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Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My name is Daddy and I have a problem...

Daddy is a dog treat junkie.  If there were such thing as the dog training police he would be busted and thrown in dog treat rehab over and over.  Only to hit the nearest pet store once he was released to bring home a bag of goodies for his "starving" over cute dogs.

 Here is a typical scenario:

   Daddy:  Sit, Stay, Lay Down, Sit (all in one sentence.)

Dog: "what for?"  giving those cute puppy eyes while standing and staring at hand

Daddy:  Laaay Down, Laaaay Down, Laaaay Down

Dog:  Stands, staring at food. "how about I just give you that super cute, I love you look you can't resist?.   

Daddy:  Good Boy! (Gives dog treat)

Dog:  "Works every time!" 

Rinse, lather and re-treat!!

We are pretty sure that Daddy is a lost cause and suffers what is known as Doggie Treat Addiction.  Can anyone else relate to this?  
Just don't tell Mommy!   

When Did Forever End?

When you held me tight as I wiggle in your arms
You told me forever
When I whined and cried my first night home
You told me forever
When I licked your face and bit your toes
You told me forever
Even when I made a mistake
You told me forever
When you walked out the door
and never looked back
You told me forever

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Memories-Daddy's Lullaby

Welcome to Monday Memories- our little trip down memory lane. 

This week's adventure is all about Daddy.  That crazy loving guy who has never really owned a dog before and didn't know how much of a dog lover he was until we got our first puppy together, Silver.  Like a kid in a candy store Daddy could never get enough of that sweet puppy love and I being an avid dog lover and owner for many years was continuously surprised how his fresh eyes had a way of expressing love for our dogs.

Silver had adopted underneath our bed as her personal den and Daddy wanted to do something special for her at bedtime.  So he started singing "Rock-A-Bye-Baby" to her.  To our surprise as if on cue Silver crawled underneath the bed when Daddy hit the second or third line of the song.  We weren't sure if it was because it was bedtime or the strange pitches coming forth, but every night after she always crawled into her den while Daddy sang.  It was one of those special moments that I kept wanting to get on film, but I never did.   It was the cutest thing ever.

From Silver to Brut, to our litter of pups and each dog we have today Daddy sings that famous bedtime lullaby every night before bed.  And he hasn't missed a night yet.

Here's Daddy and Brut's nighttime rendition of 
"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Brut and Rock-A-Bye-Bruter"
Yes, Brut is so special he gets two songs.  Daddy was so worried about Silver being hurt if he sang her song to Brut that he started singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" instead.  It wasn't long before Daddy ended up singing both songs.    

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Has blogging changed your viewpoint on dogs?

I'd like to take a minute to thank everyone for being part of our Question Week.  The big dogs ruled on Friday's post:  What size dog fits you?  And according to our readers, we were right there in the majority of answers with you.   

We have one last question for the week:  Has blogging changed your mind or view of dogs in a way you never thought would?  

I think one of the biggest changes that has come out of blogging for me, is my point of view on Pitbulls.  When I started blogging I had a very strong and real fear for a dog that was portrayed to me as a fighting attack dog.  Having witnessed a vicious dog fight as a child, my fear for dogs that were bred to fight and the status they gained for it was frightening.  Yes, I have always been terrified of Pitbulls.

When I was growing up, Dobermans and Sheperd's were all the rage.  They were alleged killing machines that would turn on their owners in a heartbeat.  I was quite young at the time these accusations were being made and believed it to the truth.  I have never met either of these breeds in person in order to know any different.

It wasn't long after high school that Rottweilers became the savage dog of era.  There was a stigma with these type of guard dog breeds that were not only getting a bad rap, but shaping my very thinking that these kinds of dogs were not to be trusted under any circumstances.

While I developed a dislike for the behaviors that I had been taught these dogs could display, I bore no animosity for the breeds themselves.   

And then the Pitbull came along.  And suddenly there was a dog that was feared among the feared.  The vicious malice these dogs created only added fuel to a fire that I never started but that burned within.  For a very long time I could never see past the dog on TV attacking the child, and there in me grew a strong hatred for these dogs that I hadn't felt before with the previous ousted dogs.  Pitbulls had evolved into something far beyond what a Doberman, Sheperd or Rottweiler could ever be and I blamed the breed. Without a doubt.  This was also about the time I began to remember the dog fight I witnessed as a child and the memories surrounding it began to surface.  ANY dog that was aggressive or attacked was pure evil to me.  There was no getting around that belief.  You could not tell me any different.

Then I got Brut, my dog aggressive dog whom brought many things to light about aggression.  I struggle with this powerful dog who was shaped this way by someone before me and I began to understand something I didn't before.

Corbin was the first Pitbull who found our blog way back when we started and I instantly fell in love with the big guy.  I always thought Pitbulls were beautiful looking dogs, I just didn't like what I THOUGHT was underneath.  As I found more and more Pittie blogs and the fight to save the breed, I began to realize the false info I'd been fed all my life.  .

I watched a documentary on the history of Pitties on a Pit blog that unfortunately I can’t remember, that changed everything I thought I knew and understood about these awesome dogs.  I was simply in awe that Pitbulls WERE the dog to have because they were the most loyal, dependable family dog to own.  Until someone saw a potential and used it to exploit them for their own gain.  And this is where we find ourselves now, trying to turn back a clock that keeps on ticking.  Well, you can add one more to that fight.

I can not thank all the many bloggers who have taken the time and effort for people like me who have been subjected to such a narrow minded view with no honest hopes of taking the time to change that.  It was all of you Pit lovers who took each post and did it anyways.  That is some powerful stuff.  And for all of you out there, I can not begin to tell you what that means to me.  All I can say is...Thank you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What size dog fits you best?

 Our BIG dog Fiona at 84 lbs. (38kg)

Well the mutt lovers have spoken for Wednesday's question:  Do you prefer Purebreds or Mutts?  Although many have/had owned both and some just love dogs no matter what they are.  :)

So today we want to know what size dog do you like?  Small, Medium, Large or X-Large.      

No question about, we are a big dog family.  While there are many reasons, if I had to narrow it to one, I think it would be the security and comfort I feel from their size, especially as a small child in a troubled home.  There was nothing more tangible than being able to hold on to our large Golden mix to feel safe and protected.   Even today,  I still hold this belief as I draw on the dogs strength with the knowledge they can handle anything that comes our way.

 Our 'little' dog Blaze coming in at 67lbs (30.4kg)

I have nothing against smaller breeds, I just don't have a desire to own one.  My husband came up with a theory when the our litter of pups were still young, that he could understand the desire to own a smaller dog, thinking along the lines of  it would be like having an adult puppy.  And I'm curious how many small dog owners find that true for themselves

And I know many of you have a mix of different sized dogs, what do you find that you like or dislike when it comes to size issues in your home?

So what size dog fits you best?  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Purebred or Mutt??

You say you're part what??
We are starting our second day of the 24 Paws Participation Week, by asking a dog-related question to get to know you better.  Sorry we missed everyone yesterday as we had a minor plumbing mishap that kept us away.

Before we start, I'd like to comment on Monday's question:  Puppies or Adult Dogs?  I was quite surprise by the number of people who were like me and aren't as enthusiastic about the puppy stage as I would have thought.  I was certain I would be a lone pup out there when I shared that bit of myself.  So nice that I wasn't the only one who feels that way.  

OK, on with our second question:  we want to know which do you prefer, purebred dogs or mutts? 

Part Kangaroo?
Personally I’m a mutt girl.  There are different reasons, but I think it really comes down to the artist in me who loves the unique creations that come from mixed breeds.  I know there are some that don’t agree with that and feel dogs should stay true to form, but I have always found myself being drawn to those special blends.  There’s just something about them I think that adds to their mystery and personality by not following the traditions of what a dog should be.

I remember as a kid studying about different breeds of dogs and there wasn't really one that stuck out for me, I liked a little bit of everything about each breed.       

Yet, I have a three exceptions:  Great Danes, Bloodhounds and my husband‘s dream of a St. Bernard..  If we ever came to the decision to get one of these dogs, I would without a doubt get a purebred.

Overall though I like that mixed basket and being part of several dogs at once.  Our dogs never cease to amaze me the way they draw on a conglomerate of temperaments, behaviors and instincts of the different breeds within them and I guess I find myself relating to the different parts in myself with them.  I find that pretty cool.  Which I guess based on that theory when I do get my Great Dane, I should have myself all together by that time, right?  BOL!!

So what about you? Do you like a standard breed or do you like that crazy mixed up mutt that makes your company play guessing games every time they are over? 

Part Gopher??  Oh, brother! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Memories-Which do you prefer: Puppies or Adult Dogs?

One of our own whom we called
 "T-bone," now known as "Jack"

Hello Monday Memories Readers!  Today's Monday Memories kicks off the 24 Paws Participation Week.  For this special week we are throwing out a dog questions and looking for your answers to get to know our readers a little better.  

So our first question for the week is:  Which do you prefer:  Puppies or Adult Dogs?

Now if you'd asked me this at any other point in my life, my answer would be, hands down, adult dogs.  Now don't get me wrong I love puppies and everything that is puppy, but they could never grow up fast enough for me.  I couldn't wait to get through the whole puppy phase so that I could do all of those 'big dog' things that I've always loved when they became adults.   In fact when we got Alex, he was 9 years old and it was a great relief to not have to go through all the training and housebreaking.

 OK, you can stop growing, NOW!!
(4 week old pups)

Ask me the same question now and you'd be amazed how quickly a litter of 10 puppies can make you rethink all of that puppy stuff.  No matter how much I read or videos I saw, I was never fully prepared when the puppies were born that they would practically grow and develop right in front of my eyes. Ever minute was like watching the impossible happen.  One day they are dragging themselves across the whelping box and the next they crawling and stumbling on wobbly legs and I witnessed these incredible beings never stop to risr to their next challenge.  They never gave up, they just kept going.  They didn't sit and pout or cry if they fell, they had a goal: to reach that teat before their brother or sister.  Ten of them all striving for the same thing.   Talk about absolutely beautiful inspiration.   

When they were four weeks old, past the newborn stages and really began to look like miniature puppies, I would have done anything to be able to find a magic formula and keep them that way forever.  That age made the biggest impact on me in ways I couldn't even imagine.  If I could have stopped time, I would.

The entire experience gave me a deeper respect and appreciation to all of the puppy stages that I was always trying to rush through and an understanding of the importance of letting them grow and mature at their own pace.  I can not tell you how many celebrations we had for the many accomplishments each puppy made trying out their new legs or getting the courage to think about jumping on the chair, it was the stuff of champions!!.

 Another one of our boys
Formerly "Red," now called "Stone"

So while I will still always love being able to do all those 'big dog' things, I will cherish the puppy stages with a deeper sense of gratitude.  Those ten little puppies whom I was so blessed with taught me to never give up and to celebrate everything.  :)

So tell us, what is your favorite stage of a dog's life?

Friday, February 17, 2012

There's Just Something About That Boy

Whether I call him my heart dog or just say his name, I still can not get over the deep connection that exist between Brut and I.  I find myself just flabbergasted that Brut is mine to be mine.  I mentioned in yesterday's post that Brut was getting a bit testy because we've been missing out on our alone time.  Well, it goes both ways.  While I can spend every minute with all the rest of the dogs, being with Brut gets me at the deepest core of my being.  And as much as I can understand, I can never really understand it.

One of my hesitation for trying to leash train Brut better (heel and loose leash) is that I don't want to give up those times when he needs to lead me.  I also have wavered because there are times that Brut and I need to just walk, regardless of how.  It hit me while we were doing our first training session, that I could give him a command that lets him walk like we always have.  I use this as a reward after training and it has worked out great.  It takes the pressure off my conscious of trying to change everything at once and also allows me the wiggle room that I need.  It is so great to have such a freedom.

Today we had a rather short training time, because I was tired and it was about all I could handle.  My goal was to walk a set length in the "heel" position so we could take off on a "free" walk.  Well, I have no doubt Brut knew just as much that I wasn't so much into the training aspect of our time together and did what he could to push my buttons.  He was like a little kid trying to get out his chores, hoping I would give in.  This boy knows me so well.  But I stuck with it, my goal was accomplished and we had a great "free" walk afterwards.  It was worth it.

One of the mental blocks I've had about leash training Brut is the constraint of never being able to go for a regular walk until we are through training.  The thought of walking up and down the road over and over until he learns was almost mind numbing.  If I can't do it, Brut can't do it.  This "free" walk has opened countless doors of possibilities because it isn't just a reward for Brut, but for me as well.  

And that my friends is a blessing for both of us!!

          Ready whenever you are Mom!!     

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter so far...

 How could she say such a thing?  Spoiled?  I'm so hurt!

It's been one of those weeks when I could really use an extra pair of hands for each dog.  I haven't felt well and while all of the dogs are good about that sort of thing,  Brut's patience level are starting to plummet.  He's starting to get a bit touchy about not having his Mommy and me time.  Like the boy needs a reason to start something.  :)  Spoiled brat!

This winter has pretty much sucked, unless we figure out a way to dog sled on ice.  Two winters in row now with hardly any snow.  Our new sled has been in the living room for 2 months, getting it ready, haven't been able to try it out except to walk it back out to the shed.

On the plus side, the warmer temps have kept me more outdoors than normal, working on leash walking with the Back Dogs.  Some of you may remember I started working with Chance and then Blaze this past year and without being able to sled, I've decided to tackle Brut, Fiona and Zappa with leash walking.  Nothing keeps my non-pulling tactics sharp like an icy road.  :) 

Which brings me to one of the greatest investments I made for my husband and I.  Slip on ice studs for our boots.  These babies are fantastic!!  I have always wanted to get some and finally remembered at Christmas time to pick up a few for us.  They are great for walking the dogs and actually having some grip or even playing in the backyard.   Considering we could rent out ice skates out there.  I don't even know the brand name of these slip-on studs or a website to give you, which means that this isn't any promotion or endorsement, we were just really happy this product and not falling on our a** all winter.  :)

And if this winter hasn't been crappy enough, the skunks are out in full swing, in FEBRUARY!!  Considering we are lucky if spring gets rolling by May in these parts, we usually don't have to worry about these little stinkers until June or so.  It is one of those, if it isn't one thing, it's another type deals.  The dogs have been going bananas as the little bugger who lives under my neighbor's shed taunts them just past the fence, not to mention the way the little stink bombs are announcing their presence all over the neighborhood.  I'd better stock up on lots of  vinegar.  :(  Lord help me it's going to be a long spring...  And summer...  And fall...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Everyone Needs a Snoopy :)

I'm not really a big Charlie Brown fan, but I have always loved Snoopy and his sidekick bird Woodstock.  For some reason my husband was watching the Peanuts special, "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" this past weekend and I sat and watched the last half of the show with him.

Here's a little intro from where I picked it up:
The character, Linus has a heart-shaped box of chocolates he wants to give to his teacher, and wants her to be his Valentine.  For some reason in the middle of the classroom's Valentine party, the teacher leaves the building, while Linus tries to catch up to her to give her the candies.  Only to watch his her leave with her boyfriend.

It was the following scene that got me with Linus on the bridge. (Check video clip HERE)
The mood was heartbreaking and I found myself begin get a little teary.  Until...they showed Snoopy and Woodstock behind the bush, catching the chocolates and gobbling up all of Linus' anguish.

I busted out laughing as I could truly relate.  How many times have I thrown all my pain and sorrows on my dogs who just lavished it up like chocolates, while transforming my tears into love?  Countless.  I can not tell you how many "Snoopy's" have saved my life and are still doing so today.

So to all of the Snoopy Dogs out there, Happy Valentine's Day!  Think what a better world it would be if we all had a Snoopy!!

 Snoopy times 6   

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Memories-Best Buds

Welcome to Monday Memories...our little trip down memory lane. 
Today's memory brought to you by:  Boxer (kitty) and Silver (dog)
(Long before the days of Brut, puppies and the 24 Paws of Love)

Silver and Boxer were best of friends

They both loved to cuddle together

snuggling close

Sometimes a little too close  :)
But isn't that what friends are for??

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mr. Observant

My husband calls from the other room, "Honey come here!"  There is a sense of urgency in his voice and I can't tell whether to be concerned or not, but I hurry to meet him.


There's my husband on the toilet holding Blaze's head in his hands.  With this wondrous grin on his face,  he looks at me and says, "Did you know Blaze has these long black hairs above her eye?"

I rushed in here for this?  I roll my eyes and say, "They are part of her eyebrows."

He giggles with his eyes all aglow and replies, " I never noticed them before.  Look!  There are 7 of them!"

 "They all have them,"  And he says I'm the one who'd make a lousy detective!!  

If it took him three years to notice the girl had long, black eyebrow hairs.  3 YEARS!!  Nice going Sherlock!!   Lord knows how many things he's really missed all these years together!!  Can anyone relate??


Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Memories-Would you do it?

Just the way they were on their first day in this world.

About 24 hours after Silver gave birth, I ran her to the vet to make sure she had given birth to all her puppies, par the vet's instructions.  Being a new “Grandma” I had some uncertainties if there were any more pups to be born.  After Silver had her x-ray and all was clear, the receptionist, out of the blue made mention that to in order to have dew claws removed and tails docked, I had a three day window to get it done.  I was shocked by the very thought.  I had never heard of removing the dew claws.  I had ten freshly born, healthy pups and I couldn’t imagine chopping off any parts of them.  The thought was a bit disturbing, to say the least. 

Brut's back dew claw
Both Brut (father) and Fiona (daughter) have a third dew claw on their back right leg, an inherited trait, that Brut must have picked up in the genetic line.  As you can see it hangs looser than a front dew claw and is more susceptible to getting caught on things, though I have never run into that problem.  Our vet mentioned when Brut was young if we wanted to have it removed we could.  It has never crossed my mind. I have always loved the uniqueness. 

Fiona's back dew claw
From my understanding the removal of all dew claws is a preventive measure, because they can snag and tear off.  It is can also be a selling point if the dew claws on puppies are already removed.  Tail docking is considered show standard for particular breeds.

Though I am aware of that these procedures exist and understand the theory, but I personally could not begin to fathom the idea of actually doing them to our little newborns.  Even now as I look back at that precious little bundle, so perfect just the way they were, the thought gives me chills.  I am just not to type that could do that for any reason.

 How do you feel about it?  Could you do it?       

Friday, February 3, 2012

Something Wagging Challenge-Boxer

Something Wagging This Way Comes
I could write out a long in depth post about what lead to taking on this challenge with my competitor in question, but simply put; I've had resentments towards Boxer because he isn't my former cat, Sparky and Boxer has resentments, well, because he is a cat!

I was completely disillusioned by Sparky and two previous cats (all whom have passed on) who were mellow, affectionate, and cool as cucumbers and I thought all cats were that way.  Then I got Boxer and suddenly I was dealing with this wild, obnoxious cat who demanded my attention and didn't care how he got it.  And while I would like to blame his behavior on the dogs, he has always been this way.  More dogs just gives him more reasons to be ruthless.

Just let her try to sit down!!

Every night the war would begin with this 16 pound cat, who according to the vet was not overweight, where we would have our battle of wills.  He would stand on my lap, I mean just stand there on my tired-end-of-the-day-legs like dead weight.    Then he would slowly turn around, doing his 'claw dance,' butt in my face all the while jerking and knocking me with head butts that had the force of a miniature ram.  I in turn would hide my arms behind my back, or try to get him to lay down, until my sensitive nerves couldn't take it anymore and I would push him off my lap.  Or I would try to pet him, hoping to calm him and it would only rile him up more.  I almost dreaded our nightly visit and these battles only fueled my angry feelings towards him more.

And there was my struggle.  I'd missed my heart cat so much, I just couldn't accept that Boxer was nothing like him.  I hadn't even realized that I'd had built up these resentments towards Boxer because he wasn't Sparky.  A few months ago I became aware of how much these thoughts and feelings were hurting our relationship and that I needed to change the course we were taking. 

Look deep inside...or else
I began by letting go of Sparky and focusing on Boxer.  I started practicing more patience and kindness with Boxer, but we were still struggling with his demands for affection. So when Pamela's Challenge came along, I seized the opportunity to improve our lap time by using simple "ignore and reward" technique.  When he was quiet on my lap and/or being gentle, I would pet him.  When he got too pushy, I hid my hands.  It was simple. And it worked.  Not only did our lap time improve, but our over all relationship took a dramatic turn. We are not having those large uproars on my lap every night.  Now, we are enjoying each others company and I am beginning to see Boxer for more of who he is, rather than who he is not.

I am sure I am not alone when grieving for another animal to misplace those hopes onto a new one.  Boxer was never going to be Sparky and I still missed Sparky more because of it.  Their personalities are almost bipolar to each other and it has been difficult letting go of that, not to mention that these differences created a situation with a type of cat, I'd never dealt with before.  It was frustrating because I have discovered I don't know cats like I do dogs and I didn't know what to do.

Pamela's challenge gave me a way to acknowledge what I started with Boxer and our healing process and helped me to focus on one aspect of our relationship-the time on my lap.  If I accomplish nothing else with Boxer except this, I have conquered everything.  Our evenings together are almost like heaven now and I'm finding myself falling in love with that little booger all over again.      

Yep!  I got her back.
I mean seriously, who can resist all this mancat savvy!!

A special thanks to Pamela and her Something Wagging Challenge that gave Boxer and I what we had been missing.  Our relationship.


And the Saturday Blog Hop!!  Hosted by Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Face

Chance grabbed a hold of Blaze's neck in an attempt to entice her into another round of play.  Blaze looked up at me with those comical eyes as if to say, "Can you believe this guy?"  And for a split second this was who I saw:
Blaze at 3 weeks old
That little diva puppy who terrorized the entire litter with the same cajole and devious attitude who was standing before me.  And it struck me in a way like I had never realized before that my little girl was home.  That I had witnessed her birth and the first 9 weeks of growth and here I was looking right into those same eyes again, forever.

There is no wondering or worrying or missing or hoping to see her again.  She is right here and I couldn't be more blessed.  Regardless of what the circumstances were for her return, she is safe and sound and with us.

If it had been up to my husband, we would have kept every single puppy and if the circumstances would have been ideal, we would have.  And while the thought of having twelve dogs (mom, dad and ten kids) is a bit more than daunting, when Blaze's face flashed before me, I began to understand where my husband was coming from.  I never thought I could love a dog more, until I watch them be born and have that undying willingness do anything for them.

 I would divide the house ten different ways if our puppies needed to come home again.  As it was, I only had to split it in two, so I can spend every day with that puppy dog face that is my Blaze.