30 September 2009

{34 days old}

A few days after meeting Friday, Darwin got to meet Juneau, our friends English Shepherd.

It's funny to see a picture of them then, because now their sizes are reversed!
Darwin was (ok, she still is) the most spoiled puppy.  One of her earliest toys she got was actually a baby toy, a jellycat stuffed pull along sheep.  We would take turns pulling it through the office and have her chase us.  

As she got bigger she would take the sheep in her mouth and shake it around.  We soon had to take the wheels off, because they kept whacking her in the head.  She's not much of a destroyer, so she still has this sheep, and its still one of her favorites.

{31 days old}

We started paper training Darwin early.  When she was at the office with no siblings, we'd block off part of her crate (that we were borrowing from our boss) and she was actually pretty good about not using the bathroom in the crate.

Some days our friend Robin would bring her dog, Friday, in.  We were hoping Friday's maternal instincts would kick in, and she'd cuddle up with Darwin.
Not so much...  this was one of their first meetings.  Friday was backing up so fast as Darwin got near her.  Instead of the "aww little puppy, come curl up with me" it was a "get me the heck out of here!".

We'd take her home, feed her... and then it would be play time... we'd limit her though to only the tile floor, to avoid any accidents on the carpet.

29 September 2009

{28sept2009: Darwin & Riley}

Some days/afternoons after work, Darwin is totally calm... relaxed... lazy even.  Some days she's a tazmanian devil hyped up little (ok not so little) puppy.  Last night was one of those days.  Every five minutes she'd go to the door wanting to go out, so after a while I was like, fine, we'll go out for a walk.  Of course, 5 minutes into the walk she wants to turn back and go back home... and I tell her, no, you wanted out so we're going for a walk.  We finally make it up to a park a few blocks away from the house and happen to find a frisbee there.  She's at first very excited about it, and I throw it for her and she runs to get it.  She then hears a noise and it scares her and she can't even think about the frisbee anymore.  So we head back home, and because she's so freaked out, she is practically dragging me the whole way back.  So as we were taught in puppy kindergarten, when she pulls I stop and make her wait.  Of course that doesn't really do much cause as soon as I start walking again she's pulling again.  It was a 15 minute walk, that lasted 30 minutes.  Needless to say that 30 minute time out of the house did nothing for her, and by then it started raing (which she hates), so we arrange a garage playdate with her bff in the building, a one year old black lab, Riley.
Riley, being the hyper lab that she is, and Darwin, being the crazy puppy that she is, have a great time together... chasing eachother and wrestling.  

They crack us up when they get together.  Darwin is just tall enough, that Riley will usually crawl under Darwin and play from under her.  Darwin is easily distracted though, and even a leaf blowing through the garage can get her attention and becomes the object of keep away for them.
Seeing as it'll start raining more often soon, there will probably many more of these garage playdates.

{26 days old}

Officially day two of puppy parenthood.

And this being the day after we say yes, ok we want to keep her, of course something happens to her where we need to rush her to the vet.  
She seemed fine in the morning, a little lethargic and not super playful, but otherwise fine.  Then I would notice her dry heaving and throwing up bile looking stuff, then shaking her head like she was trying to shake something out.  It was scary.  Then she'd be fine and doing her thing, and again she'd do it, throwing up bile and shaking her head... almost like a seizure in her head or something.  Me being the new puppy parent (of 2 days) was like, do I call the vet or will this pass?! What do I do?! So I google a vet who is close to our office, and they had an opening, so we rush out of the office and take her in.  As we're waiting in the exam room for the vet to come in, we have her on the floor wandering around, and she decides to poop on the floor.  Great.  So we try to clean it up quickly before the vet comes in and sees the mess she made.  Turns out they want a fecal sample (why, it's as fresh as can be) and take some xrays.  After a short wait, they tell us she has worms, and send us home with medicine.  
They also inject her with rehydration fluid to prevent her from getting dehydrated.  She looked like a little camel.

Ok, maybe a camel is exagerrating it a bit, but look at her little hump! 

28 September 2009

{25 days old}

After making some calls and shuffling puppies, Tom came in on Wednesday with "our puppy".  It was official.  We were great dane owners!  Eeek!
Of course to keep on our rational thinking mode, we came up with a pre-"pup"tual agreement, that if anything happened between Jason and I, Darwin would be my dog.  Just as a just in case, cause we'd hate to be one of those people who adopt/buy a dog and give it up just because things changed.
So Darwin came home with us, her first time alone with no sisters to keep her company... 

27 September 2009

{24 days old}

After leaving work with no puppy for the first time in 3 weeks, I think we fully realized what our decision meant.... no puppy.  It was sad to come home and not have a puppy around... to be able to go to bed without having to sleep lightly, ready to jump out of bed at the first sound of a hungry puppy... it was actually sad.  It was hard work taking care of them, not alot of quality sleep, lots of puppy pads and washing towels, but they were our puppies!
After that first night puppy-less Jason had a change of heart and realized as much work as it would be to keep Darwin, that's just what he wanted to do... he missed having a puppy in the small condo.  So we went to work and told Tom we changed our mind.  By that time they had told one of the families on their waiting list of potential adopters that a female had become available.  He would have to see if it was possible to tell that family that, sorry no, she's not available afterall.  So we spent a second night waiting to see if we were too late, and would go back to being petless pet lovers.

{26sept2009: Luther Burbank Park}

There aren't many dog parks near us... all require at least a 20 minute drive... so we always seem to go to the same ones.  Today we decided to take Darwin to a new park, so we made the drive over to Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.  
We parked up from the park at the community center where there was a big lawn of grass.  I was trying to get Darwin to do a sit so I could get a good picture of her with Lake Washington in the background, but she decided she'd rather lay in the grass... but she also wanted to sniff so she scooted herself along laying and sniffing and scooting.  It was so funny.

It's a pretty small park, but it has a sandy area for running around and easy access points to the water.  Darwin is in no way a swimmer... we've tried, and she'll do a quick dog paddle and then turn back to where she can reach bottom... but she likes walking and splashing through the water and will even fetch tennis balls from the water and shes not a fetcher either.
She does this funny thing where she'll push the ball under water and stick her face in to get it.  It cracks me up every time.

It was a beautiful day to be at a park on the water and we'll definitely be going back there again.

26 September 2009

{23 days old}

After a weekend of research and many discussions, J felt that as much as he loved Darwin he just wasn't ready for a puppy.  It was so sad to think we were going to give her up after taking care of her for the last 3 weeks.  

So it was a day of saying goodbye to Darwin... and coming to terms with our decision.
{splotch noni and darwin cuddling}

At the end of the day J came over to say his goodbyes to Darwin... and face her cute little face for the last time.
{are you sure you don't want to keep me?}

{look me in the eyes and tell me you can say no to this}

{fine one last kiss}

25 September 2009

{3 weeks old}

{breakfast time for splotch and darwin}

By now the puppies were 3 weeks old, and able to eat mostly the canned food mush, which was a lot less work than the every 2 hour bottle feedings.  It was the day we were going to return the puppies and be done fostering.  
We cleaned up Splotch and Darwin and took them over to Tom's where there was a puppy party planned... really an excuse to get together and see Misty and all her babies.
We were both so attached to these puppies after taking care of them for 2.5 weeks and knowing we were leaving them we knew it was going to be a rough day.  While we were there, there were thoughts of: what if Darwin goes to a family who doesnt take care of her as well as we would?  arent we going to be so sad that we didnt keep her?  when would we get a chance to raise a puppy from such a young age again?  do we really want to give her up?
I mean look at this face!  can we say no to that?!

There were even discussions of, if we don't keep Darwin, i could possibly get a kitten!  And I've been  trying to get J to get a kitten for a while. 
We decided instead of basing our decision on her cuteness, we'd do some research about great danes over the weekend, figure out if this was really something we could do, if J would want a dog in his condo and make our decision by Monday.   

{19 days old}

Solid food attempt!  
{darwin digging in}

This was sooo entertaining. We mixed up some canned food with the formula and let them go at it.  Madness.  

We went thru a lot of puppy wipes after this... for the pups and the carpet!
Then it was play time!

After this is was time to rest... and Darwin took her spot on my desk... such a poser.

{18 days old}

{splotch checking things out}

We'd send the puppies home on the weekends so they could get mom & sibling time, and by 2.5 weeks old, their eyes and ears were starting to open and they were all over the place!  Now instead of just eating, sleeping, pooping and peeing....

they were playing too! 
{darwin and noni going at it}

{13 days old}

No one like leaving the puppies alone... we'd lay them on our desks and make little beds with fabric samples:
big head is nice and comfy

darwin all cute and curled up

darwin even got cuddled by the monkey

{10 days old}

A typical day at the office with little puppies:
big head



24 September 2009

{valentines day 2009 - 1 week old}

This is how we spent valentines day this year, pacifying week old puppies between cooking dinner and heating up bottles.  

At first Darwin did not like/know how to drink from the bottle, so I would let her suck on my finger as I dribbled milk down it til she finally learned how to suck on the bottle.  She was a princess from those first few days, like goldilocks, if the milk was too cold or too hot she would not drink it.  It had to be juuuusssttttt right.

{7.5 months}

{in the beginning}

We had no intentions of getting a pet, let alone a great dane puppy.
Our coworker's danes, atlas and misty, had a huge litter of puppies (18 to be exact - though 1 was still born and another died the day after birth) and Misty could not feed all of them. 

The vet told them if they didn't bottle feed them, more would die.  So being a petless pet lover, I volunteered J and I to foster 4 of them.  I figured fostering puppies, would be the closest I'd get to owning a pet any time soon, plus it would be temporary! 

They were 5 days old when Tom brought them in and it happened to be Charles Darwin's birthday.  To keep track of which puppy was which, they all got names: big head - had a big head, splotch - had a big white splotch on her chest, seven - her white marking was a 7, and darwin - just because it was Darwin's birthday. 

{big head hugging the clock, darwin next to him, splotch with her belly up in the air, and seven in the back}

{first blog}

Darwin is a 7.5 month old female blue great dane puppy.
I know the name can confuse people, but she really is a girl!

This was her at 1 week old! A little over a pound and could almost fit in the palm of our hands. 
Since I'm 7.5 months behind on blogging about her, this may start off as a "lost" story, between flashbacks and current day.