Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A public service announcement

Hi, I am Hailey. You may know me from my blogged adventures. I am here to talk to you today about a very serious issue – the very evil rodent - the squirrel. I feel it is my duty to inform you humans that these creatures are trying to take over the world.

As a dog, I am privy to information that your species is missing. When they are making that “cute” chirping noise, they are actually communicating and planning their attack on the world. They are also taunting us dogs who are the only creature that appears to be able to understand what they are saying. Earlier this week at the park one squirrel said to me “It is coming soon, the day we rule the world and there is nothing you can do about it you stupid beast!”

Here are some other important facts to know about squirrels which further prove they are out to get us:
1)      There are over 200 species of squirrels according to National Geographic (I think by diversifying they are trying to appear less dangerous and divided. But be warned the flying squirrels air attack will be coordinated with the ground squirrels land offensive).
2)      Squirrels have been living on the planet for at least 36 million years, which has given them a very long time to plan their attack.
3)      Their main weapon, their teeth, grow every day of their lives, meaning they only becomes more dangerous.
4)      Most can gestate in 33 to 60 days meaning that they can repopulate much faster than many other creatures (especially humans)
5)      They are known as the cleanest rodents. I believe they do this to try and trick humans into believing they are cute and sweet, but really they are just biding their time to attack.
6)      The world wide population of squirrels is unknown. I believe they are hiding their numbers in order to have a surprise attack.

The next time you see one of these evil creatures, do not offer them a peanut; do not call them cute; do not swerve to miss them when they run across the street in front of your car (which is a ploy to cause you to have an accident and decrease your numbers); do not stop your dog from making one a snack. Instead starve them or run them over. If you do not, soon they will take over the world.

I leave you with a quote from Dug the dog from the movie Up. I really think is communicates my message. “A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, "I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead." Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.”

This picture taken from Google images shows a squirrel at a secret training facility.
Thank you for attending to this important message. Eliminate the squirrels!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Agility 3

Thank goodness this isn’t a competition because if it were Miss Hailey Bug would be the loser! Things started off great. She remembered the obstacles and confidently did them.  She took on a new obstacle, the A frame without hesitation. She learned how to do a u-turn well too! She was doing great and then what will be forever know as the Great Cookie Spill of November 2010 occurred.

The teacher spilt her bag of cookies all over the A-frame and the floor in the middle of the room. Miss Bug apparently has an amazing memory for where cookies are (she always checks out where they were last class) and for the next few courses she would do an obstacle go for the cookies, do an obstacle, go for the cookies. She was by far the worst in the class (and yes we feed her well!). This made it impossible to do a nice run.

As we were working to overcome this true obstacle and then something equally as bad happened - a new dog enters the premises while she is in the middle of her run. These people were 25 minutes for class and were not following the do no bringing your dogs in early rule. All the dogs were very distracted by this at least. The lady was asked to leave, which was good, but kept walking by the glass doors so Miss Bug would keep running to see her.

Between the cookie mess and new dog, as well as her excitement to be there (and she actually bit me when I was giving her a cookie one time), it was not the most fun.

There was one really cute moment. The teacher brought out a toy on a stick and Lee was chasing it and catching it. Another dog who she is sort of afraid of because the other dog isn’t friendly came over and was playing and then Lee grabbed it and took off through the tunnel with it, came around, jumped on the tunnel and was trying to get this dog to play. I guess making friends with AJ over comes some of the other issues of the day.

There is always next week, and perhaps if her owner loosened up and just had fun instead of trying to be a perfectionist, things might go better!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Steps to taking Nin to the vet

1)      Curse while you are scraping the ice off the car
2)      Bring the crate upstairs while Lee is outside so when she comes in she can bark at it
3)      Scoop Nin up and put him in the crate
4)      Try and get Nin out while keeping Lee in and not closing the door on Lee’s head
5)      Realize you forgot to block upstairs to have to go back in and repeat step 4
6)      Listen to Nin cry for the 25 minute drive to the vet. Turn the music up loud!
7)      Take Nin out and try to keep him still on the scale (he weighs 5.5kg)
8)      Have to catch Nin as he is now free in the clinic and is running around
9)      Snuggle Nin in the waiting room
10)  Remove Nin hair from up your nose because he is majorly shedding because he is scared
11)  Allow Nin to wander around the waiting area a bit because there are no other animals there.
12)  Be totally surprised when you call him back and he comes back
13)  Go into the room to wait for the vet
14)  Be embarrassed when you take him out of the crate and he has a big cut on his ear from where Gemi attacked him earlier in the day
15)  Help the vet hold him still while she examine his teeth (as he is purring while she is examining him)
16)  Wait for 10 minutes for an estimate for dental work
17)  While waiting watch Nin jump off and on the examining table and laugh at him trying to figure out how to get on the counter
18)  Try really hard not to laugh out loud when the vet says it will be $2000 to have the tooth removed
19)  Put Nin in the car
20)  Pay and pick up cat food for sister’s cat
21)  Listen to Nin cry the 25 minute drive home
22)  Arrive home and let him be free.

Nin was very good but is happy to be home!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

That was disgusting

We lived with a dying dog for a long time and at the time I thought the vomit that came out of him was the foulest smelling stuff on the planet. Tonight I found out I was wrong.

I was having a quick power nap on the couch this evening after an unexpected environmental allergy attack. Drew was watching TV. I wake up to Drew yelling at Hailey to get on the floor. She was throwing up. Fortunately, he got her on the floor where she preceded to expel the foulest smelling vomit on the planet. So my new couch was saved (although we did pay a lot of money to get it protected, but not a test I want to take!).

Lucky me – I  got to clean up the vomit. I am actually glad I am quite congested to help mask the smell. We have no idea what might have triggered this. There was a lot of dirt in it.

Unfortunately, Baby was lying on the ground by the couch and got a vomit shower. We are now seeing if Baby can survive the washing machine.

No pictures were taken, it was just too gross!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Containing the beast has not gone well (see previous blogs for the evidence). She hasn’t stayed in two crates or the kitchen. So what do you do when you need to go out and you can’t contain the beast? Closes as many doors as possible, pray and leave the dogs free in the house.

This method of hope and pray,  increases your stress when you are out. The images of what may be happening at home did cross my mind repeatedly through the day. My heart rate rose as I put the key in my door. I opened the door slowly. I found myself tiptoeing into the house, peaking around the corner (after I got mauled for going out by both the dogs). I was pleasantly surprised. Trip one out, the house was 100% fine. Trip two, a pee accident but no other damage.

The secret to our success may be to let the beast free. Time will tell! Keep your fingers crossed for me (and my new couch!).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Containing the Beast

Containing the beast is our biggest challenge. This week she has done an amazing job at bending her crate. It is almost unusable. I am confident that if she had another day in it she would totally get out. Monday, she did this damage.
Note the damage to the top and bottom

Close up of the damage at the bottom

The carpet damage
The mystery to me is the hole in the carpet. 
Did she reach her paw threw and dig it or did Miss Cricket try and help her escape (as we had left the door to her room open to see if this helped)? I am wondering if you can get a crate that would be strong enough for a werewolf or a polar bear. Maybe that would contain her!

Upon realizing that she was just going to get out of the crate, we tried her in the kitchen.
Try one – she got out no damage
Try two – she got out no damage
Try three (with swinging doors closed, chairs to block her way) – she got out no damage but one huge mess.

Poor Drew came home today to a huge mess.

Hailey got out of the kitchen, went to the basement (the gate that usually blocks her access was trying to keep her in the kitchen) and found this cat nip toy.

The grey on the couch is nip

Close up of the nip

Nip on the floor

While Drew was cleaning up the nippy mess, the dogs were outside. Not to be left out Gemini came in with poop all over her head. We have reason to suspect her head may have been under Hailey’s bum while she was pooping. So then he had to give her a bath, she was not happy.

All in all a quiet day at the zoo!

We had no idea how much cat nip was in one of those things until she pulled it apart today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walk Aborted

Ah, winter is coming. The first day of freezing rain, my least favourite of all the weather mother nature throws at us in this part of the world, is here. I was optimistic when we first set out this morning. Somehow we made it down the ice covered stairs, across the slippery drive way to the ice covered sidewalk. At the sidewalk we were able to walk on the grass. When on the grass the ice at least cracks and you can get some traction. Then we hit the road. I thought perhaps if we got on the road it would be less icy. I was wrong and after slipping and sliding a couple of houses I decided this was an accident waiting to happen and we turned around and made it back through the icy obstacle course. Somehow I wrenched my knee in this, making me extra happy to have cut it short.

Lee found the frozen ground very interesting and she wanted to sniff, lick and eat it!

Now of course my punishment for not being able to go for our 5 kms is dealing with a crazy dog all day and I am working at home for a lot of it! Maybe it will be safer later!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Agility class 2

Today was Miss Hailey Bug’s second agility class. Today they kicked it up a notch and introduced 2 of the hardest pieces of equipment, the teeter totter and the bridge.

We started with the teeter totter. They took the board off the base and the dogs practiced walking on it when it was flat on the floor. Then once all the dogs were comfortable with that, they put it on the base and one of the teachers held it so when it did tip, it did so slowly. Finally, the dogs were able to just walk across it.

A similar shaping procedure was used for the bridge. The ramp part was take off and placed on the floor and they walked over it. Then they were put on the teeter totter base (which is lower than the bridge) before being placed on the bridge.

Miss Bug was a little unsure walking on the pieces on the ground the first few times. We had to reinforce just having 2 feet on the flat teeter totter board and then 4 legs. It didn’t take long for her to figure it out, or to really want the cookies, but whatever!. In the end she was one of two dogs that weren’t at all bothered by the teeter totter tipping. She was more focused on the potential cookie in the trainer’s hand! The same was true with the bridge. She had a harder time on it when it was first raised and needed a lot of luring and reinforcement during, but quickly was walking up, across and down.

I admit that I was worried with the bridge. I was worried that if she fell off I would not let go. Luckily she never fell off. One dog did and the owner didn’t let go and he was left hanging. After that, he would not go on the bridge at all and was scared to go on the teeter totter.

Overall, although we didn’t time it, of the 5 dogs in class today, Hailey was in the top 2 (not that it is a competition). The most improved puppy has to be AJ who was terrified to go on the boards most of the class but by the end was able to slowly go across all the equipment with a lure. By the end of the class 2 of the other dogs still wouldn’t do all the equipment. The one who fell (so the people accidently taught him to be afraid) and one who was nervous of the movement of the teeter totter.  

See full size image
This is similar to the teeter totter we used.

This is a fancy versiion of the bridge we used.
Pictures from Google Images

Thursday, November 18, 2010

They hate me

Miss Gemini Cricket would like to report puppy abuse. Yesterday morning, on a very cool, blustery and rainy day, she was unceremoniously dragged out of bed and taken on a very long walk. She would like the Lady and Man she lives with punished for such mistreatment. Miss Cricket says she can handle the walk later in the day.

This is not the first time Lady and Man have faced allegations of puppy abuse. While the late Loki was going through his medical treatment and being made to take his 15 pills a day, he made a complaint. Loki withdrew his complaint when other people told him if he was their dog he would have been put down and not been given the pills.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Enemy

In case people haven’t figured out by now, I am an animal lover. Most of the time I prefer fuzzy or feathered creatures of to most people (perhaps because they don’t talk!). But now I have a furry enemy . . . the dreaded squirrel.

Until recently I have not had a problem with squirrels. They are kind of cute. I grew up in an old house where they were my neighbours, occasionally living in the walls. I would often fall asleep listening to them doing their little squirrel things.

My dislike began in the fall with the arrival of Miss Bug.  Her interest in them (aka wanting to hunt them, kill them and eat them) has caused a lot of pain in my arms and shoulders as she tried to chase after them and I held on for dear life.  The other issue is Hailey can see a squirrel three kms away. She remembers the places we see them the most often (the trees near an apartment building and the apple tree up the street) and she knows when you are approaching these areas and goes on high alert and the pulling begins. Due to this I have not felt as sad the last few weeks when I have seen a squirrel who met a car. I feel bad about this, but it is the way it was.

After an incident at the park yesterday, squirrels are higher up on my dislike list. Yesterday was an exceptionally beautiful November day in this part of the world. It was sunny and warm (10 degrees Celsius, when our day time temperature should be around 3). The girls and I were joined at the park by my mom who is visiting from out of town. We were having a leisurely stroll through the paths, chatting with other dog owners, enjoying the day. Lee started off doing an amazing job at coming back right away. She was showing off. My mother was very impressed with her.

Shortly after this jinxing statement, the enemy arrived and off she went. I called and she didn’t come back. I couldn’t see her but for the most part I could hear her. My heart dropped. I did my deep yoga breathes to keep my cool. I could feel the panic feeling rising. In my head I was thinking, “we are far away from the road, she will come back, please come back, if you stupid dog do not come back I will kill you.” I am sure everyone within a 2 km radius heard me calling “Hailey come” as I was yelling at the top of my lungs over and over again. After what seemed like an eternity, (but in reality was probably about a minute), she came back. I was just about to reach for the leash when she saw another squirrel and took off again. This time she came back much faster and I was able to grab her leash which was dragging behind her. I did reinforce her for coming back with treats, because she did come back. However, for the rest of the walk she was on leash.

Due to all the pulling and now distraction they cause and the safety risk they may pose I am putting them on my enemy list.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Agility Results

Hailey trying a jump for the first time. Picture taken during her Basic obedience class in Oct.
Miss Hailey Bug of Ottawa placed second in her first agility class. Miss Bug was able to “complete” 2 jumps and the tunnel in 7.5 seconds. The fasted time was 4 seconds, completed by Bailey, a boarder collie mix, who was completing basic agility for the second time. Other times for the class were 11 seconds, 12.5 seconds, 22 seconds and 45 seconds respectively.

Moments were tense for team Hailey during the event as she did not fully complete the second jump. However, given this being the first competition, the judges allowed her to keep her time.  

Miss Bug was completely exhausted after this. Perhaps jumps and tunnels need to become part of the house.

(Note: This class is not competitive, it is for leisure only. However, it is difficult for some of the participants not to judge the success of their dog).

Poop -

A story about Gemini

The little white angel came into the house this evening covered from head to toe in poop. This is not an exaggeration. She had poop on her head, down her chest and on her front legs (FYI the backyard is “depooped” at least every 48 hours). It is unknown how Gemi, a known poop eater, got it everywhere. The consequence was an immediate trip to the tub. She handled this well and just sat in the tub with a very sad face as she was sprayed with water and washed. She is still sulking from this.

Hailey watched the bath with great interest. Hailey apparently has an aversion to baths. This was evident when after Gemi’s turn, I decided to just put Lee in the tub without water. She did the splayed leg “please don’t put me in, oh my you are killing me.” But I got her in and she stayed for about 1 second!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

At least my dog doesn't . . . .

Imagine a beautiful fall day. It is a cloudy, but warm. We take the dogs to the park to play. My dogs are not perfect. Gemi jumped up on 2 people and goosed them in the bum. Lee stole a stick from another dog and teased him, but came back every time we called. Their manners in public were pretty good, especially when you compare it to some behaviour we saw today.
  • Dogs not coming when called
  • Dogs who won’t stop barking
  • Dogs who won’t stop humping other dogs
  • Dogs who take other dogs balls and won’t give them back
  • Dogs who got aggressive
  • One dog who found this huge mud puddle and had a great play in it. You couldn’t tell she was blond after she was so muddy.

And my personal favourite:
  • While standing watching our pups, Drew was mistaken as a tree and a little dog came over, lifted his leg and peed on his leg and shoe. The owners were mortified and I thought it was very funny. Drew took it in stride although did avoid Cookie after that. Fortunately none of the other dogs smelt it and peed on him further!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Proud Mom Moment!

This afternoon we took the dogs to the dog park. Lee got to be off leash for about 15 minutes. She came back every time we called her! YAY!  All the hard work is paying off!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Pictures of my grandfather a WWII vet and brother in law an Afganistan vet.

We express our deepest gratitude for those past and present who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that others can have freedom and basic human rights.  Thank you!

May those of us who have freedom not take it for granted and use it to help better our planet. (In other words do more productive things with our lives then dress up our dogs or at least full appreciate the sacrifices others have made so we can do things like dress up our dogs.) While freedom should be a right, it is a privilege that is often not fully appreciated.

To those in activity duty - Godspeed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Piggy’s Body Defiled

Piggy’s body was stolen from the scene of her death yesterday and defiled further. Investigators found the body approximately 15 feet from the sight of her death. Her remaining innards were removed from her body and she was further beaten.

When asked how the body was stolen from the scene, investors said “no comment.”
Piggy's remains after they were stolen from the scene of her death.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Black Beast Strikes Again

The crime scene
Investigators are stunned by another murder in the Ottawa area. The victim was Piggy, aged 5, who was described by those who knew her best as “Nice plump, friendly bacon.”
Her remains were discovered Tuesday afternoon by The Lady. Piggy had suffered a serious head injury, an ear had been amputated and brains and guts were found all over the couch and the floor.

Prior to this grisly discovery, Miss Hailey Bug was seen hanging out with Piggy on the bed. Investigators will not comment if Miss Bug is a suspect in this murder. Miss Bug has been terrorizing Ottawa for the past 2 months but due to poor police work has not been charged with any crimes.

Piggy is predeceased by Monkey and Phallic Monkey. She is survived by Baby, Baby Baby, Heart Baby, Bunny, Horse and Froggy.

The body - May Piggy rest in peace

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daylight savings time ends

And squirrel hunting season begins!

The advantage of going for a walk when it was still dark was that either there were no squirrels out or we couldn’t see them. Now it is light by 7 and boy are there a lot of squirrels.  I never thought I would say I was looking forward to the days getting shorter!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Cookie Run

Gemi and Hailey would like to report that they were expecting something else when they were told, “It’s time to go to the cookie run.” They thought they would be running and getting lots of cookies. Instead, they were forced to wear sweaters (there is some snow in the air this morning) and stand and watch other people run. They did get some cookies but not as many as they had hoped for.  They also didn’t get to play with the kids and dogs, and all the people didn’t come over to them. They both had to pull and bark a lot.
They did get to see their Aunt C and Auntie Kaitlyn finish their first 5 km run! YAY! They did get to jump on them and give them kisses. Both dogs are now exhausted and hopefully will be quiet for the rest of the day.

It is apparently a family day of racing. Besides C and Kaitlyn’s 5 km, we have cousins participating in an ironman. We are watching their progress on line and thinking of them. Go Matt!  Go Greg!
And they are off!
Crossing the finish line

The runners and the cheerleaders!

Invasion to cat territory begins

For 2 months Miss Bug followed the rules and stayed in the dog territory and didn’t venture into the cat territory (aka the basement).

Last week while the patio furniture was being taken to the basement, Miss Bug followed the Lady down several times. She was fined for this behaviour. The punishment seemed to work for a few days. Then a few times she followed her people down and was fined after each incident. What the law enforcement didn’t understand was now she knew where the cats kept their food.

Last evening when dinner was delayed, she went down for appetizers. She tried repeatedly and the wall to the other side had to be put up. She spent time in jail for this behaviour. This punishment does not seem to have worked.

This morning as Miss Bug was freed from her night time enclosure, instead of running to the back door, she invaded the territory in spite of the cat screaming. The wall was returned. She moved it once. It was adjusted to keep her out. Then she played her Houdini card, somehow got to the other side and was stuck. People from the dog world had to rescue her.

Alternative measures are being discussed to determine how to permanently keep Miss Bug from violating this treaty.

The cats are planning to stage a protest asking for protection from these invasions and compensation for the food she ate.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Snuggle Bug

When our bug is curled up having a nap and not curled up with us, her preference is to curl up with one of her babies.
Caught in the act!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let is snow?

Saturday night we got an unpleasant surprise. An inch of snow. The remains are still on the ground.

Gemi’s reaction: “Not this stupid stuff again.”

Lee’s reaction: “What’s this? Oh, it is cold. Oh I need to hop around. What is it? Can I eat it? Yes I can eat it! Yummy,  it is good and cold! Let me eat more and jump around in it!”

Time will tell if this love of snow continues!