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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dog DNA


The suspense is over and we now know what Jake's mixed-breeds are.

Sort of.



After impatiently waiting two weeks for the results of Jake's Wisdom Panel DNA test, I can say that I'm slightly disappointed in the lack of accuracy but not surprised. I was expecting that, but hoping for more.


Science isn't perfect so all they can do is narrow it down with the info available.

It turns out Jake is a Mutt!


The results show that he is 25% Labrador Retriever, 25% American Staffordshire Terrier, 12.5% Chihuahua (really????), and 37.5% Mixed Breeds.


In looking at his lineage back to his Great-Grandparents, it's obvious that there is some serious "Mutt" in his heritage. And because of the mix of breeds, it's not possible to narrow it down further... which is the disappointing part.


Also, these tests don't test for every breed. For example, Jake's foster mom and myself think that he has a lot of traits of a Black Mouth Cur, but that breed isn't recognized or tested by Wisdom Panel. So it's very possible that is one of his mixed breeds, but instead they just throw it into Breed Groups.

Basically the 37.5% is comprised of Breed Groups that he's most likely related to. In order of highest possibility, they are: Herding Group (such as Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, German Shepherd Dog, Great Pyranees), Terrier Group (such as Chihuahua, Schnauzer, Wheaten Terrier, Russell Terrier, Miniature Pinscher), and the Asian Group (such as Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Shar-Pei, Chow-Chow).

Quite the grab bag of breeds!

I did find the Ancestry Tree Chart pretty interesting. It's cool to get an idea of what his parents and grandparents were like and to imagine what their life was like before Jake came along.

Jake came from Texas as a stray. He's likely the result of other stray dogs from Hurricane Harvey, breeding after surviving the storm. I'm sure there are some tenacious traits in his family line.

In any case, I'm glad I had the test done just to satisfy my curiosity, but it doesn't change how I feel about Jake.

He is special and unique and I love him. His personality and quirks can't be dictated by a breed group.

He's Jake.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Notes on Jake ~ 7 months old


We've had Jake a little over a month now and I can't even remember what life was like without him. He has made himself such a part of our lives and belongs so completely with us. Charlie absolutely loves having another dog to play with and he brings out the best in her. When he's not following Charlie around like an annoying little brother, he's glued to my side. If I leave the room, he gets up to see where I'm going. Most of the time, I try to stay within his line of sight so he doesn't have to constantly get up to see where I am. But I'm one of those people who doesn't sit for long, so I'm always up puttering around the house, and Jake is too.


He had his final vaccine appointment at the vet on Friday. Earlier in the week, I took in a stool sample because he's had trouble with ongoing diarrhea and it was getting worse. Turns out he's got a bacterial infection called Clostridium and has been an antibiotics and probiotics since Monday night. His stool was getting better, but the vaccine set him back again and he vomited up his lunch on Saturday and has loose stool again. We'll keep a watch on his progress to getting his intestinal tract feeling better, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him much.


Jake weighed 31 lbs when we adopted him on 4/12/18, and at yesterday's vet appointment he weighed in at 38.5 lbs, so he's doing good putting on weight and seems to grow taller by the day! Alan and I have made a bet on what Jake's adult weight will be at his 1-1/2 year birthday (4/20/19)... the winner gets a "date night" of their choice, so technically we both win. Alan is guessing Jake will be 60 lbs, but I'm thinking he'll top out at no more than 52 lbs. Jake's Wisdom Panel results will be back in a few days and that will also come with an adult weight estimate based on his breed mix, so I guess we'll have to wait and see who is the closest!


This boy is happy ALL THE TIME! He's an absolute ray of sunshine. He has the cutest little way of picking up a toy - any toy - and shaking his head back and forth kind of slowly as he trots toward you and he looks like he's trying to imitate a giant dinosaur. Then he'll kind of head-butt you with the toy and do the cutest little growl. He's a puppy trying to be a big boy and I can't get enough of it.

I thought it would be a challenge to share my love between the two dogs, but Charlie really isn't much of a snuggler/lover... she's more into playing with toys and will fetch until she drops dead. Jake, on the other hand, is a total lover and snuggler. So when I'm snuggling Jake, Charlie is fine as long as I toss her ball every so often. Jake is a full-body snuggler and will crawl right up into your lap and stick his nose right into your mouth for a kiss. I have to warn strangers about this behavior because there's no stopping him once he decides he wants to give you a hug!


He makes the cutest little sounds when he barks or growls. His bark is completely different than Charlie's - throatier and lower in tone. I could listen to him bark all day, it's that cute.

Jake also gets hiccups a lot! I forgot how much puppies get hiccups. It's just so random, and only lasts for a minute or so and then they're gone.

He loves trying new foods and seems to be a big fan of peanut butter. His first taste was so tentative that I thought he was one of those dogs who might not like it. But now when you open the jar, he comes running.

When we set up the little plastic baby pool in the backyard and started filling it with the hose, he was immediately curious. He watched the sprayer and eventually began biting at the water like Charlie does. He dipped his toes in the water and then went right in, splashing around and playing with the toys floating in it. His favorite game is to remove all the toys from the pool. He also laid down in the water, which Charlie has never done. He's just so easy-going and chill!


He's still got two baby teeth left to lose - his top canines. His big boy canines have come in right next to them so he's got doubled-up canines on top right now... which hurts! He's doing a lot better with his bite inhibition - something Charlie taught him quickly. But he still sometimes catches a hand or toe in his mouth and those sharp little baby teeth are painful! He should be losing them any day now and then he really will be a big boy.




My love for this little boy grows daily. He is so perfect for us and fits in with us on every level. When Alan and I first started discussing getting another dog, both of us were worried that the new addition would disrupt the balance of our perfect life. We were just getting in the groove of being a family of three and everything was going perfectly. Would adding a new dog make things worse? Turns out, the answer was no. Adding Jake to our family has only made things more perfect. I seriously couldn't be happier.

Thank you Rescue Gang for allowing me to be Jake's dog-mom. He is the best puppy ever.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Backyard Chores


Alan is helping me install raised garden beds in my backyard this weekend. Charlie and Jake are, of course, not helping! But definitely supplying a lot of comic relief.

The raised garden beds will help keep the dogs from digging up the vegetables and make the small yard a little neater and easier to maintain.

Jake is quite the digger, so I was worried that having him watch us digging up parts of the yard would encourage this behavior, but he seemed to just think the nice cool dirt that we dug up was a pretty good place to take a nap.


Jake and Charlie were playing with toys and chasing each other around the yard while we worked. And by the time Alan and I were ready to take a break, the dogs also thought it was a good time for a nap.




Jake usually plays hard and then also naps hard. When he's tired, he quickly finds a quiet spot and just passes out. Nothing wakes him. It's absolutely adorable.

I can't wait to get these beds filled with soil and start planting! Summer is right around the corner.





Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Bliss


I had the most blissful Mother's Day yesterday. I awoke slowly to soft sunbeams filtering in through the blinds, making the bedroom glow. I opened the blinds to let in the light and took a deep breath of crisp morning air through the open windows.


I snuggled with my fur-babies and basked in the glow of being a dog-mom. I took my time getting up, not wanting to interrupt the perfect moment. I stared into the beautiful eyes of my dogs; absorbing the love fest. There were belly rubs, toe tickles, nose kisses and ear rubs.


Eventually we crawled out of bed, made coffee, got the doggie breakfasts ready and then went in the backyard to sip coffee and watch them chase each other around while listening to the birds singing in the budding branches.

The day was unfolding perfectly.




After a little while, I went back inside to unload the dehydrator of the dog treats I baked the day before and begin preparing the homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting for my mom and I to enjoy for brunch.

Puppies and rainbows. Perfection.

With the rolls in the oven, the house began to smell heavenly. I puttered around doing this and that, but nothing strenuous or too important, taking frequent breaks to snuggle the dogs or read a few pages from a magazine.

I took a long luxurious shower using all my best-smelling soaps, dressed in comfortable clothes and took the warm cinnamon rolls out to the backyard for a mid-morning brunch with Mom and the dogs.

Play biting. So vicious! Hahaha!

By mid-afternoon I was ready to head over to Alan's house to drop off a card and plant for his mother and play with the dogs in his big backyard. The weather could not have been better and we all had a pleasant time sitting in lawn chairs enjoying the playful antics of the dogs and each other's company.

It was the best Mother's Day ever. And I can't stop smiling about how lucky I am to be a mom to these two perfect dogs.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Weeknight Fun

In my effort to tire the dogs out quickly without too much effort on my part (it's been a long week and I'm exhausted), I took them to Riverside Park during off-leash hours tonight to let them RUN!




Luckily there were no other dogs there... just a few fishermen. So we had the place to ourselves.


The dogs had a blast and got a few chuckles out of me with their cute antics. Jake still follows Charlie's lead on almost everything. And it's amazing how he forgets his name when he's having fun and doesn't think he needs to listen to me!

Also, I'm learning how impossible it is to get BOTH dogs to look at the camera at the same time. Simply impossible.




VIDEO:
Jake seems to be very interested in playing in water, but I need to keep an eye on him because he doesn't understand things like "currents" and "dropoffs." In this video, a small kid had left a pair of socks wadded up along the shore and he took off with one of them like a toy (he does this at home too).

VIDEO: