Wednesday, December 31, 2008

when blogs collide

Man-dad was in the shower. Madison was snoozing, or so he thought.

Five minutes, an unsupervised pup and a bag of yarn that smelled of H-Mom's hands ... a recipe for mischief.

So much for the first round of H-Mom's Christmas project. She was working on the "3-2-1 and you're done scarf" from the wonderful Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs blog. This was going to be one of the teen-human's Christmas gifts.

H-Mom didn't finish it on time, but she is working on it. Really. The teen-human was very understanding on Christmas morning. Actually, she thought it was funny to open a gift bag with a weird lump of sqiggly something, a ball of yarn, a crochet hook and a photo from the computer. "What is this supposed to be?" she laughed.

Well now, H-Mom is starting over.

Which is okay, because she was crocheting too tightly anyway, as she was often admonished by her grandmother. Grandma Nell taught H-Mom how to do everything that has to do with needlework, even tatting, which is making lace, but H-Mom has no idea how to do that anymore. H-Mom learned how to braid rugs and embroider and needlepoint, knit and crochet and sew. And lots of more things, too, like beading and quilling. She doesn't do any of those things anymore.

So now, a week after Christmas, she can salvage most of the yarn from the tangle of gnawed and unravelled scarf that Madison created. The teen-human gave H-Mom a hug and said, "Don't worry about it, she is just a puppy."

Thank goodness Madison didn't opt for Man-dad's expensive loafers.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

grass under her paws

This morning H-Mom took Madison to the dog park. Three days on Rimadyl and one week of "taking it easy" -- four trays of raw beef marrow bones, a multitude of chewy things and some really long, really slow walks -- demanded an antidote of dog park time.

"Bark Park" is divided into three sections, with fencing and gates. The gates are little lop-sized, but they are functional. The main portion of the park is a couple acres of lawn, circled by a black-top path, and punctuated by agility equipment, doggie pools and a large corner of "jungle." There is a separate section for dogs under 25 pounds, with smaller versions of agility equipment. At the far corner is large portion of lawn, with some benches and shade trees, but nothing to jump on, vault over or do gymnastics around.

H-Mom headed to the fenced lawn with Madison. She ran easily, played with her pink tennis ball and barked at the other dogs, through the fence. It was tough not to run freely, but the grass obviously felt good. The sun was warm. It was a lovely morning, and puppies are meant to play.

Madison even found the piece of stinky black rope that she loves - it has been at the park for weeks.

Madison smiled the entire morning. She is getting her legs back under her.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

dog pain

Madison was in pain with some issue in her front legs. At the dog park on Monday, she was suddenly in a heap on the ground, shreaking like she had been hit with a 2x4. Everyone ran to her, terror-stricken. In a couple minutes, she got up tentatively, walked slowly on her leash and then seemed fine.

A pulled muscle? A sprain? A twist? She has been playing at the dogpark, with an okay from her vet, and the opinion that is fine to "go with nature," believing that a puppy won't overdo it, and will rest when it gets tired. Long forced runs with a jogger or bike are not recommended until at least one-year-old, and agility work should be reserved for the developed dog, according to her breeder, and supported by most Web sites on large breeds.

Madison can be a "nut" at the dog park, running and playing with a particular puppy-like abandon, but H-Mom thinks that she is moving at a puppy-appropriate pace, and she keeps track of rest-breaks to make certain that Madison is not becoming overheated or unduly winded. H-Mom agrees that well-developed muscle is very important to support a large skeletal frame, and that athletic puppies will be more physically sound than coddled ones.

Well, the pain in Madison's left leg subsided after a day, with careful attention to no jumping and no running, and the limp was completely gone. Then it came back. Then it was gone again. A call to the vet supported the "take it easy, it's a sprain" theory, and suggested a few days of close observation. H-Mom had an appointment for Friday night, and then canceled it because Madison seemed better.

But last night, 4 days after the dog park meltdown, she went into a fit of yelping after she backed out from under the gallery desk. She had just walked normally for the 5 long blocks with Man-Dad to go visit. And now it seemed to be the right front leg.

So H-Mom started googling and reading about all kinds of diseases that affect large breed dogs in particular, diseases that affect bones and development: HOD, OCD and Panosteitis. There are other problems to worry about too, like Septicemia and vaccine response. And just plain old "growing pains." And pages and pages of Web sites and documents that will put fear in your heart and panic in your wallet. Orthopedic experts? Second opinions?

Googling can make you crazy worried.

The vet took Madison for an appointment this morning. He manipulated, he pinched, he turned, he watched. He analyzed, he observed. He listened.

Madison melted everyone's hearts. She is a kissy-kissy licky-licky giant schnauzer, after all. All the vet techs were sitting on the floor, playing with her. And there was not a whimper.

A sprain, or a twist, he said. Not even worried about a fracture or ligament tear or separated shoulder or any of those other terrible bone disorders. "I would have gone straight for the x-rays," he assured H-Mom and Man-dad.

Doctor's orders: a few days of an anti-inflammatory and the puppy equivalent of "bed rest."

"Don't read all that stuff on the 'net," he said. "You'll make yourself crazy."

Anyone want to come watch puppy movies and chew marrow bones, quietly?

The bed rest will be a real challenge.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

guessing game

Someone is always asking H-Mom: "Is she a ...." and filling in their own blank.

We get all kinds of speculative inquiries, and they are not too bad, but very seldom are they correct.

Some people think that Madison is a Bouvier puppy. If she is in a shaggy state, that's a very good guess. And Giant Schnauzers do have some Bouvier heritage.

Others, actually quite a few, suggest Kerry Blue, which surprises H-Mom because it is not a bad guess, but seems rather obscure.

Once in awhile, someone forgets about length-of-leg as an issue, and asks if Madison is a Scottie. That's kind of silly, but not terrible, as far as guesses.

Well, the other day, there was a handsome young man in the elevator. A very, very handsome young man. Like male model handsome. Drop into a faint, OMG-handsome. He was splendid.

H-Mom was rather impressed, actually.

The handsome one was with an older, high-maintenance woman, obviously a "cougar," and he was blatantly practicing his debonair and worldly act.

"Great dog," he said to H-Mom.

Nice voice. Low, sexy.

His cougar-date batted her eyelashes, bored.

"Now I know what that is ... don't tell me ... " he smiled. Perfect teeth. Charming smile. The hint of a dimple.

Did H-Mom write "drop-dead gorgeous" yet?

"That's a ... that's a ... I've got it ..." a look of enlightenment spread across his carved-in-stone face.

He lit up. He was male perfection.

"A basset hound, right?"

H-Mom couldn't even laugh. She didn't even crack a smile. Not a snicker left her lips. It was a singularly incredible moment.

The handsome one's cougar-date looked at him with perfected ennui, then inspected her impeccable manicure.

All H-Mom could think was, "Yes, God is fair."

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Guess where Madison sneaks off to?

A quiet place to sleep, a place of great privilege.

With a big blue cushion, and some slants of warm sunshine.

And walls the color of Hershey pudding.

Yes, that would be the domain of the teen-human.

She is a very very tidy teen-person.

Notice how everything is tidy on the dresser. How her school books are stacked neatly.

Madison is a fortunate puppy to be so welcome.

Friday, December 19, 2008

well coifed

Madison went to the groomer yesterday morning. She was bathed, pedi-pawed (a giant task, lol), ear cleaned and clipped. H-Mom left her at the salon and picked her up an hour and a half later.

It was quite a tiring morning, and Madison was very clingy the balance of the day. In the afternoon, H-Mom was sitting on the sofa at the gallery, and Madison crawled up into her lap and started licking her hand. It was very silly and very puppyish and very unusual, as Madison has not been much of a cuddler so far. A kissy, kissy, licky, licky attack schnauzer, but not a quiet, cozy snuggle-pup.

From the groomer, she did get a lovely little Christmas goodie bag, and a rawhide candy cane, which she demolished before H-Mom could get the camera. The cookies look like "human" cookies, but they are doggie peanut butter cookies and they are Madison's favorite!

So if I endured the torture, and the presents are for me, how come you are holding out?

This morning H-Mom was washed, clipped and styled too.

Tonight, the teen-human is up for a hair relaxer. H-Mom does it herself, because she is very brave, and it actually comes out better than when the salon does it.

It smells terrible though, so Madison and Man-dad will probably go sit outside and watch the boats. Then H-Mom will get a nice photo of Madison with the Teen-human, because they are such a sweet duo. And all the girls will be styled for the holidays.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

bear paws

This is H-Mom's hand. H-Mom is 5'10" and she has large hands. She wears a ring size 10. We don't know how to put it into perspective any better than this.

Madison has bear paws.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

walking in the rain

You would think that H-Mom would get enough of walking in the rain, but perhaps she is just ever the optimist, thinking that the grey cloud will move from overhead and that the sprinkles will not turn into full fledged downpour.

So she and Madison headed out for a walk this morning. The car is at the dealer, having some work done, and that means it is a dog-park free day. Madison needs exercise, some how, somewhere, or everyone will be driven insane by around 7pm. Besides Man-Dad said cheerfully as he drove away at 6am, "It won't rain all morning ..." Wonderful parting words.

The drawbridge for the train tracks was down and a long morning freight train was thundering along, barely drawing a glance from Madison. The tracks run through Fort Lauderdale, bringing containers to and from the airport and Port Everglades.

Train tracks were what brought "civilization" to the Keys, with the vision of Henry Flagler, who rode the first train, on tracks that he had built, to Key West in 1912, effectively linking the entire East Coast of Florida. Trains brought settlers, tourists for the momentus hotels Flagler and others began to build, and eventually turned Florida into more than swampy Everglades territory.

So Madison and H-Mom walked west along the New River, past the Museum of Discovery and Science and past the Broward Performing Arts Center. That's Fort Lauderdale culture - our civilization.

They got to the docks at Sailboat Bend and H-Mom thought that walking down one of the cement boat ramps to the water's edge would be an interesting diversion. With the rain, however, the ramp was slick with slime and her feet flew out from under her, she landed on her rear, and started to slide toward the water. Thank goodness she got her footing, gathered her pride and scrambled back to the sidewalk.

She realized that anyone who knows anything about boating would KNOW that a boat ramp is not intended for pedestrians, and that it does not offer sure footing. Especially not in a rain shower.

H-Mom obviously does not know much about boating.

The whole time this was happening, about 2 minutes, Madison was busily eating seaweed and river muck. She was not about to be a heroine, or do a Newfie impersonation. Madison was not saving H-Mom. Not in the rain and not while there were water delicacies to crunch.

It is very challenging to walk Madison, as her obsession is snapping randomly and trying to consume whatever makes it into her mouth. She can manage a tolerable "heel" for a 5-month old, but the temptation of a fluttering tissue or crumpled candy wrapper or odd bit of plastic (not to mention a forlorn sock) has her bolting to the right or digging in with her giant bear-sized paws in for a quick, spine-jarring stop.

Monday, December 15, 2008

motorcycles and monday mornings

Madison was very wound up last night because she had a quiet day with the teen-human. They were fine all day, but we paid the price yesterday evening, with too much energy and no where to put it. H-Mom and Man-dad participated in the Toys for Tots run yesterday, so it was a long day away. The teen-human did a great job with Madison, though, they had no problems all day.

So this morning, the most important thing on the agenda, after walking to get the Teen-human's school bus, and then saying goodbye to Man-dad and then making the bed, was to get to the dog park. Madison was so excited she could barely contain herself, and shot out of the car like a rocket. At the park, she ran in crazy circles. Played with her pup-pals. Coursed the agility equipment all by herself. She needed the outlet!

Then she decided that the best way to cool off was total immersion.

The water was clear before Madison flopped out in it. Everyone laughed - it looked like her color was coming off!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

when it's dark outside

This will be distributed to the 100+ dog owners in our condo building today. Yes, H-Mom has scraped the bottom of her tennis shoes one too many times.

Friday, December 12, 2008


When you look like this, you get lots of attention. Especially if you like to stretch slowly, roll onto your back and get belly rubs and nose kisses from everyone who meets you.

Madison is (most of the time) a perfectly mellow gallery dog. She lounges on the cool acid-stained concrete floor, sometimes gnaws on her bone, and calmly watches the few people who meander in and out of the gallery.

The other day, an elderly gentleman from New Jersey came into the gallery to confirm the delivery time for a painting he had purchased the evening before. He fell in love with Madison who was tucked under the desk, by my feet. He had bred and showed German Shephards, owns horses for fox-hunting, and is working on a condo rehab on an exclusive island south of Fort Lauderdale. He was full of colorful tidbits about his life, which he admitted was one of privilege and wonderful luxuries. He was very kind and interesting, not pretentious, and quite charming. In his home now, there is just Jack Russell -- his wife's dog more than his.

There is a litter of 8 new puppies, born one week ago, H-Mom told him. His eyes lit up. H-Mom printed the "contact" page from El Lobo Giant Schnauzers for him.

Later that evening, H-Mom got an e-mail from Cynthia. The elegant gentleman had called, driven out and purchased the male pick-of-the-litter. Cynthia was thrilled. He was excited beyond belief, having just discovered the breed and feeling ready for a new big dog. Especially one that doesn't shed. There are too many GSDs he commented, and a Giant Schnauzer will create quite a stir amongst his status-conscious friends.

He came to the gallery the next evening, looking at more art and very pleased with the puppy that will be his in early February. He is already thinking about showing the pup - he has a professional handler he used to work with - and preparing to break the news to his wife that a Florida puppy is coming up north in a couple months.

Today, three woman from Nassau Bahamas came into the gallery. One of the women announced, "That's a Reisenschnauzer." (ree zen shnou zer) H-Mom had been saying "RIE zen schnauzer" and was happy to be corrected. The woman was Austrian and said that they are very popular in her country. She told H-Mom about the Giant that her grandmother had owned. She said that her grandfather died, and then her grandmother about a year later, and that the Giant, who was totally devoted to the two of them, stopped eating and died a month or so later. These dogs, she said, are bred to believe that their family is absolutely everything to them, their whole world.

"She follows you everywhere, doesn't she?" the woman asked.

Of course.

She is our Reeeeeee zenschauzer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

go bears & pups for Christmas

H-Mom is at the gallery tonight, but Man-Dad is going to the watch the Bears game. Alone. He can't even take Madison. She could be a great football fan. She might even play good football. She could certainly tackle.

Go Bears.

Well this is unrelated, but kind of related because Man-Dad used to have black labradors, that he really loved. He lost them because of a divorce. Anyway. H-Mom found this article about puppies being given as Christmas presents and the upcoming movie Marley and Me and all the BAD BAD things that the combination will do for labrador puppies.

When H-Mom was in kindergarten, she got a Beagle puppy for Christmas. See H-Mom has always loved dogs, but she hasn't always been a "DOG PERSON." Because there is a reasonable age for being a dog person ... kind of like there is a reasonable age for driving and drinking and voting and all those things.

And H-Mom is kind of embarrassed, well ... VERY embarrassed ... to describe the life that her little beagle, "Arthur," had, locked in the utility room in the basement for hours on end with layers of peed and pooed newspaper, because no one ever took the serious amount of time needed to housetrain a puppy. And then chained outside by a dog house day and night and day and night. It was a different time and a different sensibility about what having a "family pet" really should mean.

So RIP Arthur, from many many moons ago.

We are making up for it by being really really good "dog people" now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

we got a horse not a dog

This past weekend, Man-dad and H-Mom were playing with Madison along the Riverwalk, by the courthouse building, where the sculpture garden, with its strange "Hadrian's Wall" wannabe installation creates a kind of "safety zone" for tennis ball throwing. Man-dad used to play baseball and softball and he is a really really good athlete, even if he is an "OG." (Old Guy.) You should see him throw a tennis ball. H-Mom is so impressed. Who needs a chuck-it when you've got a Man-dad with an A-R-M.

All of a sudden Man-dad spotted a huge black dog. A huge black Giant Schnauzer. Walking along the paved Riverwalk pathway.

Oh my gosh. This created such a thrill ... the couple with the Schnauzer was hailed, and Madison was lifted up onto the wall, like a runway model. Friends were made all the way around. There was much chatting and exchanging of information and happiness and general weird dog-people vibe-sharing.

The Giant was "Superman," a 6-year-old male from Skansen kennels in California. He is absolutely stunning, strong and huge and very "German" in demeanor. And he weighs 105 pounds. The humans had a wonderful short meeting, and exchanged info for future friendship, living very close as they do. Too bad that Superman is dog-aggressive, or Madison would have a playmate and role model right in the neighborhood.

The owner of Superman warned us that Giants, right around 1-year-old, often turn dog-aggressive and territorial, and said that she had been an avid dog-parker, too, until a couple nasty incidents. Superman is on a raw diet, and is being raised very holistically - no dog shots, no flea/tick meds - so the conversation was interesting, but philosophically different from H-Mom.

H-Mom is really worried about Madison becoming aggressive as she matures. There will be a concerted effort to keep her socialized and control that dog experiences are pleasant and that rewards for nice play behavior are plentiful.

But here is what really came out of the meeting with Superman:

Man-Dad says, "I didn't know that we were getting a HORSE not a dog."

"In 6 months, Madison is not going to fit in our car."

We drive a Dodge Nitro. H-Mom really loves our car. It it silver with 20" wheels and a red pinstripe and red racing upholstery. But it doesn't have much head room, and it is high ... difficult for Madison to get into. Actually she won't get in on her own at all, and is just starting to jump out.

That sent Man-Dad and H-Mom to the dealership, to look at MINIVANS. H-Mom is having emotional trauma over being a "soccermom" on account of the DOG.

She is doing all kinds of research on BIG DOGS and CARS. She found this awesome Web site with car reviews and ratings.

So now we want to know: What kind of car do you drive and how do you rate it for your dog's weight and activities?

Monday, December 8, 2008

bobbing like a cork

Madison was pretty sneaky this weekend. She discovered the giant glass vase filled with corks. Corks marking special occasions, wonderful dinners, romantic vacations.

We started finding strange little brown chunks around the condo.

In an "aha" moment, Madison's foray into the cork jar was unveiled. She had been stealing and chewing corks.

The cork jug was moved out of reach, little bits of cork collected from corners and cracks, and Madison forgiven.

This morning, after taking the car to the dealer for service and transfering Madison to the loaner, H-Mom and Madison made it to the dog park. A bit late, but better later than not at all. Madison played for awhile, until an oversize hound-mix named "Duke" showed up, and H-Mom decided it was time to leave. Duke had attacked and slashed our friends little black Cocker Spaniel a few months ago, and that deserves a giant RED X, according to H-Mom.

So Madison headed over to the lake. She is no longer afraid of the water, running in, splashing, charging back to the shore, jumping into the chilly water, snapping at floating seeds and coconuts. Madison had a great time, and kept venturing a little deeper, floating for a minute before turning back to shore, then doing it again, a few feet further each time, swimming gracefully, gently, and then returning.

As her confidence grew, she ventured out a bit further. On one splashing adventure, Madison was swimming one moment and then just sank underwater, her whole head gently lapped over by the water. She seemed to sink like a torpedoed ship.

H-Mom's heart stopped. Yes, she would jump in to save the puppy, without hesitation. She caught her breath.

And then, Madison's head bobbed right back up, just like a little ... cork. And she swam calmly back to shore, clambered up to the sand and raced in a silly circle. Madison was highly entertained. The lake is wonderful.

Perhaps her cork supplements this weekend should be thanked.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

7 am saturday

What a gorgeous morning. H-Mom and Madison did a long walk, the kind that she used to do with Booker. Headed east through Rio Vista, over the first canal and up to the cul de sac past the Huizenga compound, which is absolutely romantic and beautiful and huge, huge, huge. Then east again and after a couple blocks, south along the next canal to 9th, back west to Federal Highway for some practice walking in a well-behaved "heel" on the sidewalk with dense city traffic - trucks, motorcycles in addition to speeding cars. A "sit" at the stoplight and then across a few parking lots to home.

Along one of the medians there was a huge tree that has been cut down and sawed into giant sections. The cross cut reveals the work of a Florida Strangler Fig, which starts as a seemingly harmless seed in the canopy of its host and gradually sends roots to the ground, wrapping the host tree in lattice work. The Figs leaves overtake the host tree, and it is eventually choked to death. We don't know why the host trunk and the Fig roots are outlined in white paint, but it makes a good educational photo.

A few blocks away, the morning quiet was crackled by a flock of giant green parrots, quarrelling for position in a tree next to the sidewalk. They were large, bright green parrots with brilliant red tail feathers, not Fort Lauderdale's more common Monk Parrots. If you look closely, you can see them in the tree branches. Many of the more exotic large parrots are escapees, or their progeny, from Parrot Jungle, during Hurricane Wilma.

Madison got a good workout, and so did H-Mom. Madison is exhausting to walk, with her short puppy attention span and propensity to dart from right to left and back again, winding behind and then remembering that "heel" is on the opposite side. Distractions abound. A flower. A palm frond. A coconut. A discarded Starbucks cup. A soggy newspaper.

It doesn't take much, either a sight or a sound, for Madison to go into "high alert" for a moment. She is busy figuring out the world. Body tall. Ears swivelled in the necessary direction. Madison's ears are like little satellite dishes, rotating with precision at the slightest sound or any verbal command or praise from H-Mom.

H-Mom's back and shoulders pay the price for insisting upon an orderly excursion. Madison makes a good effort, and does very well for her age. She delivers a "heel" better as she tires, of course. By then, though, H-Mom is dragging.

Nothing like a mid-morning nap.

Friday, December 5, 2008

madison's peeps

H-Mom and Man-Dad in Key West, impersonating tourists. As we remember it, there was some beer drinking, sunset watching and admiring of the Key West chickens. Next trip to Key West, Madison will be accompanying.

This is the Teen-one. She and Madison make the most elegant pair. The Teen-one is 5' 11" -- tall and lean just like Madison. Long-legged beauties. They will make a striking visual in obedience class. Imagine them in the show ring.

This afternoon, Man-Dad was in the bedroom with the door closed, sleeping because he came home from work early with a fever and aches. He got up and went into the living room, where he found the Teen-one and Madison asleep together on the floor.

She is a dog person, after all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

very important thing

Food! It disappears very quickly.

Madison eats twice a day, a mix of Canidae All Stages Chicken & Rice, Wellness Complete Health Chicken Recipe and Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy, dry only.

In the morning, she eats about 1/2 of her breakfast and saves the rest for after the dog park.

In the evening, she eats again.

When she goes to bedtime, she gets a large milkbone.

And plenty of tiny rewards for good behavior and obedience. Right now, the cookie jar is full of little shamrock shaped liver-cranberry treats.

Madison is almost at 40 pounds. Her breeder advises us that this is her fast-growing period, and that she should gain about 3 pounds a week, until she reaches 9 or 10 months.

That puts her right on track for about 80 pounds of schnauzer. The "temporarily" little package will seem very fleeting.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

just a few things

We are not feeling much like connecting the dots today, so here are a few things:

  • Madison doesn't seem to have lost any baby teeth. We keep looking in her mouth. Permanent teeth appear after 4 months. She is chewing and whining and mouthing and acting distressed. Her biting and nipping of the humans has greatly improved though. She learns very quickly, and does not like to be reprimanded.
  • We created a TWITTER account for Madison. H-Mom was inspired by Jake ... because she likes the randomness of those little blurbs on his blog, Jake's Progress.
  • There was a "dog park incident" today. We don't quite know how to process it. Madison and her best friend, the Irish setter, were rough-playing with another 5-month old puppy. The other puppy is about the size of Madison - she is a Rhodesian/lab mix. Madison is very "alpha." The play gets a little wild, but both dogs hold their own, and it is not AGGRESSIVE play. The setter was running in circles, being a "nanny" and barking orders, but not touching either of the puppies. The owner of the other puppy started flailing at the setter, trying to WHIP her with a leash. It was highly disturbing. The setter's owner gave him a lecture about HITTING other people's dogs. We snapped on our dogs' leads and left the park. I will see this man tomorrow and need to have a CONVERSATION.
  • It is chilly here. 68 degrees. The teen-human has ordered a red knit sweater for Madison from a doggy couture site.

  • Last night was "Christmas on Las Olas." It was very crowded and the lights on the palm trees look very pretty. There were snow machines on the roofs. Did we say that it is 68 degrees?
  • Madison's breeder sent us a "litter update" today. Madison's brother is now 40 pounds. Our big girl is just a few ounces behind her brother!
  • Ari asked if Madison likes to be bathed. Actually, she is a dream at the groomer. She doesn't mind the bath at all, and stands very still for nails and ears, etc. She has been exposed to formal grooming since she was a very little pup.
  • Obedience class starts on January 8th. The teen-human will be "handler" and H-Mom will be chauffeur and audience. We are excited.
  • The teen-human actually said, "maybe I would like to show her," when discouraging us from discussing spaying of Madison. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ...
Apologies around. That was more than a "few."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

entertaining ourselves

Monday morning was miserable, especially by south Florida standards. In the 60's, drizzly rain, serious foggy skies.

We were in the car and discovered the yukkiness as soon as we drove out of the parking garage. It was a much less desirable dog park day than it had looked from the windows on the 19th floor.

Remember that H-Mom though, the one who stood under the drawbridge in the monsoon with Booker and the WTF convention ...

Madison is slowly discovering that there is a streak of stubborn determination in H-Mom that will match her own to plant her giant puppy feet and dig-in-and-don't-move attitude.

H-Mom was going to the dog park in spite of the rain. And so was Madison. And if that meant walking with an umbrella and yellow slicker, let it rain.

It was no surprise that there was not another parked car, dog or dog walker in sight.

But what a little trooper Madison turned out to be! She took off in a joy-filled bounding circle, surveyed the 3-acres that she had all to herself and figured out that sometimes the best fun we have is all by ourselves. There were toys to be discovered and not shared, mud to stretch out in undisturbed and palm tree debris to wrestle without competition.

In the "jungle" the Beautyberry bushes are covered with lustrous purple fruit. It is highly astringent and not used by people for anything, although it has been found to have insect repellent qualities. The birds will eat the tiny crispy berries if there is nothing else available.

On the way home, Madison made a stop at the groomer for a bath. When it rains, it pours.

PS Gussie found a little black dog masquerading as an elephant in one of the photos. See what you can do with a piece of palm tree in your mouth and a phonecam?

musings on a giant schnauzer in a little MEDIUM LARGE package