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Category Archives: Everyday dog life

O Hai! I Can Haz Blog Nao?

Did you miss me? Missed me. I have decided I need to keep this dog blog thing going so forgive my, um, nine month absence. I have had one heckuva life since the last post. Like, sick parents, a deceased parent, kids having massive behavioral issues, surgery to remove polyps. You know, the usual everyday stuffs. Anywho. Back to doggies:

I like dogs more than most people.

No! Really! I like kids more than grow ups, too. Let’s just say my social skills are stellar. I have rarely met a dog who didn’t see me and go all OH MAH GAHHHHH ILOVEYOUILOVEYOUILOVEYOU. I seem to have that effect on kids and dogs. Maybe because I act like a teenager? And dress like one?

And smell good to a dog?

Ahem.

After a few months off, dog season is back in full swing. The first holiday weekend since Christmas and everyone and their uncle has gone away. Except for us, because our Bugaboo doesn’t do new and different so we stay home and do same-same. I have a few regulars that come often for quick jaunts to the shore or a weekend to see family that isn’t so dog-loving. it’s nice, easy money. Except when it rains.

Guess what the forecast was ALL WEEKEND?

*Sob*

I am totally not mopping, y’all. If you come over, wear shoes and grubby clothes because its going to be the first mudfest of 2012. Unseasonably warm winter weather creates havoc in the form of mud. It ain’t gonna be pretty. And naturally all three guest doggies are ginormous. All three of them are also light-colored. Really light-colored. At least with Bristol you can’t SEE the mud, AMIRIGHT???

So who did we have with us?

Ella, part tank, part lab.

Ella, the Yellow Lab. She’s built like a tank and once knocked me on my arse. Literally. Feet in the air, gymnastics, stuff flying out of my arms. I am soooo graceful!

Here's Zane sitting behind my brother's dog, Bruno. Looking a little perplexed.

Zane the Collie, also known as Zanye (rhymes with Kanye) or Zanelander. Ever see Zoolander? Zhe had problems turning left in the movie? Well, Zane is a teensy bit uncoordinated. He got the moniker “Zoolander” due to the fact that when I walk him he tends to go on the wrong side of trees, poles and other permanently placed objects and can’t seem to navigate around them. The first time I walked him he got stuck to the right of a pole and couldn’t seem to figure out how to turn left to get on the correct side on the sidewalk with me. I nearly died laughing. Also? Since he doesn’t go upstairs at his house he couldn’t navigate stairs. Until recently. One day I came back from an appointment and called him and called him to let him out with my girls and I finally noticed him peeking around the corner down the stairs at me. He was stuck. And a little embarrassed. But we love him, he’s goofy and sweet and loves my girls. Even if he did walk into my sliding door. On more than one occasion.

Jasper, the big, giant, huge (did I mention large?) Teddy Bear.

Jasper is a golden doodle? Yellowlabradoodle? Dunno. One of those. Anyways, I have watched many doodle/oodle/noodle dogs and they are usually a little high-strung and goofy. Not Jasper. MELLOW. Sweet, laid back, obedient…I could go on. The quintessential dog at your feet. HS like a big teddy bear. And except for the fact that he likes to hump pillows (don’t ask) and once ate one of my throw pillows and left five pounds of down all over my yard, he’s pretty much the perfect dog. Do you know how difficult it isn’t clean up down from a lawn? I do.

And of course I have my own goofy duo.  Turns out it didn’t rain all weekend, we spent 99% of it outside and the dogs were happy (and tired) and my floors are much better for it. SCORE.

And there you have it. I’m back.

 

Dear Cute Puppy

Dear Cute Puppy,

I think you are the greatest, really.  True to your breed, you have boundless energy and you are SMAHT.  You have figure out the baby gates and doors and cabinets already and you’re only going on five months old.   You’ve figured out where two wider pickets are in our fence and wiggle through them routinely when people walk by because you’re convinced everyone loves you and thinks you are the cutest and should give you belly rubs.  And you’re right. You are the cutest. When you greet people on three legs you wiggle your little tush and it’s Freaking Adorable, yo.

You’ve learned many tricks so far.  THE MAN thinks it’s super cute because you “speak” or “crow” at us to get attention.  Shad Roe used to do this. You also admonish your fur sister, Bristol, if she barks at a passerby.  You can sit on command, sit when folks enter the house, shake paw, head down, lie down, fetch, come on command (most of the time or when you’re in the mood, like if I have a frisbee in your hand) and DROP IT, the most important command of all. Your sister ain’t the brightest so we were able to get her to drop A PIECE OF BACON.  Something tells me you won’t comply like that.

You’ve already got that Border Collie OCD thing down pat. You have that funny look in your eyes, fixating on the frisbee or tennis ball or stick. You’ll fetch for hours, even after we’ve become exhausted. We’re learning that fifteen minutes at a time is plenty. We don’t want you to start compulsively ripping shrubs and trees out of the ground to find sticks like our neighbor Border Collie buddy, Gus.  Unlike Bristol, you’ll fetch anything. If you throw a ball of frisbee for Bristol she’ll watch it go by and then look back at us like, “Um. What am I supposed to do with that?”  In a word, she’s obedient but fairly flat in personality.  Very calm and happy, super sweet but NOT A BORDER COLLIE.  Even though her mother was one. Apparently, her dad was about exciting as watching paint dry.  But You, Daisy?  Little mischievous thing that you are?  Non-stop fun.  Constant entertainment. You certainly keep me busy.

I do, however, have one small request. Do me a favor.  When you go outside and I ask you to go potty?  GO POTTY.  You tend to get distracted by sticks and balls and small vermin  and holes to dig under my Rhododendron and forget to go and forty-five minutes later I find a yellow puddle on the kitchen floor because you can’t hold it anymore.   Outside is for potty, mmkay?  And?  Stop crying in your cage at 5am. Wake up time is 6:30.  Just sayin’.

Sincerely,

Best Fur Mommy obsessed with doggies ever.

Normal

Well now. Summer is over, the dogs are all gone and now we’re back to normal. Well, a new normal.  Life will never be the same as it was before the Dog Days of Summer started (gosh, I miss Shadow) but we’ll have a new version of our own life back.

Life with a Border Collie is fun.  Shadow was only half Border Collie but apparently she had the full-blooded half, because it turns out her personality was 100% BC.  The lab half fell asleep for ten years and never woke up, apparently. Now Bristol?  Who had a Border Collie for a mother (and they suspect a lab or plot hound father)?  Her inner Border Collie fell asleep, which may have been a good thing. Let’s just say Shadow was special.  She had personality.  Facial expressions.  She was smaht, yo.  But she was also trouble.  Shadow could open the lazy susan corner cabinet and help herself to beef jerky.  Baby locks?  AMATEURS!  She also figured out quickly how to step on the pedal for the trash can to raise the lid and then stick her nose in to eat the contents.  And could open sliding doors and level door knobs. And the list goes on.

Bristol?  Sweet.  Well-behaved.  But…boring. We love her, don’t get me wrong.  One night, when discussing how happy we were that we adopted her (even though THE MAN was totally resistant in the beginning) I said, “But she’s different than Shadow” and THE MAN said, “You mean…OBEDIENT?”  Yeah, Shadow wasn’t exactly that. We let her anxieties and phobias rule how we did things around here.  But this time around?  Different.

Enter Daisy.

She’s all Border Collie.  100%.  OCD. Anxiety.  Energy level.  GO GO GO GO GO.  We love it, it’s a perfect fit for our family.  Autistic dog for an Autistic Family.

And that’s normal enough for us.

Raining Cats and Dogs

After a nearly three-week drought in my area we have finally hit that typical Philly summer weather.  The three aitches – Hazy, Hot and Humid.  Ugh.  It’s so humid you shower and walk outside and you are damp again. It’s grooooossssss.  Add the daily thunderstorms and it’s hot. DAMN HOT. We have that heat index phenomenon here and it feels five degrees higher than it is.

Which translates to hot doggies.  Get it?  HOT DOGS?  HAHAHA!

HA.  ha?

Anyways.

I get the sprinkler and baby pool out for the dogs. Because I buy sprinklers and baby pools for? THE DOGS.  Yes, it’s true. I buy my dog more toys and crap than I buy for my kids. This should come as no surprise to you since I’ve already revealed that I like dogs more than people. This may or may not be the reason I have difficulty with social skills. Just sayin’.

The past few weeks I’ve had many dog visitors.  One of them was (is, he’ll be back)Loki, Norse god of mischief.  He’s sweet. He also likes our rubber chicken and “kills” it daily, drowns it in the pool and tries to break its neck.  I love nature.  He’ll be back this weekend to kill more “ducks” and to protect us from the eeeviiilllll birds that inhabit our yard.

Loki, god of Mischief

We’ve had Ginger, the Dog that could escape from Alcatraz, back with us.  Except this time?  NO ESCAPES. Ha. HAHAHA.  Got your number, Ginger!  I finally figured out how to contain her. Until the next time she learns a new way to chew apart a chain-link fence.  Now, according to her owners, she can CLIMB THE FENCE. Old dogs aren’t supposed to do this, Ginger. Stop it.

Ginger, stop it.

We’ve had “The Beagles” come and stay with us.  Simon and Buddy are sweet, sweeeeet, sweeeeeeeeet dogs. They snuggle, beg for belly rubs, curl up and keep us warm.  Which is useful in ninety degree heat.  But they are lovey dovey, just like every beagle I have ever owner or dog-sat.  The problem?  HAVE YOU HEARD BEAGLES?  They don’t bark. They don’t whine. They do, however, alert us to every leaf that falls off of every tree. They let us know when a bug is flying by. They warn us that teenagers are approaching on bikes and scooters.  And, AND!  If a baby goes by in a stroller?  ALERT!  ALERT!  ALERT!

(pretend there is a picture here until the battery on my camera charges, will you?  kthxbai!)

Summer, another older doggie, came to see us again.  She’s a shep mix of some sort and was last here back in November around Thanksgiving.  She had a two week stay with Bristol and Shadow and is still recuperating.   Summer is neighbors with the beagles so they had an all-weekend dog party.  Good fun! Summer is one sweet doggy and super-well-behaved so she can pretty much come back whenever she wants.  Especially since Bristol LERVES her.

Summah Time.

We also had a Golden Doodle visit us. Theo is a nice doggy who loves to romp and play with Bristol. He runs and runs and runs. And then runs some more.  And is a bit demanding with his princely self. Like, must have ice cubes in his highness’ bowl.  And must have freshly chopped vegetables dropped to him on a regular basis.  He is like a giant teddy bear and is sort of woolly like a sheep. Oh, and he cannot be alone for five seconds because!  He might be lonely for five seconds!   And.  He has this problem with, ahem,mounting absolutely every dog that comes to my house.  Yes, even the males.  Dominance.  It’s what’s for dinner.

Theo the Doodle Oodle Oodle.

And our all-time favorite frequent visitor, Sandy, is back for two weeks. Poor Sandy came in and started looking for her good Buddy Shadow.  Gulp.  Gosh, I miss my dog!  Anyways, Sandy and Shadow frequently slept butt-cheek-to-butt-cheek.  Now Sandy sighs and sniffs around for her. Which makes me sad. But Sandy still chases Bristol in the yard and gives the best hugs, hands down.  Which is why we love her.

Best friends.

So, it has literally been raining cats and dogs here. Well, just dogs. Because we don’t have cats. Except for my neighbours’ cat that sits at my front door (which I often leave open for the doggies to watch the world and protect us from evil flies) and torments the dogs. She literally sits there, pawing at the door, begging to come in.  And scares the heck out of the dogs. Silly dogs! You could eat her for dinner!

The next two weeks will bring dog after dog after dog after dog.  I should be pretty busy.  I’ll attempt to take pictures.  In between vacuuming up buckets of dog hair, scooping up the poo in my backyard and throwing tennis balls.

Full (Dog) House

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Some of the dogs I take care of get along very well with other dogs so I can book certain dogs together.  It’s non-stop fun, and all day party at Chez Crazy Dog Lady.  This summer is booked SOLID, thanks to friends who have given great word-of-mouth recommendations.  Seriously, BOOKED SOLID.  My little not-a-business-just-for-fun side venture is taking off quite nicely.  And the extra dough is nice, too.

The past two weeks I’ve had several dogs visit us so it’s been BUSY.  Having four or five dogs in the house at the same time is fairly chaotic (let alone the fact that it was a holiday weekend, which means multiple barbecues, tons of people around and more chaos).

Colonel Sanders

For a week I had Sandy-The-Wonder-Golden, one of our favorite visitors.  Sandy and Shadow are good buddies and we love having her. Basically, she’s the blonde version of Shadow.  Actually, she’s nothing like Shadow.  Nothing at all.  They couldn’t be more polar opposite. Shadow is anxious, hyper and noisy.  Sandy is calm, relaxed and laid-back.  Shadow barks at leaves as they fall from the tree.  Sandy sniffs the air and sighs and goes back to sleep. Sandy?  Nicest dog ever.  Shadow?  Neurosis only a mother could love.The strange part is that Sandy acts like Eeyore most of the day. She walks around slowly, stares you in the face (petmepetmepetmepetme) and looks kinda sad-ish, except she’s never sad. Then, when she and Bristol go out in the yard, she’s all, “PAAAARTTTTYYYY!!!” and runs and romps and jumps and wrestles and plays. It’s seriously cute to watch.

Nap time!

Shadow and Sandy, never far from one another.

Over Memorial Day  weekend we had Red Ginger (not to be confused with White Ginger).  Red Ginger, you know, the dog that could escape from Alcatraz?  And escape she did. And run after her we did.  She is one nice, friendly, playful dog. If only she didn’t chew holes in the fence and escape, she’d seriously be the perfect dog.

Red Hot Ginger

Escapee

This weekend we had Zane.  We affectionately refer to him as “Zanelander” because he CANNOT TURN LEFT.  Ever see Zoolander?  No?  Your loss. Zane is a bit goofy…confused, maybe.  He walks into the sliding glass door, is afraid of the linoleum so he gets stuck in the foyer and has been known to stop dead in his tracks if the leash is on the wrong side of him or if he walks by a pole because he doesn’t know how to go around it most of the time. While he has a very sweet temperament, he’s no Lassie. Or so we though.  This weekend, he proved himself a collie.  My wee nephew spent the day with us Saturday and Zane was very protective. If the boy cried, Zane was immediately by his side. If he tried to go near steps or something dangerous, Zane blocked him. It was incredibly adorable.  So if Timmy was really down a well, I’m pretty sure Zane would get him in no time.

World of confusion

BruNO and his perplexed Pal, Zane

This morning Zane went home and we have four or five days until the next guest arrives.  It’s nice to be down to just my two but I’ll admit, I miss them when they leave. Most of them. There have been one or two dogs I swear I’ll never watch again (Emily).  But even they have their moments, even if few and far between.  The truth is, I think I finally found my calling. I’ve been trying to figure out what I am doing with myself now that Bugaboo is in full-time school and I’m home most of the day solo.  Full time employment won’t work for our family for a variety of reasons so I need something flexible and part-time.  Dog sitting is just that. I make my own schedule and hours, I can pick and choose my clients and it’s nice money for extras, like Tennis lessons for Bug Boy or special needs equipment for Bugaboo.  It’s a win all around.

Except for my carpets…

My Dearest Puppy Bristol

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You know I think you’re just about the cutest puppy ever in the whole wide world (since Shad Roe, that is).  Every day I thank my lucky stars that I obsess over petfinder and I found your puppy picture.   You were so cute!  And you do some of the cutest stuff. Like chasing your tail. And chasing random lights that flicker across the ground or floor.

Bristol when she was still called "Lala" after the dang Teletubbies

And chasing bugs outside.

This is when she was still cute and little. Now she's cute and big.

And carrying around logs bigger than your body. It’s awfully cute when you try to drag them around the yard.

Me? Cute? Nahhh...

It’s cute that you were afraid of the snow the first time you saw it and then you saw Shadow playing and you were all, “SNOW!  BEST THING EVERRRRR!!!!”   And we loved that you ate snow and tunneled in it and ate more of it. You also like to eat grass.And digging up worms and eating them and chasing rabbits and barking at squirrels to protect us.  And you like to protect Shadow even though she’s ten years your senior.

Don't you be touchin' Mah Shad Roe!

But here’s what isn’t cute.

Chasing a fly that’s been stuck inside our house.  Continuously. Between 1am and 3am.

Digging holes all over the yard.  ALL. OVER. THE.YARD.

Caught her red-handed. Errrr...red pawed. Brown pawed? WHATEVS.

Acting like every walk we go on is your first and last.

IZ Gud dog! I Caz has shoos plz?

Eating 3 pairs of crocs.  And a pair of Keens.  And a pair of Tsukihoshis. And a pair of Merrells.  And my favorite ballet flats.  All in one month.

Silly Puppy. Silly, silly, silly.

It’s a good thing you’re cute.

Ahhh, Spring!

Ah, Spring.  How I love thee. Let me count the ways.

I love you for the multiple dog walks a day.

I love you for the dogs wanting to be outside, which means less dog hair and mud in the house.

I love you for keeping puppies busy as they chase rabbits, birds and squirrels.

I love you for being warm and watching my dogs curl up in your sunny rays.

I love you for the greenest grass (even if they do rub their ears in the rabbit poo hiding in the grass).

I love you for the full-belly laughter each time I watch one of my dogs walk into (or, more accurately, THROUGH) the screen door.

I love you for the doggy play parties in my yard.

I love you for backyard baseball and dogs who don’t realize we AREN’T HITTING THE BALLS FOR THEM.

I love you for the dew that dampens my doggies’ feet.

I love you for fresh veggies that they devour (why do I plant them again? OH YEAH. FOR THE DOGS.).

But basically, I JUST LOVE YOU.

Kinda the way two dogs making out love each other.