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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

Friday, October 29, 2010


the long tunnel

jumping barrel

stackable jump or go around

the short tunnel

jumping bar

This is the Back Dogs agility equipment.  This has always been a fun activity for us.  I started when Zappa and Fiona were about four or five months old.  They loved it and it was hilarious to watch.  They are all excellent at it.  Although Silver will only do it if Brut isn't there.  She loves to jump.  

When Zappa and Fiona were young, I trained them separately from Brut and Silver.  Then I did them all as a group.  I always used treats, until Brut's possessiveness kicked in full tilt.  Then I started to do Brut separately from the others.  If you read my post Why Didn't I Think of That, you'll remember that I use treats for much of my training, but Brut's food possession was getting out of hand and then a light bulb went off and I realized that I didn't need the use of treats. Brut's demeanor stays happy, which meant everyone was happy.

So I tried today doing the agility training without the use of treats.  Nothing formal, just weaving it in during play.  I made sure I gave Brut the first couple of commands, so he would know I had no food and my reward was a happy voice and scratching the side of his head. It worked.  I didn't click so that meant there was no food.  He may have been confused for a minute, but he stayed happy and relaxed.  It was great.  The pressure was off.

Usually the other dogs stay away when we do the agility course with Brut.  Sometimes Zappa or Fiona will tag behind Brut at a distance doing it on their own.  Today Fiona was being the brave one.  So I had Brut and her jump the barrel.  What I discovered was amazing.

Brut jumped...

Then Fiona jumped...with Brut right there!

Then they went down for play...

And Brut POUNCED!!

They chased each other around the yard and had a blast.  I am still blown away by the success of not using treats and the clicker training.  It is like watching a drug addict get clean and sober.  I can not begin to explain the feeling of watching Brut turn into a monster over food.  Or the complete difference in his body language that is now engaged with fun and positive energy.  Even Fiona was relaxed.  It is going to take some time for Zappa, Fiona and Silver to begin to trust Brut's actions again, but I believe we are on the right path.  Once the Back Dogs are in harmony the possibilities are endless in reuniting the Front Dogs with them.  Each day brings that chance even closer.  What a journey this has been and we are just getting started!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Four on the Floor" by Daddy

Brut's "Four on the Floor"
Just a little more to the left, then I think I've got it!

I was accompanied by Brut today for my ride to work.  When he comes with me in the car, he always trying to tell me what to do for the first ten or fifteen miles.  Then he finally realizes that it doesn't matter what he says, I'm the one who's driving. 

When we stopped at the gas station, Brut did what we call his "Four on the Floor," (leaving his scent mark by scraping the ground with his paws)  and they were pretty forceful.  Each time we stop at this particular gas station he really puts his heart into changing the landscaping, kicking the mulch all over the place.   

Maybe he is hoping to get a job doing the mulch work at the gas station.  So far the owner hasn't seen his fancy foot work but then that's probably a good thing. :)   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can you guess what we're doing?

We're sharing ice cream with Mommy!
From a spoon! BOL

We love our special Front Dog treats with Mommy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Brut Trust

Look at this perfect pose!

Brut and I have this incredible bond.  Daddy says it is because we are so much alike! Our strongest bonding time is during our solitude walks.  We'd both been lacking in them because I wasn't feeling well last week and we were both getting rather grouchy about it.  :)

So today we took off for our favorite park.  Brut was full of pent up energy and frustration and I planned for that.  I threw on his harness and grabbed a piece of firewood for him to pull.  The wood weighed seven pounds.  It worked out perfect for him to pull.  It was enough to slow him down, but not so much that it is a strain.

You really can't expect TWO perfect poses!

We went around the park once without the wood then circled back so I could hook him to it.  He definitely needed the extra weight and I needed a steady pace!  We took the very back trails that are usually empty as the front trails had a visitor with their dog.  As soon as we were alone in the woods, we fell in sync with each other.  Literally and spiritually.  Brut's anxious eyes began to calm with mine.  There was an overall sense of content and connection, like we were the only two beings on Earth.  There was little said vocally, but our communication was immense. 

I have found through many walks by following Brut's body language to know what is going on around me.  This is key for knowing if there is something ahead.  It is also how we unify through the leash.  We were in harmony with each other and became one being with a fluid movement.  All of our anxieties melted into the forest ground.  We were in tune with each other.  This trust would be significant when we came to our fork in the road.

The Chosen Path

Brut and I are at our best when we are alone.  Remember I mention another visitor with their dog?  I know the trails inside and outside.  So does Brut.  We had a choice to make: take trail A which heads straight through the park and the front paths, with the possibility of running into the dog or take trail B that leads around the park thus avoiding the possibility.  So I asked Brut and he lead me down trail A.  A little ways down the trail, I was getting worried, I didn't want to run into the other dog.  I told Brut we needed to turn around.  He insisted continuing on.  I gave in to the trust and all knowing.  We have made these decisions before together.  There are times he needs to trust me and there are times when I need to trust him.  I chose to believe, so I followed him.

We hiked the rest of the trail and when we came to the end, we found the visitors were gone.  It was an incredible feeling.  To be able to let go and let him take the lead.  That's how in tune we were.  If he would have sensed something and his demeanor changed, I would have turned around, but we stayed in complete sync and balance with each other.  Our walk was like a cleansing of our souls while we listened to each other with our hearts.  Each synchronizing with other.  We were at peace as we aliened.  It is a spiritual high that will carry me for a long time.  It isn't the first, it won't be the last and that is the beauty of it.    

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Memories- Blaze's goodbye story

Here's Grumpy singing his heart of for Blaze.  Blaze ducked down to hide her tears as she knows this is her last day here and doesn't want to leave her family.  Everyone is sad and Grumpy just needed to belt out his sorrow. 

Maybe she knew then, what we didn't. She was never meant to leave in the first place.

Thank goodness our baby girl is home now. 

You can read Blaze's story here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blogging Thanks and the Sat Blog Hop

We at 24 Paws of Love would like to shout out a big THANKS for all of the wonderful animal bloggers out there making a difference in our lives. 

We started this blog for the love of our dogs only to find many others doing the same.  What a wonderful gift finding other crazy animal lovers like ourselves to share in our passion for animals.

We are enjoying the blogging journey and all the great Paws of Love that are out there.

And now let's meet old friends and new at:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


We'd like to thank those that gave their comments on the latest Front Dogs vs. the Back Dogs.  We would say it's close, but the Back Dogs seemed to made a bigger impression.  It seems to be what pushed it over the edge was Silver being Daddy's heating pad.  As you can see, she took on that job at a very young age. 

Silver at three months old.

And the challenge continues...

Stay tuned for the next battle of

the Front Dogs vs. the Back Dogs

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Back Dogs-Daddy's Little Helpers

The Front Dogs put us Back Dogs to the challenge of who's the better helper for Mommy and Daddy.
(see previous post or go here)
Well, anyone can eat and wash dishes and lay around.
 We are helping Daddy with REAL work. BOL
Check this out Front Dogs!!

Mr. Brut, the Handy Dog is a hammering fool for Daddy...

Working as a team to keep the squirrels out of the woodshed...

Zappa's Excavating Services...

Fiona helps with Back Seat Navigating...

And we can do one better than just warming the bed...
Silver is keeping Daddy warm!

Take that Front Dogs!!!  BOL

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chance and Blaze-Mommy's Little Helpers

We Front Dogs love Mommy so much and she has gotten so busy lately that  
we decided to help her out!

First Chance did some taste testing to make sure the food was good enough for Mommy to eat...

Then I did the dishes...

Chance watered the lawn...

While I redecorated the couch...

Chance was so brave, he took on all of Mommy's worrying for the day so she didn't have to.

But, the best part after our busy day, was keeping the bed warm for Mommy so she could get a good night's rest!

Let's see the Back Dogs top that!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Memories-Fiona and Zappa

Fiona and Zappa at 4 months old

So sweet and precious my two little ones.  All of the puppies had found homes and now it was their turn.  The instant Zappa was born, we knew we were keeping him.  I knew the first one born would be "my" Alex.  Zappa has his eyes, even though Zappa was only related to Alex by spirit. 

Fiona was the last born and the runt of the litter.  After the first three days of watching her give everything she had to keep up with her siblings, I found myself drawn to her and there was no giving her up after that. 

We already had their names picked out long before they were born.  Zappa for the musician/artist Frank Zappa and Fiona for the musician/artist Fiona Apple.  They have both lived up to their names and then some. :)

What a wonderful time that was.  It was our first time having two puppies at the same time.  For some reason it seemed so easy compared to having the litter.  BOL
I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world.  It was just as sweet and precious as this picture.  

Friday, October 15, 2010


Blog the Change

Be the Change for Animals is hosting it's BLOG THE CHANGE FOR ANIMALS today.  A day to sponsor your cause or passion for animals. 

24 Paws of Love believe in EDUCATION FOR FUREVER HOMES, whether you get a puppy, rescue or shelter dog or a senior dog, we would like to see more owners keep their pets for their lifetime.

There's nothing like getting that cute, fuzzy puppy to find him biting and chewing on you, your kids or your new shoes.  What do you do?  

Or you've found the perfect shelter or rescue dog wagging his tail at you with that sparkle in his eye, only to find he is aggressive with your cat and tears your house to pieces when left alone.  Should you take him back?

The gentle older dog, so quiet and gentle suddenly barks guarding the door when your friends stop by.  How do you make him stop?

EDUCATION is key.  Learning about your dog's breed and understanding the role it plays in your dog's behavior will help.  

Talk to your vet, make sure there isn't any medical reason for the behaviors.

Talk to trainers, dog behaviorist, other dog owners to find what works for you and your dog.

Keep learning.  Keep trying.  Your dog is counting on you not to give up on them and aren't they worth it?  

Having a dog has many challenges and struggles.  There are always behavior issues when you own a dog.  Training doesn't stop after six months.  They are a commitment and a responsibility.  Dogs only want to please you and be part of your life, show them you care by taking the time to get to know them.  They will be your best friend for life with a little extra time and understanding.  

Please think carefully about before getting any pet and be honest with what you about the attention you are willing to give.  Every pet deserve a FUREVER HOME.   Do you have one? 

Want to learn more about BLOG THE CHANGE FOR ANIMALS?  Click on the above badge for a link to BE THE CHANGE FOR ANIMALS.   

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


1.  You take duct tape to your pillow every night to remove dog hair.

2.  You have named your carpet because it's so furry.

3.  People ask where you got your unique "fur" coat.

4. You hear the vacuum cleaner screaming when come near it.

5.  Cleaning up the cat's hairball is like a vacation.

Monday, October 11, 2010





Brut at 6 weeks

Brut was a real pisser of a puppy. Literally. He was like a mini faucet that was always running or leaking and couldn’t be turned off. He never gave me any clue that he had to go. There wasn’t any sniffing or circling, he’d just be walking, then stop and GO! And it wasn’t every two or three hours like in the books. It was EVERY hour. You could almost set your watch by it. Which you would think would make it easier, but God forbid I start watching a show or cooking dinner or do anything because next thing you know that boy was squatting. I could pretty much forget about doing anything but watch the clock and get him outside. I practically had to mark down the last time he went out cause after twenty-four hours of this, my head was scrambled with numbers of time. If that wasn’t enough, twenty minutes of play he was creating a puddle and I‘d have to start the count down all over again. It was maddening. Gratefully he only pooped in the house once when we first brought him home. A sharp “no” and a clap of the hands and for some reason he never did it again. I have never understood the mystery of that except I suspect it might have had something to do with his breeder. I can‘t imagine the mess or my sanity if he was doing both bodily functions at the same rate in the house. Lord have mercy!

Who me?

I rationed his water, which I never was comfortable with. How was I to know when he was thirsty? He didn’t drink excessively and turns out it didn’t make any difference, he was still a peeing machine, so I gave him back his water.

Silver didn’t prepare me well for Brut either. She was at the door two days after we got her and was waking me up in the middle of the night to go out. At three months old she was potty trained.

I'm just a puppy!  What does she expect?

We started crating Brut at night after he wouldn’t stay in his playpen. (yes, we actually put him in a baby's playpen). We had dark red carpeting in our bedroom and I know he had to be having accidents at night but it was always impossible to see the pee spot. So here’s how our crate training went: When he would start to cry and howl I would get up and let him out then put him back in his crate. We did this every hour on the hour for days until he finally made it for two hours and eventually three and so on. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when Brut let me sleep for five hours straight before waking me up. It was a miracle.

Somewhere between three and four months old he finally got it. It is funny now, but at the time I was heading for a straight jacket. Lol I should have known from this experience what a PITA dog Brut was going to turn out to be... 

Pain In The Ass! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Special walks

Zappa ready to go

Having six dogs it is easy to get overwhelmed at times and being human has it's limitations.  Trying to meet all the dog's needs and our special circumstances of two packs can be difficult.  It seems they are always up and ready for action all at the same time while it seems my energy is spent or I'm busy with other things.  These are the days I have to break everything down and concentrate my energy on one or two dogs. 

There is something about that quality one-on-one time, usually by taking a walk, where I can catch my breath and relax.  A little get to know them time.  This helps me ease my mind knowing for that half hour or so someone is getting my undivided attention.  It is in these moments that I gain a personal connection that I don't normally have in our house of dogs and being able to focus on just one.  I think the same goes for the dog.  I believe they appreciate being singled out and spending that extra time with me.

This is why rides with Daddy are so popular around our house.  Everyone dances, sings and shakes for that quality time with Daddy.  They don't seem to care that they are left in the car while he does his jobs, they just enjoy his company without the competition of the other dogs.  There have been a few times when Daddy has taken two dogs at the same time and he said, it just isn't the same.  They will squabble for the front seat and then someone is left in the back which takes away from that special time together.

Today was one of those days.  I just couldn't do it all.  So Zappa and I took off for walk and then I came back and got Brut.  It was wonderful.  That simple quiet time of reconnecting with them as individuals.  Zappa becomes more independent away from Brut, marking everything he can.  Brut followed his path afterward and remarked everything for him.

Having this time together is very effective and helps to center me so that I am mentally ready to handle the two packs again.

Brut walking in the sunshine