Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Friends and New Tricks

It took a few days, but Barley and Zaphod have figured out how to play. They like to have play time after their morning swim. Here is a sample of it.

During our morning swim on Wednesday, Phod learned a new trick. It goes like this:

I have one ball, can I get 2?

I have 2 balls can I get 3?

No I can't, but don't worry little ball, I will be back. No ball left behind.

Phod learned he can catch and swim with 2 balls. This was great when the other pups missed where balls went because he would bring them back to shore, and he was good at letting the other dogs get theirs if they were around.

Note: While at times the dogs go out far to get balls, it is not very deep. As far as they go is likely only waist deep on a adult so if someone got into distress (although we watch closely for signs and end play before anyone gets too tired) one of us could run in. 

Phod has had a wonderful time at the beach. He has been his gentle, quiet self, although he has been slightly more dominant (perhaps because there is a second male here) and a bit more confident (he managed to take himself for a second swim).  He has been wonderful with all the kids we have met, but slightly cautious meeting new men (especially a neighbour with a cane, very unsure of him). Overall, he has been wonderful, and my parents are not worried about having him at all in the fall for 2.5 weeks. (The same can't be said for my beloved Hailey, but they will all be fine). There was a little mischief, we will share next week! 

Today we take the long journey back home. Wish us a smooth trip!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More News from the Beach

I forgot to share Phod's mischief yesterday. My parents have their deck gated so their pups can go out and enjoy the sun (there yard is not fenced). Phod figured out that the gate at the bottom of a set of stairs was jumpable and he jumped over it and took himself for a swim at the lake. (The deck is out front and from it you can see the lake from it). Steps have been taken to block the stairs so others can enjoy the deck without us worrying about someone jumping.

Chew time
Part of Tendra and Barley's after dinner routine consists of having a kong followed by having a chew. Phod is refusing to eat his kong at this house (he doesn't love them at our house, but will eat them). I assume it is because we use different peanut butter at home. Tendra is loving having 2 kongs a night. Historically, Phod has not enjoyed raw hide either (he is a really picky eater), but Sunday night he stole part of Tendra's and chewed it a bit. When given his own Monday, he wouldn't eat it. He is a silly boy.

Night Two, Phod only slept with me about half the night and around 2 am decided to go back to his own bed (which I brought with me). I must admit, while I love the snuggles, I do enjoy the leg room when he is on the floor.

Yesterday was my whole day away to visit my grandmother. How was my boy while I was out? As you can see from these pictures, he was very stressed:)

Stress pose 1

Stress pose 2
Note Barley in the background and yes my parents bought a couch to match the dog! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beach Life is Tiring!

Hailey Update: The Man reports that Hailey's paw appears to be 100% better. Lee was able to go on a run with the Man this morning. So either it was a little strain or perhaps a second sting. At any rate, we are just thrilled she is better.

Now to Phod and his first full day at the beach.

Phod who normally sleeps on the floor (hates to be on the bed) slept at the bottom of the bed all night. He slept and slept and slept and I am not 100% sure he was ready to get up when I woke up at 7 am.

More love from Brooke and Kayd
He adjusted well to the routine here. Bathroom break and then a wait for breakie at 8 (my parents are retired and if they feed Tendra when they get up, she would have them up at 4 am, so they have a strict 8 am feeding time). After breakie it was walk time. My dad took Barley for a walk on the beach and Phod and I joined my mom, Tendra and my cousins for a road walk. While he pulled more than usual he did well. He whined a little when he saw dogs he couldn't say hi to, but other than that, was a champ.

Shortly after morning walk I had to get ready to go to town. I was having lunch with a family friend. He stayed here and apparently did great. He was having a great time playing fetch at the lake when I returned.

After beach, my aunt and uncle came for a visit. Then my other aunt and her son came. We were a party of 9 and Phod was his regular calm self. Everyone loved him. Some of my family admitted to have a prejudice against German Shepherds. They admitted to being a little nervous around them. Phod changed their mind about this and they all learned not to judge a dog by his or her breed. I told Phod he should be the poster boy for German Shepherd's Rock!

After all this company has him pretty tired out!

Today, he will be at the house without me for most of the day as my dad and I will be going out of town to visit my 92 year old grandmother. I am sure he will be an angel for his Grammie!

We are still hopelessly behind in reading all your blogs (all this company is great but interfering with our routine), but did finally have enough time to catch up with the FFHT (which we loved). We think after tomorrow the last 2 days will be more relaxed and reading will be in our future!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Road Trip

First a Hailey update: By Saturday morning the swelling was all gone in her face and for the most part she was walking without a limp. I could tell she was still being "light" on her leg, but was happy to see she was improving.


Phod and Brooke
The Man stayed up late to give Phod his anti-puke drugs. I didn't give him breakfast to help. At 6:05 I tried to get Phod into the car. At 6:11 I called the Man to help get Phod in. At 6:13 am we were on the road.

The first 250 km Phod was pretty anxious. He never threw up, but was drooling - a lot. Given the challenges I had getting him into the car, I was worried about our first rest stop, but my worries were for naught. While Phod was happy to get out of the car, he was equally happy to get back in the car. It was after the first rest stop he started to relax. At the second rest stop I gave him his bed (as I knew he wasn't going to be sick) and he was happy. By the time we were done our trip - 750 km, 8 hours and 15 minutes, my boy seemed happy in the car. YAY!

Kaydee with Phod

Given the nature of our lives and Phod's car sickness, he has never been to anyone's house before. Phod settled in with no issues. He was happy to see my parents and their dogs Tendra and Barley and my cousins Kaydee and Brooke. The only "issue" we had was a meeting of the neighbour . . . at first he was terrified, he jumped out of the way, but quickly realized the neighbour was a friend and was asking for pets.

I think Phod's favourite moment of the day was the discovery of the beach. My parents place is on Lake Huron, so they have a great beach!

The pictures I have at the beach were taken by Kaydee, a budding photographer, while Brooke, the expert stick thrower, amused Hod.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Poor, Poor Girl

First, thank you all so much for your kind notes regarding Gheera's death. It was much appreciated. I will blog more about him in the next week or so.

Yesterday I worked my butt off to get all the work I needed to get done before my vacation. Shortly after 3 I finished with a  huge sigh! I took the dogs out for a play time while I just chilled for a bit (my plan was to do some writing and then visit all your blogs).
Getting some love

Hailey was happily playing in the yard when shortly after 4 she was stung and hurt her front left paw. As soon as I realized what had happened I raced to her and got her inside.

I spent a great deal of time checking out her leg. I wasn't sure if she had been stung on it or if when she rolled she had hurt it. I checked it and touched it and pulled it and while she didn't want to put a lot of weight on it, it didn't seem to hurt too much.

The Man arrived home about 15 minutes later and that is when he noticed her face. The left side of her face had started to swell up. This is when I got really worried and called the vet. Fortunately our friend and vet was at the clinic and available. I explained what happened and he told us what to do. For the sting, if she had been severely allergic to it, we would likely have seen the distress already, so we were likely out of the woods for that. He asked what anti-histamines we had in the house. All we had was Reactine, so he gave us the dose for this, suggested Aspirin if needed and ice for her face and leg. He of course went over the serious signs to look though (but again, he wasn't as worried about these as it had been about 30 minutes since the sting).
The swollen face (on the right in the picture)

My poor girl has been miserable every since. She is not feeling well, she can't get comfy.  We will rest her leg as best as we can. [Note the swelling went down within a couple hours].

Because life isn't crazy enough - Zaphod and I are leaving, bright and early on our first road trip. Yes, I am taking my really, really, car sick getting dog on a 650 km (400 mile) trip to visit my parents for a few days. I decided I could only handle one on my own at the rest stops etc, and since Phod has never gone (and will be easier when I get there), he won. So life is not going to get any better for my girl tomorrow.

We will be blogging from the beach about Phod's adventures, how LeeLee is doing and of course will have time to catch up on the Fryday Hairy Tails we are so looking forward to!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fractured Fryday Hairy Tails - by Hailey

Today we are participating in Murphy and Stanley's:

The rules: Take the target sentence or inclusion statement and write whatever you want!

Here is our story:

My ears perked up as I heard the wheels on the gravel. It wasn't my Man or Lady's vehicle, it was big vehicle. I barked and barked and barked and barked as the UPS guy left a huge box on the front porch. 

I had to wait for 87 million hours for Lady to get home and bring the big box inside. When she put it on the floor, I sniffed it. It smelt like dirt and something else I couldn't put my finger on. After a good sniff, it was time to open it. 

 “When I opened the box I was startled to find . . .”

Darth Groundhog!

Picture from: - without permission

He leaped out of the box with his light sabre. He was yelling something in Groundhog language I didn't understand while he was waving his light sabre. He was very angry (maybe because of that incident recently with Junior . . . .)

I was momentarily so stunned I couldn't move, but then as he came closer I knew what to do.

I picked up the box, dropped it on his head, causing him to drop the light sabre. I kicked it out of the way, we dogs don't need things like light sabres, we have paws and jaws! I grabbed Darth Groundhog by the tail, put him back into the box, sealed the box.

I scratched at the door until Lady opened it. She let me out and I dragged my box outside.

I stood over it as it was bouncing with angry Darth Groundhog sealed inside, deciding what to do.

Should I mail the box back to timbuktu? 
Should I drag it to the lake and drown him? 
Should I bury it in the yard?
Should I left him go and try and call a cease fire and work on a peace treaty?????

Let me know what you think I should do!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In Loving Memory of Bagheera

March 29, 1995 to July 23, 2014

It is with a  heavy heart we share the news that Bagheera died peacefully in his sleep while we were at work yesterday. He was 19.

Bagheera was our first pet, named for the panther in the Jungle Book, my favourite Disney movie. He was a slight terror as a kitten, climbing the curtains, opening the freezer to steal bread, and there was the time he ate a magnet and nearly died. His favourite game in his young years was stick. We had a round dining room table and we would run the stick around the edge of the table in circles until he would get so dizzy he would fall over. His worst habit was the nose bite. If he loved you he would bite your nose, and he would often do it in a sneaky way so you couldn't block him, like when you were sleeping. He had the loudest purr I have ever heard. He once caught a mouse in our house and was upset I wasn't thrilled with the present.

During his middle years, he was not a happy cat. He disliked our little dogs who chased him. However,  he had been very happy the past few years, especially since the move to the country. He spent many an hour lounging in a favourite chair in the sun. He loved the time we allowed him to spend outside. While he was getting old and slowing down, we had no indication that it was his time, but are grateful he went peacefully in one of his favourite sleeping places. May we all be as lucky to end rich lives full of love so peacefully.

Dear Bagheera,

We didn't have a chance to formally say goodbye. Thank you for being such a great, if not moody and bossy, pack member for 19 years. You will always be remembered, and not just because we all have scars from your claws, but because you were such a character. Cranky one moment, happy the next, always letting us know that it was your house and you could decide at any moment to kill us in our sleep. Thanks for keeping us all in line.

We will miss you.

Your loyal subjects

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Threat - Chip

On Saturday the house came under attack of a new threat.

Chip - the Chipmunk.

Do you see him on the left by the post?

There he is under the rail, eating a nut my people gave him! 

We used this as a chance to work on relaxing with our girl. 

The intense stare

Practicing Relaxed (Back legs are to the side, but she is still tense)

So now our house is under siege by: the deer: Thelma and Louise (the wild turkeys) and their babies: the groundhogs, Slinky, Lazarus, Goldbie; the 4 horses from across the street; the ravens, Ed, Al and Poe; Red John the Squirrel; the woodpecker; and now Chip!

What is a girl to do with all these invaders???????

Come back during Safety Week and we will have a special post on wildlife safety! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mischief Monday - A Whole Bunch of Things Going On

First, before we get into the mischief, we would like to tell you about Chancy. On our weekly check for a puppy for our Uncle Chris (he is considering getting a sibling for Emma and we are helping with the search), we came across Chancy.  We call her Lee's twin. She is in the Ottawa Humane Society. To find out more about her go to:

Here she is, isn't she beautiful???

We hope she finds a wonderful home soon!


Now the mischief.

Lady and Man Mischief:
On Friday they went out without us for the entire evening. The gave us dinner really early and left us alone when there were fireworks! (although we were good and there was no distraction).  Do you know what they thought was more important then being home with us?  A silly football game!!!! That is right, they left us alone to go and see the first home game of Ottawa's new CFL team the RedBlacks. Clearly they don't have their priorities correct. To make it worse they told us they are going to 2 more games . . . . 

Hailey's mischief - now this not just mischief caused by Lee, but this was caught on camera.

I want to know that why, even though it is the same water as is in the water dish, why does my water taste better?

Because I have help drinking my water, when I am not at the dinner table, I use plastic cups! They get spilled a lot! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Black and White Sunday - Hailey

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! We will be catching up with all of you on this raining Sunday!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Project Hailey - Not the Best Day for My Girl

Thursday afternoon a girlfriend and her two children aged 4 and 5 came for a visit. I knew Hailey would find this a little stressful, so even though I was working at home in the morning I spent a lot of time trying to tire her out. Unfortunately it was a little windy in the morning so she was a little stressed before they arrived.

Lee - post kid visit
When my friend and the kids arrived, Lee barked and barked. I tried her on her leash but she wouldn't calm down. Unfortunately the kids aren't really comfortable around dogs (nor is my girlfriend as she has very severe allergies and hasn't had a lot of exposure), which made Lee more anxious. I made the decision for everyone (because it wasn't going to be a good visit if Lee was barking the entire time) to put her in the crate. 

After putting her in the crate she did bark for a few minutes but she settled. Several times during the visit she barked and whined. (Often when the kids ran so she could see them) She dug her crate a little, but didn't destroy anything. 

Phod on the other hand was an angel. He took the treats from the kids, he played ball with them, he let them pet him, he gave kisses. The kids loved him and the kids would have been thrilled to take him home.

In the end, although I felt a little bad for Lee having to be in jail (with a kong and a chew and her toys), I had a nice visit with my friend (unfortunately the weather was poor and kept us from a visit to the beach . . . maybe next time). 

I am proud of Lee for being able to settle in her crate. It is nice to know we have an alternative to help her when we have nervous dog people visit. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Feline Friday - A letter to the cats - by Zaphod

Dear Bagheera and Nin,

You know I love you very much. Sometimes I want to run with you, but I never play rough or try to hump you like LeeLee does. I keep my distance. I respect your space. I want you to love me. I am a good dog brother. I just want to ask you that why, even though I am such a good dog, do you keep peeing on my dog beds? Lady keeps having to take them away to clean them. Sometimes she has to get rid of them. I would really appreciate if you could stop doing this. 

But Baggy if this makes you too stressed and you may want to kill me in my sleep for suggesting you don't pee on my things, please keep peeing on my bed. [Baggy you still kind of scare me].

Thank you,

Love your Phody

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Acceptance Speech by Hailey

Hawk was kind enough to share (what I think is a much deserved award, I am truly under appreciated in my life) this fabulous Shine On Award.

I am going to break some of the rules for this award (I don't follow rules well), but am giving a great big thank you to Hawk for thinking of me (I know it was out of kindness that he mentioned Zaphod on his blog).

Here are 7 random things about me:

1) I don't like most fruit and veggies. I try them and will sometimes eat them, but mostly just because I am afraid Phod will take them.

2) My Lady's favourite part of her day, is often in the wee hours of the morning when I decide to honour her with a leg snuggling in her sleep.

3) I am no longer that excited to see deer. While I am alert when they cross our path most morning, I don't try and yank Lady's arm off any more (the same can not be said for small creatures such as ravens, cats, frogs, groundhogs, squirrels).

4) I will only let my Man cut my nails, even though the Lady did all the work to make me not terrified of having them cut.

5) I jump up on people I love when they first enter the house. This is how they know I love them and no matter what Lady does, she can't get me to stop. I will be calm and they will think they are safe, but then when the don't expect it, I will jump.

6) Hero's dog treats are currently my favourite (this is how the Lady is getting me to do rollover).

7) I like routine. I can tell time and am very good at letting my people know when they are not following the correct routine (like stare, scratch at the door to say my dinner is late and sass them).

I am suppose to nominate people for this award, but it is always so hard because everyone deserves it, so I am passing it to everyone!

Thanks again Hawk!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We are Blogville!

Bonus post because we saw that our pals Murphy and Stanley from were doing a "We are Blogville" blog hop and Lady had an early morning meeting and couldn't change her scheduled post.

In order of joining the pack we are:

Bagheera - 19 years in the pack -was about 8 weeks old when he joined - Humane Society Rescue

Nin (Cinder) - 19 years old, almost 19 years in the pack - joined us at 3 months old- Humane Society Rescue

Hailey - 4.5 years old, mystery mutt, rescued in Ohio and adopted at age 8 months through Catahoula rescue. She is the reason we are part of Blogville.

Zaphod - 3 years old, German Shepherd mix, picked up a stray, been part of the pack for almost 2 years.

We live with our Man and Lady just outside of Ottawa Canada in the Gatineau Hills.

Thank you to Murphy and Stanley for organizing this. We love being part of Blogville and love you all!

Training Tuesday - Our New Tricks

As part of Project Hailey, we are working on new tricks everyday. They aren't perfect yet, but we will share how they are going! 

1) Over

I have always wanted Lee to do this, and she has always been sort of resistant to it, but we have some progress. It is not perfect yet, but is improving.

If you remember in the winter we tried this with Phod and he freaked out. I am happy to report we have worked passed this and he is doing much better with this trick.

2) Staying and only coming to your name

This is a short clip of the new game we play. One dog sits, the other comes. We repeat this around the kitchen/dining room.

We are looking for ideas for more tricks - if you have any, please share.

She can sit, stay, wave, paw, bang, down, paws up, pray, dance, sing, bow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mischief Monday - Helping Clean Up

One of Hailey's bad habits is counter surfing. It is bad enough that it happens when we are out of the room (we can often hear her), but Hailey is so determined to do it, she will do it right in front of us. Often grabbing the camera reminders her to get down, but with the leftovers of ribs, there was no stopping her!

Just helping clean up!

Tomorrow we will share the tricks we are working on!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Project Hailey - PTSD?

As always, I have been thinking about my girl. The spring and summer are hard for her and I have been wondering what to do. While driving to work this week, I heard a news story about attachment disorder in adopted children. The researcher said children who are abused or neglected shortly after birth can end up with very serious attachment disorder. The researcher suggested that attachment disorder was like a solider having PTSD.

This got me thinking, Lee was taken from her mom at 3 weeks, could this be the reason for her anxiety?

Then I did a little research on the side effects of dogs being removed too early. I was not surprised to see behavioural issues (anxiety, phobias, OCD etc) were more common in dogs who were removed before 60 days. It appears to me that they develop an attachment disorder too. Perhaps for her it is like
having PTSD.

These thoughts, while perhaps not new to others, are giving me a new way to frame my girl's behaviour. I had a mild form of PTSD after Gemi's death (and nearly 3 years later still have flashes of it), and can empathize with those feelings. I am finding this frame for her behaviour is making me feel more patient with my girl (it can be hard to be patient when you haven't got enough sleep because it was a little windy).

I have a new energy with project Hailey and this week we have been:
-having longer walks (it has been cooler so we can do this)
-increasing training time (we will share the tricks we are working on next week)
-giving half her dinner in a puzzle (I have yet to work a puzzle into the morning . . . . .mornings are crazy, so it may not happen daily then)

Thank you all for your suggestions on what may help my girl. She does have a thunder shirt that we use (as long as it is not too hot). We also have a liquid natural calming solution. These do seem to help a bit, and every bit helps).

Friday, July 11, 2014

Feline Friday - A Lazy Day in the Sun

Now that Bagheera is old (and there is no danger in him running away), we allow him to occasionally join us outside. Last Sunday was a beautiful day and we took him out in the grass with us. It is one of his favourite things and at 19, he deserves as much fun and love as we can give him.

Watching the world go by

Wanting to nap in the grass but I am in his face taking a picture

Lazing in the sun with Hailey

Now there are 4 (and you can see how close to the Man Baggy was)

Now you may wonder where Nin was during all of this - he was inside fast asleep on his couch. He doesn't mind going out, but doesn't love it the way Baggy does (maybe that is because once, maybe 6 years ago, he accidentally got locked out of the house and spent a night under the deck. We thought we had lost him, but he stayed scared in the yard!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Dock Dog

On Sunday, we ventured back to the beach for the first time since Phod cut his paw. Both dogs were sooooooooooo excited!

Our lake access is a small beach we share access to with 2 other homes. This year one of our neighbours installed a dock.  The first time we went to the beach and Hailey saw the dock, she barked, and barked and barked at it.  Now she is brave and will go on it.

Phod wasn't scared and on the weekend discovered he could jump off it! I so wish the car wasn't so traumatic for him (he gets soooooooooo sick) because this would be his sport.

FYI: Re the ball debacle - his current favourite ball is a chuck it ball. It is just a different one. He is now reluctantly playing fetch with the new ones, but I think he intentionally misplaced the new orange one in hopes of getting his precious back.