We spent the past week camping in Chincoteage Virginia. Paul and I along with the two pups piled into my dads F250 pickup with both of my parents and my 2yr old nephew, Rylee. The journey there was around 6 hrs with plenty of excitement and noise! The pups naturally took their preferences in traveling spots. Eve, took the soft dog bed we wedged between the two front seats while Link chose the floor below our feet. Numerous times when Rylee had his fits, the dogs would back up and stare at him trying to figure out what exactly was making that screaming noise.
Once we arrived at the campsite, the dogs again picked their spots in the camper. The first night Eve took the dog bed and Link sprawled out across the floor. However, it only took one night for them to realize Paul and I were on the blow-up mattress above them. From then on every night after we brushed our teeth we would find Eve already in position on the bed while Link would start on the floor below. I mentioned before Link always sleeps on the floor until about 5am when he puts his front paws on the bed and licks my face to be lifted onto the bed. This trip was no different in his nightly schedule. The pics are cute.
The swimming pool means two different things to Eve and Link.
Link, the golden retriever, believes that the pool is perhaps mankind’s greatest invention. He was introduced to big bodies of water at the Foster Dog Beach at Lake Michigan. He loved it, but the swimming pool is definitely an upgrade over the lake. The pool water is much warmer than the lake and there are no intimidating waves to slow him down. On top of that, the pool has a ledge that makes it possible to dive head first into water without having to walk into it. Link’s heaven is going to be filled with swimming pools.
Eve, the great dane, thinks swimming pools are scary death traps. Eve is pretty logical, she realizes that she does not have gills, cannot breather underwater, and therefore does not need to be completely surrounded by water at any time. To her, the only good liquid is the stuff that is in her dish bowl to lap up when she is thirsty. Other than that, she prefers to sit on the beach chairs and snuggle with the closest person. One time Eve actually jumped into the pool right after Kyle. We think it was either an accident or she thought Kyle was drowning and needed rescue.
After a couple of months in our Chicago apartment, Link and Eve definitely have their prime nap spots all picked out. It is pretty predictable. Link picks typical “dog” spots, and Eve insists on sleeping where humans sleep.
Link = under the coffee table, under the futon, under the bed, on the tile in front of the fake fireplace
Eve= on the futon, on the bed, on her dog bed in front of the coffee table
Of course those options are gone in Virginia, so each pup has been forced to find new spots to rest. We’ve been here for a week now, and they’ve already picked out their regular haunts. Their traits haven’t changed either. Eve still insists on sleeping only on soft pillow-like things, and Link always snoozes on hard, cool surfaces.
Their choices definitely reflect their personality. Link gets along splendidly with all people, but enjoys his alone time. He gives you a kiss and then leaves to curl up in a spot only fit for a dog. On the other hand, Eve clings to humans and assumes that she must be one as well. She gives you a kiss, and then another kiss, and then another, and then insists on sleeping right on top of you.
P.S. Link finally learned to swan dive into the pool while fetching his tennis ball. Adorable. I am sure we will post a video of his new skill soon.
For anyone who hasn’t been reading our earlier posts, we are currently at my parents’ home in rural Virginia. My 2.5 year old nephew, Rylee has been spending most of his summer out here as well, swimming in the pool and running the land. One of the biggest decisions on dog breed for me, as well as Paul, was temperment. I have always grown up with Labs and have sometimes taken for granted their love of all people, including children. When purchasing my first “out of school” dog I was interested in trying a new breed but wanted to find something good with children like most labs. Golden Retrievers have always been one of the most popular family dogs because they are so forgiving to a child’s changing moods. When I was researching Great Danes I read they were also good with children but this popular phrase did not flood the searches like it did with the Golden Retriever.
While being at the house, Rylee was the first interaction the pups had with a child. Link loves everyone and everything around him and easily forgives Rylee’s heavy hugs. Eve, on the other hand, has been very interesting to watch interact with a child. As a female and a Dane, Eve likes to tell people “this is her owner” and “this is her blanket.” She would bark at Rylee when she didn’t understand why he would give her such a strong squeeze for a hug. Often she would take off away from him if he came too close to her screaming. However, we have been trying to reassure her Rylee is human and part of the family which she needs to behave around. So far, Eve has progressed a great deal and tolerates him much more often running to give him kisses.
Our travels to Virginia took about 11 hours in the car and the two pups did pretty well. We put the rear seats down in the car so Link and Eve could have the run. Some people I’ve talked to are very adamant about only traveling with their dogs in the crate or in some cases, a dog safety belt. I can completely see how crate traveling in a car would make sense. However, for such a long ride in the car, allowing them as much space as possible to stretch their legs made the most sense to us. I know when I’m traveling, I have to stretch my legs any chance I get. I figured the pups agreed! Eve However, insisted on reaching her head into the front of the car to rest it on one of my arms steering the car. It was cute, but kind of heavy for steering the car! Ok, so I get why some people crate their dogs!
Pics are of the pups traveling and one of my parents dog, Guiness the Chocolate Lab.
Sometimes when we mention that we are raising a Great Dane and Golden Retriever, people immediately assume, “Oh, so you’ve got one smart dog and one not-so-smart dog.” But really, it is much more complicated than that. They both know basically the same commands: sit, down, stay, etc. There is not really any “tricks” difference between them so far. But, the pups definitely have personality differences.
For example, take their sense of curiosity. Sometimes Link definitely stays interested in things longer than Eve. New toys/people/dogs typically interest Eve for a few seconds and then she moves on. Link, however, lingers with new things for awhile, soaking them up.
On the other hand, Eve is much bolder than Link. She is the first to race to something, the first to bark at a strange noise, the first to poke her head somewhere new to see what is inside. Eve just follows her instincts immediately…Link slowly catches up, then stays a little longer.
So, digging into the recent past, we’ve tried to introduce the pups to other dogs as much as possible. This has been hard since we’ve been told that puppies without certain shots, like Rabies and Distemper, should only be introduced to other puppies on a similar vaccination calendar. There are plenty of dog beaches and opportunities for the pups to interact with other dogs, but we decided to listen to the vet and keep them away from the adult dogs. In doing so, we’ve scheduled puppy play dates with two different sets of friends that have also just gotten pups. The adorable Indy and the cute adolescent Zsu Zsu have both come over to meet Link and Eve.
Like a typical Golden, Link loved everyone of the pups and ran around playing and sharing his toys as kid in daycare might do. Eve, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the other dogs. She was constantly in between my legs, looking out and begrudgingly allowing these pups to touch her toys. She did however, have no problem steeling Indie’s toys and dragging them back to her crate.