Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chiaro di Luna

"When you watch something as heartwarming as a happy dog, your brain chemistry changes in ways that promote feelings of love and attachment. If we're lucky, our dogs radiate the warmth of happiness day after day, year after year, from the day we get them to the day they die. Because we share the external expressions of happiness, the joy that emanates from our dogs wiggling bodies warms us like bright white sunshine on a winter day. No wonder we love them so much."
Source: Patricia B. McConnell, PhD (2006) For the Love of a Dog Ballantine Books
PS. Wondering if the new Santa will last out the twelve days of Christmas...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Setter Colors

I've been thinking about the way to describle my babies' colors, Claire is unquestionably Blue Belton, and now I think Luna is Lemon Belton, and Nobu is Blue Roan...whatever, each sweetie is so unbelievably beautiful...mmm, grateful daily for their presence. Luna has just started her period on Christmas Eve odd, which means in 10 days or so she'll be in heat for the New Year, so no dog runs or else she'll have to stay at home. We weren't planning to go on any overnight trips anyway for the festive season, it'll just be local walks and caring for Granma over the New Year as usual...Nobu needs to have his shots, maybe tomorrow...then the vet can take a look at Luna again too and see how she's coming on. Not finding much on the net about setters in heat, (in season), so far Luna is much the same as ever. There's some blood on the bedsheets where she cuddles up with me, so I've taken the opportunity to change the sheets, that's par for the course when you're female...so like, what's new? I didn't notice her getting PMT, that's for sure, she's always sweet and cuddly and hooked on scavenging in the kitchen :P

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Training Session

Nobu's been with us just two years this December, and what a beautiful wise dog he has become. He loves the training sessions with Dodo sensei.

Sensei smiles for the camera.

Pretty maids all in a row...only Claire saw a cat...

Luna getting the hang of sitting to attention - she's such a sweetie pie.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Pantomime

I didn't eat the old Santa, you know...
Don't worry mate, I'll get you out....

The new Santa diving in to save the old Santa...too late...
I ate him!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Salty Swim

A perfect sunny day, not to be wasted, so off we went to Umi no Koen, literally Sea Park. After a romp in the two dogruns to blow off steam - and here is Nobu inviting me to play - we head for the beach....
Nobu doesn't like to get more than his feet wet, although he's happy to splash in the shallows...I'm proud to say he did swim for the first time this September when I went in together with him in my swimsuit, but he always stayed between me and the shore, so I had wade out quite far to get him actually swimming.
Taking turns, veteran Claire just loves to swim, trots in without any hesitation and swims like a fish, or, since she's such a lady, maybe I should say like a mermaid, in her element...
Meanwhile Luna refused, standing at the edge of the wet sand and not the least bit interested, so I took off my shoes and socks and rolled up my spats to try and coax her in...pretty cold, but not unbearable...after a little encouragement, she kind of heaved a sigh. oh very well, and then suddenly off she was swimming like a veteran, I was so surprised :) I guess she judged it too cold and late in the year for such trivial pursuits.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dreamy Saturday Morning

Luna snuggling up on the sofa with her head on Claire's buttocks and tail...we have to lift her up to invite her, otherwise she still demurely waits in her kitchen cage (even with the door wide open) as befits her lowly third dog status, but she's a real snugglebug and loves to cuddle
Claire takes it all in her stride, what fuss? what dog? life is good, as it should be, that's the essence of bliss, right?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good Canine Citizen Luna

After taking Claire and Nobu successfully through their paces, Dodo-sensei sets out with Luna on her debut training session. She's got used to sitting next to Nobu and Claire for treats, and has to wait at the doorstep for me to wipe paws before entering the house, and on walks she'll heel for "Car coming, heel", so she's mighty good for a first go. Proud of her!

You can really see little Chiaro di Luna's brain working hard to figure out what is required and comply, a really focused face as she sits to attention.
Luna enjoying the praise as she does really well. After a while waiting with Nobu and Claire and chatting to a neighborhood acquaintance walking in the afternoon sun with her blind ten-year-old Akita, it was my turn to go through reels of  "Heel, sit", "Heel-down" and "Sit-wait" "Up", followed by a final "here" session with a long lead. Luna was just wonderful, even managed "down" for the first time.

Nobu doing his look how well I'm sitting up, now you're going to give me a treat, right, see, it's all about the power of trust and love face.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lunar Shadow

Luna loves to run, hopping, skipping, exuberant ears flying up and her shadow performing a dervish dance as she goes...
Meanwhile Claire is eternally sexy and beautiful from any angle, always stylish and classy, the perfect lady...she's so photogenic, it's an aura that top models and filmstars must have, THE LOOK... 
Not so Luna, who covers for her lack of style with zest and enthusiasm and her wolfish grin, and then defies you to ignore her as she bares all with her cherry blonde belly...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Autumn Moon

Luna just loved her debut at the Oimatsuda dog run. I say debut, but basically we had it all to ourselves, and fortunately I had taken a rug to sit on and a rug to wrap up in as I watched the dogs run and play, because there was a cold wind. That didn't deter the dogs from splashing in the stream and quenching their thirst, Luna was having a ball.
Basically I was able to open all the gates, and so Luna was able to explore three dog runs in one, and she made the most of the heavenly opportunity, almost never stopped running the whole time we were there. I know she'll sleep well tonight...as I type she's chewing furiously on a gum stick, not too strong yet, her jaws, so she doesn't manage as well as Nobu and Claire, but there's no doubt she's in her element, little moonbeam, Chiaro di Luna.

Claire and Nobu took it all in their stride, they know the place well, and no longer get so excited, just enjoy the mountain air, the space, the herons and other birds flying up from the river, and mouthfuls of freshly baked sweet potato shared between us courtesy of the dog run.

Digging me a hole...

This picture of Claire at Bwood needs no words. I'm off to the dogrun again today, if all goes well. I carried Luna up to snuggle in bed this morning at 4am, and she was so happy when we all woke up she tripped over her own feet and belly flopped all the way down the stairs...bumpy ride :) Fortunately she's less anaemic, has a little more meat and muscle on her body now, so the bones were somewhat protected...She's getting to realize and believe breakfast will arrive without fail, learning to trust. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Luna B-wood Dogrun Debut

 There was a labrador reunion in the big dogrun, and Claire and Luna were scared of their excited energy. Particularly Claire tries to hide or climb on my lap, Luna was okay with it, but I was a little nervous about her getting pregnant, not sure what the signs of her being in heat will be, but the labs were all jumping up humping each other and I wasn't happy for them to approach Luna....SO
 we went next door into the small dog dogrun, which was empty, and had it all to ourselves :) See Claire's happy smile :) Nothing like a bit of peace in the dogrun, she says.
 Luna enjoyed wandering round checking out the smells, she had a good run in the big dogrun too, and definitely likes other dogs, but was visibly more relaxed in the smaller private space.
 And so she and Nobu wandered around (even Nobu, who had a wee run around with some of the labs, was a little overpowered by their numbers), and Luna even tried to play a bit with Nobu, although she's not nearly fast or powerful enough.
 Here is Luna saying thank you from under the table...she's still a little scared of the camera, so I have to clasp it to my belly and shoot from my breastbone to capture that look of love.