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My dog blows (her coat) June 22, 2014

Posted by mareserinitatis in pets, photography.
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Newfoundland dogs have this funny habit of losing their undercoats a couple times a year, something people refer to as “blowing coat.”  I suspect this is because fur ends up everywhere: it’s not unlike blowing insulation into your attic.  Teradog doesn’t do it so much, but Gigadog definitely does.  She seems to do this twice a year: once in summer and once in winter.  (I don’t understand why she loses undercoat in January, but I suspect it’s because she’s inside an awful lot.)  Anyway, to get an idea of what this looks like, I’ve included a picture.  This is one of about a dozen groomings she’s had in the past 3-4 days.


As you may be able to tell, she’s pretty relaxed.  She seems to enjoy being brushed (I think this losing of the undercoat makes her itch).  Teradog, on the other hand, hates being groomed.  I suspect it’s because he wasn’t groomed much before we got him.  He also has a much more cottony coat which is prone to clumping and tangling, and he’s had problems with skin infections in the past.  Because we simply can’t get him to cooperate with regular grooming, he gets a shave in the beginning of every summer.  I do keep trying to get him acclimatized to regular brushing, but we’ve not had much luck.  It’s too bad, though, because I really enjoy brushing the pups.  Either way, I think it looks funny because even though he’s about 40 pounds heavier than Gigadog, she looks bigger with a full coat.


Wordless Wednesday: Newfie Nose April 30, 2014

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How Newfs are like toddlers January 25, 2014

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A friend recently was asking about some of the behavioral characteristics of Newfoundlands.  My description was basically that they’re big, fuzzy toddlers.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it was.  I figured I’d elaborate on many of the similarities.

1 – They need naps.  (If they’re not moving, they’re probably napping!)

2 – They drool a lot.  If you’re smart, you have bibs on hand.

3 – The best way to understand something is to stick it in your mouth.

4 – Even though they’re potty trained, you still have to clean up messes regularly.

5 – They’re happy to see you when you get home.  They can come running up to you and cause you to lose your balance in their excitement.

6 – They are very sad when you leave, and there is no way to assuage the guilt.

7 – They make messes.  Lots of them.  Carpets and upholstered furniture aren’t safe.

8 – You need to be concerned when they’re too quiet (sneaking food and taking it behind the couch, anyone?).  Conversely, they’re terrifying when they’re really loud.

9 – Some of them really hate it when you brush their hair.

10 – They have ways of letting you know that no one could ever love you more than they do.

Anyone else have some they can share?

Guest post by Gigadog: “Help me, please!” December 1, 2013

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Mom took a picture of dad and me while he was scratching my neck:

gigadog_elfDad was just placating me.  You know why?  Mom is making me wear this ARFul costume next weekend.  Mom says that I’ll love it because we’re going for a long walk.  Yeah…a long walk, where people won’t see beautiful me, they’ll see beautiful me all covered up and looking like an elf.  

Also, it’s supposed to be -5ºF that morning.  That’s cold, even for a fluffy pup like me.  I have no idea what mom is going to do without a beautiful fur coat like mine.

She says it’s for a good cause, though.  Something about ARFritis.  If you can please donate, it might almost make it worth it to go out in public, especially in the cold, and both mom and I would be very happy.  (Although, let’s face it.  I’m a dog, so I’m pretty much happy all the time.)  It certainly would make it worthwhile to look so silly and undignified.

You can help by donating here.

Thank you!


Wordless Wednesday: In honor of national dog day August 28, 2013

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couch rainier_front slime frosty







Officially Teradog September 16, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in family, older son, pets, younger son.
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Most of you know that we were asked to foster a Newfoundland from our local pound a couple months ago.  We were supposed to just keep him for two days and then hand him off to someone else for a more long-term foster home.  After two days, we decided he could stay longer.  I was supposed to work with the local Newf Rescue group to find him a new home.

I just never seemed to be able to make the call.

The first 24 hours with him were rough.  He howled almost all night long.  The next morning, however, he was SO happy to see me when I came to let him out of the kennel.  He was perfectly silent the next night.  He and Gigadog got along wonderfully, and it was obvious that having another dog around calmed her immensely. He’s sticky: if I leave unexpectedly, especially if I take Gigadog with, he’ll howl, sometimes until I come back, even if Mike is home.

He’s so incredibly sweet and mellow.  He lets Macrocat eat out of his food dish, and his morning routine involves running up to Macrocat and giving him a big lick first thing after he’s out of his kennel.  The younger son can walk him even though pup is nearly three times as big as the younger son.  Even the teenager likes him.  And the teenager doesn’t like dogs.

How do you let go of a dog like that, even when you know he’ll go into a good home?

Today, therefore, Rainier is officially staying with us, and he will be henceforth referred to as Teradog on the blog.

How could you say no to a face like that?

Say hello… July 7, 2012

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…to our foster dog Rainier.  I considered calling him Teradog, but I think we’ll reserve that one for someone who will be a permanent member of the family.

Rainier is a Landseer Newfoundland who will be staying with us until we can find him a forever home.  Poor guy has a lot to deal with, however.  This is what he looked like when we got him:

Poor guy’s coat was a solid block of mats.  There was nothing we could do but shave it all off.  Once we did that, we discovered that he has an ear infection, an eye infection, a skin infection, maybe some dental problems, and tummy issues.  Poor guy is a mess.

He seems to be adjusting very well and is an amazingly calm dog.  Gigadog…not so much, but this is the first time she’s ever had dogs over for a long-term visit.  Also, she’s now in her camping kennel, which I’m sure is not helping.

Not a dog person June 1, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in older son, pets.
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We had a couple dogs when I was growing up, but I was never really impressed with the idea of having one as a pet myself.  They always seemed like so much work compared to cats.  Of course, now that I’ve owned almost a dozen cats, I know that’s not necessarily true.  I also realize now that you can train dogs, something which cats aren’t very willing or able to do, and that makes a huge difference when it comes to interacting with them.

Still, a lot of people were surprised when I got a Newfoundland because not only is it a dog, but it’s a DOG.  Newfs tend to have some of the worst qualities of dogs: big, clumsy, fur everywhere…and, OMG, the slobber.  It almost never stops.

But here’s the thing: I still don’t think of myself as a dog person.  I actually find a lot of dogs annoying.  They’re cute when you pet them (if they’ll let you), but definitely not something I’d want to take home.

I do consider myself a Newf person, though.  When my older boy was a baby, his grandparents had a Newf that would let my son crawl all over him.  The worst he’d do is give a big sigh and look at me with those big, brown eyes, as if to say, “As long as he’s happy, I’ll deal.”  Of course, this was several years after our first, and rather terrifying (from my perspective), meeting where he jumped up, put his paws on my shoulder, and introduced himself by giving me a big, slobbery kiss. That dog was the first dog I really became bonded to, and after that, I decided that if I were to ever have a dog of my own, it would have to be a Newf.

I find this all terribly amusing because today, as a non-dog person, I will be attending and showing my dog in a conformation event.  I never intended to show dogs, but after all the comments on how Gigadog was such a pretty dog (not only from random strangers on the street but people who work quite regularly with dogs), I took her to her breeder to have her evaluated as a show dog.  My breeder thinks she’ll have a good shot at getting a title.

I just hope we don’t have a repeat of our CGC experience…and that the judges don’t dock for slobber.  On the up side, I have another place I can wear some of my formal business attire given I can’t really wear it to work.

Wordless Wednesday: Gigadog’s First Birthday February 1, 2012

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The latest Gigadog pics September 23, 2011

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Gigadog is almost 8 mos. old and she’s grown a lot.  I plan to take her to the vet tomorrow to do a weigh-in.

In the meantime, I have two pictures of her.  The first is showing was a majestic girl she’s becoming.  The second…not so majestic.  She seems to have developed a bit of a drooling problem…



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