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!