Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's not exactly safe....

....running with your eyes shut.....

More snow...and my MOUTHY MONSTER coat...


I'm 11 weeks old today (1/19/10) and over 25 pounds.

Out for a quick walk while mom shovels our front sidewalk

A little trouble getting my head around the snow-fall-land-melt-disappear thing.

Getting big!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New puppy coat....

...as he's growing....growing....growing!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hamilton's siblings....

Sibling #1:  Logan (on the left), age 8.

Sibling #2: Bushido the Snowshoe Siamese, who is 1.5 years.

Sibling #3: Rangoon, the Burmese, who is 8 months.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Toy Test Drive: Holee Molee


Toy: JW Pet Company Tough By Nature-
The Hol-ee Mol-ee Extreme

Price: $7-12 (I paid $7 on Amazon.com)

Added: 2 Iams LARGE treat bones.

Hamilton is a power-chewer. In to EVERYTHING and with his mouth ALL OVER IT.

We're exploring what toys and items get him chewing, and keep him chewing....which is key to his enjoyment of a toy- and keeping his teeth OFF our shoes, furniture, and body parts.

I take the Holee Molee and put 2 IAMS large bones (small ones do not work with the holes in this size- I save the 'puppy' sized IAMS bones for his Puppy Kong) thru the holes with the 'knob' sticking out around the outside on two sides.  My husband likes to put the bone inside all the way- which interests him, but as he's still a baby- if he doesn't get a 'taste' of the bone quickly- he gets bored or loses interest.

With the bone 'knobs' protruding from the sides of the ball it rolls wonky which also seems to perk his interest. He lays down and manipulates the Holee Molee with his paws and muzzle, chewing, biting, rolling and pawing, all very good activites for his growth- and very good he's NOT doing them on us or inappropriate objects. 

As with all other items we WANT him to chew on, we refer to all appropriate objects as "Toy!" with a big, enthusiastic and chirpy command- and when he puts his mouth on us, or something he shouldn't, we say "NO!" and then offer him something he CAN chew on, with "Toy!" in that super-hyper-happy voice, and he's glad to oblige.

First impressions: I got the larger size, and was pleased with that sizing given Hamilton will be, well, huge. Right now as a puppy some of his toys appear to be big for him- but that won't last long. 

The rubber is smooth and not 'slick', which I like, with a nice 'give' to it, but good resistance and firmness, which will work for working his gums and jaws as he's teething.  The holes are great for a good sized treat bone, or a jerky bar of some sort. The smaller triangular holes would work for a narrower or smaller treat, but as soon as he chewed or nudged the treat loose of that hole, it's going to fall out and be on the floor.

Of note: I don't put 'messy' treats into toys like this if possible- meaning anything with basting, flavoring or oils, as I don't want those on my carpet, furniture, or clothing.

I limit Hamilton to 2-3 treat bones per day, so once he works these off, I do have to redirect him to something else....they are not a 'long-term' treat.

Ham likes to chew the bones out of the Holee Molee, and then bite, toss, roll, stomp and chase the Holee Molee around the room. It appears to be standing up to his aggressive mouthing, his SHARP baby teeth, and his slightly clumsy playing where he bats the toy around with his head and feet, often over-running it or landing on top of it while playing. 

The Holee Molee does 'bounce' a bit, but it's somewhat like a deflated basketball- it bounces once or twice and then 'plops' to the floor with very little rebound.

This is not a high-bouncing toy, nor one I'd worry about doing a ricochet with. I don't know if that would be the case with the smaller or odd-shaped products by the same name.

As an initial observation- I think this toy has longevity with Hamilton, and he will wear it out eventually- to be replaced by another of the same product. I will update this review after he's had more time to work, chew and play with it.  The other item in these photos is a length of rayon rope that we got at our local home-improvement shop, washed, and then knotted at the ends for him to tug, chew and play with.

(Note: I wasn't asked to review this product, nor was I compensated for doing so. I have a Great Dane puppy and as such I would like to be supportive of what products are good for him, and what products may work for other dog owners.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The puppy coat...


Hamilton gets as many compliments on his coat as he does on his 'cute' factor.....

So... here is the deal behind his first (and right now only) coat:

I modified a toy dog pattern for a coat. You know, one of those yippy little 'lint-on-a-string' dogs....that wear dresses and goofy clothes, etc..... I took one of the patterns for a larger version (think a cocker spaniel) and modified it for a baby Great Dane.

(this may also be a time to note that I write Great Dane with caps letters at the beginning, because 'great dane' doesn't look right. Great Dane, to me, is a proper noun.)

The first version is now going thru some 'testing' with Hamilton wearing it out and about. The first thing is, he's growing...FAST.   What was too big on him 3 weeks ago is now snug and borderline too small.  Other new parents will identify with this, and I remember it from my own girls as babies; what was too big on Monday the 8th, will be fitting them on Monday the 15th, and too small by Friday the 20th.  They just grow too doggone fast.

Right now, his solo coat has me doing some odd 'on' and 'off' tactics as he's SO chewy; I have to flip him onto his back to get it on and off him, as that takes pressure off his legs and neck when I'm manuvering him into his coat. That tactic is not going to last, obviously, because I can't flip a 70, 90 or 120 pound dog over onto his back each time I want to put his coat on, never mind "Rover, Roll Over" songs.  Not to mention he does not possess those teensy dog paws that Chi's and such have...he has some seriously huge feet. Hugeish-huge.

I'm going to have to modify the coat to go with his growing size/proportions, and figure out how to make an opening/access point that is easy to do but at the same time doesn't come undone when it isn't supposed to.  I have to wonder if I needed to add 'engineering' to some of the things I studied in school.

The other modification involves, well, his wee-wee.   This modified toy-dog coat hits just at his wee-wee and unless I roll up the 'waist' of it, he squats and gets both the ground and the waistband of his coat. Not cool.   I'm thinking I need to 'scoop' effect with the coat on the underbelly, and taper the top piece and waistband to contour with his flanks....and leave plenty of space for the puppy wanger to do it's thing.

Finally- I'm working on his 'style'.  The first coat was intended to be more practical than anything- he was coming from TN where there was no snow to CO where there was 3 feet of it, and minus single and double-digit temps.  SO- the first coat (the blue gray one) was more cute and heavy than anything else.

Hamilton is a little boy and as he's a little boy, he loves his superheroes.   Batman is a favorite at 'five woofs' on the Dane movie rating scale, but I confess we haven't shown him The Amazing Spiderman yet.  Ham's watched "Hellboy" (three out of five woofs) and "X-men" (three out of five woofs) and "Lord of the Rings" (three out of five woofs) and "007" (two out of five woofs). 

I shopped for comic book themed fabrics this week and found a few options. I do want to hit the fabric stores my next trip to Denver (as I've missed doing that the last 2 trips!) and see what I can find. 

I found some great Batman fabrics online, as well as tons of Spiderman.  I also found black/white fabrics I think will work when he doesn't need to stand out quite so much...... a little 'monster' fabric that I will line with white fleece, and a 'dog speak' fabric I will probably line with orange or red.

I do think this comic book panel piece will be my favorite for him so I am forecasting using that for his nearly-full-grown size jacket, fall/winter of 2010/2011. 

I think something like bright yellow or shock blue for the fleece liner on that. :)  I can't wait.

Stay tuned for more chapters on Hamilton's coats and styles!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Favorite things...

Now that Hamilton has been home for a couple weeks, we know a few more things he just LOVES:
  • Kong ball with the holes for the treats
  • Puppy kong with a biscuit and PEANUT BUTTER!
  • Kong frog with the squeaker!
  • Turkey apple treats with, what else, PEANUT BUTTER!
  • His Holee Moley toy with a biscuit hidden inside
  • Rope toys and ties, especially if he can drag it around
  • Puppy 'keys' teethers
  • Baby carrots, and we LOVE chicken shreds with our kibble.

Hamilton came to us at nearly 7 weeks and left his mom and 3 littermates behind- learning to sleep on his own, by himself, has been a challenge for him.  So, every night, to help Hamilton settle to bed- we set the dryer to dry clothes for an hour, and the washer to delay start for an hour... this provides a nice "white noise" effect for him of a soft hum....lulling him to sleep. 

Other things we have tried have been white-noise machines and he LOVES settling in with a good movie! However, he has his preferences as to what's a good movie, and what he doesn't like.

He loves 'Batman- Dark Knight'. LOVES it. 
He growls at the Joker and his men, barks at the thugs, and actually 'watches' the movie with us.

He seems to do fine with '007' and other action flicks, including the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'King Kong', 'Hellboy'....and 'Star Wars'.

Of note, he doesn't care for 'Harry Potter' or 'Twilight' movies.

More updates on his Favorite Things...to come...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunny Sunday walk...


Saturday, January 2, 2010



Hamilton practicing his big-dog bark....

Woofs. Ham's rating system.

  • Five Woofs = I REALLY LIKE IT
  • Four Woofs = I like it
  • Three Woofs = It was OK
  • Two Woofs = Meh.
  • One Woof = No, thanks.

Hamilton's family



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