Thursday, June 21, 2018

Alex FAQ

Alex seems to have taken over this blog. Sorry, not sorry.
I love her to pieces and will likely wear out the camera before she reaches adulthood.
I'll use this post to answer some questions you've asked about her.
I'm frankly shocked by how well she and Smooch are getting along.
In her foster home, Alex was socialized among several adult dogs with special needs,
which provided a solid foundation in canine manners. Smooch has been nothing but gentle
with her; in fact, she is sometimes too quiet with her corrections
when Alex is annoying the crap out of her. Since Smooch isn't physically up to
the big corrections that would put Alex in her place, I'm intervening when necessary
to teach Alex her boundaries. But it's all good, and peace and harmony reign.

We're working on leash training in the back yard, but it will be a while before Alex can go on 
an official walk. She won't receive her final puppy shots until next week 
and it's best to wait for those. Then there's the whole rattlesnake thing.
I can't imagine her staying right with us off leash just yet,
and until we develop an unfailing recall, it's too risky.

 Alex weighed 10.1 pounds when she was 10 weeks old.
She weighed 11.2 pounds yesterday, at 12 weeks.
To me, she seems like she will be smaller than Smooch
when she finishes growing, but who knows?

For comparison, Smooch weighed 19 pounds when she was 16 weeks old
and has been 37-40 pounds since she was 4. She'll be 13 in October.
The hardest part about having a puppy in the family? 
It makes Smooch seem really old, which makes me very sad.

The rescue that Alex came from guesses she's a Boston Terrier mix, but I'm highly skeptical.
I've met her mother – a long-haired, short-legged, 35-pound black mutt with a face similar to Alex's. 
Her father is unknown. I'm guessing he's at least part pitbull.
In the grand scheme of things, it matters not a bit. 
She's a lovable, squishable, huggable Dog...

...whose default expression is worried.

Her superpower is sleeping silently through the night in her crate with no accidents.
When I have to crate her during the day, the amount of time she whines and carries on 
is steadily decreasing, to my and Smooch's everlasting relief. Puppy shrieks hurt.

Smooch has willingly shared all her toys with Alex, 
but it turns out a dozen aren't enough to keep her busy so I've ordered lots more.

Chunks of tree bark add to the variety for now, and when that fails,
there's always digging, which is fine by me.
I think it must fulfill some natural instinct.
It keeps her busy and helps wear her out before she wears me out.
This puppy-raising business can be exhausting.


  1. I had been guessing that she was part Boston Terrier from the first pics. Her eyes and facial expression look like a Boston to me. Although her muzzle is not as short as a Boston, it looks shorter than most breeds. Whatever she is, she is darn cute. It does look like she learned some good foundation dog-dog communication skills. So glad she and Smooch are getting along so well.

  2. I love all your Alex blogs and updates! And if she is a Boston Terrier mix she will be wonderful! We have one and adore her, she has been a great dog for 14 years so far!

  3. Thanks for telling us more about sweet Alex, and super good Smooch. Loving the photos, as always.

  4. In the slightly blurry picture of Alex with the tuggy rope, I can see the Boston terrier. But maybe it's just her markings... I am mightily impressed with Smooch in all this. She is so kind with that crazy puppy. Who woulda guessed?!? Maybe a genetic test would be in order, pretty sure I remember you did one on Smooch. (I remember it because I was shocked by the results!)

  5. Wonderful post! You managed to answer all the questions I had tickling my mind. Makes me happy everything is going so wonderfully. I really really get the puppy vs 13 yr old dog sadness. As you know, Roxy is 13 now, too.

  6. Yay!!!! So happy that it is all going so well. She is super cute. You could really spoil her with a subscription to Barkbox, monthly box of treats and toys.
    Has to be so hard to leave her, but good for her to get use to being on her own.
    Bet you are getting in even better shape too with all that puppy exercise! Lisa G in TN

  7. I've thought she looked a little like a Boston Terrier too, but I thought at least one of her littermates looked a little bit like a pit bull. They're kind of related anyhow. She seems to be very smart and sweet and respectful of Smooch, and that's what matters.

  8. I’d say that the sixth photo is framable. Love her face, worried or not. Those eyes <3

  9. Loving all the photos!! I will send you a new camera if that one wears out! Just keep the photos and updates coming!

    NE Oklahoma

  10. I think that rather than worried she looks astonished. I always prefer positive qualifiers than negative ones. I also hope you will have time to gently introduce her to Johnny.

  11. I believe the canvas that is her facial coloring adds to the worry look. She is adorable. Smooch is gently training her. One day she will hear the snake bark. Learning ranch smells first is only proper. Thank you for all the info.

  12. My Jack Russell terrorist turned 14 this year. It's a bittersweet time. Re adorable Alex, thinking it's the reverse eyebrows that give her that concerned look. And I'm seeing some beagle in there... is she "musical" at all?

    1. The long legs make me think beagle but she, so far, has shown no musicality.

  13. She's adorable. Smooch is being a sweet boy. That face...

  14. I have to ask...what about JCC?

    1. Check the bottom of yesterday's post - there's an update there.

  15. An American in Tokyo6/21/18, 6:07 PM

    OH FUN FUN!! Puppy in the house!!
    As long as you also post pictures of Smoochie-poo, I have no problem with Alex taking over the blog!

  16. Northern AB gal6/21/18, 8:27 PM

    Since you are going to be buying more toys to keep her busy, check out snuffle mats. There are lots of places on line to buy them or you can make your own. It's a good way to keep them busy and occupied while in their kennel. I agree with previous posters, her facial markings seem to contribute to her adorable "worried" look.

  17. I am not sure if my first comment went through but essentially I said this all makes me really happy. Smooch is amazing as always and Alex is just to damn cute for words. :-)

  18. So, this may be my third comment but I don't think the others went through..... But I really really love this and it makes me so happy to see a content Smooch and a precious Alex and all the happiness going on at 7MSN these days :-)

  19. I'm just catching up with this week's posts, I too am amazed at how well they are adapting to each other. You are so lucky things are going so well! My two cents. . . I'm wondering if Alex might be part Basenji? I recently used genetic testing (research partner Cornell University of College Veterinary Medicine) for my mixed breed boy. Maybe a genetic test is in order? Regardless, love that everything is going so well for you and the girls. Enjoy!!

  20. Our 6 month old lab mix male puppy was neutered before we brought him home, and he got his 1st set of puppy shots too. I did take him in and get him microchipped already, just in case he were to get out of the yard. This afternoon he showe his true colors (he has been with us for 10 days now), but running around the yard (fenced) and DIGGING! He, too, seems to love tree bark, although he did find an old, old bone and now it is his prized possession...I think he, too, has a little pit bull in him, but he is so happy go lucky and just LOVES everyone.