Sunday, February 4, 2007

New Homes

It's been hopping around here since last Thursday when Debbie Claussen and Lisa Newton arrived from California to see the pups, select their girl and take her back to CA. We had so much fun for the three days they were here.

I have to give Lisa and Debbie credit. It was FREEZING while they were here but they were up every morning doing woods walks with me, the pups and the girls. One day it was 4 degrees and I think they had on all of the clothes that they had packed, but they were out there trooping around.

Debbie and Lisa took home Miss Yellow last Saturday. I haven't gotten the final word on her name but I think she is going to be called Taitt (after Champagne Taittinger Taitt will be doing conformation, obedience, tracking and field. Neither Lisa nor Debbie has gotten hooked on agility yet but I suspect it is only a matter of time. Taitt took the 6-hour flight to CA in stride and has eased into Lisa's house without problem. She wasn't eating for a few days but is sleeping through the night and having fun with Lisa's three other dogs, all of whom are O'Reilly descendants.

On Monday, Sue Weider and I packed up the pups for their eye clearances. Everyone passed with flying colors and the majority were very good. Mr Green got a stern talking to from the ophthalmologist and then he was a good boy :-).

On Thursday, Sue was back with her friend Sandy to pick up Mr Red. I think he is going to be called Wyeth but I don't know what his registered name is going to be. Sue? Mike? Have you all decided on his name yet? Sue and Mike's pup is going to be doing agility, field and hopefully conformation.

Friday, it was time for Miss Pink to head home with Carol Stepczuk and Blanche Wisniewski. She is going to be known as Chase and her registered name is Gaylan's Free Run Chardonnay. Here is a description of "Free Run Chardonnay:"
Free run is exactly what it sounds like: the juices that naturally flow off the freshly harvested grapes before they go into the destemmer/crusher. They are the pure essence of grape core, with no skin contact, and no influence of seed. The resulting wine is pale like straw, as clear and fresh as a spring day, and brilliantly executed.

Doesn't that sound great! Fresh as a spring day! Brilliantly executed! Hope she can live up to this. Chase is doing great in her new home and Auntie Kite is learning to play gently with her. Blanche and Carol plan to do tracking, agility, field and maybe other stuff with her.

Saturday, Maggie Lukiewicz came to pick up Mr Green and Gina and Clark Koertner flew in from Chicago. Mr Green is now Scorch, officially Gaylan's Rimfire. Rimfire is an Australian winery ( They describe themselves as the "Real Deal" so hopefully Scorch will be the "Real Deal" golden retriever. I spoke to Maggie this morning. Scorch is settling in well, doing his woods walks, learning that stealing McDuff's cookies is not a good idea and generally being a good pup. Maggie and Scorch will be doing field, agility, obedience and conformation.

And finally, Mr Blue departed this morning for frigid Chicago with Gina and Clark. Andy and I so enjoyed having a few days to get to know this young couple. They are so excited about their new pup. He is going to be known officially as Gaylan's First Harvest (he was the first born in the litter) and I think his call name is going to be Schafer. He will be Clark and Gina's companion and Clark's hunting companion. Hopefully, they'll do some hunt tests, too.

So, the Wino's have been launched and the house is quiet again. I'll reclaim the dining room later today and get everything readied for Corey and Tango's litters. In the meantime, we all need some rest and time to train the girls. Thanks to all of you who visited, brought gifts, joined me for vet visits, tested and helped out with the pups. I've come to believe that it takes a village to raise a litter and you guys are the best village around! Congratulations to all the new owners and hugs to those babies.

For those of you who have followed these puppies through my blog, thanks for reading. It's been a fun way to share the pups with you. I've heard from many people--old friends, new friends and friends I haven't met yet--who have enjoyed the blog. Thanks for your feedback. I'll be taking a break for a while but may offer some thoughts about other things until the next litter comes along.

In the meantime, you can follow the Wine litter and meet the rest of our dogs on our website at

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Puppy Walk

How crazy are we? It was freezing yesterday--16 degrees with a gusting wind. Yet, we all bundled up and headed out into the woods with five pups and the dogs. What a great time we had and thankfully, only Corey went swimming! The pups did great and so did the puppy walkers. I was pleased to hear everyone being very quiet rather than constantly calling the pups. We only had one problem when Mr Green broke away from the group and headed for home. But Maggie rounded him up soon enough.

Before we headed out to walk the pups, we had an informal memorial for our friend, Dana Morris. It was so nice to talk about her, tell stories and toast her. I love dogs more than I can describe but it is the people that they have brought into my life that make me rich beyond words. Dana was one of those special people. She would have loved yesterday--good food, good friends, good wine and a day filled with puppies and dogs.

After the Walk, we had a wonderful lunch (boy can this group cook!) and spent the afternoon playing with puppies, talking, trying to put Rosie's puzzle together and watching field videos. It was a very nice way to spend a winter afternoon.

Of course, there is a downside to days like this. Today, I had to wake up to five lively puppies who were looking for another party. "Hey, where are all our friends? Don't we get to do this every day?"

Photos of the Puppy Walk and some stacked shots we took yesterday are up at Enjoy!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The New News

Can it really have been a week since I've written? Are you dying for news? It's been a bit busy around here, as you might imagine. How can I catch you up on a week in the lives of the Wine-os?

Let's see, they were introduced to pigeons last week--the boys loved them, the girls wanted a facial instead. They've had tons of visitors--they hit 75 individual visitors this week. They are quite comfortable with all kinds of people. They are up to 30-minute woods walks and they saw their first snow. They loved the snow and are at home in the woods. They are so very good as staying close that I feel like the Pied Piper cruising through the woods with five pups underfoot.

They are 95% on using the litter box. Truly an amazing feat for any litter and well appreciated since it is winter :-). They had their first car ride today and never made a peep the entire time. It was like they'd been traveling in crates in cars for years. I had considered taking headphones along but didn't need them!

They got their first vaccinations and were wonderful throughout the examination. Well, except for the fact that they untied Dr Jim's shoelaces but it was his fault for not wearing slip-on shoes on Puppy Day.

They were introduced to the agility field and did the real tunnel like it was nothing, started up the teeter totter but I poo-pooed that idea, and had a great time going through the tire. They got to play with pigeons again. This time the boys settled down for lunch and the girls thought they were very interesting.

The pups range in size from 11.6 (Red) to 12.6 (Yellow) pounds. That is really big for pups but we are doing our best to slow them down. They are being introduced to all kinds of meats. Today was rabbit (yum!) and yesterday was buffalo (double yum!). They are doing stairs and can go up 5 or more and come down 2 at this point.

I'm going to post some photos of this week, taken by Sue Wieder during her visit. I think I've got some of the pigeon introduction, too. Check theirphoto website shortly.

Tomorrow is the Puppy Walk so I'll do my best to get photos up by early next week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ledges and Edges

Well, some may pound pavement but around here, we pound paths. The pups, dogs and I have been doing 30-minute woods walks this week. The pups are doing a great job following now. It's so fascinating watching this skill "turn on" in pups around 5 1/2 weeks. Before that, they have no concept of following. After that, they are totally focused on it.

I'm staying off the paths quite a bit so we are off-roading it over hill and dale. The pups are climbing over logs, climbing up rocks, playing in piles of leaves and finding all kinds of interesting smells. Since it was warm today, I took them through the edge of the swamp. They all got their feet wet and muddy. None of them seemed to even notice, they were so intent on keeping up with me and their mom.

The pups also got introduced to edges this week. We call it edge training--it means that we teach the pups that they can fall off of things. They learn this concept in our safe play area but it quickly transfers to the wider world. You may have noticed in the photos that we have two crates in their play area connected by ramps. The pups climb up the ramps, over the crates, traverse the walkway between the crates and so on. Around all of this are thick pads that break their falls should they not be paying attention. Inevitably, they fall off the crates or the ramps. Once, maybe twice. After that, they pay more attention to where they are.

I got to see their learning in action today when we came upon a rock ledge on our walk. All of the pups went up to the edge, backed away and found a safe way down. It wasn't a steep slope nor was it far so the pups weren't in danger but I was glad they had the good sense to solve the problem.

The pups are over 9 pounds now, except Mr Red who is 8 1/2. They are eating like horses and still nursing some. They are pretty good at stacking on the table, although that will probably end soon. Banging on the Buja board is one of their favorite games and today two of them were retrieving the tunnel. Can you tell they are lots of fun?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Catching Up

Wow, I've been away a while. The pups are doing well even if Andy and I have had our challenges. The pups are mostly over 8 pounds and are eating regular food three meals a day. They are also still nursing and Una is being very patient. They get Bravo meat blends with some Dr Harvey's grains mixed in, as well as supplements. Most are eating well although Mr Green is holding out for mom's milk!

We are all going on daily woods walks since the weather is so good. The pups are getting better at following although the going during these early weeks can be a bit slow. But we've gone out for 30 minute walks and had a great time. The pups are clamoring over rocks and logs, carrying leaves and sticks, following them mom and relatives, confusing trees for me (but I don't take offense) and having a wonderful time exploring the world. I don't know how long we can do this but I figure we'll just keep going while the weather holds.

I've also set up the outside play area for them. Today was their first day to explore it. It's got a climbing area, a tunnel, a Buja board, a tire, a ramp and lots of toys. The pups figured out all of it in short order. They went in and out of the dog door, climbed on everything, explored the tunnel, jumped the tire, climbed up the ramp, bounded over the Buja board and ran around with the toys. There will be photos up on their Simple site page shortly.

There is also a connected indoor area that goes into our screened porch. The pups access the outdoor area through the dog door. Inside there is a raised bed, crate, potty area and more toys. (These guys are not lacking for toys!) An hour playing inside and out and they've been much easier to live with tonight :-).

We've started stacking the pups on the table and have introduced them to the gunfire CD. We'll do birds later this week, too. Whew, I'm tired just writing all this.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Exciting Changes

So much has happened the last few days. The pups are now eating solid food. They have had breakfast and dinner for the past two days. Each gets a heaping tablespoon of Beef Complete (or whatever their mom has eaten that day). Four of the five are scarfing it down in seconds. Mr Red is a pensive eater, contemplating each mouthful while his littermates and Corey drool impatiently. But all are eating normally and getting the hang of this new adventure. Una will be happy to have the help in the food department although she is enjoying eating 6 pounds of food a day :-).

The pups are also going outside every day or so, depending upon the weather. Today we did our first real walk, during which they had to follow Una down the walkway, across the drive and onto the lawn. They did a great job with only a few detours into the junipers (OUCH!). We spent 20 minutes hanging around outside even though the temperature was in the 40s. Two of the pups followed Una down the hill for a bit but the others just played in the level area. Corey enjoyed hanging out with them. Marilyn and Paul Ingovoldstad visited so the pups got even more hugs. Photos and videos are up at

The puppy pen has grown and toys are being rotated in and out each day. Today a beach ball blew into the yard so we plunked it down in the pen. The pups had a great job pushing it around the pen. They've got pointy toys, bouncy toys, soft toys, rolly toys and noisy toys. They are becoming more vocal and trying to convince those on the outside to let them out. We're sure you'll see "Free the Walmer Five" signs on the road soon!

I want to recognize the passing of our dear friend, Dana Morris. Andy and I will be away for the end of this week to pay our respects and to see her family.