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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, September 30, 2011

The Brut Puzzle

Brut actually goes into a panic when food falls on the floor or under the furniture.  Like he has found the last morsel and he's been starving for days.  If you try to help him get the food, he almost screams like he's in physical pain and makes attempts for your hand.  I do my best not to spill kibble or treats, and pick up every morsel I can find before Brut is in the room.

 Brut and I were playing with what I call the puzzle cube today, just him and I, and while he pawed and rolled this little cube spilling treats all over the floor, I was following behind him making sure none were missed.  A light bulb went off, why not work on his food issues with this game?  So I got on the ground, close to him and began picking up the remnants of chewed plastic while keeping a lookout for any wayward treats while still playing with him.  I began inching closer to him on all fours, until I was eventually in his space.  I'd even brushed up against him to get the cube when it was stuck against the wall.  He was doing great and having fun.

Then I began playing with the cube, by crawling back and forth after it and hitting it around.  As the tempo increased, so did Brut's excitement.  His eyes, widened, his heart was pacing and all his fur began stand.  There was no doubt his adrenaline was rising.  As we took turns with the food toy, I was conscious of his body language, he was excited, but he also had a look that said, he didn't know what to think.  This was fun, but these were his treats and he didn't know what to make of me messing with them.  He was caught between wanting to play and wanting to guard.  I began to slow my actions, while I wasn't scared, in his semi-heightened state any quick movements would be interrupted as hostile.  My goal was not to aggravate him, but to keep this level of play safe for both of us.   I let him guide me.

When the cube rolled just out of easy reach, he came up to me and nibbled on one side of my lips, licked my face like crazy and then repeated this several times.  I couldn't have been more thrilled!!  I have seen Fiona do this very same action with Silver, a boundary line that says, "Stop.  I don't want to hurt you.  Please don't go any further."  I stayed in this same position, I didn't move forward or backwards and I didn't freeze.  He continued to circle and walk back and forth in front me, every so often licking my face, while I sat in place.  Eventually he laid down next to me, I touched his paw with my finger, and he gave me the signal again, only this time the nibble on the lips was even lighter than the first time.  I continued to let him calm, until he was certain that I wasn't making a move after the cube and continued to acknowledge his boundary line.  After a few minutes I got up and he got up with me.  I thanked him profusely, while having him sit and gave him a treat.  The game was over, I picked up the cube to put in it's safe place and then he went outside because that was his safe place.

As I sat down to absorb what had just happened, I was overwhelmed by what Brut had shown me:  Himself.  Not just "dog behaviors," but his actual true being.  There is no way to explain the amount of trust he had given me and I was humbled beyond words.  The mysteries of this dog went far beyond labels or insights into them.  It was Brut sharing with me how and why he is Brut.  There are no words that will ever justify the moments of being that passed between us, only to know they are forever imprinted on my heart.  A being who took a chance to open to me.  Our communication was beautiful.  It was like walking through Brut's world and experiencing it first hand.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Black Beauty Silver

One of the reasons that people give for not wanting a black dog is that they do not photograph well, especially their faces.  While it can be difficult, if you just snapping that little box with a little help from nature, you can share in a true Black Beauty.  

Never have I been able to capture the velvety smoothness of Silver's fur like this before.
Simply beautiful.

Eight years to get a picture like this, without even trying.
What a rare gem Silver really is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One of Our Finest...

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Call for an appointment today!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hey, What About My Progress??

I'm always sharing about the progress that the dogs have made which got me thinking, what about the progress I have made over the last couple of years with six dogs and unique circumstances?  So I thought I would take a minute and share some of profound ideas that have been developing over time that is making my life easier for me and the dogs.

I used to think that I had to have a set time and space in order to train.  I don't do well with schedules and deadlines and since the dogs are quite used my randomness, I have begun to use it to work for us.  I've been learning to weave our training through the day.  Like in this recent post.   

I also never could fully grasp how to utilize taught commands to bypass bad behavior.  For some reason it took a while for this one to sink in.  Like it just didn't occur to me when any of the dogs were getting out of hand to tell them to sit.  It was like a new awakening.

I have focus quite heavily on the Brut, Chance and Blaze for the last few years as they were the highest priority that I spent little time training Zappa, Fiona and Silver.  Man, does it show!  I have begun with small training exercises with them on some of our problem areas.

I began a list for each dog noting each of their issues that need to be addressed, making it easier for me to remember.  I never thought about writing it down until I read a post by Married with Dawgs.  (slaps forehead)  Since I'm usually in a constant shuffle with dogs, I can just take any opportunity as it presents itself. Eliminating X amount of pressure that I am notorious for putting myself under.

I refuse to have a time table in which to accomplish these goals, only that I keep working on them.  There are just too many animals in this home to tend to and I need to give all of us as much wiggle room as possible to help in the success.  I have their entire lives to work with them and if I have learned nothing else, time will take care of everything.

I will probably be doing all of things for some time without worrying about a finish line and I think that's awesome!  It has taken me quite some time to break my own chains of how our dogs should be trained and give myself the freedom to do what works best for them and myself.  And that my friends is a beautiful gift.  :)

So what work's for you?   What you have you changed in your thinking or style to accommodate you and dog's lifestyle?  I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theory Evolution-My Personal Thoughts

Many of us grew up with the dominance theories for training dogs.  That was all there was and it was all about controlling the animal to behave.  For some reason while taking care of the duck today (of all animals), I began to take in account the impact these practices would have had on my dogs if I had continued it.  Like many, I started using the same techniques with my first dog and carried them on to Silver.  It was when I got Brut, my problematic dog when I began searching for something different and was introduced to clicker training and the entire theory of positive reinforcement.  For some reason, it struck me suddenly how these evolving  theories have changed everything I do with my dogs.  From the way I think, to the way I react and I found myself being washed over with gratitude. Not only did I believe and understand them, but they coincided with my own beliefs and love for animals.  They gave me the freedom to explore further the emotional bonding to have a deeper relationship and a level of equality and a sense of well being with my dogs.  Something I always found conflicting with the "old school" ways.

While I use a wide variety of techniques and training skills, they are based on positive reinforcement to some degree or another.  I have even adapted some of those "old school" techniques for use with positive reinforcement under special circumstances and have had great results.

I have found that it isn't just a theory or an idea, but more of a way of life that not only pertains to my dogs, but myself as well.  It is more than just giving your dog a treat when they do a good or the right thing, but a sense of respect, communication, and bonding between two living beings.  It isn't just a set time that they have your undivided attention, but how we learn to respond to each other throughout the day that adds quality to both of our lives.  Being able to co-exist in a harmony and balance that I think many would agree was lacking some before if we look at how far dog training and theories have come.

I would personally like to thank the founders and believers who made those astonishing breakthroughs, that continue to challenge our lives today to have a better relationship with our dogs and to be the fantastic owners that our dogs are worthy of.   They simply deserve it!

Does anyone else feel this way about the changes that have happen to dog theories for the better?  Or do you think we still have a ways to go?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Zoomies and Toy Rewards

I have been guilty of not training the Back Dogs any new tricks for some time.  With Brut's food and toy obsessions, I haven't quite figured out how to reward the dogs without separating them.  Treats are out of the question if all four dogs are around and I wasn't sure if I could use the toys.  But my wheels were still churning... 

With the cooler weather the Back Dogs have also woke up from their summer comas with zoomies everywhere!  I just happened to start rummaging through the toy box, which caught Brut's attention, when he suddenly grab this old, nylon lobster that's been in there for ages, but he didn't care it was suddenly the best toy ever!!  So I got it from him and practiced him weaving through my legs.  He caught on quick and then we played tug-of-war for a few minutes and did it again.  After he tore all the stuffing out, the toy became unimportant and I tried with Silver and Fiona.  All of this happening in between chasing games and subtle attacks.  I used balls, sticks or other toys that would hold their interest long enough to weave through my legs a couple of times and then would throw for fetch or tug-of-war.  It was great!  I'd been trying for so long to figure out a way to use toys so Brut wouldn't become so crazed that it would cause a disaster.  Letting him choose the toy and wear it out as he saw fit, took off all the pressure off of the other dogs.  And we haven't bought new toys for so long, they don't have any high value to Brut and that keeps his toy insanity in check.

I don't know why it took me so long to come up with the idea, because it is the same thing I do when I brush them.  I let them play and run around and brush them in between.  I am beginning to see some great possibilities!!  What a sweet blessing!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Hunters

 I was starting to get concerned that the dogs were never going to wake up out of their summer coma.  Once the cooler fall weather started to settle in, my fears were evaded.  WHEW!

In the spirit of their energy, the Front Dogs and I were chasing squirrels.  Something I have done several times with the Back Dogs, but for some reason never engaged the Front Dogs with play hunting.  Blaze was already standing up on a pine tree, whining, as a squirrel must have recently went by.  So we ran from tree to tree, searching for that measly squirrel.  Both dogs jumped right into the game.  Blaze was so razzed up that she jumped and froze when Chance sneezed.  The whole game was fun and quite hilarious.  I wondered why I hadn't thought it before with them.  Well we did what we could, but no squirrel was to be found.

Although later when I came back out, I discovered the hunt had not been for a squirrel, but a chipmunk that Blaze had caught and was carrying in her mouth!! Which she claims is just as tasty if not more so than squirrel!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Love X 6

If after a 1,000 days of lies, one wag of love dissipates all of them...
Imagine what six can do.  :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Memories- Pyscho Claw

 Who you calling psycho??
 I had this psycho crazy cat named Claw, who was a grey tabby/Siamese.  She was MY cat and never showed affection towards any males in my life.  Claw always ran and hid when any were around.  I met this guy, who claimed to be an all around good guy, (which was a sure red flag), who came over to my apartment and here comes Claw jumping right into his lap.  She was friendly and affectionate and was loving all over him.  This was the first time she had ever shown a male any special attention and I immediately started thinking this guy must be the one.  He had to be.  Why else would she be loving all over this guy?

Well needless to say this "good" guy had a bad past that I didn't know about and the relationship ended.  I was confused for some time why Claw had acted the way she had with this guy.  It made little sense until I met my husband-to-be and Claw was back to her psychotic self.  She made it very clear that she wanted nothing to do with him.

Is he still here?
It didn't take long for my husband and I to know that we were meant for each other and we got married. 

It was sometime later that we realized that Claw's whacked out attitude over the bad guy was actually an indication that she was acting completely out of character and that somehow I was suppose to pick up on that clue.  It also explains why she went full tilt Claw on my husband, which meant, she knew my husband was the real deal and there was no way that Claw was giving him any special treatment! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Geez Brut.  Didn't you see me??
I was only on the other side of the yard!!

Whenever Silver comes into Brut's presence, he has to sniff her to see where she has been.  Even if she just came from the other room.  Imagine what the world would be like if humans did the same thing?

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Real Truth

Kristen from Rescued Insanity expressed some concern about getting a second dog after walking two dogs together.  And I have been thinking about her post and my own thoughts and feelings of having 6 dogs. 

It is not easy.  And I will be upfront and admit, that I do not always like it.  It is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated.  I am not one who works well under pressure nor am I one of those people who just soars easily through the day.  I feel every pain and frustration and ache of sorrow that comes and have wished more than once that I could run away from all of it.  I can't do anything without a dog needing in or out, nor is there a room in the house that does not have a dog or cat in it, when I need time to myself.  

Just before Blaze came back, I was starting to gain some ground on having 4 dogs.  After all the puppies had left, going from 12 dogs to 4 dogs, was a breeze.  Blaze's return was a shock to my system.  When we said we would take any puppy back, we never dreamed it would actually happen.  When the four Back Dogs wouldn't accept Blaze, a tornado of panic set in.  What were going to do?  To make matters worse, Blaze came back a shell of herself from the beatings, being locked up and shot with a pellet gun.  There was nothing more heart wrenching than seeing your own puppy with all the love in her eyes beaten out of her.  It tore me to pieces.  Then when Chance was also returned, the case load doubled.  All of this occurring when Brut and Zappa's challenges were intensifying between them.  This was not what I had planned.  And it was hard.  It was scary.  And it was one the biggest challenges I had ever faced owning dogs and I wanted out.  So many times.  So many ways. Did I mention that I still had to live life while all of this was happening? It was just too much for this one person to handle.

If it wasn't for the dogs themselves, I wouldn't have done it. And I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for the dogs.  My own Catch-22.  Those days when it all came together were the tie breakers.  Because most of the time, I was running on empty and struggling to meet everyone's needs.  The guilt was consuming.  Back Dogs, Front Dogs and each individual needed something and it seemed all at the same time.  And I have never been good at juggling time, energy, and space nor am I good at keeping a schedule.  Being a stay-home-dog mom, I didn't have the luxury of a set amount of time away..  My husband on the other hand worked so many hours, wasn't able to spend much time with the dogs and that left the bulk of the weight on my shoulders.  I was pretty well burnt out after the puppies and Blaze showed up only 3 months after they had all left, with Chance to follow.  Yet as our home has begun to settle this past year due to the constant commotion, I am beginning to find that place of acceptance.   There is an inner peace, that in no way lessen the load, but that has brought about an understanding and awareness out of all the chaos that has dominated our lives.  

One thing I have never doubted was my responsibility to any of the dogs.  It is something I have always taken seriously and without question.  Though the amount of that accountability has taken it's toll on me in many different ways and progress has taken time, lots of time and patience.  It has taken every bit of that pain and glory for the 24 Paws of Love to be where they are today and I can honestly say I don't regret any of it.  Which of course is easy to say, when you are looking back.  There are still many days when I wish for the simplicity of one dog or two.  But like my dogs, I am stubborn and headstrong when it comes to them and I really couldn't have our experience or my life any other way.  It has been more than worth it because every ounce of progress the dogs made triumphed all the tragedy and you can't set a number on that. 

Kristine gave a salute to those of us who have multiple dogs.  And I found myself thinking about that honor to myself, something I rarely do.  For this little slice of time, I have taken it and have held it close to my heart.  The last person I would ever sit up and take notice for is myself.  Kristen's words hit home, and made me take a closer look at being a dog mom, under unique and trying circumstances.  When I walked Fiona today, I actually thought to myself, "Yeah, I am a pretty cool dog mom."  Fiona looked back and agreed.  :)

Thank you Kristine, I can not begin to express what you did for me.  (my husband tells me the same thing every day would like to know your secret, since I never listen to him!)

And thank you to every dog blogger who has been part of this incredible journey.  I have needed every single one of you so that I may have at least an ounce of sanity left.  :) 

But, I still need a vacation!!  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's that Smell??

 Until we meet again....Mr. Skunk!

We had our very first encounter with skunks this past summer.  The 24 Paws of Love have been rather fortunate considering there are ton of those stinky critters running around our neighborhood.  A skunk on the other side of the fence, must have had enough of Brut's interrogation and decided to shut him up.  I doubt it worked, but nonetheless, Brut got hit in the face with a small spray.  Somehow I had acquired a bottle "Skunk Off" that I had never used and decided to try it on him.  It worked great!  Brut only been coated in a fine mist, so I don't know how it would work on a more direct spray.  After it dried, you would never know Brut got skunked.

Since we had been so lucky not having any run ins with skunks,EVER, we were blessed not only with Brut's encounter, but two days later Zappa got blasted as he pulled my husband down a hill right up to a skunk in our neighbor's yard!  My husband was able to stay out of range, but Zappa got a pretty good soaking in the face and side of his body.  UGH!!  I used what I had left of the "Skunk Off," but barely had enough for his face.  So I rushed on line for a home remedy.  It was after 10pm, as skunks are nocturnal and no stores were open, so I just prayed I had enough of something at home that would take care of the God awful smell.  There are several variations online, here is the one I used (sorry I don't have a direct link):

Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide (or vinegar), I box of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of blue Dawn Dish Soap.  Sponge or spray on, leave on for 20 minutes, rinse and shampoo as usual.

  Yeah, I'd do it again...

It worked great!  I had also let Zappa in the house because it started raining.  Yes, not my brightest idea, but I didn't know what else to do with him.  So I sprayed the entire carpet with vinegar (to neutralize odor), steamed cleaned and voila, the smell was gone.

Thank goodness we haven't had any more encounters with those little stink bombs.  I think we met our quota this summer!  We still have a few months to go before the skunks go into hibernation for winter and until then we will keep our paws crossed.  :)

**Note** I have not be compensated nor I am endorsing "Skunk Off."  I am not receiving anything for mentioning this product.  The "Skunk Off" people don't even know I exist.  I just happen to have some of their product and used it in an emergency and wanted to share that it had worked.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Boy and the White Dog

The big white dog took his stance, announced his turf and looked around wondering who would challenge him.  A young boy came from behind the line of trees to the open corner of the fence and the white dog met him with a simple warning bark. “ GO AWAY!”  The boy did not flinch or scream nor jump or run, he simply backed up slowly and walked away.  

The boy watched the white dog with curiosity, questions posed deep in his mind, with the determination to try again.  The white dog had settled down as the boy carefully snuck behind the trees, giving it one last go to earn this dog’s trust.  Again the white dog slide into the corner and was stopped before he could bark.  The boy took to the trees as the white dog claimed his victory.  

As I watched this interaction with pure fascination, I was completely entranced with this dance between a tough playing dog and a brave boy and was humbly brought to tears.  For three years I have seen the aftermath of the cruelty that children have done to this white dog and all it took was one to approach with simple love to make me believe again.  

To the little boy, who tried with the determination and heart to get close a child-fearing dog, you gave a narrow minded woman a new found hope and opened her eyes to the possibilities.

Thank you for believing.  Your courage and love will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ever Thought of a Career with Animals??

All I knew when was a really young was I loved animals and that animal lovers become veterinarians.  All my best friend and I talked about were animals and becoming vets.  Well as life happened, she went to vet school, I didn't.  But I hadn't given up the dream quite yet.  When my friend graduated, she walked me through the school and into an area where the large animals were being treated for medical problems.  I came close to vomiting when I saw a cow with a hole in it's upper side as she explain the hole was there so they could reach inside the cow for some medical purpose.  That closed the book for me on even thinking of being a veterinarian!  For some reason it had never occurred to me that a vet was a doctor or the part of the medical field.  I just wanted to take care of animals, not cut them open.  And that dream died for the better.

Well, I still wanted to take care of animals, what better place to work than at a boarding establishment?  I worked for two different places, one was a boarding and training facility and the other was for a vet who also boarded.  Well, neither of these panned out for me.  Giving food, water and a short potty break, wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  It was also rather difficult for me not being able to spend more time with these dogs that were in their crates for hours on end, with only the 10-15 minutes I was allowed to take care of them.  I kept looking for a more personal relationship with the dog and time just wouldn't allow it.  I also discovered that I really didn't enjoy taking care of other people's dogs and that I only wanted to spend my time focusing on my dog and so the boarding experience came to a halt.

Time passes...

I still wanted to work with animals in some way, so later on down the road, I tried my hand at grooming.  I worked for a mobile company that was fairly innovative at the time.  In this huge van we drove to people's homes, plugged into their power, and groomed and bathed dogs and cats.  Since I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I was there to help and watch.  The whole experience was pretty interesting.  I didn't get to find out if I liked it or not, as I ended up having to move. So after I had settled in, I tried again with at another grooming place. I found that the whole "puff and fluff" thing was not for me.  I personally thought the dogs looked better when they came in all shaggy then when they left looking prim and proper.  Not exactly the best doggie stylist motto!  This is where I discovered I preferred low maintenance dogs when it came to all things fur.  I mean, WHEN the dogs do get a bath, I let them run around the house and roll in the dirt afterwards.  Wash-n-go, my kind of style!  So needless to say, I cut my losses with my professional grooming ideas.

Then I had one last plight.  I was going to college and thinking of going into wildlife biology, particularly the study of behavior.  I have always had a dream of studying tigers, until I couldn't afford to go to school anymore.  Enter husband.  Then, Alex, Silver, Brut, the Power of Ten litter, Zappa, Fiona, Blaze and Chance and somehow I've been able to do everything I wanted.  A part-time vet, caretaker, relaxed groomer, and behaviorist while devoting all my time to them.  Not only do I get to fulfill all my doggie dreams, but I get to do what I love most, write about all of them.  What better "career" could there be?

And to all of those that do work in the field of animals, thank you for your effortless love and dedication with our loved ones.
Our paws are off to you! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Memories-We Used to be T-H-I-S Big!!

From the first day the puppies were born, we weighed them in this scale until they got too big for it, somewhere between 3-4 weeks old.  We weighed them every other day to make sure they were growing at a consistent rate and getting enough nourishment.  Silver had 10 active teats, though some were smaller than others and the puppies were constantly shifting around and fighting for the best spot.

  10 inches (25.4cm)

They all weighed close to one pound (.45kg) when they were born.  Chance was born the biggest at 1 3/4 lbs (.79kg) while Fiona and Blaze were the smallest at 12.75 oz (.36kg).  There was quite a battle between the three white boy puppies, until they were about a month old when Zappa joined in the race. 

We never got any pictures while we weighed them.  They were so squirmy, it was difficult enough trying to get a solid reading, .  Probably the same reason we never thought to measure them. 
 You don't really expect me to get back in there, do you?

I hardly ever use the scale and almost forgot I had it when I pulled it out to measure beans. It was one of those moments that just hits you, how tiny all those puppies used to be.  Doesn't even seem possible sometimes.  Even looking at pictures doesn't quite give an accurate measure, but there was something about the scale that brought everything back "to scale."  What happen to my babies??

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Got Disgusting Hariballs??

Do you have cats?  Cats with disgusting hairballs?  Are you tired of cleaning up the slimy mess?  Not to mention the stains on your carpet and floors?  

Well we have the solution for you...

 All you need is a FIONA!!

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  Just Checking!

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 Imagine, never having to see another puked up mess of fur again.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Through Your Eyes

One award the 24 Paws of Love is never going to win is one for their social graces and I think I have finally come to accept this.  Try as we might, our only goal has been for the dogs to be civil with each other and I believe after three years we have finally reached this.  This in turn has made me appreciate your dog blogs even more.  What the 24 Paws of Love can't do yet, we enjoy living through your dog's eyes. 

 Now you know you can't handle any more than just me!

Like you aren't going to see all six of our dogs out and about like The Thundering Herd walking all at the same time and pace.  A feat that still amazes us to this day.  Considering we walk one dog at a time, maybe two if the mood is right, can you imagine how this looks to us?  Like a miracle!  How cool would that be some day??

You and me, just the way I like it.

Or how I always fall out of my chair when Tales and Tails talk about loading up their four dogs in their vehicle for a day's outing and travel to the many great parks. How do they do that?  I don't think we have ever had more than three dogs in the same car and that was only for a vet visit.  Three dogs and Brut was definitely not one of them!

Focus, shomcus, Where's my treat?
Brut would be an excellent candidate for agility, his focus is like a laser when it comes to treats, except the very thing that gives him that attentiveness would create havoc in the ring.  No one wants a food crazed reactive nut job running amongst the crowds!  So we watch through the eyes of Layla as she takes those turns and jumps, cruising with such ease and pleasure while Layla and her owner show everyone that a Malamute can rule the agility world too.

Not exactly, but closest pic I have of Chance's stance
Now, while none of my dogs are anywhere near being any kind of pedigree, both Chance and Brut have got a show dog's stance that is to kill for. Even if they were able to participate, I don't think the gangster riots they would ensue would even get them in the door.  So, we take ringside seats to watch the professionals, Sherman and Leroy at My Brown Newfies, where Jen takes us through the adventures of the show ring and life of a real show dog.

Anywhere??  I'm only a part-time anywhere girl.
Then there is Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes, who has known the pain and frustration of dealing with reactive dogs.  Who specifically took the time and love to find a gentler, easier dog and found Honey.  Hearing the tales of the joy that Honey has brought to Pamela and understanding all too well how deeply this joy is appreciated, we too live in that happiness for her and her well deserved adventures with Honey.  What you mean you can take her anywhere???

These are only a handful of examples of the many blogs that we live vicariously through.  It is one of the reasons we enjoy the dog blogging community and all it has to offer.  Where we can celebrate and cherish our differences and our individuality of living with dogs.  Our dogs have come along way in the last couple of years and learning to accept their uniqueness has been challenging at times, but it is a specialness I wouldn't change because that's what makes them the 24 Paws of Love.  And while our world may seem a bit odd or out of order, that's OK, because yours look a little weird to us too.    And that's what we love most about this dog blogging community and we wouldn't have it any other way!  :)

     I'm just here to be the different one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back Dog Summer Activities

In lieu of the last unofficial day of summer here in the US, we are taking a look back at what the Back Dogs did on their summer vacation.  Besides the summer snoozes due to the summer heat, they also performed many valuable jobs to make our summer more enjoyable.  So in a tribute to all the working dogs on this Labor Day, I give you the Back Dogs.... 

Zappa devoted much of his time keeping down the flying insect population.

Silver livened up the summer fun with some new moves.

Brut kept the nights safe, by taking the evening  watch patrol.

And Fiona supervised all these activities, while lounging by the pool and working on her tan.

We hope everyone has a great day.
And to our friends in the US, Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What the Front Dogs did on their Summer Vacation

Bobbing for treats
As the Dog Days of Summer wind down and the unofficial end draws near, one of the highlights for the Front Dogs was their first pool, something we have always wanted to get them. Chance has always had a thing for water, but Blaze has that Husky respect for it and won't even go in a lake.  So I was rather surprised when Blaze got in with all four paws.
On your mark... get set...
For the most part the pool was a gigantic water bowl, but after a hot walk, they surprised me by getting their paws in the water for a cool drink. I helped things along with playing "bob for treats," a game they both loved.  When some of the treats sunk, Chance tried his best to paw the treat out.  He decided early on, he wasn't going to get his pretty little nose wet.  That's when Blaze surprised me even more by sticking her whole face in the pool to get that goodie.

Now she expects me to go scuba diving for the darn thing!  That woman is crazy!!

Show off!!  
Wimp Dog!!

So what did you do that was fun, new and exciting this summer??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brut Life Lessons

 Mom!  Come here!  You've got to see this!!

If Brut has his eye on something that grabs his attention in the backyard, he will get so excited that he won't come when called.  So, I will go out and check out what has his interest, which always satisfies him enough to come in.  Amazing what the power of a little acknowledgement will do.