The Puppy Project

October 19, 2009

In the Beginning……….

Filed under: dogs,Pekingese dogs,Puppies — by theresakp @ 8:01 pm
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We just went to “look at the puppies.”  I should have known better.  It was the last litter a friend of mine was going to breed before retiring her Pekingese dogs, so Ron (my husband) and I were just going to take a peek.  Instead, we ended up taking a Peke.

I fell in love with her instantly.  A little white cloud with blue eyes.  While her brothers and sisters all ran around like crazyheads, she only wanted to be in my lap.  We already had 2 dogs — Einstein, a Golden Retriever (don’t let the name fool you — it was a false prophecy) and Madison, a German Shepherd.  We had absolutely no intention of getting a third, but she was my change-of-life baby.  I didn’t say a word, but after I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about her.  Finally, I told Ron I couldn’t live without her. 

“What’s one more?” he said, starting the beginning of our journey into the world of Pekes.

It was meant to be.  Although several days had passed, no one had called to claim her.  But as soon as I did, the calls started to come in.  I knew then that God had saved her just for me.

She came home on December 2, 2002, and all 2.6 pounds of her took over.  And the big dogs let her do it.  Immediately, she stole all of their toys — toys 5 times her size — put them in a pile and guarded them.  I think Einstein was a little afraid of her, but that wasn’t surprising, since he was literally scared of his own shadow on the fence in the yard.  Madison, ever the mother dog, took Juliet under her wing, or paw as it were, treating her as if Juliet were her own puppy. 

I wasn’t sure if Madison had ever had puppies or was just a mother at heart.  We were her third (and forever) home.  She’d been abused in her first home, the affects still lingering, as it was a year before she let us hug her.  We’d gotten Einstein as a puppy and when he reached a year (and suddenly noticed he could bark), we realized he needed a companion.  A friend of a friend had adopted her from a PetsMart adoption day, feeling badly for her when he’d heard her story.  He said he went in to the store for fish food and came out with her.  The family already had 2 small dogs who had been littermates, and Madison had always been the third wheel.  And once the kids were grown and away at school, he recognized that she needed more attention than she was being given, God bless him.  She was quite large for a female Shepherd.  My first thought when I saw her was, what am I going to do with this dinosaur?  Little did I know she would become such a dear friend and protector, both to her human and animal family.

Madison & Einstein

Madison & Einstein

Juliet was amazingly smart too.  I know every mother thinks her kid is the smartest and most beautiful, but it was true.  She even picked her own name.  I wanted something girly, but nothing seemed to fit quite right.  Stephanie, Victoria, Yum Yum from the Mikado — nothing was a match.  After a couple of weeks — she even had her first trip to the vet without a name; they put “No Name” on the receipt and it made me want to cry — I said to Ron, “What about Juliet?”  And she came running to me, wagging her tiny tail.  So Juliet it was.

It didn’t take long before she was the boss of us all.  She was, however, a benevolent dictator, letting her subjects bask in her presence and entertaining us when the mood struck her.  Her eyes changed to green, she grew even smarter — understanding concepts as well as words — and had us wrapped around her little paw.  I couldn’t remember life before her and couldn’t imagine life without her.  I’ve told her that she’s my best girl forever and I know she feels the same way.  She’s a rough and tumble girl, yet wails like a banshee when getting groomed.

We were so head over heels about her, that we could already feel the heartbreak to come when she would no longer be with us.  Ron suggested we breed her, so we could have mini-me-Juliets, although I was a little leery, having never done such a thing before.

I was outnumbered though, because it’s what Juliet wanted too.  And she always gets what she wants.

Newborn Juliet

Newborn Juliet

December 25, 2012

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 2:14 am
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Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

 

I’ve decided to let Casey do this post.

It waz a tuff yeer fer me.  Daddy finally got a job so we could have new dog toyz again.  Dat wuz pretty good.  After dat tho I lost one of my eyez.  Dat wuz not so good.  I gotta admit it getz me more attenshun but I had to wear da cone of shame for a loooong time.  I wuz so glad to get dat ting off so I could scratch my eer again.  By da time all dat iz over wit heer comes sumthin called storm sandy.  I got no idea what dat wuz all about.  All I know is dat we gotz a reel mess heer & us Pekes can’t go roamin round da house like we always do.  BUT I did see da room where da couches wuz & dey ain’t dere no more & da floor is dirty which I don’t like on my paws.  Itz cold heer too cuz we gotz no furnace, whateber dat iz.  Ennyway, all us Pekes iz hopin we getz back to da usual routine soon.

I knowz too dat Christmas be a speshul time.  I remember da first Christmas I wuz heer.  Mommy sez it wuz one of her best Christmases eber.  Her & me watched da dog Christmas carol together & she give me da big stuffed candy cane & took my picshure.  She sez it was in sumthin called a calender & I wuz Mister December.  Mommy sez too dat us Pekes iz da best gift she could eber have.   I tink dat means she lubs us.

We lubs her too & we be wishin ebryone a merry christmas.

Pekie kisses, tail wagz & face smelz,

Da Caseman

January 29, 2012

Felicia

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 10:57 am
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Felicia ain’t nicknamed “The Firecracker” for nothin’.  Her aspiration is to be an acrobat circus dog.  She’s tiny, but considering her bark and the size of her poopies, I think there’s a big dog trapped inside of her.  To Felicia, everything is a fun game and to tell her to settle down only encourages her to be more feisty.   For example: When she was having a barkfest every hour, someone told me to use the squirtgun method to put a stop to it.  Well, it startled her the first time, and then she begged for it.  It was so much fun to catch the water in her mouth!

When she was about a year and a half old, we almost lost her.  I’d been home all day, never more than a room away from them.  There had been no mishaps, no accidents, but that evening, all of a sudden she couldn’t use her back legs.  We had no idea what happened, but took her to our vet, a wonderful man who frequently gives us a break in cost.  After examining her, he said it was a spinal problem, and unfortunately, he didn’t do that kind of work.  He gave us a recommendation for a hospital considered one of the best in the nation.

After a cursory examination, Felicia was diagnosed with spinal degeneration.  Although her acrobatics might not have helped, the doctor said that some Pekes were just prone to spinal issues and no doubt she was one of them.  She was going to need surgery.  Looking at those big, scared eyes in that tiny face, we knew we’d do anything for this little one.  I knew it was going to be expensive, as a friend of mine had recently needed the same surgery for her Peke.  When the total was tallied at the reception desk though, I thought Ron might faint.  Seven thousand dollars.  Thank God they had a program that was interest-free for 6 months.

Leaving Felicia at the hospital was hard.  The doctor had been honest about the chance of recovery.  A small percentage don’t recover at all; many only recover 50%; and the most we could hope for was 85%.  We told Felicia that even if she was in that small percentage, we’d get her wheels if we had to.

At home, Mommy Juliet wondered where her baby had gone, and Marco (Felicia’s twin) combed the house for her.  It was a week before she was allowed to come home, and she would need 6-8 weeks of crate rest, as well as physical therapy three times a day.  This will be a nightmare, I thought.  Felicia was a wiggle-worm, constantly moving, she would never allow me to work the exercises with her, never mind staying quiet in the crate.

But somehow she knew.  We kept her crate in the family room, so she could technically be with the others, and I worked with her per the instructions of the surgeon.  I was shocked that she was being such a good girl about the whole thing.  She grew stronger day by day, and when it got to be around the seventh week, she barked from her crate.  It was time to come out.

She knew enough, too, to stay out of the Peke action for a while. Big brother Donovan would often play quietly with her, letting her crawl all over him while he lied down.  Then, little by little, she started to play with the others, compensating for her infirmity, until she became faster than all of them put together.

In the meantime, one of my Peke groups was having an auction to help pay for the operation of the other Peke who had needed the same surgery not long before.  They suggested including Felicia, but I thought that wouldn’t be fair and said, no.  In spite of my protests, the other owner insisted, and so the auction became a tandem cause.  They ended up raising over six grand, paying for half the operation for both of us.  For this I will always be grateful.

Today, except for a slight back leg swing when she runs, you’d never know anything had ever happened to Felicia.  In trying to catch her, it would be easier to catch a greased pig.  She’s still that big dog trapped in a little dog’s body, and gives all the others a run for their money.

Like I said, she wasn’t nicknamed “The Firecracker” for nothin’!

Felicia

Felicia the Firecracker

January 18, 2012

Marco Tag

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 1:00 pm
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While the Pekes make up many games complete with their own set of rules, their favorite seems to be what I call “Marco Tag.”  A weird combination of tag, pickle and King of the Hill, where Marco is at the center.  Nearly every evening, at the prompting of some secret signal, the running starts.  Marco jumps onto the big couch, while the others try to jump from the floor to bite his ears.  He flies over them to the love seat as they try to reach him in the air.  This procedure is repeated until they tire of the game.

The Game Starts

Drum Sees the Camera

A Paws in the Action

Marco Prepares for Acrobatics

Waiting for Marco's Next Move

Rest & Repeat

January 14, 2012

Toyland

Filed under: divorce,dogs,God,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 8:54 pm
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As I’ve said, Donovan is the toy hoarder of the group, although they all carry one around now and then.  Especially when posing as the welcoming committee.  In that case, the Pekes quickly peruse their strewn about belongings, choosing something — the “toy offering,” I call it — and running to greet.

Drum has often expressed love for a particular toy, something he will run and get when you ask, “Where is your baby?”  At various times, his baby has been a plush cell phone, a plush flea and a plush Koala bear.  When he was still a puppy, I would find the bear face down in his bowl after breakfast, a few pieces of food always remaining.  It took a while, but I finally realized what he was doing — trying to feed his baby.  I found it amazing that this tiny canine creature had the reasoning to make up such a game, like a child with a baby doll.

Eventually, the bear got whittled away.  It pained me to finally take it from Drum, but the head that is left remains in the memory box.  I have to say, in some ways it was a blessing.  In its heyday, the Koala made childlike giggling noises when it was pressed.  A scary sound when you suddenly hear it from another room, or even worse, when you step on it in the middle of the night.

Trinket has been known to be possessive of her bonies, although she’s never fallen in love with one.  Juliet, on the other hand, was in love with Squeakypuss.  A white oblong plush thing with greens things that looked kind of like leaves at the top.  Terrible description, I know, but it was like, what is this thing?  Long before she had her real babies, she would treat Squeaky like one on occasion.  It started after the visit of several particularly bad guests.  Squeaky had always been a way for Juliet to express her happiness.  When delighted, she would run, get her toy and squeak away.

After 10 days too long, the guests’ suitcases were by the door.  We stifled our laughter when we heard the squeaks of joy.  The guests thought nothing of her except that she was a silly, playful dog, but we knew better.  Later, the house blessedly our own again, the fallen bathroom shelf found, the upstairs drain clog realized, the wet towels picked up from everywhere, Juliet retreated to her crate with Squeakypuss.  And remained there for some time, except to go outside and to eat.  It wasn’t a false pregnancy; it was a false baby.  Maybe it was then she decided she wanted to be a future mother — one that was better than that of the toddler who’d been one of our guests.  But I digress.  It happened a few more times after that, but never again once the puppies were born.  Squeaky was still her only toy, however, and still the way she shared a happy mood.

I frequently told Juliet that Squeaky might not survive another washing, and to be careful with him/her.  But one day, Squeaky was no more.  Not hide nor hair of Squeaky.  I have the feeling Squeaky was consumed by Tash, our German Shepherd.  It’s happened before.  And of course it was the only one of its kind I’ve ever seen.

Juliet & Squeakypuss - At the End of the Trail

Lately, Marco — who has never shown a particular interest in toys — has a new obsession.  I have no clue why, but he’s suddenly latched on to this raggedy old thing and won’t let anyone else near it.

Marco Guarding His Baby

Funny little guys, they are.

January 4, 2012

GP – God Provides or Santa Visits the Pekes

Filed under: divorce,dogs,God,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 7:23 pm
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Out Tree (in a box)

The First Gift is Examined by All

Casey & Drum Relaxing

 

A New Christmas Blanket

Felicia sez: Merry Christmas to All!

December 23, 2011

Another Christmas

Filed under: divorce,dogs,God,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 7:56 pm
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I walk into the room and Trinket is snoring.  Both she and Donovan snore like humans.  Sometimes Drum does too.  It’s such a wonderful, comforting sound, Pekie snores.

This Christmas is the hardest one yet.  I don’t mind so much another year of not being able to send out cards or give presents.  Although I always find my closest friend something cool from around my house.  Around the time I started selling on eBay, I gave her a Coach bag.  I could have actually made some money for it, but I wanted somebody to have something for all the heartache, by God.  And I do have toys for the dogs.

Just to show how God can provide, recently I came across a plastic shopping bag in the closet.  Inside were a bunch of brand new dog toys.  I didn’t remember buying them, but I often bought things throughout the year, waiting to dole them out.  I didn’t want to give them everything at once, lest their little furry heads explode.  Donovan would have just stolen everything anyway.  So Santa will be visiting the kids here this year.

As for me and my (still) husband, we’ll see.  We’re trying to work together, if for nothing else to be good pet parents and keep the family together.  Even if it means moving.  Right now, there is no plan B.  Just praying for a job.  A bunch of money dropping out of the sky wouldn’t be bad neither.

I’m trying to keep the faith, but it’s hard when Snidely Whiplash (i.e. the mortgage company) has you tied to the railroad tracks while twirling his mustache.  I was thinking about putting up my Christmas village, but it’s difficult not to remember past holidays — cleaning the house top to bottom, looking forward to my husband’s week off, decorating to the nines, having parties   — nothing pretentious, but there was no doubt we were celebrating here.  I think of the better times and it makes me feel sad, still somehow I hope for a future.

So in the meantime, I’ll listen to the snores and look lovingly on the beautiful Pekes I’ve been given to care for.  And keep praying for that Christmas miracle.

Trinket

Trinket sez: Don't worry - be happy!

December 20, 2011

Donovan Today

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 7:26 pm
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Donovan has officially set up a condo in the family room…..

Donovan's Condo

December 18, 2011

Enter Casey

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 8:26 pm
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And it came to pass that there was an ad in the paper for male white Pekingese puppies.  Juliet’s breeder had said when we were ready that she would find a mate for our girl, so that wasn’t the intention in getting a male Peke.  We just thought it would be nice for her to have a playmate her size.

As we went up the walkway, I saw 7 little heads behind the storm door watching us approach.  The breeder had several of her own Pekes and she was puppy-sitting her mother’s Pekes as well.  I sat on the floor the entire time we talked, playing with the furkids, and I suddenly knew that I wanted to be covered in Pekes.  There were 2 brothers available, both exactly the same except for the size.  I picked the smaller of the two.  I thought Juliet would be ecstatic.  I thought wrong.

As soon as Casey came out of the crate, Juliet growled at him and he immediately pooped.  She literally scared the sh*t out of him.  Great, I thought.  Now what?  Well I wasn’t taking him back.

For the next couple of weeks, Juliet basically ignored him, continuing to pal around with the big dogs.  But somewhere along the line, the lightbulb came on.  While Juliet was boss of us all, she could really boss around one smaller than herself.  And all of a sudden, they became thick as thieves.  And after a while, friendship turned to love.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Casey

Casey & Juliet

This is Love

No Plan B

Filed under: divorce,dogs,God,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 3:57 pm
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Well, apparently God has decided the dogs and I need to depend totally on Him — no safety net, no Plan B.  And it’s actually ok.  I’d rather depend on God than any man, that’s for sure.  As Little Edie said, it’s awful both ways, being dependent or not.

Things are over with us moving down the street.  See my other blog What the Blip Happened to My Life for details.  We will remain in partnership with “Dad,” even if we lose our home here and have to live elsewhere.  The main thing is the dogs’ happiness and keeping them together.  Now I understand how you stay together for the children.  We may not have the relationship we once did, but both of us love the dogs more than anything, and the dogs love us and each other.  Nothing else matters.

Pekes Watching "The Box" on HBO

November 5, 2011

Donovan

Filed under: dogs,Pekes,Pekingese dogs,Puppies,Uncategorized — by theresakp @ 10:09 pm
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Doing his Humphrey Bogart impression….

….also with a toy he stole from a German Shepherd…..

Humphrey Bogart a la Donovan

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