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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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Memories-Silver's Chocolate Scare

That doughnut was t-h-i-s big!!

Like many we had heard that chocolate was fatal for dogs.  Silver was about 12-16 weeks old and was traveling with us.  My husband and I were on our way home and had bought a box of chocolate glazed donuts.  Neither of us thinking we ran into the gas station for our last potty break while leaving our box of goodies with a scrounging puppy before we were to head onto the highway. 

As we got back in the car, I caught Silver gulping down the remains of one of the donuts.  She was our first puppy and I panic.  All I knew at that time was chocolate=death.  So we ran her to the nearest vet office, where the wonderful vet calmed our fears, while giving Silver a shot to help with any nausea and diarrhea, as we had a four hour ride ahead of us.  The vet informed us that for Silver's weight, (about 25 lbs) she would have to eat a full chocolate bar in order to be fatal.  My husband and I both breathed a sigh of relief and Silver slept all the way home with no ill effects from the chocolate or sugar buzz she could have incurred.

The whole experience was quite a scare, but it was nice to know that our mishap didn't turn into a serious matter.  I don't know what we would have done if something were to happen to Silver because of our negligence.  As a result we are always careful about any chocolate around the house and have a special drawer just for it, along with other no-dog goodies. 

Here are a couple of websites that give a little better sketch about the different levels of toxicity of chocolates and what symptoms to watch for if you think your dog has ingested any.  While it depends on the weight of your dog and the type of chocolate and amount, all chocolate is toxic to dogs.

While these are only guidelines, if your dog has eaten chocolate or exhibits any of these symptoms, please do not hesitate to call your vet, who can help you determine what treatment your dog may need. 

 Let's keep all our puppies safe!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Na, na, na, na!  I beat you!  I beat you!
Every time I feed the dogs I have this crazy notion that they are actually "sitting down" to a meal and I suddenly have a half hour to myself while the dogs have "dinner."  You'd think after setting each bowl down and practically turning around to pick them back up, this fantasy would die a slow death.
Nobody said being a dog lover meant having all my marbles and well, after living with six dogs I'm entitled to have lost a few along the way!!

p.s.  special Paw Prayers for all of friends in the wake of Hurricane Irene.  Our paws are all crossed for you!!

Join the rest of us crazy animal lovers on the Saturday Blog Hop!!
Hosted by Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers, and Confession of the Plume.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Kind of Baking

Zucchini, Peanut Butter and Wheat Dog Treats

When we just had the Back Dogs, my husband kept talking about making our own dog treats.  While I can bake, it isn't my favorite thing, but I found a recipe, got the ingredients and even bought a new cookie cutter as I didn't have one and whipped up a batch of dog cookies.

All of the dogs turned up their noses at these treats that I had slaved over, just for them.  They wouldn't even take a bite.  That said I never baked for those mongrels again!

So when I went to the Farmer's Market today, I found a young girl who had made these mini muffin-like dog treats.  6 for $1.  How perfect is that?  Three dollars to taste test and no mess or fuss.  That's my kind of baking!  AND the dogs loved them. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Greater Lesson

Today I was in a funk.  By early evening, I felt like a failure as a dog mom.  Somehow all of my best laid plans and good intentions were washed down the drain.  The world seemed to crash down hard on top of me.  I saw no hope in being able to make any changes for the evening hours as I sat with Chance and it began to sprinkle.  I had nothing left to give as I hung my head and shook a weary fist at this world.  Defeated.  I sat as the drops kept falling.   

 Come on Mom, is that all you got!!

Chance was my healer today.  As we sat in the rain, I'd left the hose running, his greatest love.  I watched him run to and fro with it, twisting, pulling, all around the yard.  I was almost going to go in and take my misery with me, when something stopped me and I picked up the hose and began to play tug-of-war with him.  Pitting all my strength against his.  In this friendly but competitive challenge,  I channeled my negative energy through that hose to hold my ground.  And more times than not I surrendered to this white warrior.  As the tension in my brain began to break and rain fell harder, the challenge was taken to the next level.  To get the hose from Chance and not let him get it by swinging it around while he did some of most acrobatic twist, jumps and moves I have ever seen a dog do.  Phenomenal!  I was in totally awe.  Astounded.  That boy is something.

When I finally came in, I realized I'd only felt a temporary release and that my feelings of failure had come rushing back.  I had devoted all of my available energy to one dog and there were five others that had been left out and it was pouring.  Eventually I found myself in front of the computer, searching for something and then I found a video I had saved:  GoD and DoG by Wendy Francisco.

And suddenly it all began to make sense. 

I came to realize that I am extremely blessed with not just one, but two "Heart Dogs."  Brut is one and it just dawned on me tonight that Chance is the other.  I have always known that both Brut and Chance are my spiritual leaders and there is a reason they are both leaders of two equal packs.  Which had lead me to the realization that I need two leaders in my home and could not be done if the dogs were all united.  There is a reason that is deeper and stronger that can not be questioned and brings a greater peace of mind just knowing.

That is what I was suppose to learn today from Chance and because the communication between the two packs is strong and viable, everyone already knew that Chance was the only one who could teach me this lesson.  The agreement had already been made between all of the dogs and my feelings of failure were wiped clean.     

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brut Therapy

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!

For those of you who don't already think I'm a bit on the crazy side when it comes to my observance of my dogs and their relationship to me, this next story will seal any doubts you might have had  :)

I was walking Brut, it was practically dark and we came up on the main road that runs to town.  There are a few businesses that were closed and a couple of restaurants that were just getting ready to close up, when Brut and I started down the road.

I tend to get nervous around people in general, so when I saw that the street was busier than normal, I began to stiffen up.  There was a guy on bike coming down our side of the road, before he was close, Brut stopped and began sniffing around.  Now if I hadn't have seen it with my own eyes, I would have balked at what I'm about to tell you.  He was looking at me out of the corner of his eye!  I kept this sideways gaze while thinking, What is Brut doing?  He looks like he's pretending to sniff.  Brut would be the first to tell you when he stops to sniff, all of his focus and concentration is on that scent.  He doesn't pay any attention to me, so something about this was different.  As the cyclist neared into sight, Brut nonchalantly started walking very casually forward without one inclination towards this cyclist, which in itself was amazing and we carried on.

Taking care of humans all day is exhausting!
Now if that had been the only incident, I would have called a fluke, but it happened two more times with a skateboarder and some people coming out of the restaurant. I kept my focus on Brut "sniffing" as these people approached and he kept me in his eye sight, and when I began to relax, he started moving forward.  I was enjoying this game while completely trusting in this big lug, as he lead me down the road.   

When we turned the corner to head home, I wanted to scream with joy!  Brut silently took the lead and was teaching me how to relax around strangers.  To someone else it looked like a girl walking her dog, little did they know it was that my furry friend that was leading the way.  I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face every time I think about it.  I was so proud of both of us.  He actually helped me to face my fears, in a way I couldn't have done without him helping me.  It was just that simple.  It had been a really bad day, I was in no mood to walk, but he kept insisting that it would be good for us and it was.  It was one of the best walk ever.

So what do you think?   Active imagination?  Or the will of dog who knows her owner all too well and was carrying out his angelic mission?  And you can't hurt my feelings, I already know I'm crazy, dog crazy that is!!  :)    

Monday, August 22, 2011

Daddy's Monday Memories-Who Says a Cat Can't Teach a Dog New Tricks?

I'll never forget the day I discovered that cats can teach dogs new tricks.

A long time ago I once had a kitten, who was about two months old who we'll call "Kitty," because I can't remember her name.  After about six months, I saw a puppy who I just had to have.  I really can't say for sure what kind of dog she was, I think she might have been a white lab.  When I first saw her, I looked into her eyes and she was telling me, "take me home, take me home."  Well, I wanted to get a playmate for Kitty, because I hated leaving her home all alone when I went to work.  So when "Melanie" gave me that look, that was the icing on the cake.

I took her home and didn't know how Kitty would react.  Well they got along just fine.  After a few days it was like they were Siamese twins.  After about a week or two went by I began to notice something, the bed was sprinkled with kitty litter.  The litter box was in my bedroom, at the foot of my queen sized mattress that I had on the floor yet I never had kitty litter on my bed before.  Kitty had always used the box with no problems.  Then as time went on I began to notice the bed had more and more litter on the sheets.  I kept thinking, What the heck is going on with that Kitty?  

Well, one night I got in late and I took Melanie out for our walk to do her business and the three of us went to bed.  The next morning I decided to sleep in, something I rarely do, but it was Sunday and had been a long week.  The next thing I knew I was being woken up by a raining hail of kitty litter in my face!  I tried dodging the spraying pellets while I staggered to sit up to see what that crazy cat was doing.  As my eyes began to focus, I was shocked.  There in the middle of the litter box was Melanie in serious concentration as she flung the litter left and right covering up her recent business.  I tilted my head, with a smirk and asked, "What are you doing?"  She stopped dead in her tracks.   I could barely contain myself before I busted out laughing. She'd been caught! I didn't want her to think she was in trouble, so I praised her and Melanie's startled look soften as she bound out of the box and on the bed to cover me with sweet puppy kisses and a trail of kitty litter.

It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen in my life and still cracks me up to this day.  I'll tell you one thing, cats ain't got nothing on a puppy in the litter box!!  The speed and thrust in those paws would put a cat to shame!!  There was nothing cuter than Melanie in that litter box.  She was one smart puppy taking care of business just like the cat taught her to.  Now I'd seen it all.  :)   


Friday, August 19, 2011

Where Do You Want to Go?

I accomplished a feat I have never tried before:  I walked all six dogs in one afternoon!!  (Individually, of course.)  Lord knows we are no where near The Thundering Herd's level.  BOL!!  But we keep working on it one dog at a time.  We were having one of those all day rainy days that no one but this crazy dog lady would be out and about in the neighborhood.  So I took on the challenge.

Chance was my ice breaker, just in case any loonies did happen to be out.  We sailed through perfectly.  Blaze was doing so good, I almost didn't want the walk to end.  When I got to Silver, I really began to relax.  Next was Fiona.  Fiona was fun.  At this point I was letting the dogs chose where they wanted to go. I told her she could where ever she wanted as long as we were on a path.   The wooded area near our house has all kinds of deer runs and with Fiona's nose she found every single one of them. 

When I took Zappa I became aware of a difference I hadn't noticed before.  He barely put his nose to the ground and he either he didn't want to follow the same paths or he was after something else.  I think he is more of a sight dog.  Unless he just didn't want to get his pretty little nose wet.  We traveled up, down and around the woods just as Zappa pleased.

I was lucid by the time I got to Brut and he took me on one of wild and crazy adventures.  Brut is fun because I can just let him drag me along and since he was in the drivers seat, he did just that.  I don't know what he was after but we circled the woods twice.  Brut has a way of get me giggling because he is so serious and comical at the same time.  I had such a great time "letting go of the leash" so to speak and letting the dogs take me on their explorations.  So loose and free, it was intoxicating.  Have you ever tried doing that?
 Follow the lead dog, HA!
She just needs me to drag her along!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Follow up

A follow up to yesterday's post:  Where are they?  I was so distraught writing this post, I referred to the "problem insect" as a moth, while it is actually the larvae or caterpillar of this moth that does the damage.  Their populations run in cycles, with some years being worse than others and last year we had an heavy infestation of these caterpillars that I believe are called "tent caterpillars." To my knowledge they are not an invasive species, just a real pest. The caterpillars/larvae devoured many of the tree's leaves and people were frightened.  While most of the trees came back by the middle of the summer after the caterpillars were eaten (the birds had quite a feast) or became moths.  Someone must have made a decision to spray this year in order to prevent another infestation, which was the first it had happened in our area since I have been here.   

We had a very cold June, which in hindsight would have taken care of these "problem" larvae and probably accounts for the lack of insects that were missing.  It is the lack of wildlife, particularly the tree dwelling animals and their diminish that to me makes think this is too much of a coincidence to loose that many all at once.  Which just happened to do be the same year they sprayed.  That is just a little spooky.  I do believe Mother Nature always has a way of working and balancing things out if our human fears would just stay out of the way.  I don't know about anyone else, but I am a particular fan of any creature that eats insects and rodents.  Which is why I was so struck when I realized I hadn't seen any bats all summer long and they are rather plentiful around here, yet I saw more of the regular moths than I can remember, which is one of bats favorite foods.

It is scary what we as humans do to upset such a balance and while I know it is rather common to use insecticides in many places, it is sad that we don't learn more how to coexist with nature and let the cycle of life take care of itself.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments.  Forgive me for not quoting you all.  :)  It is great to be among such wonderful nature lovers.  



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Are They?

I had been planning a funny post about how the squirrels must have boycotted the 24 Paws of Love home because I thought the dogs had scared them away.  Then I spoke with my neighbor and was halted in my tracks.  I discovered that the low flying plane that went over the tops of our trees, this past spring while Brut and I were out walking, was a crop duster spraying for a particular moth.

I almost fainted in horror as the mental list I'd been tallying flooded my mind with the wildlife and insects that I'd noticed  missing all summer.     

The absence of the squirrels was the most obvious.
Then I realized I hadn't seen the nuthatch in it's birdhouse. Or scattering up and down the pine trees.
Where were all the bees and wasps?
The hummingbird food kept molding.
The tiny song birds, chickadees, finches and sparrows missing from our many trees.
The knocking of the woodpecker, no more.
And then the one that shot through me like a bullet,
I had not seen one bat all summer long.

These are only the animals and insects I am aware of that have nearly vanished in our neighborhood in order to get rid of ONE type of caterpillar/moth. 

This is the results.

I don't know that I will ever get a grip of the horror of what has been done. 

Because of ONE moth all of these creatures are gone and then some.  Something to think about.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Male vs. Female

I grew up with the notion that female dogs were better than males. I'm not sure what I thought of that knowledge, but my flimsy teachings were challenged when I got my first male dog.  He was a surprise so he was picked out for me and was one of the best male dog relationships I had.  Then Alex came along and he took that male dog-female relationship to a new height.  Then we got Silver, who was my first female puppy where I learned a sisterly/motherly kind of love, giving me a greater appreciation of the female bond.  And since then we have had a male and female pairing with each "set" of dogs.

I find myself more times than not creating a deeper bond with the male dogs.  I find when I am in a funk of sorts, feeling less than myself, it is the self-confidence and pride of the males that I zero in on.  Their strength and self-assurance seems to transform what I am lacking at the moment as I pull from their resonating force.  They also seem to have more of a comical, teasing nature that can make me laugh even on the darkest days.  They have a way of pushing and testing me beyond my own limits and bringing out the competitive side of me.    For all their power and stealth, it is amazing to draw upon their softer sides for that strong male comfort that everything will be alright.  There is something powerful and endearing in these strengths that I have come to love in my male dogs and feel so blessed to have them in my life.  

Now the females have this same strength and confidence and are just as powerful as the male dogs, but they do not need to make their presence known, it is always there.  When it comes down to it though, they are the ones in control.   They have a quiet, yet strong grace about them that has shown me how to embrace female attributes.  There is a sense of equality when the girls are I are together where I find more empathy and understanding when I am feeling low.  They seem to "take on and absorb" my pain rather than try to revert it.   They are all nurturers and our "girl time" together is a bonding of our unique female qualities.  They are tender and sweet like girls should be, but they will not hesitate to exert their power when challenged.  I think this is one of things I love about them, while they are loving and adorable there is a vibrant force within them they use to hold their place.  They have no problem drawing that line and letting themselves be known.  

Each gender brings their own to the table.  This beautiful gift of having three of each that are all related, has been a fascinating journey, a study in the making.  From the simple to the complex differences of male and female dogs and their relationship to us as humans, male and female.  For example, while I tend to be drawn more to the males, my husband, surprise, surprise, is drawn towards the females.  And while neither gender means more than the other, it is interesting how many qualities are similar in each.  Experiencing the wide dynamics of both genders and their individual personalities has been a beautiful gift that has made helped me to appreciate both genders and the treasures they have to give.   

So how about you?  Do you have a preference when it comes to gender?  Why or why not?  Were you ever taught a preference about male/female and then discovered different?  How does gender differ in the way you have bonded to your dog?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Memories-Sparky

 My absolute favorite picture that sums up everything about Sparky

While I am an avid dog lover, my presence has been graced with some the most awesome felines created on this planet.  Today is all about the coolest cat that ever lived named Sparky.

Sparky was smooth and mellow like cool jazz.  He would've been the one with the stand-up bass, head hanging low, thumping to every groove in his soul.  He had that down and dirty style that shone with a heart of gold.  Luscious black fur that was almost sinful to run your fingers through and a white triangle on his chest for an added stamp of class.  No, no, no, there was no cat like Sparky.

I was honored with this awesome cat when he was just over a year old. My roommate at the time brought him home and I still remember those yellow owl-like eyes as he took me in, slowly twitching his tail while he hung out on the window sill.  He was intriguing and beautiful, I could barely take my eyes off of him.  There was something to this cat named Sparky.

 I don't know that I could ever put into words who he really was and the intensity of knowing him.  Cats are so much more mysterious than dogs, but his mystery resonated deep in my soul.  I was unaware of how deep our bond was until he was diagnosed with cancer at 14 years old and would live another full year.  A week before his passing he rebounded, bouncing around like a kitten and I began to believed he was OK.  We had a scheduled work trip that weekend and I left Sparky in the hands of our vet.  Looking back, I think deep in my heart I already knew.  I barely said good-bye to him when we left, I just walked away.  When the vet called the next day, I knew.  His body was shutting down. It took 250 miles of separation to let Sparky go, it was that painful to bear.  God only knows I would have never given him up on my own and that it would take a higher intervention to say good bye to the coolest, most awesome cat in the world. 

The vet froze the body so when we returned we could bury him.  We took prints of his paws in plaster and laid him to rest.  When we moved I was torn, I couldn't bear the thought of "leaving" him, and actually dug up some of his bones to transfer them to our current home.  He was my first pet on my own and I have never met another cat like him.

Yeah, there's was something about that cat named Sparky.    

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 List Challenge

Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes has challenged me with the My 7 Links started by Tripbase.  Wasn't sure how I felt about the "homework" that was involved with this assignment, BOL, but the trip down memory lane was a blast!

1.  Most beautiful post:  Brut Trust
        This was my first post about the depth of the relationship I have with Brut but it was the comment by Pyroclasm Jones that touched me even more.  
2. Most Popular Post:  The Throw Away Dogs
     This post really touch a nerve with many about a woman I know who carelessly comment she could always get another dog if her's died from heart worms because she didn't treat her dogs for them.  
3.  Most Controversial Post:  Hormone City!
     I don't think I really have one, but since two of our dogs are not spayed or neuter yet, this could be considered controversial for the lack of comments. 
4.  Most Helpful Post:  Doggie Medicine Cabinet
     This wasn't one of my touchy-feely post and I wasn't sure about writing it, and was quite surprised by the comments and the help it gave.
5.  Post Who's Success Surprised Me:  Daddy's View Point-How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? 
     This was the first post my husband wrote (besides our first post) and we were completely surprise by the responses we got.  It was so great to know we weren't alone in the doggy world!  
6.  Post I Felt Didn't Get the Attention It Deserved:  Monday Memories-Daddy Dog Brut Playing With Pups
      I thought this video post would be an absolute hit.  I mean, how can you resist that big bad Daddy Dog Brut playing with all his little pups?  
7.  Post I'm Most Proud Of:  How We Became Two Packs
     I am proud of this post for a couple of reasons:  1.  Houndstooth asked in the previous post why the dogs were separated and it was the first time someone had asked us a question.  And 2.  When I wrote this story out, I came to many realization that I was not fully aware of that helped me to grasp a fuller perspective  why we were two packs and the important role it has played in our healing process.

Now it is up to me to choose 5 Bloggers to pass this challenge on to.  If you would like to participate by all means join in the fun.    

Here again are the rules.    And thanks again to Pamela for our nomination. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Go Away World!!

You know those days when you wish the whole world would go away and leave you alone with your dog?  Well, I was having one of those days when I took Chance for a walk.  I was in no mood to "train," I just wanted to walk out my frustrations of the day.  Our walks are usually pretty quiet, but tonight we started out an hour earlier than normal as daylight is getting shorter now.  So I was completely caught off guard when the rest of the neighborhood was out and about disrupting my entire vision of running away from the world with  Chance by my side.     

Here's was our "adventure.":

A turkey on the edge of the woods that drove Chance crazy and we weren't even to the corner of the road.  As the turkey flew off, he had to sit for some time trying to settle down from the thoughts of a giant drumstick dinner.  While I was patiently waiting, two small girls on bikes with their mom went by, which Chance surprising paid no attention to, probably because he had his eyes on the two tiny dogs walking toward him with their owner.  He couldn't tear his eyes away no matter what I did.  My choices:  It was the little dogs or the fresh turkey smells.  So in order to salvage what little control I had, I turned him into the woods, where he focused back on the turkey's lingering scent.  We sat in the woods for what seemed an endless amount of time, before I could get him to walk without dragging me through the woods.  Ah, but dear friends our adventures weren't over yet.  Out of the woods and back down the road, right where the turkey took flight, Chance got pretty crazy in that spot, and so back and forth we walk past the spot, then we headed in the opposite direction.  Only to come across the two little girls and their mom on bikes...which actually turned out to be the highlight of the whole crazy night.  Chance was relaxed and walked right by them, I gave him some treats to emphasize how great he was doing and he passed without looking like a crazy lunatic dog as their wheels spun by.  On top of that, we had missed the tiny dogs coming back.  Wow!  Now we are getting somewhere! So I decided to take him through his favorite field to end the night before going home.  Ah, but our walk wasn't quite over yet, a loose six month old puppy with his owner and no recall.  Really?  At that point I gave up, turned around and headed back down the road, where we experience the turkey essence once again and finally turned the corner down our road to go home.

I sat with Chance who hung his head in my lap.  I don't think that was the walk he was looking for either.  After a long pause and signs of twilight began to cascade the sky, I laced up Blaze and we jogged up and down the streets without a soul in sight.  FINALLY, the world melted away and I had a walk alone with the dogs!       

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Is It...

Dogs have ten times the energy as we do,

And get to sleep all day?

While I drag butt all day,

in desperate need of a nap!

Something about that just ain't right!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Memories-Shy Fiona

Fiona is the shyest out of all the dogs.  When she was about 5 months old, Daddy started taking her on his work adventures.  She was great in the car, but when he would stop at the gas station for a pit stop, Fiona would be so nervous she would tuck her tail under and hang her head low.  So to help her get over her fear, Daddy would start running around the gas station with her and her head and tail would perk up.

Each time Daddy took Fiona he keep doing this until she was able to walk with confidence.  Now believe me, Daddy has never read a book on dog training, watched any dog behavioral shows, nor does he listen to me most of the time.  Somehow he just knew what to help overcome this shy little girl's fears.  Fiona is still shy in certain areas, like meeting new people, but she shows none of when she is walking in public.  Daddy's smart thinking, patience and consistency  is why Fiona can confidently walk anywhere with her tail held high.

I'm just a little jealous I didn't think of it first.  :) 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Day at the Park

We had a break from the heat and blaring sun, early morning thunderstorms, then heavy clouds and rain on and off through the day.  It was heaven!  I took the opportunity to take a couple of the dogs to the park in the afternoon and it was a nice break in the action, as we usually wait until sunset for our walks.

I took Brut first.  We were in dire need of some alone time together.  The park is hardly used except for baseball and soccer games and on a day like today we were alone.  Brut and I had our own agendas for our walk.  I became lost in my thoughts as he sniff every ounce of information that lay on the trail.  We jogged most of the way and fell into an easy motion with each other.  Natural and comfortable we enjoyed the pace and place and being alone together.  Sometimes it is nice just to be together and appreciate the other's company without feeling the need for a deep sense of connection.  To just be.  Together.  We both had a hard time leaving.  Not five minutes after we got home, it down poured.  Our timing couldn't have been better.

After a bite and a little rest, I took Blaze to the park.  Do you ever feel that there is one dog that you are still getting to know?  Blaze is one of those dogs for me. Blaze likes to move quickly so I jogged/walked through the trails with her, as I was a little wore from jogging with Brut.  She fell right in sync with me and I think she appreciated the extra pace.  She probably would have liked to sniff around a little more, but she kept right up with me.  I haven't tried to jog with her before since I have just really started working with her on leash training, but she did fantastic.  Since I am in an experimental phase with Blaze and trying to find that little niche that is just her, I keep trying different things.  Jogging through the park trails seemed to work for her and she did fantastic.  She never tried to pull or zip in another direction she stayed right with me.  Maybe jogging together will be part of the key, that is if my weary knees will hold out!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chance Therapy 101

 Have you ever let your dog take the reins and let him guide you?

I had a  unique experience with Chance and an anxiety attack that had occurred just before I was ready to take him for a walk.  I had almost talked myself out of it because a walk meant facing a few extra fears and I hadn't begun to calm down from my previous one.  A post written by the House of Carnivores has been ringing through my head ever since I read it about her experience with horses and that no matter how weak or scared you feel when thrown, you get back on that horse.  So I bit the bullet and took Chance.

So as Chance and I headed through the wooded trail, my anxiety was growing more with every fast pace step we took.  When we reached the end of the trail at the opening of the field, Chance pulled and I stopped.  He sat quietly while I held my fluttering stomach and tried to concentrate on my breathing, the wind and sky.  Chance looked at me every so often and then would turn his head.  The roles had suddenly reversed.  He was patiently waiting for me to calm down and was helping me to do it before moving on.  As I gained some composure our gaze met and held and with my own words Chance asked, "Are you ready?"

I was OK, but still shaky as we headed out onto the field.  Chance was pulling in every crazy direction possible and that's when I realized this wasn't my show anymore and I surrendered to him.  We started jogging around the outside of the track, then the pace picked up until we were both running.  I mean RUNNING!  Ya know so fast your feet feel like they are going to fly out from under you.  After the first stretch I had to slow him down, I was laughing so hard and his game had worked. Speed burnt off that extra anxiety!  It was great!

We did a couple more short burst, then cruised up the hill and back down all at top speed and all the while laughing so hard I could barely catch my breath.  This was the Chance I had started running with before we started leash training and he was in his glory, but it was more than that, he knew what we needed and he flourished in the trust I gave him.

When the scent of a rabbit was more than he could handle it was time to take the reins back and at that point he was willing to give up the control.  What an awesome experience to be able to share!  My anxiety was long gone and I had let go to experience the trust in this relationship that had been built.  I couldn't believe when that little stinker was waiting for ME to calm down, something  I have done for him many times before.  How do you even begin to explain the depths of a relationship like that?  Talk about being touched.  Tears and a smile come to my face when I think of that moment.  And when we ran...he lead, I followed.  It was that simple and miraculous at the same time. 

And the only way to sum it up...that's my boy, Chance.  :)   

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Memories-Puppy Innocence

Daddy's old boot was a favorite

 The one thing I miss most about having puppies is their wonder and innocence with everything.  It doesn't matter what you give them for a toy, they have a way of opening your eyes in amazement of simple objects that  become these fascinating wonders of joy and they can not get enough it.  If another puppy wants it, well that just makes it all the better.  With puppies you don't need fancy or expensive toys, everything is new and exciting.

Daddy's LIVE shoe was even better!

An abandoned cave

Hunting the great pop bottle and squirrel duo

Searching for that "Special Kitty"

Taking down the wild leash snakes

Fearlessly braving the gaping jaws of the flower pot

Yes, there is something to be said for the wild imagination of puppies that I don't find with them now that they are adults.  Now it seems it takes more brain work on my part to entertain them and it is easy to miss the innocence that was.  :)