Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pooches: Miss M. Overcompensates

With her tough-guy looks, Miss M. is often congratulated for being quite the "handsome looking guy". With her femininity in question, we overcompensate by letting her have pink, frilly girl-dog things. It started with her pink collar which we thought was ok because it also has skulls on it.
But as people continue to mistake Miss M. for a boy dog, we just made her all out girly. She eats out of this pink flowered food bowl:
And wears these pink jackets:
She even chose this pink "princess costume" for the Gay Pride parade.
Ironically, people just thought she was a boy dog in drag.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pooches: Poisonous Flowers

We had written prior about how we maintain an all-natural smelling home. While we like to have fresh flowers to keep our house smelling nice, keep in mind several plants and flowers can be toxic, and even deadly, for dogs. I don't know all the details, I'm sure it depends on the amount of the plant ingested and the size of the dog, but I was actually shocked to find this extensive list detailing all the plants and flowers that can be harmful to animals.
We did have a "slight incident" with Miss M. Apparently she was smelling the flowers and some of the pollen rubbed off and stained her face. Check out her yellow spot. Since then we have moved the flowers to a higher, dog-prone area.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pooches: Chicago Canine Rescue Mutt Strut

Because the pooches absolutely love going to dog parties, we herded them up and took off for this weekend's Mutt Strut. The event is a fundraiser for Chicago Canine Rescue; a bully-friendly rescue group. The "strut" was a 1.5 mile walk through picturesque Roscoe Village neighborhood. We don't get up to Roscoe Village enough, but it was nice to see the beautiful houses, fun shops, and multitude of outdoor restaurants.
They had plenty of water stops along the way. Miss M. even made it a point to drink at every single water bowl; she was trying to figure out which one had the best water.
Afterwards all the pooches and people gathered for hotdogs, dog watching, and informational booths. This boxer-pit was at the Trader Joe's booth proudly displaying his Bears jersey and collar. Miss M. bonded with him while begging for some Trader Joe's dog treats.
We met this beautiful American Bulldog-mix who was a Chicago Canine Rescue Alum.
And having awoken that morning to Miss M. chewing on her own nails, we even sprung to get Miss M. a "pedicure".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pooches: Outdoor Protection

Sometimes we forget our dogs have the same needs we do. The first time was when I had taken Miss M. camping, and she was whining about something. I thought she was just being annoying until I found about 50 mosquitoes bites on her stomach. Since then I've been careful to apply a low-deet spray, similar to what you'd get for kids, if we're in high-mosquitoes territory.
I was again reminded about outdoor protection when we saw this dog on the Canine Cruise. Sure some people might laugh about this dog wearing a hat, but short-haired dogs with white fur are prone to getting serious sunburns, and sunburns on dogs can be just as dangerous as they are for humans. Miss M's adoption counselor owned a white pitbull and she told me she was always diligent about applying sensitive skin sunscreen if she knew her dog would be out in the sun. I know our dogs aren't really into wearing hats, so we'll just need to remember to apply their sunscreen when we're applying our own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pooches: Deprogramming Mr. B's New Trick

After watching the Life's Ruff Dog Performance, I was inspired to teach Mr. B. some new tricks. If you teach a dog a basic "paw" command, you can eventually teach them to "high five" and even "wave"--Miss M's favorite trick.
You can condition your dog by first touching your hand to their paw, then giving positive reinforcement of "yes" or a treat. After doing this several times, you can move on to grabbing the paw in the air while still giving positive reinforcement. Eventually, after being consistent and keeping things positive, the dogs should learn the command. Mr. B caught on quickly, and we were proud to add "shake" to his only other commands of "sit", "down", and "stay". Here he is showing off his new skills:
The unfortunate thing is, Mr. B didn't recognize this as a new trick. Somehow he thought it was replacing one of the two tricks he knew, and instead of doing his "down" command, he could just replace it with "shake". He kind of turned "Frankendog" on one of his walks when E wanted him to lie down and he just kept hitting E in the shins. So now we realize he only has a 3-trick limit.
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