Hi Shela and Cliff,
I’ve been meaning to write, actually for some time now, to give you a big howdy and update on Beorn!
First, all of us here at the Maines house would like to say that we love reading the blog everyday. It is such a useful tool, a source of humor, helpful hints, and most of all reminders. It has really helped us through having Beorn in our lives. Sometimes we ask ourselves, are we crazy? Then, we read up on the blog and re-read some older topics and we realize that no, we are not crazy, we are Weim Crazy! So, sincerely, thank you for all the work that y’all put into the blog. It’s great.
Growing into paws and ears
Beorn is still growing into his paws and ears. He’s a big boy, at least for us. It’s hard to believe that he will be 2 years old this summer. He has developed some interesting habits over our time together. We realize, and often remind ourselves, that they are a collaborative effort. We have ‘spoiled’ Beorn, some would say. He sleeps in our bed, we cook half of all his food every day, he gets his teeth brushed, nails clipped, and baths regularly (which are his favorite!). We take him most places with us and he likes to ride shotgun. If a place is not dog friendly, it’s likely you would never see us there. For us, these seem like small tokens of love and gratitude for him since he has brought so much love to our lives. He is a handful and at times we can become frustrated with him. It’s honestly not unlike raising our other two children. We have learned that we have to take a step back and look at these frustrating situations critically to find solutions.
We are back on track
Leash training got off to a great start and then we got lazy about it. It was a great reminder that having a loose lead with a flat collar is the goal. We have been working on this again. Beorn just cuts those eyes at us and lets us know what he thinks about that! LOL. He has tons of personality and is highly intelligent. He outsmarts us all the time! He will ask to go outside only to get us off the couch so he can steal his favorite seat. We love to travel and Beorn does too. It’s been important for him to learn to be comfortable in unfamiliar situations. He is very attached to me and does experience some mild anxiety (mostly whining and waiting for me to return or trying to sniff me out in the neighborhood). Thankfully, Alex is home with him everyday while I’m at work. I’ll be traveling back east next month and will be gone for about a week. It will be a big test for us all! We have noticed that he has a different relationship with each of us, even our cats. One thing that has remained consistent about Beorn is that he is such a little lover, eager to please.
Can I get under your skin?
Things Beorn loves- He loves to snuggle and be close to us. He loves getting under blankets and sleeping. Toys, toys, and more toys! He is the happiest when he is stimulated and playing, learning, or solving problems. JW has been a go-to for us for toys. They last and they are interactive. Chuck-it products are also great. Beorn loves to retrieve and can usually outlast my arm with this game.He has a variety of antlers and buffalo horns that keep him busy. But, there’s nothing like his snuggle toys. He has a sheep wool that is his absolute favorite. He even thinks that the cat toys are for him and he’s tried to recently climb in our cat tree! He loves boiled chicken and fresh chopped veggies/fruit. We spend a lot of time preparing his food each day and don’t mind doing it since it brings him delight. He is also still digging his usual kibble. Squirrel tracking is a new game he plays outside. He can usually sniff them out and will bark and jump on the tree they are in. He also digs up their treasures they bury, like peanuts. Beorn loves water and is starting to be more comfortable with swimming. Our plan is to get a tandem kayak this spring and have a seat for him so he can travel on the water. We have found Sandy Delta Park, just outside Portland, to be a new weekend favorite place to visit. It’s a huge off leash ‘dog park.’ It is more like a off leash wilderness with several different hiking trails. His best friend is a neighbor’s dog, a St. Bernard. They love to romp and play until they both collapse. They have regular play dates. When they are together they pay no attention to other dogs, it is a true BFF situation 🙂
We talk a lot about our next Weim and when would be the best time to add another to our family. This, it seems, can be tricky. When the time is right I guess is the answer. One thing is for sure, we are truly enjoying Beorn in our life. Challenges and struggles help us grow and make the sweet moments even sweeter.
Thanks for all the support and work that y’all do!
Its hard to imagine, but our girls are turning 3 soon!!! We are still working on training, and continue to reinforce who is in charge around here, but all in all, these girls are growing into their own. It has been our pleasure to see these very distinct personalities grow and develop. We are very blessed with two loving, cuddly, and goofy girls.
I think we are all ready for spring and summer fun after this long cold winter. Having a small house and two weims, we often have to force ourselves, and our weims, to go out in the elements and get some exercise. I try and run with them on a regular basis in the mornings and Jake takes them for hikes in the afternoons. We have found though that Ilsa much prefers to stay in bed. There have been mornings where I have literally had to pull her out of bed. Indy on the other hand, is ready to run at any hour! She is good motivation on the mornings when I feel much more Ilsa like. 🙂
We have had some recent changes to our work schedules and this means that sometimes the girls are left home a bit longer than they were used to and on rare occasions they only get one outing of park or run!!! 😉 Surprisingly, they have responded incredibly well and adjusted without any challenge. We are very grateful for the early crate training, it is clearly paying off!
While having two girls the same age is every bit the challenge that you warned us it would be, we certainly couldn’t be happier with our little family. We don’t have kids but friends of ours that do have them notice how much raising a weim is much like parenting. 😉 Looking forward to many spring adventures and wishing you all many days of sunshine!
Weim Kisses from the Zimmerman’s
PS: We’ve been busy so we sent a lot of pics. Please choose which ever you feel fit best. Cheers
PPS: I wanted to add that both girls are loose leash trained and do great walking with us without a leash in very distracting environments! It was a huge win for all involved! Cliff was spot on with the importance of loose leash training! 😉
Breeder’s Note: Jake and Liz originally had one blue girl; the other was returned to us. Prior to her return, they met her many times (in and around the Portland area). When she was returned, they expressed interest in having the sister. Cliff did extensive work (including assessment, and rehabilitation) prior to agreeing to the placement. Liz and Jake have done wonderful with the two girls. That doesn’t mean it was easy either. Nevertheless, it was a doable situation. We cannot stress often enough that in many instances, two females will not do well together. No one thinks they will ever have a fur-flying situation, but in truth, you might be setting yourself up for one by choosing two females. The choice of the females, as well as your skill-level must be strongly assessed, and placement should only be made in the most positive of situations. We are thrilled that Ilsa and Indy have been able to thrive in this placement. Thank you for the photos, and the lovely update.