Monday, July 30, 2012

Leaving the House

     Most times when we leave the house, we "crate" Annie and Paul in their bedroom.  But if we're going to leave the house only for a few moments, we don't bother.  Annie and Paul know the sound of the front door opening and closing.  They come running from wherever they're at in the house clicking their nails down the hall and put 2 paws on the front window to see, "Who left and where did they go?"

Me and Paul through the window

    Paul usually misses us soo much he starts talking to Annie about it.  I've done it a few times where I've recorded them [HERE].  If I take 1 pup for a walk and leave the other one at home by themself, we get a different song, but that's another post for another day.  Happy Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Crating: Our Version

     When we first got Annie, we crated her.  (She peed on our, then carpeted floor, within 5 minutes of coming home with us).  We had the crate in our room and she slept there at night but I'd leave her out when I went out during the day.  Over time, things got destroyed mostly because she was board.

     We discovered almost immediately that Paul wasn't a fan of the crate.  While he'd go into it nicely for Hubbs, I'd have to follow Paul under the bed, drag him out and cary him to the crate.  We finally took the hint and just let the dogs hang out in the "guest" bedroom and crate them in there.  Paul was still crawling under the bed to hide from me going into the crate.

     Now, the crates are folded up and hidden in our back hallway by the washer and dryer.  When I go to leave the house, I just sit in their room and whistle for them.  They've learned that they get a peanut butter puzzle and the radio left on.  In comfortable weather (spring and fall 60-75 degree temperatures) they get the windows left open for fresh air.

     On a sadder note, it's happening again.  First Lennox, and now Wicca.  Please hug your pups a bit longer today.  You never know what will happen where you live, or where life may take you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nap time with the pups

After staying up all night baking, I'm ready for a nap.  Why do I love Annie and Paul so much?  They like to nap right along with us.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Busy Weekend

     This is one of those rare weekends when one of us is out of town and one of us is home.  This weekend it was Hubbs turn to go out of town and hang out with his buddy's and my turn to chill at home.  Since it was just Annie, Paul, and me, I decided to make sure we had a fun filled weekend.

Paul likes to eat the decorative grass at the dog mall.

    We started Friday afternoon and evening with a trip to the dog mall where we walked 2 laps around the place (so about 2 miles).  They've got a promotion going on right now where you let guest services know how many laps you walk with your dog each time you're at the mall.  At the end of the summer season (October 31st in this case), they tally up the laps and award you prizes for how many laps you walked.  Last year we got a poop bag dispenser.  Even though we have 2 of them already, it's one of those things I somehow forget about once a year.  (The last time I was outside our vets office and was able to ask for a bag).  Because of my forgetfulness, having 3 of them comes in handy.
     This was followed by a rare night when Annie and Paul didn't have to just sleep in their room, but got to sleep in bed with me.  (I put a gate up in the hallway so they can only go into the bathroom (they never willingly go there), their room, or our room.)  Annie was the only one who took me up on that offer, so she got extra snuggle time with me all night.
     Saturday morning started at 4 with a shower and what I thought would be a dog walk.  Annie, however, decided the route I wanted to walk wasn't good enough and refused to walk.  I learned a few years ago with Anne that if I start jogging, she'll jog with me.  So the 2 mile walk turned into a 2 mile run followed by a 2nd shower (yea humidity) and a quick packing job to get to the market on time.  I started selling dog cookies down there.  Being a vendor at the market is completely different from being a patron at the market.  If I'm a patron, it's a 1 to 1 ratio of dog to person so that everything is manageable and I'm not wondering how to get a tree into a car (Paul peed on a tree for sale last year at the market, so I was left with the challenge of getting a maple tree, 2 dogs, and me into a honda civic coupe.)  Luckily, our farmers market allows dogs (not every market in every state does, so check out your local one for all of their rules before you take your pup with you).  As a vendor, I try to leave Annie and Paul at home so I'm not totally focused on them and their behavior while trying to talk to people.
     About noonish I came home and crashed out for a few hours and then woke up to run up to Carytown with Annie and Paul.  Carytown is a pretty hip section of town with lots of little independent shops (as opposed to the big box stores of the dog mall).  Unfortunately, I slept longer than I wanted to so by the time we got up there we literally ran Carytown in an attempt to get to the stores I wanted to get to.  However, I did discover that if you show up at the end of the day, after all of the bread is made, you can take your dogs into Montana Gold Bread Bakery.  I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and one of the biggest things I miss is all of the bakeries.  So whenever we go up to Carytown, I still get a bit overly excited over the 2.5 real bakeries in the area.
     Sunday morning, I was expecting Anne to be stubborn again for the morning walk, and she did start out that way.  She firmly pulled and leaned away from our "normal" walking area.  I started the jogging method to get her to go with Paul and me and not be so stubborn.  But about a block into our walk, this backfired on me.  I'm still not sure what Annie did exactly, but she suddenly started limping.  She wasn't crying or walking completely off of the paw, but she was kind of picking it up a bit oddly.  The walk ended there.  I stopped and picked her 70 pound body up and told Paul to "go home."  Paul and I walked the block home and stood in the yard for a few moments so that they'd both have the chance to do their business.  Annie got picked up again and brought inside (so she didn't have to walk up the stairs at the front of our house).  She's been limping today, but she's trying to put weight onto the paw (and even standing with all 4 paws on the ground when she sees a squirrel out the window.  So I'm pretty sure it's not a break.  She's let me squeeze it, and move her whole leg, shoulder, ankle, and paw around (and thought I was playing a fun game with her by the looks of it).  Our plans for a 2nd trip to the dog mall had just gone out the window, but after all of the running around this weekend, it was nice to just relax and sleep Sunday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Things I Feed Annie & Paul

     I have 3 cookie jars on the kitchen counter top.  Annie and Paul's cookie jar is presently filled with Old Fashion Peanut Butter Cookies for Dogs.  My snowmen and my bee hive cookie jars presently have my current favorite cookies: pizzelles.
     For those of you not familiar with a pizzelle, they're flat cookies that are put in an iron and bake for about 20 sections.  They're supposed to be the light color like the middle one, but the darker ones show the pretty pattern better.  The ingredients include eggs, flour, butter, flavoring (these ones are lemon) and sugar.  I know I shouldn't feed sugar to Annie and Paul (and none of the dog cookies on Etsy have any processed sugar in them), but every once in a while for a treat, they loooove them.
Check out the video on our Facebook page of them eating Pizzelles

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to School (Grad)

     The Hubbs started back to more college last week, so we're up at 5:30 again to walk Annie and Paul in the morning.  It always amazes me how much the dogs are like us: we're not morning people.  Annie looks at me when I open their bedroom door as if to say, "Who are you and what is that light on for?"  Paul's just always excited to see who ever opens the door.
Mom, you're awake and you're taking pictures of us?  Ug!  So not cool!

Hi Mommy!  I'm trying to get the morning mouth taste out, bleck!
          Walk dogs, make coffee, send Hubbs off to school, start the list of chores.  But first a nap!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Last week, I posted about the 100* heat we were having, but thankfully, it's gotten cooler this week.  Cool enough that we slept with our windows open and the fans on last night.  Fresh air!
     The past 2 mornings, I've gotten up and baked dog cookies until noon when it finally heated up enough to close the windows and put on the AC.  This morning, I was waiting at the door for Annie and Paul to go for their morning walk.  There was Paul tap dancing all over the place, but no Annie, not even when called for.  I walked around the door to the kitchen just in time to hear a set of paws land on the floor.  I counted the mini muffins and came up with 23 where there should have been 24.
Who me?  No Mom, I didn't steal a treat from the cooling racks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


     A dog I never knew and will never meet has been banished from this Earth.  Each day, we hear about BSL.  For me, it's as close as Maryland.  When we adopted Paul, the SPCA had his paperwork labeled as "All American Mixed Breed."  Michael Vick was about to go on trial in Richmond, VA.  When we brought him home, his Uncle Chris, who owns and loves his Pittie Xena, commented that we knew there had to be some pit in him.  And in spite of this, we always point out on his paperwork each year that he's a mix.

     We know that someday we'll move from here.  And where ever we move to, we know we have to keep an eye out for BSL's.  Dog speed Lennox.  And our condolences to you and your family. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dog Cookies

     Today's blog post, I've kind of worked on for a while, but I don't have any pics to go with it.  So you get random pics of Annie and Paul tossed in for fun.  Lets face it, part of the joy of reading a dog blog is the pictures of the dogs.
Picture from our friend Ann P!
     Many of you in Blogville don't know that I bake cookies when I get stressed.  It's a bit like Julie says in Julie and Julia about how after a bad day there's something comforting about knowing that certain ingredients mixed together will always make a specific thing.  Unfortunately, as a public school teacher, if I baked and ate human food each time I got stressed, I'd weigh twice what I should weigh in a week.

     So as a result, I make cookies for Annie and Paul.  And at different holidays, I've baked for my friends dogs as well.  Many of the stores at the dog mall we go to are kind enough to stock dog treats and feed and love on Annie and Paul when we go in even if I don't purchase anything from that store.  So back at Halloween, I made bags of dog treats for those stores for the employees to take home to their pups.  And something funny (to me at least) happened.  People started to ask about how to get more dog treats and offering to pay for them.
     In December, the Hubbs and I took a trip to Chicago and got to meet A & E and Ms. M and Mr. B from Two Pitties in the City.  As a thank you present for their hospitality, I sent a few dog treats and a few people treats after the New Year.   I was totally geeked out when I looked at their Facebook page a few weeks later and found this post!  

     One of the store owners at the dog mall started asking seriously about how to buy the dog treats for clients who came in with their dogs to be photographed.  Fast forward a few months, I've started trying to sell dog treats on Etsy and at the local farmers market.

     Slowly but surely, I'm picking up bits and pieces of business.  But if anyone out there in Blogville wants any, please give a shout!

PS-I'm slowly joining in on the 21st Century and we now have a facebook page!  Feel free to stop by!

Monday, July 9, 2012


     With the 100+ plus heat that we've had this weekend, we've also had some pretty awesome storms.  As I write this, it's midnight, and I'm sitting on the couch with Annie and Paul and they're both panting from the thunder, lightning, rain, and wind outside.  Paul's OK on the couch as long as I'm petting him, he's not pacing, slobbering, or freaking out.  As a matter of fact, he's almost asleep as long as I keep petting him.  Annie is a different story all together.  She's panting like crazy, she'll shift from her right side, to her left side and back again.  She stands up and spins in a circle on the couch and then sits part way back down and needs at least 2 or 3 minutes of pets before she lays down again.  After an hour on the couch with her, I just heard her take a "deep breath" as I'm still watching a great lightning storm outside.
     Annie and Paul weren't always like this, they used to be OK in storms.  But over time, they've developed nervous habits when there's a storm coming through.  Paul usually just follows us around the house (not much difference than a normal day).  Annie, however, runs from room to room trying to find a "safe place" where the storm doesn't exist.  If we're sitting somewhere, she may or may not come and hang out with us.  It's anyones guess.  Tonight she decided to chill on the couch (where she was when I came out to the living room) and just shake and pant.  
      Normally in these situations, I'd wrap their thundershirts on them.  But with it being over 100 today, that's not really an option.  The thundershirts work on the idea of over all compression.  Not so tight that they can't breath, but tight enough that they feel protected.  It's the same idea I've seen on some of my kids at school who have anxiety problems.  
     The picture of Annie on the left was taken back in the spring.  I thought if I wrapped her in the thundershirt, maybe I can get her to keep the flower headband on for longer.  It worked, for a total of 5 minutes.
     The picture of Paul (left) was taken back in May.  I'm still not sure what spooked him that evening, but I wrapped him into his thundershirt, and curled up next to him on the dog bed and took a nap.  He fell fast asleep on my arm and I was there the whole night.
     Incidentally, what we call the dog bed in our house is actually a full size mattress and box spring that I took off of the bed frame.  So falling asleep on the dog bed next to Paul or Annie isn't as uncomfortable as it sounds.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

100 Degrees Again?!?!

     Ok, someone please tell Mother Nature that this is not what I had in mind when I said summer heat. For us, it's been over 100 each day for the past week.  I'm over it, and so are Annie and Paul.  Most of our days are spent laying around the house trying to stay cool while not over running our AC unit.

    On Monday, we're supposed to have a slow moving cold front come through on Monday, cooler weather will soon be here and I'll have happy pups again. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

While Annie slept on the main bed, Paul spent the 4th snuggled with me.  Happy 4th of July.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hubbs and the Pups

     When we first got Annie and Paul, my husband worked at a power plant and had all sorts of weird hours.  There were times we'd walk them together, but there were just as many times I walked them by myself.  When he was on night shift, they'd sleep in bed with me and I always knew they were there when I got home from school.  At one point, he had friends at work teasing him about, "who does your wife love more, you or the dogs?"  And then it happened.

     The hubbs fell off a ladder at work and broke his femur (this would be the thigh bone).  And during the recuperation period of 6 months, something happened.  Annie and Paul stopped being MY dogs and went to being OUR dogs.

     Over the 6 months it took for his femur to heal, he spent every day with the dogs.  At first, he couldn't do much other than pet them while sitting in the recliner.  And Paul was always nervous around him to begin with.
Before a party to celebrate the end of the football season, Hubbs dressed in AZ Cardinals colors.   Look how nervous Paul is.

     Now, Paul is still a bit nervous with the hubbs, but he's excited to see the hubbs when he gets home.  He walks nicely next to Hubbs on our daily walks, and he'll snuggle with the hubbs during the days time.