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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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Beginnings-Dog Style

Well, it's the last Saturday Blog Hop for the month of March.  You humans call it March Madness for all you basketball nuts out there, which we still don't understand what all the hoopla is about.  Bouncing a ball back and forth and putting it in a hoop that don't move.  You should see what we can do to a ball with our bare teeth.  We just haven't been able to put it on film yet.  When we do you will be the first to see it.

Anyways, at this time the 24 Paws of Love is in the process of doing something important for the whole world.  We all realize that the world needs some new ideas in order for it to be a better place to live.  Our first idea towards this is going in the direction that dogs should rule.  You humans, it seems, would do a whole lot better if we helped you make better plans for living in this world.  So as we put our heads together to help you all out, we are working on taking over the world.

Of course after our nap!
 Because it takes a lot out of us thinking about how to rule the world.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What does "Woof" really mean??

I never realized a dog could be emotionally hurt by another dog and Zappa and Brut have had quite a run at doing that.  Back and forth, playing favorites, jealousy, respect and lack of it, each of them trying to take on and handle the lead and the thousands of mistakes have contributed to all of these feelings.  And I have realized by witnessing these two dogs how easy it is to hurt someone by not knowing them.  Not knowing what someone has been through and not being able to understand where they are coming from and how the canine human relationship can become so misconstrued.

Communicating to each other in foreign languages and body signals.  Each of us misinterpreting the other on so many different levels, yet somehow finding that line of common ground enough to co-habituate together.  I mean when you really think about it, it’s a wonder the dogs even stay with us.  We expect them to understand us, EVERY TIME, that it is so easy to forget that this is a two way street.  I think as humans it is so easy for us to vocalize our needs and that our dependence on words is so much like breathing that we forget there is a second party involved.  An entirely different species, in fact!  I mean really when you think about it so cut and dry like that, doesn’t it just blow your mind?  It has become common ground to have animals in our home and yards and cars it is almost like we have almost forgotten, that they really aren’t human!! 

I mean think about it…when your dog suddenly stands up and comes to you wagging their tail and barks happy barks…what in the world is he saying?  Thinking?  Nobody knows what the language of “Woof” really means?  Even if we play the guessing game with them and they respond to one word more than the other and we think, “that’s what that means,” does it mean it hold true for the next time?  Is it like potatoe and patatoe?  We still don’t know what the dog was saying, as an actual word or phrase.  It’s like trying to talk to aliens if you really think about it.  BOL!!  Because really we say the same word to mean the same thing and I would go as far to say I think dogs are much smarter than humans, they can learn much easier because we give them more reasons to do so.  Like tasty treats or fun toys or our attention.  How much do we really apply that to our dog?  I would think logically there would be some similarities, but as far as the actual approach…who knows.  Because we come up against the language barrier again and never really knowing what “Woof” means.   Does the way we say it, sound like the way they say it??

I mean think about if we all suddenly went mute, how would you communicate to your dog?  Would you be able to break everything into their language without using words and still convey what you needed and wanted to say?  What if you had to speak with your body using dog language, could you do it?  Do you think you could do it for an hour?  Half hour?  15 minutes?  Maybe that would be a good challenge.  It would be interesting, wouldn’t it? 

What do you think, can you do something with your dog without using any words and still find way to do it??

And if anyone thinks this might be an interesting topic for an official challenge, let me know in the comments and any other thoughts you might have.  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boxer update

 OBNOXIOUS??  Like she's got a lot of room to talk!!

You may remember THIS POST about Boxer, my obnoxious cat that I built up resentments towards because his behavior and temperament is the complete opposite of my previous mellow, laid back cat Sparky that I found myself still grieving for.

About the time Boxer became more than I could bear, was about the time I realized I was harboring such feelings toward him and we began a process of healing.  Pamela’s Challenge came along about the same time and I began by focusing on our evening lap time with simple ’reward and ignore’ techniques to calm him down.  It worked beautifully and we began to bond again. 

I claimed that if all I ever had with Boxer was gentle lap time, I had conquered everything and I did, but Boxer, being who he is, didn't stop being his pushy, demanding self the rest of the time.  We weren't through yet. 

Boxer’s overbearing attitude and presence made me realize I had to start building some boundaries between us.  Using my hand as a gentle block, like I use with the dogs, didn’t phase him in the least, he just kept pushing himself towards me.  Then out of a reflex, a threw up my foot to block in front of his face and he instantly stopped.  Finally, I was on to something.  He had to think for a few minutes and when he went to swerve around, bam!  foot in face.  It took a little reinforcement until he got the message, but it worked!!

An amazing thing happened out this action, we began to understand each other and learn how to read each other better.  Since I am so hypersensitive and Boxer being so strong willed and determined, we are finding how to work together and ease into our lap time.  When he comes at me with such force, I tell him “NO” with my foot.  I continue this until I see his attitude soften.  Which only takes a couple of times if that.  Then I use my hands which say “wait” or “not yet.”  We will continue this dance of coming closer and like minded, one step at a time until I will invite him on my lap or he has snuck in close enough to make the initiative himself.

I can not tell you how many times I have cringed when I would see him rallying towards me like a heavy weight boxer gearing for a fight and I never knew what to do.  Boxer is one powerful cat, not just in size but in willpower and I always felt plowed over by these combined strengths.

This simple body language has changed our relationship even further.  There is more respect between us and we are enjoying each others company with the bonding that has ensued because of a foot that means “NO” and a hand that says “not yet.”

OK, how about now?
Now if I can figure out a way to keep him off my chair every time I get up, I think I would be in heaven.  MOL!!         

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Memories-Man, I Miss Having a Retriever

 My first boy, Jep

I never realized how much I miss having a retriever, until we got into Huskies.  I used to have a dog that was part Black Lab/Sheperd, but had more of the Lab attributes.  Jep was an awesome first dog, easy to train, and could play fetch for HOURS!!  He never tired of it and if I did, I could just sit down and still play with him.  

I used to make up fetching games and our favorite was hide-n-seek, where I would throw a fetching toy and then run and hide, staying there until Jep would find me.  I still play this game with Silver and sometimes Chance and Blaze.  I don't know if it just a stereo typical thing to play fetch with a dog or if I really enjoy watching a retriever "do it's thing," but I really miss it.

Silver's game of fetch is for me to throw the ball and we both chase after it.  Not always what I have in mind after a long day!  Brut, Chance and Blaze, might go after it and might bring it back, but if it last past a couple of throws we are going over what their Husky minds can take.

I just never realized how much I missed having a little more retriever instead of so much Husky override.  Maybe someday I will have one again...

  All it ever took was a pop bottle with some liquid for weight and Jep was ready to go!
I really miss that boy. 
 Get ready Mom, cause here I come!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


After much trial and error Blaze finally succeeded in winning the "Balancing Poop on Baby Tree" Competition. 

Blaze, do you have any words of encouragement for those who have yet to master this skill?
Lots of treats, walks and a cute, steady butt!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Daddy ideas

If there were such a thing as "The Dog Training Police," my husband would be busted over and over.   He would probably end up on a lifetime parole and have weekly visits where the dog training police would decide if he needed to be hauled into "Spoiling the Dogs Rotten Rehab." 

"Another 30 days Mr. Daddy and then maybe you'll get it right." 

"But officer look at those sad, hungry faces, can't you see they need another treat!"

And the beat goes on...(SIGH)

But for all that Daddy lacks in dog training, he makes up for in love and occasionally, a brilliant idea or two, like these:

 Look Blaze, how's this for a snack?
Daddy left it on the counter for us!!

Snack Time:  Daddy likes chips and dip while watching evening shows, so wouldn't it stand to reason that the dogs would like a nighttime snack as well?  So instead of staring at drooling dogs, every night is treat night.  Sometimes it is something as simple as a biscuit while other times it can be as elaborate as soup bones or six saved up used peanut butter jars.  Another tradition that started with Silver and Alex and that has carried on with the new generation.

Score 1 point for Daddy

Treats Before Leaving House:  This one is a favorite of mine that Daddy started when we got Silver as a puppy.  He always felt so bad about leaving her and wanted to make our time away on as happy as possible.  Now mind you, Daddy has never read any dog training books, it was just out of pure love and compassion (and lots of guilt) that he wanted to make the dogs feel better.  He would try to use the treat as a good distraction to run out the door and hope they hadn't noticed we had left.  A feat he still tries to accomplish to this day.  Regardless it was rather ingenious, considering we didn't hear about this until a few years after we had already been doing it. 

2 points for Daddy

 Did they say there were refills after the first bowl?

Filling Food Bowls after Meals:  6 dogs in a frenzy while filling bowls before mealtime began to turn into quite a raucous when Daddy came up with fantastic idea of filling their food bowls as soon as they were done eating and before they came out of their rooms.  This not only saves time but cuts down on the frantic commotion that was causing all kinds of crazy when getting their meals ready before eating.  This along with keeping Brut in his room before and after meals, also eliminated added friction of his food possessiveness.  Keeping everyone a little bit calmer when it is time to eat.

This one has been huge in changing the dynamics of mealtime and scores big in my book.  So were going to give Daddy 5 points for this one!

So while Daddy will probably always have a lifetime membership at Doggie Training Rehab, he's been racking up enough points for a "Get Out of Jail Free" card when they come to take him away again and again and again.... 

 Thanks for all the love Daddy and letting us get away with everything!!
We love you Daddy!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Rant at the Shelter

 My husband and I went to the local county animal shelter to see if one of the puppies from our litter might be there.  It was only my second time there.  Faces became imprinted on my mind as we walked through. The building was made entirely out of concrete.  The dogs had a wood like pallet in their cages to supposedly  stay off the cold, damp floor.  I was instantly chilled stepping through the door, I can't imagine what these dogs were feeling.

I was afraid to touch any of them as I thought I remember there being some sort of rule about sticking your hands through the fence.  There were little buckets hung on the doors that said doggie treats, I remember feeling appalled at the thought.  The building is in an L-shape.  As we reached the half way point, a very old female basset hound took all of might and pulled herself up and over to the door, her tailed wagged every so slightly.  Across from her two pitbulls sat together just staring into space.  And as we turn the corner into the L, it was obvious the dogs in this section had banded together even though they were all in separated cages.  The leader of the group barked and jumped with enthusiasm until my husband went over to greet him and his bark became more of a warning.  We turned to walk away and the dog kept barking, I turned to him as he vented his feelings to me.  Angry.  The boy was angry.  And we were just another pair of worthless people who were letting him sit there.  We were like all the rest.  His 'words' burned into my brain.  The minute we crossed the threshold, this group of dogs all fell silent.

We passed the first set of dogs again to leave.  Each dog's face etched in my head.  Each dog at different stages of hope or lack of hope, confusion and/or anger.  It was overwhelming to say the least.  I wanted to spend hours just sitting with them and letting them tell me how they were feeling and what I could do to help.  And I walked out of there feeling like the cause to this problem, just by being human.  The facility was the least humane building I've ever seen, like a jail.

We were silent for most of the ride home, neither of us knew what to say.  When we got closer to home, the tears began to fall until I was sobbing, "I couldn't do anything."  I was feeling so guilty for not touching any of them and my heart was broken by the old basset girl who gave everything she had to say hi and I did nothing.  "I did nothing!" I cried out.  We pulled in the drive and sat there with my face in my hands and heard that dog rant in my head and realized I did do something, I listened.

I heard him.  I didn't try to stop him, turn my back on him or try to dominate him.  I just softly looked into his eyes with my head lowered and took in everything he was telling me.  And I understood.  I understood what it meant to be wronged by another living being.

When he finished, I nodded, silently thanked him and walked away.  That's when all the dogs fell silent.  At the time I felt like there was nothing I could do for him, until I realized when I got home I gave him what he needed at that moment...someone to listen. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Memories-a better way

 The hidden one-Silver

It had been raining for three weeks straight, the chill from the dampness clung to our skin and seeped into the bones.  My husband saw the sign for Husky/Lab pups and we raced in the car to pick out our girl. 

The rain steadily fell as we pulled into the drive of the suspected owners.  A slim black lab ran out to greet us, we spoke with the owner who pointed us next door to the puppies.  It turned out the black lab was the father of the said litter and the mother and pups were their neighbors.  These few moments with this man was the only human contact we had as we headed next door. 

We found a make shift shed with four black puppies with white splotches on their chest, all standing up waiting for us to pick them.  They nearly blocked out the little one who paced slowly behind all of them..  As I watched these eager puppies bouncing all over for our attention, I remember the depth of the chill in the air..  There was nothing but a dirt floor for these little ones.  My heart ached.  They were all about 7 weeks old and not equipped to handle the bitter dampness of Michigan fall weather.  I didn’t know it then, but something in me thought there had to be a better way. 

I turned to look at the mother, chained and sitting on top of her dog house.  She was completely drenched, so much so there was no way to tell what breed of dog she was.  Between the grey mist that surrounded us and distance she was from her babies, we could barely make eye contact.  Something wasn’t right about this.  This was not how it should be.  Being that we were getting ready to take one of her babies, I was afraid to evoke any contact with her, but I felt her sadness as heavy as the rain.  I looked her in the eye and silently told her, we will take care of her.  I thanked her for being the mother she was and swore on my life, I would make life better for this little pup than what she had.

As we picked up the little runt that was hidden behind everyone, I thank the mother dog for giving us this priceless gift and swore to honor all she had sacrificed for this tiny black jewel.  And in turn this mother taught me what it means to be a true dog mother so that the next generation would have everything she did not, a better life for the sake of love.

      One happy momma

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paw Art 4-Where's the Birdie?

Do you see it?

Look a little closer...

Here's a hint...
Hi Mr. Birdie!!
All Paw Art shown as is and created by the Back Dogs of the 24 Paws of Love. 
Pretty cool, huh??

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Den King

By Daddy

I'm sitting here in the living room and looking at the wonder of the Lion's Den of the 24 Paws of Love Back pack.  Zappa laying in the chair across from me looking like he's the King of the pack.  Maybe he looks that way because he's in the highest chair in the room.  Then to the left of me is Fiona the self made Queen, or so she thinks so.  She is laying there with that look of "Don't you know who I am?"  Zappa keeps staring at me while I stare at him trying to figure out what he's trying to tell me.  Then to the right of me is Mama dog Silver looking at me like she always does, "Can I have a little more attention?  I am one of the pack too.  If it wasn't for me Zappa and Fiona wouldn't even be here."  Then in walks Brut the one and only Brut, or Daddy dog as I call him. He walks in and looks at everyone with the look that comes so natural that says, "I am who I am."  I turn and catch Zappa looking at me with a wink, " That's what he thinks." 

Just another day at the 24 Paws of Love Lion's Den.
(P.S.  Thank you for your prayers.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Power of Blogging

A few weeks ago I was hit hard with an award that has stuck in my head and left me pondering as so many of Kristine's post do.  The Shiva the Dog's Perseverance Award was given with these simple words:

The title of this blog should tell you why this crew was a shoe-in for the Perseverance Award. With six very different dogs to care for and train, I don’t know how the author does it. Like last year’s winners, I am starting to think she’s part cyborg. Robo-Mama. However, every post she writes about her crazy canines is filled with so much love that she can’t be anything but pure heart.

It has taken many, many mistakes to realize I am dealing with a multiple family of animals.  For some reason I have tried to operate like I have one dog instead of six, because that is all I have known.  I remember when we would visit pups from our litter, who were the owners of their first and only dog and I would walk away with horrible envy.  I remembered how easy one dog was, or even two.  How simple the routines and focus you could have on a couple of dogs and the realization of the double workload I had waiting when I got home.  I almost came to dread it. 

I’ve done some bizarre things trying to catch up to all of you one dog owners.  I remember one time trying to teach Brut about five different lessons all at the same time that were completely out in left field.  All I did was aggravate the hell out of him and walked away feeling like a complete ass.  And since I have huge expectations that I don’t think even God can meet some days, I’ve always felt under some kind of pressure trying to the same things the other kids were doing.  When I came to realize the limitations I had with just the number of dogs in our home,  I kept finding myself slowly taking a several steps back to adjust my thinking to accommodate the number.. 

I had to learn to take everything in pieces.  Didn’t matter what it was.  Whether it would be who gets walked and how far, training, behavior issues anything.  Which meant for me there could be days, weeks or even months before returning to certain issues and I had to learn to accept that. 

Another thing I really had to take in was the fact that not every dog is going to get everything they may need.  If I walk two dogs one day, the rest had to accept that they were not getting one and I had to find a way to deal with the guilt of being a horrible dog mom.  Which is much easier said than done.  One of the many gifts of having multiple dogs I soon came to realize is that there is some level of understanding that some may get more attention than others on some days or others.  It is like a child that gets to go on an adventure and come home and share about it and for the most part sets me free from that burden of guilt that let’s me know everything is OK. 

There are days when one dog gets full attention for one reason or another.  And I am learning how to live with that with the acceptance that there is a reason for that.  I don’t know how many times I’ve come home from being gone all day and all they have had is the basic of food, water, shelter and love and have to know that those simple needs are enough for that day.

I have had to learn to rely on playtime to make up for the lack of walk time each gets.  I have been learning how to be creative with not just physical exercise, but mental as well in order to compensate for a less structure walk schedule and adjust food amounts accordingly. 

And I have beat my head many times against my personal wall, have felt less than, and have try to shove my myself to meet my ridiculous expectations.  And while these are commons themes in my life, I have struggle with what I felt was the living proof of my failures by comparing to others.  It has been overwhelming the difference just the amount of dog bodies in this home for some time and that’s not even mentioning our two cats and our duck.  Nine living beings who need to be tended to every day.  I haven’t had that many animals in my life all put together and to have them all at once…it still blows my mind. 

It has taken quite a bit of time for your compliments, encouragement and praise to soak in, but I am getting there.  Being part of blogging community has been my rest, my rock and my comfort and has probably been the only reason I’ve been able to make it through.  Of course besides my husband who constantly must deal with my “dog mom flop” belief.  Believe me that boy has been dealing with me far too long on his own, he has needed all of you as well.  J

Thank you so much Kristine.  Your words truly hit home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our Weekend

A foot of snow in one night on top of the 6 inches we got a few days.  We lost power for a while, but were fortunate because there are many still without.  The dogs were in heaven.  :)

We may be a bit quiet for a while, but want everyone to know we are still reading along.  Have a happy day.  :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reader Beware...

After an interesting and awesome week,  I think this post deserves repeating.

(click above link)