General

Saturday Morning at Montrose dog Beach

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We woke up early this morning planning on taking the pups to Foster Dog Beach.  However, after finding it blocked due to an event along the lake shore bike path, we headed south to Montrose beach.  We live basically in the middle of both beaches and have always chosen Foster beach over Montrose, hearing crazy stories from friends and people we’ve randomly met.  Foster is smaller and seemingly lesser known than Montrose, but Montrose has been ranked in the top 10 for dog beaches in the US by “Fido” magazine.

Montrose was actually fantastic.  The beach was huge and the beautiful early morning brought a large amount of dogs running from one side to the other.  We headed over to the less populated side to acclimate the pups to the craziness of the party.  Both Link and Eve did fantastically.  While Paul was throwing the ball to Link, Eve followed at my heels and playfully met other dogs with no signs of aggression.  Both of the pups loved the water and meeting new aquintences.  Jake, the Jack Russell/Husky mix we met yesterday walking was also at the beach today.  All in all, today was a great morning at the beach.  Tomorrow we will head there again for a Chicago dog festival.

-K


New Sleep Spots

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.

-Paul

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.

eve, great dane, sleeping, puppy

eve, great dane, sleep, puppylink, golden retriever, sleeping, treadmill, puppyeve, great dane, black, puppy, sleeping


On Kids

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.

-Kyle


Open Spaces

A major concern while living in Chicago with two “soon-to-be-big” dogs is whether the pups are getting too cramped.  All dogs need room to stretch and get their energy out, big dogs more than most.  Of course, many loving big dog owners raise happy, buoyant, healthy giant dogs in metropolises all the time.  With dog beaches, lots of walking space, a long apartment, and other options, we are confident that our pups are getting the energy they need and the mental stimulation necessary to grow up as they should.

However, it is still amazing to see Eve and Link able to truly go crazy with lots of open green space here in rural Virginia.  With slightly more than a dozen houses in this area, each on several acres, Kyle’s family home is the perfect spot for the pups to really feel like animals.

Another great benefit is how much easier it is to get the dogs out to do their business without having to leash them up and walk down stairs.  The early morning bathroom break is always a bit frustrating in the city when you have to go through the routine while still groggy only to sit waiting impatiently while they take their time.  But out here, we simply grab a cup of coffee, open the door, and stroll out into the openness while watching the dog run around a bit until they are ready.  There is really no substitute.

-Paul

eve, link, guiness, lab, golden retriever, great dane

two guys, two pups, link, eve, golden retriever, great dane, northern virginia


Travel Takes Two

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.

-Kyle


The First Meeting

Considering this is all about two puppies growing up together, it is only fitting to share a video of the first time Eve & Link met each other.

Link arrived from Kentucky about a week and a half early.  He had the run of the apartment and all of the attention. But Eve finally drove in from Alabama in the middle of May and changed everything.


Puppy Play Dates

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.

-Kyle


The Kick Off!

Hey everyone!

We’ve been playing with the idea of creating a blog on raising two very different pups and have finally decided to pursue it.  We are creating this space and naming it accordingly to show how chaotic puppy-hood will probably be.   We will update the blog continuously to allow people to follow along the raising of our first “out of school” pups in the pursuit of the quintessential  “Perfect Dog.”

Eve, the Great Dane is 14 weeks old today and is very bold, outspoken, and attached to us.  Link, the 16 week old Golden Retriever, is laid-back, smart, friendly to everyone but fine with being alone.  We are currently living in Chicago in a three-bedroom apartment, two blocks from two different dog beaches and several other dog parks.

All four of us just spent yesterday at Foster Dog Beach.  Link & Eve are still exhausted.

Updates to follow soon.

-Kyle & Paul