Thoughts on Kids and Dogs

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Before I had kids, I had a dog. This Labrador/German Shorthair mix was very smart, quite obedient and high energy! He would escape from wherever we put him to keep him safe while we were at work. He chewed the Christmas tree lights while they were plugged in, he chewed through a car charger cable while it was charging, as well as many, many other things. What he loved the most though, was chasing balls, any balls, baseballs, tennis balls, golf balls, wiffle balls. He would not stop. My brother-in-law actually built him a machine, like at a batting cage, where it would shoot the balls out for him. By the way, he also chased water from the hose and snow out of the snow blower with the same enthusiasm.

One Thanksgiving we were traveling to my Uncle’s house and brought our dog with us. He warned us that his kids would wear the dog out and we laughed. We thought nothing could wear this dog out. But, we were wrong. Eventually our dog came to us and hid at our feet to get away from the attention of my nephew and niece.

July 18, 2018

Kids love dogs. They love to touch them and run with them and throw things for them. This is especially true of kids who don’t have a dog of their own. But kids who have their own dog, have a special relationship with them. They are trusted secret-keepers. They don’t judge. They never get mad at the ones they love. They are always happy to see you. And when they are at rest, they exude peace. There is something special about kids and dogs. My son can pull our dogs’ ears and stretch out their jowls and they love it and him.

Some people like to get their kids a pet to teach them responsibility. Some people think that having a dog to walk will get their kids outside and exercising. Some people even claim that kids who live in houses with pets build up stronger immune systems than those without. I’ve personally seen that having dogs taught my children communication skills and empathy. Since dogs can’t talk, they had to watch for visual clues of how the dog was responding to what they were doing. If the dog wouldn’t make eye contact, walked away or growled, it was done with them. If it was wagging its tail and licking their faces, it was happy.

My parents were given a dog (funny story for another time) when my younger brother graduated high school. Their dog was not used to small children, so when my kids were young, the dog was agitated by their movements. Eventually we just kept the dog separated from the children. That isn’t something I want to have happen to other families. So, I make sure that Abuhl Shepherd puppies have spent time being handled by children from an early age, so that they are comfortable being placed in a family home.

The little girl in the picture below is all grown up now and has 6 dogs and three cats at her house!

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Future best friends are available now at abuhlshepherds.com

A Day In the Life…

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5:55 – Alarm goes off. Hit snooze

6:00 – Realize I’m already awake, might as well get up

6:01 – Start warming up puppy food mixed with formula I made and refrigerated last night

6:10 – Let Honey and puppies out – This involves a lot of wrangling of puppies as well as a lot of yipping and whining. I stand outside in my pajamas watching and laughing at their antics

6:30 – Start load of laundry (puppy wee pads from last night)

6:40 – Take everyone inside. Separate Honey from puppies so I can feed them both

7:00 – Sit down with my Bible and journal for some quiet time

7:01 – Throw the ball for Honey to retrieve

7:10 – Back to quiet time

7:45 – Get ready for work

8:05 – Put laundry in dryer. Pick up all leftover food and put Honey in with the puppies

8:15 – Arrive at work

11:30 – Run home for lunch. Let Honey outside, clean floor and bedding, play with puppies

12:00 – Back to work

3:30 – Run errands picking up supplies for a litter box and more puppy food, tell son to put puppy food/formula mix out of the refrigerator so it can warm up

4:15 – Assemble litter box, clean puppy area

4:25 – Feed and play with puppies

5:15 – Take Honey outside, play with her and pick up poop in the yard

5:45 – Put Honey in kennel

5:50 – Sit and read

6:00 – Talk to daughter on phone

6:15 – Friend arrives to see the puppies

6:16 – Play with puppies/start litter box training

7:00 – More friends arrive to see puppies

8:00 – Everyone leaves

8:01 – Bring Honey inside, feed her, cut her meat for her for tomorrow

8:05 – Make chai tea for myself for tomorrow

8:07 – Mix puppy formula with puppy food for the puppies to eat tomorrow

8:15 – Play with puppies and switch laundry/clean floors

9:20 – Check for responses to puppy advertising. Update website

10:00 – Fill out Planner for tomorrow

10:15 – Go to bed early, dream of puppies!

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It’s in the Genes

Are you wondering what makes Abuhl Shepherds’ “A” litter so special? For one thing, their mom; Honey is a large female, out of the Royalair line. She has substantial bone structure, dark eyes and strong ears. Her balanced temperament is protective, but also loving and nuturing, the perfect temperament with children and she is a great family protector.

Honey June 2017

And for another, there is the sire, Uwe, and his contribution.  Uwe’s titles includes SG “Very Good”, BH “Companion Dog”, and AD “Endurance Test”. And these qualities are proven in Uwe’s line. See below for more details.

Uwe

Uwe’s littermate, Uschi was just declared the 2018 Midwest Regional Open Class Female Conformation Champion

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Uwe’s daughter, Fredericka, was awarded VP “Very Promising” at the 2018 Midwest Regionals

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Uwe’s daughter, Zaria, was awarded SG “Very Good” in the 12-18 month youth female class

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Uwe’s daughter, Cookie, was awarded VP “Very Promising” in the 9-12 month female classCookie

Uwe’s daughter, Hildegard, was awarded VP “Very Promising” in the 3-6 month puppy class

Hildegard

2nd pick male and 2nd pick female are still available as of the writing of this blog. Contact us soon to reserve your pick! 515.979.9562

July 6, 2018

Raining Cats and Dogs

July 1, 2018

I was hanging out in the basement with Honey and the puppies last night around 9:00. It had started raining earlier that evening and it was coming down hard! If you live in the Midwest, you know that the safest place to be during a storm is in the basement, right?

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So, I’m working on my computer and I hear Honey licking something. Anyone else out there who can’t stand that sound? I did my best to ignore her, until I realized that she was actually lapping at water. There wasn’t a water dish downstairs with us. I looked and the carpet was wet right by the puppies’ swimming pool. Then, I looked around me and saw that the water was coming in from all sides!

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I immediately got Honey and the puppies out of the basement, then my son and I carried up everything that was on the floor. We are all fine, the puppies are fine and we are working at drying out the carpet now.

Have you ever wondered where the phrase “raining cats and dogs” came from? Me too. I looked at everydaymysteries for the answer. Here’s what they say:

Etymologists—people who study the origins of words—have suggested a variety of mythological and literal explanations for why people say “it’s raining cats and dogs” to describe a heavy downpour. Here is a popular theory:

  • Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. Witches, who supposedly rode their brooms during storms, were often pictured with black cats, which became signs of heavy rain for sailors. Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats).

The creek that runs past our house looked like a road today, it was so full!

 

Hopefully things will calm down soon. It won’t be long before the puppies are running and playing outside.

Have a great 4th of July!

8 Things to Buy for Your New Puppy

avi-richards-443070-unsplashWhether you have known for months when your new puppy will be coming to live with you, or you just spontaneously decided to get a puppy today, you are going to need some supplies for your new family member. Just like with a baby, there are certain things that are essential for a puppy and a lot of cute and fun options which are certainly not necessary.

The following list contains items that such experts as the AKC (American Kennel Club), Pet MD and Cesar Milan of Cesar’s Way agree you should have for your new puppy:

  1. Collar and leash – this can be simple nylon, leather or bejeweled, whatever suits your style.
  2. Crate – this will become your dog’s safe haven where she can get away from everything. Although at the beginning, she may cry about its restrictiveness, there will come a time when she goes in on her own for some quiet time.
  3. Dog pillow/bed – make sure this is machine washable. Although dogs don’t tend to eliminate where they sleep, accidents do happen.
  4. Food and water bowls – choose stainless steel as bacteria can leach into plastic dishes. Make sure to monitor the temperature of a metal bowl outside in the heat of summer so your puppy doesn’t get burned. Non-tipping is a good bowl option as well.
  5. Food and treats for training – ask your breeder what kind of food the puppy is currently eating and make sure you are counting the treats into the puppy’s daily calorie consumption so you aren’t inadvertently overfeeding her.
  6. Grooming supplies – shampoo, brush and nail clippers are the essentials.
  7. ID tags or microchip – to facilitate a reunion in case your puppy gets lost.
  8. Toys – to stimulate the mind and the gums, puppies need a variety of toys. They will chew. If it isn’t on a toy, it will be on something else, like your couch or shoes.

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I’ve added a few items which weren’t listed as essential by the experts, but I which think are important.

  1. Security blanket – or other item that smells like Mom. Ask your breeder for this. Separating from Mom and brothers and sisters is hard, anything we can do to make it easier for everyone involved is a bonus.
  2. Cleaning supplies – carpet cleaner, non-carpet floor cleaner, waste sacks for cleaning up your yard or to take on walks.
  3. Camera – they grow up so fast, you’ll want to capture these puppy moments while you can.

 

 

Whelping Day

Whelping day arrived early! As a matter of fact, while I was out buying those last few things that I would need to have on hand for the big day, Honey whelped her first puppy all by herself. My son was upstairs in his room and heard a squeaking noise coming from the living room. Honey had spent some time during the night and early morning trying to dig a hole through the bottom of her crate and the bathroom floor, so I wondered if things were getting close. However, I didn’t really expect anything to happen that day.

I had been at an event most of the day at which I had to turn off my phone. Somehow, when I turned it back on, the ringer was silenced. Because of this, as I was at 3 different stores in town looking for Brewer’s Yeast, Honey had given birth to her first puppy and my family was texting and calling me, to no avail.

I walked through the door just as the second pup was arriving. I wasn’t mentally prepared for that. I thought I had 4 more days to get things together. Nevertheless, it  was happening whether I was ready or not. I called my mentor and fellow breeder, Clayton Warichak, who thought I was going to report Honey’s temperature as I had been planning to start tracking it that day. Although Clayton lives nearly 6 hours away, he was determined to come support me and Honey, and for that I am so grateful. He was an invaluable resource even over the phone as situations arose where I needed to do more than watch Honey, operating by instinct, become an excellent mama dog.

After nearly 13 hours, we had 9 big, healthy puppies and we were all exhausted. Some of the puppies have Honey’s big head and some have Uwe’s more sleek profile. All have the rich red color that is so prominent in their father and was also present in Honey’s mother. Time will tell about their temperament, although typically puppies have more of the mother’s personality than the father’s. So I am expecting them to be persistent, fearless, sweet and stubborn.

All in all, I learned a lot. I am running on caffeine, adrenaline, and way too little sleep and I wouldn’t give up this experience for anything.

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