Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP Cyu

We had two Siberian Huskies when we first got married. They were brother and sister, best friends. Nanuk and Akala (pronounced ah-ka-la, all short a's). We went out of town one weekend and when we came home, they had dug out of our yard. We had a message on our answering machine from a lady who had found Nanuk. We never found Akala. We scoured all of the area where Nanuk was found and then some. We think someone just decided to keep Akala, even though he had tags on with his address. Nanuk had lost her best friend and was depressed. She hardly wanted to go outside and just laid on the couch "bummed." She was also in pain because she had gotten a kidney infection while she was out of our yard for the weekend.

After awhile, we decided Nanuk needed a playmate. She was lonely. So, we found someone who was giving away a Siberian Husky. We drove an hour and thirty minutes to get Mocha. Mocha had been bred once before. We decided to breed her also. Our plan was to keep two of her puppies and raise them like Nanuk and Akala were. Brother and sister. Well, Jeremy was in Boston and found an all white Siberian Husky and decided to purchase her. So, we decided that we would keep a male from Mocha's litter and breed him with the white one, Tymbre (pronounced Timber). As you can tell from the pictures below, they would have made beautiful puppies! However, we discovered Cyu was a carrier to a hereditary eye disorder gene and we did not want to pass on bad genes. So, being responsible breeders we had him fixed. The gene never affected him, but if he was bred with another carrier, or their puppies were, it would affect them. He unfortunatley inherited this bad gene from his mom so this was the last litter she had.

Mocha was pregnant with Cyu (pronounced ki-you) and his 8 siblings in this picture. She was chewing on a bone or some sort of chew.
Mocha looks miserable in this picture. But can you blame her when she gained half her weight? I know how miserable I was when I was towards the end of my pregnancies, and I only had one baby in my womb. Imagine having nine!
And a side view of our very pregnant Mocha!
When we first got Mocha, she was afraid of people she didn't know, especially men. Needless to say, she wasn't the biggest fan of Jeremy. But when she was pregnant, she just couldn't get enough of Jeremy!

We bred Mocha with Nanuk's dad. This makes Nanuk and Cyu half brother and sister. Remember, Nanuk and Mocha weren't related. On May 30, 2001, Cyu was born. Mocha had been out in the backyard and for a day or so she had been getting underneath a Pontiac Fiero that we had "parked" back there. I didn't think too much of it. According to the gestational period of a dog, she still had a few more days to go. I came home for my lunch break one day and thought I heard puppies when I went out back to check on Mocha. I thought I was just hearing things, but I kept hearing it. Sure enough, when I looked underneath the Fiero, Mocha was under there with some of her newborn puppies! There were more on the way.
The proud mama... I was amazed that she could even fit under there. You saw how big she was before she gave birth! And the hole that she dug to get under the Pontiac Fiero wasn't that big. But she sure had quite a hole dug once she was underneath.
After Mocha had given birth, I noticed the sky getting really dark. It was black off in the not so distant distance. I was afraid the puppies would drown in the hole under the Fiero. So, we decided to bring them inside. I had begun to wonder how we would get Mocha out from under the Fiero. I knew we could easily pick the puppies up, but how were we gonna get Mocha out when we could barely get ourselves under the Fiero. When Jeremy reached his hand to the puppies to pick one up to put it in the laundry basket so we bring them all inside, Mocha's eyes seemed to get huge. It was as if she was asking, "What do you think you are going to do with my baby?!?" This is when I realized we would not have a problem getting Mocha inside the house. She did not want to be very far from her babies. As soon as we had them all in the laundry basket, Mocha anxiously followed us and her babies inside the house.
We lined a kiddie pool with a fleece sheet in our bedroom and put the puppies in there. The sheet made it easier to clean up after them.
Mocha looks a little more relaxed with her puppies. That storm that came had alot of heavy rain and even hail. I was so glad we brought them inside the house! Mocha had 9 puppies. There were 6 girls and 3 boys. Of the three males, two of them were bigger. Cyu was one of the bigger two. We chose him because we really liked him markings. In the morning, I discovered one of the female puppies didn't make it through the night. It was sad taking the little lifeless body to bury it.
So tiny and cute! The eyes weren't even open yet! You can see Mocha's nose very close by. She was a good mom and protective of her puppies. She was ok with us holding them, but wanted to be able to keep her eye on them.
Such a tiny paw, just a day or two old! And really soft!
Look at their fat bellies! I put them in a laundry basket while I changed the sheet in their kiddie pool. As they got bigger, it got harder to fit them in the laundry basket. Eventually, I had to use two laundry baskets to contain them while I changed their sheet. I learned I was a light sleeper during this time. Every night, Mocha decided she didn't want her puppies in the kiddie pool. She wanted them in the cubbie hole space behind the door to our bedroom. The problem with this space was if there was anything in that spot, you could not open our bedroom door. When Mocha carried her puppies, she did not carry them the traditional way, which would be by the scruff of their neck. For some reason, she decided to carry them by putting their hips in her mouth. This made their front claws drag on the carpet, which woke me up...every night. Jeremy happened to be in Boston, for training for his job. I told him as soon as their eyes opened, they were going outside! I was really glad when that day came!

One weekend, when Cyu was still pretty young, we took a trip to Lake Jackson, TX, where Jeremy's parents lived. I guess Cyu decided he likes Coke, just like Jeremy.
We took Nanuk, Cyu, and Tymbre with us. We left Mocha behind because she still had some puppies that we had not sold yet, that she needed to take care of.
On one of those days, Jeremy and I left the dogs with Jeremy's dad and we went to Galveston, TX, which was only about an hour away. Tymbre decided to dig up one of the trees that was in a pot in the living room. She made such a mess!
A while later, we made another trip to Lake Jackson, and took all four of the dogs. Pictured from left to right, it is Tymbre, Nanuk, Cyu, and Mocha.
I have a couple of stories to share about Cyu before we see more pictures of him. When he was a puppy and we were teaching him how to sit, we kept his treats in a set of school lockers that we had in our dining room. The dogs slept in our bedroom with us. We had them trained so that when we said "go to bed", they would run to our bedroom. That was their "bed". One night when it was time for bed, we were in our bedroom and only three of the dogs came in. Everyone but Cyu. We wondered where he was. We waited and he didn't come. So we went looking for him. Where was he? He was sitting at the lockers looking at us as if he was thinking, "I'm sitting. Where is my treat?" He knew that when he sat, he got a treat. And the treats were in the lockers. Smart puppy, huh? It was so cute!

One winter, we had snow. Where we lived, it was about a once a year occurance. We had a kiddie pool out back for our Siberian Huskies to splash in and play in during the summer and other hot months. That winter, it froze over. Do you know what Cyu did? He took a chunk of that ice, close to the size of a football, and brought it up to the house and used it as a pillow!

Now you can enjoy some pictures of Cyu as an adult. He was a beautiful dog!
Siberian Huskies are very friendly. People say if you want a watchdog, don't get a Siberian Husky. They will show the robber where the goods are. Although, if you didn't know this information, you might be scared. Cyu had an intimidating stance sometimes. He would look up at you with his eyes while his head was down.
He would often catch birds or squirrels or any other animal that was brave enough to think they could get past him. Once when he was less than a year old, we came home and he was barking at something. We looked and there was a squirrel dead on the electric fence. He wanted it, but everytime he tried to get it, he would get shocked. We had to put an electric fence at the bottom of our fence so they would not dig out. Siberian Huskies are great diggers and escape artists. After all, that is how we lost Akala. So, if you care about how your backyard looks, you don't want a Siberian Husky. Ours have dug craters and our backyard looks like the moon! Here is Cyu in a hunter's stance.
Such beautiful blue eyes! Cyu's coat is a different shade of red in this picture. Depending what time of year it was, would depend on the shade of his coat. In the summer, it would become a brigher red from the sun. It is amazing the difference in his mom's coat during the summer and winter! Peeking over the fence...Cyu was very large for a Siberian Husky. A standard Siberian Husky weighs between 40 and 60 pounds. Cyu weighed 80. All of our Huskies are in the larger spectrum for a Husky. Siberian Huskies are very good natured. They are great with kids. They are gentle. As you can tell, Cyu fit that mold of a Siberian Husky. Finn had put puzzle pieces on him. Did Cyu care? I'll let you be the judge of that. Just look at the picture! Cyu had a very laid back attitude about life in general.
Here is another good picture showing how carefree Cyu was. Finn, who wasn't even two years old at the time, was using Cyu as a pillow!
And another one...he let us put a Santa hat on him. His face makes me think he wasn't necessarily proud to wear the hat, but he was such a good dog that he just let us do it.
Not many of you reading this got a chance to get to know or even meet our wonderful Cyu. I was okay when I received the news. Then we had to tell our children... Piper was ok. She didn't show too much emotion. She was just glad that it wasn't Mocha, since Mocha is her favorite. Finn started crying, which brought tears to my eyes. He was very sad because Cyu was his favorite. We will miss you Cyu! But we know you are in a much better place. Just like Finn said, "You can have all the treats you want now, whenever you want!"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Little T-Ball Star

I will say it again, Rilian loves balls! Any kind of ball...

He is bound to be in sports when he is old enough. video

I don't know how Rilian knew that the ball was supposed to go where he was trying to put it. And how did he know that he needed to pick up the bat and then hit the ball? Piper, Finn, and Seven don't really play with the t-ball. I know last month when my brother and his family were here for Easter, my neice, Mabrie, played t-ball. But that was a whole month ago. So, let's give a hand to my little t-ball genius! He sure was determined to do it right!

Brotherly Love

Seven loves Rilian a little too much at times. Those of you who have spent any amount of time with Seven and Rilian together know what I am talking about. Seven likes to be in Rilian's face. He likes to climb on Rilian. He likes to sit on Rilian. Seven also likes to push or knock Rilian down. Do you get an idea of what I am talking about now when I say Seven loves Rilian a little too much at times? Don't worry, Seven does get fussed at for doing these things to Rilian. He even gets spanked for it sometimes. For those of you who are surprised, yes, we do believe in spanking our children at times. One of these days, Rilian will "get back" at Seven, and I won't really feel sorry for Seven.

The weather has started getting nice outside. So, we have been playing outside alot. We have been blessed with many toys for our children. One of the things that we have been blessed with is a swing set. Our children have gotten alot of use out of it! One of the items on the swing set is what I call a teeter-totter swing. It has a seat on each side, like a teeter-totter and you can swing back and forth on it. Seven was swinging on it one day and Rilian was standing very close, holding a ball. Are you surprised that Rilian was holding a ball? I'm telling you, that kid loves balls! Well, being the loving brother that Seven is, he decided he would make the teeter-totter swing go sideways instead of back and forth like it is made to do. When Seven did this, it knocked Rilian down. Well, we all know that a swing of any type does not stop immediately. Rilian tried to stand up (he was under the swing when he tried to do this) and his face got a nice scratch on it. He was not happy at all about this! Nice shiner, huh? Of course, everyone asked what happened. So, I got to explain how much Seven loves his brother.

The next day, the actual scratch looked better, but he started to get a black eye!He is all better now. As the days passed, I started to think that it would turn into a scar. If you look at him, you can barely tell where it was.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seven's 3rd Birthday Party

Seven LOVES alligators! So, for his 3rd birthday, we had an alligator birthday party. Like most birthdays that our kids have had, Jeremy set to work his cake making skills. He decided to make an alligator out of cupcakes for this party.

Jeremy and I went to Hobby Lobby and found some alligators and lions that the kids could make at the birthday party. They had magnets on the back so they could put them on the fridge or other metal surface. My kids put theirs on the door around our fireplace. Jeremy was putting all the little pieces out for Seven and showing him that he could put them on the alligator.
Lindsey chose a lion to make.
Look at the expression on Seven's face...he sure was concentrating!
Piper also chose a lion to make.
Finn chose an alligator. He was also concentrating!
Rilian might have had a different expression on his face if the sun weren't in his eyes. Maybe I should have stood somewhere else to take his picture...
Reagan and Rilian swinging. Most of the time that Reagan was outside, she was in the swing. It's a little blurry because they were in motion.
Time for cake! Seven was so excited to eat part of the alligator!
Seven was waiting for us to finish singing "Happy Birthday" so he could blow out the candle.
I guess he decided he needed to show the camera some icing on his finger. Silly boy!
Granny Joyce and Dadabe brought this tall present. From the time they brought it in, all the children were VERY curious as to what it contained. They kept wanting Seven to open it. I like the rope bow on top.
What's in there Seven?
Surprise! It was a huge alligator inside!
How sweet! He loves his alligator. He was hugging it.