Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finn's Birthday Party

The day was beautiful, the dogs were playful, and the food was plentiful.

Munchies and discussion around the table.

Pogo plays with one of the 'Party favors'.

Finn wears his birthday bandanna.

Notice the ribbon, it says' It's my birthday!'.

Other party guests dressed up for the occasion. Zack and Bella.

Finn Maddie and Bella head for the pool.

We had a pool for splashing, toys to play with, and home made dog cookies for munching. I also made home made doggie ice cream. (Thanks Pawcurious and 7MSN Ranch for the recipe!) It was very popular, and smelled so good I think some humans were tempted...

Tinkerbell in her lavender tutu.

Chubbs, Belle, and Teddy. Notice the webbing I put up, to keep canines out of the fish pond. (it's 3 feet deep, and murky)

You can't see from this photo, but there are toys scattered all over the yard. They started in a small pile next to the pool.

Lots of wet pawprints...

I had crafts for the humans at the party. We made toys for the dogs out of soft felt.

Chloe the Mini Aussie with a tug toy.

The toy is almost as big as she is, but she ran around the yard with it.

The braided toys were popular.

I had games organized and ready, 'bob for tennis balls', 'hoop jump', 'Rally course', and 'bubble chase', but just like with kids, the dogs decided what they were playing was far more interesting.

Finn's birthday cookie. This is a cookie I baked the night before made with ground turkey, chicken stock, whole wheat flour, sage and rice. (decorated with cream cheese)

Everyone helps Finn eat his cookies.

Pogo is a very finicky eater, I was glad to see he would eat the cookies.

Tyler comes over to try the cookies.

Grendel and Jake play ball.

Somehow I missed getting photos of a few guests, hopefully when everyone shares photos around we will get some of them.

We had a wonderful time! Finn got some great gifts, and he send his friends home with cookies and toys. The humans had a great time too, I think we will just have to have a get together again, and not wait for a birthday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Rescue

Update! Thank you Tap for providing the link to the original post!

Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2010 Rescue Me Dog;


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

This was posted on an e-mail list I am a member of. I have no idea who wrote it, but how appropriate! We say we 'rescue' them, but really it is the other way around.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A letter to certain dog owners in my neighborhood..

I live in a great neighborhood. It was built in the 1960's, mostly ranchers, all with good sized yards. We have a mix of retired, middle aged with teenagers, and young couples with kids. It's quiet, as the neighborhood is a dead end so no through traffic. We have a lot of activity, bicyclists, joggers, moms walking with strollers, exercise groups, kids on skateboards, whole families out walking together (often to the community pool). Of course also a lot of people walking dogs.
We have a very active and friendly neighborhood. For the most part we all get along. As a dog owner I do my best to insure my pet is a good neighbor. Since I didn't own a dog for over 20 years, I know how it feels to walk in your yard and encounter dog poo. It's frankly infuriating. I didn't have a dog for all those years because I didn't want to clean up after a dog, so I certainly didn't want to be cleaning up after someone ELSE'S dog!

Because of that I always clean up after Finn. (not an easy task sometimes, trust me!) I make sure he isn't tinkling on someone's flowers, or esp in his case, walking on them and crushing the plants! I don't let him charge up to people, jump on them, or otherwise get near them unless he is invited. (esp if they are in work clothes!) I talk to neighbors, and make an effort for Finn and I to be ambassadors for dogs. I keep in contact with the other dog owners, and we discuss ways to insure everyone is happy with us and our pets.

Our city has a leash ordinance. You dog must be on a leash, and you MUST clean up after your dog when you walk him. I would say 90% of the dog owners in our neighborhood are good dog owners, and work as hard as I do to make sure everyone is happy to have the pets around.

But there are always a few who are seemingly deliberately trying to ruin the camaraderie we are working so hard to create.

This post is for you, the handful of dog owners, who refuse to clean up after your dog on walks. You know who you are, and trust me, everyone else in the neighborhood knows as well.

It doesn't matter how early you walk you dog, or how late, even if it is after dark. We see you. We watch you walk you dog and not clean up. It doesn't matter if it is a small dog, or where they go, it is still your responsibility to clean it up! This responsibility goes with the joy of pet ownership. Why should someone else have to clean it up?

What is worse is the couple of people who think because their dog goes in the street, they don't have to clean it up! That is even worse! Not only does the poo get run over and smeared everywhere by cars, but joggers, bikers, kids playing, everyone who is out on the road will step in it, spreading germs and carrying it back into their houses! Disgusting!

Then when it rains, all that ick gets washed into the gutters and streams, and contributes to the destruction of our waterways. It is runoff like this that is causing the algae blooms in the Chesapeake. It is runoff like this that is closing beaches with dangerous bacteria in the water.

Oh, and if you dog has diarrhea for longer than a day or two, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Take it to the vet, change the food, do whatever it takes. Imagine how miserable you would be with the runs day after day, and think about how it is impacting your dogs health.

You know, we are all happy you are taking the time to walk your dog. It's good for the dog and your relationship with them. But there is really no excuse you can give for not cleaning up after them, not even squeamishness, since you can get long handled 'scoopers' now. Don't even have to touch anything.

So, act like a grown up, be responsible, and stop being the person we're all embarrassed about.


Whole list of dog scoops

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Too darn hot...

The last two weeks have been like a sauna here in MD. We have been hiding inside in the air conditioning. It's even too hot to write! (not really, but that is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!)

Here is Finn's comment on the heat:

Notice he has positioned himself between the two vents for maximum cooling.

Today we are supposed to hit 110 with high humidity.

Finn and I are staying inside and sleeping all day. Hopefully this heat wave will break before next Saturday and Finn's birthday party!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Reviews: Breathless and Orchid Beach

Breathless, by Dean Koontz and Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods both feature a dog as a main character. Breathless an Irish Wolfhound, and Orchid Beach a Doberman. I had not read books by either author, so didn't have any background to draw from in the novels.

Breathless is a novel that gives you multiple characters, multiple viewpoints, and a rather unique plot twist. It was kind of short and thin when it comes to the story, more like it was an expanded short story, rather than a full novel. Still quite enjoyable though. I especially liked the characterization of the wolfhound. Very much accurate, from the personality to the noisy drinking. Good fun, but if you don't like stories with odd philosophical twists you may not enjoy this.

Orchid Beach is a good detective story, with the twist of a female lead, who befriends a highly trained female Doberman. The dog is integral to the story, and well written. Lots of action, and the dog is involved in most of it. (Note to self: Never antagonize an attack trained Dobe.) I recomend it for any dog person, but if you love action/mysteries, you will really enjoy it.

Both are good summer reads, and have dog characters, what could be better?