Friday, January 29, 2010

Kong Tails

We bought this toy because we desperately need a good tug toy. I had read reviews that were very unfavorable. But I thought we'd give it a try anyway. Like I said, we're desperate. Reviews had said that the canvas strap didn't last. We bought the toy on Tuesday night. When our boys would quit tugging and start chewing I would put the toy away. That got tiring real quick. So Thursday night I just let them have it in their toy box. Friday morning the toy was in three pieces. I will say that I think it would last longer without the squeaker. The squeaker was in an awkward place so it was difficult to make it squeak while playing with it. But when they quit tugging, their number one goal in their little doggie life was to get the squeaker out. So, just make it without the squeaker. Yes we still have the red Kong toy, but we already had one of those and they don't play with it anyway. And now they tug on the leftover canvas straps. The exact same thing that happened with the Kong Wubba toy. The only part left of it is the canvas tails. Maybe they should just make a canvas tug toy without any frills.

Pros: Has a handle for human use.

Cons: Broke Quickly; $19.99 too expensive for such little playtime

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lazy Day


Little Bradley laying in Daddy's lap while we're being lazy. Brodie is in the background trying to entice us to go play fetch in the freezing cold.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fat Cat or Just a Raccoon?

Backstory-Chloe Cat's food bowl is on top of the deep freezer in the garage. She jumps onto a storage box and then onto the freezer to get to it. Usually she eats somewhere between 5 to 7 pounds of food a month, that includes "sharing" with any raccoons that make their way into the garage through the cat door. This last month she has eaten 14 pounds of food. I told Rob we were going to have to cut Chloe back some because that is just too much. And be sure to put it away at night so that raccoons aren't getting into it. This morning I step out and find Bradley on top of the deep freezer eating the cat food. No wonder she's putting away 14 pounds a month. It's not a raccoon it's a bad dog.

post-post: Rob mentioned that in this photo Bradley looks much older than his 6-months of age. That's because when he sits on command he pulls his head back. The longer he has to sit, the further back the head goes creating the appearance of the thick neck.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shoebox of Puppies

Meet Janet. She works in my chiropractor's office. Every time I go in we discuss the box of puppies she has rescued. Over the months I have realized how much time, money and effort she has put into rescuing these dogs. Much more than any individual I have known. Yes, organizations and volunteers do a lot. But I've not known an individual who has spent so much money and time to rescuing a litter of puppies that most probably no one would have missed. So I asked her once again to share the story so I can share it with you. She remembers the date clearly. September 28th, 2009. She was dropping her kids off at school. Her son drew her attention to a box of puppies. A shoe box in fact. Specifically an adult-size male's shoe box. With 5 puppies inside. The children around had become interested so she said, "Bring them to me. I will find them a home." She recalls that the box had nothing but some adult dog food. Not even a blanket to keep them warm. The pups which were no more than two weeks old were already cold. She called the Humane Society who said they were full. She called a local rescue and adoption effort who suggested she call the pound. But she just couldn't do it. So she took them into her home. She, her husband and 3 kids named them and bottle fed them. Sadly, Baby the runt, did not survive. She took Juliette, Precious, Joanna and Butch to get their first set of puppy shots and had them treated 5 to 6 times for worms before they were healthy. She gradually progressed them to puppy food. All of this at her own expense. She didn't tell me the exact cost and I didn't ask. Owning dogs myself I knew the financial cost was more than I would have ever provided for a box of strays. After about 4 weeks Janet found an organization called Out of the Woods who helped her provide the rest of the puppy shots and get them all spayed and neutered. They also connected her with Petfinder. Janet is thoroughly interviewing potential families. It's funny that the two troublemakers were the first to be adopted. Precious had a waiting list that was narrowed down before finding her home. Juliette hitched a ride with Out of the Woods all the way to New Jersey. Butch and Joanna still need a home. Janet continues to feed and house them at her cost. At the date of this post, the pups are 4 1/2 months old. They both are laid back, great with children and other dogs. They each have a low deep bark. Although all puppies were from the same litter of lab-mix, they look different. Butch looks like a hound dog and will probably grow to about 70 pounds. Janet says that she sees him just laying on the front porch. Not that he's lazy. He's active, but when he's done playing he just passes out. Joanna looks more like a rottweiler and will probably grow to about 50 or 60 pounds. Janet says that she will make a loving protector for her new home. If you are interested in either of these dogs, you can view them on Petfinder.com To view Butch visit http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/15190790 To view Joanna visit http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/15190789 All of the adoption fees will go to Out of the Woods to help recuperate some of the money for the puppies medical bills, but the organization nor Janet will make any money on these dogs. Janet's words keep ringing in my ears. "Give them to me. I'll find them a home." Janet has lived true to her word.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just Dogs!

I made my first visit to Just Dogs Gourmet today. If you'll remember "Aunt" Sue Ann, who runs our doggie daycare, gave my boys Christmas cookies from this bakery. Since we were invited to a pup's first birthday party this weekend I decided a birthday cookie would make a great bow for our gift. After our recent fiasco at Petco, my bandits did not join me on this outing. As soon as I walked in I thought, "I love this place." I was greeted by the owner, Amy, from behind the counter. There is so much to take in, but I walked straight to the cookie display. Amy told me they've been here about a year. She decorates all the cookies herself and that the Valentine's are her favorite. They were all adorable and very reasonably priced. I spent more time picking my cookie than I do what to wear in the morning. Amy was so nice talking to me all about the different types of treats. You can buy single cookies or bulk packages. There are wheat and corn free for those like my Brodie, with food allergies, and fat-free treats as well. I decided my selection would have to wait while I explored the rest of the store. It's much more than I expected. Leashes, collars, tags, bowls, signs, bumper stickers, mugs and a large selection of Razorback paraphernalia. There are a lot of toys including the largest in-store selection of Premier that I've seen. They are our favorite toy maker and is actually what I had been hunting down for our birthday gift. I mentioned how difficult it has been to find them and Amy said that a lot of trainers send their clients there for the Premiere toys so she is sure to keep a good supply in stock. None of the stores that I could think to visit in town had the right size toy for this little chihuahua mix. But Just Dogs had a huge selection of sizes and I found exactly what I was looking for. Sure beats buying it online. I had not even made my way around the entire store before my phone chirped to remind me of an appointment. So I finished my cookie selection quickly and promised to be back hopefully with my boys. I was sure to ask if dogs are welcome and the answer is a resounding "yes." There's even a hitching post if you feel the need to shop without the close supervision of your dog. She assured me it was strong enough to handle even my Bradley.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where the Pets Go?

You've heard that slogan, right? Petco, where the pets go. Then why did they boobie-trap us? I took both our dogs to Petco. We are going down the main aisle and there are a display box of "cookies" on the bottom shelf. Bradley ran over and gobbled one up before I even saw them. Let me describe the bottom shelf. There were three open boxes on the shelf. Each box contained a different size of bone-shaped cookie. The cookies were for individual purchase. However they were not individually wrapped. They have a paper ring around them with a barcode for scanning the price. "So they are just open treats on the floor?" thinks Bradley. He did exactly what I would expect any dog to do. And they made me pay for it!!!!!!!! OK, the larger cookies were about $6 each. Since he ate the whole thing, barcode included, they told me to bring one to the front and they would scan it. Of course, I grabbed the cheapest one at only $1. But still, I think they intentionally have these displayed on the lower shelf so that they can make people pay for what their dog already ate. So if Petco is where the pets go then why is it not pet friendly or pet owner friendly? My receipt asked me to call and take a survey so I did. The first question was "What was your overall satisfaction with this trip to Petco?" I pressed #1 for highly dissatisfied. Then the automated surveyor said, "Thank you for taking this survey." That was the only question. So they know that I was highly dissatisfied but they have no desire to know why.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Together

I just read a fabulous book, Together by Tom Sullivan with Betty White. Yes, the actress. I didn't think so, but I looked in the jacket and it's her. This book is about a man who is blinded in a mountain climbing accident. He begrudgingly goes to the school to train for a guide dog where he is partnered with a black lab who has been returned three times for bad behavior. LOL! It's sounds funny, but it's actually a very emotional journey for both the man and beast. The book is also very educational. I learned so much about how they train the guide dogs and train the people who have to use them. It's just a great read all around, so check it out. I'm adding it to my shelf of favorite books.

Click here for a list of organizations supporting guide dogs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Remembering Fall

As I sit here, late at night, needing to go bed, listening to the rain, I am reminded of the fall when it was so rainy. The following is a post from my other blog that I have copied because I wanted to share my nostalgic moment with all my dog-loving friends. Oh, rainy days, they can be a challenge with two outdoor loving dogs. Here's the previous post:

Well, the pitter patter of little paws has turned into the splitter splatter of big paws. It continues to rain and rain and rain. Now this really wouldn't usually bother me. I love the cool weather that the rain brings. However, our yard that was once a beautifully overgrown Irish green is now a watered down mud puddle, killing our grass that we worked so hard to grow.
You can compare these pictures with those of Bradley as a puppy and see the difference. Speaking of the little devil. I hope the squirrels don't starve this winter since Bradley has dug up and eaten every nut they have buried. Which in their place has left little mud puddles. It's almost like looking down into the geysers at Yellowstone. The plus side of all the rain is that I have gotten some really cute rain boots.

So what does one do with two labs when the rain won't go away? Here's our
Rainy Day Routine: Momma throws ball down hall. Brodie goes and gets ball. Bradley takes ball from Brodie's mouth. Brodie takes ball from Bradley's mouth. Momma takes ball from Brodie's mouth & throws down hallway. Repeat 100 times. Eat dirt from momma's house plants, leaving it on the floor as well. Pull on fake ficus until it crashes to the floor. Kill and destroy every stuffed animal that has been purchased at garage sales. Run in and out of doggie door 50 times a day. Carry all our stuffed toys outside and forget to bring them back in, leaving them in the rain until they stink. Come inside and roll around on floor like a seizing lunatic while momma tries to dry me off (that one is Bradley) Rub on couch and carpet because it's more efficient than toweling off. Throw up all the dirt eaten while trying to get to the buried nuts the squirrels left. Trap cat in garage and proceed to torture. Come inside leaving muddy footprints all over the house. Watch momma vacuum for the third time that week. Whine over who gets to lay in momma's lap while she tries to watch the weather. Go into the front yard while momma checks the mail. That is a big treat! See neighbor down street and charge at them while barking and terrify them (Brodie) while momma yells "sorry". Lose front yard privileges. Find giant pine tree branches that have fallen into our backyard from the neighbors yard. Drag into house to eat the pine cones. Lose doggie door privileges. Beg for treats, take nap. Wake up. Go outside to expel pine cones. Spend one hour running around the yard like crazy dogs while momma stands under an umbrella waiting for us to poop. Don't poop. Come inside. Poop. (That one would be Bradley.) Sometimes I just lock them in their kennels and run away from home to hide for a while. Then sometimes you may see me standing in the front yard with a glazed expression singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Since the original post was written, the hole Bradley is digging continues to grow. He no longer poops in the house. And I've killed my third vacuum in 2 years. We are now accepting donations to our Vacuum Euthanasia Project.


New Tricks

Remember the bowl of chicken that Bradley got into on the kitchen counter? Instead of throwing it away. I used it as treats the next day to teach Bradley to shake. I think he might be getting it. And I've been multitasking. I throw Brodie's ball with my right hand to give him the exercise he so desperately wants and train Bradley with my left hand because that's what Bradley so desperately needs. This also helps keep Bradley from stealing the ball while Brodie is "working". And believe it or not, Brodie would rather fetch than get treats. This is the only way I can train Bradley without big brother hovering around for the treats. I may have just figured this out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Enticing!


In this picture Brodie was trying to entice Bradley into playing with him.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Baby Blanket



Bradley has a baby blanket that has a plush cat's head and front legs on one end and back legs and tail on the other end. The other day he dragged it from his kennel to the living room to lay on, which he does occasionally. It was so cute to see him smush it all up between his front legs so he could lay his head on it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Joy Ride

I was putting away the Christmas decorations. I had the tree in the big bag and was dragging it from the living room to the garage. It got heavy. I look back and see Bradley riding on the bag. I told him to get off and continued on my journey. I glance over my shoulder just in time to see him pounce on the bag again. This continued until I got the tree into the garage.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fetch!

He did it! Bradley fetched for the first time. I don't think he intended to. He was lying next to me on the couch chewing on a toy. I threw the toy to the middle of the room and Bradley went to get it and came back. He started to chew on it again. I threw it again. He brought it back to chew on it. About the third time he expected me to throw it again when he brought it back. After about five times I quit throwing it because I didn't want him to get tired of the the game or get frustrated. He continued to lay there and chew the toy. Oh happy day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goodbye Toothfairy, Hello Dental Hygeine!

Now that Bradley has all of his adult teeth in, it is time to start learning to brush them. Saturday was a forced teeth brushing because he dug up a rotting root and ate it. You think belches and poots stink, wait until they eat decaying tree roots. Yuck! I know this did not leave him with a good experiencing concerning brushing our teeth. But Brodie, the ever faithful, is such a good example. When he was little, I would brush my teeth to get ready for bed. Brodie would run to the vanity and put his front paws on the counter waiting his turn. He practically brushes his teeth by himself and I just hold the brush. So today, after Brodie's wonderful demonstration, it was Bradley's turn. It wasn't so bad. He didn't seemed motivated by the beef flavored toothpaste. Once he learned that Brodie would clean his toothbrush if he didn't, then he decided to try it. OK, it wasn't that easy. After getting toothpaste all over my pants, his muzzle, and front legs he finally got a little on his teeth. Good first try!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is It Snowing?

The other day it was snowing. Just enough to have a light dusting on the ground. It wasn't enough for Bradley to even realize that he could play in it. But he kept running outside and inside. Then he was in my lap staring out the window. I realized he was watching the snow fall. I think that's what he was doing outside too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cold Saturday Afternoon

We spent the afternoon in 20 degree weather on the farm. Lots of fun! Brodie played lots of fetch. He ran to the pond to get a drink. He sat the ball down at the edge of the pond. The ball rolled to the middle of the pond. It was frozen. The pond, not the ball. Then he went to go get it and the ice broke under him. Don't worry. He was just at the edge. But he couldn't retrieve his ball. This is a cardinal sin for Saint Brodie. He ran circles around the pond trying to figure out how to get it. Bradley ran behind. He didn't know why they were running, but he was following closely. The ball remains in the
middle of the pond. You can see in the picture our efforts to try and retrieve it ourselves.


Then I tried to teach Bradley to play hide and seek. It was hard because Brodie kept giving away my position. Brodie's really good at hide and seek. We had a great day.

***After this was originally posted Rob brought to my attention that, in one of the photos above, you can barely see Brodie running through the brush. I love it. He's camouflage. Another great example of God's perfect design. During the fall and winter months, this dog can do his job well because he will be hidden among the dead leaves and grass. I know there are people who believe that we humans are the only god, but really, if you were god would you have thought to do this?

"So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1 :21

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pizza Boy

I was making four pizzas to put into the deep freezer. After the third pizza was assembled, I left the kitchen for a minute. When I came back Bradley was eating my diced chicken out of the bowl. Needless to say, the last pizza ended up vegetarian.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bradley @ 6 months

We took a ride to the vet's office to pick up some treats yesterday. While we were there we weighed Bradley. He was 59 pounds. He's only 6 months old. Brodie, who is 3 1/2 years, is only 64 pounds. Pretty soon Bradley will no longer be the "little" brother.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bradley @ 4 1/2 months



My friend came over to take our family picture for our Christmas card. She caught a couple good ones of little Bradley. He's about 4 1/2 months old in these pictures. Look at that innocent face. He's a devil in disguise. On this same day he: got on the counter and licked Rob's fork, stole a sock, tried to eat a door stop, a plastic box of mints and a camera memory card, emptied the garage trash can, drug blankets down the hall, chewed up an oven mitt, peed in my lap (that was an accident) and got the bag of treats off the top of the kennel. That was actually all about in 2 hours time. But he sure looks innocent.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bradley Rhymes with Badly

While playing in the front yard, our neighbor's boy Joseph (age 11) came out to check his mail. Or maybe he saw we were playing outside. Bradley went to greet him. Since Joseph's face was so close, Bradley decided to lick it. Oh, Joseph giggled and put his arms around him which encouraged Bradley. They ended up in a pile on the ground. So when Joseph was throwing Brodie's ball I asked him, "Did Bradley knock you down or did you slide down on your own?" Joseph said, "He put a paw on each of my shoulders and pulled me down." Oh that's not good. I'm not sure that Bradley did it intentionally. Oh, he jumped on him intentionally. But I don't think he knew that he could pull him down and set out to do just that. I speculate that he jumped up on him with a paw on each shoulder and Bradley's weight pulled him down. Either way, we've got to stop that behavior.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Destiny Calls

Rob started some Celtic Christmas music playing on the stereo. It starts with the sound of geese honking as they fly overhead. Brodie ran to the window to look for them. Bradley stood in the room looking around. Rob thinks that is so funny. And it is. So now when they are playing hard, he'll start that song and watch them both stop and listen. Brodie doesn't run to the window anymore and now Bradley looks at the speakers. They seem to know that no matter what is going on, that sound means to pay attention.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Silly Cat


I had come back from a long day of running errands and had a trunk full of stuff. I brought in a couple of bags with me and then let the dogs out. We played, did poop patrol, and got some good outside time. All the while, my trunk was open and I knew it. When I came back through the garage Chloe was curled up sleeping in the trunk. When she heard me she must have thought she was going to get in trouble because she started to get out. Fortunately I was able to grab a picture of her first.