Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Visiting Viiala for the first time with Niila

We just spent some quality time with the dogs at my parents' place! It was Niila's first visit in Viiala and she was only nine weeks old when we got there. We were slightly worried that it could be too big of a change too early in her life, but she didn't seem to mind at all. She was happily playing along right from the beginning. She loved to explore the big house and especially the garden around it. It was hard to keep up with her, though. She was so busy running, climbing on things and eating everything possible.

My family also met Niila for the first time and we got confirmation that she's not shy at all. She was OK with everyone, even with the kids. Papu is still wary with some of my family members, but Niila just welcomed them all. She also made friends with my mom's Dachshund and my sister's Labrador Retriever.

We also took some pictures of the dogs outside in the garden. We let them run and play, but we also taught both of them to come when called. Papu usually masters this skill, but for some reason she sometimes loses both of her gigantic ears when we are in Viiala.

My favorite thing is to watch the two playing together. Niila likes to run after Papu, though she's nowhere near as fast as Papu is. Papu's strong and lean body with long legs makes her an excellent runner, but I'm positive that one day Niila is an equal match.

I think the picture above clearly shows the difference of their tails. Papu's tail is very stiff and straight and Niila's tail is more like a pigtail. I hoped that the tails would be different and it seems that I totally got what I wished for! I think Niila's tails is absolutely adorable, just look at the black end and everything:

The dogs also got new beds! My mom's friend made a bunk bed for my dolls when I was a kid, and I thought it would be perfect for Papu and Niila. Papu can enjoy the luxury and peace of the top bed, because it's way over Niila's jumping capacity, and Niila can feel safe in the lower bed. The beds can also be separated.

We have been thinking about painting the beds white, but we haven't really decided yet. It's certain that something must be done, because the pink paint has already seen its best days. We have also been thinking about writing each dogs name on the side, but we're not sure about that either. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fresh start... with the dogs

The new layout has been up for two days, and all the major bugs have now been fixed. Things are finally looking quite stable. I still need to prettify the sidebar, but otherwise I'm really satisfied. I have wanted to change the design since forever, but I thought it would be a job too big for a slug like me. It turned out to be pretty easy when I just decided to do it. Took me two days in total. Not bad, right?

Now couple words about the new design... As my regular readers (like all the three of them) have probably noticed, I have blogged more and more about my dogs than about the nerdiness of my everyday life. First I thought I should start another, separate blog about the dogs, but then I realized that I wouldn't have anything left to blog here. My life is about the dogs now. So I thought it would be more than appropriate to change the niche of my blog to actually include the dogs too. So for now on, as long as dogs are the biggest part of my life, this blog is called "It's About Amoena and the Dogs". It sounds really original, doesn't it? I thought about changing the name completely, but then I would end up with a mismatching url.

Anyway. Now you know the reasonings behind the new title. Now couple words about the actual design. It's really nothing new under my sun. I made a design for a non-commercial Finnish fashion blog for like zillion years ago and I really, really liked it at the time and I was so sorry that I did it for someone else. The blog has not existed for another zillion years, so I thought I could finally justify myself to reuse the design. I didn't just copy the old design though, I made quite many changes along the way and made it more up-to-date. And I'm really pleased that I was able to corporate the about pages so nicely to the design!

Anyway. I know that this new design is dramatically different compared to the old one, but I wanted to get rid of all the clutter and I thought the only way to do it is to start fresh. And maybe this more professional-looking and serious layout encourages me to write better posts more often.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Warning: Things are looking shaky here

I just launched a redesign for my blog... without actually testing it properly first. I was too eager to make a change. Anyway. There are some minor and some major bugs, and I'm working on them. If you find something funny... as you will, tell me if you please.

Meanwhile you can check out the new about pages and stuff...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No kids to the dog park, PLEASE

Papu is not socialized with kids. We were aware that she should have had some positive experiences with children during her puppyhood, but we didn't really had any kids in our social circle. The only kids we knew were my niece and nephew, so at least it was guaranteed that she would get some kind of experiences with kids. Unfortunately the experience she got was extremely negative. When Papu met my nephew for the first time, he ran after her and made loud noises. It took a while until his mother managed to stop this behavior and by the time my nephew was in control, Papu was already totally apprehensive.

I didn't know back then how much a negative experience can affect the dog when they happen during the puppyhood. Papu still doesn't act well around kids that are in the same age as my nephew and she certainly doesn't tolerate my nephew. I have to keep her on leash when he's around or else she will try to attack him. Too bad that his family doesn't really get this and doesn't bother to inform me when they're going to be around. They just show up and I have to struggle to get everything under control. It really annoys me that their kid did this to Papu and yet they don't do anything to prevent the problems. They let the kid run around before I get a hold on Papu. I think it's only a matter of time when Papu actually bites him and I will not blame Papu when that happens because I have always done my best to keep the two separated.

Anyway. This was just a long prologue for the next story.

It really bothers me when people bring their kids to the dog park. It's not exactly forbidden, but it says in the general dog park rules that "notice that not all dogs are tolerating kids" and in my world that simply means "don't bring your effing kids here". Since Papu is not OK with kids, I can't go to the dog park if there is a kid. And sometimes people don't even realize that it can be a problem! One time I was alone with Papu in the dog park and a family came with a giant Saint Bernard puppy. The father asked if the giant puppy was problem to us. I said "no... but the kid certainly is". He looked surprised.

I also think it's bad parenting to bring kids to dog park. Of course kids need socializing with dogs too, but that's a wrong place. It's never a good idea to surround the kid with strange dogs. Once I didn't notice that there was a kid in the dog park when I went there with Papu because the dog park was so full of big dogs. And the kid ran around, petted every single dog roughly and threw sand on them... And the parents didn't even keep an eye on her! I was mostly shocked by this behavior.

I think all dogs should be welcome to the dog park whether they like kids or not. They are called as "dog parks" for a reason. They are not just fenced parks with "dogs allowed" signs. They are the place for the urban dogs to run freely and socialize with other dogs. Playgrounds are for kids. And since dogs aren't allowed at the playgrounds, kids shouldn't be allowed at the dog parks either. It's only logical and fair, and best for all.

Edit to add: Of course we are training Papu to not react badly when for example a kid walks by, but every time we visit my parents, my nephew does something to harass Papu again and everything starts over. It's hard to convince Papu that kids are not dangerous when she continuously gets bad experiences from them.

And now a cute puppy picture:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Papu's new little sister!

We got the new puppy yesterday, but I was naturally too excited to blog about it right away. Now things have finally calmed down enough and I can spare a minute or two to introduce our newest baby to the blogosphere. Her name is Niila and she's a brown miniature pinscher.

Niila has the cutest little face. And the cutest little ears too.

She likes to hide under the sofa, because she can fit there perfectly. When Papu plays with her roughly, she runs there and she's safe. Papu can't reach her.

Because of the puppydom, Niila sleeps a lot.

Papu tries her best to show Niila that she's the boss, but secretly she seems to find her adorable too. When Niila lied down and started to sleep, Papu wanted to sleep next to her.

Papu doesn't mind if Niila comes close.

And Papu even lets Niila to sleep next to her in her bed!

Papu and Niila aren't the best friends yet, but so far they already play together and sleep together. Papu doesn't always like when Niila plays with her toys and sometimes she just tells Niila to bugger off for no apparent reason. We are clicker-training Papu to be more tolerable with Niila. We click and treat Papu if she looks at Niila or when Papu behaves calmly and nicely around her. Papu also gets treats when she lets Niila to touch her toys or play with them. We want Papu to feel that it's good to be around Niila, after all, she's the source of endless noms.