20
Apr 15

Bed Time

Do you sleep with your dogs? We never used to.

When Brutus got sick, we let him sleep with us because he had to go outside a lot at night. Boney and Dixie still slept in their crates.

Then Dixie got sick and we let her sleep with us and we felt bad that Boney had to sleep alone, so he slept with us too.

Moby was crate trained at his foster home and we bought a crate for him, but we wanted him to feel comfortable with us (and his crate is HUGE) so we decided to let him sleep with us. For a while, Moby AND Boney slept with us.

Generally, there are both good sleepers – Moby only wakes up a few times a night and want to either get out from under the covers or get back under the covers. Boney sleeps pretty soundly until Moby starts to walk around – and then Boney is up for the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s 1:00 am or 4:00 am. So, Boney started sleeping in his crate again and Moby sleeps with us.

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Moby and I usually go to bed before Dad – I’m one of those weirdo’s that gets up at 5 am, so I need to go to bed between 8 and 9 to function to be able to function the next day. When dad comes to bed, Moby and I are usually cuddled under the covers. He has his own pillow in the middle of the bed, but often opts to share mine.

I can’t tell you the last time I slept through the night without being woken up by a paw or nose, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Do you sleep with your dog(s)?


08
Apr 15

Gardening with Dogs

If it looks like a stick, smells like a stick, and acts like a stick, it’s a stick. Or at least that’s Moby’s interpretation of the situation.

Our backyard is geared towards having a place to relax for us and a place to play for the dogs. It’s shady and hard to grow grass, so on one half the of the yard our “grass” is actually weeds (FYI…weeks require way more mowing than actual grass!). On the other side of the yard, we have pine straw down. If we didn’t, it’d be pure dirt because for some reason, even weeds don’t really like to grow over there.

We have a few beds with some plants in them, but one in particular has not done well.

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On the left is grass of some sort. Next to it, Rosemary. In the middle is a Philodendron (we call him Phil), on the the right is a Crinum Lily (we call her Carla). In the front, we’ve had a variety of plants over the last few years – most recently Lantana.  What’s left of the Lantana is shown below.

Yeah – hard to see, right? (The one on the right is camouflaged by all the clover!) That’s because of the above – if it looks like a stick, acts like a stick and smells like a stick, it’s a stick. And Moby LOVES sticks. So, one dying branch by one dying branch, our lantana has become nothing but an actual stick.

So, we set out to ACE Garden Center to get some new plants. We went looking for more lantana. Then it occurred to me – maybe we should check to see if it’s toxic to dogs since Moby likes it. Guess what? It is. Good news – it’s mainly the berries that can make them sick and Moby only cares about the branches. He hasn’t been sick yet, but we didn’t really want to test it out. So, we started looking at some other things and of course, everything we liked was on the list of what wasn’t okay. We never had an issue with Brutus, Dixie or Boney eating things, but Moby is a big fan of anything that he can carry or chew on in the back yard (including things that aren’t plants).

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We ended up going with some boring ferns (but haven’t gotten around to planting them yet). Our search continues for a regional shade plant with color that isn’t toxic to the hungry hungry hippo aka Moby.

 

 


01
Apr 15

Spa Day!

Every 3 weeks, I have an appointment to see my Aunt Betsy. I get a bath, get my nails trimmed and get my ears cleaned out. I really like Aunt Betsy a lot, but I DO NOT like baths. Or nail trims.

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I guess it’s something I just have to deal with. I know that Mom likes it when I’m clean (she’s kind of a freak about having a clean house). And I get to have TWO car rides (one there and one back home) and sometimes I even get to go to her office after my bath! So, I guess it’s not so bad! Thanks, Aunt Betsy for making me super clean! If you are local, I highly recommend my Aunt Betsy for baths or haircuts. She’s been doing it a super long time (longer than I’ve been alive!) and she’s been voted the Best Dog Groomer on St. Simons every year for the past 6 years by Elegant Island Living readers.


30
Mar 15

Routine

We’ve been out of our routine for a while and it’s affected all of us. Most of us do better when our lives have a routine. Moby is one of those.

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As you know from the last blog (two weeks ago – sorry!), we had a great visit with the foster parents, Moby got hurt, and Moby passed his CGC. Because Moby pulled a back muscle, he wasn’t allowed to jump up for a week. So he and I slept on the air mattress.

Then I went to Minnesota for a few days. We thought he was better (he was acting better) but he had an episode in bed and airsnapped at bed. So, we extended his medicine and he slept in the living room until I got back from my trip and then we slept on the air mattress together again. Sounds great, right?

Nope. Moby is not keen on the air mattress. It makes him nervous. He’s fine sleeping on it, but during the day, he wants to stay as far away from it as possible. The only reason dad didn’t sleep on the air mattress with Moby was because when he tried to put it up, Moby tucked tail, ran outside and wouldn’t come back in.

When Moby gets out of his routine, he gets more nervous than usual. Because he had almost 3 weeks of no solid routine, he was definitely a little “off” the last few days. Moby doesn’t like to be cornered or feel like there’s no way out. Yet he constantly puts himself in those positions.

This weekend, the boys had an incident. Moby jammed himself under a chair in order to be pet. Boney approached. Moby gave the lip and soft growl. Boney didn’t take head. Next? Air snap. Boney wasn’t retreating. No one got hurt – unless you count Boney slamming himself into the piano leg and having a red face for a while. Boney is easy enough to pick up in order to diffuse the situation. The hard part is – I was across the room and saw it happen before I could even get there to diffuse it before it started. Boney doesn’t know how to properly read signals and Moby doesn’t realize he shouldn’t trap himself to start with.

Routine helps with our normalcy. Last night, we got to sleep in the bed for the first time in 2 weeks. We had our normal bed time. Today had our normal wake up time, breakfast and our normal length walk. Time to get back to routine. It makes everyone happier and healthier.

All too often we’re afraid to write about the “bad” things that happen in our lives. I can’t be upset about what happened – I just have to look at it as two siblings that are having a fight. “Mom, he’s touching me!” For the most part, the boys get along great and enjoy snuggling with their parents on the couch together. We’re normal and things like this happen to everyone. The most important thing is that you can deal with it, move past it and not let it get you down.

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16
Mar 15

Moby Monday: A Whirlwind Weekend

I had a three day weekend that started on Thursday night when I graduated from the Intermediate Obedience class. That meant that I was ready to take my Canine Good Citizen test! Shortly after we got home for class, Foster Mom and Dad showed up!

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I was so excited to see both of them, I just didn’t know what to do with myself! It was pretty late, so we snuggled and caught up on what ‘s been happening with them.

Friday morning Mom and Foster Mom took me for a walk before Mom, Foster Mom and Foster Dad went to Savannah for the day. Since they’ve never been here before they wanted to see some of the sights. I spent the day relaxing at home and when they got back we snuggled some more. I even mustered up ALL my braves and slept in their bed with them!

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Saturday morning, Mom and Foster Mom went garage saling, while Dad and Foster Dad went to the gun range. That gave me some down time before in the morning to rest and relax for my big party on Saturday night. When Mom and Foster Mom got back, Foster Mom and I played ball in the back yard! It was so much fun!! Then came time for my party. I was really excited at first, but then I got kind of tired and didn’t really want to socialize (Sorry, Mrs. Newberry – I really do like you!!)I spent some time relaxing by myself in the bedroom and came out a little bit later after things had calmed down a little bit. More snuggles and treats!

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Sunday was a big day – my CGC test was at 4:00. Mom and Dad took Foster Mom and Dad and showed them the sights of St. Simons and Jekyll Island, while I stayed home to rest up for my test. They saw the Avenue of the Oaks, the Lighthouse, Bloody Marsh, Driftwood Beach and the Jekyll Historic District. Then they came home and Mom and Foster Mom took me to my test. Guess what? I passed!!! I’m now officially a Canine Good Citizen. Thanks to all my friends and family that have helped me work on my Manners and Braves over the past 2 years. Who would have thought that I would be able to to accomplish this! Mom said that we might take a little break from classes, but that we are definitely not done! There’s always something new for me to learn.

After class, we came home and Mom and Dad took Foster Mom and Dad back out to go meet Allie, and finish seeing the sights of St. Simons. Then they came home and guess what?!? More snuggles and treats!

Foster Mom and Dad are headed home. I’m so glad I got to see them after all this time! I was a little worried at first that they had come to take me back to Kansas City, but then I realized that they just wanted to come visit me. As grateful as I am for everything Foster Mom and Dad have done for me, I can’t imagine life without Forever Mom and Dad (and Boney)!

This morning, Mom took me to the vet, because it’s apparent that I hurt my back some time during the weekend. Last night I was pretty sore and didn’t want to jump up for snuggles, so everyone came to my level. When it came time for bed, I had a hard time getting in and I whimpered a lot at night. Then this morning it hurt to go out the dog door. Turns out, I threw out my back at some point (I wiggled instead of waggled!), so now I’m on an anti-inflammatory pain med and have been told that there will be no running or jumping and I can only go on very short walks for a week! Mom can’t believe I felt that bad and still passed my test yesterday – but I knew she was stressed about it and I didn’t want to disappoint her! So, my week will be pretty boring with not a lot going on for fun and games. Just lots of snuggles on the floor. I guess that will do :)

 

 


11
Mar 15

Remembering Dixie

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since you left us. We all miss you (even Boney!), but have a feeling that you and Brutus are having fun with each other while you wait for us. You filled our lives with love in only the way that you could. You were never overly affectionate, but we always knew you loved us and you knew that we loved you. You were and will always be, our Baby Girl.


10
Mar 15

Review: Chewy.com and Instinct Raw Boost Minis

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A while ago, I signed up to be a Chewy.com reviewer. We get all of our food shipped from Chewy automatically and they are a life saver! So, when I saw the opportunity to provide reviews, I jumped at it!

Life has been a little busy and I’d kind of forgotten about it until my March email came. There were a variety of treats to choose from, but I requested the Nature’s Variety Instinct Rawboost Minis. I requested the minis for a couple of reasons 1) I like small treats so that the boys can eat the same thing and I don’t have to break it up for Boney to be able to use and 2) small treats are great for training when a certain someone has to have A LOT of reinforcement :)

I emailed with my choice on Wednesday last week and the treats were here on Friday. Of course, I had completely forgotten about them by Friday, so when the package arrived, it was exciting! The boys always seem to know when we get a package from Chewy and they gathered around to help open it. since it came in a small envelope, I handled the opening (they usually help when it’s the box).

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The treats came in cardboard packaging (great for recycling!) and inside the package was a plastic RESEALABLE bag! I can’t begin to say how awesome that is! A lot of the treats that come in plastic bags inside a box aren’t resealable – so they tend to get stale or we have a box sitting around.

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The treats are nice and firm with just a small crumble factor. If I wanted to break one in half (which I don’t have to because the size is perfect), I could and not worry about a million crumbs going everywhere.

Of course, during all this picture taking, the boys sat not-so-patiently to try them out.

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Um…how long do I have to hold this sit?

 

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I’m pretty sure it was just my name on the package, so I don’t have to share, right?

 

The treats were a hit with both of the boys – they asked for seconds, thirds and fourths! In fact, Boney was so sure I was hiding some in my pocket for later, that he followed me around the house for the next 15 minutes or so! When he realized I didn’t have any more to give at that time, he went back to his spot guarding the kitchen and asked for more whenever we approached the treat counter.

The ingredients in these made us happy as we don’t like to see a lot of weird stuff in our treats and try to keep it pretty simple when possible. Seeing that the top two ingredients were chicken and turkey followed by various fruits, veggies and spices, my husband thought we should try them. Although I would strongly caution against this, because of it being raw meat, we both took a tiny little piece and agreed they weren’t too bad. Yes, we’re the kind of weirdos that like to try what our dogs are eating…and believe that if we can’t eat it, they shouldn’t be eating it either. So, Instinct passed the test!

I’d highly recommend Chewy.com for any of your food or treats (their auto-ship is seriously awesome and the prices for what we get are better than Amazon!). I’d also highly recommend the Instinct Rawboost. At Chewy.com, you can get them in Chicken flavor (what we tried) or Duck. AND…they are currently on sale – even better!

** I was offered these treats in exchange for a blog post reviewing the product. While we appreciate free treats, it in no way affected how I wrote about Moby and Boney’s reaction to them. Regardless of the perk, I wrote how they truly felt about them.


06
Mar 15

When Reality Hits

He’s not always the perfect gentleman. Last night, at class, he air snapped. At his grandma. The trigger? I’m unsure, but it was probably a combination of things.

His grandma loves him very much, but knows that sometimes Moby can be a little skittish. So, she’s very cautious and tells him how much she loves him and what a good boy is when she pets him.

Last night at class, we had a crowd for the dogs to walk through and for them to also learn to be petted by a stranger. Something we’ve been working on, but it’s always good to get new people involved as the dogs tend to get exicted then (as it is in the real world). Moby went first – he had 3 people come up, shake my hand, ask to pet him, pet him, lift a paw off the ground and brush him. Grandma, Aunt Betsy and my friend Alix. He did great with all 3. I was actually pretty happy that he did that well, as the first (and only other time) he’s met Alix, he air snapped at her and barked at her while she was at our house. This was shortly after we got him, so we were still building up our braves.

When it came our turn to do the same exercise again, a man that Moby had never met was first. Moby sat through the petting and paw lifting like it was no big deal. Then grandma came for a second round and something happened. He got uncomfortable and air snapped.

I’m not going to lie – I was mortified, embarrassed, and deflated. I was mad at myself because I didn’t see any signs that it was going to happen. I was standing next to him, telling him he was a good boy and then BAM – air snap. Thankfully, it was just an air snap, it was no where near her hands and he recovered from it quickly. Also thankfully, it was grandma and not a stranger. She understands his issues too and was quick to shrug it off (Thanks, Lucy!).

After that we sat back down – Moby was pretty good the rest of the night, but he certainly wasn’t himself. We all have bad days and dogs are no different. I have to remember that. It was a good exercise because we know what we need to work on and we will most definitely be working hard on it all week!

Next week is a run through of the CGC test. Snapping is an automatic dismissal (understandably so) so we’ll be working hard to boost Moby’s confidence. Does anyone else have similar issues and if so, what have you done to help your dog through them?

Special shout out to Grandma, Swen, Betsy & Garrick, Alix, Kat & Ryder for coming out last night to help with the crowd and being the strangers!

 


03
Mar 15

Crepitus 

I have Crepitus. What does that mean? Basically, I have really creeky joints in my right elbow and that is what is causing my limp. I’ve had arthritis for a while and have been taking some things for it, but apparently, it’s getting worse in my elbow. Mom and dad were relieved to hear it wasn’t my wrists or that I hadn’t fractured anything, but it’s still something that we need to fix. So, now that we have the cause – what is the remedy?

I’ve been taking adequan and chondroflex for the past year to deal with my arthritis. After our visit, my doctor suggested that keep taking the daily condroflex and up the frequency of my adequan shots to every 3 weeks (instead of 4). I’m also going to be taking rimadyl and tramadol for the next 2 months to see if that helps. At my 2 month check up, if I am better, we’ll see about weaning some of the new meds back. If I’m not better, the doctor suggested cold laser therapy. They’ve seen some great results from others that have gotten it done and it’s especially good when the area is localized (like my elbow).

For now, I’m taking full advantage of the situation. I’m not supposed to jump up or down, so mom and dad have been helping me on and off the couch. If we’re outside doing lots of things and I won’t lay down, mom will carry me around so I can still be with them. They even moved my favorite fuzzy blanket from the couch to my man cave as incentive to stay there during the day!

I’ll be fine in the long run, but would appreciate any positive vibes (or treats) you’d like to send my way :)


27
Feb 15

Let’s Get a Physical!

Being healthy is important. That’s why mom works out, dad is starting to run and I get to do both. Today, I had my annual exam. It was only the second time I’ve been to the vet here (the first time I just had a heartworm test, so it was pretty easy). Before we went to the Dr, I got to go to work with Mom and met a new friend, Craig! I got a Kong before I went to the vet too, so it was a good morning!

IMG_4387.JPGAs soon as we got to the vet, Mom requested the big room so that I would feel more comfortable (and so we could practice some of our training while we waited). Desi came in to get me and took me to get weighed. Apparently, all the treats from training have added to my waist line – I weigh 80 lbs! But, the Dr. said that that was okay. He said high 70s to low 80s was a good weight for me and said if I could stay where I was that would be fine. I still have a good taper and he could feel my ribs. I might be just a teensy bit chubby, but I have a lot of muscle – and muscle weighs more than fat, am I right?

Today I had bloodwork and a couple vaccines. For the bloodwork, they had to take the blood from my neck – so just to be safe, I put my muzzle on. I haven’t bitten, but I have been known to airsnap when I get nervous and since someone’s face was going to be near my face, I didn’t want to take any chances. I don’t mind my muzzle at all because I get treats while I put it on and then treats after I take it off. And I get lots of kisses while I have it on too.

After my blood was drawn, the Dr. came in to give me my full exam and the vaccines. I let him look in my mouth and in my ears, but got a little nervous and gave some lip when he wanted to touch my back legs, so I put my muzzle on again. More treats! He said I looked great and gave me lots of treats and pets when were done.

Mom gets the results from the bloodwork back on Monday, but she doesn’t expect there to be anything wrong. It’s always good to have a baseline in case something happens in the future.

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Mom was really pleased with how things went and how well I did. I still get nervous sometimes meeting new people (especially when I have 3 people leaning over me!) but I didn’t have any airsnaps or growling and I even licked a couple of the girls! Of course, everyone commented on how handsome I am (duh!).

Mom said it was important to let you know all the details, because sometimes people think badly of muzzles or dogs that wear muzzles. I really wear it for my safety. I know that it keeps me from doing something bad out of fear and I know that I get rewarded before, during and after wearing it with treats, snuggles and praise. I’m glad that my foster family and my forever family understand my needs and cater to them while helping me get braver every day! That’s all part of being healthy, too!

Do you get scared when you go to the Dr?