Three Kids and a Dog

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not Much Time Left with Adler and Austen

Well, the countdown has begun. My time at home with Adler and Austen is almost over. Next Thursday, April 5th, I'm back to work. I'm sure Adler will relish the peacefulness. She won't have to find a quiet place to sleep anymore when Austen cries - at least during the day. But I am sure she will miss:

  • all those walks that the three of us went on - especially when it was nice weather.

  • the extra treats I gave her during the day (maybe she will lose those 10 pounds after all when I go back to work).

  • our playtime when Austen was asleep - playing fetch with her stuffed birthday cake or her favorite black cat.

  • doing tummytime with Austen and keeping him entertained.

  • licking Austen's feet, hands and head.

  • and, just always knowing I was close by to give her a pat on the head or any attention she needed.

But, I will be the first one home to give her a walk - just her and I - most days. So she will have her own time with just me. I'm sure she's looking forward to that.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What Kind of Dog is That?

This is a question that we hear often whenever we walk Adler. It's usually followed by "great dog!" or "what a beautiful dog!" In fact, I heard it twice yesterday on our afternoon walk.

Anyway, the Bernese Mountain Dog is not as common as a lab so people don't see it as often, however, they are getting more popular and are becoming part of the mainstream media - appearing in Bounty papertowel commercials; on the cover the American Girl catalog; and in the last two issues of People magazine.

Because they aren't as popular as labs, people don't know much about them so here are some fun facts about the Bernese Mountain Dog based on my knowledge of them and what we've learned from Adler:

  • They are easy to train. Our breeder told us if you can't take care of a Berner, then you shouldn't have a dog - period. Adler is a quick learner and has proven to be easy.

  • They are very lovable and like to be around people. Adler is almost always in the same room as us unless she gets tired of waiting for us to go to bed then she'll go to her pillow in our bedroom on her own.

  • They don't necessarily like water. Now some Berners do but from what I've read, most don't and Adler is no exception. She walks around puddles and isn't all that interested in swimming in the lake when we take her to the beach.

  • The female Berners can be skeptical of male humans. This came about when Adler was about one. She doesn't like all men. We thought it was an Adler thing but her breeder told us this is common in females.

  • They are sensitive companions. You can't yell at them. You don't have to actually. All you need to do is change the tone of your voice and they know they've done something wrong. Adler sucks up big time when this happens by sitting on our feet and looking up at us with her puppy dog eyes.

  • They are great with kids. Adler is great with Austen and has been great with my little neices. She walks well beside the stroller - isn't afraid of it and keeps pace with it.

  • They like a lot of attention. Adler demands it from us and from those who come over - even if they are just visiting Austen.

There's lots more I could tell you about Adler and the Bernese Mountain Dog but you'll just have to hang out with her to find out!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Adler and Austen Go to the Doctor

This week Adler, Austen and I were busy making doctors visits. Adler for her yearly check up and Austen for his two month appointment. I was excited to see how much weight Austen had gained and dreaded finding out how much Adler had put on. I was also dreading the much anticipated shots for the both of them.

They both handled the shots like champs. Austen got stuck three times in the thigh and wailed loudly when they stuck him but promptly calmed down and spent most of the remaining day and the next morning sleeping to recover. Adler pretty much hid behind me in the exam room even though her vet is a female and Adler loves women! It was as if she instinctively knew this was a place she didn't want to be. So they sent me out of the room to stick her with her three shots. Usually she sleeps a lot after but it seemed that this time the shots barely affected her. Must've been that she is a much bigger dog this year than in years past.

This was proven by her sitting on the electronic scale in the vet's office. It registered 84.4 pounds. I have no idea how she gained 10 pounds from last year! I knew the vet was going to say she was overweight and she did. She told me Adler needed to lose about 15 pounds which is equivalent to about 50 human pounds. I think 15 is too skinny for a Berner so I'm going to shoot for 10 pounds for Adler. The vet suggested underwater treadmill walking. Tom laughed at that one. We won't be paying to take our dog on a treadmill so she can lose some weight. But we will be limiting her treats and no more people food either. That's so hard when those big brown eyes are looking at you and her chin is resting on your lap.

Anyway, Austen gained too - one pound and 10 ounces. He's now 11 pounds, 1 ounce and growing quickly. I can't wait til he's big enough to really enjoy Adler and for Adler to really enjoy him. I'm sure they will be the best of friends.

Friday, March 09, 2007

This Week with Adler

Adler, Austen and I have been going out for walks regularly at dinnertime. There’s been a few things that are worth mentioning from our walks this week:

Adler notices helicopters and airplanes – yes, it was as if Austen got his first tooth or smiled for the first time. I was excited to see Adler looking up into the sky and following airplanes and helicopters. Smart dog – I mean what dog is really interested in air travel? Although I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want to ride on one!

Adler still gets all the attention – while walking past our local bar with Austen and Adler, Adler stops to sniff a lamppost. I pause with her and notice a guy inside the bar pointing at Adler and giving me the thumbs up. I hear him through the windows yell – “great dog!” He then comes running outside to give her a pet. Of course, Adler, not a friend of most males promptly backs up and starts barking at him. She settles down after he gives her a treat and then revels in the attention he gives her. No mention of Austen tucked snugly in his Bugaboo stroller – it’s all about Adler.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Adler and Austen Share Some Tummy Time

Apparently you are supposed to put your baby on his tummy for a period of time each day to help them strengthen their necks. That's because they are supposed to sleep on their backs and this doesn't allow them any opportunity to exercise those neck muscles that they need to hold their heads up.

You'll see Austen is already a pro - thanks to Adler. I mean who wouldn't be interested in lifting up their head so they could stare at an 80 lb. dog who is looking right at you!