puppy news

UPDATE #4 - October 30, 2017:

11 weeks
Linda took Sheba to Gander for her vet's appointment this past week; she had a complete physical examination, (as required for her new medical/health insurance policy) and received her 2nd set of immunizations. She was given a clean bill of health, and weighed in at 21.5 lbs. Sheba has gotten over her initial lack of appetite. We are unsure whether it is because of the change in her new diet, (Iams "Proactive Health" mixed with Pedigree "Choice Cuts") or perhaps because she is simply more accustomed to her new surroundings. But either way, she LOVES to eat now; is devouring three good-sized meals each day, eating about 1-1/4 cups at each meal, so 3-3/4 cups per day... She is quite lean but with a large frame for a female, so the vet said to just keep going like this, as there is not an ounce of fat on her, and she is obviously very healthy. We are soon going to start slowly weaning her off the Iams and onto the higher quality Actrium Holistic, and will continue to mix it with the Pedigree Choice Cuts, which she absolutely loves! Both of these foods are of very good quality and are priced quite reasonably; we can order them online from Walmart.ca and have it shipped right to our door, so when you live on a remote island with extremely limited local pet food options, this is like a dream come true!

Sheba is now house-trained; such a good, smart girl! But wow, the way she can instantly go from mellow and laid-back, to suddenly morphing into an amped-up Tasmanian Devil, is just like flipping a switch! She seems to have energy by the boatload, but just as quickly she gets drained again, and will be down for the count, snoring like a drunken sailor in no time at all! When Sheba is wound up like a top, Chrissy just stares at her as if to say "what is your problem girl!" 

On the day that Sheba went to the vet's office, everywhere she went, people were gushing all over her! Seems EVERYONE loves German Shepherds! As the travel crate that we had used to transport Sheba home from Corner Brook almost three weeks ago is now far too small for her, and because a larger crate will not fit inside our convertible, Sheba and Linda had to sit outside in the cold wind on the upper deck of the ferry, because no one is allowed to stay on the lower (car) deck, and we are not yet ready to leave her alone in the car for the crossings. (no pets are allowed in the passenger lounge either) We recently heard a horror story about a puppy that had completely destroyed a car's interior during the one hour crossing to Fogo!! Thousands of dollars in damages... Yikes! While they were sitting outside on the ferry, many people came to visit Sheba, and they all fussed over her, and talked about how beautiful she is. Even at the vet's office, the receptionist immediately picked her up, gave her a big kiss, then made the rounds with her, from room to room, showing her off to the vets and other support staff, and they ALL fell completely in love with her. Of course Sheba was just lapping up all of this attention! Even the ferry workers had all gathered around her during the ferry crossing and were commenting on what a gorgeous dog she is. Everyone says she is going to be "a real stunner as an adult", and we couldn't agree more... she seems to get more beautiful each day! 

Sheba scratched her right ear for about 2 seconds the other day, and it immediately went floppy. (amazing how sensitive their ears are at this stage!) But as we know, her ears will likely go up and down several times in the coming weeks/months, right through the teething stage; it's perfectly normal at this young age, and a lot of GS puppies don't even get erect ears until they are much older than Sheba. (8-12 months is not uncommon)

So Sheba is a very healthy girl and is strong as an ox, and she handled the journey to Gander very well... this was her first time in the car since the day we brought her home... seems like ages ago, but in fact has only been 19 days. We want to get her out in the car more often in the coming weeks, to get her accustomed to traveling. I am taking many of pictures of her, as the puppy stage comes and goes so quickly. They grow up far too fast!

UPDATE #3 - October 23, 2017:

10 weeks
Sheba is now just over ten weeks old, and she has been with us for almost two weeks. She started out as quite a finicky eater, but has since developed a huge appetite. She already weighs 20 lbs, and is growing incredibly fast. If the size of her paws and length/thickness of her muscular legs is any indication, she is going to be a very big girl indeed! She is a truly outstanding specimen of the breed, with perfect posture/proportions, markings, colours. She has her father's stunning physical characteristics, (in fact she looks almost identical to photos of her Dad when he was this age) and displays her mother's remarkable intelligence and mannerisms.

Sheba's lovely ears made the remarkable transition from floppy to stiff overnight last week, at just nine weeks old. This generally does not happen until at least 4 to 5 months of age, and often not until almost a year, but she went from looking like a little puppy to a grownup in mere hours, at just over two months old! Today, after scratching her right ear for about 3 seconds, it was floppy once again... sure doesn't take much to take the stiffness out of them at this early stage. Her ears will likely go up and down several more times in the coming weeks/months.

We had been planning on placing Sheba back into her travel crate tomorrow for her vet appointment in Gander, but there is just no way that she will fit into it now... and a larger crate will not fit in our little sports car... so Sheba will have to exit the vehicle once we are on the ferry, as we don't want to risk her devouring our convertible's immaculate leather interior! (after all, she is a puppy and loves to chew!) And as pets are not allowed in the ferry's lounge, we must sit with her, out in the frigid air on the upper deck, for the length of the crossing. Brrr! Sheba will get a complete physical examination at the vet's office, as required for her health/medical insurance policy, in addition to her receiving the second set of vaccinations, then it's back to the vet in another 4 weeks for her third and final booster shot.

So we are hoping the car ride goes well tomorrow, with no upholstery getting chewed, no vomiting on the seats... or worse! Turns out that Linda will be making the journey without me, as I am under the weather, so we're really hoping things do not go too badly!

UPDATE #2 - October 12, 2017:

No, these last couple of doggie posts have little to do with my photography, but that's OK... I don't see much harm in a bit of bragging on my part about our newest, sweetest family member! So here it goes...

Two days ago we traveled to our province’s west coast to pick up our new purebred German Shepherd puppy. It was an epic 17 hour journey, (including two ferry crossings) but it was absolutely worth it to finally get to see and hold our precious Sheba. Due to my ever-present spinal issues, needless to say, I spent almost the entire next day flat on my back in bed in recovery mode, while Linda entertained Sheba. But I would come downstairs periodically to play with her too, and she would smother me with love, and vice-versa. She is beyond adorable! I am absolutely dumbfounded at how perfect Sheba is! We have been constantly reading/hearing about how wound up/hyper these little beasts are, yet Sheba has been quite content to simply curl up at our feet, have a snooze, squeak a toy, snuggle, and have another snooze. All day long.

Though not yet 9 weeks old, Sheba is already large enough to look over the TOP of our baby gates! And she is miraculously capable of holding her bladder for hours… something which is unheard of for GS puppies. When we picked her up on Tuesday we drove for many hours before our first stop... while she slept! The entire way! When we eventually reached the ferry crossing we had another 2.5 hour wait, but she still didn't have to go, preferring instead to explore and try to eat tasty rocks!

Sheba is already an expert at flying up and down stairs, but as Chrissy (our 9 year-old purebred Shih Tzu) was under the weather and staying in bed upstairs, we told Sheba that she must stay downstairs, and she does. No gate required. We said "stay", one time, and she knows to stay... does not even attempt to sneak up the stairs.

When we picked her up, the breeder said that out of the entire litter, Sheba is the calmest, and seemingly the most intelligent, displaying all of the traits of her mother, and the physical characteristics of her father. And to see her parents, we are thrilled... they are truly magnificent specimens. Sheba was always content to watch her siblings carry on like lunatics, while she would sit back and analyze the proceedings, reflecting on their childish behavior. Sheba is definitely NOT your typical German Shepherd (aka Tasmanian Devil) puppy! And she is pretty much completely house-trained at just 8.5 weeks. We did not expect this at all. How did that happen?

Sheba tried to give me a tiny bit of a nibble when she was snuggling/hugging me, so I gently told her no, and the poor creature looked crestfallen. She never nibbled again, but very gently licked and kissed us both to death. After less than 24 hours with our new family member, we were both completely smitten. Needless to say, we have already told the breeder that if she decides to breed these two again, we will take another!

Chrissy had taken quite sick a couple days prior to our journey, and she only got worse as we were traveling. But she has since made a very quick recovery, considering how ill she was, (non-stop throwing up, constant diarrhea, very listless, etc.) and we were planning an emergency vet run. But today she is already completely back to her old self… very playful, snuggly and happy, and she has her appetite back. We believe her problems were from the long, heavy dose of antibiotics for a skin condition, (rash) which has since cleared up entirely. As soon as we stopped her meds, she improved almost instantly!

And this is quite a surprise… Chrissy (who has only ever been around one other dog in her life) and Sheba spent the entire day together today, and as it turns out, they get along famously!! They even take their naps practically side by side. Chrissy will walk right up to Sheba (who is already close to double her size!) and gives her kisses! We did not expect this much welcoming hospitality from our little diva, particularly right at the start of this new relationship, but are very happy/relieved to know that she will have a dear companion/buddy for the rest of her life.

I was finally able to get outdoors with my cameras today and managed to capture a decent shot or two of Sheba, so I will be making a new image gallery section for our doggies within the next few days.

UPDATE #1 - September 29, 2017:

We are about to acquire another family member! In just 11 more days we will be traveling across the province to pick up our little (BIG!) Sheba, a gorgeous 7 week old purebred German Shepherd puppy of the highest pedigree. Once we saw the beautiful parents (her Mom is 75 lbs, and her Dad is 90 lbs) we just knew we had to have her! Sheba is a truly stunning specimen; so healthy, happy, and growing like a weed. She is going to be a very big girl... we can clearly see significant growth from one week to the next, as the breeder sends us our weekly photos of our girl. As expected, I will soon have a new photo gallery section added, showcasing our newest addition to the household. Stay tuned!