Canis Woofus Family

December 25, 2007

Christmas Letter from Chopper

What a surprise Christmas pictures of Chopper and her beau Coke, along with a letter.

I am so proud of Chopper, first leaning to read, and now mastering the word program on the computer!  These GSD are so smart!

December 25, 2007


Today, I do not wish for you a tree with wrapped gifts beneath it Today, I do not wish for you a big magnificant gift. Today, […]
December 24, 2007

Training Session

Today was the pups first training session one on one.  The first dilemma was to come up with a reward that was easy for the pups to eat and could be delivered efficiently.  The normal dog treats I have are soft and easy to swallow, put not for puppies this young.  I thought about using canned dog food, easy to swallow, but delivery of treat would be sloppy and inefficient.  A tour of the fridge revealed an ideal solution, homemade Mac and Cheese.  

So with a brief session one-on-one.  We started crate work, going through the puppy tunnel, and puppy jumps.  No luring, free shaping only.  Not surprising each pup was different excelling at different aspect. 

Next time I am going to introduce play as part of the session.  The word yes did not seem to register, so either I will use a clicker or not use any kind of marker sound.  As long as I am efficient at delivering the award that will be OK.

December 23, 2007

Pups 6+ weeks

Exciting day for the pups ---first car ride, first time outside, first time on snow, and first time meeting several new people.  I was very proud of them, nothing overwhelmed them, they loved every new adventure and they loved all the people.

December 21, 2007

Puppy Update

The pups have discovered feet, ankles, and pant legs. Oh what fun! One of the pups is more independent then the others, while two are cuddlers and velcro dogs ( at least at this point in time).  I have their little puppy crates set out in their room with the doors off so they can easily come and go from them.  They are eating well, even dry hard kibble.  They do prefer when it is mixed with their Merrick Country Cafe Duck canned food.  For whatever reason that is what I have been feeding pups for the last couple of years.

They are starting to sit and give eye contact. 
They come when you call puppy-puppy.
They are getting good about using the litter box for their BMs. 
They were wormed for the second time, no visible results of the process.

Last night was the first night without Mom.  Not such a big deal as I put them to bed at 1 am and was back down by 6 am.  Neither Faye or her pups were concerned by their first long separation. I really expected a little bit more of a reaction from all of them, it was very neutral.  On the other hand I am not complaining.  I am pleased that the pups give me a more enthusiastic welcome then they do their own mother!

My goals for the pups over the weekend and the Christmas holiday are:

  • car ride

  • quick romp on the snow

  • start working on taking treats

  • play with the baby agility tunnel (last years BDay present from Kari)

  • intro to crates
December 21, 2007

Iraq war dog to retire with fallen Marine’s family – CNN Story

From CNN

(CNN) -- A U.S. military dog whose handler and best friend was killed in Iraq gets a new assignment on Friday -- retirement with the late Marine's family.

Marine Cpl. Dustin Lee, slain in Iraq in March, with his dog, Lex, who is going to live with Lee's family.

It took months of lobbying by the family to get the adoption approved by the military.

Lex was beside Cpl. Dustin Lee when Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja.

In spite of his injuries, the dog didn't want to leave Lee's side after the attack, according to the Marine's father. Other Marines reportedly had to pull the dog away from the young man's body so medics could reach him.

Lex attended Lee's funeral in March, playing games with the 20-year-old Marine's younger brother on the sidelines.

Although some shrapnel remains in his body, Lex recovered from his wounds and returned to duty at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia.

Friday, he'll move to Lee's family home in Quitman, Mississippi, where the 8-year-old bomb-sniffing German shepherd will live out the rest of his life.

Jerome Lee, the late Marine's father, lobbied hard for months to adopt the dog. Marine officials initially told Lee that it would be no problem to get the dog. But persuading the service to give up Lex before the dog's mandatory retirement at age 10 proved to be a challenge.

"Since Dustin's death we've been trying to get his dog, Lex, from the Marine Corps, and needless to say we've had some difficulty there," said Lee, a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer. "This thing went from colonels to generals all the way up to the commandant of the Marine Corps, and it almost went to the secretary of defense."

One issue was making sure the dog was not "overly aggressive." His behavior with the Lee youngsters -- Lex played tug of war with 13-year-old Camryn at his brother's funeral -- seemed to assure that wouldn't be a problem. Marine officials also said the request had to go through the Air Force, which is the approving authority for all military dogs.

Finally, on December 13, the Marines agreed to let Lex go live with Lee's family. It was the first time the Marines have released a dog before its retirement to a former handler's family.

"Lex has had two tours in Iraq," Jerome Lee said. "He's been through a lot, and we just want to get Lex home to our family and let him have a happy life."

Well before joining the Marines, Dustin Lee was known for his devotion to his country. A member of Quitman High School's cross-country track team, Lee and three teammates participated in the Americans United: Flag Across America Run after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

It was no surprise when the young man joined the Marines out of high school in 2004, nor when he went to Albany to train military police dogs. He reportedly was inspired by his mother's work with search and rescue team dogs when he was a boy.

An animal lover who also rode horses, his son played hide-and-seek with his mother's dog as a child, Jerome Lee said.

"He would let the dog get a sniff of his clothing and then go hide to see if the dog could find him," the elder Lee said.

At the logistics base in Albany, Lee said, he "worked with all the dogs and became the kennel master."

The Marine and Lex had been stationed in Falluja for nearly five months before the fatal attack. When the Marine's body was returned to Quitman in March, hundreds lined the streets waving American flags to say a tearful goodbye. And Lex was there.

In Albany on Thursday, kennel master Mike Reynolds led Lex through his paces for the last time in his military career. But it's time for the old pro to learn some new tricks in civilian life. In a ceremony Friday, Lex will join the Lee family.

Jerome Lee said he hopes Lex's presence will make his other two children feel closer to their missing older brother.

"There's always going to be that missing link with Dusty gone," he said. "But part of Dusty is here with Lex."

CNN's Mike Phelan contributed to this report

link to the story:



December 21, 2007

Christmas Photos

ChopChop is now certified with the Humane Society of Kent County Pet Assisted Therapy program and West Michigan Therapy Dogs.  I'm not sure if we will do it though, I don't know if she's all that into it, but it's another jewel in her crown!  I also just got talked into a rally match in a few weeks and a REAL show at the end of January.

Anyway, the Christmas pictures....
December 21, 2007

Recent Pictures

Some recent pics for sharing...

Beckham says, "Someone save me from this madhouse full of dogs!" (this is after he got on Phil's cell phone and called my mother in law three times at 1am)