Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Got Some New Moves

As I've mentioned, Bradley has no desire to fetch yet. His favorite game is to steal the ball from Brodie while he is trying to fetch and prance around while playing keep away. This drives Brodie nuts. Bradley had discovered that the best strategy was to get between Brodie and me so that Brodie couldn't get the ball close enough for me to reach before Bradley snatched it up. But lately he has a great move and I'm so proud of this development in his reasoning skills. We use the Chuck-It Ball Launcher. It's a stick that picks up the ball so you don't have to touch the slimy thing. Bradley has started to put his front leg over the ball launcher so that I can't pick it up. It's hilarious. I am so proud of him.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blog Dog


This is Bradley "'helping" me blog.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Gate?

I've been using a baby gate to keep the dogs separate when they eat from their toys and for various reasons. They are both so good and never jump over or knock down the gate. When they are done with whatever they just sit there and wait for me to come move the gate. Well, this morning I was doing something with Brodie and here comes Bradley. But wait! He was on the other side of the gate. I look to see if he had knocked it down. Nope. I never heard him even touch it. Then again I was bathing Brodie and heard little paw steps on the tile. I turn around and there's Bradley. He never even touched the gate. He is completely clearing it. He looks at me like, "I figured out I'm a big boy."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stinky Dogs

We boarded the dogs on Saturday morning so that we could spend a long day at the farm celebrating Christmas with Rob's family. Then we picked them up Sunday morning, leaving them exhausted in their beds while we celebrated Christmas my family on Sunday. That evening I realized they smelled like fish, yucky dead fish smell. This morning when I woke up I had figured it out in my sleep. They were at school. There is a pond on her land. We had flooding rains recently. I bet the pond overflowed and the water ran off into the play area which is a little downhill from the pond. This morning they both got baths. So now my dogs don't smell like fish anymore, but my bathroom does.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Naughty or Nice?


We all know that Bradley's been naughty, but I guess Brodie has been nice enough for both of them because Santa did stop here. They both got a new blanket, giant basted rawhide, candy cane-shaped rawhide and a toy to share. Aunt Sue Ann (from daycare) got them both a squeaky Santa pig and a gourmet Christmas tree cookie. And our friend Melissa got them both a special ball. Just like with children, we have to pace them. They started with the large loofa toy. As usual, kill and destroy. Really? I thought it would last longer than that. Then on to giant rawhides while we opened our stockings. Then, unfortunately, they had to be locked up while we made the long day trip to Memphis. But when we got home, after playing outside, they moved on to the squeaky pigs. Whew! That was a long day. Tomorrow, they will stay with Aunt Sue Ann while we have our second and third days of Christmas. At least there they will get to play and not have to be locked up all day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring

Before Bradley was big enough to use the doggie door he learned to ring the sleigh bells that hang on both the front and back doors. I was intended for him to use these bells to let us know when he needed to go out to potty. However, sometimes he rang them to go out and get a drink, find a stick or torture the cat. But the point is that he knows that ringing the bell opens the door. By our front door stands a little end table where upon I keep the leashes. There is a little red box on the lower shelf where I keep the harnesses used to seat belt them into the car and to take walks. Bradley is so funny in that when I go to get the harnesses out of the box, he rings the front door's bells and then sits waiting by them. It's like he's saying "I'm ready, let's go." This week when we were getting in the car to go to school (not going for a walk) he rang the bells by the front door while I tried to harness him. Then when he was spastically waiting at the car door I swear he was thinking "Where's the bells to open this door."

I included some pictures so you didn't just have to visualize the scene. BTW Brodie is a camera hog. I was trying to take a picture of the end table by the front door. Even though he was working on a nap, he had to get up and lay down in the shot. What a silly dog!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toothfairy

Bradley finally lost all of his baby teeth while he was at Aunt Sue Anne's over Thanksgiving. Four days of wrestling and playing tug-of-war probably pulled them all out. I can picture him and his best friend Daisy (white Golden puppy) over in the corner comparing who has lost the most teeth and then her helping him pull his out. He came home with big teeth popping through and huge bumps on his gums near the canines and the ones behind the canines. I felt so sorry for him. I rubbed the bump a little and he just kind of sighed like it felt good. So I put Orajel on them. He didn't like the taste, but I know it had to feel better. Eventually he knew what was happening when I pulled the Orajel tube out of the drawer. He would bark and scuffle back, not wanting to come to me. So I let him have his way. After all, many a dog has made it through teething without Orajel. But considering his reaction to the taste, maybe I'll start using it when he poops in the house. So now he has these huge, stark white teeth in his mouth. It looks kinda funny. Since he's standing next to me on the couch I grabbed a picture for you to see how white they are. You can still see a little of the swollen gums above on of them. They are not fully in yet. He just looks so funny with such big white teeth. "The better to eat you with, my dear." I guess now we've got to start brushing his teeth too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One week!

Oh, I've been waiting for this day to come. Yesterday marked One Week. That's one entire week since Bradley has had a poop-a-doop accident in the house. I always get so excited and it never fails, he would poop on the seventh day. But for the last month and a half it's only been because the doggie door was closed or we had already locked up for the night, but he wasn't in his kennel yet. He'll hold his pee pee, but when he needs to poop-a-doop, he'll find a spot even if he can't get outside. So I guess the trick is, when we lock up for the night he immediately has to get in his kennel. So as long as he has access to his door or can ring the bells, he's considered house trained. But we made it one week. Yay! Brodie was trained in a couple of days. I had talked to the vet about Bradley and she said that "It may just take him a little longer." She's so sweet. She was referring to Bradley not being the smarter dog in the litter.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Catching

It's so funny watching Bradley try to learn to catch. It's like a toddler trying to catch. You throw it to them. After the ball hits their chest and lands on the floor, then they clasp their hands together. I was bouncing a ball today. He was jumping up trying to catch it, but he was totally out of sync with the ball. Then when it just barely dribbled on the ground he would snatch it up thinking he caught it. Good try. He's learning. Still has no desire to fetch it though. I have included two videos. The first is him missing the ball in the living room with Rob throwing it right at his face. In the second one he caught it! In both, Brodie is anxiously waiting aside. "I can do it! I can do it!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grand ReOpening!

Wednesday- The doggie door is open again! Yay! And it is being well used. The sound of the flaps flip-flapping back and forth. Ah! It's a beautiful sound. Much better than ringing bells. I had forgotten how clean my house can be with the doggie door closed. That flip flapping brought in lots of sticks and leaves. Bradley resumed his daily activities of running out and bringing in a stick to eat in the comfort of his home. Of course, some of these sticks are more along the lines of being branches. But it's cute to look down the hall and see him standing there with half a tree in his mouth. But they have entertained themselves all day and are getting that energy out which makes for peaceful evenings when Daddy is home. Bradley does go to the front door and ring the bells violently. I tell him to go out his doggie door. He looks at me and I can read his mind, "But Chloe went through her cat door to the front yard and I can't reach her."

Baby It's Cold Inside. . .

Tuesday-LAST Day of Restrictions. Today was an easy day mostly because I was gone most of the day. The boys are playing a lot harder again. I think that Bradley is feeling much better. Today is the last day of antibiotics and pain medicines. The doggie door opens tomorrow. Yay! The house has been really cold. He rings the door to go outside so often and I get tired of standing there waiting for him to come back. So I've been pushing it to without latching. Then when he comes back I'm not there to close it. It's been about 60 degrees in here. Sometimes a little lower.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Don't Leave Me Alone

Monday-Day4 of Restrictions. The morning started out okay. He didn't cry through the night after I did a little adjustment on the times of the medicine. Brodie was going to school to give Bradley another day of rest. On Friday Rob had taken Brodie to school while I stayed home with Bradley so Bradley had me to soften the blow of Brodie leaving him. Today I had to take him. So I locked Bradley in his kennel and had Brodie come with me. As we were leaving Bradley was barking. I did gobs of Christmas shopping and had lunch with a friend. When I let Bradley out of his kennel he started crying. That's very unusual. He cried all the way outside and wouldn't potty until I gave him lots of love. Then he cried the whole time he pottied and then back to me for more love. It was so pitiful, it broke my heart. I couldn't leave him again so he went with me to get Brodie. He was unsure as to why he was not staying to play, but once in the car his focus was redirected. He seems to being doing well. His stitches look good. I haven't seen any bleeding, swelling or redness as they said to watch for it. Tomorrow is the last day of restriction so the doggie door will be opened again the next day. Yay!

Brodie's Bed?

9/18/09

12/14/09
Remember Brodie's new bed that he was scared of and that to this day won't sleep in? Well, Bradley has now taken it over. Blankets, toys and all. Moved in. That's his bed now. Brodie doesn't seem to miss it though. I put the dates under the two pictures. Look at how much he has grown in just three months. He really likes to get his head up on the edge of the bed too. So sweet.

You Little Terd!

Sunday-Day 3 of Restrictions. I've been posting about how hard it is to abide by the restriction of "no activity for 5 days" given to us by our vet after Bradley's neutering on Thursday. Again, early this morning we had some crying and barking probably because the pain medicine was wearing off. After breakfast and medicine and multiple trips outside to potty, I got in the shower. Remember that the doggie door is closed. I did his a bark, pause, bark. That's usually a sign that he needs something like his ball went under the bed or can you get those treats down off the counter? But I'm in the shower, what can I do? Rob is playing his game with headphones on. So I get out and Brodie is on the bed (without permission is a no, no) and he's looking very disturbed. I go down the hall to see the largest pile of dog poop known to man kind laying in the living room floor. Crap! Pun intended. We're never going to make my one week goal. I would love to celebrate Bradley making an entire week without any poop-a-doop accidents in the house. But he always goes inside on the last day. It's not been his fault. This time the door was closed. Granted he had ample opportunity before I got in the shower. In the past it has been just as we were getting in bed and all locked up for the evening. So we're still having one accident a week. While I'm cleaning all that up, I hear a ruckus. Bradley has helped himself to a bone off the top of the dryer. I keep a big tub on the dryer that has miscellaneous dog supplies including bones and toys that in "time-out". He's big enough to get into this tub. I guess he figured that was the best poop-a-doop he's ever made so he deserved a bone. After all, momma did proclaim, "Look at that!" followed by "Bad Potty!", whatever that means. Then the two boys wrestled, growling so much they sounded like something from the zoo. I think I've pretty much given up trying to keep him calm. But the doggie door will stay closed for the remainder of the five days and Brodie will be going to school tomorrow so that will give Bradley a rest as well. I forgot to mentions that when we took Bradley to the vet he weighed in at 54.1 pounds. He's a growing boy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Ears Are Ringing

Nope. That's Bradley ringing those sleigh bells again. I've realized that he just doesn't like to not have the option to go outside. Half the time he just wants to look out the door and get a sniff. If he had the doggie door open he wouldn't be going out this much, but to not have that option is a different story. So our second night after surgery went better. We only had one crying episode in the night and I was able to calm him down and him go back to sleep. I'm sure it must be the pain medicine wearing off because it's always a few hours before time and his pills are scheduled for every 12 hours. Second day again was difficult to keep them from wrestling. I allowed Bradley to have his giant bone most of the day. Poor Brodie. He was so good. He eventually quit crying for his own bone and didn't even take Bradley's away. See Brodie can't have a bone all day or every day because he eats them so fast he gets sick at his stomach. But he was still tired from the day before so it worked out okay. Just a few wrestling moments and only one that we had to break up to keep Brodie from dragging Bradley across the carpet on his belly. Probably not good for the stitches.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Give a Dog a Bone

The day after Bradley's neutering. We finally made it through the night and woke to the blessed sight of food and pain medication. We sent Brodie to school for the day to decrease Bradley's temptation to be "active" as the doctor had called it. I guess they give them some good stuff when they put them under for the surgery because he has had the best rest of his life and is now wide awake. In fact, I've never seen Bradley awake for such longer stretches of time. Rob left with Brodie and Bradley searched for Brodie. He searched for Brodie longer than Brodie searched for him when I came home from the vet without Bradley the day of the surgery. But I gave Bradley a bone and he chewed on it pretty much the whole day. It's a good thing he can't consume a rawhide as fast as Brodie, but I can tell his jaws are getting stronger because the bones are getting shorter faster. Bradley did impress me when he rang the bells to go outside. We had originally trained him to ring the bells to go outside because he was too small to get out the doggie door and down the steps. But now with his "no activity" restrictions the doggie door is off limits and locked down. So he has been ringing the bells to go outside. And ringing and ringing and ringing. He doesn't always ring the bells to go out to potty. Sometimes he wants to drink from the outside water bowl, sniff the air or torture Chloe cat. There was only one bad mishap when Bradley lost his footing on the steps coming inside. His back legs fell of the step causing him to fall right on his incision at the edge of the concrete step. It seems to be ok though. We made it through the day. Brodie came home exhausted and Bradley wanted to play. So there was a little wrestling between the four of us before we finally got everyone calmed down to enjoy a night of television. This could be the longest five days of my life. In fact, I may have to make an escape.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Off With His. . .

Sorry, we've been watching Alice In Wonderland. So, I took Bradley to get neutered yesterday. I had to drop him off early in the morning because I can't stand having a hungry puppy, but you can't feed them before surgery. When I got home, Brodie came to greet me and Bradley. But where's Bradley? He looked for him for a little bit but then went on to more productive things. He gingerly began to roll Bradley's food ball around. Remember the food ball from a previous post? He was rolling it so slowly that nothing would come out almost like he was doing it on purpose because he knew he wasn't supposed to eat Bradley's food. I said, "You know that's not your ball" and he stopped. Dr. Bob called to tell me that Bradley had done fine in the surgery and was waking up. He's to have no activity for 5 days. Define activity. Can he jump in our lap where he lays because he can't not lay in my lap? No, you have to pick him up. Well, the first thing he did when he got home was jump in my lap. Up and down. Up and down. Wrestle with Brodie, uh oh, we're in trouble. This dog that we usually call lazy is more active than he's been in his entire life. Out come the bones to settle them down. At 4 o'clock in the morning Bradley woke up barking. I know his pain medicine was probably wearing off and he was still hungry from the meals he missed yesterday. We went out to potty and came back to our kennels for half a cup of food. Bark Bark Bark. . . Bark. He finally settled down for a little while. Then bark and cry. Sleep. Bark and cry. Sleep. etc. etc. Until the alarm went off at 7 am. Yay! More pain medicine! And Brodie goes to school to help us keep Bradley inactive. I'll let you know how day two goes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Great Compromise

I was trying to fold clothes on the bed, but Bradley kept jumping up on it. All the while Brodie quivers with anxiety at the side because the rules aren't being followed and momma is using her stern voice. Brodie doesn't like it when I use my stern voice. But we finally made a compromise. I was able to stop Bradley on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed in his journey up. So he played on the cedar chest.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Progress

We're making progress. Today Bradley barked. I went to go see what it was. He was barking for me to come get something off the counter for him. Hey, I appreciate you not just getting on the counter to get it yourself. We've had to keep the kitchen free of dishes and push hot pans to the back because this little guy easily gets his head and front paws on the counter to check stuff out. What was he barking at? Well, when they go to school (which is really just daycare one day a week) I pack their lunches in plastic zip top bags. He had seen then and wanted to have it. I'm still so impressed that he asked before stealing. I have found him with assorted zip-locked things in his mouth. Mostly when I've packed treats for a day trip or little cheese cubes or anything I try to store in the zip-top bags. If it gets left on the counter it's gone. But sure is funny to find him with plastic hanging out of his mouth because he chewed through it to get to the food. So anyway, today tells me that we're making progress.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chuck-it Ball Launcher #1 Toy


If you know us, then you know this goes with us everywhere the dogs go. Every retriever must have this. It lets you pick up the ball without ever touching it. And it throws really far. That's one of the reasons we're always losing our ball in the neighbors' yards. Brodie is so high-energy and requires lots of exercise. We couldn't do it without this toy. Trainers always say that the number one way to correct a dog's behavioral problems is with exercise. This will do it. It has changed the game of fetch forever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh ChristmasTree, Oh Christmas Tree!!!!

I finally have a decorated Christmas tree, sans lights. Why? Because I fully expect Bradley to pull the tree down his first year. After all, he usually drags trees in from outside to eat them. I also left off any breakable ornaments. But it's actually very well covered. Another thing that I have done with our tree since Brodie was a pup; use a scat mat in front of the Christmas tree. It's a battery-operated mat that usually lays on the couch, or wherever you wish. When the dog or cat steps on it, it emits a high-pitched tone. It's supposed to scare them off that area. That might work for a cat, but I don't think it would for my boys. However, it does let me know that they've gotten too close to the tree so I can correct them from any room in the house. Now, Brodie was so very easy to train. The first time I put it out and called him to it. He stepped on it, beep, and then I told him to back up. I asked him to come to it again. He almost shook his head no, "Uh-uh, I'm not getting on that thing." He looked at me like I was a traitor. Why would I ask him to repeat an action I just corrected? That was it. Anytime it went off after that was an accident, usually the back foot, and he would quickly run away from the tree. Oh if it were only that simple with all dogs. I think Bradley will probably stand on it, sound blaring, looking around like "What's that noise?"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chloe the Clown


Chloe is our one-eyed, long-haired siamese mix. She is an outdoor cat only. But since we live in a culdesac, she has been pretty safe and grown to a ripe old age of 10. She has loved on and tormented all of our dogs. Her latest stunt was pretty funny. We have a storm drain in front of our house. We call it the under-ground-kittycat-club because the cats in the neighborhood congregate down there and use it as a mode of safe transportation. Chloe was in the storm drain trying lure Bradley down there. He rarely whines, but I could occasionally hear a whimper. Then he would jump back suddenly so I can only assume she was swatting at him. But it reminded me of the clown in the Stephen King movie IT. She's so bad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Escapee-Armed & Dangerous

That's Bradley. At least it was Tuesday. Rob left for work after me so he put the dogs in their kennels. He came home for lunch before me as well. Rob said that when he came home Bradley was loose in the house barking at the intruder, AKA Daddy. He had busted out the door of his kennel. The bottom of the door was still intact, but the top of the door was open on both sides. So he came out and over the top of the door. I've always known that those kennels would not contain the dogs if they really wanted out. The first thing I asked was, "Anything destroyed?" Nothing that we've seen . . . so far. I can't imagine Bradley loose in the house unsupervised and not destroying something. I think he must have broken out when he heard Rob open the garage door. The funny thing is that Brodie's kennel door wasn't even latched, but he waited for Rob to come get him out of his kennel. Just another example of the difference in their personalities. Brodie- "All rules will be obeyed to the fullest extent of my ability. Bradley- "What's a rule?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

School

At least one day a week I take the boys to "school." It's really a doggie daycare. But for their sake I call it school. I mean, I don't want to make them feel like little babies, right? So when we have to board them we taking them to "boarding school." At least that's what we've called it in the past. It's nice knowing that they don't mind getting boarded. They think it's a regular day at school, playing and having fun with their friends. They are so tired at night that they just crash. Next morning, "Oh look, we're at school." Well today when I dropped them off I mentioned to Sue Ann that it was like a second home and that we were going to have to start calling her Auntie. She said that some clients do call her Aunt Sue Ann. So now my boys have an Aunt Sue Ann. They love going to Aunt Sue Ann's.

This picture was taken on Bradley's first day of school. All the little doggies are lined up as the moms come to get them. They are all looking for "their" car. But Bradley didn't yet understand to go around to the door and I would pick him up inside the office. He looks pitiful in the picture, but he had lots of fun.