Monday, September 30, 2013

PEDs: Group Trust

One thing we have noticed on our group walks is how comfortable the dogs, have gotten with each other, even our reactive dogs.

What we find so interesting is that they know which dogs "belong" in the pack and which don't.

And they always make sure to point it out when a strange dog is near.

Turkey Crossing
Does your dog alert you when there are "strangers" around?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Growing Up

It's no secret that Edison was a monster handful when we first brought him home.

But in the past 2 years (has it really only been that long?), we have seen him really mature and grow into the perfect friend.  While he definitely still has his issues, he has changed in so many ways.

His play sessions have become shorter, while his naps have grown long.  And while were not ready to usher him into seniority quite yet, we're happy about the peace that's been granted to the house.

But don't worry, with this little guy staying with us, there is plenty of play time.

Have you seen the ways your dog has matured?  Or do they still play like a puppy?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Barriers: Mental or Physical?

For the past several years, we have used a plastic baby gate to keep the pooches in rooms.  We only use one and we just prop it up against the door or door frame.

Most recently we've been propping it up in the bedroom doorway at nights to keep the door open (so the bedroom gets airflow) and to keep the pooches from wandering around the house.

Since we started using the gate, it has worked.  It was more of a mental barrier than an actual physical barrier, but it worked just the same.  Until recently.

Now we're concocting all sorts of ways to make it work - putting a fan in front of the gate; putting a fan on one the left end and a floor poof of the right; putting a fan in front and a step-ladder behind...  Luckily, as the temperatures drop outside, our bedroom gets colder and we can shut the door again!

Does your dog have barriers around the house?  Are they physical or mental?

Monday, September 23, 2013

PEDs: Recognizing Triggers

On yesterday's walk, we were discussing our dogs' triggers - runners, bicyclists, other dogs.  We also talked about how it is so important to be able to read your dog and react before they do.

Like many reactive dogs, Edison is a "red zone" dog -- once he gets going, it becomes almost impossible to bring him back to focus -- which makes it even more important that we be able to read his signs.

Edison's signs can sometimes be so subtle and require us to be extra in-tune to each other.

Our time on the PEDs walks gives us the opportunity to learn to read our pooches' signs in a safe environment.

Can you read your pooches' signs?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dogs in Decor

In addition to the DIY art we made, there are several pieces of dog-related art throughout the house.  While we try to keep it limited to one area of the house, we've found that it is slowly slipping throughout our abode.

When we found these Dean Russo prints that capture Ed & Tess so well, we could resist passing them up.  They look great in our bedroom "reading nook."

1. Our dog art has made its way into our hallway, finding itself at the start of our gallery wall.  I got the beautiful "A House Isn't a Home Without a Pitbull" print from PigDog.

2. The middle-right piece is a card (with a handwritten note!!) I got with my CharlieDog order -- it was too cute not to keep!

3. The bottom piece is a Tesla original.  A few years ago I held a fundraiser for The ANNA Shelter -- Pooches & Picassos -- where each pup made a canvas of art using their paws and tails!

We love the appearance pooches make throughout our house.

Do you have dog-themed art in your house?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ed & Tess's Favorite Things: Yellow Brick Home

A few months ago, we jumped on the bandwagon and ordered our very own pet portraits from The Pet Shop from Yellow Brick Home.

Photo compliments of Yellow Brick Home
After selecting our photos (such a hard decision!), we sent them to Kim and waited (also, so hard!).

Photo compliments of Yellow Brick Home
Our portraits were ready just before our weekend trip to Chicago, and we got to pick up our delivery from Kim in person!

Photo compliments of Yellow Brick Home
I cannot begin to describe how amazing these paintings turned out.  Kim was so amazing to work with. Looking back into my email, we exchanged at least 20 emails outlining the smallest details, seriously.

Photo compliments of Yellow Brick Home

The final products are absolutely amazing.  Now the hardest part is finding the perfect spot for them!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PEDs: Creating a Dog Culture

It’s no secret that Erie is not an incredibly dog-friendly city.

This past weekend, we visited Chicago and saw just how dog-friendly a city can be!  Many shops allow pooches to come in with their owners, sit on the restaurant patios, and even leave water bowls out for passing dogs.

Yep - we met the famous Mr B and Miss M!

One thing we would love to accomplish through PEDs is creating an awareness of the dog culture in Erie.  There is a great base - a few dog friendly shops, great resources, and a group of responsible dog owners - but we would love to see a stronger dog community in our city.

Seeing how initiatives like SociaBulls have such a positive impact on a city like Chicago gives us a great hope that our group will someday get Erie there.

Do you have a strong dog culture in your city?

Friday, September 13, 2013

VIP Products Toy Tester: Massive Rabbit

This week, we got our quarterly stuffy from VIP Products: McHop the Massive Rabbit.

McHop lasted longer than Paisley and Stan, although Ed was a lot less interested in him than the other two.

Unfortunately, McHop saw the same demise as Paisley and Stan after Ed, Tess, and our friend Bandit decided to play tug.

The best VIP Product still remains the Mega-Tug Oval, which is still in rotation at this time!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dirty Laundry

As most of you know, Tess took several months to crate train.  So our first days together were free-range.

Having just gotten out of the shower and wanting to check on Tess to make sure she didn't get into anything, I peeked into the bedroom.  Not there.

I went into the living room.  Not there.

I checked in the kitchen.  Not there.

In a small apartment, these were the only places she could be hiding.  I started to panic -- I lost my dog. But the front door was still closed and locked - how did she get out?  Re-checking the bedroom, I peered into my closet, where I found a skinny, brindle pitbull curled up in a basket of dirty laundry.

Have you ever "lost" your dog?  Where is the oddest place they like to take naps?

Monday, September 9, 2013

PEDs: Getting What You Need

A few weeks ago, we welcomed a new "yellow" dog into our group with some pretty extreme leash reactivity.  But we are so impressed with the resolve that our reactive-dog owners have in helping their dogs become more comfortable in society.

We of all people know what it's like dealing with a reactive dog.  Not only does it wear on your patience, there are so many thoughts that run through your head: Will other give us the space we need? Will they think I'm a bad owner? Will they think he's a bad dog?

We love that, in our PEDs group, dogs always get the space they need; everyone knows that you are doing your best; and there are no bad dogs, just works-in-progress.

Do you have a reactive dog?  What are your worries when out in public?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our (Little) Visitor

For the past week, we have had a small visitor.  We are watching Sam's parents' dog, Bandit.

He and Edison (and Tess, too!) have become fast friends.

Edison is just happy there is finally someone around that wants to play as much as he does.

That's not to say that our house hasn't been slightly chaotic with the addition of a very playful third pooch, but we're all getting used to each other.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Very Own Personal Therapy Dog

Tess passed her therapy dog test almost 2 years ago.  She makes visits each month to various locations around Erie.

When she's not busy helping kids practice to read, or visiting with kids away from home, she's hard at work being our very own personal therapy dog.

It seems that Tess knows exactly when someone is upset or sick.  Even on days when we're just extra sleepy, she makes sure no one is left alone for too long.

Does your pooch take care of you?

Sunday, September 1, 2013