Celebrating our beautiful boy's anniversary

Happy Gotcha Day, Relay

A great family trip

Our trip to Amherst, VA was amazing.

An easy way to make your own jerky

A DIY project your pups will love.

Set up an email alert for your perfect pet

Use Adopt-a-pet's search saver to let you know when your right pet needs a home.

Let's here it for the boy

I was so happy and incredibly proud.

We do it for all the smiling faces

Dog overpopulation is growing problem in the US and I'm trying to find my way to help.

How Relay became ours

Every dog has a story, and this is how our perfect pound pup came home.

An easy treat

Find directions on how to make one of Relay's favorite treats.

September 29, 2012

Shirtless at the dog park I had a moment of understanding

Like any good poochie parent, when one of the pups in my care did their business I scooped it up and threw it out. At my local dog park, the garbage is actually outside the gate, so I reached over and knocked it in and sat back down on a bench.

After about a minute, I smacked my arm. Looking, there was an ant biting the heck out of me. And then I saw five more, and then I saw that I was covered. Politely, addressing the other dog owners I said, "Excuse me while I go undress," because my mama raised a lady. Hahaha. I ran into the trees, ripped off my shirt and tried to get them off me and my clothes. Those things latch on with a purpose, let me tell you.

(Side note: Who would have guessed that my moment of public indecency would have happened after my years in the Navy?)

Retracing my steps, I found the point of embarkation. Those little ____ had made a nest on the fence line right in front of the trash can.

And then I thought of my poor puppy. No wonder he had gone after his tale the way he did. And that made the hot spot, and that led to the vet visit, and my Relay with a messed up tail. By the way, his tail is looking better. The scabs are almost off and the hair is growing back (just not that patch by his butt.) Part of me is glad to know for certain that his trip to the vet was in fact caused by ant bites and not some unidentifiable malady. And I'm certainly glad it was at the park and not at my home. But maybe my next empathetic epiphany won't include public embarrassment.

This post is participating in the Saturday Pet Bloggers hop! Be sure to stop on by and visit all the other great pet bloggers, and enjoy your weekend!

September 27, 2012

I need to remember that spoon full of sugar

My better half has left me. Jeff had to fly to the middle east for a week or so and I'm here alone with the three poochies. Or should I say the two dogs and Trixie. She gets a special mention.

I suppose that after a string of great fosters I needed one pup to keep me grounded. Trixie is a sweetheart, but oh my goodness I am tired. Without Jeff it is just me on Trixie watch. The chewing is insane. And worse still is that she eats what she chews which can become pretty dangerous. But there are consequences to being in a constant state of stress: I've become a grouch.

It dawned on me yesterday at the Bea Arthur Park. Everyone was playing and having a great time. Trixie was even interested in jumping into the water after seeing the fun other dogs were having. I tried to call her over to the ramp a few times. And then I tried calling to her to play fetch. And then I tried to just call her to me. I was getting no response and it hit me. I'd spent a few days of just saying, "Trixie, NO!" that she only recognized her name from me in a negative context.

Time to regroup. This compulsive chewing is a big negative that will hamper her from finding the forever home she deserves and I need to correct it. What I need to do first however, is establish and maintain that level of trust, respect, and affection that is the basis of any relationship. Trixie isn't her bad behavior. She is a dog that hasn't had a stable home in no one knows how long and is just looking to love and be loved. She loves me no matter how upset I get, I need to remember to love her just as unconditionally. After that, everything else will fall into place.

September 21, 2012

Category 3 Chewer

See this sweet little lady? Trixie is a doll, but with one major caveat: She is a chewer!

Similar to Cricket's situation, I think a large part of her increase in chewing stems from a lack of proper exercise. Since Relay's injury the dogs gets some time to run around in the yard and we go for a bike rides to wear them out as best we can, but when indoors, Relay has his cone on and the pups can't play. Trixie is bored and has energy left to spare.

And so she chews. When I'm around I can redirect her to the plethora of toys we have here at the house. Here is a video of her in action. This went on for a solid 30 minutes.
When I haven't watched her there were a few casualties (funniest being the bottle of bitter spray because apparently she is the only dog in the world who loves the taste of that stuff). Now, if I can't have eyes on her, she either goes onto the back porch or in her crate.

And then this happened today. I had to do dishes and load the dishwasher. It took about 20 minutes, so Trixie went out on the porch...
Casualty of boredom.
Thankfully it was a free couch. When we redid the porch, we planned it so we wouldn't get upset if anyone caused damage. Just didn't count on that theory being tested quite so quickly. 

As with any problem behavior, if you didn't see it happen, you can't correct them for it. So we will work at this diligently and hope Relay gets better soon so he can wear her out. Although, I am hearing a little whisper that we could be getting a puppy soon...

September 20, 2012

Hot spot leads to vet visit and less than happy pup

Last week our family was introduced to hot spots. Relay had licked one into a good inch circle on his backside, but with some triple ointment and careful monitoring it started to heal.

Problem was, he also made one on his tail. It was much more problematic, but we tried to handle it ourselves. That was until Jeff was getting ready for work Tuesday. In the time it took him to brush his teeth, Relay had bit his tail raw until he was bleeding. I grabbed my first aid book and irrigated and then disinfected, but we headed to the vet right when it opened at 8. Thankfully, they could fit us in as a walk in.

Let me take a minute to talk about hot spots. They can be caused by any number of things (an allergy, an attempt of the body to detox, an injury such as a puncture or scratch, a flea bite...) but it is more defined by the consequence. A dog is aggravated so he licks or scratches at his skin and can create an open sore in a matter of minutes. At this point we did not know what had caused Relay's hot spots.
Here is the hot spot on his back, partially healed.

The vet was great. She looked him over, reassured us, and took him to the back to get some of the hair shaved on his tail better before treatment. When she came back with Relay I was just about in shock. My baby! My beautiful boy! The vet had shaved most of his tail back to reveal the underlying problem.

Her best guess: At some point Relay had sat in an ant hill. His tail was covered in little bites marks. No wonder my puppy was picking! But between the orignial wound, the shaved tail, the bites, and this medicated powder, it looked a mess. My poor baby!

And the worst news of all (that is if you ask Relay) is that he needed to spend his next week in a cone. But I will say that I'm grateful that was all. The last time I went to the vet was Louie's emergency, so I'll take a hot spot any day. And that I know the culprits were some ants, we can handle that much easier then some unknown boogeyman.

But I'm still going to baby my baby until he is all better.

ADVISORY: From this point forward, I have included pictures of the injury and treatment. They are not pretty to look at, so feel free to skip.

On the way to the vet
After the shave


September 15, 2012

Introducing... Trixie!

Things are still on standby with little Iso, but we got a call from our friends at K9 Justice League. Virginia Beach Animal Control is full, full, full... could we maybe take a foster? Of course!

Trixie is a beautiful girl, with a lot of love to give. She is playful, loving to the max, and lacking a single mean bone in her body, so will be sure to fit into any family. She is just about Relay's size so I imagine about 40 pounds, about 2 years old, spayed, healthy and up to date on shots.

When we picked Trixie up at the pound, she was ready to go! This little lady was just too sweet to be cooped up there any longer, and was excited in the car ride to start her next adventure. We made an immediate stop at the park to work out some of her energy and she did tremendously! Every dog and person there was her instant friend. Trixie learned fetch quickly, chased, and sniffed and sniffed and sniffed, so I imagine she has some hound in her. But she is a mutt, just like I like them.

She has some quirks to her, definitely. Right now she is terrible on a leash, she counter surfs almost as well as Doodle, and she did not like the bath at all! But to me all that is negligible because she is so very eager to love and to be loved. I'm going to have a hard time showcasing her pretty face because of her coloring, and people may overlook her because she doesn't standout in pictures, but I'm here to tell you she is the most lively, loving pup that I have met in a good minute and can recommend her without reservation to any home.

This post is participating in the Saturday Pet Bloggers hop! Be sure to stop on by and visit all the other great pet bloggers, and enjoy your weekend!

September 13, 2012

Introducing... Iso! (maybe) the little dog from Mexico

Jeff and I seem to disagree about how involved we should be in this little puppy's story and so this is going to take a long, diplomatic conversation.

The situation: Our neighbor, Mary (Izzy's mom, that little devil in black curls) recently went on a cruise. In Mexico, Mary passed a group of puppies in desperate need of homes. The pups were from The Humane Society of Cozumel and they adopted out to the US, if they only had a good home... Mary has a big heart, I'll give her that. She paid the adoption fee, and recently picked up little Iso (pronounced E-zo) at the airport.

Izzy does not approve.

The situation is stressful enough on the little home that Mary has asked that I help find little Iso a home. Would I help take a few pictures and possibly post them online (I cringe to think craigslist)? Mary is not quite up to trying to keep a curious little puppy away from a less than hospitable poodle. I asked them over to have a play date to get the lay of the land.

First impression was, "Yup, Izzy wants nothing to do with that dog." But as for Iso... it was love at first sight. My best guess is Parson Russel Terrier and Chihuahua mix, but he is a mutt's mutt, just like Relay. The two of them hit it off immediately. Iso is just friendly, outgoing, and 15 pounds of pure love. Five months old, he is already potty trained, doesn't bark, mark, or chew. He has been neutered and given his rabies shot. An all around perfect puppy, who is just too cute. I would rename him Bit, but I'm not adopting another dog.
Mary has a second friend involved in rescue that lives out of state who will be visiting in three weeks. If by that time a good home has not been found, she will take Iso and try to find a home for him where she lives. 

Here is where Jeff and I stand:
Me: I would just take him into our home. Relay loved to play with the puppy, and we could help him find a good home just like with our other fosters. And besides, Mary needs help.
Jeff: He disagrees with the principles of the situation. Why are you adopting a dog from Mexico, when the pound fifteen minutes from you house has dogs in just as much need? Why are you adopting a dog without doing a proper meet with your current dog? Why don't you give them more time to get to know each other?

So, do we take Iso or not? Part time? Try to find him a home or just run out the clock until her friend arrives?

It's going to be a very long conversation.

September 10, 2012

Even the dog is allergic to Virginia

In the fall I started getting these bumps; cut to a visit to a dermatologist where she gave me some bizarre clinical name and just told me I was allergic to something in my environment. Very common in Virginia. Honestly, I didn't believe her until I took a few allergy pills, and bam cured. Diagnosed last year, I started to show symptoms again recently. 

A few weeks ago, Jeff started to cough; and cough and cough and cough. He finally went to a doctor, they gave him a few pills and an inhaler. They gave him two possible diagnosis but both with the same root cause. He was allergic, probably to something in the air. Very common in Virginia. After hearing this, he remembered having the same symptoms last fall.

And then Relay. A few weeks ago, we saw him scratching at his ear. We cleaned it and he was back to scratching the next day. We tried ear mite treatment, back to scratching. We stopped by the vet and we were told he had a yeast infection. It was a side affect to an allergic reaction to something in his environment. Very common in Virginia. He gave us a medicated wash and antibacterial drops which was met with moderate success. Gave him a Benadryl, and he's all better.

I find myself at a complete loss just trying to wrap my head around the concept. In the mean time, anyone have any ideas for more natural ways to help our family?

September 5, 2012

The life and death of a pink frog

I will be sending my foster coordinator an email today to let her know we are ready for another foster pup. Going to roll the die and see what little love I get next; should be fun. In the mean time here is the most recent destruction here at the house. As you can see stuffed animals don't last long. Not with Relay and Izzy. I know they make a mess, but the pups enjoy it so much.

This post is participating in a blog hop. Check out more Wordless Wednesday fun hosted by Blog Paws.  

September 2, 2012

A gift for friends

Remember that surprsie I talked about before... well Jeff has completely outdone himself. I'm actually a little annoyed that my scanner isn't better, but here you go!
Ever since the drawing Jeff did of Relay I've been gently encouraging him to draw more. This is his best drawing to date. I love how Louie and his sister Lolo just look so happy. 
This portrait is Relay approved
Have a great Labor Day weekend, we are off to drop off this gift!

This post is participating in a blog hop! Check out all the other great shots on Black and White Sunday hosted by My Life in Blog Years, You did what with you weiner?, and Dachshund Nola.


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