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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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Silver

 Dear Silver,

Nine years ago today you were born and seven weeks later we brought you home to join our little family.  You were such a sweet blessing and such a pain in the ass all at the same time.  How was I to know that the independent Husky in you was going to override the Lab that shown through.  Who would have thought that such a innocent looking Lab could be so defiant and determined to teach me of the Husky within you?  How very little has changed with time, you are still as strong willed as ever, just a little greyer around the edges now. 

If it were not for you we would not have the 24 Paws of Love and the most wonderful mother to the greatest gift of our lives.  Through you I have healed from my own wounds as you became the nurturing mother I so desperately needed.  You have always known before I did when I needed your instincts of comfort and care and you so graciously gave of yourself every time.  How can I ever thank you for just knowing?

We are so grateful for all of the gifts you keep giving from the time I first held you.  Daddy pick you out and I named you and you were our first puppy together.  Who would have dreamed that you would lead to Brut and you two together would lead to ten more puppies all with half of you in them.  10 little Silver and Brut's running around, who would have thunk it?

 We love you Silver and all of your ornery ways because we couldn't love you any other way.

Happy Birthday Silver,
Love, Mom and Dad

Friday, July 27, 2012


Chance is dealing with a bit of, um, let's just say tension today and I think he just couldn't take it anymore.  Blaze is in season and so he's been taking his frustrations by humping Mrs. Bear.

Yes ironic as it looks.  Mrs.Bear ask for love and Chance has been giving it to her. 

So I figured the big boy needed to get out of the house for a while.

Then I remember Chance hasn't been in the truck since I took him for his "slow ride" where we took breaks in between each step from getting in the truck to putting it in gear and never left the driveway to work on his anxieties of being in the truck. 

So I do a bit quicker version then back up three feet and realize I need something to occupy him as he just started to freak a little.  Bones and chewing things never work, then I saw Daddy's empty peanut butter jars he saves for treat time for the dogs, BINGO!!  Once he got his tongue working on the peanut butter smears he laid down, relaxed into himself and we took off, smooth as silk.  He was done by the time we hit the main drag, but he is always fine by that point.  It's always leaving that is the hardest part.

We took a little walk down the residential section of downtown someplace he had never been and he heeled and loosed leash walk like a champ.  Then I ran in to buy ice cream as a reward for Chance and Blaze whom I'd had left home and was busy letting me know how unhappy she was on the camcorder.  Since Chance and Blaze are hardly ever separated and Blaze is like the hyper queen of the dogs, I taped her to see how she does on these short jaunts and try to come up something that will help her out.  And I did, but you'll have to wait while I try it out to see if it works.  But on the plus side she didn't eat the couch or even knock the cushions off!!  Woo-Hoo!  Go Blaze!!

     This is the result of us all sharing carrots and broccoli together and the fact they didn't move while I went in the other room to grab the camera!  All four Back Dogs in one shot!!

And I'd like to know why nobody told me about the ease of walking two dogs on one of these connector thingys.  Talk about the greatest invention to dog kinds out there.  I can actually walk Chance and Blaze together without being yank every which way.  Brilliant!!  Although one might think with some of my sledding knowledge I would have an inkling that something like this might work.  It was so cool because now the three of us are working as a team together.  Chance listens to me, Blaze listen to Chance and we got to practice our turn commands and what "WHOOOOOOOOOA! means. This is going to make such a difference in being able to practice for sledding at a slower pace and with a bit more control.  AWESOME!! I've done it twice with Chance and Blaze and once with Fiona and Zappa (who also did quite well) and I feel like I've broken down a barrier I've been trying to bust for the last year.  WONDERFUL!  SPLENDID!  TOTALLY KICKS A$$!!

All of this in just one week and things couldn't be better!!
How did your week go??

Thursday, July 26, 2012

PuppyWars App

My husband and aren't very tech savvy and we are kind of old school when it comes to computers and gadgets and all those  new high tech stuff. A simple desk top computer does us just fine.

The reason I'm telling you of our technical 'handicap' is that I was given a free download to an app for dogs, called: Puppy Wars.  At first I blew it off because it is for use with an iPhone or iPad, neither of which we have or plan on getting.  But then I began to look through the software HERE and there is game where you win votes for who's the cutest puppy, but what really caught my eye is they have program for adopting rescued pups.  And I figured letting others know about this vital app may help save many lives.

Free Download link:   http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/puppywars/id514381653?mt=8

Here's the features the PuppyWars app carries as given to me from the company.   

How PuppyWars Works:
Do you have the cutest puppy in the world and want to prove it to everyone? Now you can! With PuppyWars, you can upload all the best photos & videos of your dog and then compete 1-on-1 against other pups while our community of over 15,000 users votes on who is the cutest. With each winning battle, you’ll earn your dog “bones” and rise to the top of the standings.

Help “Adopt A Rescue Puppy”:
The best part about the PuppyWars app is that we are helping rescue dogs find homes through adoption. By enabling your phone’s location services, our “Adopt A Puppy” feature can find local shelters and show you photos of all available dogs in need. With a quick tap you can call or email the shelter right from the app.  In less than a month, we've had over 15,000 adoption searches and over 250 shelters contacted by interested families.  

About PuppyWars:
Created by Cleaversoft, LLC., PuppyWars was launched in early May 2012. PuppyWars is a game for dog lovers to settle the age-old question: Who has the cuter dog? Take some pictures of your pooch and challenge another user's dog by opening it up to a world-wide vote. After 3 days the pup with the most votes wins. Don't have a puppy you say? DOESN'T MATTER, we need your votes to help determine who has the cutest dogs in the world.

PuppyWars is free to play, but you can buy more bones from within the app. We're donating 5% of all Bones purchases directly to the ASPCA.
- Take pictures of your dogs or use photos from your camera roll
- Make a slideshow of your cutest shots
- Take your dogs out to the battle by opening it up to a world wide vote
- Turn your phone horizontal for instant full screen voting!
- Earn PawChievements!
- Unbelievably beautiful UI painted by Mattahan (Paul Davey)

I don't normally promote something I have tried first, but I thought about all the techy people of the world who would be interested in a app that may help a dog find a home.  So I thought I would just put the info out there if any one is interested.  Hey it's a free download, what do you have to loose?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blaze's Throne

Have you seen this picture?  BLAZE ON HER THRONE   It will only take a second to take a quick look.

Now take a look at this picture

We finally felt the time was right to invest in a 'new' used couch.
You didn't really think that we were that silly to buy one off the store room floor with these couch eating monsters,
Did you?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Memories-Do you have a memorial garden or grave site for your pets?

 Sparky's Weigela

We have a small grave site for our past on pets.  It is on the side of the house.  There are five sites and each one is lined with large rocks and has a small fence around it because of dogs.  I picked out plants that flower according to the time of their death.  My cat Sparky and our dog Alex died in June and I bought them both Weigela bushes.  I've actually seen the flowers open on June 4, which is when Alex died and stay open just past June 22, when Sparky died.

  Top view of Alex's site

For Alex I also have ferns from his favorite stomping grounds.  A swampy forest on the lake where he was able to run free and do as he pleased.  I also planted myrtle from another one of his favorite spots where he love to hang out with us.

 Mojo's Rhododendron
When our first duck Mojo died in the early spring, I have a Rhododendron that blooms as early as spring can start up here.

I'm still looking for just the right plant for our other duck and my duck egg, both whom died in the spring as well.  I'm thinking of an Orange Quintz, a small bush that has orange flowers (to also match their bills) and even though my neighbor has one, they tend not to grow well this far north.  But I would like to try.

 Claw's Burning Bush, ready to be planted.
Then for Claw, my heart cat twin, who died in October, I did have a Hibiscus for her that bloomed in late summer.  It died a couple of years ago.  But as I rethought my idea for having the the plants flower during closest to their anniversaries, I decided to go with a Burning Bush.  And while it doesn't flower, the leaves will turn a bright red in the fall in October, the same month Claw died.

So that's how we memorialize our pets.  What do you do?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ads for Dogs

I think any dog would qualify for this position.  
In our home I think Brut and Silver would win this hands down.

 Another one many dogs would be bidding for.
Blaze would be our lead contestant for this job.
She's the only one who has caught any critters and she's beaten last year's record!

You'd need your most devious thinker for this one,
Brut and Zappa would tag team to set everyone free!!

 And while we may not be able to apply for this one, I know many of you have dogs that would be perfect for it.

Which one would your dog(s) be best at?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My New Summer Job

Well I've been becoming quite the snake wrangler.  I've captured four snakes in the last month.  An Eastern Hog-nosed who's hooded neck (like a Cobra) looks worse than it's bite (non-venomous) and hissing that sounds like a rattlesnake.  The Back Dogs keep finding these completely harmless and awesome creatures (did I mention, I love snakes, especially Cobras ) and I catch them and release them elsewhere.  They are pretty slow moving so it doesn't take nothing but my grilling tongs and a bucket with holes in the lid. 

I think they may have had a nest somewhere in our yard.  For every one I get rid of, there seems to be another to take it's place.  Either that or we have some very tasty toads in our yard, which is their staple food.

The dogs are well spooked by the snakes, just enough to bark at them and jump if they try to strike.  They don't try to press their luck with these strange creatures.  And if it wasn't for the dogs, I wouldn't even know the snakes were in the yard.  Brut has an uncanny way of finding them.

They are pretty interesting snakes, if not only for their hooded head and neck, but when they are threatened they will flip and squirm on their backs, act as they are vomiting something, let out a musky scent and play dead.  They first one we ever caught my husband believed it was dead and when we went back to find it, it was long gone.  

We've had two other encounters with this Eastern Hog-Nose snake over the past couple of years and from the way this summer is going I don't think it will be the last. 

This snake is the latest one, I think "she" is just gorgeous compared to the other ones.
(Well, "she" must be a girl, look at how pretty and colorful "she" is!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back Dog Treat Time

I used to use treats with the  Back Dogs, until I realized Brut (my-food-possessive-dog aggressive-territorial boy) turned into a psycho with food around.  So if I did I would only use it when Brut or the other three dogs were alone.  This has went on for over a year and a half and now I'm beginning to incorporate treats with all four dogs again. 

Our yogurt spoon feeding time has been helping all the dogs learn how to take turns.  Well, I decided to test this out.  I had Brut, Fiona, and Silver together in the house doing simple things like sit and lay down, all the while making Brut stay when it was someone else's turn by holding my "stop sign hand" in front of him.  Worked like a charm.

So today, I decided to take it one step further.  For one, I wore the treat belt, so there's no mistaking I HAVE TREATS as I walked out to the backyard with Brut on alert. I threw treats into our wading pool and had Brut grab them.  I let the other dogs come at their own will.  With the same "stop sign hand" I told Brut to stay and Silver and Fiona got their turns at bobbing for treats.  Zappa tried to come in close, but Brut snarled and he turned away.  And I let him, because it is better not to force these two together.  They will come together when they are comfortable with each other.

So we went back and forth between Brut bobbing for treats and Silver and Fiona.  It was obvious that Silver was feeling safe because, one, she was all the way in the pool and, two,  she got right in front of Brut to grab a treat.  My plan was working!!

When I was almost out of treats, I called an end to the game while things were still going good.  Then an interesting thing happened Brut, Silver and Fiona were all lined up sitting, so I praised them with treats.  Then next thing I know here comes Zappa at the end of the line and sitting for his treats with no fuss from Brut!!  SO COOL!!  I could have gotten a great snapshot of all four of them lined up!!  Which is another one of my goals, to get a picture of all the Back Dogs together at once.  My mind is clicking now.  BOL!!

So I will have to remember to have the camera close, unfortunately this time all I could do was pretend with them.  But I have this great moment saved in my memory forever and that's the best place it could be.  :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blog the Change 4 Animals- LOVE

We really don't have an important cause or a grand message to give for this "Blog the Change 4 Animals" post, except we keep coming back to one thing...

If you have struggled with knowing what LOVE is (like I have), watch your animal and they will show you.

Almost like a wedding vow, they will show you how to LOVE, for better or worse, for richer or poorer until death do you part.

It is that real.
It is that awesome.
It is LOVE.
 And we can do all things with it.

 Like the famous Beatles song:
All you need is LOVE, LOVE is all you need. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chance for Hire: Earth Beds

Beginning Construction...

Just a little deeper...

Checking depth...

And head height...

Yep, just right

All Earth Beds are made to your specifications and satisfaction is guaranteed.
Try one today!!
Call 1-555-Chance for your own Earth bed TODAY!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brut Follow up...

I'm really just having one big brain fart today for a post, but I wanted to thank you for your comments about my post on Brut Honesty.  I almost changed my mind because I didn't know if others could really understand the dynamics and the intensity of Brut's nature coinciding with the past dog fight I was remembering at the same time.  While I never took anything out on Brut, there times I couldn't look him in the eye with very much love after a fight.  It was such a struggle to understand what I had never dealt with on a first hand basis.  I thought all dogs loved other dogs.  I have wept many times as well and cried for help that no one could seem to give me.  It took so much to dig within and find the courage to really see what was happening and not be afraid of Brut or the fights.  Time played a big role in that and our own internal healing.  Our walks together were the best healer of all, where we found ourselves in tune with each other and we made our own rhythm.  We soothed each other as we grew and understood the places we had come from and we learned to work together because we knew we had to.  It seems almost like a lifetime ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday.  I hated feeling like I did, but eventually love took over and I was able to see our truth in our situation and began working towards helping Brut.  Every little reward and mistake was a learning process that we continued to build on our already strong foundation.  I was willing and able to be teachable and Brut taught me just what I needed for him.  What better teacher could I have than Brut?

 Hey, when you're good, you're GOOD!

Thank you so much for the encouragement and support.  We love this dog blogging community! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Brut Honesty

I have often discussed my difficulties with Brut and all his transgression.  Name a bad behavior and he has it.  It has been a difficult struggle for me, but it has also been so for Brut.  For as much as I have had to put up with him, he has had to put with me as well.  I'm not talking about my lack of knowledge and ignorance about his aggressive nature, but with my disdain that has come from it.  There are more ways than I can count that I've had the thought of wanting to get rid of him.  I haven't always been so forgiving and kind to him.  A vicious dog fight I witnessed as a child triggered what I thought was a killer in Brut.  Every time Brut attacked one of the other dogs, I was gripped in fear that his actions were malicious and I learned to hate that part of him.  I could not separate what I saw between those fighting dogs who happened to both be Chow Chows and Brut whom I discovered was also part Chow.   What would be the odds?

Yet as much as that hatred and fear hardened my heart, my love for Brut ran a deep parallel to it and I found myself always teetering on that fine line.  I struggled to love this portrayed monster and the Jekyll and Hyde he displayed between the two entities where I found myself constantly flipping with obvious division between the 'killer' Chow in him and the loving Husky.  I've done my share of emotional damage to him as these two dimensions split my love for him.  So while it hasn't been easy on me, it hasn't been easy for Brut either.

So many times I didn't know what to do when he would go after another dog and felt like I was drowning in a sea of hopelessness. If it wasn't for the bond we form the first day I chose him, I don't know what would have happened.  Spurred along with words from the breeder who said he gave us Brut because he knew we would keep him forever.  Never mind that this breeder was part of the cause for the damage done to Brut as a very young pup, they were words I couldn't ignore.  Words I clung to at those moments when I was ready to give in.  Words that made a difference and kept my thoughts about getting rid of Brut, just that, thoughts.

And Brut knew it.  He knew how I felt because I couldn't hide it from him.  Thoughts or not, they were real.  My frustration, anger and disappointed flowed through me like a river and gushed all over Brut.  But then so did my love for him.  Eventually time and understanding began a healing for both us and brought us closer than ever. The love kept winning as our frayed ends began to mend.  Respect replaced the hate and I began to understand the nature of the beast within both Brut and myself.  Two very damaged souls that found the power to heal one another with a bond that will never die.  Call him my heart dog, my canine soul mate, or my spiritual twin, no other dog could have done what he did for me.  And no other human could have done what I did for him.  A true measure of love that has only grown and matured as the years pass.  How to stick it out through the best and worse of a relationship and the honesty of those ugly feelings that kept bringing us back to each other. 

         Who would have thought the most troublesome dog could save this traumatized heart and teach me the Brut honesty of true love?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Memories-Blaze's meet and greet

Monday Memories-our little trip down memory lane

 Blaze's favorite spot when she first returned.
My flower barrel

For those of you who are new to us and may not know, Blaze is a dog from our own litter of 10 puppies.  She is Zappa and Fiona's sister who was returned to us at seven months old severely abuse from her previous owners.  Neither my husband or I knew how to introduce her to our own pack, so I began reading any info I could find how to blend her into our four original dogs we call the Back Dogs which consisted of her parents, Brut and Silver and her siblings, Zappa and Fiona.  

Here are some of the things we tried:

Meeting in a neutral place with lowest dog in the pack:  Sounded easy enough.  At the time we thought Fiona was the lowest ranking dog, so we took her and Blaze to the park, where Fiona continually snarled and lunge at Blaze who responded the same way.  This didn't go well at all and we were at a loss again.  

Blaze after 3 months home
Rubbing Back dogs scents on Blaze:  This was suppose to help the Back Dogs accept Blaze by rubbing their scent (from their bedding) so she would smell like them when they met again.  This showed no promise either.

Called a trainer:  This is what people do, so I decided to try.  This is the trainer who after giving the whole run down saw absolutely no hope, gave up immediately when I explain the circumstances with his only answer being to get rid of a dog or two.  Dead end.

I got your back, sis
A little hope comes along:  Somehow we made headway with Zappa.  He liked taking the alpha role with her and after several short times together, they were able to be trusted with each other.  So much so I was able to let Zappa come and 'visit' Blaze on her side of the house before Chance came back and a few more times after his return.  

I was also able to pair Zappa and Blaze a few times to dog sled.  They made a great team together between Zappa's muscle and Blaze's speed they ran like champs.      

Chance and Blaze at 3 months
Once we got the call that owners wanted to return Chance, Blaze's long lost friend everything clicked.  Finally Blaze had a someone she knew, (their previous owner's were related) which took off all of the pressure of meshing the two packs.  Both Chance and Blaze had been through too much as it was and now that they had each other again it didn't matter to blend the two packs right at that time.  There was still much healing to do with just them alone that having them separated from the other dogs was a blessing in disguise.  This way I wasn't adding more problems of having to deal with Brut and his dog aggressive behavior as we still had a long way to go at that time with him and the rest of the Back Dogs.  Major issues that would have been counter productive for everyone involved if I tried to introduce the Front and Back Dogs that I wouldn't have been able to handle.
  BFF's forever

So we have had this separation for the last three years and we are witnessing all of the dog's anxiety levels come to a place of peace, comfort and stability.  The air around here is much more relaxed like reaching a plateau of rest.  While we've started pairing up one Front Dog and one Back Dog for walks, we are taking it slow and easy.  Letting them ease into being together and let things happen as naturally as possible.  Not to mention the comfort level of my husband and I so that we don't find ourselves in a place that makes it worse for everyone.  It has been a slow process, but with so many rewards and surprises along the way.  I know not many would think of running their home in this manner with two packs of dogs, but I keep finding more and more reason why it works for us and our lifestyle.   Pressing upon us that we are doing the right thing for ourselves and our dogs and in the end, isn't that all that really matters?  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cool Splash Chance

For all of you out there sweltering in the heat, here's a little water aerobics, Chance's style to help you all stay cool.

(Or watch on YouTube)  Stay cool!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Two Year Blogiversary

There once was a family of dogs
Who wanted to have a blog
So they  barked
and they begged
until their humans
wrote the 24 Paws of Love

I was telling my wife that we needed to start a dog blog and she just shook her head...

Yeah, but he's MY purple monkey! Back OFF!
Yes, that is how it all started.  Thank goodness for a persistant husband!!  And because things around the homestead have been in such an upheaval we missed our 2 Year Blogiversary on June 30!  And that's just crazy talk around this house.  :)  How could we miss out on thanking our readers for sharing in all of our tears, joys and frustrations?  How could we not thank you for having our own little place in the doggie blog world where we are not the misfits for loving our dogs?  Not to mention just being able to write all about our dogs and someone actually reads it...isn't that just crazy?!?

Try that again will ya MOM!!
To be able to thank all of you for the encouragement and support that you just can't get from a "normal" person and always being able to share your uplifting words in such time of need.  Can't forget those comments that start out as giggles then have us falling off our chairs while the tears roll down with laughter, just because you "get it."  Or standing together in our fears and anger when their is a dog injustice.

Big Bro you are no match for me!!
Our two packs have grown and thrived because you have all been a part of our lives.  It has taken each of your unique perspectives, experience and angles on life to continue to open our eyes from such an isolated viewpoint.  You are our dog friends and it is an honor to call you so.  Never have we meant so many crazy dog loving people who believe it's all for the dog.  So we take this moment, this special place in time when we first enter the blog world to tell you how much we appreciate our readers and being part of our lives.

Thank you from the bottom of our tummies!

pee.s.  Monday Memories will be back next Monday.