Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adoptables at the Bully Walk

We saw several adoptable dogs at the Bully Walk on Saturday. I thought this was a great way for the dogs to get exposure, and I managed to take pictures of two of them.

Hi, my name is Willow!
Willow is the dog I would have gone home with if we weren't already full up on dogs. She is a friendly pocket pittie, and she's one of the few dogs that can manage to stay calm around people even though she loves them. Her tail was going 100 miles an hour, but she never tried to jump on me. I kept asking L to hold Badger's leash while I ran over to pet Willow. This awesome little pittie is available through MassPAWS.

Hi, my name is Pickles!
Pickles is a little puppy who I found standing on a picnic table as we were heading back to our car after the event. I didn't get to interact with him as much as I would have liked, but he posed calmly for his picture. Again, I was surprised by how well he was taking the excitement. I didn't even realize that he was a puppy until I looked him up on Petfinder. Pickles is adoptable through BraveHeart Pit Bull Rescue.

I hope these two wonderful pitties get adopted quickly!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pibbles, Pibbles, Pibbles!

L and I attended the eastern Massachusetts portion of the Coast to Coast Bully Walk on Saturday. The weather was warmer than expected, which is awesome for fall in New England. The turnout was pretty big - it was easily the largest gathering of dogs we've ever attended. In addition to pit bull-type dogs of every shape, size, and color, we also saw a boxer, a pug, a shepherd, and a tiny toy breed dog dressed as a pumpkin.

Since Badger is a stress pooper (anyone else have a dog like this?) we spent much of the walk cleaning up after him. But right before we left, I had the chance to walk around and snap some pictures of other attendees:

What do you call a group of pitties? A cluster? A snuggle?

Loved the ears on this pretty orange pittie!

And the underbite on this one

The last-second look away

And here's the pug I mentioned earlier!

We also saw several adoptable dogs, two of which I managed to photograph. Stay tuned tomorrow for the follow-up post with adorable adoptable pitties!

Did you attend any bully-themed events this past weekend?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Office Dogs

It seems that the east coast and the west coast have very different views of what a good work environment is. Here on the east coast, I wear "business casual" attire to work every day. Nice shirt, black slacks. On Fridays, we're allowed to wear jeans but not t-shirts. My friends on the west coast wear cargo shorts and sandals to work every day. (Or at least they're allowed to. They probably have better fashion sense than that.)

Another east coast/west coast difference is the phenomenon of office dogs. Many companies on the west coast either allow employees to bring their (well-socialized) dogs to work or have a designated office dog. My suggestion for my workplace to participate in "Bring Your Dog to Work Day" this year was met with an awkward laugh followed by a rejection.

This is why I love working from home. Not only am I barefoot and wearing shorts, but I get to see this little face:

"Did you get my meeting request for dinner and walkies?"

Is your workplace "dog-friendly"? What do you think of the office dog phenomenon?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Buckle Up!

When we first brought Badger home as a tiny puppy, he rode curled up in the passenger foot well at L's feet. That became Badger's spot in the car, since at just over 40 lbs, he still fits in the foot well if he curls up tightly. But in the back of my mind, I was concerned that his head was right at airbag-level if he sat up.

He also kept changing the radio station

Mushroom has always ridden in the back seat of the car while wearing a seat belt harness. We bought a seat belt harness for Badger too -- we just made a lot of excuses (he might chew the seat belt, he might try to play with Mushroom) and never used it. Until this weekend. And guess what? He was perfectly well-behaved!

Or eating out of the seat back pocket

Mushroom is an old pro -- and the perfect size for bucket seats

How do your dogs ride? Do they wear seat belts? Do you use a crate? Something else?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Head Collars =/= Muzzles!

L was showing pictures of the Badgershrooms in their Halloween costumes to a friend when she asked, "Why is Mushroom wearing a muzzle?" This isn't the first time we've had people mistake the Gentle Leader head collar for a muzzle. We also frequently get asked questions like "Are they friendly?" and "Do they bite?", which we think are due to people thinking they are muzzled.

"I smell bacon..."

L took this series of photographs to show our friend that the head collar is not a muzzle.

The Gentle Leader on the ground. The loop with the buckle goes around the neck, and the small loop goes over the nose.

"I'm sleeeeepy... Make the other dog model for you!"

The strap that goes around the neck is very tight and sits just behind the ears.

The straps form a 'V' shape and do not prevent the Mushroom from opening her mouth.

Badger actually wears a head collar too, but people often don't notice because it's the same color as his fur. Maybe we should get a brown Gentle Leader for Mushroom.

Badger's costume isn't a shark so much as a dog being eaten by a shark

Have you found that people mistake head collars for muzzles? Does this influence your choice of dog walking gear?

Friday, October 19, 2012

More Blog Awards!

Thank you, 2 Punk Dogs, for giving us the One Lovely Blog Award and the Beautiful Blog Award! (Over a month ago... We're so punctual...)

The requirements for the Beautiful Blogger Award are:

  • To copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. 
  • Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog. 
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award.

The requirements for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself. 
  • Nominate other bloggers you admire. 
  • Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

Here are our 7 things:

  1. When Mushroom whines, it sounds like she's meowing.
  2. Badger likes to lick inside my ear when I lay down on the couch. It's gross.
  3. The last 3 video games (not counting phone/tablet apps) I've played are Tokyo Jungle, Guild Wars 2, and Torchlight 2.
  4. The only food Mushroom has ever refused to eat is carrots. Not sure why - she eats green beans, canned pumpkin, and rabbit poop (not actually a food).
  5. Badger has spots on his belly. You can see them because the fur on his belly is thin and white.
  6. Badger likes people, then treats, then dogs. Mushroom likes treats, then dogs, then people.
  7. My favorite holiday is Halloween!

And here are the bloggers we nominate:
A Heartbeat at My Feet - Oscar the pitbull mix, current foster Cooper, and many successful former fosters
Life with Alfred - Bat-eared Bruce Wayne and blocky-headed Alfred, who looks adorable as a panda
Maisie and Me - New(ish) Bostonian pocket pittie Maisie
My Two Pitties - The two referenced in the title are Kaya and Norman, but there are so many more animals
Prettie Little Pittie - Well-dressed New Yorker Goose
The Rufus Way - Grumpy, brindle Rufus in Seattle (funny, he looks pretty happy to me)
Trinity's Love - Another Massachusetts dog Trinity and her new sister Kylie

It's never too early for Halloween costumes!
Can you tell what Badger and Mushroom are dressed up as?

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Dog's Tail (Game)

A couple weeks ago, my favorite video game blog, The Border House, announced a game jam where readers could create a game using Twine and submit it for everyone to play. Twine is an easy interface that helps you make a choose-your-own-adventure style game.

I made a game about dogs (of course) called A Dog's Tail. It contains information that is probably very familiar to readers of this blog, but I was hoping it could spread a little awareness among people who don't think about dogs 24/7/365. Many other people made Twine games as well, and you can play them all here.

Also, Badger's first training class was last night! The class mainly focuses on staying calm in the presence of other people and dogs, which Badger desperately needs to learn. I was afraid that he'd do something to get us kicked out of class (always expect the worst, right?), but he actually did very well. So well, in fact, that we're considering bringing him to one or both of the dog events happening this weekend: Buddy Dog Humane Society's Woofstock and Chelmsford Dog Association's Howl'ween.

Badger, the class clown

Are you gearing up for an exciting weekend? Or will you be cuddling in the warmth of your home?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anniversary + 100th Post = Giveaway!

Today is our 2-year anniversary, and it also happens to be the day we reached 100 posts on this blog! To celebrate, I made an infographic, because I love infographics.

Click to enlarge

Also, we're holding our very first giveaway! The prize is one item of your choice (up to $30) from our favorite online deal site, DoggyLoot. To enter, just comment on this blog post (once per person, please) before 9 PM EDT on Oct. 11, 2012 (that's roughly 24 hours from now). The winner will be announced tomorrow night via an update to this post.

Update: The contest is now closed. I used Random.org to generate a number between 1-4. Congratulations to Keri @ Trinity's Love for being the winner of this giveaway! Keri, I sent you an e-mail. Thank you to everyone who participated and everyone who reads this blog. =)

P.S. If you don't have a DoggyLoot account yet, here's our invite link: https://doggyloot.com/invite/3245ac. They give you $5 just for signing up, and we get $10 to fuel our online-shopping habit.

Cramming for Class

Remember when you were a kid, and summers were carefree and fun? I don't. If my parents weren't signing me and my sister up for summer school, they were buying textbooks for the next grade level so we could learn the material beforehand. And now... Are L and I turning into my parents?

Will you get mad if I say yes?

Badger's training class starts this Thursday. We've taken some private lessons, but this will be the first time he's had class with other dogs and their humans. We went ahead and signed him up for the intermediate level class instead of the beginner class because he already knows his basic commands.

However, one of the basic commands that was taught in beginner class at this facility was "go to mat and lie on it", which we've never taught Badger to do. So on Sunday night, we went to Target and bought a non-slip rug, and we've been practicing having him lie on it.

We've also been practicing down-stays with Badger and Mushroom to teach them to be calm around each other. We're hoping this will translate to Badger being calm(er) around the other dogs in his class.

I'm calm! I'm CALM!! I'M CALM!!!

I was going to take some pictures of Badger on his mat last night, but I forgot, so I snapped a few pictures of him this morning before I headed to work. =/

Good mooooorning!

Do you find yourself brushing up on training skills with your dog before the start of a class?

Oops! I forgot to post this yesterday. Stay tuned for an extra-special post tonight!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brrr! It's Cold Out There!

I'm not a morning person, especially as fall and winter creep in. I like being woken up by sunlight streaming in through the window, and as the days get shorter and more overcast, this happens less and less. L actually got a HappyLight for me last year for my birthday, but we just set it up last week. I turn it on in the mornings to mimic the effect of being woken up by bright sunshine.

But that wasn't what got me out of bed today. When I checked the temperature (37 degrees Fahrenheit), I got all excited about Mushroom wearing her coat!

I'm not actually sure if she needs it yet. Last winter, she was a shivering mess, but she's held it together pretty well so far. We figured we'd start getting her used to it early, and plus, she looks so hilarious adorable!



Stop laughing at me! =(
Badger wears his winter coat year-round

Have your dogs started wearing coats yet?

P.S. Thanks for the support on my last post. Yesterday we saw the same woman and her dog, but this time the dog was leashed. Yay, improvement!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unleashed Frustrations

Mushroom was charged by an off-leash dog yesterday. There wasn't any sort of physical scuffle, but it did result in a massive reactivity episode. Despite our apartment complex posting signs that say that dogs must always be leashed, this is the 4th time we've seen this particular dog off-leash. Three of those times, we saw the unleashed dog charge up to a leashed dog. Two of those times, the unfortunate on-leash dog was Mushroom.

Don't make me go outside! Pugs and chihuahuas will eat me!

Just last month, L and Mushroom were chased by a different off-leash dog and had to hide behind the dumpster. The strange thing is, we rarely see any of our neighbors out walking their dogs on-leash. If we did, it would provide a great opportunity to stand a distance away and practice calm behavior with Mushroom. Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of dogs we come across in the apartment complex are either charging us off-leash or barking at us from balconies.

L did report the incident to the apartment office, but setbacks like this are extremely frustrating. The next available reactive dog class in our area doesn't start until November, and I'm afraid that she'll regress over the next month. It's also frustrating that we're spending time, money, and effort to fix an issue that wouldn't be nearly as bad if our neighbors would just be responsible enough to keep their dogs leashed.

We've also learned that Mushroom's reactivity is dog-specific. That is, she reacts more or less to an individual dog based on her experiences with that particular dog. During our reactive dog class, she learned to feel comfortable around the two dogs closest to us. She's comfortable around Badger and a few of my friends' dogs. And, not surprisingly, she's especially reactive toward the dogs in our apartment complex who have charged at her.

Cool with this dog...

Cool with this dog too

How do you deal with off-leash dogs?
Also, do you know of any places where dogs will always be leashed?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Those Gross Days

It's gross outside. Drizzly, gray, cold. Badger doesn't seem to mind, but the rest of us do. Mushroom whines when we make her step on the grass to do her business, as if to say, "I spent a year as a stray; you can't make me go back to that."

I suppose we could slap some raincoats on the dogs, tell Mushroom to suck it up, and go on the same long evening walks we went on during the summer. (For really cute dogs-in-raincoats pictures, check out Love & a Six-Foot Leash's Facebook page.) But, well, we kinda don't wanna. *pout*

I don't wanna!

Sometimes we play fetch with them or just let them wrestle with one another. We do have short training sessions with the dogs and use food toys to keep them mentally stimulated, but they do a lot of zoomies indoors because of excess energy.

That's Badger's calm face

What do you do for exercise on gross rainy days?