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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fiona's Special Spot

Every day Fiona stands under this soft needle evergreen. 
It is her spot. 

She gazes quietly, contemplating life and the world around her 
She slowly turns, taking in every inch of her world while letting the gentle needles caress her face.

She is at peace communing with this giant pine as she enjoys a moment of solace.

 I wonder what this white pine is thinking during these spiritual moments? 

Please don't pee on me.  Please don't pee on me. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Memories and that 2nd age old question...

Remember that first age old question...

                                        CHANCE, WHERE'S MY CUCUMBER?
                                  I GOT IT MOM. IT WAS TRYING TO GET AWAY!!

Well, here the 2nd age old question...



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bath Time! :)

Fiona had her first bath EVER the other day and Blaze had her first bath since she come back.  Yes, I'm a horrible mom, they are almost 3 years old and this was their first baths.

Here is my reason:  When Fiona and Zappa were about four or five months old, I was working on getting them used to the bathtub and water.  Not long after Blaze came back and with everything she had suffered, everything fell apart for quite sometime and then shortly later Chance came back...and well a bath just wasn't a top priority.

Fiona shiny brand new!

Fiona was first and she did great.  I want to thank Bella and I Still Want More Puppies for their photo that gave me the idea of using a bathwater and a cup instead of a sprayer because Fiona would have been scared to death of a sprayer.  She freaks out about everything anything weird on her skin, taking medicine, being brushed, you name it she don't like it.  Fiona will also run and hide for the rest of day if I say, clean her ears and after her bath she stayed right in contact with me.  It was great!

The kaleidoscope of Blaze's colors

Blaze used to get baths all the time from her previous owner and because of her trauma I never dared to push it.  She did great.  She kept looking for a way out, but I kept one arm around her and I have a hook that I tied her leash to.    

Fiona and Blaze even took treats from me and most importantly the ones I had on the edge of the tub while I was bathing them!  That was when I knew they might not be entirely happy but they were both just fine.  If either of them doesn't like what I'm doing to them, they will not accept a treat to justify it.  So this was a big bonus.

And there's nothing better than being able to jump out afterwards and run around like a manic!

I don't usually go this long without giving a bath.  I normally give them a bath about twice a year, so not to dry out the oil in their skin, once in the spring and fall.  Unless they decide roll and stink in something.  That's how  Zappa got his first bath about a month ago.  Which he also did fantastic with.

Amazing how a little time, maturity and stability can make a difference in something simple as a bath.   

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fiona and Brut playtime and Sat. Blog Hop

Here's a little Back Dog action between Fiona and Daddy Dog Brut.  Fiona has no problem taking on Brut and Brut is enjoying the playtime.  (Sometimes Momma Dog Silver is too grumpy to play)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements with Chance and Blaze

Chance and Blaze in their favorite sleeping spots.

When Blaze came back home and couldn't be put together with Back Dogs, we took turns sleeping with her at night so she wouldn't be alone.  When Chance came back we still couldn't fathom the two of them alone as their abuse was still too fresh for the both of them.  So we continued to take turns sleeping with them. 

We made the dining room into a den/bedroom area, with the famous eaten couch, a mattress (great for the back!) and their window seat.  Now almost two years later, we still continue the routine.  We just don't have the heart to leave let them sleep all by themselves. Or is it more like we don't want to miss sleeping with them??  :) 

Any extreme measures you've taken for the welfare of your pets?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chance and Blaze bike pull

Our dog pulling bike

In the last week I have been able to have 2 different sets of dogs pull me on my three-wheel bike.  Believe me it's sturdier than a two wheeler with a couple of untrained dogs. 

My first jaunt out was with Chance and Blaze.  They were both excellant about getting ready and when they took off, I hung on for dear life.  We went at top notch speed for about 3/4 of a mile until they knocked it down a couple of notches and I could catch my breath.  Two dogs is the most I've done, I can't imagine mushers that run with teams of 4 or more.  I think I'd have a heart attack. 

Since we are traveling down the road through the neighborhood, at any given time there can be cars, people, or other dogs and with them running at top speed and worn out brakes, that means I must control things with all my might. 

We were lucky the coast was clear tonight.  One struggle of having the dogs pull is having to turn around to go back home.  There are no blocks to go around.  Stopping to turn around breaks all the momentum and drive and usually means a struggle to get going again.  Blaze has always giving me a hard time after we turn around, but this time she started running again and Chance followed, which was rather interesting.  Since usually I practically have to drag them home after we turn around.  I would love to take them to the park one day and see if they could/would run the trails out there that are in a loop.  I'd like to see how they would go when given the chance to keep moving forward.  I think that would be awesome. 

I've found in watching Blaze and Chance run togehter, that even though Blaze has the natural pulling talent and her body seems designed for it, Chance would make a better lead dog than Blaze.  Chance is a worker.  He takes his job seriously and is always ready to follow instruction.  Blaze on the other hand is running for the freedom of it.  She is great at setting the pace, but is too "wild".  She is constantly on the hunt and understands all too well her freedom being on the other end.  I had always thought for the longest time that Blaze would be the perfect lead dog, but not at this point in time.  She still needs to be harnessed and reined in before she could ever take the driver's seat and she is not ready for that.  Whereas Chance has a solid head, knows he has a task to complete and is ready to execute.  Between the two of them Blaze is the instigator.  She starts the problems and Chance joins in.  She smart enough to manipulate him into doing what she wants.  She also tries these things with me, but I'm usually on to her and don't let her get away with it.

Isn't it interesting the different dynamics between dogs and their personalities.  How they learn from each other and their roles together.  I think it is fascinating how dogs from the same litter all are completely unique and alike and how their make up may be as near or different as the next.  All this time I thought Blaze was a perfect match to be lead dog when it looks as though Chance "the follower" would be better suited at the role than Blaze.  I never would have thought that, if I hadn't witness what I did with taking them out for a bike pull last week.  Simply amazing.

p.s. Sorry no pictures of dogs in gear or pulling.  I was a one woman show that night and timing is everything.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's molting time again...

MOM, did you lose the brush??  What's going on here??  I'm falling all to pieces!!

We would like to also take this time to thank the following for our awards: 

We would like to thank all of the pet blogs out there that we love to read and share in your many adventures of living with animals.  We like to take this award and pass it on to the list at the right, under "BLOGS TO BARK ABOUT"  They are all excellent and that all of them deserve an award.

 (bow and exit stage right)    

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How do you relate to your pet?

My husband and I are very different in how we relate to our dogs.  I try to understand and communicate with our dogs with an animal instinct while my husband humanizes them.

When I was young I was very quiet and shy and learned how to communicate non verbally with our dogs.  I seem to be able to dig into their primal instincts and understand what they were trying to say.  I began to understand body language, long before I knew what it meant but learned how it was relevant to our relationship.  I do the same today.  I have taken it deeper by studying the eyes where I am able to connect at the deepest level.  We seem to know what the other is thinking.  When I talk to them, I talk to them as adults.  By studying their behaviors I have learned to communicate and think like them on a very personal level.     

Now my husband on the other hand never grew up with animals.  This is his first actual experience at having pets and sees things more from a child's point of view.  They are his friends, he carries on conversations with them, sings songs and always makes sure all of the dogs are given equal attention, treats and the like.  He sings lullabies to each one individually every night at bedtime .  If he were home during the day he would probably dress them up and have a tea party.  They are like his children and his best friends.  He is overly protective about their welfare and makes sure they stay within the fence.  He is heartbroken if any of them get hurt for any reason.  To him they are all still puppies.     

The dogs respond to both of us.  They relate to both of our types of connection and the levels they are at.  They need me to connect with their animal instincts and be their leader and they need my husband's silly child-like qualities to bring out the puppy in them.  It brings a balance and harmony you might not expect, but it works for us.

So how do you relate to your pets?   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Memories-Silver

Silver at 7 weeks old
Silver was a surprise for us.  We'd been casually talking about getting a puppy, as we only had our older dog Alex at the time.  My husband came home one day and said, "They have Lab/Husky puppies for free." We jumped in the car.  All the way there we were thinking HUSKY/lab puppies.  Imagine our surprise when they all looked like black labs!  We were still unable to resist and Marco picked out the shy one of the bunch and we took her home. 

Silver was 7 weeks old, looked like a black lab except for the small white line on her chest.  We've been asked several times why we call her Silver, it is the white line that makes for a Silver lining. 
Look Mom I'm six videos tall!

Somewhere I thought I'd read that you weren't suppose to let new puppies sleep in your bedroom.  It had been 10 years since I'd had a puppy.  So we put Silver just outside our door in the hallway.  Her crying got to me and I ended up going out and sleeping in the hallway with her.  Then when she was sound asleep, I would go back to bed until her crying woke me up again.  I did this for two nights straight, until we were able to let her sleep with Alex.  It wasn't until sometime later that I read the information again and it said to not have them sleep in your bed, but next to it for comfort.  We were new owners, we made mistakes.  :)

After a couple of days she started going to the door to be let out.  There were still plenty of accidents to be made, but it was the fist sign of how smart she really was.  She was so tiny I had to carry her down the deck steps to take her out to potty.  At the time Luigi (our duck) occupied the fenced in area of our yard and Silver's play area.  It didn't take long to figure out that wasn't going to work.  Luigi got the work out of a lifetime those couple of days!!  We secured an area for him and Silver would run up and down the fence line trying to get him to come out.

Pillow Silver?

Silver brought new life into our little home.  Especially for Alex.  This old stubborn dog made sure she knew her place and that her trust was going to have to be earned.  It took weeks of coaxing to get him to play with Silver.  It wasn't long before she's won Alex's heart and they were inseparable.

Silver was hyper.  She had a ton of energy, so we would take walks out in the back field quite often.  Must have been the Husky in her.  Silver is the only one whom I can still let run loose off a leash.  She was such a good puppy but she got into  plenty of trouble. Next Monday Memories we'll find out how Silver learned to work those sad, hungry eyes when Grandma came to visit...lol

Until then take a nap in your shoe!

You can read more about Silver by clicking on her tab at the top of the page.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Silver Siesta

Ever have one of those weeks?  The kind that run you ragged mentally and physically?  Before you give up on life, take it from Silver and have a Silver Siesta.  They can't be beat.  All that is required is a comfy couch and maybe a nice belly rub. Silver guarantees it'll make your next week just a little bit better.  I mean just look at her, does she looks stressed?  :) 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Discpline goes a long way...sometimes

In my observation, Brut's aggression is an exaggerated alpha dog correction.  While watching the dogs try to chase a chipmunk under the deck, Brut had dug a huge hole on one side in an attempt to get underneath.  The chipmunk would chirp from under the deck and both Brut and Zappa would get more and more excited.  Brut continued to furiously dig, while Zappa ran back and forth.  The only opening was the tunnel Brut was digging and Zappa could hardly resist himself.  Zappa continued to press little by little into Brut's "territory."  Testing his dad to see how far he could go.  After I went inside to take a phone call, I heard the explosion of a fight.  Usually they last for a second or two and it is over, but this time anxiety and excitement had pushed them both over.  I had to pyhsically separate them.  Corrections are useless at this point. It becomes a matter of getting them separated and giving them time to cool down. 

It was easy to see that Zappa had crossed a very delicate line and is known for pushing the limits.  Brut wasn't about to share in the glory of being so close to the chipmunk and was teaching Zappa a lesson.  I in turn had to fill in and block the hole because I hadn't realized Brut had dug so far that the fence post had broke loose. 

These type of fight happen are quite rare, but it does happen.  It sounded and looked much worse than what it was. They both walked away without a nick or scratch on them.  After blocking the hole I brought them both out and it was if nothing had happened.  The high intensity of digging after this chipmunk brought on Brut's deep rooted issues of possession and territory.  While Zappa in the excitement and belief that he can always press his dad limits set off the trigger that erupted into the need to correct Zappa.

If anything it was my fault for letting to go for so long.  They had been after this chipmunk for a couple of days and I wasn't paying attention to how their energy had escalated.  As I watched Zappa test his dad, it was apparent that it is was only a matter of time that something was going to happen as neither were about to give up.  An episode like this is quite rare, so I missed the red flags that were starting to go off.  When all was said and done everything was fine and they took off after the squirrels.  At least the squirrels stay in the trees and don't give the dogs a reason to dig.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Tears so painful they refuse to spill

With heavy heart I lie
Feeling alone in my sorrow
I silently grieve

Only to find myself surrounded by wagging tails
soothing kisses that gently wash my pain
soaking my heart with their unconditional love
piercing my soul with powerful empathy

They grieve with me and I am not alone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chance: At Your Service

                               The intense stare...                         

Waiting for just the right moment...


Chance's pest control, at your service!
Flies are full of protein!  Yum!  Yum!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brut and the Power of Love

Mr. Attitude Brut at 8weeks old

At four weeks old a puppy learns from their mother and siblings how to be a dog.  Brut never had that chance as he was taken away from his mother and siblings at that time.  His mother couldn't teach about proper corrections nor did he learn how to socialize with other dogs apart from his litter mates.  Instead he was taught how to be territorial, possessive, and defensive from dominant adult dogs he was placed with.

When Brut and Silver had their litter of 10 puppies we were concerned how Brut would interact with the puppies.  When Silver allowed him in the whelping box, the pups were about 3 weeks old.  He had no problem helping with cleaning and caring for them.  He was a great dad.  When Brut would walk to the whelping box, the puppies would all run and greet him.  Brut's eyes would widen in amazement at all these little dogs running to greet him.  He seemed to be stunned by this act of love, he would look to us as if he couldn't believe all this love was for him. 

And so began the healing.  He was a dad, rolling in the snow, letting them jump on him or chasing him around the kitchen.  His eyes would light up every time he saw how happy they were to see him.  All of this love from so many dogs, how much could one dad take?

It was in the following months when just Zappa and Fiona were left, the intense work began as Brut gave up his daddy title and took that of the alpha dog.  In the months that followed Zappa and Fiona taught Brut how to be a socialized dog.  Through powerful challenges and playtime they somehow passed on what they had learned from their litter mates to their father and taught Brut what I could not.  Zappa and Fiona helped to smooth out the rough edges and began to heal what Brut had been taught as a small puppy.

The process took time and is still on going, but there is a strong bond of trust between the three of them.  Between my corrections and what Brut has learned about socializing within his pack, I am utterly amazed at how far he has come.  There is a calmness within Brut now.  A stability and security that I don't think I or any human could have given him.  It was the miracle of the birth of his ten puppies that gave him a gift he never had, the chance to be a dog. 

Fiona, Zappa and Brut today. 

Monday Memories-Angel

It's time for Monday Memories and we thought we'd introduce you to the puppies of our litter we had almost 3 years ago.  This is Angel.  She was really tough to give up.  I went back and forth so many times about keeping her it was insane.  It wasn't that I didn't want to, but since we were already keeping Zappa and Fiona, having 3 puppies all at once was a little more than I thought I could handle.  Angel was so smart and so cute.  She was the only one out of all ten that figured out how to get out of the whelping box and climb on the bed with me.  She would sneak out other times during the day and I knew because she always used the paper I had on the floor.

Here she is at 3 weeks old.  I named her Angel for the wings on her chest. 

Here she is at 4 1/2 weeks old giving her profile.

Angel at 8 weeks old. 
She always paired up with the other black and white female, V-girl and they were an awesome duo.  Angel and V-girl were the last 2 puppies to find homes.  During play Fiona would attack one of them and the other would tag team to help. 

Angel at 1 1/2 years old. 

Angel found a wonderful home with a friend of ours.  She was so special I couldn't just give her to anyone.  She is training to be a sled dog and a hunting dog.
Every time we visit she just about plows us down with kisses.  It is so great that she has such a loving home and we are so happy for her. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Never say never

If there is one thing I have learned having dogs, it is, never say never.  I never thought that until Blaze and Chance came back to us. If you missed yesterday post, here's another look at it. 

                                                                    Princess Blaze

resting on the throne she created

First of all I need to give credit where credit is due.  Chance also made his contribution to the redesigning of the couch.  This is also the second one they have reconstructed to their liking.  They attacked the first couch  the first day and it wasn't long before it's demise.   

Now I know you are all wondering how these sweet, innocent dogs could be so ruthless and destructive, so let me share.  I have read and seen pictures of these couch massacres and I remember thinking, what were these owners doing or not doing that their dogs would demolish the couch and get away with it.  I have never had any problems with any of my dogs destroying any furniture.  Even with 10 wild puppies I didn't experienced anything like that.  I have seen similar couch mutilation, but never thought it would be in my own home.

When Chance and Blaze came back from their abusive homes they both had high anxiety coupled with their Husky hyperness.  We waited months to put a couch in their room, knowing full well the level of destruction that may occur. Blaze had shredded out our last van and because of this we bought cheap used couches.  The couch destruction would happen when we would leave them alone.  They both had strong abandonment issues and we didn't leave them alone until we felt they were ready in small increments.  This coupled with spending time with the Back Dogs brought on the destruction of the couch.  They were never able to have our full attention and the frustration would built along with their anxiety of trying to get my attention and the jealousy of having to share.

I never thought I would have any of the puppies returned, let alone have them come back abused.  I'm very aware it happens everyday and that we made a commitment to take any of them back.  I think it just blows my mind that it actually happens, all the time.  We were so grateful when we got those two calls to pick up Chance and Blaze.  To actually bring them home and help them heal from the horrible damage that was done and still plagues them sometimes.  If it means losing a couch to have them here with us, it is better than them being hurt and unloved.  A couch is replaceable, Chance and Blaze are not.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thank you for our Awards!!

We got these wonderful awards and we don't even have a speech ready or anything!  How about 6 big sloppy kisses, will that work? 

Thank you Pup Fan for this great award!


Thank you Furbaby Chat for this wonderful award

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

1. We all love peanut butter, except for Mommy

2. Brut can't have squeaky toys because he is possessed by them.

3. Fiona has a dew claw on back right leg, just like Daddy Dog Brut.

4.  We were going to rename Chance either Hoover or Eureka or Bissel, but we thought it would give him a complex.

5.  Everybody loves ice cubes except for Silver.

6.  Zappa is the ring leader for the "Howling Choir."

7.  Try as I might, yelling, "Just a minute," does not work on a barking dog at the door.

3.  You must name 15 blogs you think deserve this award.

There are so many great blogs to choose from, we wanted to choose them all, but the rules said 15 and you know that around the 24 Paws we like to follow the rules!  Heehee.  

When you pick up your award, you must thank the person who gave to you.
Share 7 things about yourself.
And pass out 15 awards to the blogs who you think deserve it. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Back Dog Squirrel Patrol in action

The Squirrel Patrol was back in action.  Although this time the culprit was a chipmunk hiding under the deck.  Let's listen in...

Do you see it Dad?  Do you?

Zappa, I'm going down cover me!

Roger that!

Looks like Fiona and Mommy Dog are sitting this one out and smiling about something...Let's read on...
 Whoa!  Look at that dirt fly!

Zappa, take over.  It's hot and I need a new strategy.

What's the plan Dad?

Lie and wait!

 Ya, like for the rest of the day.  (Mommy Dog smirks)  That chipmunk left five minutes ago.   

Check out the first Squirrel Patrol here.