Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A week after we moved in, my parents came to help us unpack and settle in. My mom helped tame the garden by pruning the rose bush and pulling the weeds from the beds. Bradley was helping by eating the weeds she was throwing out. Daddy came in laughing to tell me that Bradley was just follow Momma along eating every weed she tossed. So I had to capture it. She laughed, too, at his idea of  "helping".

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Again!

Bradley & Brodie
We had been here three weeks when it happened. You know what I'm talking about. IT. My big fear. My babies went missing. At about 9:30 this morning they went out the doggie door to the backyard. The usually run in and out to play. After about 20 minutes I realized they had not come back in and I knew immediately that they were gone. Since Rob was still home I told him to check the front gate and I went out the back door to call for them, once. When they did not come after one call I grabbed my phone and keys and went to the car. Rob was coming to tell me that the gate was open, getting his keys to head off to look as well. He headed into the neighborhood. I headed out of the neighborhood because to me that was where the most danger lie. Our house is situated fairly close to the entrance of the neighborhood and our main street is just off the interstate. So of course I went that way, hoping they had gone the way Rob went. I also immediately called HomeAgain the pet recovery agency. Both of our dogs are microchipped. When I place that call they immediately send out alerts to all the vets, shelters, pounds and other clients in the area with a bulletin that has our boys' information. When we moved here I had just updated their information with their latest photos, and info that included their weight and identifying marks, what color their new collars were and what tags were on them. I had gotten new tags with our phone numbers. They had new city license tags. Then I remembered that this weekend, while I was garage saling, a lady had told me that their two labs had been stolen out of their backyard. They lived in the neighborhood across from us. The lady from HomeAgain said to call the police. Knowing that the police couldn't do anything immediately I kept driving around. I would have to go home to find a number since although this was an emergency for me I wasn't sure the 911 operator would feel the same. After driving around our neighborhood and the neighborhood across the main road, while calling my mom and screaming and wailing, I came home to call the police. The police receptionist asked me the normal info like our address. If they were registered with the city. Yes, I was the one who was just there this past week for almost two hours but wouldn't leave until I had tags for them. Why did I think they had been stolen? I told her the story of the lady from this weekend. Then all of the sudden they both came running in the doggie door huffing and puffing and greeting me like they had stories to tell from their great adventure.

So here's what I learned about moving to a new city/state with dogs, really just owning dogs:
  • Get them microchipped. It really could bring them Home Again.
  • When moving, update your info on your microchip website immediately, it will save so much time if and when you have to make the dreaded call
  • Get new tags for their collars with your new phone number as soon as you can
  • Get them registered with the city as soon as you can, not only will this be another way to trace them back to you, but it will prevent you from being fined and them from being adopted out or euthanized.
  • If they get out, leave the gate to the backyard open while they are gone. If they come home and the gate is closed they may keep wondering. If it's open it'll at least give them a place to go and hide from the view of the street and feel safe. Or come back in the house like ours did.
  • Put a lock on your gate. Even if someone isn't going to steal your dogs, you never know when someone may just leave your gate open or a kid walking by unlatches it. 
  • And lastly, never scold them for coming home. They didn't know they were doing anything wrong. It's natural for dogs to roam. Coming home should always be a good experience.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What's Chloe Up To?

For those of you who don't know, we left our cat Chloe with our neighbor when we moved. For all the reasons you can read here. So my neighbor was filling me in on what Chloe's been doing. Chloe has always hung out in the storm drain in front of our house. We call it the underground kitty cat club because the neighborhood cats like to use it as transportation and other mischievous behavior I'm sure.  So a lot of times when we would pull into the culdesac Chloe would be sitting by the storm drain and then run up to the house alongside the car. When we left there was a pile of things we were throwing out on the curb. Evidently it finally dwindled down to just this. Well my sweet neighbor Miss B saw this and had to get a picture. She said it looked like Chloe had just packed her bags and was ready to move too. Waiting for her ride. You'll notice she looks different. It's because just before we left we had her yearly haircut. Since she's an outdoor cat and it gets so hot we always get her shaved for the summer. It's a lion cut. She thinks she's a lion too. My other neighbor Sweet Miss H was filling me in on life in the culdesac with the newbies. She said that the new neighbors had said that they are cat people and were planning on getting a cat when they moved into the house. Yay! That makes me so excited. They have not boarded up the cat door that goes into the garage. AND the have left open the doggie door into the house. Chloe has been going in the house! (I screamed that part in case you couldn't hear me.) That's something she never did while we were there. So I'm glad that they are cat friendly and will still let her keep her yard. Maybe they'll let her adopt them all together.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome Home Boys!

Day 4 By now as much time as we had spent in the car,  Brodie had decided to allow Bradley into his personal space. In fact, it sometimes worked to his benefit, as a pillow or something. As you can see from the photos, traveling is tiring for a puppy dog. It's a lot of work.I think that this trip was a bonding experience for the boys. Well, maybe Bradley was just sleeping, but Brodie definitely had to stretch himself.After killing all the grass at the hotel and being asked not to come through the lobby anymore, we were finally able to move into our house.       When we got there, they just settled right in. It's like they knew that this was our new home. I don't know if they were feeding off of our excitement or sensed us feeling that we had finally reached our destination. But they just started running all over the place. All over the backyard. And sense we couldn't unload the truck until the next day, well, what else is there to do in an empty house except PLAY FRISBEE!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Temporary Home

Day 3-We finally arrived around midnight, exhausted. Our home in a hotel for the next few days. Of course, the dogs had been sleeping all day. Since Bradley had not had any meds to keep him calm I gave him one when we got to the hotel to try to get him to sleep through the night. He barked at every little noise. I thought we were going to get kicked out. But he just wasn't used to it and wasn't tired. We knew the boys deserved some time off the leash and out of their harnesses so we found a dog park. They went in just like they knew what to do. Brodie wanted to play fetch, of course. He was very disappointed that they did not have the water tubs for him to cool off in. He kept going to a water bowl and looking at me like, "This is not big enough." They did have some basic agility stuff though so we tried it out. I would to try to get them to do some agility, but this park is a little too far from our new house for us to visit often and our yard is not big enough for us to have it all at our house. But we'll have a back deck for them to jump off.

Monday, June 21, 2010

And We're Off. . .

The next morning we went back to the house and picked up our home in a truck. Chloe was still hiding so I never really got to say goodbye. We began the long journey ahead. We were going to
make it in two days, but at our half way point the boys were doing so good that I said let's press on. Brodie is not calm in the car. He's always up, whining "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" Won't relax. Smudging up the window. Won't even put his butt on the seat. So we had asked the vet for something to relax him. He gave us enough for both dogs. I never did give Bradley any meds and he slept the entire way there. But the first 3 hours Brodie was still anxious. When the meds finally did kick in he managed to get his head down on the seat but his butt was still in the air. So funny! Brodie also has a LARGE personal space. To help the ride we bought one of those thing that straps onto the seat and kinda makes a hammock thing in the backseat. We hoped it would give them more room and it did. Bradley decided that it was nice to ride on the hammock part (above the floorboard area)  instead of the seat. Basically doubled the sleeping area.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We've Moved!

Sorry for the absence. If you've kept up with us, you know we've been in the process of moving. Well, we're here in our new home. It was quite the challenge. Because of the possible cuteness overload (and because I'm quite busy) I will deliver the stories and pics to you in a series.
While the dogs were at their last day of daycare and Chloe hid from the commotion, our friends and family loaded all of our belongings into a truck. With an empty house and a long drive ahead of us the next day we opted to stay the night in a hotel. This was the first night that either Brodie or Bradley had ever stayed in a hotel. You would have thought they were royalty. They were a little anxious going into the room. But once they realized that huge thing taking up so much space was a bed, they just jumped right up and got cozy. Then Brodie discovered the bathroom and begged to drink from the tub faucet like he does at home. But since they were a little nervous we decided to let them sleep in the bed if they wanted. Their kennels were open if they preferred. Bradley will always choose the bed, draped over both our feet. Brodie chose the couch. Of course, first he indicated that he needed all of his blankets put up on it. Silly dog. We even went and ate the breakfast in the lobby without them howling and barking from the abandonment. First night was a success. Now the real journey begins.

I didn't even think to bring my camera so these were the best I could get with my phone.