Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Puppies!

No, our family is not getting a new puppy. Heaven forbid.

But Carmen at Gryphon Mals has a new litter of Malamutes that are too precious not to share with you. There are four new puppies - two girls and two boys.



Mommy Amore is very excited to have new puppies to take care of - she's a very good momma.



And as you may or may not know...I am a big fan of shelter dogs but that does not mean I'm 100% against breeding. Carmen is a RESPONSIBLE breeder, which is the key. She does not do this for the money and is not a "back yard" breeder. All her dogs are genetically tested if they are going to breed and of course only bred if they have the appropriate temperament and character. She's very picky about who gets one of her lovely dogs and many of her dogs are truly "working" dogs - pulling sleds and doing shows.

Trooper is one of Carmen's dogs and as a responsible breeder she's already told us that if we had any issues with him and the baby that he is welcome back at her farm anytime.

Congratulations Carmen!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Having a Good Time

My dogs are such crazies sometimes. Although it's not always their fault.

The day after Christmas we had a birthday party to attend...we left the house around 3 p.m.

Dinner for doggies is at 4 p.m. and they rarely let us go past that time.

We did not make it home until after 8 p.m.

Can you guess what happened? :)

An entire bottle of whiskey was broken on the kitchen floor...we think they knocked it over getting to the bread and bagels on the kitchen counter. Which they ate in their entirety.

The living room was scattered with plastic and paper from the box of chocolates they had opened and eaten.

It's our fault, we know. We also know that we are lucky to have such big dogs who have fairly tough stomachs because between the alcohol and the chocolate most dogs would have been on their way to the emergency room.

Yesterday morning they also managed to get a hold of more chocolates that were on the counter. We're slow learners apparently.

The bread and bagels are now on top of the refrigerator.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

$550 Later

Phew...that was one expensive vetrinary appointment, though we have had worse. Three of the four dogs needed updates on their vaccines and one, Kodiak, needed to be checked out for some hair loss issues.

I love our vet, but boy it's painful when the bill comes.

We did find out though that Quinn has a bladder infection!!! No wonder she pees all over everything all the time. So we have medication for her and hopefully that will help the frequency and urgency.

Kodiak is losing hair. :( The vet didn't think it was just a reaction to a new collar we'd gotten him so he's doing blood work. He also checked for mites, and thankfully there were none. He's thinking that Kodiak either has a Thyroid problem or Propecia (spelling?) ... I think that's what he said.

I see more bills in our near future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Tag Line

Isn't the internet amazing? I meet so many incredible people, and so many wonderful animal lovers. On Etsy I met a really cool woman named Kathy who owns her own pet service and her website just had me cracking me up.

Her tag line is ... "I love them, if you have to leave them." Isn't that cute?!? I love the idea of a Pet Nanny who comes to your home to take care of your animals so they don't have to be somewhere strange. Our dogs didn't seem to mind being boarded when I was in labor and recovery, but I know hubby hated it the whole time and even when I was recovering and could barely stand up he was asking if he could go get them. *grin* He's a goof.

Kathy is in Michigan, a bit too far away for us. But maybe you know someone in that area who needs assistance. I bet Kathy would be glad to help!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lower Rent for Doggy Fosters

Well, this is a new one. I hadn't heard of anyone offering cheaper rent for those willing to foster dogs but an offer has come across my e-mail for exactly that.

Ginger's Pet Rescue has a home available for rent:

Two Bedroom, One Bath, huge double lot back yard 6 ft fence located in the Shoreline (Washington) area.

There will be no last month rent or damage required and lower rent in exchange for fostering 4-6 small dogs at a time or when we have any urgent dogs that need a place to stay for a few days.

There is also a garage apart from the house that we can make into a place for the dogs to play in as well.

If you are interested or know anyone who may be ~ * please email me at xxxx

How cool is that?

If you know anyone who might be interested leave a comment and I'll send you the e-mail address. Or you can visit Ginger's Pet Rescue website.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fun Times!

Timber got to go to daycare yesterday. It had been over two months since the dogs were boarded and he'd only gotten to go one time since then.

It was quite an experience since I had to drop him off and I had the baby who was going to daycare as well.

I have a Rav4 and there isn't exactly a lot of room for a dog and a baby in a car seat. But we had an old 'gate' like thing that we used to use in our former car - a Jeep Grand Cherokee - which fit perfectly in the back of my car. So Timber got to ride in the very back for the first time ever. It was pretty funny trying to get him in there since he'd never entered my car from the very back before. And I had to make sure that his tail was out of the way before I closed the door. Poor guy was a little confused at first.

But he did absolutely perfect! He didn't cry or bark and he didn't try to crawl through the gate thing (something I was actually worried about since the very top has an opening that he *could* get through if he tried).

Of course, he was his typical crazy self once we actually got to daycare. He is SO flippin' strong!

I picked him up around 6 p.m. and he sure does pull a lot less hard when he's super tired. =) After he ate his dinner he laid down at my feet and promptly fell asleep.

A tired dog is a wonderful dog!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So Much for That

A long time ago I bought a pack of doggy diapers for Quinn, thinking it would be easier than just letting her "leak" all over the place. I bought a Medium or Large and they were nowhere near big enough.

This weekend I decided to try again, but this time I bought an XL, which is supposedly big enough for dogs up to 80+ pounds.

Ha! Yeah right! Nowhere near big enough. Hubby got one over her tail but couldn't get the tabs even close to closed.

She's fat, but good grief...she's not 80 pounds fat. They should make diapers that will fit big dogs. What if Trooper needs them someday? He's even bigger!

So that's another $20 bucks down the toilet (so to speak). We'll keep using the puppy pads on the kitchen floor. She's a very good girl and tries very hard to only go potty on the pads. She's so smart.

She is also still quite spunky. I was feeding the dogs the other day and all of a sudden hear a fight start. It was QUINN and Trooper! I'm 99.9% positive that she started it because he was trying to lick out her bowl, which he always does, but she probably wasn't done. She was totally snarling...lips fully back and teeth barred. We haven't seen her like that in a long time.

I pulled Trooper off of her (of course he was on top and defending himself, even against his sissy) and separated them. That's only the second or third time they've gotten into it. The first was when he was a little puppy and tried to steal her food. She drew blood that time! :) This time there was no blood. (Oh, I remember the second time...a few weeks or months ago, also over food, and Quinn got a little cut above her eye.)

Trooper really is amazingly reserved in his fights. He could easily kill any of the other doggies and yet he rarely draws a drop of blood.

Just another reminder that we have to be extremely vigilent in making sure all food is kept away from the dogs or keep the dogs separated when food is present. Timber and Trooper got into a fight this weekend in the garage and hubby said it was over the bags of dog food we store there. :(

Most of the time...I'd say 95% of the time, all four dogs get along very well. It's the other 5% that stress me out and make me want to send Trooper to Seattle to his auntie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dogs are Weird

One second Trooper and Timber are in an all out brawl that sounds like they are killing each other and the next they are playing like best friends.

There have been several additional fights since Trooper attacked Timber when we brought the baby home. We've tried to watch them carefully and not give them excuses to fight, but it doesn' seem to take much.

The other week I woke up around 4 a.m. to horrible sounds coming from the kitchen where Trooper had Timber around the throat...daddy was trying to kick them apart with the baby in his arms. *sigh*

I had no glasses on, no shoes, and didn't even think. I reached down and grabbed my 90 pound Malamute by the scruff of the neck and yanked him back and away. Pretty stupid, but it worked. (Neither dog had a scratch ... no blood whatsoever ... as bad as it looked like Trooper wanted to kill Timber, he obviously was holding back, which is a scary thought.)

And I've had to do that same move again, just yesterday. Except this time Trooper had Quinn pinned to the ground...and I honestly don't think he started it that time. Quinn has a tendency to growl and bark at the other dogs when they get too close to something she values and it was dinner time. I think that Trooper simply responded back in kind. Again, no scratches and no blood. But Quinn is too old for that kind of activity.

All the dogs seem to be doing fine this morning...playing together in the cold weather. But it's obvious that we have a situation here that is volatile and unsafe for an infant. Yet another reason why I make T&T stay in the kitchen when I have the baby by myself in the living room. I will not sacrifice his safety.

I love my dogs and I want them to be happy...we know that they need more exercise and are trying to figure out a way to get that for them. I walked Trooper the other day - just the two of us - and his aunt took him for a super long walk this last weekend. Timber mostly just needs his daddy time...he's such a love bug and just glues himself to daddy's side when he can.

Babies sure do change things dramatically. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Well That Didn't Work

We tried to solve our Quinn pee problem by gating her in the kitchen inside one of those special adjustable gates. It's pretty large and easily fits a big bed and her water with enough room for pee pads.

She was having none of that. She howled and was so loud that I could not even hope to get to sleep. She's a pretty stubborn old gal.

So she's still sleeping in the living room where she's most comfortable and thankfully is choosing to pee in the kitchen. I say thankfully because it's much easier to clean up in there and does a lot less damage. The floor in the living room is pretty new. Plus there's a rug.

The kitchen floor is pretty much covered in those doggy potty pads. I'm thinking we should buy stock in them because this issue isn't going to go away until Quinn is no longer with us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bladder Control

My poor princess girl. She is getting older and older before our eyes. And so is her bladder. I wish there was more I could do to help her. I think she's getting more uncomfortable too.

Her cough was getting horrendous...we had lost her pills and she went without for over a week. So she's back on her medicine now. It makes her even more incontinent than she is without them. This morning I found three big puddles in the kitchen. She missed all the pee pads. :(

And I stepped in one of them! I've stepped in Quinn pee every day this week. I swear I'm looking for it but it blends in and gets me every time. No...I don't wear shoes around the house. And I'm generally barefoot - though stepping in pee in socks is way worse.

I'm not sure what to do for her, if there's even anything I could do. We won't put her outside at night. She's the only dog who loves warmth and being outside would be bad for her arthritis. Plus, she has been an indoor dog for as long as we've had her (2002).

I know that everyone and every animal ages but it really sucks to watch. The last few years I kept thinking we were going to lose her any time but she's held on...even as she's slowed down.

How would you want your pet to die? In the middle of the night just all of a sudden after a long life? I don't want her to suffer or be in extreme pain. What if she can't walk any longer? I think that might be the point that we take her to the vet to say goodbye...which will be a miserable and sad day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Malamute to a Good Home

I'm only half kidding.

Our first born human child was born on September 26 after I was induced a week and one day early. You can read about all the gory details here. :)

We brought him home a couple of days later (he had to be in NicU for 24 hours and I lost a LOT of blood so we were in the hospital for a couple days).

The doctor gave us the first towel to ever touch the little guy...it still had blood on it and hubby took it home a few hours ahead of me and baby for the doggies. He said they sniffed it and were sort of interested but didn't seem super aware.

So in I walk with little Marshal and Trooper is completely fixated. Timber is just happy to see me. He wanted to sniff the baby but mostly just wanted to be pet. Kodiak and Quinn could have cared less.

We go into the bedroom and put the baby in his bassinet. Daddy knelt down next to Trooper who was sniffing the bassinet and Timber was trying to get me to pet him while I used the bathroom (he has no boundaries). After a little bit Timber tried to walk by Trooper and daddy, showing no interest in the baby, and Trooper attacked.

Considering my condition and emotional state it was not the ideal situation for our first 15 minutes being home.

I pulled Timber away and daddy dragged Trooper out of the bedroom and the baby gate went up to keep all the dogs out of the bedroom.

We're not sure if Trooper was being possessive because he thought Marshal was food or a toy or because he's the new human. He's generally only aggressive over food so I'm guessing he thought he was food. :(

My first words to hubby were "we're sending Trooper away"...of course, I was a mess for the first two weeks after Marshal was born. I didn't really leave the bedroom much and I hardly ate. I'm already down to my pre-pregnancy weight. The stress of being in the same room with any of the dogs was too much for me.

We're going on 4 weeks this Saturday and I'm doing a lot better. The dogs on the other hand...

Let's just say that I will never trust Trooper and Timber is a big clumsy goof who would accidentally hurt the baby just by knocking him over. Trooper gets very fixated on the baby whenever he's near. If his ears go back I get very alert and tell Trooper "NO" in a strong voice and he generally goes and lays down.

I'm sure he's jealous and he's also bored. None of the dogs have gotten walked in over a week. Although daddy does play with them and wrestle in the living room...and throw the ball when it isn't raining.

The issues with Trooper are not going to go away...they need to be managed and carefully monitored. He attacked Quinn in the kitchen and got her pretty good...she had a huge gash over her eye and we almost took her to get stitches (it's healed up now). It was almost definitely over food as it happened in the kitchen where they were all barricaded and we'd just cooked dinner.

Malamutes have a huge prey drive and little Marshal (all 8 pounds of him) sounds a lot like something yummy to snack on. When he starts to crawl and move around it will be even worse. Right now we are using two different baby gates to separate the dogs from the baby when we need to. They are getting to smell him and see him though...if one of us is holding him the dogs are allowed to be in the room (but still not the bedroom).

I want Trooper to be one of Marshal's best friends someday and hopefully when he's older and bigger that can happen. But the next few years are going to be stressful for me and are going to require constant vigilance. And I will not hesitate to send Trooper back to his breeder (or his aunt) if he ever shows true aggression toward Marshal.

I do have some hope. He's never shown ANY aggression toward small kids - toddler age and up. He's always sniffed them and that's it...but it could be different with a child in "his" home. We shall see.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Love Animals...But...

Seagulls don't rate very high on my protection meter. Not to mention that my husband is a State Trooper so I'm completely biased in regards to this story. Although my hubby has already said he'd never have been able to beat a bird to death. He's so sweet. :)

But I'm thrilled that the Troopers who were suspended for beating a couple of Seagulls to death are not going to be prosecuted. We have a shortage of Troopers as it is.

I wish they hadn't done it and I think beating the gulls to death certainly wasn't the way to get rid of them (in front of tourists and kids...poor taste...but shooting them would have scared people probably even worse).

But they are SEAGULLS. Sewer rats with wings (which is an insult to rats). If you don't have seagulls where you live...trust me. They are obnoxious, annoying, and potentially dangerous if too tame around humans with food. They're huge and could cause serious damage if not sufficiently scared of a human with food (especially a kid).

So I'm glad that the Troopers aren't going to be prosecuted. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Can You Help? Puppies in Need

Saving Shelter Pets is drowning in puppies...adorable, face licking, fluff balls who have done nothing to deserve the misery of a kill shelter except being born.

This little guy just wants to lick your face...I can tell. :)

Can you help? Every single $1 will help SSP get closer to rescuing and providing new hope for these cuties. I've donated and wish I could donate more - but if we all chip in it can be done!!!

Look at those faces! I want to bring them all home...but must stick to donating money. :) Until I get my super farm with a super barn (heated with individual kennels for rescuing doggies). A girl can dream right?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quality Matters

I'm a coupon fanatic...as my husband will attest. Recently there were printable coupons for Milk Bone dog treats for $2 off a box. They of course are advertised as nutritious and healthy...and we go through a LOT of dog treats at our house. At Walmart they're $4 a box, so that's a box of dog treats for $2. And then they were on sale at Albertsons a week or so ago for $3...making them $1 a box. So I've bought around 5-6 boxes.

We've gone through almost one full box of them so far. But I don't think we'll use the rest. Trooper and Timber seem to be reacting to them with incredible itchy-ness. Trooper has always been very sensitive, but not his skin usually. Generally its his bowels. And Timber has always been itchy in the morning but not all day like he has been lately.

Both dogs are attacking their skin. And the only thing I can think of is the dog treats. Kodiak and Quinn seem fine, but they've never been as sensitive to foods.

I'll donate the rest of the boxes to the pound as I figure any treats are good treats for the poor pups stuck there. And we'll go back to the expensive treats for our babies. I guess that is one reason to keep couponing...so I can afford the healthy food and treats for our doggies. :) We don't skimp on food (just spent $350 to stock up on food before the two legged baby come) so we shouldn't on treats either.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Staying Entertained

I've been so tired lately and the poor doggies are taking notice. I walked Trooper yesterday - though all our walks are much slower than normal.

Timber has found an entertaining new hobby to keep himself occupied though. I find it hilarious. We leave the back sliding glass door open a lot ... I like to let them go in and out when they want. Unfortunately this time of year we get a lot of flies. Those dang flies drive me absolutely bonkers, but they also drive Timber crazy.

Watching him "hunt" the flies is hilarious. I was cracking up today as he would spot one land, stalk it, and pounce! He finally caught one. One down and 12 to go. :)

I also allowed him to destroy an old ratty pillow and the sheer joy he had on his face was totally worth the mess. I tried getting a photo of him among the debris but Quinn decided it looked like a good place to rest.


She looks completely guilty doesn't she? And if I hadn't watched Timber destroy it I would have blamed her. Trooper and Timber did have some tug of war contests with the stuffing. It was very entertaining and I'm just happy to watch them get out some of their excess energy (supervised and approved by momma).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Acting Strange

We know our dogs' personalities, as do most owners. So when they start acting differently it makes us pay attention.

Timber is always a daddy's boy who loves to follow papa around and cuddle, but last night he was GLUED to papa. And in a really pathetic sort of way with that look "I'm not right" when he'd look up at us.
He was acting like he was in pain...he wasn't his active self (usually he and Trooper play a little bit on the bed before actually going to bed). He didn't even want to jump up on the bed at all last night...I had to coax him up. And he couldn't get cuddly enough with either me or hubby.

Around 2 a.m. hubby and I both had to take potty breaks (although I take them ever couple of hours) and he said that when Timber had moved positions on the bed he sort of cried a little bit.

We decided that if he was still acting strangely in the morning that I'd call to make an appointment for him. And that he wouldn't get a full breakfast in case there was something stuck in his digestive track. I was thinking maybe he ate something that got stuck.

This morning he's still acting fairly cuddly and clingy but he's not lethargic. I gave him just a little bit of breakfast and he scarfed it down so I gave him a little more. He's been chomping on a bone right by me for a little bit and when papa's alarm clock went off he was excited to get back into bed.

So we're going to watch him closely. If he continues to act strangely we will take him to the vet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Almost Hit a Bird

That dang crow in the middle of the road did not move an inch as I approached...usually they fly away when you get too close. Oh no, not this crow.

And there was a car coming in the other lane so I didn't have much room to maneuver. I think the crow was suicidal but he'll have to wait for another car because I managed to just miss him by an inch or so by scooting to the right of the lane (not too far because it's a country road and no real side other than the ditch).

I cringed before looking in the rear view mirror and was shocked to see him still waddling in the middle of the road. He's one lucky crow. BOTH cars missed him.

It reminds me of that Seinfeld episode..."we had a deal!" Thankfully no tiny instruments are required at this time. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doggy Sleepover

What a crazy weekend. I am thoroughly wiped out.

My brother came up with his dog, Echo. This is one of the sweetest and most awesome dogs. He's very well behaved and listens quite well, even to others who aren't his papa.

My dogs look like monsters in comparison.

So the plans for Saturday included my baby shower and then some folks going to the casino for their seafood buffet - including my brother. So I volunteered to watch Echo for the afternoon and overnight. Otherwise he would have been left at my mom's house for over 11 hours. Which is not okay to me.

Timber and Trooper had a total blast playing with Echo all afternoon and evening. They weren't even ready to stop playing at bedtime, but we made them all calm down and go to bed.

But Echo could not settle himself and would not be still or sleep for longer than an hour at a time. I did not sleep the whole night. He slept right up by my head most of the time but kept waking up and licking me (which I can't stand) or waking up and just standing. Very distracting.

Then when Timber decided it was time for him to be on the bed he didn't like finding his cousin there and did some growling, which we put a stop to right away but then I was all nervous about having them both up there (Timber at my feet, Echo at my head - it was a little cramped - although hubby seemed to sleep just fine).

When we got up for potty time in the middle of the night he headed straight for the front door - he wanted his papa! I didn't get to sleep in at all on Sunday so we all got up and I took him back to his daddy and he was very happy. Just talked to my brother and last night Echo slept with his head burrowed in daddy's chest and snored all night long. :)

I'm still tired from the event. But it was worth it. The dogs had a blast Saturday and then Sunday morning they continued their play time. Timber is still caked with mud. And he's still tired this morning. A tired dog is the best kind of dog. :)

I have a few funny photos to share but need to download them from the camera. We need more puppy play times, but maybe not too many extra sleep overs.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Absolutely Heartwarming

Dogs and warriors have a special place in my heart - and when they find themselves together in battle they form bonds that most of us could never understand.

Rachel Lucas writes about Sandbag (love the name), a dog from Iraq who has been rescued.

Is that not the sweetest photo ever???

Friday, August 28, 2009

Not Cruel - But A Little Creepy

I'm not sure how I feel about this. "Creative Grooming" is apparently all the rage over in the UK with some poodle owners. It seems a little creepy, although I admit some of the dogs are kind of cute in their "disguises".


I've got to admit that the Jack Sparrow poodle made me smile. As did the Panda Bear poodle.

But really I've never been a fan of spray painting animals - even though I know people use non toxic paints that are harmless and wash out ... it just seems so weird and unnatural to me.

I definitely don't put it in the "cruel" category - even though a couple of those dogs look very sad in their photo shoots. As one of the comments in the story says, cruel is chaining a dog outside with no shelter, beating a dog, and other things that truly cruel. It's not dressing your dog up (or cutting/dying their hair.

Can you imagine Trooper as a panda bear? hahahaha


h/t Carpe Diem

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SSP Fundraiser Results

I'm so excited to announce that I raised $69.95 during the Etsy sale fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. YAY!!! I'm going to round up. *grin*

So $70 is on its way to SSP to help rescue animals from high kill shelters. I love this organization and hope you'll check out what they do and support their efforts.

Cross posting at my other two blogs.

** Edited to add ***

My contact at SSP said that the $70 I raised will help Spay/Neuter 10-14 kittens. YAY!!! Sweet kittens who can then be adopted out for a lifetime of joy. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Day!

Go shopping and benefit shelter pets in high kill shelters!

Today is the last day for the Saving Shelter Pets Etsy fundraiser.

I'll report my total funds raised from sales (including non-Etsy sales - Thanks mom!) later this week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Idea

Related to my last post about me being a busy body, but with good intentions, I had an idea.

It takes a little bit of time to write out a handwritten note to someone. That's generally what stops me from leaving notes for people (I see a lot of dogs left in cars).

What if I had little notes made up for me (or do it myself...novel idea) with a bit of info about how hot a car can get even on a cloudy day? Something small and simple with a few basic facts and maybe including a link to a website for more info.

I'm sure it would anger some folks...but if even just ONE person reconsidered leaving their dog in a car on a 'moderate' day it could make a difference.

Even on winter days I hesitate to take the dogs out if it's sunny out because the car can still get warm (and Trooper is especially sensitive to heat). But I think these little cards would be mostly for spring/summer/fall days.

Thoughts? Too busy body? Obnoxious? I don't mind being obnoxious. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yes, I Am A Busybody

Running my errands on the weekend is getting more and more difficult the closer my due date approaches, but I struggle on. As I made my way to one grocery store (I had to make a separate trip because Wally World didn't carry what I wanted) I ended up parking next to a car with a doggy inside.

The windows were cracked, and it was cloudy at the time. But I had just heard on Friday about a woman who forgot her dog was in the car ... a black lab. The lab died in the less than hot weather when left in her car for 2 hours. She was devastated (apparently inconsolable...I would be too!) and the story breaks my heart.

So that was on my mind as I watched this dog panting. Yes the windows were cracked. But as I sat there with my door wide open my car felt increasingly warm and uncomfortable.

I don't normally leave notes for people...it seems kind of obnoxious, but this time I did. It was a simple note and just mentioned that a woman just lost her dog in her car on a very similar weather day and cars can get over 100 degrees very quickly.

I hope the note was taken in the spirit it was intended. By the time I'd come out of the store, the car was gone, but so were the clouds. My car was extremely uncomfortable and warm. Even with windows cracked a dog would not have been safe inside.

And I do, shamefully, admit to having left my dog in the car on a semi-warm day...I HATED it and rushed to get back...I also parked under a tree, left water in the car, and cracked the windows much more than I was comfortable. Even then it was too warm for my liking and I avoid doing it whenever possible. When temperatures reach into the 80s and 90s our dogs don't go anywhere in the car if we plan on leaving the car for any reason. Or, one of us stays inside with the AC on full blast.

There's no reason for a dog to die in a hot car.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Am I Just Being Paranoid?

As my due date gets closer and closer I've started thinking more and more about how our dogs are going to handle all the changes that come with a new baby.

Specifically I am most worried about how Trooper will react.

He's my sweet baby boy and he's a total mama's boy. And he's shown a tendency to be jealous, but it is always toward other dogs. He doesn't go to daycare anymore because he kept starting fights - but only when the 'girls' (the workers) were out with the dogs and he wanted their attention.

When we fostered Bullet he was definitely jealous, but he had a great time playing with her and there weren't ever any fights. When we adopted Timber they definitely had some time of establishing alpha, and there were several snarling fits that resulted in some blood draws (most of it my husband's blood actually). And there were times when we would be giving attention to Timber and Trooper would growl. It lasted a few months and seems to be over, although he still tries to butt in when the other dogs get attention (something he also did as a puppy...very doggy rude and something we didn't tolerate).

When the baby gets here...he's going to be sleeping in our bedroom in a playpen / bassinet thingy for a little while. I keep having this vision of Trooper hopping up and pulling the baby out. Is that sick? He's never shown ANY aggression toward people or children. In fact he usually ignores kids and goes right for adults when he wants attention.

Maybe I'm just being irrationally paranoid as a soon to be first time mother. My mom isn't helping though. She never let us have dogs growing up and while she likes our dogs - she doesn't love them the way we do. And she's extremely worried about how Trooper will react and makes little comments that just make my paranoia come to the front of my brain.

I guess I need advice and reassurance that there's something we can do to make the whole situation easier on everyone. I'm not worried about Quinn or Kodiak...they've been through tons of change and don't ever seem phased. Plus they're too old/cripple to try to jump up on a crib or bed. Timber I'm not sure about but I'm not nearly as worried about him as I am Trooper.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Can Be Done?

I saw a brief news story this morning while getting ready for work about a couple who were found dead and are suspected of being killed by a pack of wild dogs.

This makes me so incredibly sad.

Both for the couple and their family, but also for the dogs, if it is true that they are responsible. The news mentioned that the dogs might actually have an owner, who is away ill in the hospital. If that is true it is even more sad to me. I can't imagine not having someone take care of my dogs if I'm not able...let alone just letting them roam loose.

It's very difficult for me to imagine a pack of wild dogs doing something so horrible, even though in the logical part of my mind I know that dogs are animals and when in a pack revert to that wild nature. It's perfectly logical that they could do something like this.

I do get nervous sometimes walking Trooper by myself with no protection. I know that he can be aggressive toward other dogs if the need arose, but I don't want him to have to protect me from an aggressive dog. And I know we have a couple of dogs who wander loose - one is an un-neutered Chow. Makes me think that I should start carrying pepper spray...or a gun.

Authorities are planning to trap the dogs and I'm sure they will be put down. *sigh* Does it seem like it's a hopeless cause to try to rescue unwanted animals? Sometimes it feels incredibly overwhelming.

But I can't think like that! One dog at a time. That's why I love Saving Shelter Pets - you get to actually see the dogs they are working to rescue. Don't forget about their fundraiser.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dogs on Duty

I love working dogs, regardless of the duties they do...police dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, service dogs, whatever. Dogs are amazing creatures and seeing them work at various duties is an incredible thing.

Listening to the radio I heard an interview with the handler of Kurt, an FBI chemical explosive dog. It was a really great little interview so I decided to see if they had information about these wonderful dogs online and sure enough - they do!

Each FBI bomb dog has their own web page - which is as it should be. They deserve all kinds of recognition for their work keeping people safe every day.

I think all the chemical explosive dogs are beautiful but Disco caught my eye because he's the only one who isn't a black dog. I wonder why that is. Maybe something about black dogs makes them better sniffers. *shrug* I have no idea.

Bismark also caught my eye because he's the only non-lab dog. He's a German Shepherd and sure is handsome.

I think that working dogs often get overlooked when we think about the safety of our country. We're blessed that these fabulous creatures exist and enjoy doing their jobs to help us.

Forgiving Michael Vick?

I wrote about my torn feelings on the Michael Vick situation a few weeks ago. I'm still torn. But I'm leaning towards acceptance of his new role with the Philly Eagles and hopeful that he will become a spokesman against dog fighting.

On Monday, Michael Medved talked about him on his radio show and made some very valid points toward forgiveness.

One of which was that of visibility. If Vick were NOT allowed back in to play football, he would disappear from the spotlight. His return is bringing a LOT of attention to dog fighting and the horrors of such a "sport". Maybe this attention will show other lower income youth growing up the way Vick did that it's not right. I hope so.

Additionally, the Humane Society sent out a newsletter, and wrote a blog post, in semi- support of Vick's supposed turn around.

I also spoke about giving Vick the chance to fulfill his pledge to help us reach at-risk youth in America’s cities and to steer the kids away from the alleys and abandoned homes where street fighting festers.

The words carried promise. And I’m happy about that. But still, they were just words.

...

But he has a chance to add a new chapter to the biography, as long as he is committed in the months and years ahead to using his celebrity to bring awareness and to persuade boys and young men to love their animals instead of fighting them.


It's been an interesting day of Vick news.

Even the Obama Dog Blog wrote about the issue. I think the writer did a fabulous job outlining the issue and expressed many of my own feelings.

I realize that Vick grew up exposed to dog fighting. It was exciting, it was part of the culture. Even cool. So maybe it’s too much to expect that at some point the light would go on and he’d realize these choices are not only wrong, they’re horrifically cruel. But with each new fight, each additional act of abuse or torture or killing, he chose to proceed.

We all have the ability to make choices in our lives, regardless of the culture we are born into. Take the so called "sport" portion of dog fighting out of this for a moment...I believe it's cruel in and of itself but an argument *could* be made for a cultural aspect (i.e. bull fighting, cock fighting, and other things I find fairly mean).

The TORTURE inflicted upon the dogs has nothing to do with culture or "sport". The torture is just that - unnecessary cruelty (is that redundant?) for the sake of inflicting pain and suffering. That should be an obvious no no in any culture. Regardless of how someone is raised - anyone should know that it is wrong to electrocute a dog's privates or hang them.

I don't buy the excuse that something is okay because it's a cultural difference and those of us who disagree are being ethnocentric (i.e. female genital mutilation). Some things are just WRONG no matter why or where they are done.

I hope that Vick's re-entrance to football will lead to a greater awareness of the animal cruelty that exists out there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let the Fundraising Begin!

I'm really excited for this fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. It started Sunday and I've got my eye on a few items from the participating vendors.

Do you think this picture would be cute in a baby boy's room? We've finished painting the walls blue. And the crib is ready to be assembled. I just don't have a lot of stuff for the walls, and I don't want too much "baby" stuff...I want the things we get to grow with him.

It's funky and artsy but still kid related. And 20% of the purchase price will go to SSP.

I've already gotten an order through my own shop and I'm so excited to be able to contribute to the fundraiser.

Think ahead about what gifts you may need for the holidays or upcoming birthdays and please consider supporting this wonderful organization.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Pacific Northwest Weiner Dog Rally

Too fun!

Weiner dogs aren't my favorite...I've gotten bit more by that breed than any other, but it was long before I was comfy with dogs so it might have been my fault. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Amazing Story of Survival

Coming to us via The Cat Dog Log, a story of an amazing horse. I've read it before but it is such an incredible tale that it warms my heart all over again.

You Gotta Meet Molly

I love horses and wish I lived closer to my grandfather's farm so I could ride more (when I'm not pregnant of course). They intimidate me, but I try to ignore that and just enjoy their beauty. There are several places around my house with horses and I always smile when I see them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raising Funds for Shelter Pets

Are you looking for a great gift for a birthday? Or maybe you're a little like me and look for Christmas gifts year round.

Here is an opportunity to find some great handcrafted goodies and raise funds for Saving Shelter Pets.

Starting Sunday, August 16 and running through August 26, all purchases made from participating Etsy shops will have 20% of the price go to Saving Shelter Pets. This is a WONDERFUL organization where they work super hard to save animals stuck in shelters. I personally love their Puppy Program.

Tune in Sunday when this fund raiser starts...I'll post the link to all the shops (including mine!) who are participating. There are some great ones!

Starting Fresh

The old Home Zookeeper blog is sort of being held hostage by 451 Press. No one really knows what is going on and I have no idea who to ask questions to about buying the domain name.

So I decided to start over here on Blogger, which I like better than Word Press anyway. I'm more familiar with it. Not only that I have total control over links and ads (or lack thereof). Hopefully the blog loads better for people (including me!) without the gazillion ads that I wasn't so fond of on the old blog site.

While I enjoyed getting a few dollars a month for blogging about animals and my doggies, I'm glad to be free of the restrictions. I don't have to worry about not having enough words in my posts anymore! Not that lack of wordiness has ever been an issue for me. :)

I'm considering adding Project Wonderful ads to this blog...if I can earn just a couple of dollars a month I want to put it toward a new blog design. I have no idea how much it would cost to have someone design me something nice, but these templates from Blogger are boring.

I did go and grab many of my old posts from the old site, because I wrote them and I liked them. Anything prior to yesterday was on the old site and I copied it over here. It was quite a trip down memory lane. And the agility posts made me very sad. But we're moving on.

So here is to a new beginning!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, Let's Try This

So I just ranted on my other blog about how 451 Press shut down operations, leaving all of us who blogged for them out of luck...unable to even log in to our blogs to write a last post or say goodbye. It is very lame.

I love writing about my dogs and animal stuff and I would have kept writing at that address even without payment. But I can't.

I have no idea how long the other address will work (www.homezookeeper.com) but I'm going to try to copy/paste all the posts I've written into this new blog. I hope it works.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Forgive and Forget?

Michael Vick has been reinstated into the NFL. There’s a debate running over on Facebook about whether the Seattle Seahawks should sign Michael Vick to the team.

It seems to me (and my unscientific observation) that many of the guys responding are all for it but many of the women are not. My little cousin is all for it, as is my former boss. Both love dogs. But they also love football.

Should Michael Vick, after having served his time, be forgiven? My gut reaction is no.

Yes, he served his time but he showed an complete and utter lack of respect for the law and for the basic suffering of life in his actions. I’m not sure two years in jail has ‘fixed’ his views. Has he truly shown remorse? What is he doing to become a better citizen and show others the error of his ways?

“As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward…”

Has he spoken out against dog fighting? Has he started any sort of organization to rehabilitate or rescue dogs? Kids look up to football players and sports people. I would never want my son to wear a Vick jersey…ever.

…Vick finally pleaded guilty after his three co-defendants had already done so. They told of how Vick participated in the killing of dogs that didn’t perform well in test fights by shooting, hanging, drowning or slamming them to the ground….He plans to work with HSUS in a program designed to steer inner city youth away from dogfighting.

Well, until he takes some drastic steps - speaking out STRONGLY against dog fighting and the brutality he put upon those poor dogs I can’t stomach his return to the NFL. I’m not opposed to forgiveness. And I do think people can change. But I’m really unsure in this situation. Is he really such a great football player that his past should be completely overlooked and forgotten (or forgiven)? Apparently some fans think so.

Seriously though…is he the ONLY player who is good enough to save the Seahawks? I kind of doubt it. The PR issues alone seem to trump his skills on the field.

What do you think? Would you support a football team that signed Vick? (Not that I watch a lot of football…it’s not exactly my favorite sport.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Would You Sacrifice?

How about a couple of fingers? If your pet was in the jaws of a gator?

Without a thought for his own safety, Grounds ran through the brush to the water’s edge, where the gator had what it thought was breakfast clamped between its crushing jaws. “I just grabbed the lower jaw with this hand and the upper jaw with this hand,” he said, indicating his bandaged right hand and his left.

That is just so scary. I can’t imagine seeing one of my babies snatched by a predator. It wouldn’t be a gator in our area…but if we move to a more isolated area I can definitely see me worrying about bears, cougars, and coyotes. I think Trooper and Timber could handle a coyote but you never know.

Keep your babies safe!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Such a Bad Mom

Two days in a row…TWO DAYS in a row…I’ve locked my sweet baby girl outside. :(

I’ve been sick and came home from work early yesterday. I let the doggies out and thought they’d all come back inside so I shut the door. I laid down on the couch and took a brief nap for less than an hour when hubby got home. I looked out the back door and Quinn was outside!

I'm too old for this crap mom.

It’s not exactly cool in our part of the world right now. I felt so bad - she was very thirsty. Of course, she loves the heat but an hour for a girl her age in 80+ temps isn’t the healthiest.

Today I take a break from work and let the doggies outside and I would have sworn on a bible that she’d come back inside. About 30 minutes later I’m at the computer and look outside and there she is! What the heck is wrong with me!?!?

She’s inside now, in the bedroom with the air conditioner on. My poor little girl. Mommy is losing her mind.

It’s supposed to get up to over 100 degrees this weekend…Even her heat loving self shouldn’t be out too long in that weather.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do on Sunday because hubby and I have a ‘baby’ class at the hospital that lasts all day. Even though their kennel is in the shade, it will still be too hot to leave them outside from 9 to 5. That’s just cruel. But leaving them inside the house alone, all four of them, for that long. *gulp* Makes me VERY nervous. I’m going to see if my sister in law can come by and give them a break for an hour or so.

We are not a heat friendly family. We prefer snow!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Very First

Award that is. :) How neat!

Rebel and Suzy decided that we at Home Zookeeper were worthy of the slightly scary Zombie Chicken award. I’m honored! And so are the pups.

Timber is doing really well by the way…up to his usual antics digging holes and counter surfing in the kitchen. Oh and trying to avoid the dive bombing hummingbirds. They are mean suckers!

Here’s the award graphic…scary right?

Zombie Chicken Award

The rules of the zombie chicken say…

“The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…”

Oh my…five? I’m getting kind of tired tonight…I hope I can last long enough to choose only 5.

For sure Pamibe - I love the photos she takes of her Daisy and Bree. Plus her politics are my kind of style. :)

And definitely Comedy Plus, though I know she’s on vacation right now. Whenever I need to laugh I know I can count on Sandy.

That Mutt always has wonderfully thoughtful posts with helpful advice for raising dogs and even fostering. Her dog Ace rocks.

What would we do without Daisy the Curly Cat and her brother Harley? Two amazing smart and sophisticated felines.

Last, but certainly not least, Nearly Dr Ferrox is a must read for any animal lover. I could never work as a vet - reading his stories are inspiring.

I hope everyone enjoys the award. Zombie chickens don’t scare me too much…Zombie people do though! =)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update

It’s been an insane couple of weeks. In addition to my mother in law being diagnosed with Leukemia, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Then a week later I was told that I have a tumor on my placenta.

Good times.

So I had to head to the big docs in Seattle and we got good news. And not great news … the baby is too big - most likely due to the diabetes - so I’ll probably have to go on insulin.

All this stress has had a negative effect on hubby and I…as well as the doggies.

While all this was going on Hubby went back to work and this last weekend was hardly home at all. When he was home he was sleeping. So Timber was a wreck. It was almost cute…whenever papa was home Timber was glued to his side. The minute papa started getting ready for work Timber would slink to the front door and mope. I felt so bad for him…he so missed his papa.

I tried to take him on a walk, but the pain in my back and abdomen makes it very difficult for me to control him. It still takes some strength to correct him when he tries to pull too hard. He was okay until the neighbor dogs started barking at him and then he started hopping and pulling. We made it for about 20 minutes but that’s all I could handle.

Thankfully Trooper is a bit easier for me, though I still get pain even just walking with no dog.

Timber gets to go to daycare this Friday and I know it will be super good for him. I’m going to continue to try to walk Trooper twice a week if I can. I’m also going to talk to the daycare staff to see if any of them would be willing to stop by our house three times a week to walk at least Timber while I’m huge.

Sorry for not updating more often. I keep thinking of great things to write about but just haven’t been able to log in and update as much as I want. It’ll probably continue that way for a bit longer. I’m swamped at work and have four days of jewelry classes coming up starting Thursday.

Darn life…It certainly likes to throw kinks into my plans.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

There are No Adequate Words to Express My Rage

As I waited for my 3D ultrasound appointment yesterday I listened to a local talk show … something I haven’t done in months. The host was talking about a horrendous attack on two women in SeaTac, WA (an hour or so from where I live).

This wasn’t an ordinary attack or mugging. This attack involved children ages 11, 12, 13, and 15. And a pit bull.

No, the kids weren’t attacked. The children DID the attacking. Calling them children is misleading I think…they should be called monsters.

This story makes me so angry I can’t even describe it. These monsters should be in juvie. The dog is obviously going to be put down and I think the kids and the parents should be charged with animal cruelty. THEY allowed this dog to get a taste for violence. They ABUSED this dog.

The King County sheriff’s office said four kids used a pit bull to attack two women in SeaTac.

Deputies arrested the 15-year-old girl and three boys — 11, 12 and 13 years old.

The first woman saw the kids kicking the dog, Snaps, Sunday evening and stopped her car because she thought they needed help. The sheriff’s office said the 15-year-old girl punched the woman with her fists while a boy brought the dog.

So first, the kids were kicking and abusing the dog. THEN they decided to use the dog as a weapon against two women.

“One of the boys brought the pit bull over on a leash and the dog was encouraged to join in the fight, which the dog did, and bit this 63-year-old woman on the hand and on the thigh,” said Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Of course the dog joined in … pit bulls want to please their masters and will do as they’re told with gusto. If they are trained in violence they will do so without abandon. The dog wasn’t “defending” the girl as the owner claims (the owner is the 15 year old’s brother)…he was ENCOURAGED to attack.

SICK! Just sick and completely twisted. Where were their parents? Who taught them it was okay to disrespect human, and animal, life in this way.

People like this are the problem. Pit bulls are NOT the problem.

I’m sickened. I hope that all four kids are put in some sort of detention, but I am guessing the dog is the one who will pay the ultimate price.

God bless the woman who stopped because the little monsters were kicking their dog. And pray that both women heal quickly.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Priorities People

I think the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are the biggest bunch of hypocritical jerks ever. I’m sure I’ve written about my dislike of them in the past. They claim to want to work for the fair treatment of animals but they do more to undercut their cause than they do to benefit animals.

Their latest gag involves a fly and the President. Of course, you probably know he’s not my favorite person, but for pity’s sake it takes skill to swat and kill a fly with just your hand so I give him props. But of course, PETA has to throw a fit and make a stink about killing a FLY.

He didn’t shoot a dog or run over a kitten. He didn’t even eat frog legs. He killed a FLY. I’m sure that they would grumble if he swatted and killed a mosquito too.

Their priorities are sorely misplaced and their goals seem more oriented around controversy and raising money for themselves than actual protection of animals.

Did you know that PETA run shelters have an astronomical kill rate? Only 0.32% adoption rate in 2008!

PETA rakes in nearly $30 million each year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals.

Imagine how much good that money could actually do for animals in need? Say, working to show the horrors of puppy mills. Imagine how much in the way of advertising and marketing that money could buy.

(Not that I love the sad commercials put on by the Humane Society…they make me cry!)

PETA equates the eating of cows to the Holocaust and thinks that humans owning animals as pets is cruel. Yet killing adoptable animals is just fine. They are nuts and it’s horrifying to me that they are able to raise so much money…money that could go to actual animal causes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Life Goes On

It’s been a busy and somewhat rough couple of weeks. My mother in law was diagnosed with Leukemia. The most aggressive kind (AML) and is in the hospital having in patient chemo. She’s too week to take outpatient. So that’s been quite a stress.

Hubby has taken some time off and so the dogs haven’t had to be in the kennel nearly as much as in the previous few weeks. I even managed to take Trooper on a walk the other day. Hubby walked Timber and we managed to all stay together (a lot of times I end up going one way and hubby the other because both dogs want to be leader). And it didn’t kill my back.

I started taking Aqua Arobics and am hoping it gives me more stamina and more energy to walk the pups. I had my second class this morning and I was wiped out. Amazingly, from the first class on Tuesday to today’s class I think I felt a difference in my flexibility. I couldn’t touch my heels in one of the exercises on Tuesday but could today. So here’s to more flexibility!

So life goes on despite the myriad of difficulties and obstacles. We’re hoping my MIL pulls through … her kitties need her. And so does her unborn grandchild.

I’m making some special jewelry to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I’ll be posting it here as well as my other blogs. I hope no one will take offense, since this is not my jewelry blog. It’s all I know to do at the moment.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Great Blog

The reason I still belong to Entrecard is because there are still tons of great blogs out there to discover. One such blog recently “dropped” their card here on Home Zookeeper and I was tickled to discover her blog…Marges Pets.

It’s a new blog but so far she’s doing great. I was very interested in the first few entries that I read…they caught my attention and were well written. Her goal is to raise funds to help her take care of animals. Which sounds like something I will do when I get older too. :) I’ve always told hubby that I want to have a barn renovated for rescuing dogs.

So head on over and take a look when you have a moment. I love her BB story.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guilt Trip

Phew…it’s been awhile. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say…I just don’t have enough time in my days. Work has finally gotten busier, which is nice … and not. At least I’m no longer bored.

We’ve been having some major challenges to getting the dogs walked and exercised. The first is that it’s been super hot (okay, my definition of super hot is mid 70s… but I’m pregnant and our dogs have long hair) and the dogs pant inside with the air conditioner on.

And second, my body is rebelling. I did the dishes today and my back was killing me. I go get groceries and my back kills me. We had a garage sale the other weekend and I was in pain for several days afterward. Pregnancy is not so much fun.

So my poor babies are suffering because of the heat and from lack of exercise.

Then on Tuesday there was a major bad accident on the freeway and it took me over two hours to get home (normally takes 40 minutes). On top of that hubby had a DUI rollover accident near the end of his shift and he was an hour late getting home. Poor babies were stuck in their kennel for 11 hours!!! :( Talk about hyper. They were nuts that night.

Last night hubby and I dragged our butts outside with Timber and Trooper and forced ourselves to go for a walk. It was quite a challenge. I think they both have forgotten all their training for walking on the leash. Trooper was a maniac. He was worse than Timber! But by the end of the walk they’d both settled down.

Exercise is SO important and I feel so absolutely horrible about not being able to provide it. But last night I could hardly move after the walk.

I’m not sure what the answer is. If I had someone near us who I trusted I’d pay them to walk the dogs. But I don’t know or trust anyone locally. My Sister in law lives too far away … I trust her.

Hubby keeps saying that he’ll walk the boys, but he always ends up saying how tired he is. Which is true. He works 10 hour shifts, but does get three days off a week (although last week he also had an overtime shift last week). It’s when he’s working days during the week that the dogs have the hardest time. Right now his schedule is Tuesday through Friday, at the same time I’m at work during the day. So it’s the kennel for them.

If we weren’t having a baby I’d be taking (at least) Timber to daycare more often. As it is, he gets to go once or twice a month. He LOVES it. Maybe if I get a few more jewelry sales I’ll use the money to buy a few more days for him.

I know Quinn and Kodiak are fine. Quinn can barely make it around the block even one time. And Kodiak starts limping if we go around twice. So it’s really just Timber and Trooper that make me feel horrible.

If I feel this guilty about neglecting my K-9 babies, imagine how horrible I’m going to feel when I have to go back to work after maternity leave!

Monday, June 1, 2009

To Grandfather's House We Go

What a wonderful Saturday we had this weekend. And I am a very bad mama for not having pictures to share!

After great debate, hubby and I took Timber and Kodiak with us down to my grandfather’s house. We left Quinn and Trooper home, which made me sad but realistically I can’t handle four dogs right now. It would have been an utter zoo. Quinn doesn’t really enjoying being out, except for small walks around the neighborhood. Trooper would have loved it, but it really was achingly hot out and he would not have been comfortable.

So off we went, Kodiak and Timber in the truck cab with us. Timber continues to amaze and entertain me. None of the other dogs like to have their head out the window when we’re on the freeway - it’s just too much for them. So typically once we get on the freeway on ramp the windows go up. But Timber kept poking the window with his nose (which cracks me up to no end) like he wanted them open. So daddy obliged.

Timber in the Truck

And talk about a cutie. He was just in such heaven, and our day had only begun.

When we arrived down at the farm, Timber was a tornado of energy. My grandpa hates misbehaving dogs. Seriously. Hates them. So I told him he was free to discipline Timber if he tried to jump up. His discipline is really just a knee up, but that’s kind of hard for an 82 year old to do so I told him he was free to use his foot. I’d rather he kick our dog than fall down and break sometime.

But hubby managed to keep hold of Timber, for the most part…my uncle did have to lift his knee to keep Timber off him. He was just SO excited.

Before getting ready for the rest of the visit we decided to go for a quick walk to get some of his energy out. It didn’t really help a ton, but as the day went on he got more and more calm. By the time we were ready to leave grandpa was telling him what a good boy he was. =)

And Timber got to SWIM, really swim, for the first time EVER! He’s a natural!!! I was so excited to see him frolicking and playing in the river. It was wonderful!!! Daddy threw sticks in and Timber would dive in and chase them as they floated down.

Of course, he was on leash the whole time. I don’t trust him further than I could throw him. But it was a nice long leash that allowed him to go all the way in the river to where his feet no longer touched. At one point he got stuck on a big rock out in the center of the river. It was so cute.

Kodiak on the other hand got to go off leash for the very first time ever. Being a husky he doesn’t always have the best hearing or sense of direction but he did really great. A couple of times I had to walk after him and call him back rather sternly…but even reluctantly he came back every time. And we put him back on leash when we walked past the horses…we didn’t trust him *that* much. But he went in the water higher than he’s ever done before.

Of course, he didn’t ever swim … he never has. I think it’s a Husky thing. Quinn has never swam with us either. And Trooper hates getting too high in the water. Timber is our swimmer.

So it was a wonderful day. Except for my sunburn. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

I read on another blog, I think it was That Mutt but I could be wrong, that you shouldn’t try to avoid situations that your dog has issues with but should try to confront those situations and work through them. I’m paraphrasing obviously. :)

I sometimes don’t like walking Trooper because when we encounter other dogs he gets rowdy. Timber is the same way. But I realize that the more I walk Trooper and encounter dogs in various states of excitement the better he gets in his reactions.

If a dog is lunging (excited or aggressive) Trooper still wants to react toward that dog but with the choke chain and the sharp command “leave it” or “No” he isn’t trying to pull me off my feet anymore. Of course, an aggressive dog makes him get protective but he’s getting better at that too.

Timber, meanwhile, is also making gains in walking properly with his mama. I took him to daycare on Friday and for about 20 minutes went back and forth from my car to the door trying to get him to not pull on me. Finally the owner took pity on me and in 2 minutes had that dog healing and looking up at her in total submission.

I was very jealous. What was I doing wrong? I was being too nice!!! =) Which is funny since I’m the “mean” one of the family (mean as in strict). But I wasn’t being mean enough.

So more practice is necessary. My goal is to be able to someday walk both boys together. Without being pulled over. In the meantime I’ll be happy walking them separately without having a shoulder dislocated. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't Bring Me Down

So I’m browsing around and come across this article, via Instapundit, about some yahoo who wrote another article dissing dogs and dog owners for believing that their dogs love them.

Eric Zorn, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, recently mocked a local woman, Jess Craigie, who dove into near-freezing waters to save her dog from drowning. Zorn wrote, “Note to Jess Craigie: Your dog still doesn’t love you.”

Uh huh.

I wrote a post a while ago about dogs and souls. It’s a more complicated and mysterious than any of us can truly understand or explain in our lifetime. Perhaps after we die we will find out the true answer.

For now I refuse to believe that my dogs don’t recognize and love me in their own doggy way.

It may not be love the way I understand love and express it as a person. But it is their own way of showing us their affection for us. When I come home from work and hubby has the door cracked open just enough so that their happy doggy noses are sticking out, tongues out, and tails wagging. You can just sense their excitement.

When I walk in the door I’m sniffed and rubbed up against…of course this is partially conditioning. I give them luvins when I come home and they expect it.

But you can’t tell me that Trooper isn’t fond of me. Perhaps he only sees me as alpha and his “affection” and attention is merely his way of relating to alpha. Maybe.

Me and my baby boy Trooper Bear

If that’s all it is, I’ll still take it and accept it as his way of loving his mommy.

Can anyone truly quantify the love or affection of a dog (or cat for that matter)?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Pups

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and take Timber and Trooper for a walk. Separately. I keep telling hubby that he needs to work with Timber more often but the laziness factor seems to keep that from happening.

Don’t get me wrong, hubby LOVES his dogs and plays with them a lot (wrestling, ball, tug of war) but walks seem to elude his vocabulary.

And I’m tired of Timber practically pulling me down when I take him to daycare. He needs to NOT pull.

So around the neighborhood I went with Timber not sure exactly why mommy was with him instead of papa. But he did very good. Several times I had to use the choke chain and jerk in the opposite direction to make him stop pulling hard but that should decrease the more we work.

One of my neighbors was walking out to get his mail and I asked him if we could train a bit with him. I made Timber sit and stay and the neighbor walked towards us. Timber freaked out and got all excited and started jumping up and waging his tail and barking. So the neighbor stopped (he knew what he was doing) while I calmed pup down and made him sit again.

It took a little over 5 minutes for the guy to actually be able to get close enough to us with Timber being calm before I’d let Timber approach the man. He tried jumping up once but I was ready for it and the guy was too. It’s good to have neighbors who know how to handle dogs. Plus he’s a total dog lover.

We only went around the neighborhood once but that was enough for Timber, who seemed wiped out…with all the switching directions we probably actually walked the equivalent of two times around.

Trooper is a breeze after wild man. But I was a little more strict with him last night because I want to take him with me in public to an outdoor craft show on Saturday. So for the most part I kept him right by my side, something I don’t always do on regular walks. And I only let him leave my side if I said “OK” and gave him extra leash so he could sniff and mark. He did really well. When I stopped to chat to someone he just sat down nicely. He’s such a good boy.

Daddy doesn’t want me to take Trooper out in public. He’s worried about liability, which I can totally understand after the incident. But he’ll be on leash, on a choke chain actually, and with me the whole time. At no point will he be off leash or out of my sight. If I see a small dog (and my eyes will be peeled) I will tighten up my hold and be extremely careful.

If I don’t ever take him out he’ll never learn how to behave. One of these days I’d like hubby and I to be able to take Trooper and Timber with us for long walks in public places but right now that isn’t realistic.

Anyway…both Trooper and Timber were very happy and tired last night.

At the Beach after a walk

What about Quinn and Kodiak? Well, their walk times have diminished drastically since Kodiak’s last surgery. Quinn can only make it once around the neighborhood and that’s pushing it. Kodiak loves to walk but ends up very sore afterward so we don’t walk him that often…maybe once a week. They’re both old enough that they like to sleep most of the day.

Lazy Kodiak

It’s the two young boys who keep us on our toes.

Aunt Jennie with the Boys

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Do You Order Online?

I’ve seen the commercials - order your pet’s medicine online and save money. I’ve never actually done it though. I generally buy all of our doggies’ medications directly from the vet. Mostly because none of them are on anything that is too expensive or that is ongoing.

But if one of them were on a regular medicine it would make more sense to order those online - as much for saving money as for saving time driving to and from the vet.

I wonder though if my vet would start to get snippy if we requested a prescription to purchase somewhere else, the way Two Nervous Dog’s vet did. I’d like to think that mine wouldn’t as they have sent us to the regular pharmacy in the past for medicine that could be bought cheaper there. I will admit that it was weird to get a prescription filled for my dog at a people pharmacy.

It seems like quite a few vets have issues (scroll down for the article parts) with allowing their customers to purchase medicines online, which is too bad. I realize that vets are also trying to make a profit, but it seems like they’d also be able to support their customers’ needs for lower cost meds. It creates good will and trust when a business looks after the best interests of their customers. And that in turn creates more loyalty and profitability.

My vet must make money on things other than medications…they sure charge enough. They are worthy it though.

Do you order medications online? How have you found the experience? Any problems? Concerns? Cautions for others?

Friday, May 1, 2009

We're Back - Lots of Pics

Oh my goodness…it is hard to be back, even though I do love being home in my own bed. We had such a great time on vacation, even though it was only 4 days long. It’s actually pretty stressful for me to go on vacation with my dogs, as much as I adore them. My next vacation might have to be without them.

It’s just a lot of work when your dogs absolutely can NOT be off leash and there’s no fenced in area for them. It means leads and tying the leads to things that can’t be ripped up or tipped over. And those leads then get tangled if all four dogs are out at the same time. It’s exhausting.

But it was worth it. We discovered that Timber is definitely part fish…or some sort of dog that loves the water. While the other three wimps freak out if the water gets over their knees, Timber was diving in head first with no fear whatsoever. It was incredible and I was almost in tears with happiness. I took a short video of his aunt Jennifer playing with him in the surf…please forgive my goofy commentary…and shaky hands.


Watching that makes me smile. He had SO much fun. He barked a lot from the house where we had a perfect view of the beach - every time he saw a dog on the beach he’d start barking, so he barked a lot. He was also enthralled by the birds…so was Trooper.

The house we stayed in was right on top of the beach and had a perfect view of Haystack rock. Unfortunately there were really steep stairs leading down to the beach, which made it impossible for my mother in law to go down and very difficult for Quinn and Kodiak. Quinn went on one walk with me on Sunday morning and while she had a great time she was done and exhausted for the next two days.

What's this?

Seaweed smells good!

Queen of the sand hill.

On our way back up the steps, I literally had to lift her back legs for her. :( The poor thing. Getting old sucks. But our walk was nice and relaxing…just the two of us.

I also got to take Trooper on a solo walk…it was after his main walk with his aunt and papa so he was nice and mellow. I wasn’t able to handle him so well when he was fresh with lots of energy. It was too exciting for him. :)

Trooper Bear at Haystack Rock

Fun at the beach

Thank goodness for their aunt Jennifer…she loves to walk and took the boys on real long walks that tired them out nice and good. A tired dog is a great dog!

Run Trooper Run!

Happy Boy

Brothers

I have so many more fun photos to share but I should probably stop. LOL If you want to see the rest of the photos I have (except for some of the family ones…hubby doesn’t like his face on the net) please check out my Vacation 2009 folder in Flickr.

It’s good to be home. I think the doggies were still tired for a day after we got back. We’re going to have to find a beach close to us to take them to…at least to take Timber and Trooper.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some People Shouldn't Breed

And by breed, I mean have human children. Because they’re obviously too stupid.

This story makes me so angry I feel it in my gut. (Read both links…the first is mostly the dad calling the breeder stupid and the second gives the breeder’s side.)

A dad brings his 8 year old daughter into a kennel run with Rottweilers to help FEED them…F E E D them! I don’t care if they’re a bunch of chihuahuas…young kids and feeding dogs do not mix. Dogs are ANIMALS and act on instinct. This includes protecting their food even when there is no “real” threat. Dogs don’t always operate on logic so a threat to them might seem like nothing to us.

I am saddened that the dog was put down and angered that the father is blaming the owner when it is HIS fault his daughter got hurt. He is damn lucky she wasn’t killed. I feel horrible for the breeder of these dogs. She had set rules and this guy broke those rules. NO kids with the adult dogs. HE broke the rule. The breeder did her job.

The dad has the temerity to call the breeder stupid!?! I’m hearing the pot calling the kettle black. ARG!

I would never let a strange child help me feed MY dogs, who are fairly tame at mealtime…at least with people. With each other they can get snappy. Things happen.

People need to use common sense, if they have any, when it comes to animals. Letting a small child around large dogs (I don’t care what breed they are) when those dogs are feeding is completely asinine.

I was glad to see that in a poll the Herald Sun was running, over 60% of respondents did not think that Rottweilers should be banned in Australia.

DON’T BLAME THE BREED!!! People are in the wrong 99% of the time in these cases and this one is no exception.

h/t Dr Ferox

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Heading to the Beach

I am REALLY excited. Saturday morning we are leaving for the ocean. Cannon Beach to be specific. We found a nice big house and paid an extra security deposit for all four dogs. We’ll have a view from the house of that big rock…can’t remember what it’s called.

Neither Timber or Trooper have ever seen the ocean…the only sand Trooper has seen is at a local river park. Not even close to the same.

We’re going to get really long leads so they can sort of run free, but not actually be off leash. I think Quinn could probably handle being off leash but I’m still too paranoid to let any of them off.

I bought new toys and tennis balls today to take with us. Just in case it rains and we need distraction inside the house. We’ll also have to bring potty pads for Quinn…the last thing I want to do is lose my deposit for ‘leaks’. :)

I cannot WAIT to see Timber react to the ocean. We bought a new kiddie pool last weekend and he’s been having a blast every day … digging in the water and playing. His face has been wet for four days straight. :) It’s so refreshing to watch him enjoy himself so thoroughly.

Hubby thinks that he’ll drink the salt water and then throw up. That’s what Kodiak did the last time we were at the ocean. Either that or he’ll hate the taste and won’t want to drink any of it.

I wonder how they’ll react to seagulls. And all the new smells. It’s going to be a wonderful trip and I’ll share photos as soon as I can.

I won’t be dropping entrecards or posting between now and next Wednesday…and maybe a few days after while I recover. *grin*

Monday, April 20, 2009

Taking to the Skies

As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning I saw on the news a preview for after the commercial for a new Pet Airlines. I was intrigued so I made a point to look up the story when I got to work.

I LOVE this idea!!! If we ever went somewhere that required flight, but we wanted to take the dogs, our only option was sticking them in crates and loading them like baggage. I can only imagine the stress this would put them through…and I don’t think Quinn could handle it at all in her old age.

Check out this video - it is just under 4 minutes. The whole idea behind the new service was to create less stress for both animals and their humans. Pets ride in the main cabin and there are even Pet Attendants. I think it’s too bad that pets can’t travel with their owners in the cabins…but that might be logistically difficult. Maybe they’ll add that service someday.

Billed as First Class Pet Travel, the current cost is $149 one way, with no size restriction (so Trooper would cost the same as a chihuahua). Pets are called “Pawsengers”…is that not adorable? And dogs get potty breaks! They can’t get that on a regular flight.

I think this idea will definitely take off (so to speak) and become more popular nationwide and maybe someday even globally. I know Rachel Lucas made the heart wrenching decision to leave her doggies home due to the stress and hassle of transporting them. (I know…there’s still the whole quarantine issue but at least the doggies would be more comfy on the trip over.)

So now you have an alternative to sticking your pet below. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Incredible Soul

I think people can debate about whether animals have souls…but I do believe that some do. Yes, some. :) I find it hard to believe that a fish or a spider have a soul. But dogs and cats and other domesticated pets…it’s hard not to look into their eyes and see a soul. Whether one like ours or something different…it’s not a perfect believe I realize.

When I read stories like this it reaffirms this belief (and yes, I know there are plenty of horrible animal stories but let’s focus on the positive shall we?):

From one of my favorite Blogs, Rachel Lucas brings us the story of Jasmine.

Please go visit and read this incredibly heartwarming story…and check out the adorable photos. It is the kind of story that will make your day.

* Warning…don’t browse other posts by Rachel if you are sensitive to cursing or strong views. I LOVE her but she definitely has her own opinions and is not afraid to share them. But she is a fabulous dog lover and has lots of great doggy posts. *

Amazing Artistic Cat

I was in the lunchroom waiting for my macaroni and cheese to heat up (yes, I said Mac and Cheese…don’t judge) and was reading through the Tacoma Art magazine.

Just browsing and flipping through pages I came across a little snippet about a photographer cat named Cooper. Have you ever wondered what your cat saw when he (or she) traveled about?

This cat lets us see what he sees…and I am SO impressed.

Cooper lives in Seattle (just up north of me) and every week he dons a lightweight strap on camera around his neck and heads out to explore. The camera snaps a photo every two minutes and just from the few I’ve seen does an amazing job.

Cooper the Photography Cat

You can even purchase his incredible work from Urban Light Studios - or if you’re in the area go check out an exhibit.

I love the picture he captured of his girlfriend. *grin* SO freaking cute.

Do you think Cooper knows how famous he has become? Is it sort of like the Elephants who paint? Everyone knows it’s not really “art” by definition but it really is amazing and very cool. (I believe art has to be consciously created for that purpose and I don’t really believe animals have that capability…as cool as it would be if they could.)

I wouldn’t mind having his “artwork” on my walls…maybe someone will get me one for my birthday. It’s today!