Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wrapping Up The First Month

Alright, it's time to really get this show on the road and start condensing the early Miley days a bit more.  At the rate I'm currently going it will take FOREVER to get completely caught up.  This post will finish up the first month with Miley.
Puppies are cute.  Puppies are adorable.  And when you have a new puppy, everything that they do is just the cutest/funniest thing ever.  Naturally, you want to capture all these random moments for posterity.  I am definitely no different. ;) As I already mentioned, I was/am obsessed.  I took so many pictures and so many videos of this hilarious little girl.  As you might have guessed, sometimes she got a little tired of the camera being in her face all the time.
But she would do these cute things like sit there with a poop toy hanging out of her mouth!
How could I be expected to resist that?!  I did take advantage of moments when she was distracted by other things going on and snap some pictures with her. ;)

But then she usually caught on to what was happening....
I couldn't help it.  She's cute, adorable, and when the mood strikes her and she holds still long enough, I'm able to capture her looking beautiful.
As Heffner was gradually adjusting to having her around and getting used to this little thing who was not intimidated by him at all, I started letting them have brief moments of time near each other without a physical barrier in between.  I started slowly.  Initially it was just me letting Heffner sniff her as I carried her from her crate to go outside to potty.  Gradually these sniffing moments included nose to nose sniffing as long as Heffner appeared to be in a good mood.  Miley was beside herself with excitement during these times.  It was a good thing that I was holding onto her lest her puppy exuberance over come her to the point of pissing off the old man.  Throughout all of this, Heffner was quite accepting of her and was getting better and better with her around.  Maybe he was starting to realize that this one wasn't going to be leaving any time soon. ;) Any time I've introduced Heffner to another dog, once it gets to that point, I start by allowing them time outside of the house.  I like large open areas where neither dog will hopefully feel threatened and everyone will feel like they are able to leave the situation if they so choose.  So with the sniffing nose to nose going well, I finally started taking both dogs out for potty time together.  I still carried Miley out, but once both dogs were outside, I would put her down on the grass.  Because she had a puppy bladder, she would always immediately do her business, which also allowed Heffner time to do his.  Initially, I would restrain her once she was done and Heffner would come over to check her out.  They got a few minutes of this and then it was back inside and separated.  Gradually I got to the point where I would only restrain Miley until Heffner was done and then I would let go of her and she would go bounding towards him.  He would usually trot away, easily out distancing the puppy.  But it did allow both of them to start getting used to being loose outside together.  After a few days of this and bringing Heffner outside each time Miley went out to potty, I decided to change up the scenery a little and give both dogs an even larger area to get used to each other in.  I took them out to one of my favorite easy trail systems that are relatively close to the house.
They started out on leash so that I could also control the puppy a little more.  Plus, I just always start off any hike, regardless of the location, with the dogs on leash until we get to an area where I feel comfortable letting them off if that's the case.  Pretty soon we were a comfortable distance from the trail head and it was time to unleash the beasts!
Both dogs were pretty excited.  Heffner was happy that he could easily get away from the child while also being able to stretch his legs and check everything out unhindered.  Miley was excited because it was her first time in the woods.  So many things to smell, see, and test out!
She was also excited to spend some time with Heffner, who she already adored.  There were a lot of monkey-see-monkey-do moments.

Heffner was pretty relaxed and was slowly letting Miley spend more time near him.  My heart did a little pitter patter of joy each time they were near each other.  Any time Miley would get overly excited about being near him, he would just trot away and easily distance himself from her.  No corrections, no getting irritated, he would just remove himself from the situation.  Miley was very slowly learning that if she wanted to hang out near Heffner, she had to take the excitement down a notch or else he'd ditch her.  Things were working out very well. :)
If you're thinking to yourself, oh my word, did she take a giant breed puppy hiking??  That is a very valid concern.  You have to be very mindful about damage to growth plates and tissues in general in rapidly growing giant breed puppies.  Any sort of forced exercise is highly discouraged due to the risk of irreparably damaging their growing bodies.  As you can see from the pictures, part of the trail is paved and part of the trail is bark/gravel.  This allowed Miley to pick which ever route she wanted that was the easiest for her.  I also picked this particular trail because it's a very easy walk.  The terrain is gentle, it's not physically taxing, even for a puppy and there's not much elevation gain at all.  Additionally, I essentially controlled the pace by hanging way back and always allowing Miley to be in front and choosing what pace she wanted.  There were a LOT of stops to smell things and test things out.  I also made sure that this first trip was short, much to Heffner's disappointment.
Not too long after bringing Miley home, Jamie, Miley's breeder, contacted me about getting in touch with the owner of one of Miley's litter mates, Diesel, who happened to live in my general neck of the woods.  Diesel was also sold into a conformation home and Jamie thought it would be good for us to get together to practice and all of that jazz.  Within a few weeks, Miley got to say hello again to one of her brothers!  They were like two peas in a pod!  It was so adorable to see the two play together!  I tried taking some pictures, but they were just every where.  Diesel's mom was a lot better at snapping some pictures of them playing and she put this together:
Mostly the month of June was just a lot of enjoying my puppy, getting to know her quirks, and trying to capture as many memorable moments as possible.

Phew!  Those are the picture moments, and here are the video moments:
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Laura, Corgi, Toller, and Duck said...

Love the selfies!
Heffner is such a good big brother.

I love hiking with puppies! I think it's a perfect place for them to learn how to use their bodies and go at their own pace.

Jennifer said...

I'm soooo glad you're doing this! It's great watching Miley grow. :-)