Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We're Reading

Just an FYI-

The Heartbeats are all well and good! Mamma gots a new job and started this week so we haven't posted but we've been reading. We know all about the gotcha days, new siblings, electrical issues, sicknesses, and silly antics! Even though we might not comment, just know that we are thinking about you and we miss you very much!

Hopefully Mamma can get her life together this weekend. We really need to have a talk about priorities...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

McIver's New Friend

Many of you know McIver and his story. He had 5 human friends and when one passed away, that left him with 4. McIver loves us and has no use for anyone else. When we have friends over, their STRICT instructions are to ignore McIver. Our dear friend J has known McIver since we first became his puppy raisers when he was 12 weeks old. As you'll recall, McIver turned 2 in October. I am PLEASED to announce that McIver suddenly accepted J as his newest human friend.

Daddy and J have been friends since high school where they were wrestlers. Now they train together as kickboxers and as mixed-martial-artists. The UFC had a fight Saturday night so J came over to watch and ended up sleeping on the couch. Sunday morning I let the dogs back in after their morning potty break and McIver made a beeline for J!! He proceeded to snuggle and KISS J! Despite all of our shock, I managed to get a few pictures!!

Belly scratches from J!

Gimme that chin!
It just proves that McIver really is the dog I think he is!

Definitely one of those moments that makes me glad to be McIver's Mamma!

J must be good people if he passed McIver's 2 year test!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Somebody Shouldn't Play Poker...

This is a totally hilarious video. Since I've seen several posts about good doggies being bad with muddy paws and stuff, I thought this wouldbe appropriate!! Poor Denver!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For Our Sibe Friends...

The Iditarod 2011 has been won by a native Alaskan. How exciting!

Mamma and I watched a show on Animal Planet about this insanity. We are very curious about the preparation of such a race and all the logistics of dropping dogs and caring for dogs during the race. We saw the mushers making beds of hay at check points during rests. And the dogs appear to be well-cared for and enjoying their task.

So our question is very open and general... HOW in the world do you care for a team of dogs on the go?

AND are the dogs comfy and warm?

Maybe some of our Sibe friends can help us learn more.

This is for The Thundering Herd


THAT is a bed!

I hope no one mistakes me for an agile sled dog.

'cuz I HAVE been working out...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Mamma Heartbeat here, I have to share this story with my fellow dog lovers.

Nikki is in season right now so she's wearing a diaper. (Please note: all other dogs & cats are spayed or neutered. Nikki is a breeder for a service dog organization.) As Daddy Heartbeat let the dogs out for a potty break, I reminded him to take the diaper off. Apparently he didn't hear me because when I asked if he remembered to take the diaper off, he flew outside and called her back.

When he removed it, he found a nice stinky surprise from an unfazed 75 lbs German Shepherd.

We laughed for 10 minutes. We are such good dog parents.

Calhoun (6 months) and his JRT cousin, Hoon roaming the beach at Kiawah Island.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Our entries for Anna's Tongue-Tacular Contest...

This is the ONLY tongue pic of McIver (3 months) I could find- that you haven't already seen. He is just too dignified!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Many of you were followers when we got McIver back so you know his story. If you don't know his story, here is a quick summary. McIver came to us through Dogs for Autism. We were his puppy raisers which meant we were to raise and train him for about 18 months. Then he would go to a family with a child of autism. Our service dogs act as extra eyes and ears for parents. Our dogs are trained to protect children with autism, not in a bite-a-stranger way, but in a way that highlights their herding skills so that our dogs can guide the children to not bolt or fixate on a "stimming" behavior. Long story short, McIver only had eyes for about 5 people in this world and really has no use for anyone else. He is not aggressive until someone tries to engage him. He prefers to be ignored by anyone except the chosen 5. Oh yeah and little people are VERY strange to him. So our precious little McIver flunked service dog academy and was placed in home with an experienced GSD owner. After about eight months, this "owner" decided he couldn't handle McIver. Again this "owner" wasn't in McIver's top 5. In those eight months, one of DFA's breeder dogs was placed in our home- Nikki. The only reason they took McIver is because they wanted to keep us in the dog-handling pot of volunteers.

Anyway, so at this point our director basically begs us to take McIver back. A local police department had evaluated him for potential K9 police work but found him "too serious". He doesn't really have the necessary play drive for that line of work.

So despite the overwhelming panic of having 4 BIG dogs in a relatively small home with two adults and two cats, we decided that we would take him back. After all, we had fallen in love with the sweet boy the moment they brought him into our home! We cried when we had to take him back.

And when I say cried, I truly mean sobbed like 2 adults should not sob over... well... anything.

I mean check out these pictures, wouldn't you have fallen in love?

McIver around 3 months at work with me. January 2009

Again at work

Playtime with Calhoun and service dogs in training are not to be on furniture but I couldn't NOT get the pic.


TREATS! with Lucy

If only I were a bit taller... McIver in the food bin.

Can one get a tan in February at Hilton Head Island?

Don't eat the sand!

WHY is this water moving?

McIver was here 2009

sunset walk with Daddy

sleeping in my crate at the hotel

but for a brief- really cute moment- I had to get Mamma comfy on the bed.

I really don't get the whole tanning thing...

beach baby

The day we had to take him back to DFA- NOT a good day and McIver knew it because he hid under the kitchen table.

We take our guardianship of McIver very seriously. He is a large GSD weighing in at about 100 lbs. He could do some serious damage if the situation presented. But oddly, our job is to protect him at all costs. We don’t put him in situations that he would make him uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean that he is confined to our home. We take him on many outings but we exercise extreme caution. When I run with him through the neighborhood, I rarely stop to chat with a neighbor. After a recent storm, I did stop to chat but opened the conversation by asking them to ignore McIver and not even look at him much less touch him. He laid by my feet for about 25 minutes while I discussed the storm damage with neighbors. We don’t allow him to be around children at all. I frankly don’t care if I hurt people’s feelings by doing any of this. I absolutely trust him to listen to my commands. He has never failed me in that regard. His obedience skills are probably the best in our pack. His loyalty and devotion is immeasurable.  

McIver- February 2011

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this boy!!