Sunday, July 6, 2014


It's tough to decide where to begin -- clearly we've done a few things since the 'frog socks' post.  It's great that we've been TOO DARN BUSY to sit and write at the computer.  So where to begin...

How about starting with introducing our new puppy? She is one of 9 puppies born to our friends dogs at the end of April: Sweetie (the momma, a black lab) and Djok (an african boerbul/mastiff with some labrador somewhere in his past).  Both of these dogs are puppies themselves and the litter was quite an unexpected (but great!) surprise.

Little Maza is in there somewhere. Poor Sweetie. She had a difficult job!

The puppies from the start had their own personalities and looks.  A lot of them had short velvet-soft hair w/ a brindle pattern (tiger stripes, I suppose), one was a beautiful weimeruner grey and two were black with soft long fur -- one was a boy with a white blaze on his chest and the other was one of two girls - this is our puppy, MAZA!  From  the start we knew we wanted this little girl.  Thankfully, it's worked out well and she ends up being just the sort of dog we needed and that fits well into our family.

This family includes Old Man Siku. Siku was the big unknown in all of this.  As much as having a puppy around would be something new for us, for Siku this was going to be a huge, major, big-deal change.  Let's just say that he's not exactly known for his kindness around other dogs and leave it at that.

Here is the pup when we first met her.  eeeeekkkkkk! so cute. of course we had to have a puppy.

Even if you're not wondering, we're going to tell you about Maza's name.  The kids were coming up with really lame names...we all we took the naming project to the family that gave her to us.  Long story short....we came up with Maza.  Maza sort of means "darling" in Serbian.  Other reasons:  the serbian translation of "lady and the trap" (the disney dog movie) is "Maza i Lunja" and Lunja in our family is...Siku, the tramp.  Also, there is a town in Zambia called "Mazabuka" which is known as 'the sweetest town in Zambia" because this is where sugar-cane is grown and processed. (maza...sweetie (the mom)...get it?) There must be another reason but it's escaping me.  At any rate, the second we came up with the name, it stuck.  Maza, it is.  Since she is the puppy of Finn's friend we were able to get to know her from the week she was born -- and we all had a good bond with her long before we brought her some.  The constant contact also allowed us to bring this puppy's smell home with us for two months before we brought the pup home. I"m not sure if this made any difference to Siku but it can't have been a bad idea.

They boys are working hard to train her to be a good dog.  It's a challenge but as she's getting bigger the challenge is only growing, so we are happy to have gotten a good start.  She's only 4 months old and is nearly as big as 'the big dog'.  It's tough to say which genes are going to come thru -- the lab or the boerboel.  Boerbuls are MASSIVE dogs.  Our friend's boerboel (named AZA!! Aren't we clever to have struggled to come up with MAZA?), for example, has to wear a MAN's BELT for his collar.  He is THAT BIG.  He's the biggest dog I've ever seen, in fact.  His head is the size of a lion's it's HUGE.  His heart is just as big, thankfully, it's MASSIVE.

Boerboels are not a familiar breed to most of the world.  They are from South Africa and were bread for "defense of the homestead" and for tracking and defending game from lions hyenas and other big cats.    A Boerboel will take down a lion and's known for it's kindness with children and for tolerating any abuse they can dish out. They are also known for their loyalty and affection.  A boerbul looks like a giant rotweiler I suppose but they are yellow/blonde with black eyes, a wrinkly, worried-looking forehead and a black muzzel.  Adult Boerboels weigh 100-200 pounds.  If an adult boerbul jumps up on you it will put it's paws on your shoulders and have to look DOWN you to lick your will do.

So far, Maza is of course growing like crazy but she'll likely be about 60-70 pounds (Ruby was 40 I think but she was on the small/trim side) and maybe will in the end look like a giant black lab.

 the littermates.  

Siku...wondering what the heck we brought home.  He HATES it when she goes by the pool.  Siku hates the pool.  We forced him in the pool ONCE and will never do it again.  It was a 100+degree day and he looked so miserable....bad idea.  Maza has been in a dozen times and while she's not happy (the water is really cold right now), we think she'll be a swimmer.  Her momma regularly jumps in the pool!

"I am puppy, hear me snore!" 

The first photos of the dog are all when she's sleeping -- every other photo is just of a giant fluffy blur.

 Finn is trying to get the dogs to stand nicely together to compare sizes now.  He's got a healthy fear of dogs (which was one reason to get a puppy, to be honest) but has done GREAT with Maza's training -- learning how to behave around a dog, how to 'act' dominant even if you are being overwhelmed by them -- for him it has maybe been more finny-training than maza training.  But the dog training has gone well, too.

 maza's personality: she is a big goof and she is not the brightest bulb.

This photo gives a glimpse of what she'll look like as a big dog -- the boerboel saggy, wrinkly, face, the lab eyes (bright and pleading), lab ears (as a little puppy she had longer curly fur on her ears -- more like a spaniel).  She's got fluffy soft fur still - like a big soft muppet.  Yes, her feet are giant.

She's a bit of the a thief at the moment.  She's only chewed ONE pair of shoes and they are almost still wearable (but not quite, grrr, they were mine.  my favourites).  We are now used to retrieving things from behind the outside couch and regularly spot her wandering off, dragging the kids stuffed animals.  Her favourite is this stuffed teddy bear that is nearly as big as she is.  Most recently the kids were using the kitchen scissors outside to cut a rope.  They left the scissors outside but we couldnt' find them anywhere....until we looked behind the couch.  

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