Monday, October 6, 2008

Pepper and Chloe - Our Girls

When Dave and I met in 2001, I thought we might have a child together. I had Aaron, who was then 6 and he had 2 more boys, then 10 & 14. We quickly decided that the 3 boys were going to be plenty for us! So, in 2004 we got our first baby girl, Pepper. We "met" her when she was 4 weeks old at a local Havanese breeder. She was the last one available in the litter and we immediately put down a deposit on her. I went to visit her every day and she was just a joy. I had bought a stuffed dog toy a few months prior and that became her "baby" which we put in with all the puppies and her mama so she could always have a piece of her family. When she was 6 weeks old (and still nursing!) her little collar was still too big for her and I begged the breeder to let her stay a few more weeks but he insisted she would be fine. So, excited beyond description I headed there with her baby and my cool dog carrying bag. I put her in the bag and put her on the front passenger seat and she promptly cried her little head off. I then unzipped the top of bag and she stood up and snorted like a little pig. It was so sad, she was missing her family. I tried to comfort her, but she just wailed. By the time we got home, she totally sacked out and took a big nap in the middle of her blanket. The first night, I put her in her crate beside my bed and spent most of the night with my hand through the wire door. She did very good and only cried when she needed to go out. I hung a small bell by the back door and each time I took her out, I hit it with her paw. Within a week, she was hitting it herself to go out and to this day still uses that as her signal to go out. After a few nights, Dave said she should be able to sleep on the bed with us. And today, she still does.

When Pepper was 2, she was kind of apathetic and didn't really do much and I really wondered if she was lonely. She also had almost no interest in eating and only ate her kibble every 3-4 days. Around the same time, I became involved with an online Havanese Rescue Yahoo Group. I had signed up to be a rescue contact in Idaho since there were none and so did another lady that had Havanese. Soon, I did a home visit for a third woman who had signed up and then I needed my home visit done. Heather was the one assigned to do that and we quickly became friends. It turned out she had Peppers sister from a different little and another Havanese as well as a German Shephard. She was heading to Bend, Oregon the next week to get a 3rd Havanese from Hystyle Havanese and let me know there was another puppy available in the litter. She also raw fed her dogs, something I had been looking into due to Pepper's lack of luster for her kibble.

Well, Dave and I decided we had to have this little cream Havanese, then named Q-T-Pie. Heather went and got her and her own Tootsie Pop 2 weeks later. By now, Aaron was 11 and very much wanted to be friends with Pepper, but their relationship had started off a big rocky because Aaron was too rough with her when she was little. And Pepper was never really a cuddler, or lap dog. She would sit by you, but not on you and didn't enjoy being held. From the moment Chloe came, Aaron held her and carried her around like a baby, which she still enjoys today. Pepper immediately shared her toys, her bed and her Mom and Dad like the good dog she has always been. Chloe came from a breeder who raw fed, so I switched Pepper and Chloe has never had kibble. Both my dogs LOVE to eat every day and their coats and skin are wonderful and I believe they are very healthy. Each day I feed them a raw chicken wing, a 1/4 of a sirloin patty (from Costco), some rehydrated veggies and Nupro powder. I also give them organ meat and occasionally some rice.

Like all Havanese, they like to shred and play "run like hell", espeically in the snow. They go most places with us and if they can't go, they stay with Auntie Heather and their sisters. Pepper and Chloe have brought immense joy to our blended family. To them we are Mom and Dad and all the boys are their brothers. They bridge the gap of "theirs" and "ours" and love everyone the same. Yes, having dogs are a lot of work, they require time, love, attention, money, feeding, walking, grooming, brushing and a huge commitment, but they are worth every bit of effort.

The dogs also have thier own website

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