Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Through the Blinds

 I cannot sneak up on Brodie. He just knows when I'm around. 
This is me trying to look at him through the blinds to see him enjoying the backyard.

I finally got the blinds open.
 He's so high strung I like to see him relaxing when I'm not around.
Putting that extra rug down really helped him. He likes to have a rug or blanket to lay on because he's really an inside dog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Teaching Manners

One of the first things we taught our "kids" is to sit. It's like saying please. And then they have to wait. They've had to do this for all kinds of stuff. But lately, our boys have been getting a little wild. Brodie especially has been getting overly excited at dinner time dancing around and poking me with his nose while I'm trying to get it ready. And by ready I mean in his toy because our dogs eat from toys. All the while both dogs are drooling on the floor getting it all wet for me to step in later. So I decided to go back to manners camp. That's right.  New rules for meal time. They each have a mat. They have to sit on the mat while I am getting their food ready. Not stand, pace or dance. Sit. The mat is far enough out of reach that they cannot touch me while I am getting it ready. They have to be on their mat enough so that their mouth is over the mat so that aforementioned drool will land on the mat and not on my carpet or linoleum. When given the okay they can then come off of their mat and to their toy to eat. As with everything, they took to it quickly. They are doing really well. Dinnertime is much calmer around here. Bradley is actually staying out of the way while I do Brodie's and then goes to his mat pretty well. He's been easier than I thought. Brodie eats in the bedroom with the door closed because we have to make sure that he does not get any of Bradley's food because of his food intolerance. Bradley gets fed in the kitchen, but ends up rolling his ball through the living room. We have to be able to see him because he's the one that will get in trouble if let to himself. Right now Brodie is using the Linkables to eat from and Bradley is using the Giggle Ball, which we have actually had this particular one since Brodie was a puppy.

Since Bro's food is kept in our walk-in closet I just bought the cheapest mat I could find. A $3 doormat.

Since Bradley's mat is in the kitchen and I have to look at it all day I bought the cheapest one that I kind of liked. A $5 kitchen mat at Wal-mart.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Enjoying Backyard

Here's some more pics of the boys enjoying the backyard

I was trying to get a picture of them lying in front of the porch together, but Brodie was too hyped up because we had been playing ball. He was listening to some kids splash in a pool next door. Then some birds flew over and I lost them both.

When I'm sitting on the porch they'll wrestle and play.



Sometimes I'll look out the window and they are just lying in the sun enjoying the weather. It's really nice to see this.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble Ball Toy

this is not my dog
Once again Premier has made a genius dog toy for my genius dog. And of course I'm talking about Brodie. . We love Premier toys. This is the best toy so far. This is the most challenging. Brodie is brilliant and has mastered every toy so far. When he first got this he actually got frustrated which I've never seen. Because of the egg shape it is extremely difficult to get the treats out of the ends. The momentum, angle, everything has to be perfect. It's not for the beginner dog. We did trim the prongs in the end a little because Brodie's food was too big to fall out easily. There are a few challenges for us as well. It can be difficult getting the threads lined up and getting it screwed together. It does take patience. We left it unattended, with our not so genius puppy; it was open in the closet. He got it and chewed the edges of it for just a second before I caught him. It was enough to permanently destroy the threads and render the toy useless. But as long as the human can work the toy properly, your dog should love it for a long, long time. Looking at the construction I can say that this toy is not intended for chewing. It is not intended to be left alone with your dog. The rubber ridges on the outside will easily come off. A dog left alone with this, possibly frustrated by the one last piece he can't get out, I think could easily destroy it. So don't leave it alone with your dog. It's meant for him to eat out of, play with, give you a break. Smart dogs needs smart toys to challenge their minds. This is definitely a toy for the smartest pup.


PROS: Extremely Challenging, Dishwasher Safe, Occupies Their Time
CONS: Treads Easily Damaged, May Be Too Difficult for Some Dogs, Only Comes in Purple

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brodie's Follow Up With Vet

Brodie had a follow up appointment with the vet today. He said that Brodie is doing really well. We are going to stay on the medicine to help keep the valve closed. We are trying out a treat. This is the first time we have added anything new to his diet since he has switched foods. For those of you who do not know, Brodie is on a very strict diet for food intolerance. The only treats he has gotten so far are actually just pieces of his food. Fortunately he's not picky. In the near future, if Brodie gets sick, we are to assume that it is from the treats and discontinue them. The doctor gave him a treat while we were there and he could tell by the way that he swallowed that he was still have problems with the reflux so we are going back on medicine for that. I asked him to explain the difference in food allergies and food intolerance and this is what he said: Food allergies show themselves in dermatological symptoms like itchy skin. Food intolerance is strictly intestinal like diarrhea and vomiting. Brodie is still only 52 pounds while his ideal weight is 64. But the doctor said that we should not be concerned just yet since he should gain it back slowly. I liked the doctor and Brodie did something I've never seen him do in his entire 4 years of life. He laid down during an office visit. Of course, when I took him in that time he was so sick he had to lay down because he could hardly stand. That doesn't count. But Brodie is so high strung and anxious. He does not like doctor visits. He cries and paces the entire time. After the doctor came in and greeted him and petted him, gave him a treat and was talking to me, Brodie laid down next to me. Even laid his head on the floor between his paws like he could sleep. I guess this means that Brodie is comfortable with this doctor too.

If you need backstory to understand this post click here  , here and  here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mmmm, Grass!

So, I've mentioned many times that Bradley likes to eat grass. Here's a pic of him with a pretty big piece that he pulled up out of the ground.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good Morning

Bradley makes some really big eye boogers. This one is nothing compared to some of them, but I did catch a picture. And it's a really wet one. That's so gross!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Doggie Decor

We spend a lot of time on the back porch. The dogs spend a lot of time running across the back porch. Some of that time is chasing each other in and out of the house, around the yard, up and around the porch sense it has three points of entry (or escape as they look at it.) When I sit in my rocking chair I throw the ball. They play tug-of-war. Here's the deal, no matter how short and neat we keep their nails trimmed when they dig in their feet to get a good grip, it scratches the deck. So we bought another rug to cover the main area in front of the sitting area where most of the scratches occur and then a little runner where they  take off for the stairs. But it doesn't matter. This is where we live and those are just proof of life. When we restain the deck it should cover them. We're happy here. See look at Bradley, doesn't he look happy. And now they have more rug to lay on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Comfy?



I had been vacuuming and set Brodie's bed on top of Bradley's bed. Well, evidently I didn't move it in time because Bradley decides to lay on both of them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vote for Bradley

I posted Bradley's picture on a contest site as a joke, but it's gotten a few votes, so go vote for Bradley by clicking here. You will have to flip through the pictures to find his so be prepared. The contestants name is SaintBrodiesMom, go figure. Here is his picture and the caption that goes with it:


I'm Bradley. I love to lay on the grass  in front of the porch while my mom rocks in her chair.
I also eat the grass while watching the birds fly over.

Homemade Dog Toy #4

So there's a lot of back story to this toy. When Brodie was a little baby dog he knew exactly what was his and what was not, which was great for us, most of the time. But he also loved to make a game of it. When I would ball up my socks and put them in the drawer he would snatch a pair and take off running. I would call him back and make him give it. He would look at me out of the corner of his eye, wait for me to turn my head and then snatch a pair and run. Then when I would think I was done, he would come stand in front of me and just look up at me like, "Well?" and I would say "What?" and he just continued staring at me. "What?" nothing. Then I would notice a little piece of white from the edge of his lip. He had a whole ball of socks shoved in his mouth and he was waiting for me to notice him. When I would fold the towels and put them in the cabinet under the sink he would wait for me to look the other way and then snatch one and take off running. So Mr. Brodie loved snatching our things, but he had the habit of saying "that's mine" when it came to his stuff. So when I would fold laundry he would see me fold his fleece blankets when I was folding our towels. He would just tremble in anticipation as I folded his blanket. As soon as it was folded I would hold it out to him and he would take it and run off with it, eventually bringing it back. Sometimes I was able to get him to put it in his kennel, but mostly not. This obsession, with having his newly clean and folded blankets immediately, continued for years. Although now he usually just takes them from me and sets them on the floor and waits for the next one. Well the other day he did happen to run into the other room with the blanket in his mouth. Bradley saw this and thought "Oh goodie, a game." They started playing tug-of-war, I don't care because they are not bothering me which is rare these days, and I let them go on. Then I hear the blanket start to tear. So I go in and tell them "no more." This Bradley does not understand. I put the blanket in Brodie's new doggie bed and and explain to him (as if he were Brodie and I could just explain things) that "this is Brodie's blanket for his bed just like you have a blanket for your bed." Later Bradley is running through the house with same blanket. Repeat explanation, repeat running scene. etc. etc. So I go get this orange blanket that is in tatters and barely hanging on. It was Brodie's first ever blanket. He chewed it to pieces. There are holes all in it. He pulled all of the trim off of it. I learned a lot about picking out a blanket for a dog's bed from Brodie. I learned that you just go buy some fleece by the yard at Walmart. Anyway, I take this blanket and tell both boys to sit and listen. "From this moment on I formally declare that this blanket will henceforth be a toy. You may play and chew on this blanket and this blanket only." Brodie nods his head in total understanding and Bradley drools. They take the blanket and play. Then Bradley begins to play with Brodie's bed blanket again. I put it back in the bed and say "no, that is a blanket." And I kid you not, Bradley looks over his shoulder at the orange blanket and I swear a little bubble popped up over his head saying "But that's a blanket too?" So, I tie a big knot in the middle of the orange blanket. Then I make a cut down each side, which is still folded. On those strips I make two knots each. I tried to give it as much of a tug toy look as I could. They loved it. There was no more blanket/toy confusion. Bradley has dragged that thing all over the house. They play with it more than any store bought toy we have. And I know there are expensive fleece tug toys out there, but you could make one for the price of 1/2 a yard of fleece.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bradley Makes the School Blog

It all started with this picture on the Facebook Page of Bradley's school and the comments that followed.

Doggie Mom: "There's my happy girl! Love me some Cici!!!"
Manager: "Umm thats not C thats her twin...Bradley :)"
Doggie Mom: "What? How horrible... I don't even recognize my own child?!? And there's another one just like Cici... scary! Red collar too?"
 Manager: "yeah, they are kinda alike, His name is bradley, but he's milk chocolate and; C is dark chocolate!!"

 When I pick up Bradley I get to hear the story of this interaction on FB. I, of course, had not even thought to look for them on FB. I got to hear about the differences in chocolate labs. I had never thought about there being different shades of chocolate labs. But I know there are lots of different shades of yellow labs. So I came home and found the picture of my baby dog. The next time I was there to drop off Bradley I get to meet Dark Chocolate CiCi. Of course, I see it now. She is dark chocolate. There are many other differences also. Can you tell them apart?

 








How about in a closer up photo? Of course you can tell them apart because the picture of Bradley is the same, but if it weren't the same photo could you now tell them apart? Now you can see the differences in the coat color. When I met CiCi's mom I said "They would make some great chocolate truffles if they weren't already fixed."


Here are some other differences. Bradley's nose is pink as is all his skin. Pink lips, pink eye lids, pink everything. CiCi's nose and it appears her eyelids and lips are brown/black. It's hard to tell in the picture, but Bradley still has green in his eyes. They are kind of hazel with a brown rim around them. CiCi has yellow eyes as described by her momma. Bradley is a couple of inches taller and, sorry CiCi, but much thinner. But, CiCi, I wish I hid my weight in photo as well as you do.











Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Slideshow

I finally took the time to update the pictures in my slideshow. If you look on the sidebar at the bottom, just below "my blogjective" you will see the pictures changing. If you want to see them larger you can just click on the picture. You may have to then start then slideshow again. It's not all of the pictures on the blog. A couple of them aren't even on the blog. They are, however, the cutest of the cute.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Momma Come Quick!

Sunday morning I hear Bradley going nuts with his high pitched bark. Both dogs are outside so I think they are playing. Then Brodie comes in and stands in front of me while Bradley's barking continues in the background. I think "if Brodie is standing in front of me, who is Bradley barking at?" So I go peek out the door and sure enough he's barking at something. He only takes a second to look at me and then goes back to it. IT being whatever is in the water bowl. As I creep toward it I'm thinking, "Please don't be a snake. Please don't be a snake."  It's a big 'ole toad. Swimming 'roun that there water bowl. This is where I should grab my camera before grabbing my wits. I went inside and got Rob to evict our visitor from the yard. What I should have done was taken a picture of the scene. Bradley was just a barking at that bowl. Toad just a swimmin'. I'm sure if he'd had a lily pad or anything to put his back feet on he would have jumped out. But honestly, he was safer inside the bowl, Bradley's barking incessant as it may be. 'Cause if he would have jumped out, chase would have ensued. Two on one. I've seen these dogs flank a cat, rescue a turtle from nothing but a ditch and scare to death an entire nest of bunnies. When Rob saw it he said, "Poor toad, he's just looking for some water." Mr. Toad was safely escorted to the other side of the fence, the boys deprived of another one of those "fun" toys they get sometimes, and momma just glad it wasn't a snake.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'll Never Forget You

I don't know if this will work. But click HERE to watch a video of service men and women surprising their loved ones when coming home. It's a great video. Go to the bottom right corner and click on the square to get it to go to full screen. I posted it on this blog because of the wonderful clip of the dog greeting her daddy. Watch how long and joyously she greets her daddy. You know she hasn't forgotten him. You can even hear her squealing.

Someone let me know if it worked. It is on Facebook. So if you are not signed up on Facebook you won't be able to see it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Through the Fence

Rob told me the other day that a board had fallen down in the fence. While playing fetch the ball went over the fence, which often happens. Rob went to get the ball and turned to see these two faces watching and waiting, looking for the ball. He said it was so cute; little yellow head sticking through and then little brown head right above yellow head. So the next time we were out with the camera and the ball went over the fence he got a picture of it.