Blog Archives

Don’t let this be you!

Don’t be the person who has all pet parents and their dogs banned from hotels. Don’t be this person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxhymuRPIaA

If your dogs suffer from separation anxiety don’t leave them alone in a hotel/motel room. People will complain. It’s not fair to your dog(s), its not fair to the people staying in the rooms near yours, and its not fair to the pet parents who want to stay in that hotel/motel after you got dogs banned.

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Thora, my ultimate dog.

Having one senior dog is tough, having three?  It really is a lot to deal with…  but I wouldn’t part with even one of our oldies.  Today’s challenge was to photograph something old.  I jokingly asked my husband to pose for me after telling him what my challenge for today was, obviously he turned me down.  😉  I thought about snagging a snapshot of one of our antiques…  in the end though, Lily-Ann’s idea won out.  Sweets wanted his supper, Brandibuck wouldn’t sit still, so Thora it was.  I’ll admit, I don’t like photographing her with my iPhone.  It just doesn’t do her justice.  She really is a gorgeous, gorgeous dog.  I have a hard time believing she’s twelve.  I remember the first time I saw her in person – after her trek with the underground railroad (traveling to us relay style driven bit by bit by volunteers like ourselves) – I broke down in tears.  She really was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, and to this day I’ve never met her equal…  not in brains, drive, beauty, or spirit.  She is a dog who is unmatched in every way, and I have been so blessed to have her as part of my life.

jan23b

The light seems crazily yellow here…  but that’s a camera phone for you.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

A Chihuahua/Fur Scarf

We had all four boys out this evening, and covered the girl with them.  Now that they have their eyes open, they are starting to be a lot more fun.  And after playing for a while, they all crawled up to her neck and settled in for a nap – which, of course, sent the girl into the giggles.

the girl, giggling as the almost-two-week-old Chihuahua puppies nuzzle her neck

Natalia isn’t big enough to come out to play with her brothers (two of whom are four times her size).  It’s been a very stressful few days with her, as we haven’t been sure if she’d make it or not… and, to be quite honest, we’re still not sure.  She’s a little fighter though, and we’re doing everything we can to see her through.

As of this morning Natalia is now weighing in at 2.6 ounces, up from 2.4 a few days ago.  She had held steady at 2.2 and then 2.3 ounces for the longest time – so we are delighted to see a gain of 0.2 in the last couple of days.  It’s definitely encouraging.

The boys all range in size from 7.75 to 10.3 ounces – which is absolutely perfect for boys their age…  not too big and not too small.  Healthy, strong, curious, but mostly hungry and sleepy.  LOL  They are all used to being handled, and have already had their first nail trim – not that they needed it, but I start doing them really early so that it never has a chance to become an issue as they get older.  This way, nails are just something they’ve always had done and so don’t ever have to learn to tolerate.  It’s just normal.

We are enjoying watching their little faces develop, and loving the daily changes in pigment on their noses and toeses.  They are such a treat.  I’m making sure we spend time every day with the little boys as it’s so easy to get completely wrapped up in tiny Natalia’s care.  Tube feedings every two hours can take a lot out of you, and wear you out physically and mentally…  so it’s good to take time to enjoy her brothers and remind yourself of the joy.

Captain America, The Mighty Thor, Lily-Ann, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk.

From left to right: Rogers, Thor, Lily-Ann, Tony, and Bruce.

Safe Travels Deedee!

Tomorrow morning is going to be a tough one.  11 hours from now, we’ll be leaving to take Deedee to the airport where she’ll fly to Kelowna to meet her new family.  Placing puppies isn’t easy…  but placing one who is a year and a half is even harder.

Deedee at the lake a few weeks ago (next to her sister Alice and mommy Roo)… and yes, those are my dirty camp toes.

 

We’ve known since she was only a few months old that there would come a time when we’d place Deedee.  This litter was a co-breeding between myself (Sidhe Dogs) and Em (HiLeigh Chihuahuas)…  so with two puppies one was ours and one was hers.  We chose to keep Alice as her temperament just fit in better with us.  Which meant it was just a matter of finding the perfect placement for our little tri-coloured girl.

Deedee is a lot like her mom: super smart.  She’s also super accepting and willing to just sit back and let the girl manhandle her.  After all, Lily-Ann has been holding the pups since they were a few days old.  At this point it’s just second nature for them to relax in her arms and have her cart them around.  She’s gentle with them, but she is a kid, and the pups learn quickly to just relax and go with it.  Because while they won’t always be carried around or treated in a dignified manner, it’s always done gently and with love.

Alice ended up being our pick, mainly because her temperament is more like her dad’s, she’s the snuggler.  And I need a snuggler.  Lily-Ann bogarted Marnie, so our family clearly needed a second.  And as much as we love Roo, one Roo is plenty for any household.  😉

Thankfully for her new family, while Deedee is a lot like her mom, she did inherit some of her dad’s easygoing nature.  She’s up for just about anything at any time.  She’s happiest on the go.  She loves hiking, hitting the beach, camping…  and as the only dog in her new home, she’ll be toted everywhere and doted on by this active family.  It’s also nice to know that all their past fids (furry kids) are all still so treasured (pictures hanging up as reminders of those who are waiting for them at the rainbow bridge).

We really are going to miss our little treasure…  but we wouldn’t let her go if we had any doubts about her being treasured there too.  It really is going to be a hard morning.  Lots of tears ahead (and some right now too).  The girl and I have already shared a cry, but I’m sure we’ll have another tomorrow.  Our little Deedee is one in a million, and she will always be loved.

Deedee getting a smoosh from Lil (after a bath) early in the Spring. This picture is the wallpaper on my iPhone.

The Dog Paradox

We all, by now, should be well aware of how awesome The Oatmeal is.  Dood’s been around the web a few times, he’s definitely not the new kid on the net.  But every so often a friend will forward me something by him that just kills me.  Tonight was one of those times.

The Dog Paradox is roughly 35 frames long.  It’s a biggie, especially for a web comic…  but it’s just too good to be missed.  And I did just fine, internal brain laughter, allowing the girl to continue to sleep next to me, until I hit the following frames.  Then the big old belly laughs erupted, shaking the bed, and testing my pelvic floor muscles as I attempted to stifle my gafaws into quiet giggles thus disturbing her only temporarily allowing her to slip back into her deep slumber.

The Oatmeal  - The dog paradoxthe oatmeal's dog paradox

So there you go…  one small taste of this doozy.  You can check out the entire 35 frame cartoon (and purchase the poster) at:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox – and I highly recommend you do.  🙂

Night!

Chihuahua Beach!

I was looking through my photos, getting ready to begin edits on the next shoot, when I stumbled upon a couple shots I took of Sweets – the old man Chihuahua.  Totally blissed out at the beach.  Ever since we made it out to my parent’s cabin a couple weeks ago, I’ve been doing my best to get us back out there…  and I think these images explain why.

Sweets really was completely blissed right out, he’s a lake dog if ever I’d met one.  Totally and completely in his element, exploring, sunning, and just generally enjoying everything about being at the cabin.  And there is little that makes me happier than seeing someone I love so very happy.  I have to admit, sometimes I forget just how short a time this old man has been a part of our family.  Seems like he’s always been here.  🙂

Exploring the Beach!

 

Siesta in the Shade!

In other news…  keep your fingers crossed that our little old man chi may soon be a Daddy (again).  Knock on wood, we’re hoping to have puppies this Autumn.

I Haz Ball?

Okay, I can’t really think beyond the ear infection and associated issues…  so tonight, here’s a cute picture:

"I'll do anything you want...  just throw it please"

Thora, Bucky, and Sweets; our old dogs.

I started writing a post about old dogs…  got about a paragraph in, and deleted it.  The fact of the matter is that we now have three old dogs, and as much as I love old dogs (seriously, I’m a sucker for a senior dog, there’s just something about them) I worry for our hearts.

We’ve only ever had one senior dog at a time before.  And it wrenches your heart out when they leave you.  Time helps you heal, but the hole they leave in your heart never completely closes back over.  I imagine my heart looks like swiss cheese.  I’ve had far too many go on ahead to Rainbow Bridge to wait for me.  I wonder how many more holes I can handle.

Thora.  Can’t believe she’s 11.  I have no idea how it happened.  I remember the day she arrived (via the underground railroad – volunteers each driving a leg of the journey to bring her here).  I cried when I saw her for the first time.  She was everything I had ever hoped for.  Lurchers are fabled as the “ultimate” dog, and she really is.  The idea that she’s a senior is just so foreign.  She’s still my “baby girl”.  She’s still that ultimate hunter and protector – the perfect dog.

Brandibuck is 12.  Boy, she and I have weathered a lot of storms.  She was my Service Dog for a number of years.  I retired her officially at 8.  She was ready to just be a pet, she didn’t want to deal with stores and people, and traffic, and crowds any more.  Now she just has to patrol the yard…  keeping everyone in line.  She’s always been a momma dog.  Keeping the unruly puppies in check.  She’s what we call a gentle alpha, though the last year or so she’s kinda let the alpha part slip (allowing Thora to step in).  She’s always been a bit of a princess too – unless she’s rolling in the dirt and mud.  Good grief.  I wonder how I ever kept her in show coat.  Oh right!  I used to brush her long locks every day.  I enjoyed it too, she mostly just tolerated it.  I think she was relieved when I finally relented and clipped her down.  My funny little Havanese…  my little Neezer.

Sweets.  Well…  Caesar.  He hasn’t been with us that long.  But like I’ve mentioned, we’re kinda suckers for an old dog.  CZ came here for his “last hurrah” – to breed to a couple of girls.  It didn’t take long for us to realize he wasn’t going anywhere, that at 11 he’d found his forever home.  He’s very much the king of the castle here.  The girls all pander to him (except Thora, who’s top dog, and she mostly lets him do his own thing) and the people all dote on him, heck even the cat – who avoids all the other dogs – will love him up.  He’s one seriously spoiled old dood.  And he really is the sweetest little old man Chi, which is why I’ve dubbed him Sweets (and yes, it’s a nod to Bones as well).  We’re quite happy he chose us as his family.

So there we are.  Three old dogs.  One who joined our family when she was two, one at three months, and one at 11 – yet all are within a year of one another.  I can’t imagine how our hearts will fare when they begin to say goodbye.  I truly hope it’s a long, long ways away.

 

one of our wedding photos, with three of our dogs

Our wedding in 2006; with Thora, Brandibuck, and Nico (now at the Rainbow Bridge).

You can meet some of our dogs here:  http://www.dogster.com/family/373333  But it’s a few years out of date.  Guess it’s time to think about updating it (especially seeing how half our dog aren’t even there).  😉

A one-two punch for the ear troll!

With thanks to a lovely woman I met through Saskamoon and her gift of breast milk, thanks to the doctor at the mediclinic for his prescription of novamoxin, and thanks to Dr. Shaun and his amazing organic ear wash I should hopefully be all better very soon.  My head still feels like there is a nasty little troll living in my inner ear, but it’s better than it was last night.  So – knock on wood – I should be all good in time for my photo shoots later this week.  Thankfully the beginning of the week was blessedly unscheduled and will be uneventful as I recover from this ear infection.

So… two things you ALL should know about.

One:  The power of breast milk!

Seriously!  Any time anything goes wrong, find a friend who is still actively engaged in a nursing relationship.  Breast milk is amazing for curing almost anything.  In this instance?  An ear infection.  Just a few drops in the ear a few times a day.  Let it woosh around in there a bit, and voila!

Two:  The awesome organic ear wash from Dr. Shawn!

Dr. Shawn's Herbal Ear Wash - for pets AND people

Dr. Shawn’s Herbal Ear Wash: made for pets, used by people!

This stuff was part of a parcel I received from Dr. Shawn for a review I did elsewhere two or three years ago now.  And I have ensured I’ve never been without it since.  Yes, it’s formulated for dogs, but so what!  It’s totally amazing stuff full of wonderful organic oils (like peppermint, tea tree, jojoba, eucalyptus, and a bunch more).  A few drops in the ear, squish it around, let it sit (it feels so nice when it’s in a sore, infected ear canal), then wipe it out.  Use as needed – I’m doing it a few times a day presently.  Click on the image above to visit Dr. Shawn’s website!

So…  I’m pretty sure that any ONE of these things would take out this ear bug, but I have no intention of having it take a week or more to get on it’s way out.  LOL  So I figure by doing all three?  I should be delivering a one two punch that knocks it on it’s proverbial ass, then kicks it once for good measure after it’s down.  Wish me luck!

 

Steve Dale and Cesar Millan: Whispers and Screams

For those of you who have talked dogs with me in the past (I’m fluent in canine body language, and a former professional trainer and behaviour specialist) you know how I feel about Cesar Millan – the “dog screamer”.  I’ve written articles encouraging dog folk to look elsewhere for answers to their canine dilemmas, and warned against the dangers of following this man’s advice.  I have nothing against the man personally, but I do have something against any method that harms dogs and puts negative pressure on the bond between dog and their trusted people.

So, today a fellow dog writer (and someone whom I’ve come to consider a friend over a number of years – we met online as fellow DWAA members) blogged about Cesar.  Seems he sent a rather harsh message to Steve, and just as he screams rather than whispers with dogs, it appears he communicates in much the same way with people.

Cesar Millan telling off Steve Dale

Cesar Millan and his anything-but-whispered communication style.

 

 

Some years ago now, I was sent a copy of Cesar’s three DVD training program to be reviewed for my website Nose Licks & Tail Wags – where I used to actively post articles on training and communicating with dogs.  The fact of the matter was that his assault on the dogs in the video (on one in particular) was so mortifying that it brought me to tears.  And this was before the hormonal shifts of pregnancy, these days it doesn’t take much to move me to tears, but back then?  It was an incredibly rare occurrence.

Dogs are experts at body language.  You can be extremely subdued, and they’ll read you loud and clear.  Heck, I’ve trained my dogs to respond to cues as subtle as the direction of eye movement.  The smallest gesture holds a world of meaning to a dog.  And Millan?  He’s about a subtle as a bull moose charging through your living room.

Whether or not you want to hear it, the man is a bully, and his methods are dangerous.  Using his techniques you could quickly and easily turn a timid dog into an aggressive one.  Dogs will only be backed so far into a corner before they’ll attempt to protect themselves.  And what do people do when that happens?  They ditch “fido” at the shelter where he is put to sleep as a dangerous dog.  Shelters can’t place a dog with a bite history, the liability is too great.

So yeah.  Think about the image of him above, next time you’re thinking of following some of his advice.  If you’re comfortable saying “F you” to your dog, then his methods may be for you… but if you love your dog?  I’d recommend heading over to http://www.noselicks.com instead.  The advice is free, and your dog will thank you for it.

And if you want to read what Steve had to say about the screamer flipping him off, head over here:  http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2012/06/cesar-millans-dutch-response-piep-you-steve-dale/

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