Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Benny

People always ask me if Irish Terriers dig. Until now I've said, "Well, I've never had a digger, but I've read that they can enjoy digging in the yard." Enter busy Benny, digger extraordinaire.

As if the California drought wasn't enough, it seems that the Irish Terriers in this house have formed a pact to rid the yard of every blade of grass. First, there is the never ending traffic as Irish Terriers who are inside want to go outside and Irish Terriers who are outside want to come inside; then there is the lure of relieving one's doggy self on that nice green stuff. Somehow the grass was holding its own until recently. Now there are small black holes popping up around the yard and there is a small red puppy who often runs into the house with mouthfuls of sod and dirt which he deposits on my woven rug. That activity sets me in motion as I rush in with the vacuum to clean and then I dash outside to spray the hole with Bitter Apple. It seems to work on that hole but boy Benny knows that there is always more territory to excavate.

He's lucky that he is so cute.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Benny's Ear Gluing

Even though Benny has come from humble beginnings and he can never be a famous show dog in Breed Competition, I still want him to look like a proper Irish Terrier. Those cute little folded over ears that give an Irish a particularly wonderful expression do not always develop completely naturally. It's often necessary to glue the ears down to the head so that the fold across the top of the ear is set. Many puppies have what look like beautiful ears and then when they start teething (usually 4 to 7 months), the ears start flying all over the place. Benny just began teething and his ears alternate from flying sideways to hanging down like some kind of hound dog. So I've begun the regimen of ear gluing. I don't think this is too invasive and most dogs tolerate it well, so for me it's not an animal cruelty issue like ear cropping. I use a fabric glue called Tear Mender made by Vala. The Irish Terrier Club of America website has a detailed description of ear gluing if anyone wants more information.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Benny's Progress

As you have probably figured out by now, Benny is the pup I decided to keep. It was never my plan to keep him, I was just fostering him as I have so many dogs before him. Benny's sister, Gemma, flew to California so I could foster her before she went to her permanent home in Seattle. At the last minute, Benny's adoption in Arkansas fell through so I took him too, feeling sure that I could find him a great home. Well, I did!

I gave Benny a name and a birthday, January 19, 2009. I do think he was born a little later than that but January 19 was my Dad's birthday so it's kind of a tribute to him. He would have loved little Benny.

Benny has now lost 4 teeth and has two permanent front teeth coming in. I'm not at all sorry to see those little daggers go. He's had all his vaccines so he can now travel almost everywhere with me. He knows sit, down, he is crate trained, and he is mostly housebroken except for the occasional accident. He chews anything and everything and as of yesterday, he weighs 20.6 pounds.

Benny's Beginnings

Benny and his siblings arrived at an adoption event in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in February,2009. They arrived unceremoniously in a plain brown cardboard box, two girls and two boys. They were advertised as being 5 weeks old but in fact they were probably younger. I've been told that there were five puppies but the owner kept one of them. He also kept their mom.
The pups were taken in by a local group called Paws and Claws, and they went to live in a foster home with Kim and her family.

When they were about 7 to 8 weeks old, they all went to new homes. Since I'm the common link for all of the homes, I thought it would be fun to have a blog where we could all talk about the pups and how they are developing. Since we have no family history, we have only the four homes to report on health and temperament and any other behaviors we notice. We can also share pictures of the little ones to compare looks and size.