Bear’s First Swim

I’m leaving for Cebu again in 2 days and there was so much left on Elmer’s to-do list that was left unchecked, so we decided to crash through them and prioritize whatever we felt should be done. Today, we took Bear to the beach for the first time. We have always made it a point to take our dogs, when they’re around 3-4 months, to the beach because apparently, not all dogs can swim.

“When it comes to swimming, canines generally fall into one of three categories. There are those that can swim, those that can be taught to swim and those that should steer clear of all aqueous environments.

Some dogs may have the physical capacity to swim, but have a mortal fear of the water nonetheless. These animals tend to panic when submerged. For a dog in water, panic quickly leads to fatigue, which makes drowning much more likely.-Animal Planet

90, being my first dog, was taken to the beach at 3 months. I felt it might have been to early for her since the first time we took her, she didn’t take to the water too well and ended up splashing around near the shore. The second time we took her, she seemed more excited to see the water and began fetching her ball whenever we threw it into the water. She would swim by herself all the way to the deep end ’til she became a tiny black speck in the horizon, before she began to swim back to us on the shore.

Vodka, we took to the beach along with 90. He was around 3 months when we took him and 90 was a year old. 90 loves the water so she swam ahead of him and he followed. Clearly, he did not enjoy swimming but he just had to be near her so he swam next to her, but he would panic and climb onto us whenever he was in the deeper areas. Vodka isn’t the best swimmer but he can manage himself in the water and he knows when to go back to the shore.

Bear, being a golden retriever, should be most comfortable in the water.

He was scared of the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and he didn’t want to get in at first. Elmer had to coax him into the water but he’d pull back every time he heard the waves, which is why we decided to keep his leash on.

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He would test the water a bit and then back away into the shore. Elmer decided to carry him into the deeper part so he can paddle a bit and get the feel of being surrounded by water. After a few minutes, he got the hang of it and was swimming back and forth. I had no plans of swimming which is why when I packed, I didn’t include extra clothes. I was in denim shorts and a decent top and I ended up swimming with Elmer and Bear. I have to say, I had a lot of fun. I did not expect to go home wet, sandy and salty but it was great.

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This is easily my favorite photo of Bear at the beach. He kept making huge splashes, and I was glad to be able to get this shot. 🙂

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Bear is quickly becoming such a big boy. At home, he gets carried all the time because he’s the baby and he loves that. He just stays in your arms quietly while you rock him back and forth and sing a nursery rhyme. That was when he was around 3 months and he weighed around 9.8 kgs (but that was the start of his 12th week, when he was around 12 weeks and a half he turned 10.4 kgs), now that he’s 4 and a half months old, he weighs around18-19 kgs and is difficult to carry. Looking at the photo below, he looks really big. 🙂 I love the color of his coat and I hope he gets to be as big or bigger than his dad. 🙂

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Bear wouldn’t go after his ball but then when he finally did, he didn’t want to let go.

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He fell asleep on our way home but we woke him up to give him a bath since today is Friday which means bathday for all the dogs.

I think I really am inclined to using Sergeant’s Gold over the Sergeant’s Skip-Flea and Tick Oatmeal shampoo. It smells better and is less flaky. I was planning on doing a review on the shampoo but then I didn’t want to eat up the little time I have left at home doing a review on dog shampoo. 🙂

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I do, however, plan on doing a review on several treats I have tried with all my dogs. That should be interesting and quite lengthy considering all the treats we’ve tried, tested and given to all our dogs, I thought it would be a good guide since a lot of people ask me about treats.

I don’t really know how to end this post so I think I’ll just stop writing and go cuddle with Bear and Vodka.

Welcome to the Family

A few months ago, Elmer asked me if there was anything I wanted for our 4th anniversary, which was on March 9. I told him there wasn’t anything in particular I could think of and that he might as well just come over to Cebu so we could celebrate together, despite the fact that that was around the time I was preparing for my finals. So he booked a ticket and I saved the date.

However, I kept complaining to him about how lonely it was and how much I missed 90 and vodka back home. Since this was a constantly resurfacing issue for me, Elmer showed me pictures of golden retriever puppies and asked me if I’d like a my own puppy to bring back to Cebu.

Initially, the idea excited me. Having a new puppy I could play with, or teach or take care of and bring with me to school whenever I can. This kept me psyched for days until reality set in and I realized I could not take care of a puppy all by myself while in med school.

I know a lot of people do this and I’ve seen a couple of my friends buy puppies while in med school to help with the lonliness that comes with living away from home, but when I take care of my dogs, it’s far from how other people do it. I literally dote on my dogs.

At home, we treat them like children. Whenever I’m home for vacation, I stay home 24/7 to babysit the dogs even if they can be left alone since they’re old enough.

Besides the basics of having a new puppy (feeding, bathing, play time, vet visits)  I have to consider other things because of how meticulous we are with our pets. I have to consider dog food rotations which means I have to switch between Eukanuba or Beef Pro once in a while so he won’t get tired of it and so his tummy will get used to the 2 kinds of dog foods. His feedings have to be scheduled to discipline him on feeding time. I will have to give fresh milk out of the carton (we use nestle) after every meal, if he isn’t lactose intolerant, because he will need the calcium as a puppy.

He will have to be bathed once a week with special shampoo (I only use Seargeant’s Skip-Flea and Tick Oatmeal Shampoo). I will have to bring him to the vet every couple of weeks or months for his shots and for regular deworming. I will ask that he be sprayed with Frontline’s Spot On or injected with Ivomec to protect him from fleas and ticks. He will also have to have special Vitamins and injectibles.

I’ll have to monitor him like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t eat dirt, or lick rocks or pick up anything from the ground because he could get worms or ameobiasis. He will have to be isolated from other dogs for a few months and I’ll have to watch out for parvo or distemper. I’ll have to toilet train him and do basic obedience which will eat a lot of my time.

On top of all of this, I’ll have to spend a lot of time with him, talking and playing, so we can bond and he will get used to his name, my name and the sound of my voice.

We talk to our dogs like they’re people. I mean, I have actual conversations with them and I always feel like they understand me on some level and they respond. My dogs have personalities of their own and they aren’t just dogs to me.

Take 90 for example, she likes to sleep next to the fridge so if you need to get anything, you can’t just open the fridge door. You need to get her attention by saying “Excuse me 90, I need to get something.” and that’s the only time she’ll move for you. If you make the mistake of pulling the door open, she will growl (a sign of complaining) before she moves, and it won’t be enough for you to get anything.  😐

Yes, I spoil my dogs. They get treats and cake and ice cream and a huge part of my fridge back home is filled with their goodies.

So, having a puppy with me in Cebu, will be a huge distraction for about half a year. This is why I told Elmer about it and that I couldn’t keep one there. So he asked me if I still wanted one but I’d have to leave it back home and I’d have the summer with him. I told him it would defeat the purpose of buying me a puppy int he first place and he agreed. I thought I convinced him then but he still contacted several breeders and sent me photos. 😐

I knew Elmer really wanted another dog (all my dogs are gifts from him) because he was literally obsessing.

Our anniversary month, and he told me he couldn’t make it to Cebu. He had the ticket. He just couldn’t make it because (insert reason here). So I sucked it up and we skyped instead.

He bought me a puppy. He couldn’t make it because it was arriving and he was helping out at home taking care of it. So now, I have a new puppy.

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This is a collage of Bear from a few weeks to around 2 months.First 3 pictures on top were taken by the breeder and the 3 photos in the bottom are from the house, when he arrived. 

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This is Bear’s PCCI paper. His paper name is Grizly Bear and I will be processing it so I can transfer the name to my own. He comes from a very good line. His dad is a Philippine Champion. He has 25 red marks, 5 green marks out of 30 and only 4 black marks. 🙂 Red marks mean the dog is a champion, Green marks mean they have sired a champion and Black  marks mean they haven’t competed yet or did not win a competion.

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Bear at 2months hanging out with 90 (3 years old)  (they don’t get along very well since 90 gets jealous and she doesn’t like puppies, but they will when he stops being so “kulit”)

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Sometimes, Vodka doesn’t mind when Bear snuggles next to him. 🙂

Name: Brother Bear aka Bear
Gender:Male
Birthday: January 13, 2013
Current Weight as of May 29: 18.6 kilos

Current Height from shoulders to ground as of May 29: 18.5 inches

Breed: Golden Retreiver
Color: Golden (?) his coat is still changing.

*Understands varieties of commands such as:  sit, down, up, come, leave it, speak, high 5, give me 5, roll over, can walk off leash, begs, toilet trained. (that’s all he knows so far since he’s only been with me for about a month.

*Understands English very well.

*Potty trained and asks to be taken out when needed.

*Enjoys: milk, ice cream, fruits, vegetables, basically anything he can eat, walks (but not for long since he gets tired easily), biting things especially the other dogs

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So I end this post with recent photos of 90, my 3 year old labrador and Vodka, my 2 year old German Shepherd. 

P.S. It’s great having dogs and I noticed a lot of people in Zamboanga are picking up on the “trend of buying pedigreed dogs”. 

1. Adoption is always better than purchasing.

2. Don’t buy dogs you can’t maintain purely because you want to improve your social stature. I see a lot of dog owners whose dogs are flea infested, mangy, skinny and smelly. If you can’t take care of a dog, you don’t have time or you don’t have the resources, do the dog a favor and just don’t. 

3. If you take your dog on walks to socialize with other dogs, do everyone a favor and make sure they aren’t sick and don’t have fleas, ticks or mange because these are contagious. 

4. Be a responsible dog owner. These dogs deserve a good and happy life and serve more than just an accessory.