Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Leapin Louie

Today is a very special day - it's Leapin Louie's birthday!  He's 12 (or three ... depending how you look at it - and that's not the first time I've said that today!)

Louie is my first Shih Tzu and what has got me involved in this "crazy" world of dogs.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to share Louie's story.

I got interested in Shih Tzu when a friend of mine bought one.  Baxter shares a birthday with me and I'm his special Auntie.

In 2000, when we were in the process of building our first home, I knew that we needed a dog (the cats disagreed).  I started my search in early March.  My original search consisted of a call to my vet for referrals.  This lead to a chain of phone calls which eventually led me to Louie's breeder, who was about two hours southwest of here.  I wanted a male, and she had just had a litter of three pups, one was male.  Something about this seemed "right" to me, so I agreed to put a deposit on him, sight unseen.  What a risky move!  She said that we could plan a visit to see him at about six weeks of age, and we'd pick him up a few weeks later.

It occurred to me after I hung up the phone that the breeder mentioned the litter being born about "a week an a half ago" - which was close to February 29th.  When I talked to her again, I asked the date of birth ... sure enough, leap year pups.

This is one of the first pictures I have of Louie - he's on the right.

In the weeks to follow, I started planning for our "new arrival." had been recently launched and I did quite a bit of my first ever online shopping.  (Louie still has a toy from those initial purchases.)  

We got to go down and visit with Louie when he turned six weeks old.  I borrowed my friend's digital camera and took some pictures.  (First time I ever used a digital camera!)  By this time, we already knew that we wanted to name him Louie, but hadn't thought of a "registered" name for him.

 That's me with Louie.  Ignore my perm.
 Louie is less than thrilled about the basket pose.
 So cute - mini Louie.
 First "Smilin' Lou" photo
Cute puppy belly.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Is that a real dog?" -- My day at the dog show.

A group of us went to Chicago for the International Kennel Club's annual AKC dog show.  The show includes conformation, obedience, and rally (and VENDORS!).  They used to also offer agility; I showed Louie there several years ago.  I have to admit ... this particular show is much more fun to go there as a spectator rather than an exhibitor.  (Lots of walking involved to get to the show area.  I'd hate to tote all of my show stuff around there.)

This is Chase.  If he looks familiar, you may have seen him before ... he won Best of Breed at Westminster recently (and was on TV for the group judging.)  Chase belongs to a friend of mine.

One of the questions I heard a few times as Chase was waiting in the grooming area for his show time, was "Is that a real dog?"