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Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Memories- BFF's Zappa and Fiona

There was a very special bond between Zappa and Fiona that is still stronger than steel.  When litter had left the nest, they were glad to have each other.

 I'll always watch over you little Sis.


And I will protect you Big Brother.
                                                               

     I may get a little crazy, now and then.
But just remember,
                                       

You'll always be my very best friend!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh, to be a Dog!

Have you ever really witnessed the joy of a dog when they are running?  The freedom of zooming at speeds you could never dream of?  The thrill of leaping, jumping, twisting and bounding forward in a heartbeat.

I have always wanted to be a dog and know that feeling of effortlessness of movement.  Being able to run free on a whim.  No thinking or training involved, just being able to take off when you wanted to.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  There's has got to be nothing better than running at breakneck speeds with such grace and ease.  When you think about it, it almost cruel to slow them down to our speeds.  There is nothing better than watching dogs play, with moves that out champion any athlete.  The agility and flexibility of being able to bend and twist on a dime with so few injuries coupled with an energy that would makes us millionaires if we could bottle it up.  It is a beautiful thing watching dogs run and play with such spirit and freedom.  Oh, what I wouldn't give to be a dog.  Until then I am blessed to live vicariously through them. 

video
 Here is a taste of that freedom with Silver and the boys.  Fiona was gone with Daddy, so Silver was lapping up the attention!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

We Are Still Walking!

I started last December to work with Chance on pulling while leash walking.  Chance is trained to pull sleds and bikes and thinks pulling on a leash is the same thing.  While it was comical and I got a good laugh out of it, being jerked and pulled on a regular basis was no fun.  So I began by walking him around the yard in a heel position.  Taught him to walk out of the gate, not shoot out of it, until we reached the end of the driveway, then the road.  I kept him in the heel position, teaching him turns and constantly changing directions.  Stopping each time he pulls and waiting for him to sit and make eye contact before continuing.  I only let him on a loose leash every so often along the way to stop and sniff.  This where I left you last and we were having great success.

I wanted to incorporate loose leash walking, but was waiting for the opportunity.  The other day, I tested it out on him with great success.  The dog that used to yank me left and right and drag me around, was staying within his end of the leash!  It was a miracle!  So I went back and forth throughout our last couple of walks between the heel position and loose leash walking.  He did fantastic!  There were still small pulls and tugs, but nothing compared to our pre-training walks.  Chance is also teaching me grave amounts of patience.  When he pulls I stop and wait for him to sit and make eye contact.  Not just a quick wavier, but a connection, this tells me he is ready for my instruction.  The scents he is after may have total control of his brain and it takes him a few minutes for him to come back into focus.  And I found, I have time.  I'm not going anywhere without him, so I've been giving him that time to readjust and that we aren't moving in any direction until he's fully engaged with me.  This is quite a revelation for me as walking has always been about getting from point A to B.  I also have accepted that turning around and changing directions is also part of our walks.  No matter how much the neighbors laugh at me.  This acceptance has made our entire walking experience much more relaxed and enjoyable.  I am loving it.

 

On our walk tonight, I stepped up the challenge a little more by walking in a heel position through a wooded trail.  I had tried this earlier in training and it was something Chance was up to yet.  Today he flew through it with flying colors.  He was spectacular.  This whole experience have given me a sense of freedom with walking Chance.  I have been testing him, but he is also testing me.  It is the longest I have went with any sense of consistency.  He knows what to expect and understands what I am asking of him, because I asking the same thing every time.  What a difference!  I am seeing improvement with both of us and there is a real feeling of accomplishment.  My husband's way of walking Chance doesn't seem to having any effect on his walking with me.  BONUS!! 

I thought for sure the last time I tried and failed at these attempts of walking Chance, that was it.  I was never going to try again.  I was doomed trying to keep my arm in one piece every time I walked him.  I think sometimes it is all about timing.  I have found this in many areas with my dogs about training that I have tried over and over.  Sometimes the timing just isn't right, whether it be for them and for me, but when you finally click together is one of the best feelings in the world!  Now that Chance is such a great walking companion, I don't want to even think about walking the other five who are all in desperate need of the same training.  LOL  I can't even imagine all the challenges that are awaiting me for the next few years...except that some day it will all be worth it!     

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Few PET Peeves

Having eight animals in the house at the same time entitles me to have some pet peeves and a reason to vent.  Six dogs and two cats is enough some days to send me over the top.  Well, I've had all I can take and I'm laying down the law.  And it's about time!

1.  Any dog that chews on another remote will be sentenced to becoming our personal slave for manually turning the TV on and off, changing channels and adjusting the volume to our desire.  All of this will be done without the luxury of treats.  That's right.  You heard me.   And for your information, Fiona and Blaze  the 'remote fairy' does not exist!



2.  For any dog going in or out you will all be entering and exiting at the same time.  I am not your personal door person for this intermittent parade that you continue to put on.  If I have to miss one more twist on Law and Order because of getting up and down to let you in or out individually you will all be tied together on one line.  That way you can all go out and come in at the same time.  And we all know, nobody wants to be THAT close to Brut!


3.  The fact that we have a dirt yard does not give you permission to roll in as much dirt as possible to bring in and leave on my bed.  That's right MY bed.  Are you back talking me Zappa?  The fact that the bed is left unmade all day isn't the issue!  Opposable thumbs or not the next one who showers my bed with dirt will learn how to use hand held vacuum to clean my bed every night.  ALONG with washing all your pack mates paws and will receive a BATH!  And here's the real kicker,  A BATH, WITH THE USE OF THE HAIR DRYER!!  You have escaped this horror of machines many times, but this time you will be blasted!!

And this is only the beginning...HeHeHeHe

   

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Zappa Roars!


Zappa has always been Daddy's dog and Brut has always been mine.  With Daddy walking the dogs on a regular basis, Brut has taken to possessing Daddy which gives me an opportunity to give Zappa some extra attention that he has been missing out on. 

The bond between Zappa and I is sort of under the table.  We are like a couple of spies stealing time throughout the day.   We are having more eye contact as has decided in the last few months to start mouthing off to Brut at random moments.  Once we connect he begins to settle down.  Zappa can't seem to get over the fact that he isn't top dog but likes to act like he is.

We took a walk today and we had a blast.  When Zappa is walking with Daddy, he is more relaxed, bouncing side to side on the leash, but with me he is all business.  We have a mission.  Getting from point A to point B and back around again.  We walk swiftly and with a purpose.  There's no messing around when we are together.  There is serious concentration happening here and focus.  He had me busting up at the difference in the walks as he picked up speed on a scent and I tried to stay up with him.  I hadn't thought of it until now, but he reminded me of Chance and his work ethics attitude.  Just give him a job and he will execute.

He still brings smile to my face as this dopey eyed dog, so sweet and loving can become like a lion when given the chance to show himself.  All he needs is the right opportunity and then WATCH OUT!!

ROAR!!
         

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comments on Monday Memories-Regret

Can you believe the great blogging friends we have Blaze?

I would really like to thank everyone for their comments for yesterdays post about my regret for not acting on Blaze's instincts and without knowing it sent her to an abusive home, until we got a call for her return. 

I know that there was no way of knowing even with the best screening, but what struck me the most were your comments about the follow ups we did with each of the dogs and how that was probably the reason these owners called us to return Blaze and Chance.  My husband has told me the same thing a hundred times, but I just couldn't see it.  (besides the fact it was coming from him.  LOL)  But you all said the same thing as I repeated the story.  That made it powerful.  Visiting the dogs their first year was part of our contract with the new owners.  It was important to us to see how the dogs were adjusting, how the families were handling things and most important to know if anything was ever wrong they always had a place to come back to.  We believed in that 100% and it looks like we are not alone.  We had watched these little puppies be born.  We had nurtured and cared for them as if they were our own children.  We just couldn't drop them in strangers hands and never know what happened to them or how they were doing.  It also helped us in letting go of them to their new owners.  We had become quite attached to all of the puppies and if it were up to my husband we would have never given a single one up.  :)

I wrote up little puppy book for each owner containing things like when their shots were due, their feeding schedules and amounts and basic things about owning a puppy for the first time.  I had cards of each puppy with a photo of the owner's puppy at four weeks old and a little birth certificate.  As the litter got smaller and smaller, it became more difficult letting them go.  Ten puppies reduced to about four in a matter of three weeks was significant.  It was more relief on my part, as I had done most of the care, but my husband had a very traumatic time with it as his work schedule suddenly increased just after the puppies were born.  It was a very trying time for him.  So when we were able to visit, it helped both of us with the adjustment of the puppies being gone.  Most of the puppies were doing fine including Chance and Blaze.  It wasn't until after the third visit with Blaze that we starting noticing a difference with her and knew something was up. 

Blaze was telling me long before that she wanted to stay with us.  I do believe that.  Yes, hindsight is so beautiful and much easier to see then at the time, but it was our love of those little creatures that came into our lives and a need to protect them even though they were part of someone else's family.  It was out of love that we needed to see that they were taken care of and be able to reunite for a few minutes with our 'grandbabies.'  Thank you for understanding that passion, not judging and helping me let go that regret knowing that you believe we did the right thing.  Your comments mean the world to us.  Thank you for everyone sharing our thoughts and acknowledging them.  I guess like dog minds think alike.  :)     

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Memories-A Regret

Looking back at my time with the litter of puppies, I have little regrets, but there is one thing that always lingers in my mind wondering if I should have done something differently.

Blaze at four weeks old
 
Part of the agreement of picking out a puppy was visiting at least a couple of times so that the new owners weren't a complete stranger to the puppies.  Blaze was the first picked at about three weeks old.  She met with her new owners several times as we would not let the puppies go to their new homes until they were about nine weeks old. 

Every meeting between Blaze and her new owners repeated the same cycle.  Blaze kept running back to the whelping box during their visit.  She didn't seem to have any interest in them.  Feeling somewhat out of tune with why she was acting this way, I didn't know exactly what to do about it.  I should have seen it as a sign of something.  I thought maybe she just was too shy or would rather be with her brothers and sisters.  Secretly I was smiling on the inside because I took it as she really didn't want to leave and even though she was quite the terror of the group, we were having a hard time with letting any of the puppies go. 

When the time came and Blaze was the first to leave the litter, I was relieved.  Ten puppies that were all teeth and running around the house, I was ready to say goodbye.


Blaze saying goodbye to Mommy Silver


If I knew then what I know now.  We visited about once a month to see how Blaze was doing and get pictures of her growth.  It didn't take long to know something was wrong.  It was nothing we could ever prove, but something wasn't right.  When we saw her at six months old she jumped into our car before we could even get out.  It was obvious things for her were intensifying.  A month later we got the call that they wanted to return her and we jumped at the chance to save her.  The horrors she had lived through shown in her quiet demeanor.  She was a shell of herself and haunted with every move.  We were never so grateful that they had returned her.  It was the only good thing I think they ever did.

We never knew the abuser of the family existed until after they took Blaze home.  He never came to any of the visited and was never spoken of.  It was he who made the call.  A call we are forever blessed with as it could have ended so many different ways.

Chance and Blaze (3 mos. old) at their new homes


I still wonder as I look back at those visits what would have happened if I had intervened and told the new owners I didn't think this puppy was for them .  As difficult as these thoughts are, I also believe everything happens for a reason.  Chance's new owners were related to Blaze's and they basically grew up together.  If Blaze's owners hadn't of made that call to return her, then there was a chance that Chance's owners wouldn't have made the call to give him back either. I suspected that once Blaze came back, it was only a matter of time before Chance did and that's exactly how it happened.  For the last three years I have struggled with the "what if" and the regret of not listening to those puppy instincts.  Today whatever the reasons are, I am glad they are both back, safe and sound and part of the 24 Paws of Love.  For I have no doubts about that.

Chance and Blaze home with us.
          

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is it the Weekend Yet??

Fiona's Tough Day at the Office


I don't think I can take one more ring.


Thank goodness it's Saturday and time for the Blog Hop!


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Friday, February 18, 2011

IS IT ENOUGH?

Is it really OK to be an animal lover and not support a cause?  Is it enough that caring for my own pets is my cause?  I would like to think so.  There is always a sense of guilt that I'm not doing enough for the animal world, because it takes everything everything I have to take care of my own pets needs.  I have sacrificed many things so that my dogs get the care they deserve and time and money are among them, leaving very little for anything else.

Brut is a full time job alone.  Sometimes I just can't do all that I want to do with my own dogs.  Some days it takes everything I have to juggle time and energy and still have some left for myself.  Can my examples of my daily living with six dogs divided into two packs be enough in showing my strengths and weaknesses of living with dogs?  Is it enough to show through our struggles and triumphs that we care about the reasons we all love living with animals in our home?

While I take the time to ponder these questions and wonder if I am doing enough, I take a look at Brut, Chance and Blaze.  Brut could have easily been beaten by another owner because of his aggressions.  He would have been an excellent candidate for dog fighting.  Or he could have put in a shelter and put to his death if he hadn't wound up in our arms.  I'm not saying that no one else could handle him, but he's here, in my home for a reason.  Yes, there are plenty of days I wish he could be the perfect dog and magically erase all of the bad things that are part of him, but there are many more days that I am grateful that he is just who he is.  Somehow he has become part of my job to watch over and protect him from himself.  I don't take that job lightly.  It may be stressful and painful, but somehow I was the one who was blessed with it.  There is a raw beauty in watching him grow and I don't take that lightly either.

Chance and Blaze are prime examples of my cause.  They both came back from our own litter beaten, neglected and abused.  Some of their behaviors still stem from that abuse and they sometimes need more care because of the damage that was done.  With their comeback they became the second pack of our family, bringing with it's own set of challenges and joys.

Each of these dogs could have fallen into the "system."  Each one of them found their way to us.  I think they are a good enough reason to be enough.       

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Lead Dog

My dogs are therapeutic to me.  They tend to give me a reason when there doesn't seem to be any.  I have been in an emotional struggle with taking my dogs for walks for a while now.  It doesn't have anything to do with my dogs or their walking habits, but with my own emotional distress from an abusive childhood.  Taking my dogs for a walk has become a daunting chore and the fun has been taken out of it.  It has become almost painful. 

My husband who has never gotten a chance to spend much time with the dogs because of his work schedule, has taken on walking the dogs as part of his exercise routine and for the quality time with our two packs. 

I recently began going with him while he walks the dogs.  In watching my husband and his carefree ways with the dogs, I have begun to discover the joy again.  Observing how my husband interacts with the dogs, his childlike ways and manner I began to realize what I was missing that was making these walks so difficult for me.  My husband isn't plague with having the perfect dog, like I am.  Or the embarrassment and shame I feel for not measuring up.  He walks the dogs with only one thing on his mind, it is for them.  Something that has stuck in my head from reading the same thoughts from a post by, Pamela, Something Wagging This Way Comes
I used to be very good at that, but somewhere along the way, my head started thinking instead of my heart. 

We went again last night and I can feel the shackles on my brain have begun to loosen up.  An email between Pamela and I also opened my mind to other possibilities and has begun to shift my perspective along with watching my husband joyfully walk the dogs one after another.  That's where I want to get back to.  Enjoying the walk time with my dogs and embrace that special bonding time with them.  For now I'm a protege learning the ropes again while I begin to break free from my past.  In time, it will come back to me, until then I am following my lead dog.  My husband.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Le Chiens


Dogs amaze me.  Every facet of their beings puts me in a state of awe and wonder. It can be seen as simply as the need to survive.  If a fight breaks out in a wolf pack, there is always a reason.  It isn't a random act of violence, it for the protection of the pack that everyone knows their place and if there is a challenge it is dealt with head one.  Once there is submission, the submissive one doesn't start plotting out revenge out on the hunt.  He isn't thinking how he will get that wolf back.  He moves on.  For his role in the hunt is just as important as being submissive to the fight.


While difficult to believe that our loving pets, that cuddle on our beds are descendants of these wild creatures, there is still a structure and order that I really don't think we can begin to understand.  Speaking from my mere experience of having two packs for just over two years, it is still a mystery to me.  After witnessing and observing the data of these two different packs operate, it is still difficult to tell what really sparks a challenge or a defiance of order.  For example:  Food may be the object, but what really sets the gears in motion to protect it?  Survival?  Territory?  Dominance?  Do we really know what makes that particular dog feel threatened?  Blaze and Chance can literally share a plate together very nicely, but there will be moment when that gear sparks off and ensues a riff between the two.  Is it the actual food itself or the communication between them?  Someone stepping a boundary that was set just at that moment and was suddenly challenged.  Is it because of their history?  Their previous owners used to throw a piece of food at them when they were still young and watch them fight over it.  If so, what makes that flip back to the past of the need to fight over that morsel?  Do they have triggers like we do that sets us on an automatic course of reaction?  Or is it because Blaze is more dominant than Chance and feels she has first rights to him?  Could he have done something earlier in the day that challenged her authority that she felt the need to clarify once he started to cross that line again?  Or is in the bloodlines?  Daddy Dog Brut is known for his possessiveness of food, which can be attributed back to his grandfather and when he was being weaned from his mother.  Can it really be that complex?  Or is the simple the survival of the fittest?


What I have found it it may be all of these reasons combined.  I have watched as a particular motion will cause a reaction from Chance and Blaze in accordance with being abused.  I have seen Blaze put Chance in his place when he crosses a line and vice versa.  I have put down one plate of food for them to finish and  most days they lick it clean together, but there are other days Chance backs away while Blaze gets the goodies.  Then there are those rare moments when a fight breaks out over food.  What makes one moment to the next different from the other?  What pushes that limit?  Can we really say we know?  When you are tired, don't you give out different signals that may be interpret as something else?  You can explain it by saying your tired and we all understand that.  But what if you said it in a foreign language and no one understood you?  How would you get your message across?  How could we comprehend exactly what you meant?  How many times have you misinterpreted what someone said when they were speaking to you, even when you witnessed their body language and demeanor?  How many times does this happen with the communication between us and dogs?


I think we are sometimes too certain that we understand a language that we really can not understand.  I think we have to take all things into consideration just as you would with any human you know in order to really get to know them.  I think it is beauty of really getting to know your dog.  Their likes and dislikes, their quirks and their own language.  For they have a language that is all their own and as unique as their individuality.

How would you know that "le chien" means "dog" unless you knew French?"

     

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chance Testing

I believe Chance and I are in the testing phases of our walk training.  This is the tough part for me.  When it seems all is going along fine and I tend to drop my guard.  I get comfortable and begin to relax my grip so to speak.  I'm at the place where I want to walk.  Just walk.  Chance does too, his own way.  This is when my failure begins, just after tons of progress, those two steps back tend to throw me off balance and I'm ready to throw in the towel. 

But here's the kicker, I don't want to go to back to the way I was walking with  Chance.  My arm not being pulled out of it's socket is reason enough.  So this is where the tricky part come for me, learning to stand my ground.  I think the thing that trips me up when he testing me, is I feel like everything has failed at this point.  He's not doing what I want, he's pushing the boundaries and I feel like all my hard work isn't paying off anymore.  All the progress and hard work and NOW you're giving me a hard time?  What happen, we were working so well together and now you want to start pushing my buttons?  It's like part of me can't comprehend what is happening after things were going so well.  I take it personal. 

I did realize something on our last walk, that it is still going to take some time to where he accepts this is the way we walk now.  Recognizing that changes don't happen overnight, even in the dog world, is progress on my part.  Things take time.  We are still in the beginning stages and there are still many things to overcome.  Chance doesn't have a lot of leash time, for the length of his three year life.  So I can't expect things to move that quickly.  I guess it's going to take a little tough love on my part to reinforce what he has learnt so far.  Not one of my stronger suits in this area, but I refuse to give up now, no matter how hard he wants to try  :)  For once I'm not backing down.  I've took that route too many times only to find myself back at the same starting point.  And really I'd don't want to give up now.  Wish me luck!

How do you handle the testing phases in your training?  What helps you through?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Memories- Black Beauty Momma

Silver:  Any time NOW!!

I was up for over 24 hours by the time Silver finished having all her pups.  Prelabor started at 7am Jan. 1, 2008 with Silver pacing, whining and panting.  At 2:45am, Jan. 2, 2008 she gave birth to Zappa and the rest of the gang, ending with Fiona at 9:15 that same morning.

Silver had been laying down after puppy #4, and never moved until after she had Fiona.  When she popped up to go outside, we noticed the most amazing thing.  She had snapped back into the shape.  Her stretched skin was fit against her.  Amazing.  (Every new mom's dream...)  Just like that.  All of her skin snug against her sleek body except for a small bulge on the right side near the ribs, where we figured Fiona must have been.  She looked better than she did at two years old.  Her black fur was soft and silky and glistened when she moved.  She was so spunky and full of life, excited to get outside and run a bit.

The bulge where Fiona had been.


We were both so stunned at this miracle of the births and then to witness Silver beaming with happiness and this instant new body, well we were breathless.  With everything I've read about the birth of puppies, this beautiful detail was left out.  The sparkle that was in her eyes, the bounce in her step, the tender care and the beauty of being a mother, I never once read about it.  I read about the medical advice, the process, what to look for, what to do, but it never said anything about my Silver becoming this black beauty of motherhood.

We made it through 10 successful births, a blessing in itself, but what we discovered with Silver was the a jewel we could only discover for ourselves.

Look at the shine and sleekness!
And the cute newborns, of course!
   

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Daddy's Birthday!!



 

video
Here's a little present from us to you!


  We wanted to invite all your blogger friends for desert but Chance and Blaze volunteered to bake the cake.  You can pretty much guess what happened with that.  BOL
So we got you these instead.
Hope you will share.  ;)

To our favorite Daddy in the whole wide world!!

 
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PeeS.  If you missed it, check out Boo-Boo Socks are Cool!
They are all the rage.

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Join us for the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.  Hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daddy's Walking Progress


My walking routine with the Back Dogs is getter stronger and better.  The sun rises, the sun sets and every other day the 24 Paws of Love take part in Daddy's exercising program

Last week it was really cold as the high was around 10F (-12C) so I just walked the Back Dogs (Brut, Zappa, Fiona and Silver) to the corner and back which didn't take very long.  So I decided to walk the Front Dogs (Chance and Blaze) as well.  Which made me feel better, since they always seeing me walk the Back Dogs. 

So as of today the Front Dogs have joined in with the Back Dogs to help Daddy get in shape.  The walks are a little shorter due to the cold, but are longer for me adding the Front Dogs.

So far Brut, Zappa, Fiona and Silver have slowed a little bit and as each walk goes by as it is becoming more routine with them.  Brut has his "four on the floor."  Zappa goes back and forth.  Fiona makes like she's trying to find the big surprise someone may have buried.  And good old Momma Dog Silver she just trots along like she always does.

Now that I have Chance and Blaze added to the routine, it's really a full boat.

Taking Chance then Blaze it was like taking two Back Dogs at the same time.  It went quite well walking Chance.  He is doing good with Mommy and his walking training with her.  I am not able to do that yet, so when  she lets me take over and she uses the word, "release" (which gives him free reign on the leash) and Chance did just that.  It took me by surprise.  I just can not believe the power that boy has.

Blaze is just what her name says. A Blaze.  She's not as strong as Chance, but she can be quite a handful.

The third time taking the Front Dogs they were getting better.  I think they were just happy that they were going for a walk with Daddy after watching me walk the Back Dogs and it made me feel complete walking them too.    

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Sweet Chance

There were walks to take
and playtime you were missing.
With all the things I should be doing for you,
You laid down next to me
And let me hold you. 
Because I needed to hold you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Memories-Daddy Dog Brut Playing with Pups

  This is a time period we will always treasure as Brut was at his happiest moments with this kids.
He was so sweet and fun loving and we always marvelled that no matter how much he jumped, twirled or ran around that he never once stepped on a puppy.  It was amazing.
You can tell by this video he's a very proud father having the time of his life.
video
 Daddy Dog Brut playing with his 7 week old pups

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brut and Daddy Walking in Rhythm

Well now that I am in our fourth week of walking with the dogs as part of my exercise routine.  It seems that Brut, Zappa, Fiona and Silver are getting into the program just fine.  Daddy's New Year resolution

Even though they all want to go first, I walk the dogs in the same order, so there is no misunderstanding between the dogs.   Brut is always first, then Zappa, Fiona and Silver follow.

Each time we go, the dogs seem to be going at a steady pace.  Not like it was when I first started and everyone was so excited that I could hardly keep up with them.  We are getting into a routine.  Although, I don't know who gets more excited, them or me.

Well Brut was in a really grand mood as we began our journey today.  As always he went at his steady pace making his mark every ten to fifteen paces.  Only this time it was more like making a little musical.  Every time Brut made his mark, he did his "four on the floor" (scraping the ground with all paws) then grabbed a mouthful of snow and he was on the move again.  He did this over and over again, for the entire 45 minute walk.  It was a song in the making:

Brut's four on the floor
Eat some snow
Come on Daddy
Let's go some more 

The next time I take Brut I'm going to take my tape recorder and get it down, because we were rocking around that block!! 

After all the dog walks are over, both Daddy dogs lay down for a nap.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ruined Innocence

It started out as innocent playtime with Mr. Bear.


Until Silver got a hold of him.



Then Mr. Bear's life changed forever.
(And right in front of the kids, no less!!)

First loves are always the hardest to give up.
Thank goodness Brut's love is everlasting.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I would just like to personally thank everyone who reads our little blog and the wonderful heartfelt comments we've received along the way.  
We love this blogging community and want to let you know how much we appreciate being a part of it.  

Thank you.


Join old friends and new for the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.
Hosted by Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers, and Confession of the Plumes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where the Love Started

My love for animals comes from deep place within.  My mother is the one who showed my how animals love.

My mom was pregnant with me when she got her first puppy.  She was a Golden mix named Sandy.  My mom had a difficult time loving me, but was able to share her love with Sandy, who then passed it down to me.  Where I in turn learned to be loved by the love of animals. 

Sandy was my mom's dog.  I helped in the care, but the bond was always with my mom.  Sandy was my first dog walking experience.  My mom said there was no way I could walk her.  At about 7 years old, I told her I could and I did.  With Sandy dragging all the way down the road.  (sound familiar?)  My mom was probably laughing her butt off the whole time.  Thirty-some years later I am still trying to change that walking pattern. 

Sandy had a horrible fear of loud noises.  Thunderstorms and fireworks were a nightmare for her.  She would actually hide in the bathtub of all places.  As she got older her tolerance for the racket declined sharply and she would be a complete basket case. 

A jackhammer had been running all day in our neighborhood.  I had just gotten home from school, I was around 11 or so at the time.  My mom had an appointment to go to.  Sandy was shaking from head to toe.  She had been panicky all day and was getting weaker by the minute.  I remember hiding in the bathroom, silently crying and thinking she was going to die. 

When my mom left Sandy laid down and I held her until her last breath.  It was that simple and over that quick.  I have never forgotten that day, how Sandy looked and the peace that came over her after such a tumultuous day. 

I don't know if my mother thought Sandy was going to die when she left, but I don't think she ever got over coming home and finding her gone. 

When Sandy died, so did the only connection of our love.  My mother and I were never the same after that.  Though it is the one thing we still hold dear in our hearts.          

Thursday, February 3, 2011

King-to-Be Zappa

You know you are NOT the King of the Royal Court when:

You have to announce your own arrival and departures.

Your disapproving looks to the rest of the Court go unnoticed.

You are the only one barking in your defense.

The only real "Court" you might be able to control is the cats.



Sorry Zappa.  Someday you will take the crown.
Until then you are under the guise of King Brut.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SOULFUL WOOS

There is nothing worse than losing your best friend Zappa to a walk with Daddy.

Here singing her own rendition:
"Woo-Woo Me"

Ms. Fiona
with Mommy Silver on back up vocals

video

Let's here it for Ms. Fiona!

And for those of you who weren't able to make it through because your dogs are like ours and can't resist the urge to join in we understand.
What can we say man, the blues is contagious!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the Brut Truth

Houndstooth of Tales and Tails post:  I Chose You, really struck a chord with me, as she described how we bond stronger with some dogs than others in our lives.  They were called "Heart Dogs."

When the breeder held up Brut asleep in his hand at four weeks old, it was as if heaven's light was shining on him.  He was not the color I would have chosen, but I couldn't take my eyes off of him.  I locked on him and I couldn't change my mind if I wanted to.

 

We brought him home at six weeks.  After two days I was terrified of this little monster and didn't think I could follow through with him for an entire lifetime.  If I tell you his behavior, it will sound like normal puppy behavior, but his eyes told a completely different story.  They were wild and crazed.  Something about him wasn't right.  I was in tears many times because I didn't know what to do with him.  Brut was the most difficult puppy I'd ever come across in my life.  I have never been scared of dogs or puppies before, but I was scared of Brut.



His aggression was right on the surface of his skin and tore through my fears.  Every day I was on the fence about wanting to keep him and yet I could never give him up.  I couldn't do that to him or myself.  As our bond grew and I began to make small breakthroughs in my fear of him, he in turn began to teach me about himself.  When he was a year and half old a broke up a fight and  he showed me his "aggressive spirit." I looked into those eyes and was shocked to see not a killer that I thought was there, but a tortured, pained soul begging for help.  That was when I began to understand Brut, for they were my own eyes.  It was the first he had really shown himself to me and it was the first that I was able really see.

Brut and I were bonded the from the first time I saw him.  A connection that was raw but unbroken and now I am so proud of this beautiful dog that I have the honor to say is mine.  A gift from heaven that I have been truly blessed with.  When I thought the answer was to give up, somehow Brut showed me how to believe and changed my life forever.



For a more in depth version of this turning point between Brut and I you can read:  A Little Bit About Brut and Me