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 Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world.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.

baby

Photobucket

Guestbook- PLEASE Sign!

Loyal Followers

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cayman Vs Roxy- Round One, DING!

video

NuVet Plus

I almost forgot to mention that my 90 count supply of NuVet Plus vitamins arrived last week and I am very excited to get Cayman started on them. So far so good. He loves them! I ordered the 90 count thinking it would actually be a month supply for Cayman and Zoey, our toy poodle, each. Zoey ate the first one but I haven't been able to get her to eat them since. Roxy, my parent's beagle mix snatches them up after she walks away from them. Oh well, at least Cayman will benefit from them. I can work on Zoey.

I know I have sung praises about these vitamins based on all the information I have read about them. They were suggest by the breeder that I got Cayman from. So I looked into them and was convinced. I would be a forever customer of NuVet Plus.

So what makes them so great? Well, I promised you all I would provide more in depth info on them so here you are....

It is the best nutritional supplement we've ever seen. We are recommending it to everyone who have pets!

More than a million dogs and cats are using NuVet to protect against most ailments (from back yard pesticides, pet food allergies and hormones, toxic formaldehyde in furniture and carpeting, ailments transmitted from dog parks and the vet's office, etc.), while maintaining a beautiful skin and coat.

NuVet Plus fills the void in cell maintenance and will increase longevity and enhance the quality of life of our companion pets. Healthy pets = Fewer visits to Vets.

This is not just a vitamin. It's an immune system builder with a precise balance of vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids and high-potency antioxidants. That's why it works so well through all three stages of a dog's life.

  • For younger dogs (under 2 years old), it strengthens their immune system, while building and strengthening the cardiovascular, skeletal and nervous systems.
  • For dogs in their prime (age 2-8), it improves the luster of their skin and coat while protecting against allergies, skin and coat problems, staining from tears, digestive problems, etc. It helps with mouth toxins since 80% of dogs have periodontal disease by age three, dumping toxins into their bloodstream.
  • For older dogs (over 8 years old), it helps reduce and eliminate arthritis, tumors, premature aging, cataracts, heart conditions, diabetes, and many types of cancer, while extending the life and improving the vitality of many dogs.

NuVet Can Help With:

Allergies

Skin & Coat Problems, including seasonal problems

Scratching, Itching and Biting

Hot Spots

Arthritis and Joint Problems (including non-genetic hip dysplasia)

Premature Aging

Low Energy Levels

Diabetes and Liver Problems

Tumors

Urinary Incontinence

Tear Staining

Cataracts

Digestive Problems

Heart Disease

Eye Tearing

and certain types of Cancer


Not available in stores.

To order:
https://www.nuvet.com

Sign up for auto-ship and save! Guaranteed to eliminate your pet's ailments or your money back!

Under 5 lbs dogs get 1/2 a wafer; over 5 lbs get 1 wafer daily. It may take 30 to 90 days for the active ingredients to integrate into the cellular network of your pet's system so it is recommended that NuVet Plus be given daily for the life of your pet.

The breeder I purchased Cayman from highly recommends NuVet Plus, especially for dachshunds as it is highly beneficial for their spines. This alone makes it all worth it to me as spinal injuries are very common in dachshunds....and very expensive in vet bills.

Momma's Boy!



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Momma and Cayman Cuddles

Last night we had family movie night ("The Bucket List" in case you were wondering) so I got some good cuddle time in with Cayman. Of course my daughter, Shaylee, and our toy poodle, Zoey, can't help but try to get in the cuddle session too, making it very hard to keep us all on the loveseat comfortably! LOL!

Shaylee was getting tired so she kept putting Cayman's ear over her eyes so she could fall asleep with the lights on! He didn't seem to mind much as you can see!

Cayman Turns 14 Weeks Old!

Such a handsome boy! He is starting to get that long dachshund nose! His puppy coat is completely gone now. He's in that lanky adolescent stage which drives me nuts since last ribs stick out making funky bumps on his sides (you can kinda see them in these pictures) and makes me want to feed him more (but I am controlling myself just fine, thank you very much!).

Check out that glossy coat! Thanks Canidae and Halo Dream Coat!

Zoey and Cayman, obviously not thrilled by being photographed together.

Look at that coat! I still can't get over what a difference a good diet and supplements make!

Roxy and Cayman- BFF!

Cayman is totally obsessed with my parent's beagle mix, Roxy. They are the best of friends. Since getting Cayman, Roxy has such life in her again. Its the first time we have seen her play since she was a puppy herself!

Kisses for Roxy!

Cayman play bowing- you know he's about to attack!

Sharing the same toy

Ahh....he loves her!

Roxy licking inside Cayman's ears!

Monday, July 21, 2008

How To Grade Your Dog Food

How to grade your dog's food

Start with a grade of 100 points
1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source subtract 5 points
5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points
11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point
Extra Credit:
1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
8) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "fish" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

94-100+ = A         
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 = F

Following are some foods that have already been scored (alphabetical order then ordered by score):

ALPHABETICAL ORDER:
Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+     
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F            
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Eagle Pack Holistic / Score 119 A+
Eagle Pack Holistic Chicken / Score 114 A+
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy / Score 94 A
Eagle Pack Natural / Score 94 A
Eukanuba Large Breed Adult / Score 83 C        
Eukanuba Natural Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B    
Flint River Ranch / Score 92 B (non-specific fat source)
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D   
Iams Large Breed / Score 83 C   
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Kirkland Signature Puppy Chicken, Rice and Vegetable / Score 108 A+
Natural Balance Duck and Potato / Score 114 A+
Nature's Select Chicken & Rice Puppy Growth Premium / Score 96 A
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Chicken, Rice, & Oatmeal / Score 85 C  (non-specific fat source)   
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B   
Nutro Natural choice Lamb and Rice / Score  85 C   
Ol Roy / Score 9 F   
Pedigree Complete Nutrition / Score 42 F   
Pedigree Adult Complete / Score 14  F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
Pro Plan All Breed / Score  68 F
Pro Plan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Benful / Score 17 F     
Purina Dog / Score 62 F       
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F   
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Dachshund 28 Formula / Score 97 A
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet chicken adult maintenance / Score 45 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Solid Gold Bison / Score 123 A+
Timberwolf Organics Lamb and Venison / Score 136  A+
Wellness Just for Puppy / Score 117 A+ 
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
 


NUMERICAL ORDER (BY SCORE):

Grade A
Timberwolf Organics Lamb and Venison / Score 136  A+
Solid Gold Bison / Score 123 A+
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Eagle Pack Holistic / Score 119 A+
Wellness Just for Puppy / Score 117 A+
Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+    
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Eagle Pack Holistic Chicken / Score 114 A+
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Natural Balance Duck and Potato / Score 114 A+
Canidae / Score 112 A+                     
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Kirkland Signature Puppy Chicken, Rice and Vegetable / Score 108 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Royal Canin Dachshund 28 Formula / Score 97 A
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
Nature's Select Chicken & Rice Puppy Growth Premium / Score 96 A
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy / Score 94 A
Eagle Pack Natural / Score 94 A
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Grade B
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Flint River Ranch / Score 92 B (non-specific fat source)
Eukanuba Natural Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B    
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B    
Grades C and D
Nutro Chicken, Rice, & Oatmeal / Score 85 C  (non-specific fat source)   
Nutro Natural choice Lamb and Rice / Score  85 C   
Eukanuba Large Breed Adult / Score 83 C   
Iams Large Breed / Score 83 C   
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D    
Grade F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Pro Plan All Breed / Score  68 F
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F    
Science Diet chicken adult maintenance / Score 45 F
Pedigree Complete Nutrition / Score 42 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
Purina Benful / Score 17 F    
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F  
Pedigree Adult Complete / Score 14  F
Ol Roy / Score 9 F   

Green Tripe

While Googling what the exact nutritional benefits in the various organs meats I have been feeding Cayman and the other dogs, I recalled seeing tripe on the supermarket shelves and remembered hearing about how wonderful tripe was for dogs, like the miracle food, and as close to nature as you could get. So, interested in why the tripe on Publix's shelves was white in color whereas all the articles mentioned green tripe, I found lots of interesting articles on how this tripe, the white variety is actually NOT what I would want to purchase....

"Washed and bleached tripe have been treated or clean and hold significantly less nutritional value. Once the tripe is bleached or scalded, all helpful living enzymes are destroyed.Tripe is washed and bleached for the same reasons humans wash and peel potatoes- for appearance and bacterial safety reasons."

I did, however find a good one that explained exactly what green tripe is, and why its so great. Based on what I have read, I am convinced. I gotta try this stuff with Cayman! You can read that article at the end of this weblog. It's kinda long.

Since I will not be purchasing the white tripe from Publix, and don't know of any local butchers or other means of getting fresh green tripe, I will be purchasing a few cans of Solid Gold Green Cow Green Beef Tripe since I can buy it at Petco (hey, its where the pets go! That and I didn't see it on Petsmart's website) which is right up the road from me, or at Paws Claws and Tails, the pet boutique which is the closest place I can buy the Canidae dry dog food.

I have to laugh at all the reviews I have read about the stuff, they practically beg that it come with a warning label- HORRIFIC SMELL! My impression is if I though the beef kidneys were smelly, I am in for a real surprise when I get this stuff because it is claimed to be FOUL! Like that of fresh horse manure. But if its good for my dogs, I will gladly pinch my nose and dish it up. Hmm, I wonder what the rest of the household will think about the smell? LOL! Perhaps this special treat should be given on weekends and fed out on the patio!



"It smells horrible, and looks disgusting. So why do dogs go crazy for it?

Some people say that green tripe is 'the most perfect foods for dogs', and others say it 'the finest of natural foods'. In fact, the testimonials that people write about feeding green tripe almost seem unbelievable. According to the true believers, green tripe gives coats new luster and richer color, it cures flaky skin, makes teeth absolutely pearly white, improves stool quality and consistency, and dramatically increases dogs energy levels.

How can this be.. how can one food make such a profound difference in our dogs health and vitality? And of all things, tripe? Having lived in New Mexico, I personally have had some darn good posole, but it never exactly made me feel like doing backflips, and unfortunately didn't do much for my 'coat' (or what's left of it). So is this hype, or is there really some substance behind this green tripe jazz?

First of all, what exactly is green tripe? As unappetizing as it may sound, green tripe is the edible lining and content of a ruminant animal's (i.e. cow) stomach. To be more precise, it is the lining and content of the fourth chamber of the stomach. Green tripe is unbleached, and unwashed. Generally the stomach contents are sorted through to remove the larger pieces of undigested grass and hay, but that's about all the processing it receives. So, pretty much straight from the cow to you.

Obviously this is not the same stuff that we buy at the supermarket and dice up into our posole. Tripe for human consumption almost never comes from the fourth compartment of the stomach, but rather from the first three. Each compartment of the stomach has its own peculiar structure and texture that leads to a different variety of tripe.

'Blanket' tripe is derived from the first chamber, and is so called because of its characteristic 'pile' (like a shag carpet). This type of tripe is often accompanied by a layer of fat which is removed before cooking. From the second chamber of the stomach we get 'honeycomb' tripe. This variety is generally preferred by cooks because it retains its shape during cooking, and the textured surface holds the sauce it is cooked in. Finally, the third chamber produces the variety known as 'bible', 'book' or 'seam' tripe.

When tripe is harvested and prepared for humans, the contents of the stomach are removed and discarded, and the lining is washed thoroughly. At this point, the fresh clean tripe has a characteristic khaki color which most people find rather unappealing. Therefore the tissue is bleached to yield the snow-white product we find in our grocer's meat department. Tripe for human consumption should not be confused with the green stuff that bestows our companion animals with such 'miraculous' benefits. In fact, feeding your dog the white tripe from your supermarket meat case will probably not get you much more than an ear-to-ear grin.

To discover what is so special about green tripe, we should first look at how a cow's stomach works, which is quite different from the way our stomach, or our dog's stomach functions. The goal of any good digestive system is to decompose ingested food down to the component molecules which are then assimilated and distributed for the body's various uses. Our stomachs (and our dogs) work by enzymatically breaking down food. A variety of digestive enzymes are added to the food which chemically break it down into a molecular soup. In the intestines, the molecules of this soup are assimilated and delivered into the blood for distribution.

A cow's body does not synthesize the digestive enzymes necessary to digest the hay and various grasses that the cow eats. Therefore, the cow must rely on a different method of extracting all of the component molecules from its food. This method is microbial fermentation. In the stomach's first chamber (rumen) there are millions of microbes (bacteria and protozoa) living in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with the cow. These microflora ferment the cellulose of the plant material, releasing large quantities of volatile fatty acids. The fatty acids are absorbed directly, and constitute the primary energy source of most ruminant animals.

The second chamber of the stomach (reticulum) is similar in function to the rumen. That is, it also serves as a large fermentation vat. The honeycombed structure of the reticulum is highly specialized and useful for separating large boluses of solid matter, and then returning this matter to the esophagus so that it may be regurgitated and rechewed (referred to as chewing the cud).

The function of the third chamber (omasum) is not well understood. The structure of this chamber contains many leaves or folds, and the finely ground and digested food particles are packed into these folds. Apparently, there is additional absorption of fatty acids not assimilated in the rumen and the reticulum, and considerable absorption of water and electrolytes as well.

The stomach's fourth chamber (abomasums) is glandular, and operates in a similar fashion to our own stomach. Here, digestive acids and enzymes are mixed with the feedstuffs to accomplish the digestion of proteins. These proteins are those converted from the plant material by the microorganisms, as well as a large number of the microorganisms themselves. The food is broken down into its component parts or molecules, and then passed on to the intestines for assimilation.

This fourth chamber is the source of green tripe. And, now that we know a little more about how the cow's stomach works, it sounds even more disgusting. However due to the fermented nature of the original feedstuff, the presence of a wide variety of microbial material, and the cow's natural secretions, this portion of the stomach is able to provide an extremely rich food high in natural enzymes, gastric juices, phytochemicals, B-complex vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and amino acids.

It has been speculated that the gastic juices and natural enzymes are at least in part responsible for cleaning the dog's teeth to produce the 'pearly whites' that advocates rave about. The fatty acids are of great benefit to the health of the skin and coat, and the B-complex vitamins and free-form (ready to use) amino acids would explain the energy and vitality that tripe feeders notice in their dogs. Additionally, the undigested microorganisms constitute what is commonly referred to as probiotics, useful for establishing and maintaining a healthy variety of friendly intestinal flora. And, the rich variety of phytochemicals may provide a wealth of benefits too vast to mention, and in fact not completely understood.

There is no doubt that there is great potential benefit in feeding green tripe. The scientific analyses and the anecdotal testimonials cannot be argued. However, be prepared. Feeding green tripe is not for sissies. This stuff smells horrible (I mean open the can outside horrible) and looks twice as bad. On the other hand, be careful about opening it near a hungry dog, because it will send them into a frenzy! In the wild, canids will bring down their prey and consume them starting with the innards. And even our well-mannered, domesticated friends instinctually know what is best for them."


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shopping!

Today I had to make a trip to Petco to get some more Halo Dream Coat supplement since I have been out for a few days. I ended up getting 8 in 1 Excel Nurticoat since it was a better deal and had similar ingredients. Sure its not as all natural as Halo Dream Coat was, but since I supplement it daily, I need to get the deals when I find them. I also got a great deal on Perfect Coat Nourishing Naturals Aloe Vera revitalizing soap-free dog shampoo. Since I am a Petco PALs card holder, I got the buy one, get one free deal so I picked up two bottles since I love the smell and the fact that its soap-free so it will not leave an residue on the dog's coats. The other item I got was Petco's Bitter Break spray to discourage Cayman from chewing on things like the cords to the living room lamps and our shoes.

I also ordered my first month of NuVet Plus vitamins. They are suppose to be this miracle supplement that is especially beneficial for dachshund's spines (my next blog will go into greater detail as the benefits of this product seem endless!). I ordered the 90 wafer bottle as it will be a month supple for my poodle and for Cayman. I set it up so that they will automatically ship me a 90 wafer bottle every 30 days and bill my credit card. This way I can keep it in supply.
 
My other purchase, and the most exciting one, is the personalized scrapbook die cut I ordered off eBay from Crafters Outpost. I had seen that they had smooth coated dachshund die cuts and sent an email to the owner a week ago, asking if she could create a longhair dachshund variety. Well, she did! I can't wait to get it for Cayman's scrapbook. While I was out today at Petco, I stopped by JoAnn Fabrics to check out their scrapbook supply. I found this awesome pad of 8x8 dog themed papers but figured I better be good with my money and wait till next payday (or until I can track down a store coupon for a percentage off single item that the newspaper sometimes has). Anyhow, here is an example of what the die cut will look like, but with Cayman's name. I decided to order it in the same color shown in the example since it was so close to his real color! It's it too perfect?
 

As you might already know, I supplement my dogs dry Canidae dog food with boiled organ meat. The first few weeks of having Cayman home, I used chicken hearts. Last week was beef hearts. This week the dogs got to enjoy beef kidneys and thank goodness I love my dogs and want the best for them because beef kidneys STINK when you cook them. Yuck! But in nature one of the first parts of the animal wild dogs consume is the tender organ meats so buy putting a few smelly morsels on top of their dry food (mixed with the healthy oils supplements) gives them the closest glimpse of their primitive and natural eating habits.

Plus the benefits of the organ meats and other supplements and quality dog food are showing in all three of the dogs coats. Cayman's is getting glossier and glossier as his adult fur in coming in; Zoey, our toy poodle, is experiencing the thickest her coat has been since I got her eight years ago; and Roxy, the chronic itchy and scratcher, beagle mix has a thick, full, and shiny coat and doesn't scratch her back in the underneath side of chairs and other furniture till it bleeds anymore! Hurray!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cayman's Bedtime Buddy

I could not resist taking these pictures of Cayman and our daughter, Shaylee, snuggling. He has claimed her bed, his bed as well and with such an endearing sight, how could I not let him? Too cute!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cayman's Scrapbook

This afternoon I had to run to Walmart to pick up a few things including some inexpensive flea preventative to get me through until my prescription for Advantage Multi flea and heartworm preventative arrives and I found this adorable dog themed scrapbook on clearance for only $5! Of course I had to grab it to begin Cayman's scrapbook. I also found some dog stickers on clearance so I am off to a good start! I will try to scan the pages as I finish them as I just know they will be awesome!

Cayman, the bratty adolescence!

I know it has been a while since my last blog. Well, finally we have something new to blog about!

Cayman has entered that bratty adolescence. At least that is what the vet told us yesterday. He simply said "In the next few weeks, your dog is going to completely fall apart on you. He is going to lose his puppy coat and get his adult fur in, he is going to be losing his puppy teeth so you may find yourself stepping on them and find blood on his chewing bones, and all your housebreaking efforts are going to go out the window as he will regress any progress. Don't worry, after that he will go right back to where he was. And he is going to be hormonal so don't be surprised to see him beginning to mount things."

Great, so I am gonna have a six pound hormonal mess on my hands till Neuter Day. Cayman has already displayed many of these "preteen" issues. He has been shedding his fluffy, light colored coat for a silkier, more reddish golden coat. The only evidence of puppyhood left in his coat is some fluff down by his haunches and on top of his head. He has been chewing on EVERYTHING! I have already had to replace a clock radio alarm clock and had to make my fountain vase, well, just a vase since he chewed the cord completely in half that powers the fountain part. And the humping has begun already. Zoey, our toy poodle, is the poor victim of Cayman's hormonal changes. Thank goodness all the pets are spayed already! He completely torments her, just like a bratty little brother, by constantly wanting to play and nipping her when she tries to move away. He steals her bones right out from under her nose. He is much more calm with Roxy, my parent's beagle mix though. I think it is because she is so much bigger. Zoey is more Cayman's size.

But even through this period, Cayman has made a very good break through. I finally got fed up of the whining and crying and yelping at 4:30-5 am in his kennel so I got down on my hands and knees, literally- you would have laughed, and made sure our entire bedroom was puppy proof- nothing he could chew on, nothing he could swallow, nothing of value he could destroy. I put up the baby gate in the doorway to our room and a puppy pad for middle-of-the-night accidents and let him sleep where ever he wanted in our room. His sleeping place of choice has been under our bed or up on Shaylee, our daughter's crib mattress which is simply on the floor of our room. Our break through is that he sleeps through the night! No early morning crying! Just like that! I think he just didn't like to be confined. Here he can wake whenever he wants and has plenty of room and his choice of toys and bones which we leave out for him. And still no accidents other than the occasional pee on the puppy pad! And I have yet to find anything else chewed up so he obviously isn't getting in to mischief while we are asleep. Its wonderful to be able to sleep till 6:30 on the weekends and be able to sleep until my alarm goes off on the weekdays!!

So Cayman has been adjusting really well. Our biggest challenge is remembering to let him out ever so often to avoid any accidents, especially now when it seems that the vet is correct in saying our housebreaking was moving in reverse right now, and keeping him from chewing up our daughter's toys. Its just as much of a challenge to explain to a two year old why she has to make sure all her toys are picked up when she is not playing with them as it is to convince the puppy that those toys are not his to chew.

Other than that, things have been going really well. Cayman is really a personality and we are all bonding tremendously, especially Cayman to me and I to him. I just love my little weenie dog!!!!

Since I have been neglecting updating all you readers with current photos, let me go ahead and post some I took when he was still 9 1/2 weeks old. I get this roll of "butcher bones" at Publix for, like $4 in the pet aisle. I like them because there is about 7 bones in the pack and they are just the right size for all three dogs- not too big and heavy for Zoey and Cayman, but not too tiny for Roxy. They LOVE them. And I like that they are natural bones and not rawhide. I HATE rawhide and refuse to allow my dogs to have them after Zoey choked on a piece of slimy, gooey, rawhide from a retriever roll when she was about 3 years old. I never want to be that scared again. Do you know how terrifying it is to hear and see your dog choking, and not knowing what to do? Its not like there is an easy way to perform the heimlich remover on a DOG??? Anyhow, it was cute to see Zoey and Cayman just gnawing away together. Oh yeah, and Cayman does have his own bed, blue for a boy, but he could not resist a little siesta on Zoey's pink one!