Friday, November 29, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Reflections

We can hardly believe that it's already Thanksgiving!! We took a page out of Two Pitties in the City's book and decided to share what we're thankful for.

H: I'm thankful for a roof over my head and gainful employment to pay for necessities and...not so necessaries; for having the two furriest, best friends a girl could ask for; for having a wonderful, supportive boyfriend; and for all of you who have supported this blog.

S: I'm thankful for my friends, my family, and my feet warmers; for how much progress Edi has made in the past two years; and for my loving girlfriend.

2013 has given us so much to be thankful for.  We can't wait to see what the next year has in store!

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 25, 2013

PEDs: A Little Motivation

With winter starting to hit us full-force, daily walks with the pooches become shorter and shorter, then eventually less often than daily.

On weekends like this, it would be so easy to snuggle under some blankets with the pooches rather than take them out for a walk.

That's we love about our weekly PEDs walks - the commitment we've made to the group to show up every Sunday, no matter what the weather has in store for us.  And our members have taken on the commitment to bring their pooches each week and walk with us.

How do you stay motivated when the weather is less than ideal?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Family Walk Friday: Walking Downtown

One of the things on our to-do list has been to take the pooches downtown.  Don't ask me why this has been so hard to do (it only takes 10 minutes to get there, and there's no issues parking or anything).

We realized after taking them a few weeks ago (when we stopped for a brew at the Tap House) that downtown walks may be just the thing we need to work on Edi's reactivity.  While he still tends to be dog reactive, one thing we've noticed is he is becoming reactive to people.  We know his body language and know that it is not aggressive reactivity, but it really is poor behavior -- and not a way to pass the CGC.

We have to keep a really close eye on him - making sure he has enough space, he's not "red zoning" on a particular person, and he's giving us good focus -- walking downtown is a great way to make encounters with others more mundane.  When we walk around our neighborhood, we only see one or two people.  I think this allows Ed to think it's his neighborhood and sidewalk.

Forcing him to share with a lot of other people during our downtown walks (again, while listening to what he is telling us and looking for signs of discomfort) takes that ownership and the surprise out of other pedestrians.

Not only is walking downtown a great training opportunity for Ed, we have a lot of fun.  We relish every chance we can get to support our city, especially the downtown shops and restaurants.  Being present downtown is an easy way to do so with the pooches.

Do you have a special place to walk with your dogs?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tesla Won't Snuggle

When I first adopted Tess, she never left my side.

Then, very slowly, she started secluding herself.  It happened slowly so I thought at first I thought she was becoming more confident and independent.  Last winter, she spent so much time by herself I was pretty sure she had Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Even though she's snapped out of it, we'll find her lounging somewhere secluded.  And although she still is definitely a snuggler, it's always on her terms - and we have to sit very still so we don't disturb the princess.

Is you dog a super snuggler?

Monday, November 18, 2013

PEDs: No Greetings Policy

One of the major rules of our walking group is that there are no dog greetings allowed before, during, or after our walks.  We do this for 3 reasons:

1. Since we invite reactive dogs to our group, we almost always have one or two on our walks.  Establishing a "no greetings" policy ensures that all members are aware of their dogs, and takes some of the burden off of reactive dog owners.

2. Because we have reactive dogs in our group, we try to limit the level of excitement as much as possible as a high-energy level can trigger many reactive pooches.  Eliminating greetings helps us do just that.

3. Not allowing greetings has its benefits for social butterflies as well.  Many of these dogs want to greet others and will pull and and whine to go meet other dogs.  Walking as a pack helps with this behavior.

What benefits do you notice from not allowing your pooch to greet others?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Heated Blankets

We kept Edison on lockdown around the house for several weeks when we first brought him home.  It took him a while to come to know our creature comforts.

And while he quickly learned the comfort of the bed, he wasn't so keep on the idea of being under blankets.  He would thrash and bite his way out every time.

But with the recent cold weather, the idea has been more and more appealing...especially because he's less likely to get kicked out for pinning down the blankets.

Do your pooches like snuggling under the blankets?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Siren's Song: An Ode to Edi Boy

The refrigerator's making noise.
"Oh, Edi Boy, come here
There's food behind these hallowed doors.
This food, it is so near.

"So use your nose and teeth, ol' boy.
Persistence will, one day,
Reward your aspirations, boy.
You must find a way."

"Leftover potatoes, boy,"
The siren's song, she calls.
"If, ol' boy, you cleave these doors,
You could have it all.

"So use your nose and teeth, ol' boy
Persistence will, one day,
Reward your aspirations, boy.
You must find a way."

Monday, November 11, 2013

PEDs: Winter is Coming

Yesterday's walk was, by far, the most weather-challenging yet.

High-speed winds blew chilly air off the lake.  We got beat up by a short hail storm.

And like most canines, our member dogs had a hard time focusing with the noise from the blowing leaves, scents moving through the air.

But our dogs need walks and socialization, regardless of mother nature's plans.  We're just glad we don't have to do it alone!

As the winter creeps up, how do you stay motivated to walk your pooch?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Making the Switch

Because of the issues we have had with Edi and kibble before, we were seriously nervous about switching up his kibble.  We were not looking forward to dealing with daily upset stomachs we worked so hard to eliminate.  So we decided to switch out slowly.  

While typical kibble transition calls for a 10-day switch, we took nearly 3 weeks to make the full switch.  We pre-packaged Ziplocks with the different ratios. Ed gets 3 cups a day and we increased in quarter-cup increments (i.e. 2 3/4 old, 1/4 new; 2 1/2 old, 1/2 new...), feeding each increase for 3 days.

It was a slow switch, but having the ratios pre-packaged made it so much easier - and it was worth it.  We had absolutely no issues in our transition.

Have you ever switched your pooches food?  How did it go?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bait & Switch

Earlier this year, we wrote about making the switch over to Blue Buffalo Basics dog food.  We really had no complaints about the food - the pups loved it, Edison's food sensitivities went away completely, and it's made it the USA.  But while we had no complaints, there are many people who do.  In a Google search on Blue Buffalo, there are several sites with criticisms about the brand.  Are all the accusations true?  Probably not, but it makes us a little wary.

One of our favorite stores had recently started carrying a new brand - Victor Dog Food.  We were interested in the high-quality food (and the much cheaper price!!).  It's made in the USA and their beef varieties are made from their very own cattle.  Since we had such good luck with salmon previously, we looked into Victor's Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato.  Where the Blue Buffalo Basics scores a 3.5 from, Victor's regular kibble scores a 4 and their Grain-Free scores a 5.  And did we mention it's cheaper?

Just as we were about to make the switch, a friend's dog got seriously ill.  There was a fleeting moment of concern that the food (Victor) could be to blame.  The owner at Mud Puppies called up the company's main office and at 4 pm that same day (a Friday), the CEO returned her call to explain that, while their manufacturing process nearly guarantees a contamination-free product, they would immediately begin to run tests on the batch.  By Tuesday, we received word on the negative test results.

As if we weren't already happy with the food itself, the company's customer service sold us.  Since we've made the switch, we've been incredibly happy with the food - the pups' keep a great weight, their tummies are happy, and their coats are gorgeous.

What do you feed you pooch?  Have you jumped on the grain-free bandwagon?

Monday, November 4, 2013

PEDs: 6 Months - We Made It!

Our dog walking group has been walking for 6 months now!  When we started the group back in May, we had no idea if anyone would join us.  We are pleasantly surprised to have a group of about 10 regular members.

It is amazing to see the transformation our dogs have made in this short time.  The benefits of walking as a pack are so evident.

We have marveled at the commitment of our members throughout the past 6 months - our friend Nikki and her owner have only missed 1 walk!

Yesterdays walk reminded us just how close winter is - and we hope that the groups commitment will continue through the winter!

Friday, November 1, 2013

One Whole Year!

Tomorrow is one year since our very first post.

In that year, we have had:

We can hardly believe it's already been a year already, and what's more - we have readers!  Thanks for sticking with us.

We love you.  Seriously.