Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day Back and Double the Trouble for Mom!

Well dognabit, I missed the perfect "Monday Mischief" blog hop opp today.  On Saturday, Mom found a litter of dumped kittens out by the horse pens.  Grrrrrr.....  People suck sometimes, right?

Elsie also sucks sometimes because she killed one before Mom caught him.  But I've let her off easy, cuz I agree, they do look like yummy squeaky squirrels....

Even though G&G weren't home from their unexpectedly extended vacation (they literally got stuck on an island, BOL!), we had to leave yesterday afternoon and drive home to our "Dog House."

'Cept now it's temporarily the "Paw House," since the kittehs also made their first cross-state trip!  Three kittens!  That's right... Mom's little two door car transported us three setters and the three kittehs, and I don't think we could have squeezed anything else into the car!  BOL

What on earth is under that sheet, Mom?

Really, though, none of us dogs lost any space, so don't feel too sorry for us.  OK, do feel sorry for us a tad because the kittens did go to the bathroom in their crate.  Fail.  They only needed to hold it for half an hour more, and we'd have been breathin' fresh air the whole way.  But no.

Anyways, Mom is keeping them here for a couple weeks for socialization, and if they've turned really friendly (they are kinda feral and super scared), she will take them to her shelter or a kitty rescue.  Otherwise, she'll try to place them herself.  If she would have taken them to her shelter today, they would have been put to sleep.  Apparently, they just get too many kitties, so they can only keep the nicer ones.  That's pretty sad, and I'm glad Mom couldn't give them that death sentence.  I like kittehs.  [Dog Mom here:  <--Yeah, he likes them a little too much....]

The kittens get their own room, but they have to stay in the wire dog crate for now.  Mom thinks they are all girlies, so I am totally outnumbered now.

Last and least, Mom also started her first day of her last year of law school today!  All of us at the Paw House are going to make sure she stays extra busy, bwhahaha.

Without further ado, meet the kittehs!  Back left is Phoebe, back right is Zoey, and the front one is still a no name.  They have a basket hideout in their cage now, too, in case any cat peeps were worried!

That's all for today!  Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Muscle Man

Mom let me have the controls again!  I decided I wanted to join a hop that I've had my eye on since we started!  Yep, yep.... FitDog Friday!  After all, have you seen my awesomeness?!  No?  Well, look no further than....

See how fit I am?  I'm a lean, mean, huntin' machine!  Tweeties & Squirrels, watch out!

Now, I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I don't really have to work out or be on a diet to look this handsome.  In fact, Mom lets me eat as much as I want.  I know this doesn't work well for everyone.  For instance, my sis Elsie only gets a certain amount of food every day, and she usually eats it out of a food dispenser for a workout during dinner. 

Of course, I still need exercise to keep me happy and my mom sane.  Even though I don't get as much free time outside at G&G's due to the neighbor dogs, I still get my fair share of running around their property, plus Mom takes me to the schools she used to go to.  This morning, we went to her elementary school again to run on the long line.  Mom took some photos of me showin' off my moves.

I'm off!

What's up?!

I'm comin', Mom!

Who is that barking at me?   (Dog Mom here: Champ has been responding great on our long line runs when dogs have barked at him from their yards. =)

Paws down....  BRB.

Oh okay, Mom wants take over.  Thanks for looking at my photos!

Well, some of you may or may not know that I am the worst at making purchase decisions.  (This is probably because I really shouldn't be shopping... but... anyways....)  Anyways, last Spring, I was looking for a hands-free leash for jogging  walking (who am I kidding?).  I read review after review and finally gave up.  

Instead, I bought this horse tie down for around my waist and a horse bungee trailer tie like this to attach directly to the dogs, a long line, or [less practical] a leash.  Overall, I like it best for the long lines.  I feel it's secure because I have all the snaps double-secured in a triangle formation.  To keep the bungee from overstretching, I also have a 4' leash attached to the long line and to the waist strap via a carabiner.  I can attach my bait/treat bags to the waist strap, clip keys/water to it, etc.  Anyways, the biggest downsides are that I probably look like Super-Dorky-Dog-Freak with all the bulk 'n brass, and it is on the heavy side.  

This all leads up to the big question, which hands-free leash should I buy for the coming Fall?  School starts back up on Monday, and one of the ladies at the Dog House--could have two legs, could have four, I'm not saying!--needs to get in better shape.

Strength, quality, and a bungee portion are the three biggest factors I need.  I do not exactly have a trusting relationship with plastic side-release buckles; however, I realize that the bungee will offset any sudden force that may be applied to the whole system.

Hands-Free Leashes I've been looking at: 
OllyDog (Prospective con: how the bungee is connected)
Ruffwear Roamer  (Prospective con: really long length when stretched)
Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner (Prospective con: the snaps)
Spindrift Daisy Runner Belt + Spindrift Super Strong Stretchable (Prospective cons: plastic buckles on belt, plus it's a two piece system, was hoping for one piece)

Does anyone have any other suggestions or input about the leashes I'm considering?

Thanks all for visiting us!
Dog Mom and Champ

PS.  Champ and I got an awesome deal at the feed store this morning, not to mention, he was a breeze to handle inside!  Anyways, Zukes Minis were on sale for $3.99 a pop!  We go through a ton of these low-cal treats for training.

Thankful Thursday & Sophie our Senior

Hi All,  I just learned August is Senior Pet Celebration Month (slow learner, apparently), so today, I'm going to spotlight Sophie.  Because we are all so thankful for this sweet old girl, we're joining the Thankful Thursday blog hop for the first time, too!

So without further ado...  We are thankful for:

The Queen "B"

The Lazy Bones

The Ice Cream Freak

The Clown

The Adventuress

The Veggie Dog

The People Watcher

The Pillow Princess

The Seal Impersonator 

The Happy Girl

The Watch Dog

The Miss Priss

The Tornado

The Huntress

The Perfect Mama Dog

The Old Lady

The Yogi

Sophie <3

Thanks for stopping by!
Dog Mom

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our Favorite Hot Dogs

Okay, we all know that the costs of high quality commercial dog treats add up!  Mom tries to offset her ridiculous purchases of spendy treats by also making her own.  Some of the most common foods used in training are hot dogs, but because Mom isn't crazy about having "hot dog hands" after using them, we don't get them often.  Plus, Mom doesn't think the ingredients are very suitable for dogs (or people for that matter) on a regular basis (sodium anyone?).

Anyways, she's been on the hunt for a decent hot dog at a reasonable cost, and she [thinks she] scored.

Trader Joe's All Natural Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs

  • Minimally Processed
  • No Artificial Ingredients
  • No Nitrates or Nitrites Added
  • No Fillers
  • No Hormones Added (plus growth hormones are federally prohibited from use in poultry farming)
  • Gluten Free
  • No MSG
  • Not Preserved
  • Fully Cooked
And check out the ingredients---no onion powder!  Bark!
Turkey, Water, Seasoning (Sugar, Sea Salt, Mustard, Celery Powder, Sodium Carbonate, Spices*, Paprika, Cherry Powder (Tart Cherries, Rice Flour, Sunflower, Lecithin), Extractive of Paprika, Molasses (Sugar Cane, Molasses), Spice Extractives*.

I better note that it says spices, which could, of course, mean onion powder.  However, I'm just going to pawsume that IF there is any it is quite minuscule since it wasn't listed out specifically. 

The Sodium is startling high (670mg/hot dog), but like I mentioned, we don't get them often.  (BTDubbs: One tip Mom has read about but not confirmed is that boiling them reduces the sodium.)  Anyways, there is 0 Trans Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat per dog, 90 Calories, 50mg Cholesterol, 2 g Sugars, and 12 g Protein per hot dog.

What do you think?  Have you found any other dog-friendly (or friendlier) hot dogs?  

A rather crappy pic but you get the idea....

PeeEs.  Mom finally sliced these bad boys up and has them in the oven right now!  200F, for a few hours and they should be some tasty little jerky treats.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Who's House?! MY House!

Dognabit!  The girls have taken over MY house.  They must be too wimpy to withstand the heat.  Too. Many. Girls!

Happy Black & White Sunday!
--The Champ Man

Friday, August 16, 2013


Elsie likes to watch us at the kitchen sink window from her perch on the patio table....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ICE, ICE, baby....

So one of my friends sent me (Dog Mom) this blog post: Will You Be Coming Home to Your DogsTonight along with a joke, "Telling me I'm in charge of finding homes for your dogs only works as a long term plan!"  And long term plan means death.  Ominous thoughts, I know.

Seriously, though, I am always worrying about a) what if I get in a wreck, b) what if I get injured, or c) what if I die.  I don't have a will, and after taking Trust & Estates last Fall, I really should have thrown one together by now....  The only things that I have to worry about are my dogs.  Nothing else I own really matters.  My dogs, well, they're like my kids, and I am of the strong opinion that people should plan for what happens to them after their owners' deaths.

Fortunately for me, my parents would take them all (or at least, I assume they would).  However, five dogs is a lot; four dogs plus Champ is A LOT.

Rainy days, ominous thoughts.

So I was driving one rainy day this Spring, and thinking about all of this.  Deciding to break the law and be rather wreckless, I texted my mom, "Hey I need to get a will.  But if I die and Champ is too much for you and Dad to safely handle, please contact [said friend above] from my school for help in rehoming him to a qualified home.  Love you!"

First off, that typically isn't something that should just be texted, I know.  But I was driving, and calling from a cell is also illegal and more visible.  I chose the more discreet, immediate option.  Second, that text did not go to my mom.  It happened to go to said friend above because she was the last person I had texted.  Good job, Dog Mom!

Promptly after hitting send, I get a phone call from an unknown number and ignore it. Shrugs.  Then, I get a text back, "Uhhh...? Don't die.  But of course I would take him."  And after laughing out loud at my stupid self and being totally embarrassed (did I mention I hadn't even asked said friend if she would do this huge favor for me in person yet?), I replied and straightened out the little confusion I just created.  When she got that text, she imagined I was in some dark alley sending my last wishes.

After that little mix up, I forwarded the message to my mom, who then asks why I am bringing this topic up.  I had to reassure her that no, I'm not suicidal or about to die, but I just worry about the dogs a lot.  Okaaaaay....

Anyways, I still need to write out my will, but at least I have someone who can help find my "problem child" a suitable home in the unfortunate event of my untimely demise.  On my list to do (which I should tackle this week) is information about his training/behavior/health, all very complex.

As for "what would happen if I don't come home tonight," I haven't given that one enough thought.  When I drive home late, have to drive any distance, or just go somewhere out of my normal destinations, I usually arrange for a "check in" text or call to my parents.  These "check ins" go like this, "If you don't hear back from me by 11:30, call me.  If I don't answer, call the cops."  Now, after reading this article, I realize how ineffective that is....

I went on a little hunt for safety apps, and I found a whole category that I hadn't even realized existed before!  I mean, wow!  Apps that can send emergency alerts to your chosen contacts, video record, locate gps, call emergency respondents, and more.  Then I found it: an app that had a simple check-in device!  As ridiculous as it may be, I'm so going to download it and ask that my parents make sure they receive one check-in per day (if I don't call or text), if they don't receive it to call or text, and if I don't answer to contact one of my emergency contacts in my city.  The things single people living alone [with pets] must do.....

Other things I'm going to address: a hidden key to my house in case my neighbors need to access; information about my dogs for my emergency contacts to have as a guide; "ICE" cards in my car and purses, and either a "ICE" ankle bracelet or flash drive on my key chain.

Part of me says all that is a little over-kill, but my family and friends know me to be a worry wart/paranoid freak.  It must be in my genes....  Either way, at least over preparing is better than under preparing, and I'll finally be able to rest easy knowing my dogs will be cared for if I can't make it home due to a medical emergency or worse.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two Weeks Summarized!

Hey y'all!  Dog Mom here.  Where, oh where to start with this catch-up....  I think it's been a couple weeks!  Wow!

Looking ahead, I'll admit, I probably won't have time to post every day anymore.  Fall term of my last year of law school starts in a couple weeks, plus I'm going to be looking for a job or internship.  Then there's my crew to take care of and two dog training classes a week I'll be teaching.  And house, friend, and family obligations....  And other behavior/training shelter work and breed rescue stuff.... And a dog forum I'm helping moderate.  And okay, you get the picture.  Life is busy.  As it is for you, which is why I so appreciate everyone who finds time in their busy days to visit us here!

Other changes I hope to implement in the near future are some actual posts with *words.*  That's right, I need to get writing!  Most of my posts this far have been focused on photos and brief updates.  But I really do have a lot to say and share.

Okay, back to the catch-up.  I've finished teaching my first two class series!  Woot, woot!  Overall, my co-teacher and I got great feedback from our students.  No, I wasn't perfect; for instance, I need to speak louder, work on smoother transitions between exercises, and practice doing my demos more precisely while I'm talking through the steps.  However, I tend to be very self-critical, so I won't go on about that.

We've been back to my parents' in NE Oregon twice for long visits, which is where we are again right now.  They are off celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, and I'm holding down the fort.  Let's see how sane I am at the end of a week with five dogs, two horses, and their business to oversee.

I'm pleased to say Orion's headshaking has greatly improved!  We think either the sun + high heat have been the critical factors in it, or that the melatonin treatment has worked.  The Guardian Mask finally arrived, but I have been waiting to put it on him until he has another "shaking attack."  Regardless of why the shaking has subsided, I am thrilled that he is comfortable and happy again.  He even ran into his paddock last night from the pasture to get his dinner.

Champ and I have been going to some school yards for extra exercise when we've been back here.  His free time outside is more limited than the other dogs' because his fence running has turned into fence fighting with the neighbor dogs.  It sucks, and I do not want him practicing fighting.  Bad, bad, bad.  What's even more frustrating is that these neighbor dogs literally have the run of the whole neighborhood full time since their owners make absolutely no effort towards keeping them contained.  With the minor-moderate progress we've made with Champ's fence running back at our home, I hate feeling like it all comes undone here, so I focus on management.  (Sadly, I'm not Wonder Woman and cannot train all seven dogs at once... maybe someday but not now.)  And obviously, the fence running is not good for his overall stress levels and reactivity.

On a more positive note, Champ's "play dead" trick is coming along nicely!  He's to the stage where he will throw himself down from a sit pretty reliably.  This is one of our favorite tricks.  A close second is his "pauvre chien" ("poor dog") trick, which is him swiping his face with a paw.  Sophie has nearly mastered "roll over," and Elsie, our chow hound, is doing awesome with "leave it."  My goal this week is to get their trick lists written down, so stay posted.

Speaking of Sophie, I took her to the Oregon Coast for the first time!  I can't believe she's almost 11 and had never been.  Considering how much she loved it, I have some making up to do for her.  Like Champ, she was fearless about the waves and wanted so desperately to swim straight into them.  However, the waves were very rough and cold when we went, so we didn't go far in the water.  She was just on a leash, too, because the beach, in Lincoln City, was so crowded.  I did let her go for a swim beforehand on a long line in the Siletz River--again, cold but she enjoyed it.  What I always love about taking her places is how easy and great she is with other dogs; she isn't interested in playing with them but she just doesn't care that they're around.

The river swim was also the first time she used her new EzyDog PFD!  I am so glad I bought it for her because while she loves to swim, it isn't her strong suit.  It took her a little getting used to swimming (she kind of rolled a tad bit at first), but I think she'll get more confident in it as we go more places.  My goal is to get a kayak this year so I can take them out on more water.  The other life jacket I bought was the Hurtta, which I think I'll end up liking more, but I have to say, for the price point, the EzyDog is very well made.  (I bought and returned a Ruffwear; quality was unparalleled but the fit was all wrong for Champ.)

Elsie pulled a fast one on us last week.  She's our newest that had been escaping from her previous owners' yards.  Naturally, I've made it a point to always know where she is here.  Although she's done awesome at respecting our fences/gates here, she has not been trained like the others to know that the driveway, gated or not, is the boundary.  So when my Mom was pulling in the drive and the gate opened for her car, she slipped through. I realized she was gone within minutes, and my dad and I started driving separately around the countryside trying to find her.  It was hot--near 90F I think-- and we live amidst farm fields, desert grasslands, and highways.  Needless to say I was totally distraught that we weren't going to be able to find her and she'd die from a) traffic, b) dehydration, or c) coyotes.  Most fortunately, nearly a couple hours later, my dad spotted her in a cow pasture.  She is now wearing blaze orange so we can keep tabs on her more easily around their property....  The ironic thing was that I was just telling her and my dad how much I love her that morning... and we almost lost her.  

The only other time she escaped my parents' (and went for a swim), in late July, [because someone left the gate open] was also ironic timing because she slipped out while I was putting flowers on our pets' graves.  July 21 was the one year mark of Jake's passing and July 26 was the two year mark of Levi's.  Losing her, too, that week would have made July the worst month of the year for us....  Another reason I wish our yard was dog-proof fenced separately from the rest of the property her, le sigh.  Gate Rules have been enhanced and more strongly enforced!

I think that about covers the last couple weeks.  You can see it's been pretty much dogs and family.  The rest of this post is going to be an onslaught of photographs!  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

 At the elementary school I attended... ah, nostalgia.  The jungle gym he's on has replaced a beastly old wooden one that we romped on as kids.

 These metal play equipment are the originals!  So many memories!

At the field of my middle school.

That's his new Hurtta Lifeguard Padded-Y Harness!  We love it!

 At home:

Sophie at Lincoln City:

Sophie at the Siletz River:

At home:

 The Homecoming: Elsie being led home from her Great Escape by my dad....

The aftermath: she must now don blaze orange.

Oh yes, here are two photos of my garden at the Dog House on August 2nd!

This is what it looked like on June 2nd!

I will take photos of my parents' garden this week for a comparison, too!

Anyways, that's it for today!  Thanks again for stopping by!  Give your pup some extra loves from us!