puppies, Popcorn, who was 14 weeks old.  We can only hope that continues with us too!

Before we left with our pride and joy, we were presented a nice gift basket, all done in blues, with puppy toys, a sample of the puppy food he had been on, a baby blanket and his health certificate and microchip information. What a wonderful way to welcome home a new baby than with a gift basket! It was such a nice gesture!

The whole ride home, Cayman was very good. He spent the majority of the time sleeping on shoulders, sandwiched between my neck and my seat. I think he liked it up there since he could see out the window. He was so good, we even stopped for lunch at Checkers and I was able to eat with him sitting on my lap without trying to stick his head in the bag or grab at my chicken strips. We hope he continues his disinterest in human food and begging, but being a dachshund, we aren’t expecting that will happen!

When we finally got home, we had to show off our new puppy. Gerry and Lisa, our neighbors across the street, were outside in their driveway with my parents and Shaylee so we brought him over to meet the gang. Of course everyone thought he was just too darn cute.


Cayman got his first collar last night as well. Bright blue with his engraved ID tag. He’s still getting used to it. He keeps trying to look down at it, causing him to walk backwards or flop over on his side or scratching at it. I kinda feel bad for the little guy but it’s something he is just going to have to get used to it!

Our first night went pretty well. After playing for a while, Cayman was finally all tuckered out so we put him in his Petmate Pet Taxi which we are using a kennel. He went right to sleep. It wasn’t until 3:30 am that I was awaken by his whimpering and crying. I took him out and noticed he wet the bed, the poor thing. I took him out to go potty, which he did not do, and changed him bedding.  After getting him back in his kennel and settling him down, he slept till 4:45. Again I took him out, then kenneled him again. He then slept till Shaylee woke up in the morning, around 6:30am.

Considering all the excitement of a new home, Cayman did really, really well his first night. He only had one other accident (poop) before the bed wetting incident which is to be expected until he learns what is expected from him at his new home.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cayman Turns 7 Weeks!

It's almost time for our wittleman to join our family! I am so freaking excited, I can barely control myself! Then the breeder posted an updated picture of Cayman at 7 weeks old, which is more what we can expect him to look like when we pick him up, and then I became more excited!!! I noticed his "angel kiss" is fading. Bummer, but he is totally cute anyways! Just look at those big brown eyes- man, this pup is going to be SPOY-OLD! LOL!