Saturday, February 16, 2008

Denim: More Playing With Cobalt

UPDATE: Corrected the images, so they're back!

There are now two main games: the keep-away game and the wrestling game. In the wrestling game, Denim tries to see how high she can climb on Cobalt. Cobalt usually ends up on her back.

Peek (by JnL)

Wrestling (by JnL)

Pinned (by JnL)

Pounce (by JnL)

Two Pups (by JnL)

The two of them will play the keep-away game with any toy, or even with rawhide chews.

Sharing (by JnL)

Sharing (by JnL)

Gotcha (by JnL)

Nom (by JnL)
Sometimes Denim wins

And here are some solo shots:

Miss Mischief (by JnL)
This one shows off the blue highlight in her right eye.

Contemplative (by JnL)

Pause (by JnL)

Exhausted (by JnL)
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Denim: The Game Video

I almost never actually use the video capabilities of our cameras. I much prefer stills. However, stills can't quite capture the dynamics of the Game, so here is five minutes of Cobalt and Denim playing.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Denim: The Game

As I mentioned last time, Cobalt's invented a game for Denim. It started when Cobalt was playing with a hard plastic ball (she likes it because it's slippery, and so easy to knock around the room to chase). She noticed that Denim was curious about the ball, and started to play keep-away with it.

Play Bow (by JnL)

At the next play session, though, Cobalt decided to up the stakes. She went and got her very favourite toy, a purple plush sheep, and brought it into the living room for Denim to play with.

The Favourite Toy (by JnL)

They've played this game three or four times now. Cobalt sticks the sheep in Denim's face to get her interested, then pulls it away to get the little fuzzball to chase her.

C'mon, Chase It (by JnL)
The Tease

Chase Me! (by JnL)
The Chase

Sometimes, Denim manages to catch the sheep, and Cobalt will drag her around by it, or yank it away for another run.

Got It! (by JnL)

When Denim gets distracted, Cobalt plunks the sheep down and back off a bit, just to get her little sister interested again.

Ferocious (by JnL)

Sometimes, Cobalt will even let Denim win the tug -- though only for a moment!

Tug (by JnL)

Usually, the game winds down to a sheep-plucking session (Cobalt loves to pull the fuzz off of plushies), which Denim participates in enthusiastically. It usually involves Cobalt holding the sheep down with one paw and tugging lightly on the fur, while Denim puts her whole minuscule weight into yanking on the toy, which doesn't budge.

Cobalt adores these play sessions. It's causing us a slight problem -- Cobalt doesn't want to eat in the morning, she wants to play with Denim. We have to coax her into eating with promises of playing after.

It's fascinating watching Cobalt manage these games. We barely do anything, ourselves -- we basically enforce the "Cobalt can leave the room whenever she wants, but Denim can't" rule and leave it at that.

Last night, the two pups were having a very quiet session in the room, just wandering, chewing on rawhide and such. Then Denim got up and wobbled over to the hard plastic ball (she's still a little unsteady on her stubby puppy legs) to bat at it. Cobalt noticed this going on, and calmly went over and picked up the ball. She teased Denim with it a little, until the pup started bouncing, then left the room with the ball. A couple of moments later, she returned with the sheep, and started the Game in earnest. You could almost hear her thinking, "Oh, you want to play the Game? Sure, but that thing's no good for it. Let me get the right toy."

Eventually, after 15-20 minutes of the Game, Denim starts to get tired, and the play session turns into more of a quiet wrestling match.

Hey, Big Sister! (by JnL)

Sisters (by JnL)

Sisters (by JnL)
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Denim: The First Weekend

The drive to Midland was nasty, again. Last year, when we went to get Cobalt, it was white-outs and blowing snow. This time, more white-outs, more blowing snow -- though not quite as bad. We made good time with little fuss.

And when we got there, we saw this:

Heading Home (by JnL)

Our new pup, Denim, all ready to go. We arrived just as one set of adopters was leaving and another was arriving with us, so it was pretty busy at Stoverly Aussies, but Sue Stoverly was on top of things, and we were all sorted out in short order. Cobalt was a little overwhelmed -- Tango, Denim's mother, was feeling playful in spite of a serious injury she sustained a couple of weeks back (she jumped a fence with something sharp sticking out the top, and tore her belly from chest to crotch; she's pretty much recovered now, but she lost a nipple and had to be spayed).

We headed out with Denim after about 40 minutes at Stoverly. We'd brought a cat carrier to hold Denim in the back seat, while Cobalt sat next to her and sniffed. Denim whined and fussed almost to Hwy 400, and was perfect after that, quiet and calm.

Then it was time to introduce her to her new home. First, Grendel:

Play! (by JnL)
Stoverly has a cat, but not like this one!

Investigating (by JnL)
"Oh, you're another one of those bouncy things."

Then, dinner.

Slurp! (by JnL)

Then, a play session with Cobalt. After Denim's done gone out and is safe, we let her loose in the living room, so that she and Cobalt can get to know each other. At first, Cobalt wasn't sure what to do. She brought out her very favourite toy, the purple sheep, to show Denim, but didn't do anything else with it -- at that point. Later, though, there was a major development with the sheep -- that's for the next post.

Favourite Toy (by JnL)

Denim started investigating the toys we put down for her. Some were a little big for her, but that didn't slow her down much.

A Little Big (by JnL)

Chomp! (by JnL)

What Is It? (by JnL)

Puppy Face (by JnL)

It turns out that she loves laps. If you sit on the floor, she will make a running leap into your lap, with a good chance of missing. She's banged into my chin on several occasions. She's also a slurper, and will bite at my beard in her enthusiasm for licking.

Lap Pup (by JnL)

Inspection (by JnL)
Squirmy thing, isn't she?

For most of this, Cobalt was just running around playing with a hard yellow-and-blue ball that she enjoys chasing, but Denim would get in on the fun from time to time. Eventually, Cobalt started getting seriously interested in Denim, and began to tease her with the ball, to get Denim to chase.

Sisters (by JnL)

Play Bow (by JnL)
Come get it!

The Chase (by JnL)
Keep up, little girl!

Gimme! (by JnL)

Play Pounce (by JnL)

Smug Pounce (by JnL)
I'll Gitcha!

Denim, of course, has the puppy dog looks down pat.

Princess Di Eyes (by JnL)

Yawn! (by JnL)
All this playing is exhausting!

Nibbles (by JnL)

At first, we thought Denim had two brown eyes, like Cobalt's, but if you look closely, you can see that there's a splash of blue in the bottom of her right eye. In some other shots, it looks like there might be some blue spots in the left as well.

Merled Eye (by JnL)

We have a pen for Denim in our office, so we can watch her while she plays, as well as a crate in the bedroom for night-time and when we're away. Cobalt has now taken to stretching out beside Denim's pen and sleeping beside the crate. She obviously is very taken with her new sister.

Last night, she produced a new twist on the ball-tag game -- using her favourite sheep! We didn't get photos of that, but we have some from this morning which I'll post later.

Dead To The World (by JnL)
The end of a busy weekend
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Cobalt: Tala and Cody

Our friends L-Girl and Redsock, immigrants to Mississauga from Manhattan, are also dog people -- moreso than us, actually, as they've had dogs for ages.

Their current two are Cody, the elder, and Tala, whom they adopted just over a year ago.

Cody (by JnL)

Tala and Her Toy (by JnL)

Last May we brought Cobalt over to introduce her to Cody and Tala, but it didn't work out that well. Tala's a bit of a bully around smaller dogs, and harassed Cobalt all around the yard. Cobalt found her far too overwhelming.

Cody, Cobalt, Tala (by JnL)

Help Meeeee!

We visited again in June, and things started a little better -- Tala was better behaved (L-Girl and Redsock had been working on training), but still a little aggressive. Eventually, Cobalt decided she'd had enough!

Yar! (by JnL)
A scolding

Whap! (by JnL)
A lecturing

You Listen To Me! (by JnL)
And a firm cussing out

Up And Over (by JnL)
Cobalt shows Tala who's boss

On New Year's Day, we got together once again. Cobalt was a little cautious at first, but soon was all smiles and playing with Tala as if she didn't realize she was 1/4 the bigger dog's size.

Inspecting The Guest (by JnL)
A little uncertain

Inspection (by JnL)
I remember you...

Gotcha! (by JnL)

Pounce (by JnL)
Timid? Cobalt?

Lunge (by JnL)

After a while, we moved indoors. This was the first time Tala had had another dog besides Cody sharing her house, and it went quite well.

Nyeah! (by JnL)
Actually, Cobalt's just giving Tala a kiss on the nose here

Wrestling Pups (by JnL)
The wrestling was a little more intrusive in the kitchen

Nuzzle (by JnL)
They're great friends now

^.^ (by JnL)
We think Cobalt's the happiest dog in the world

Grin (by JnL)
...inside or outside

Worn Out (by JnL)
Within five minutes of leaving, Cobalt was completely out of it
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