November 29, 2008

Fritz has left the building

Yay! Fritz left this morning for his forever home. His new family came to get him this morning. Fritz was his excited self and put on quite a show trying to impress them all.

To play such a small part, to take a dog into our home and give him a safe haven and then help him find his forever family. It feels pretty damn good.

And to know that only three weeks ago, Fritz was scheduled to be put to sleep as there was no more room at the shelter. And that only through the cooperation of several volunteers across two states, where we able to give this guy a second chance. Aside from a few chewed up beanie babies and kitchen utensils, this dog was a dream to get to know and take care of.

I did get a little teary as I said good bye to my friend this morning. But boy, I know he's going to have a great life with his new Mom, Dad and sister. That makes it worth it!

We'll take a little break, as I'm sure Teiko could use it, but there are already other dogs needing a safe home. Our next foster may be young white german shepherd from Milwaukee. Snow as he is so aptly called needs a quieter place than the shelter to really come out of his shell and become adoptable.

November 24, 2008

First snow of the winter

Yay! The first snow fall of the season. The trees were absolutely beautiful this morning coated in snow. I'm sure it will be melted by the time I get home, but what a winter wonderland today. The pups had a good romp in the backyard, racing, skidding and rolling in the snow.

November 17, 2008

Fritz is in the house

Went to Janesville yesterday to pick up Fritz, our new foster dog and to transport a very weak but recovering 12 week GSD-Mixed pup to his foster home in McFarland. The arrival home did not go as planned with the meeting of my dogs. Teiko immediately got his hackles up and was pretty pissed that I'd bring another male into his house. There was lots of growling, body bumping and "Hear me roar" statements by Teiko. Fritz looked a little overwhelmed and was totally submissive. Cita was uber friendly and sided with the pup immediately. As the evening wore on, Teiko seemed to settle in with the new dog and all three of them fell asleep at my feet. Fritz is really a sweet dog and we worked on the "sit" all day and he is getting it very well. I had a pocket full of tasty treats and he knows already, when I call him (he get a treat) and then when he sits he gets another one. He will make a great companion - he's dog and human friendly. Right now, all three dogs follow me where ever I go And all get treats when we "practice the sit" (because my dogs don't get treats everytime they sit....) so it is kind of funny that they will all sit together and my GSD will tolerate the young Fritz when there is food.
This morning at 5:30 am, Fritz woke us all up to go outside. Imagine my surprise when Teiko started playing with Fritz. It was totally different this morning. Here are a couple of shots of the pups playing at my feet. Trust me, this is totally supervised play, but both dogs are now finding some common ground and are becoming much more social with one another (this is mostly Teiko, Fritz will be anyone's friend....) The "fierce" photo above was from one of the pup's play sessions this morning. They were have a great time with one another aside from the one-inch fangs of Teiko.........

November 12, 2008

Fritz - our first foster pup

This is Fritz, formally known as Sir Wags Alot who I wrote about before. Fritz is currently in Illinois but will be making the trip to Madison on Sunday where he will live with us until a "forever" home is found for this sweet guy. Here's his bio on the rescue site of which we have just started volunteering as foster parents -

Fritz will have a busy first week as we'll get him in to the vet for surgery and up to date on shots as well as get use to another new home.

Isn't he the cutest thing? That look just says, "Hey, wanna play?" I think Teiko will have a good time with this new friend.

November 11, 2008

Summer is gone in Wisconsin

When I left for Mexico 11 days ago, the temperatures were near 70 degrees. The rose bushes were in their final burst of flowers. I didn't want to cut them back because they were so beautiful.

The sudden cold snap that hit last week, froze the roses in their bloom. I took this picture this morning. There were about 50 blooms on the bushes and all were frozen and frost covered.

I'll be putting the rose bushes to bed this weekend. That will be fun as the temp is expected to hover around freezing with sleet and snow expected.

What a trip!

Back to the cold reality of Wisconsin Winters (24 degrees this morning during the pups' walk) But yesterday, I enjoyed one more day of 80 degrees in Mexico city.

For a 10 day trip, we saw so much and yet had a relaxing time. My Spanish came in fits and starts. I successfully spoke our way through most of the country with only a few hitches. It's definitely a good thing to be able to speak the language of Mexico because you can learn so much more about the places you visit, the people you meet, the foods you eat, and the sites you see.
We spent the beginning of our trip in Mexico City for the first three days. This was during the Day of the Dead celebrations (La Dia del Muerto). Above is the mosaic-tiled building at the University where our friend Lenny is working. One night the students put on a huge celebration with floats, displays and music.Then it was off to the silver city of Taxco for a relaxing three day stay which included some silver purchases as you can imagine.
We then headed south to Acapulco which was way too hot and humid for me. It was 90 degrees with about 100% humidity - Yech. The ocean was beautiful. (The picture above is the sunset in Acapulco on Thursday) However, I found the city of Acapulco very disorganized, gritty and not very driver friendly. We actually stayed about 10 km northwest in a village called Pie de la Cuesta. Very quaint, but not fully recovered from the 1997 hurricane that destroyed many of the hotels and other businesses.

We then drove back up Highway 95 to Tepotzlan, the site of an ancient temple 1300 feet up a sheer cliff, which our friends, Lenny and Laura decided we needed to climb. The basically vertical 1 mile hike to the temple was worth it in the end, but I sure grumbled about it all the way up.
Finally, we landed back in Mexico City on Sunday for a relaxing evening before the flight back home on Monday.

Mexico is an amazing country with so much history, culture, personality and energy. I would definitely recommend a trip into the interior of the country and not just a beach vacation to gain true insight into a wonderful place. And a few Spanish lessons would go along way in making your trip more fulfilling.

All in all, a fantastic trip. Double click on the image below to see some more photos.

November 3, 2008

We're in Mexico City - Yay!

It's been an action-packed few days here in Mexico City. From the displays at the University for the Dia del Muertos (day of the dead) to sight seeing at the Zocolo (historic city center) where the cathedral and congress buildings are to the Museum of National Anthopology (pictured is the Aztec Goddess, Coatlicue as seen at the museum) We have seen so much.

Today we are headed to Taxco, the silver city and will then make a loop around Mexico City to see a few pre-historic sites.

Hasta la vista!

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