It's with pleasure that I can now reveal Rita's (call name TBD) new family because she is home! Juju N Onsengeltje Stand By Me lives in Tomball, TX with Tom and Liz Shomette and their three daughters, Lucy (12), Katy (11), and Sophie (7). Rita is especially important to Katy whose responsibility was care of their old Vizsla, Amos, who they lost about a year ago. Since then, Katy has pined for a new dog - particularly a Dalmatian. Tom and Liz kept Rita a secret until he drove in the driveway with her this afternoon. The video isn't crystal clear, but the audio is! The second video is a cute one Tom sent me from their last pit stop on the long drive home today. Sorry we don't have a complete family photo yet, but trust me, Rita fits right in as another pretty girl in a home with 4 pretty girls already! Poor Tom! What a good daddy!
Meanwhile, here in St. Louis, Valerie and Maxwell met Jo Jo and me at Longview Farm Park for a .9 mile walk! Talk about sensory overload for a couple 9 week old spotted puppies! Dozens of children of all ages. Baby strollers. People on bicycles. People in helmets. A person using a walker. Baby strollers. Sirens. Streamers flapping in the breeze from a wedding reception's decorations. Lots of dogs. And HORSES! Oh my goodness, these puppies are Dalmatians! Imagine that! They were completely mesmerized by the horses! Jo Jo stood like this for at least 5 minutes before we finally coaxed him away, and Maxwell jumped right over the bottom board of the fence into the pasture in a blink of an eye to get closer to the horses! Both puppies handled all the new stimuli well! Some things they found unsettling but they were over it quickly! We were almost back to the cars when Maxwell said, "Enough" and just parked his sweet little butt by the park bench. He is ADORABLE! And the Marino's are doing such a great job of bringing out his best self! When we got home, Jo Jo and Rhani had a late lunch!
Before going to the park, I began researching local puppy kindergarten classes. It looked like Pet Co had a class starting tomorrow at noon, so I decided to drive over there with Jo Jo after leaving the park. Well, glad I did. I think the trainer may have a medical marijuana card. Check that one off the list. Then I went to Pet Smart. The first class we could do there doesn't begin till 11/4. That's well past the 12 week window for developmental influence. (Jo Jo got to visit both places and was especially fixated on the dog food aisles!) My friend, Kara, told me that an old friend, Janice Brennan, has started her own training company and that is where she is doing classes with her new puppy, Ela, so I called Janice and BINGO - we can go to our first class this Thursday! Janice worked for many years as a trainer at Support Dogs here in St. Louis. She was Cooper's co-breeder, so not only is she a great trainer, she is a great trainer of Dalmatians! I let all the local puppy families know as soon as I found out!
Based on several FaceBook comments, I guess I need to spell out that, yes, Jo Jo is staying here! Heaven help us! He is a pistol! His registered name is Juju N Onsengeltje Out of the Blue. All the puppies registered names are song titles that John Lennon and/or the Beatles wrote and/or recorded. Out of the Blue (actually Out the Blue); Stand By Me; She Loves You; Here Comes the Sun; and Here We Go Again.
Jo Jo's big challenge here at home is figuring out how to get into the rocking chair in the kitchen! This chair has been a favorite seat of all the boy Dalmatians in our home since we lived here. Interestingly, the girls have never cared about it except to sit in someone's lap there. But the boy dogs have all owned it! I don't have a photo of Odie in it because Odie predates iPhones, but here is Cooper, Raj and Jo Jo - trying! I expect he will figure it out within a day or two!
Potty training is always fun with a puppy! Jo Jo is doing ok, but let's just say, I spent a lot of time out in the yard today with no results! Rhani being out didn't help! She and Jo Jo had a party in the backyard this afternoon when I thought he should be doing his business!
Last, but not least, we got some cute updates from Sadie today! She is apparently loving her life! She loves to play with Chip (the Lab) and understands that Ezra is a tiny boy who should only be kissed - never subject to her needle teeth! She's been on her first walk in the neighborhood and got all kinds of new experiences as well - garbage trucks, power saws, other dogs, other kids, cars, dogs barking, etc. These experiences are so important for puppies under the age of 12 weeks. Most research suggests that the first 12 weeks of a puppy's life will determine the ultimate personality of the dog for it's lifetime. Nature (genetics), of course, is a key factor in that, but Nurture (the experiences you give a puppy) can have an enormous impact on the puppy for the first 12 weeks and to a smaller degree up to 16 weeks. Any behavioral changes after that will take tremendous effort. Here's an easy read on the subject for those interested: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/socializing-new-puppy#5
Until next time...
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I saved them off as pdf's and was reviewing them last night. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Imagine memories too!