Monday, March 19, 2007

Cobalt: An Exhausting Day

This weekend we took Cobalt to some new places, and she had a blast.

The first place wasn't new: it was the vet's, for her final vaccination booster and rabies shot. The vet was running late, so Cobalt got to experience, for the first time, a cat that will stand up to her. At home, the cats don't care for the puppy's bouncing playfulness, and will quickly retreat to safe spots -- up the cat tree (Mouse) or into the bathroom sink (Grendel). Which is fine, except that Cobalt takes this as chase game.

The vet's cat, on the other hand, has been around dogs forever. He just sat there and ignored Cobalt, which drove her nuts. She was running back and forth, trying to approach the cat from every different direction, but she could not get the chase game started. I think she found it quite frustrating.

After the vet, it was off to Riverdale Park. Riverdale Park has a huge off-leash area in the Don Valley, though we didn't go down there -- we stayed in the more standard part of the park, in the middle of Cabbagetown.

Early in the walk we were struck by how aloof the other dog owners were compared to what we were used to. At Alan Gardens, Moss Park, or High Park, people would be curious about Cobalt, asking about her age, her breed, and so on; but here, at least at first, nothing.

It wasn't until much later in the walk that we encountered a group walking their dogs (big dogs, all of them), who spotted Cobalt and crossed the street to see her. She had a grand time being fawned over and running around with the big dogs. Shortly thereafter an elderly lady with her bishon came by and Cobalt went nuts wrestling with her new friend. It reminded us of how she played with Mattie.

Sunday was another exciting day. We took Cobalt to the fenced-in dog park at the Brick Works. We actually let Cobalt off her leash here, for the first time. She met lots of dogs, mostly big ones, and had a grand time playing tag with them. We worked on her recall training, with some success, which was great.

There were a couple of problems, unsurprisingly. One of the dogs that joined later was a coon hound who thought Cobalt was great fun to chase; Cobalt found that a little overwhelming until I held on to her for a bit so the coon hound could sniff her and she could sniff back. After that, she was chasing the hound!

Later, a Rhodesian ridgeback was running around with Cobalt and bowled her over, which scared her -- and her yelp set the coon hound howling, which didn't help. It took a few minutes for her to relax again. She rejoined the chases again after a bit, though with less energy, and a few minutes later we headed home. She was very snoozy for the rest of the day, though she livened up for her obedience school class, where she likes to wrestle with a black mini schnauzer who has a bad habit of biting Cobalt's face.

After that, she was really exhausted, and spent most of the rest of the day snoozing. She likes sleeping half-on her pillow -- though which half is on is pretty random. It's not uncommon to find her upside-down with her head on the floor and her feet in the air on the pillow.



Close Up
Too tired to care about the camera

Asleep In The Laundry
Watching Mythbusters with us while I fold the laundry.
That's my Homestar Runner t-shirt in the back.
Read more!

Cobalt: Toys

Cobalt, like most pups, loves toys. She's got several she can play with on her own, but of course her favourites are the interactive ones, the fetch and tug toys.

The octopus was a huge success -- it rattles, it squeaks, and it's a tug toy.

It's amazing how immovable a small pup can be.

Her very favourite was a red plush bone that came with her from the breeder, but unfortunately it didn't survive the tug-o-war games that well. We went looking for a replacement for her, but all the plush bones at PetSmart were too big. L saw a what she thought was a stuffed sheep, but when she grabbed it, it mooed at her. Immediately, Cobalt stood up on her hind legs -- on tip-toe -- to get a better look at where the noise came from, and stayed standing for several seconds. She looked like a meerkat! So, naturally, we bought the cow.

The mooing's been driving us nuts ever since.

Cobalt grabs the cow and runs around the house with it, shaking it vigorously and making it moo over and over. It's her new favourite, and the bone's been retired.

Got It!

Kill Da Cow

Read more!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cobalt: High Park and New Friends

Cobalt loves other dogs. All sizes: chihuahuas to great danes (and she's met both already). She'll bounce and chase and try to herd them.

Saturday we took her to High Park, which was fun but rather wet. On the sidewalks we couldn't move for more than a couple of minutes before having what we're calling "the Cobalt conversation":

Them: Ooooh how cute! He's adorable! How old is he?
Us: She's 15 weeks.
Them: What unusual colours! What breed is she?
Us: She's a miniature Australian Shepherd.
Them: She's adorable! What's her name?
Us: Cobalt.
Them: Isn't she cute!

In High Park we encountered a playful collie named Snickers and her owner (we never seem to get the owners names) who was as keen to play as Cobalt was. We had the camera, so we managed to get some shots, though not 'til after they'd jumped around a fair bit.


Cobalt & Snickers
Cobalt's always curious about new dogs

She's a little rambunctious at times

Cobalt and Snickers
But Snickers didn't seem to mind

Snickers' owner gets the Tongue of Doom treatment
Read more!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cobalt: Snow Pup

More photos again. This time, a romp in the snow in the front yard. This is just a selection -- there are always more of the Flickr site.

She loves to tunnel into the snow

Though sometimes she stays down too long and has to pop up for air

And then she tears around like crazy for a while

It's a little deep for her

She can be very hard to photograph at times.

Read more!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cobalt: Another Update & More Photos

We think we've figured out why Cobalt has been waking us up so often to go out during the night -- four or five times, and most of the time she just licks at the snow. We should have figured it out sooner, but it's because we hadn't been using the humidifier this week. Last night she made it all the way to 5:30 am, for the first time.

Three nights ago we got a surprise -- we were sound asleep, when suddenly there was a bark from L's side of the bed. Which is odd, 'cause Cobalt's crate is on the opposite side of the room! I'm hoping it's just that I hadn't latched it properly, 'cause we're in trouble if she's learned how to open the crate! She has figured out that it has something to do with those metal bits that flip up, and she's flip them, but she can't (yet) slide them to get the door open.

Yesterday was a bit frantic. Our dog walker phoned about 2pm to tell me that he'd fallen in the storm and lost his clients' house keys, so he couldn't get in to let Cobalt out. I ended up bolting home from work (I brought my laptop to work from home), too late to save Cobalt's crate-cushion. Ah well.

Go Away, Kid, Ya Bother Me
Grendel still finds Cobalt a little too pushy

Tug o' War

Tug o' War
She loves tug o' war, of course

The Tongue o' Doom. She'll slurp anyone and anything into submission
Read more!