Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bentley: On the Road, part 1

If you read Small Simple Things then you know that recently Bentley and I headed out for a "Me Day" in Fredericksburg, Texas.  I wanted a day to enjoy the small town's holiday spirit and since I've seen dogs strolling along in their historic district I was fairly sure it is a dog friendly town - and it is! I love taking a dog along with me whenever possible and I do enjoy their company, so I decided to give this day trip a try and included Bentley in my plans.

Bentley's day didn't start off too hot.  Look at those eyes, they say it all!  "MOM, why am I over here in this seat?  How could you do this to me, I'm your little Mama-boy. I always ride over there with you".  

Yes, I finally bought a doggie car harness after much researching and comparing.  I had ruled out one of the doggie bed types since my dogs don't care to snuggle down into those little beds, plus it is too warm here most of the time and that type of carrier would not work in the heat.  So I opted with a fairly inexpensive harness from PetsMart.  My theory was try it and see how it works for the dog and me; then, if it works later on invest in a more expensive model.  It was easy enough to put on him and it is soft so it won't chafe him.  I snapped him right into the car, much to his horror.  However, I did notice that the lap belt was off the seat and I wasn't sure how comfortable that would be for him.  I also wasn't sure about how the harness attached to the seat belt; it just didn't look right to me. He did okay on the ride and didn't seem to mind the lap belt.  He did bunch up the towel I had put down and then laid down.  And oh yes, I quickly decided it was best to not make eye contact with him for a while!

The enlightenment about this harness came as we were getting ready to come home.  I had stopped to make a few pictures and left him in the car while I stepped just a few feet away to get the shots.  I ended up crossing the street to get the picture I wanted, but I could see him the entire time.  When I got back into the car I realized that he was very much tangled up and twisted up in the seat belt.  To get him loose I had to come to his side of the car and open the door.  I finally ended up getting him out of the harness and then untangling it all.  At that point I realized that the clip attachment I had looked at at PetsMart when I bought the harness was what I needed to attach the harness to the seat belt correctly.  They don't tell you that you need both of them!  So, lucky little boy rode home on my lap; and we stopped on the way home and got the clip.  He may not be happy in the passenger seat, but he is safer and a little more comfortable.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The shy, quiet one

Just because I didn't post for a while doesn't mean we didn't have any excitement around our house - it is non-stop and if you have dogs then you know what I mean!

Just like with children, it is the shy, quiet one that you have to watch.  In this case, it is Baylee that I'm learning to watch very carefully.  She is exquisitely beautiful, but a little naughty and has a few little surprising characteristics. Here are a few of her little escapades:

First, remember her little encounter with Shadow when there was some bloodshed? (Read that story here) Well, we had a repeat of that several weeks ago.  I was in the back of the house and heard the yipping start and I knew they had a cat cornered.  As I moved down the hall I heard the cat screaming and hurried to find and rescue the cat.  When I got into the kitchen all I saw was poor Shadow on her back, writhing around and screaming for her life.  Baylee had her by the neck and was not letting go.  I clapped my hands and made enough distraction that Baylee let go and Shadow headed to my bedroom and safety under the bed (the dogs haven't figured out that they could go under the bed, strange).  When I pulled her out a few minutes later she was okay and there was no blood this time, only a very wet neck.  Poor cat, but I'm glad I was there to rescue her.

The next excitement came one afternoon as I was preparing to take them to the "resort" to board.  The boys were still outside, so I decided to get the girls hitched up first.  I snapped Blossom's collar on and reached for Baylee's harness and then Bam! Baylee and Blossom were in a huge girl-dog-fight.  It was serious and I realized that I had nothing to put between them and was afraid that by the time I could get to the broom and get back it might be too late.  I stamped my foot and yelled at them and they broke up.  Goodness, gracious, Baylee what got into you...and about that time she went after Blossom again.  This time she had raised the red flag and wasn't backing off, she was fierce and almost crazy.  She had grabbed Blossom's ear and was shaking her and dragging her across the floor.  Blossom was helpless and unable to defend herself since her head was immobilized.  This time I figured that neither of them could bite me, so I grabbed Blossom's hind quarters and lifted her up while pushing Baylee away.  It worked and this time I kept Blossom in my arms.  Poor little thing, her heart was just pounding.  Her Mama gave her lots of cuddling and reassurance!  I let the boys in the house and then put her down, not sure what Baylee would do.  I think Baylee was really sorry because she very gently nuzzled Blossom as if to give a doggie apology!

Baylee also had a night adventure one night.  It was around 9 p.m. and I put the dogs out for a potty break.  When I let them back in there were only 3 dogs, no Baylee.  Sometimes one of them gets delayed in the yard, so I wasn't too worried.  When she didn't come up to the door I started checking the yard with a flashlight.  But no Baylee.  Where could she be?  Then I remembered to check the "escape hatch" on the fence where they had gotten into the neighbor's yard before (I really need to fix this, I know!).  Sure enough, she had gone visiting!  Since I had already taken a bath and had my pajamas and robe on and because I knew that my neighbor's hubby works until late at night and she might not answer the door I decided to just see if Baylee would come back under on her own rather than going next door to retrieve her. Several minutes later she did appear at the door as if nothing had ever happened.  Silly dog!

The latest escapade was just flat gross and disgusting.  I will not detail any of it except to say that I didn't notice when she brought a squirrel into the house and proceeded to start eating it in the living room.  I was pre-occupied with a little project and just didn't notice what was going on until it was already going.  So now I'm doing a mouth check at the door!  And, yes she did have serious gastrointestinal issues for quite a while.  Based on her fierceness with Shadow and Blossom I have no doubt that she had killed the squirrel, probably after it fell into the yard.  UGH!

So, that concludes the recent excitement caused by the shy, quiet one.  Don't let those sweet brown eyes fool you, this little girl's a lively one and has a few surprise characteristics!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Where oh where have the little dogs gone?

This empty crate is a little like this blog, empty!  But don't worry, we are still here and just like the crate will soon be full again.  It seems there is always something going on in the doxie world of wagging tails, but just no time to write it all down.  So, after this small vacation we will get the blog going again. 

Hey Ma, quit making pictures and get us out of this crate!  We've been at the "doggie resort" for 4 nights and we need to get outta here and on the sofa for a nap!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Good Luck Jelly!

If you read this blog regularly then you may remember the post about the adoption of Jelly  by my daughter and grandson.  She was a stray that was found roaming in a park across town along with what was presumed to be her litter mate. A local organization was sponsoring an adoption event and Jaydon just fell in love with her, so into their lives she came.

Jelly was very happy and seemed to fit into their home very well, at least for a while.  The problems started when she grew tired of being left alone while they went to work and school.  She is very much a people dog and needs companionship.  After destroying the inside of the house several times my daughter decided that while they were gone from home Jelly would have to stay outside.  She had the perfect place to leave her outside – a large covered patio with shade and protection from the occasional rain shower we get here and a nice fenced yard with enough room to run and play.  That worked well, for a while.  Then their time away from home increased and Jelly wasn’t happy.  So she began to dig holes under the fence and wiggle through to escape into the neighborhood.  Not a good plan, Jelly.
So, she came over to stay at my house until a suitable new home could be found for her.  She enjoyed the company of my four little low-riders, but it was different having that fifth dog in my house, especially a big dog!
We knew that we had to find the exact, perfect home for her.  So we sent out e-mails, posted on Facebook, and my daughter advertised through her company’s classified ads. At first there was nothing except polite inquiries and good wishes.  It was discouraging, but we knew that the right person(s) would come to give Jelly the forever home that she needed.  We could not even consider a shelter because of the fact that she had already been bounced around too much; plus, we knew that she is a good, sweet dog and just needed help to find the right home.
As silly as this may sound, we prayed for Jelly to find that home.  God answers prayers for dogs as well as people.  Last Friday my daughter had an inquiry and the folks came by to look at her and agreed that she was the right dog for them.  We agreed that they were the right people for her.  They live in Fort Stockton (way out in west Texas) with property, have another dog, and one of them stayed at home during the day.  Perfect!
Jelly took right to them, giving them her big hugs and licking their hands.  When they picked her up on Saturday afternoon I said good bye and she walked down the driveway, just like she was ready for her new life.  I was relieved because my dogs would never have left me to go somewhere with unknown people.
I’m sure that this happens fairly often.  You adopt a dog knowing nothing about it and then it is not the right match for you and your family.  I’m glad that we were able to do the right thing for Jelly and get her into a home where she will have the companionship that she needs. 
Having five dogs, one of which was large, was interesting, but it was only for about a week and a half.  During this time I realized that while I have always thought I could never foster a dog (I would get too attached, I thought) I now think I could and may try sometime in the future to do so.  There are several dachshund rescue organizations in our area and I know they need foster doggie parents. If you know that the dog is only staying with you temporarily, then you care for it and give it affection but you do not bond with it.  This is exactly what I did with Jelly because I knew I could not keep her permanently; she was loved and cared for and I enjoyed her sweet company, but I did not let myself get attached to her.  I knew that was to be saved for someone else.

So, Good Luck Jelly!  We will miss you, but know that you are on your way to a long, happy doggie life in west Texas!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Time to loose the weight!

Week 1
Sawyer is overweight.  The last time I had him weighed he weighed just over 19 pounds.  When he had his check up in May the vet wasn't too concerned; he said that Sawyer could loose a pound or two.  But I think he needs to loose a little more.

I've been telling myself that we need to get out and start walking again and stick to the plan, make it a habit like it used to be.  Even with the cooler weather I have just put it off.  Until now.  On Sunday afternoon Sawyer went in the kitchen and laid down by himself.  I thought that was odd since he is usually close to where I am.  Later I noticed he was scratching, and knowing that he does not have fleas I decided to check him over.  I suspected that he had a sticker or debris caught in his fur or that he had a little ouw-wee.  I stood him on his hind legs to get a good look at his underside and that's when I realized that we had a problem.  His tummy looked like a sausage that was about to pop, much like a small puppy's stomach only bigger.  That, plus the way he had laid around all afternoon concerned me.

Yesterday as soon as I got home from work I changed clothes and we were out the door, no excuses.  I made sure to check the time on my phone as we left since I wanted to time our walk.  Normally I would walk about 40-45 minutes, but with his weight and not being conditioned I knew I had to watch him and the time.

As usual he was out the door and at the end of the leash, ready to go.  I let him lead for a while and then settled us into a brisk walk.  Of course, he wanted to stop and smell everything, but we had to keep moving.  When he started to slow down and drag behind I checked the time:  10 minutes.  I decided to walk a bit more before turning around to head home, but within a minute he was really slow.  Time to  head home.  Our total walk time was 17 minutes.  After a cool down on the deck and some water he laid down.  I've always been told that if a dog lays down after a walk then they have had a sufficient amount of exercise. 

Tonight I followed the same routine; however, he seemed to settle into the brisk walk quicker and kept the pace going steadily.  I walked a different route, as is my habit, and noticed that after 10 minutes he was still on a good pace.  I kept us going for a few more minutes and then we were heading home.  Total walk time was 23 minutes and he never dragged behind.  I'm going to let him set the time frame until we can get back to our normal walk time.

I was reading through a little magazine that I get from our vet and there was an article about dog weight.  It recommended taking a 15-minute brisk walk each during the week and then a 45 minute walk on the weekends that was a little more leisurely.  I think that is good advice, but feel like we can do more than 15-minutes. But that suggestion helped me to realize that a short walk is better than no walk.

Sawyer was 14 months old in this picture and still at that somewhat awkward stage, but see the difference?  I had found this picture Sunday night after seeing his little about-to-burst-belly and it helped me get motivated with his weight loss plan!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chow line

These puppies don't normally line up like this to eat!  This afternoon as I was re-arranging the canned goods in the cabinet I found a can of store-brand green beans and remembered that I had not fed any veggies to the dogs in quite a while.  What a treat!  I put the bowls down in a row and they all buried their noses in the bowl.

Normally they will either ignore the food for a while or one or two of them will eat. There is also usually some rotation from bowl to bowl. I've never had dogs that are so uninterested in food and don't care what time I feed them.  All it takes is just a little motivation in the form of human food!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Out and about

I took off today so I would have a nice, long weekend.  My plans were to do a few catch up things and then have lunch at one of my favorite lunch-only spots and head to the downtown library to do research.  Since one of the catch up things was to take Bentley by the vet's office for bordetella and Trifexis refill and the other things were places he could go, I decided to take him out and about.  I love taking the dogs to places and plan to do this more.  Obviously, I would not take them to a restaurant or grocery store and would be respectful of any business with a "no dogs allowed" sign.

The staff at the vet laughed when I told them that as I turned the corner onto their street that Bentley let out a big whine!  I don't really think he knew where we were, but then again maybe he did.  He had to be carried into the back for the nose drops, but quickly came back wagging his tail.  I'm sure he was relieved that this was an easy visit!

Then we headed to get the oil changed in the car.  Since I knew we had time I walked him a little before heading into the waiting area.  There was plenty of grass and landscaping, but I choose to walk down a little strip center to a grassy area at the end.  Bentley smelled around and then proceeded to roll all in the part grass part weeds.
First it was just his face
Then it was a full doggie roll, over and over!
At first I thought there was something gross in the grass that he was rolling on, but I couldn't see anything.  After he had rolled for several minutes it did occur to me that there might be stickers in the weeds.  And there were a few caught in his leg hairs that I had to pull out; I did not want them going home to my yard with us!

We walked back toward the oil change place and stopped again for a bit.  I was using the not-so-great-camera on the smart phone and was very surprised when I got home and looked at the next picture.  It was great, not sure how that happened.
We went in the waiting area and Bentley sat in my lap and then got down in the floor.  He never barked at anyone and was a perfect canine citizen.  Then I headed over to the tire place to get the tires rotated.  It is along a busy freeway and he never flinched about the traffic roaring by as they checked the tires.  As we walked in a man asked what my dog's name was. His next questions were "Does Bentley bite" and if he could pet him.  Of course, as I love for people to pet Bentley as that is a great socialization technique.  I was quite surprised when Bentley, although slowly, went forward to man's outstretched hand! Normally he is shy around men and I'm always worried when we show to a male judge. I told the stranger that I could tell he was a dog person and then we both laughed when he made the oft repeated comment about liking dogs more than some of the people he knew!

The tire rotation took about 40 minutes, but Bentley waited like a little gentleman.  He sat in my lap and then wanted down in the floor. 
Mom, can't you tell I'm tired?  Can we go now?
Finally, he laid down and closed his eyes for a little nap.  Oh, the life of a little dachshund boy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do you collect dachshund?

Yes, I collect dachshund.  I have four real-live-tail-wagging-barking dachshunds and I have a collection of dachshund!

On the fridge

Also on the fridge
Hanging around
A cookie cutter that usually sits in the kitchen window.  I know, it's dusty, but I don't bake cookies so no worries.
Traveling companions - always well behaved!
Isn't this the truth!
What else do I have?  I have a beautiful wall calendar hanging in my sewing room that features long-haired dachshunds and a bone shaped magnet on the back of the car that says it all:  "I Love My Dogs"! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

We were on television!

Howl-o everyone!  This post is being written by the Four Amigos because we are so excited. We were on the 10 p.m. news last Saturday night!  Yes, that's right our picture was on the news!  Our human Mama had sent our picture to Katie Vossler who shares viewers pet pictures before she does the weekend weather forecast.  And, guess what...we were on television! 

Click on the link and you can see the clip with all the cute pet pictures, but you have to wait to the end to see us.  We were the "Daily Dose of Doxie"!  Our Mama had a lot of people tell her at church that they saw us and she's been getting our "fan e-mails" today.  We think it is a big deal to be on television, but we think our Mama is even more excited!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baylee's Sunday Outing

Last Sunday I did something different, I took Baylee and my camera and headed out for an early morning walk at one of the local places that I love.  I posted about this on Small Simple Things so I won't put the details here, but I do have to share some of the pictures of my beautiful Baylee.
Even when she's un-groomed and the wind is fluffing her ears, I think this little girl is gorgeous!
 She is so calm and easy-going and didn't mind posing for pictures!
The morning was cool, but it was hard to catch her without her tongue hanging out!  All that fur makes her hot.
So, what was she staring at?  Answer:  A big, black dog!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dachshund tails at the dog show

I know I've neglected this little blog and Instagram terribly, but I'm finishing up school and then will be back in the posting swing full blast! 

I did show Bentley last weekend in a local show.  He did okay in the ring, but was the only dog in his class and came in second in winners dog competition.  I wasn't disappointed, and felt good about how we both did.  I learn something every time I go to a dog show, and this time it was about grooming.  Since I'm trying to learn more about grooming it was good to observe how each dog was groomed, especially the feet.

Here's what a little guy does after a dog show - crash with your BFF Foxie!
I'm having a dilemma about whether to give up on the conformation showing and leap into obedience or to stick with it.  I think my dilemma is partially solved after being at the Houston dog show series this weekend.  Read on.

Yesterday I got to steward at the ring where the long-haired dachshunds were showing, first time ever and I was so excited!  I was also excited when I opened up the catalog and the first puppy in the ring was one that belongs to Kelly at Splendor Farms where I got all four of my dogs.  

Isn't this big guy handsome?

Best of Variety competition
No, this is not Bentley, but it could be him.  This dog had his championship and was competing as a special, yes, there is hope for Bentley!
The dog on the left would win Best of Variety!  I've competed with him at several shows and he always wins, he is beautiful! 
After seeing these dogs and the one that looked like Bentley, I've decided to stick with it a little bit longer.  He is a good looking dog, and I noticed that some of these dogs also seemed to have a little dip in their back, so that may not be a flaw.  I need to work on his grooming and my handling to make sure that I feel confident so he is too.  We are not giving up!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shaggy Dog?

Is this a shaggy dog?
I enjoy taking my dogs places, but don't take them out as much as I should.  With the arrival of Jelly and spending time doing things with her and her family I've realized just how much I enjoy outings with a dog.  So I've resolved to be more proactive with taking them (one at a time, please!) more places. 

When we are out I enjoy not only time with the dogs, but interacting with other people who notice the dogs.  I always welcome children who politely ask if they can pet my dog.  When some children have to be encouraged  I always tell them to feel how soft the dog's ear is and that will usually get them closer.  I also like for people to ask me what breed the dog is or to recognize the breed and tell me that they either have a dachshund or two or have had them in the past.

Last Sunday at the Lavender Festival interaction was good, but we had two memorable experiences.  One was having a little girl who had Downs Syndrome make a face of delight when she reached out to touch Bentley's ear!  She was maybe about 3 years old and in a stroller.  The adults with her had already petted him and I knew she wanted to pet him but was afraid. Just a little encouragement and she reached out to touch him; she was delighted and so were the adults!

The other experience gave me a laugh.  As I stepped into one of the vendor booths a man looked at Bentley and commented, "I've never seen a shaggy dachshund.  Is he a mixed breed?"  Ha ha LOL! Slightly amused and somewhat insulted, I replied that he was a long-haired miniature dachshund, a full blood registered dachshund.  Another lady in the booth had bent down and was petting Bentley; I don't remember exactly what she said but I could tell that she was familiar with the long-haired version of a short-legged-long-bodied-pointed-nose dachshund.  Yes, I know Bentley doesn't have the long flowing hair of a long-haired dachshund, but he is definitely not shaggy.  Hopefully, the next time this guy sees a dachshund he will remember that there is a long-haired version.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Getting Acquainted

In the last two weeks we've had two outings with Jelly so we can get acquainted.  After today's outing she even stayed here for a little while.  Although there was a lot of barking from my four, it went fairly well.  This group is a pack and view other dogs as intruders, so their behavior was to be expected.  With some talking (it's okay, be nice, make friends) and a lot of "Stop Barking!" while she was here we got acquainted.  Jelly is so sweet and easy going and she was a little intimidated by these little short guys!  But we gave her lots of love and reassurance while they were together.  I think in time they will all settle in nicely as friends.

Saturday before last Sawyer and I headed over to Stephanie's house.  We met up with her and Jelly (Jaydon was out of town) and went to a nearby park to walk the trails.  We are very fortunate because San Antonio has many parks and trails that go everywhere in those parks and sometimes even between; I think it is almost possible to walk from one side of town to the other!  We are looking forward to exploring many of them soon.
Jelly and Sawyer

We tried to get Jelly to drink out of the "Paws for Water" bottle, but she preferred to just drink from water poured into the cap!  We had a great walk and the two dogs got along well. 

Today we headed up to Blanco to the Lavender Festival.  Bentley and Jelly did real well together as we walked around (it was a great festival!).  Bentley is skiddish of other dogs; he's been jumped on a few times at dog shows and once at a training class.  Since Jelly is so calm that helped him not to be afraid of her.  Here they are with their leashes attached to the picnic bench where we ate lunch.  See the little pink square thing?  That is a collapsible water bowl that Stephanie brought along.  It worked great, although Jelly did step on it and there went the water! 

Afterward we stopped at Blanco State Park where there is a small damn on the Blanco River and an area for swimming.  Stephanie wanted to see what Jelly would do around water.  As it was there were a lot of people swimming and picnicking so it was not only populated but noisy.  She was very timid about it, but I think if they go back at a quieter time that she will be a typical Lab and head into the water with a little encouragement! (Just to note, the above picture was not made today.  Today we were across the river, on the other side by the concrete enclosure.  This is the same dam that I walked Sawyer across on a camping trip and thought I would never get across alive!).

Friday, June 6, 2014

Update on Blossom's teeth cleaning

After last night's post I think I need to give a little more information. I let Blossom sleep in the wire crate by herself last night.  I gave her a little kibble that was moistened slightly (per the vet's instruction) and water.  Both were untouched this morning. 

She was still spaced out this this morning, too.  She did go outside and was moving around, but I could tell that she was still not with it, so to speak.  The vet's office called to check on her mid-morning and told me that if she doesn't eat tonight and is still woozy tomorrow to bring her in, but I hope I don't have to.  This afternoon she is moving a little more, so I think it is just taking time for the anesthesia to wear off.  She's taking a nap in the sunny spot on the deck right now and looks very peaceful!

Her teeth were very corroded and they do look good now.  Good dental health is just as important for dogs as it is for people, but I'm not sure that I will do this again for the other dogs. I think I will add those little doggie toothbrushes into my grooming bag and try to form the faithful habit of brushing their teeth whenever they get a grooming.  It won't hurt and might help, too.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blossom's a little tired

(After you read this post please see An update on Blossom's teeth cleaning for a little more information and some further thoughts on teeth cleaning for dogs)
Why is Blossom in the crate?  Why is the little fireball curled up and so still?  It's because she's a little woozy tonight (notice the glassy eyes?).  She had her teeth cleaned today and is still feeling the effects of the anesthesia.  I've never had to have a dog's teeth cleaned, so this was a first for both of us!

She has had tartar build-up since she was about a year old.  When she and Sawyer went in for their 4-year checkup the vet felt that it is time to do a cleaning.  Of course, my question was, "how much does it cost," but that really didn't matter.  It had to be done, so today was the day.  I did pay extra for an OraVet treatment which is a plaque preventative.  I'm hoping that the combination of really clean teeth and this treatment will prevent the return of the serious tartar buildup.

I've never thought of Blossom and Sawyer as being bonded, but this morning when I picked her up to take to the vet Sawyer was already in the kitchen.  He began to softly whine, so I knew that he didn't want his little sister to leave!
The cleaning went well and she'll be fully awake in the morning, ready to boss the world around again!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


If you also read my other blog, Small Simple Things of Life, then you already know about Jelly.  But, since she is a dog and now my "Grand-dog" and this is my dog blog, in all fairness I have to introduce her here.  She is now officially part of our family! Click on the link above to read about her adoption and the unique experience of a young boy's bonding with his dog!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

EEEEEWWWWWWW! That's disgusting!

This morning, like every morning, the dogs were in the bathroom with me while I was getting ready for work (yes, it is a very small bathroom and they do leave me only a small place to stand) when I noticed something down between them.  Since I’ve been raking leaves and pulling up dead stuff in the yard and throwing it in with the leaves I just thought they had brought in a twisted root.  Until I picked it up and turned it over….it was a petrified frog!

EEEEEWWWWW!  They have brought in sticks to chew on before, but never a dead something or other.  I’ll have to start doing a mouth check when they come through the door and I'll make sure I have my glasses on before I pick up something in the floor!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How does he know?

Most Friday nights my oldest grandson spends the night with me.  I pick him up from school and then we just hang out.  Saturday mornings I usually make him a nice breakfast, unless we are headed out somewhere.  Lately he has wanted bacon and French Toast.  After the toast is done I've been scrambling 4 eggs, one for each dog, since everything is already out and the pan has to be cleaned anyway.  Just to note, scrambled eggs are the only prepared human food these babies get besides raw vegetables and occasional small bites of cheese.

Somehow, Sawyer has figured out this routine.  This morning even before I finished the French Toast he started barking; the bark that he uses every morning when I'm leaving and about to give them their doggie treat.  Bark, bark, bark, this morning.  I knew what he wanted!  As I whisked the eggs I told him to be patient, the eggs had to cook and cool before he got any.  But he just kept barking, barking, barking!

I'm not sure how Sawyer has figured this out, but he has.  The only thing I can figure is that he has associated the smell of the melting butter and the frying toast with his scrambled egg.  Smart dog!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Professional Photos

(If you're a regular reader then you know that I don't recommend products or services, but instead like to share good things that I've found.)

Late in March Bentley and I made a trip to Navasota for a dog show.  Chris Caviness had his photo booth set up by the ring that we showed in.  Unbeknownst to us, he snapped our picture while we were in the ring.  I stayed to watch the rest of the judging and while standing there Chris walked up beside us.  Bentley posed perfectly for him and he started clicking the shutter!

Photo by Chris Caviness, used by permission
A little while later I walked by Chris's booth and guess what he had on the monitor facing the show floor?  Yep, this handsome dachshund was looking at me.  I went to get my glasses and my wallet; I knew I wanted this picture!  This is my dog!

Photo by Chris Caviness, used by permission

Here he is on the table.  This judge totally threw us off because she had the table parallel to the entrance of the ring, rather than perpendicular like we have always had before.  I had groomed him very well after we arrived, but had run out of finishing spray so he looked like a fuzzy chicken, which didn't help us in the ring.

Photo by Chris Caviness, used by permission
Click on the link above and check out Chris's work.  I'll be looking for him at the future shows to make more pictures of the rest of the Wagging Tails!  Maybe Bentley, too.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Retractable leash

A while back I had purchased a retractable leash on a shopping trip to PetsMart.  It was one of those unplanned purchases; I had intended to buy one someday, but not that particular day.  Until I got in the store and it seemed like a good idea.

I have used a retractable leash before, so I'm familiar with how they are supposed to be used and how they work.  If you've read all the bad things about them, I have to say that I do not agree.  They work great; however, there are some rules.  First, the human has to be in control of the leash.  You've got to be aware of  your surroundings.  Is there a dog nearby or humans?  Are there a lot of cars?  What about those mailboxes that the dog can wrap the leash around?  I walk with my thumb on the retract button and I try to stay focused on our surroundings.  Second, you can't just turn the dog loose at full leash.  There are those mailboxes and your legs that they tend to tangle up with the leash.  And, unless you are on a deserted trail there are too many distractions around.  Plus if the leash is fully extended and you have to retract quickly there may not be time.  That leads to another rule:  you've got to know how to control the retracting so you can "reel in" the dog quickly if needed.

Shop carefully and make sure that the brand you pick will fit comfortably in your hand.  I tried several in the store (there were boxes open as well as demo ones to try).  I liked the way that this one felt in my hand and the fact that the retract button was placed on top of the device.  The Kong brand was boxed up securely and there was no way to try it, but I didn't like the way it looked anyway and felt it would not be comfortable (they do make one that has a poop-bag dispenser which would be handy).  Another brand had the retract button in a little hole that your finger slipped through; no way that would work for me if I needed to take quick action.  Also, they do come in dog appropriate sizes and lengths.

I only use it on Sawyer when we walk by ourselves.  Most of the time I keep it fairly short as I want him to walk for exercise benefit and not do the hound-dog-nose-to-the-ground snooping routine.  If there is no one around and he wants to run ahead then I let him zoom on.  But I've learned not to give him the lead and then pass him up if he stops to snoop.  That's where he will wrap around a mailbox, fire hydrant, street sign, etc.! I also had an episode last week where I wasn't paying attention and we were charged at by two dogs.  I was trying to quickly get him close to me while telling the two dogs to get away.  Fortunately, they knew commands and their owner (who was several houses away) called them.  Thank goodness for dogs that take commands, they headed home.  A few minutes later a pick-up truck passed us with the dogs hanging out the windows, so I guess they escaped while loading up for a little ride! I suspect that they really just wanted to play and weren't going to attack.

I also advise walking with one of these no matter what kind of leash you use.  I have a nice one that is about 3 feet long that I normally use, but I picked this one up out of the yard several nights ago when I forgot the regular stick.  They come in handy for scaring off other dogs (beat it on the street for a distracting noise) and for giving your own dog a gentle nudge when they need it! Happy Walking!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to relax

Had to get this with the not so great iphone camera, but the message is still there.  This boy knows how to be a sofa sleeper! (and, yes, that is the nasty oak pollen stuck in his fur!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There's something wrong here...or is there?

Why am I standing here, under the overhang of the house, in the dark, at 10 o'clock at night?

Because it is lightly raining and the only way I can get the dogs outside to take care of their doggie business is to go outside with them.  So, here I stand.

But, that's okay.  It is peaceful to stand here in the silence of the night and hear the light drip, drip, drip of the rain dripping off the roof and the trees. How different my life was before I had these little ones, I missed out on moments like this.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sawyer's Sunday Outing

The first full weekend of every April the Starving Artists Show is held downtown on the grounds of historic La Villita. I love our downtown and I love this delightful show that features local artists and artisans.  It is fun to stroll through the little village and shop for treasures.  Today after church I decided that even though it was misting and drizzling a bit that I would head down there for a little while.  Family members were busy elsewhere, so it was just going to be me.  Then I decided to put the doggie stroller in the car and take Baylee.  But that was not to be.  I don't know how he knew what was happening, but as I put up the doggie gate I realized that Sawyer was standing by the door into the garage and was whining very softly.  Looking at me with those sweet loving eyes, wagging his tail.  I knew he had to go instead.
I made today's pictures with my purse camera using basically one hand since the other one was holding the retractable leash with a dog pulling on it!

Sawyer had no problems with the elevator in the parking garage, his first elevator ride.  It wasn't until we were waiting to cross the first street that I realized that this was a very different adventure for him.  He is used to walks in the park or neighborhood or in the State Parks that we've visited.  But Sawyer didn't seem to mind the traffic noise or the different environment.  He just wanted to walk and as soon as the light changed he trotted right across the street!

I did realize how different he is from Bentley.  Bentley is used to shopping at the dog shows and will wait patiently as I look at things.  Sawyer was good, but he was ready to keep moving and I would have to reassure him that we would be soon.  He also kept wanting to walk on either side of me and I would have to turn him around to keep him on my left. 

He made many new friends, too.  So many people stopped me to ask what kind of dog he is, his name, and his age.  Several people commented on how good he was with the children (he did lick them and I always warned the adults!).  I think half of the people I talked to either have a dachshund or had one in the past; several commented that they had never seen a long-haired dachshund!  Everyone thought he was beautiful!
He is a good looking dog, if I do say so!

After I finally finished shopping at the show I slipped into the Arneson River Theater for a few minutes.  I loosened the retractable leash and sat down on the top step of the theater.  It was such a peaceful day and the river was not crowded.  I wished that I wasn't wearing boots (it was wet when I left and didn't want to have wet feet) so we could stroll the river walk for a while.  Instead I opted for a few quiet minutes and a little photo shoot.
This was the only picture I managed to get of both the Arneson River Theater and Sawyer!  Isn't the river beautiful?

Sawyer's first trip downtown was a success!  He enjoyed himself, even when he had to wait on me to shop!  He got in a lot of socializing, too.  Plus, he was good publicity for dachshunds and for polite doggie behavior in public places!