Katie's Page

Well, Lea got a new little sister, Katie, who won't be Lea's "little" sister for long.

Katie is an Irish Wolfhound we obtained on January 1, 2014.  Katie is now about 10 weeks old (DOB 10/17/13) and weighs 27 pounds.

Katie's mother stands 34" at the shoulder, and her father stands 36" at the shoulder.  Katie will become a LARGE dog.

Katie is a brindle coloring, mostly brown and black, sort of a Fall camouflage job.

Here are some introductory pics:

Katie's size compared to Lea (first night home)
Katie and Lea

Katie is all legs at this age (first night home)

Katie does lots of sleeping (as puppies will - second day home)
Lots of sleeping

Better showing of Katie's coloration in daylight (second day home)
Here's looking at you

She feels at home in her crate (night-time quarters)
In the crate

Watching Lea
Watching Lea

Katie is learning about a leash, first commands, housebreaking, and a lot more for a young pup.

Update 01/05/14

Katie is now beginning her fifth day here.  Ty, Anna and Dixie have been here to visit, but left for Portland this morning.  Katie seems to be over her transplant shock.  Lea is starting to recognize Katie as a real dog and somebody she's willing to play with.  Here are recent pics:

Anna and Katie get acquainted
Katie 0103

Katie and Dixie share an antler
Katie 0104-1

Katie 0104-2

Taking a break
Katie 0104-3

Katie 0104-4

Katie 0104-5

Katie 0104-6

Katie 0104-7

Katie 0104-8

Katie 0104-9

(Note:  I included several of these just to show Katie's size compared to Lea.)

January 6

Lea is getting more tolerant of Katie.  They had one long romp, mock-fighting session yesterday.  Then Katie needed a nap so she could grow another 1/2".  She measures over 40" from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail.  Katie is learning to go to the door and whine when she needs to go out.

Synchronized napping
Synchronized napping

Fierce fighting.  Lea is actually very gentle with Katie.


January 13th

Stopped by the vet today for weights on Lea and Katie.  Katie now weighs 35 pounds at 11 weeks old.  Like I've said, you can almost watch her grow.  Housebreaking, leash training, and "come" are progressing.  Took her to Murdoch's today for some socialization.

Here are some recent pics:

Sleeping buddies (Katie's choice, not Lea's, but Lea tolerates it)
Sleeping buddies

Both of them like to play tug of war with me.  I FINALLY got them to play it with each other.
Tug of war

The puppy zone - new elk antler courtesy of FWP (notice all the Lea hair on the floor - Katie extraction).
Puppy zone

January 17, 2014

Katie is three months old today.  To get a three-month weight, we went back to the vet office.  She weighs 36.4 pounds today.

It's difficult to get pictures of Katie and Lea playing.  Most of their playing is inside, which requires flash to get anything besides a blur.  Lea likes flash.  Any time I use the flash, Lea stops playing and comes immediately right up to me - too close for any pics.

However, Katie and Lea were playing outside today, so I got a few pics.

I hope her coloration holds

Let's see if I can rip this ear off.

Lea's caught by the scruff of the neck.

Still a little puppy-clumsy

On the run (Hey, that big dog is after me!)
On the run

Taking a break

Showing those sharp puppy teeth
Sharp teeth

January 18, 2014

Comparison - size in the (dog-selected) dog zone

Lea at six months old
Lea desk

Katie at three months old
Katie desk

Outside playing

This is the branch manager
Branch manager

The branch manager and the wannabe branch manager

Okay, branch manager and assistant branch manager

Definitely assistant

Assistant branch manager now in training

Just a good pic of Katie's face

Learning how to manage the branch

The assistant branch manager may not be fully up to speed, but she casts a long shadow

Close inspection of the branch manager's operation
Close inspection

Assistant branch manager in training dozes off during lesson


January 23, 2014

It's great to have a dog that doesn't lie crosswise across the most heavily used path in the house.

The insidious Solaris Ray Of Slumber (SROS) claims two new victims. Hoping for eventual full recovery.

Tomorrow (Friday, 1/24) Katie will be 13 weeks old.  By this time next week, she will be as tall as Lea!!!


January 27, 2014

Saturday Katie had her first-ever bath, in the shower.  She didn't much like it at first, but warmed up some to the scrubbing, and more to the after-bath toweling.  Nice to have a clean dog.  She smells better.  Speaking of smell ...

On Sunday it was Lea's turn for a bath.  She actually likes the shower and attention.  However, REALLY FUNNY, when she cane out of the bathroom, Katie didn't recognize her.  Katie wanted to know, "Where'd you get this strange new dog?"  I assume this was because Lea smelled so different.  It took Katie almost an hour to get reacquainted with Lea.

Katie had her first official visit to the vet today, to get her next-to-last round of puppy immunizations.  She now weighs 41.2 pounds.  One more pic ...

The Solaris Ray Of Slumber strikes again.  Notice that Katie is now very nearly as large as Lea, not as heavy, but as long and tall.

February 1, 2014

Interesting development with Katie.  When Lea and I first brought her home, January 1st, she traveled in the back of my van on a nice pad in a sky crate.  For the first week, I'd put her in the crate in the middle of the living room floor for overnight, using that to start housebreaking.

After a week in the crate and no accidents overnight, I took the pad out of the crate, put the crate outside, and put her on a leash at her pad for overnight.  We'd already practiced quite a bit with the leash, so she knew to respect it.  She got into the good habit, after taking the last walk outside before bed time, of going straight to her pad and waiting to be leashed.  Each morning, she'd wait on her pad, not pulling at the end of the leash, for Lea and I to come downstairs, and for me to give her morning pets and unleash her.

Two nights ago, come bed time, I realized I'd left Katie's leash out in the van.  Either I could put my boots and coat on and trudge through the snow to the shop to get the leash, or I could figure out something else.  The something else turned out to be a four-foot piece of 1/4” nylon rope and two small carabiners. The rope was quite stiff, but I managed to bend a bowline in each end of this rope, with a carabiner on one end to secure the new leash, and another carabiner on the other end to hook to Katie's collar.  Problem solved (I thought).  We all went to bed as usual.

In the morning when Lea and I came downstairs, Katie was eagerly waiting, on her pad.  However, the rope was undone from the carabiner at her collar!  Smart dog, bad knot - whatever.  The good news was that there were no messes or puddles in the house, no table legs chewed off, and Katie had apparently stayed on her pad.  She didn't even come to greet me at the foot of the stairs in the morning, but waited obediently on her pad for my morning greeting.

Being buoyed by that experience, I thought to try something similar last night.  At bed time, I did everything the same, except I didn't hook the leash to her collar – just left it on the floor at her pad.

In the morning when I got up and looked downstairs from the loft, Katie was on the couch!  She knows she's not supposed to be on the couch (or table or chairs – preparing for her to be huge).  As soon as I looked at her, she got immediately off the couch and went to her pad.  I didn't say anything.  Busted.

I thought this to be a very small infraction, since there were no messes in the house this morning and nothing but the many dog toys on the floor had been chewed on.  Still, I did dig out a couple of mouse traps and set them on the couch this evening.  Wonder if I will catch anything there tonight.

More sleeping
More sleeping

BTW, Katie now measures 54" from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail, stretched out (she does have a long tail, but it doesn't quite reach the ground when she's standing).


February 3, 2014

Katie had her weekly trip to the vet's office today for weighing.  She's up to 47.2 pounds.  Katie's Aunt Lea is 22 1/2" at the shoulder.  Katie is now 22" at the shoulder.

About Katie's main floor sleeping arrangements, the mouse traps are getting tripped, although I hear no ruckus when that happens, and there's no Katie on the couch in the morning.

Sometimes having long legs is a good thing

Katie and Lea get in plenty of playing in the fresh snow


February 11, 2014

I took Katie and Lea to the vet's office Monday for our weekly dog weighing.  Katie is up to 49.7 pounds.  She's now as tall as Lea.
same size

There's a lot of snow piling up here (Katie wouldn't get in the pic).
Snow piling up

I missed the shot of Katie with both ears on top of her head.
Flop ear

Here's something amusing.  Lea collects some serious snowballs on her long fur.  I'd noticed that Katie looks for and eats chunks of snow that come off my boots when I come inside.  So, when the dogs came inside today, I asked Lea to lie down and pointed Katie at the snowballs hanging from Lea's fur.  Katie stripped them all off and ate them.  It only took about five minutes for Katie to get Lea snowball-free.  Lea thought that was just fine.
Snow balls


February 18, 2014

Did the standard Monday trip to the vet office yesterday to weigh critters.  Katie is now 52 pounds, and 60" from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail.

Katie is as tall as Lea and has more clearance in the snow because of her long legs and skinny body.
Size comparison

I think Katie had more fun playing outside today than Lea did.

More playing

Here's a good current size comparison between Katie and Lea.


February 21, 2014

Katie, now four months old, is losing her baby teeth.  Time for big dog teeth.  Lea will appreciate when she sheds those sharp little teeth.  (BTW, this was not an easy photo to get.)


February 24, 2014

I took Katie and Lea to the vet's office for weekly weighing today.  Katie is 55.5 pounds.  We've had a bunch more snow.  I plowed a loop around the house so Lea and Katie would have room to roam without bucking snow drifts.  With Katie's long legs, she has more clearance than Lea, and does pretty well in the deep snow.  Here are a couple of pics from today.  Katie is now about an inch or two taller than Lea.

At play



February 25, 2014

It finally stopped snowing, the sun came out, I plowed snow, and Katie and Lea had fun playing in the snow and on the snow pile I'd plowed up.  And, there was good light for pictures.

Playing in the snow.
Snow day 1

On top of the snow pile
Snow day 2

I took a bunch more pics of Katie and Lea playing in the snow.  If you want to see them, click HERE.

March 10, 2014

I took Katie and Lea to the vet's office today for weekly weight check.  Lea is holding steady at 79.8 pounds.  Katie is now up to 62.7 pounds!  I guess she's close to half grown, while still only four months old.  She will soon overtake Lea in weight, as she already has in height.

Katie is still learning stuff, such as not to be too rough with cat Salmon, because Salmon has claws and will use them if pressed, although he tolerates a lot of play/abuse from Katie.  Katie continues to learn "good dog culture."  Because she's so big, it's sometimes hard to remember that she's still a puppy, and that expectations should be modified accordingly.  She's finally getting good about not putting her paws on me, something that will become important when she's grown.  This is difficult because she has limited ways to express herself, and the no-paws rule cuts her options for expression.  One of her favorite things is, after having a drink and getting her fuzzy face all wet, to come immediately and put her face in my lap or on my computer keyboard or mouse pad.  She and I need to have some discussion about that, especially about her drippy face on my the computer keyboard and mouse pad.

I've noticed that Katie has very long toes, in relation to the size of her feet and in comparison to Lea.  She also has pronounced webs between her toes, maybe even more so than water-dog Lea.  I guess that helps Katie stay on top of the snow.  Once summer gets here, I'll have to try her in my mother's pool to see how she takes to swimming.  Since Katie is so willing to follow Lea's lead, and since Lea is such a natural water dog, I'd guess that Katie will quickly take to swimming.  We'll see.

Here are a couple of action pics of Katie and Lea playing in the snow.
Play 1

Play 2


March 25, 2014

Lea, Katie and I went to the vet's office for weighing yesterday.  Katie was at 69.7 pounds.  She's fast catching up with Lea, currently just over 80 pounds.  I predict that Katie will outweigh Lea in three weeks.  Katie now measures 67" from tip of nose to tip of tail.

We had a bit of excitement Sunday with two wolves.  I'm nearly certain they were wolves.  If they were coyotes they were huge for coyotes and much more masked than coyotes usually are.  Lea could not be restrained from going out to chase them, so, unfortunately I had to deal with that rather than getting the camera.  Alas, no pictures, but no damaged dog either.  The good news is that Katie stayed right by the house throughout.  She didn't want anything to do with these critters.  So, the retriever got retrieved and the wild canines got chased off.  All is well.  I keep trying to explain to Lea that she's the watch dog, to Katie that she's supposed to be the guard dog (mostly to protect Lea in these situations), and that I'm the attack dog.  So far, my explanations don't seem to be taking root.

Occasionally there's time for a nap.


March 31, 2014

At the weekly dog weighing at the vet's office today, Katie weighed 73 pounds.  Only seven more to catch Lea.

Katie and Lea got a new dog pack in the mail today.  Here's Katie modeling.
Pack 1

Here's Lea modeling.  This pic shows the current size relationship between Katie and Lea.  Katie wonders why Lea looks and smells so strange.  Friends of Katie will be glad to see that her coloration is holding.  Some folks predicted that she might turn a more standard Irish Wolfhound color of gray, rather than the interesting brindle she's been.


March 4, 2014

Katie and Lea model their new packs (Katie's came in the mail today) while Salmon watches.  Katie needs to grow a bit to best fit her pack, but she's only five months old.

April 25, 2014

Things have been busy around here.  When I took Katie and Lea into the vet's office for weights Monday, Katie weighed the same as Lea, 80 pounds.  PLUS, I left Katie at the Vet and she was spayed Monday - no litters of puppies in her future.  While in surgery, the Vet also took a stitch in Katie's stomach to prevent a future, life-threatening "torsion" (if you're a dog owner and don't know about this, look it up).  Katie came out from under the anesthesia more quickly than Lea did when she was spayed.  Katie is healing up nicely and seems now to be back to 100%.  Katie is now 4-6" taller than Lea, but Lea is still the Alpha dog here - probably always will be.  We had visitors from China this week.  Katie REALLY wanted to be friends.  Two of the visitors were intimidated, despite previous warning that Katie and Lea are family and that Katie would want to be friends.  The third visitor is a dog person and got on fine with both dogs.  I've been too busy to exercise the dogs with their packs.  Katie goes with Lea and me to my standard Wednesday evening shooting practice.  As with Lea, she likes to be able to get out of the van and greet her people friends at the shooting range.  Both dogs go back in the van before the shooting starts, for safety and to protect their ears.  Katie seems unconcerned about shooting noise (minimal inside the van).  Maybe she takes her cue from Lea, who is used to that.  Katie, like her Aunt Lea, is very patient waiting in the van for me (she did chew up the coax wire for my van-mounted radio antennas, but I hope we're beyond that now).  I also let Lea and Katie have a run and another meet-and-greet on the range after we're done shooting.

May 4, 2014


I was working at my computer this morning, with Katie and Lea outside.  Suddenly, I heard Katie screaming and Lea growling fiercely.  I ran to the door expecting to find Katie and Lea being attacked by wolves.

What I found was Katie and Lea locked in apparent mortal combat with each other.  It was fierce!!!  Lea was at Katie's throat and would not let go.  Katie was crying like a banshee.  I tried to intervene, but could not get the dogs separated.

This seemed really strange since Katie and Lea had been such buddies and since both are such gentle dogs.  They would not respond to ANY voice commands.

Meanwhile both dogs continued to thrash and fight, locked in this fierce struggle.  In trying to get them apart, I somehow managed to get a finger into Katie's mouth - totally my fault and NOT a good move.

Then I noticed that Katie's nylon collar was wrapped around Lea's lower jaw.  Somehow in playing, Lea had gotten her lower jaw inside Katie's collar and Katie had accomplished a twist, locking Lea's lower jaw in place and choking Katie.  ABSOLUTELY WEIRD!!

Fortunately both dogs have collars with quick-release buckles.  It took some doing to locate the buckle in Katie's collar, with dogs continuing to thrash violently and cry and growl fiercely.  Because of the twist that Lea's jaw had in Katie's collar, the collar was super tight and sunk way into Katie's neck and fur.  As soon as I released the quick-release buckle on Katie's collar, the dogs gladly separated.  There are no injuries I can find except for my finger, which I soaked in hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes now.

As you will imagine, there was no time to take any pictures.

It'll be interesting to see if these two girls relate any differently to each other after this intense event.

I can just imagine the "kids' " comments:

Lea says, "Katie somehow grabbed me by the mouth and wouldn't let go.  It was really scary."

Katie says, "Lea was choking me and wouldn't let up.  It was really scary."

I sure hope that's all I have to report for today.

May 13, 2014

It's been REALLY busy around here, so I didn't get the girls in to the vet's office yesterday to check weights.  I'll try to get that done next Monday for the regular record.

As the sun was going down this evening, I remembered that I'm also delinquent posting new pictures.  So, I drug the camera outside.  Katie and Lea were not cooperating very well.  They wanted to play, but not necessarily with each other.  I wanted them together, and, with the setting Sun, I need to be on the Sun side of them but not so directly as to have my shadow in the picture.  I finally did get a couple of pics that show how much larger than Lea Katie is now.  Here they are:


Pair 2


May 24, 2014

It's been a while, and busy here.  Katie is still growing.  Last Monday we went to the vet and the scale said 94 pounds.  It's hard to get Katie to hold still on the scale so I'm not sure I trust that number.  We'll get another weight next Tuesday.

I finally spent some time outside with the camera while Katie and Lea were playing.  Here are a couple of play-time pics.


As you can see Katie is now quite a bit taller than Lea.

Nothing keeps these girls occupied like a couple of large bones.

May 28, 2014

We stopped by the vet's office yesterday for weighing.  Katie is up to 95.3 pounds.

Speaking of weight, we have a weight and eating problem around here.  Lea now weighs 84 pounds.  She's on a strict diet because she needs to be 80 pounds or less.  The problem is that Lea keeps sneaking Katie's food.

Lea will gobble her entire meal in one minute.  Although Katie eats a LOT, she's a very slow eater, often taking two or three hours to finish her meal.  This gives Lea plenty of opportunity to raid Katie's bowl, which explains why Lea has ballooned to 84 pounds.

I've scolded Lea many times for sneaking Katie's food.  She knows she's not supposed to, but it's FOOD.  She can't resist.

So, I decided I needed a new strategy.

I had an elevated bowl with a lid I used when Whistler was around.  I'd free feed her, and just keep the bowl full, outside.  Because it was outside, I had to keep the food away from mice, squirrels, and birds, and keep the rain out of it.  I put a stainless bowl on a stand, adding a plexiglass cover hinged on one side with leather.  Whistler quickly learned to lift the lid with her nose to get at her dogfood in the bowl.

So, I dug this device out, rebuilt it, and Katie is now eating out of it.

It's too tall for Lea to get into conveniently, so she seems to be staying out of it.  Katie hasn't tried it with the plexiglass cover closed yet.  I'm waiting for Katie to get very familiar with eating out of this elevated bowl before we add the challenge of her needing to lift the cover to eat.

Now we'll see if Lea's weight starts to come down from her better-enforced diet.
June 2, 2014

Something funny happened today.  Joke's on me.  It's Monday and my day to take Katie and Lea to the vet for their weekly weigh-in.

Before heading into town, I made a careful list of the dozen or so errands I needed to do, including the critical "Weigh dogs" stop at the vet's office.  I made several stops, got about half way through my list, and when I got back in the van I simply couldn't find my to-do list.  I did the best I could to reconstruct the list from my old brain.  Then, I found one chewed-up remaining corner of my list on the van floor.  Katie had eaten my list!  (Yeah, I know, it's the old "Dog ate my homework" story.  But it's true!)

The upshot was we got home before I realized that we had NOT been to the vet to weigh Katie and Lea.  Well, there's always tomorrow.
June 3, 2014

We made it to the vet's office today (my to-do list survived).  Katie is at 96.3 pounds.  Lea is still at 84.4 - more diet.  The next milestone will be when Katie breaks 100 pounds.  Will that happen before she turns eight months old on the 17th of this month?  We'll see.  It will be close.


June 16, 2014

Close to 100 pounds is right.  At the vet's office today, Katie weighed 99.4.  Her 8-month birthday is tomorrow.  Lea weighed 82.3, so keeping her away from Katie's food seems to be working.

Here are some pics from today:


Salmon gets in the pic



June 26, 2014

Katie now measures about 30" at the shoulder.  She should grow about another 4" and gain another 25 or 30 pounds.

Katie and Lea got in some play time outside today in between rain squalls.  Lea's not as fierce as she looks.

Playing keep-away with a pine cone.

August 13, 2014

Katie is still growing.  She's now nine months old and weighed 108.8 pounds at the vet's office last Monday.  Her weight actually leveled off for a couple of weeks, and even dropped a bit, as she went through something of a growth spurt.

I've finally figured out how to keep Lea out of Katie's food, so Lea's weight is starting to drop.  Lea is down from 86 pounds to 84.  She needs to be 80 or a bit less for best health.  Lea disagrees, BTW, and thinks I'm starving her.

To keep Lea away from Katie's food, I put Katie's bowl in a cul-de-sac behind the stairs and installed a cross-bar that Katie can step over but Lea can't.

Friend Dixie (left) is visiting Katie and Lea again.

Lea is still Alpha dog, but visiting Dixie displaces Katie from Beta to third in the pecking order (sorted, in this case, by age).


October 26, 2014

It's been a while.  Katie's birthday came on the 17th.  For her birthday celebration, I took her to wander Murdochs for an hour.  All the employees petted her and gave her treats.  She had a great time.

She's now up to 111 pounds and 32" at the shoulder.  In the next six months she should grow another 2" and gain maybe 20 pounds.  She seems to be getting more responsive to low volume and subtle instructions from me - hand gestures, etc.  I guess some of the puppyness is starting to wear off.

When Katie came in from playing outside with Lea this morning, she had a gazillion beggars lice (1/4" burrs) in her coat.

While combing out the burrs, I discovered a hole in her side.  It was a tear in her hide about 1 1/2" long.  When stretched open by skin tension it made an elliptic hole about 1" in diameter.

We saddled up and went to the emergency vet clinic on S. Reserve.  With local anesthetic, the wound was clipped trimmed, and stapled with five staples.  No injury beneath the skin.

Katie and Lea tend to engage in a vigorous run-and-chase play session outside in the mornings.  I assume Katie just ran into something during this play.  Don't know what.

Katie's injury

We'll have Katie's regular vet look at this tomorrow.  Staples should come out in two weeks.  I'm supposed to keep her activity down for a couple of weeks.  We'll see how well that works out.

November 18, 2014

Concerning the last post above, Katie did have a couple of staples come loose, I'm sure from being too frisky.  She can't reach this area for licking.  On a visit to her regular vet for annual physical and shots for Lea and Salmon, on Monday following Katie's injury, the vet put in three or four replacement/additional staples.

At our regular weekly weighing at the vet's office yesterday, Katie now weighs 115 (about 125 eventually expected) pounds, and Lea is down to 81 (target of 78 or 80).

Katie's injury is now healed and she's allowed back to full play level.  Now she just needs to grow some fur over the area that was shaved to expose her wound for treatment.

Wound healed
Katie's wound now healed; needs fur.

November 27, 2014

A German TV crew was here yesterday doing an extended interview.  They had trouble believing that Katie is just a puppy.

Katie no longer fits so well in places where she used to hang out.

A carpet-level view.

January 6, 2015

Katie weighed 117 pounds at the vet yesterday.  She now measures 33 inches at the shoulder.

Ellen, Lea, Katie and I drove in the van to spend Christmas with Ty, Anna, Dixie and Reggie in Portland.  Katie did well in the van.  We stopped for outside dog breaks three times.  She and Lea took turns using the mid seat and the floor (with a dog pad).

Ty and Anna have a new dog, Reggie.  He is a one-year-old shelter dog, and theoretically came from the "wild."  Reggie is black and white, fuzzy, and about the size of the average cat.  When Ty and Anna first got him, they report that he was entirely uncultured.  He didn't know any commands, and had apparently never navigated stairs.  He's now doing better, understands most commands, and takes the stairs at Ty and Anna's place on the run.  However, Reggie is still insecure and fearful of new things (such as strange dogs), which accounts for him being aggressive.

While we were visiting, Reggie attacked both Lea and Katie.  This was amusing.  Standing tall on his hind legs he could maybe have bitten Katie on the belly.  Without getting his front legs off the floor, no way.  Still, Katie is so timid it was amusing to see Reggie chasing Katie around the house.  Eventually Katie figured out that Reggie was not a serious threat.  Fortunately, she never retaliated by biting at Reggie (I was watching for that).  When Reggie attacked Lea, he managed to get hold of a mouthful of her thick fur and Lea growled at him, but no damage done.

Mostly, all four dogs learned to tolerate each other in that small space.  Lea and Dixie are old friends, and get along famously.  Dixie was very tolerant of Katie - even offered to play with her some.

Lea wanted to enforce her position of senior mom-dog, keeping all others quiet and in line, even to the extent of preventing play.  We had to interfere with Lea's bossiness some.

Then, Ty and Anna's downstairs roommate, Phil, has a new Pitbull puppy, Lucie, who is an absolute ball of energy.  When Lucie would come upstairs, she'd be just a meteor around the house, barely pausing in any one place long enough for any proper dog-style introductions.

Ty and dogs
Here's Ty providing dog instructions - Reggie, Dixie, Katie and Lea (left to right).  It was very difficult to get all four to hold still in one place for any pictures.

March 1, 2015

Katie's weight gain has sure flattened out.  She weighed in at the vet's office last Monday at 118.  She is now 33" or 33 1/2" at the shoulder.  She still has a bit of growing and filling out to do, but not a lot.  She is quite athletic and loves to run and play with Lea outside in the mornings.  It helps running and playing that the snow is mostly gone.  Katie went with me to visit Murdoch's a couple of days ago, mostly for socialization.  While there I got a couple of packaged bones for Katie and Lea, bones about 1 1/2" in diameter and almost two feet long.  When we got home and I gave them these bones, Lea chewed on hers but Katie ATE hers (and then Lea's).  No more bones that size!

Both Katie and Lea went to Pet Smart for a manicure last week.  Both dogs have been traveling to Helena with me when I go for legislative hearings.  Lea is an old hand at staying in a motel.  Katie takes to it just fine.  We've found a friend for them to stay with in Helena during the day if it's a day when I will be occupied in the Capitol all day.

The pair
Here's a pic of Lea and Katie from yesterday.

May 17, 2015

In the mornings when I let Katie and Lea out after their breakfast, and also when I'm out walking in the yard, Katie and Lea play chase games.  Typically, Katie will tease Lea by nipping at her, until Lea runs growling after Katie.  This is what Katie wants.  Then the chase is on.  Of course, Katie, with her long legs, can outrun Lea, which is exactly why Katie loves this game.

However, Katie had a misadventure with this chase game a couple of days ago.

Lea chasing Katie.
Lea chasing Katie

In escaping Lea, Katie dodged to run under my solar panels.
My solar panels

Bad call.  Katie cut her right turn too close and ran under a portion of the panels that was not as tall as she is.  Running at high speed, Katie whacked her head soundly on the underside of the solar panel support beam.  The beam didn't give but Katie lost a patch of hair on her head.
Katie's head

Poor baby!  The next day I was out walking in the yard.  Instead of provoking Lea for a chase game, Katie walked right at my heel.  I asked her why she wasn't playing with Lea.  She said, "Yesterday when I played with Lea and she clubbed me over the head.  I don't want that again!"

September 6, 2015

A couple of weeks ago my grandson Michael, his wife Virginia, and their two sons (my great-grandsons, can you believe it) Aden and Ethen were here to visit.  I was surprised how much Katie actively liked these "little people."  While Katie's friend Lea was perfectly friendly, Katie was very curious about and solicitous of Aden and Ethan.

Katie and Ethan
Here's a marginal pic of Ethan going for his first bareback ride.  Katie was perfectly patient with this.  I think she though it was just another form of petting.

Today, friends Nick and Diana took Katie on a hike high into the Bitterroot Mountains, nearly to St, Mary Peak.

Nick and Katie
Nick and Katie

Diana and Katie
Diana and Katie

It is reported that all had a great time.  Although not very visible here, Katie is wearing a pack in which she carried her water, a collapsible bowl, and a few dog treats.

Lea Katie and me
Here's a pic of Katie and Lea and me that was in the Missoula Independent in July of 2016.

More soon