Monday, December 29, 2014

PEDs: Attentive Pooches

One thing I notice on our weekly pack walks is how attentive our pooches are to their people.  So many photos are of our pooches looking up to their owners

This kind of focus is the sweetest thing to observe...

...even if it is bribed by treats.

Monday, December 22, 2014

PEDs: Winter Walk Locations

One of the hardest things in selecting a walk location during the winter months is planning for snow and proper removal.

December is the perfect time to walk downtown.  We know the sidewalks will be well maintained.

The pedestrian traffic decreases with the temperature.

 Plus, with today being the shortest day of the year, the lights around town were lit and bright.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Year End Blues

Working in a manufacturing facility, the end of the year is an incredibly busy time for me.  It is a lot of early mornings and late evenings (and less time to blog).  I used to work close to home, but after our company moved locations, I can no longer make my lunchtime treks home.

This leaves us with tired humans and cooped up dogs.  By the time we get home and get something going for dinner, we have time to relax for a TV episode or a walk around the neighborhood.  On days like this, snuggling with the pooches and an episode win out.  Plus, it is always dark.
Of course, we have pretty lazy dogs and Tess absolutely hates the cold and snow, so they are pretty content with the snuggling.

Which leaves us with dogs (and humans) that are not getting enough exercise, nor structured time.  And while this may not immediately impact us or the pooches, it likely will have effects on their behavior and health over the course of a few months.

One thing we always contemplate is getting someone to come walk the dogs during the day, even if just a few days a week, but the price really scares us!

Does anyone have a daily walker?  Thoughts?

Monday, December 8, 2014

PEDs: Pack Tshirts from Erie Apparel

One of the things that our members frequently note is how much of a community our group is.  We celebrate successes and lend encouragement on an off day.  We have taken friendships "beyond the pack."

To represent this, we decided to get pack tshirts.  I contacted Greg at Erie Apparel to see about getting a design created.  I sent him very loose design thoughts (with our name! something Erie-ish? definitely need a leash! and a blocky-headed dog?) and they nailed it.  After one minor tweak, we got a logo that is so representative of our group on a tshirt that is oh, so cozy!

Thanks a million Erie Apparel for the great tshirts!

Monday, November 24, 2014

PEDs: Progress is Progress

As we've said before, we love seeing the progress of our pack members.  We know that it can be overwhelming working with a reactive dog.

We see the progress of our pack members each week.  It may be something as simple as not barking as much.  It could be as big as walking calmly beside another dog.

 Whatever the progress, we love seeing our members succeed and grow.  And you know we live by our favorite mantra -- if you don't laugh, you cry!

How do you keep track of your pooch's progress?  How do you celebrate the little wins?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cozy Canines

The comfort of our pooches is of our upmost importance.  It's the reason why we have floor pillows, rugs, and dog beds in every room.

 We've found that these many soft spots just aren't enough for our pampered pooches.

They require additional cozy spots for all their snoozing, including clean (and dirty!) laundry and our pillows.

And if one of these spots isn't available, they'll make do with whatever is nearest.

What is your pooch's favorite spot to cuddle?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Change in Weather, Change in Routine

With the recent winter weather we have been having, we've realized that winter is really here.

Not only does getting ready for walks take so much longer -- we have to layer up the pooches, and then do the same for ourselves --

-- nearly all of our walks are at night since it's dark when we go to work and dark when we get home.

How does your routine change with the weather?

Monday, November 17, 2014

PEDs: Staying Warm

With the weather getting colder, it's harder to stand still out in the elements.  This week, we skipped our usual break.

While this kept us warmer, there is a purpose to our breaks other than a rest.  Not only do they give me a chance to get photos of all our cute pooches, but they also challenge our dogs and give us a chance to connect with one another.  Hopefully once our group is more prepared, we can add our breaks back in.

What ways are you staying warm?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Anti-Alarm

As the days get darker and darker, it gets harder to wake up.  It's pitch black out and our bedroom is cold. 

When the alarm goes off, the last thing I want to do in pull off the covers and step out into our cold room.

To make matters worse, as soon as my alarm goes off, Tesla nudges her way under the covers and snuggles against me.

Do you have an anti-alarm?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ed & Tess's Favorite Things: Freedom No-Pull Harness

Up until recently, we walked Edison on a prong collar.  I know there is a lot of controversy around them, but we don't regret using it at all.  It's what we needed to do to keep him at the time.  It's the knowledge and tools we had in the moment.

But as we worked harder with Edison, delved into more training techniques, and researched more information, we decided to ditch the prong collar.  We walked Edison on his martingale collar for several weeks, but wanted a bit more control in case Edison had one of his meltdowns.

A few weeks ago, we picked up the Freedom No-Pull Harness from Fit for a Pit.  We've had so much success walking Edison with this new tool!  While we have done a ton of work on loose-leash walking, this harness gives us greater control.  With the double clip leash, we clip one end to the control loop (that tightens if he pulls) and the other to his martingale for head control.

Do you use tools to walk your pooch?  What kinds?

Monday, November 10, 2014

PEDs: Walking By Yourself

We've heard more than once from some of our group members about how they are used to walking by themselves.

This happens when you have a reactive dog.  You learn to spend your time on the outside -- slightly secluded, but close enough to be a part of something.

We love that our walks allow everyone to be a part of it.  Our "yellow" dogs aren't just part of the pack; they're why we do it.

Do you ever feel like you're always walking alone? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Begging for More

While we try to ensure our dogs have good manners, there is one thing we really struggle with: begging.

We don't put a lot of work into this, mostly because it's always undone by a certain someone (ahem, Sam!).

Tesla is just as bad at begging, but will never steal off your plate.  Edison, on the other hand, will take the food right out of your hand!

Is your dog a beggar?  Do you allow it?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tesla Plays

Tesla isn't really the playful type.  Sure, she's come a long way with Edison and they have a good romp around the yard every once in awhile.  But, she's not the type of dog you would call playful.

Every so often, Tess gets into a very playful mood.  And what makes her most excited?  Small, fluffy, dogs.

What sets your dog into a frenzy?

Monday, November 3, 2014

PEDs: Walking Buddies

While we don't have assigned spots for our weekly pack walks, we have found that our members tend to gravitate to the same spot each week.

We have our front dogs that lead our pack.  We have dogs at the tail that bring up the rear.

While our middle dogs don't typically have an order, we find that certain dogs walk best together.  They organically create a buddy system.  The dogs and humans look forward to walking with these buddies week to week.

Does your dog have a walking buddy?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


After switching to grain-free food, the pooches coats are so much nicer.  And although Edison needs baths far less often, he's still a boy and gets a...musk.

We love taking him to our favorite place to get fresh where we can bath him without breaking our backs, wrecking our bathroom, and leave the mess.

The best part -- he comes out smelling so, SO fresh!

How do you bathe your pooch? In the tub?  Outside? At a dog wash?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


A few weeks ago as we were getting ready for work, we found Edison lying in bed doing this:

A little freaked out, we called the vet as soon as they opened to determine if this was something we should be worried about.  Luckily, it did not warrant an emergency visit, but they did recommend coming in to speak with a doctor.  After a quick visit, bloodwork, and a urinalysis, it was determined that he was otherwise healthy and there was no obvious reason for the tremor.

Our vet found some information on idiopathic seizures common in boxers, which manifest as head tremors.  Most dogs, and also in Ed's case, are totally conscious during the seizure and can respond to commands.  Most dogs (Edison, too), can be brought out of these seizures by focusing their attention on a treat (or in our case, us!)

We've not seen any sign of these seizures since, and as our vet said, may never see it again!  We're just glad our guy is okay!

Have you had any experience with seizures or tremors?

Monday, October 20, 2014

PEDs: 4-Foot Leashes

It's no secret that the Eriesistibull household uses and loves 4-foot leashes.  So much in fact, we implemented it as a rule for our pack walks.

As our group is growing (and man have we seen a ton of new faces the past couple weeks -- welcome!), more dogs and their personalities are joining our group.  We're also reaching more people from our target group, reactive dog owners.

We thankfully have never had an issue, but we also want to make sure that it stays that way.  It's all about setting our dogs (and ourselves!) up for success, and so this summer we implemented a 4-foot leash rule to assist in this.  So far, none of our members have seemed to mind the switch and a few have even permanently switched to 4-footers!

Do you use a 4-foot leash?  What are your thoughts?