Happy Birthday Niko!

Happy 1st Birthday Niko!

You are beautiful – and loving, and deep down you still are fierce. Though you can no longer see my face, and your body fails you time and time again I see you. I see your beautiful face, and the love in your eyes – though vacant – oh they are so full of love.

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I could look back on these past six months as a time of struggle – but I really don’t. I do however take it as a time of learning, and a journey on a continuum that i had started several months – years before.

But really what is a struggle? After all – I am not where Job was – he literally lost everything. Bless the Lord above I am not Job.

We’ve always had a “tough” dog. Dad travels a lot, and we feel rest assured to have a protection dog to alert us when danger is near. After Tyler our beloved Rottweiler died we had adopted your brother Eli. You two shared the same mom, but had a different dad. We spent a glorious 3 months with him, but at his age of 5 months – he passed tragically away.

He had the same love of eating EVERYTHING that you do Niko –  except he wasn’t able to pass things as easily as you.

After your brother died we were absolutely devastated and broken. We had lost two of our dogs within three months, and had a little 15 pound Jack Russell protecting our house! She may be little, but she does a great job.

We went out to the farm where your mom and dad live to spend some time with other Corso’s just like you! Your breed has near magical powers that make people feel so loved in an indescribable way. When we were there we learned that your mama was going into heat and would have another litter soon.

Between November and December we anxiously awaited your arrival and were so excited to learn at the winter cabin that you were born! I’m sure outsiders thought we were adopting a human baby because of our excitement level. Our hearts leapt, and came out to see you and your litter-mates as soon as we were able.  We chose you! You were so calm and sweet and a tough little man.

We had a countdown calendar to the day we could take you home, and officially call you ours.

The night we took you home we cradled you in our arms, and sometimes even now I can still see that expression on your face when you lay across my lap desperately trying to be that 15 pound puppy we once knew.

Oh how we had high hopes for you!

We immediately put you in obedience training – both puppy kindergarten and obedience. You had a strong willingness to learn, and caught on very easily.

Unfortunately – mid December when you were just 11 months old we learned that you went mysteriously blind, and suffer from Ataxia. You have trouble walking at times, and fall down a lot. We built a ramp for you out our back door, and see how much you try to map out our backyard. You are incredibly determined, and I think you will overcome this obstacle.

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We chose your breed to take care of us, but it seems that we are taking care of you. We’ve learned so much from you in just one year Niko. We’ve learned patience like no other and complete trust. You have to trust fully in us to see for you and those times when your legs give out you trust us to bring you to a safe spot.

We will protect you and love you Niko- like you would have protected us. We hope dearly to celebrate many more birthday’s with you, but are truly blessed for each moment we have with you now!!

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~ Love Mom & Dad 

Minnesota – Week 14

{PupDate}

Life with puppy has been going wonderful! I swear this is the most low key dog we’ve ever owned. He is very go with the flow, and very low energy. We just took Niko to our brand new veterinarian today,  for shots and an exam (After a lengthy and thorough search I think we finally found a new and good vet clinic since we’ve dealt with a bit of hell with our old ones)… and things went really good. Niko checked out perfectly. This new vet seems pretty legit. His favorite dog breeds include Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers, so I think he’ll be very comfortable with our Corso. He actually listens to us, and shares some of our same opinions, (read: thinks its ridiculous to neuter dogs at 6 months old due to stunting proper growth development, and can lead to osteosarcoma) and is very affordable so I think we’ll stay with him for a while.

Niko Stats:
11 Weeks
24.6 Pounds
Eats aproximately 3 cups of Large Breed Puppy – Nutrisource three times per day.

Sadie Stats:
2 years, 7 months
20.5 pounds (a wee bit overweight)
Eats just a handful of low fat NutriSourse three times per day. I just bought Just a WEE BIT small breed dog food since the low fat wasn’t doing a THING. Just as people NEED fat to loose fat I’m going to see if the same idea applies to dogs. Currently her food has 9g of fat per serving, and the new food has 18g of fat. Also now that its nicer out I hope to exercise her more.

Niko is becoming more much more playful and alert. Was very sleepy the first week or two we brought him home. Still takes lots of naps, but is awake for about an hour or more at a time now before sleep takes over.

Favorite toys right now are:
* Kips tail (likes to try to play tug of war WITH the cat), slowly getting over that in turn for chasing the cats and asserting his dominance over them.
* Ropes (supervised)
* Licking peanut butter out of Kongs
* Rubber Tug/chew toys
* Likes to play tug (we win every time).

He sleeps in the kennel next to our bed at night, and quiets down fairly quickly without much help. Sleeps from about 11pm-6am, or midnight to 7:00 a.m. He’s right on cue, so I hardly even need an alarm clock. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night, but for the most part, he sleeps about 6-7 hours per night.

During the day he is in the hallway and bathroom (bathroom is puppy proofed) and he has toys , and a rest area. He doesn’t even pout when we leave him there, and isn’t going off the wall bonkers when we get home. Luckily with this wild MN weather Jason has been home many days which is helping out HUGE in the socialization and potty training department. Honestly he hardly ever has an accident. (Quick find some wood for me to knock on!)

Wednesday evenings he goes to puppy playtime to get some socialization with other dogs. He is doing exceptionally well, and although I feel like I’m bragging, he’s doing better than several of his classmates that are older than himself. I’ve told Jason I bet he could do agility once he’s older. We’ll possibly continue on that.

He has been to the groomer officially. Doesn’t love being sprayed with water, but doesn’t mind the drier. I hope he likes the water since we go camping and fishing and are always on the water.

He gets along with Sadie, our Jack Russell Terrier. They love to snuggle together for naps, and romp around during playtime. They both like to gang up on the cats which we’re trying to break them of. They usually go after our torishell Manx Breanna who is more sensitive anyways. They hardly ever go after Kip.

We recently signed up for barkbox.com. Have you ever heard of it? It seems pretty awesome…. Each month you receive a box in the mail filled with new and cool toys like bumi brand and natural dog treats and training treats etc. Its cool because you get new toys, and new treats for about the same cost as you would spend regardless. Plus a part of the proceeds goes towards animal rescue.

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Thats it for now. Stay tuned for another PupDate!