Thursday, December 23, 2010
I wanted to share a sweet Christmas greeting from Riagan's mom and sister. Her sister is on the left, and her mama is on the right. (Santa seems to be keeping a close eye on her sister).
And, a picture of Riagan taking over our laps last night as we watched, The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Riagan got a little bored with it and fell fast asleep.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Maybe the reason Irish Wolfhounds are noble, and they are, is because they are so big they have little to fear. Even when they play fight, they learn how strong they are, and how few living things could hurt them.
They are so very smart and generous.
Once a week I give Riagan a shower with me, and she always comes right in (she doesn't have to be dragged) and sits calmly as I spray her with water, work in the shampoo and groom her.
In fact, nothing seems to phase her except being separated from us. As long as she's by our side--when we sleep--when we wake--when we work outside--she's very content. When she's around, I have very little to fear either. There is no one, no thing, that does not give her instant or, at least, quick respect.
Her handshake, which we are trying to her train out of, is coming behind a guest and standing full up (which is about at their height) and pushing them with her paws. Big men have been pushed forward with her strength and turn in awe--like what beast is this? They're all amazed at her and, generally, can't take their eyes off of her.
Or maybe it's just me--I can't take my eyes off her.
Monday, December 13, 2010
This is Riagan's imprint (track) at 9 months. A dog track and a cat track are not much different, but a dog's two front toes (lead toes) are usually straight across, whereas, a cat will lead out with the third toe of the foot it's placing down. Also, you can usually see the claw on the dog's track--but not usually on the cat's.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Riagan is now 31" at the withers. She's lean and strong, well over a hundred pounds, and dense. She can bound through and over high snow at rapid speeds. She is a baby in an adult body.
Her mind is keen. She is naturally submissive. We taught her to lie down on command easily the first time we tried. She responds very well to hand-signals.
We feed her a little over 6 cups of food a day. If she eats more, she throws it up.
She is very good with strangers and children. She has never shown a bit of aggression.
The only issue we've had with her is she chewed the sole of my brand new Uggs and she's so damn big! Last month we removed the large leather couch from the living room to make space for her. When she lies out in front of the fire, she takes up about five feet or more of space. She makes our house seem small. Now I see why only royalty owned them in the golden-olden days. You'd need a castle to house them.
But she doesn't seem to know she's big. She still has these sweet puppy eyes and big goofy mannerisms. She comes begging with Maggie, the lab, (who now looks no bigger than a Chihuahua to us), and, though she towers over Maggie, she sincerely believes she's the baby sister.
I take showers with her every week. We have one of those removable heads that you can take down and move around. She knows to come in, sit down, and get a bath, and she's really pretty good at it.
The thing I love most about her is the way she makes me feel. She has this crazy, intense loyalty to us--she won't leave the bedroom until we're out of bed, for instance. She'll jump on the bed and lay down over us and paw/claw our faces, but she will not leave until we go with her. (Imagine a 6 foot, 120 pound dog jumping on your bed!!) She stays by our side when we're working the property. She makes me feel safe. It's like I have this huge bodyguard with me at all times. She has this fierce loyalty and protectiveness (always looking way out on the edges of the property for intruders) yet this big heart and gentle spirit. I see why some people consider them spirit guides--they do seem to want to guide and protect you through life.
If you're going to raise an Irish Wolfhound puppy in your home, you'd better be a laid back person. Everything a puppy does naturally is done by an IW, but on a much larger scale. If you can't handle a small puppy, please do not get an Irish Wolfhound. IWs are not for all people, they are for special people....like us. I say this jokingly, but it's true. If you don't that have that special quality to roll with the flow, fly by the seat of your pants, tolerate chaos, you are not Irish Wolfhound material.