Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston, you're my home

Badger and Mushroom's Patriot's Day photo from last year
We're okay. Thank you for all the love you've sent toward our city.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. If you are searching for a way to help, we recommend TUGG's Boston Marathon Fundraiser because our friend knows someone who works there and can verify that 100% of the donations will be going to help folks affected by the bombing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Badger might only weigh 18 lbs

Badger is an oddly-shaped dog. He has long, spindly legs, a big square head, an underbite, and a narrow but deep chest. It's this last feature that makes it difficult to find harnesses and other wearable equipment to fit him.

Last year we purchased an Outward Hound backpack on Doggy Loot. We picked the medium size, which is said to fit dogs from 18 to 50 lbs and with a girth of 26"-32". For almost a year, the backpack hung in our closet, until this past weekend.

I loaded the backpack with one water bottle in each side pocket and tried my best to convince Badger that it was a good thing by clicking and feeding him kibble mixed with hot dogs. He wasn't entirely convinced, but he let me strap the thing to his back, and...

It was too big.

Wait, what?

Despite Badger weighing about 43 lbs, I had to tighten all the straps completely. Even so, the chest strap is a little too loose, and the strap that's supposed to go around his waist dangles uselessly without even touching him. The only strap that fit was the one that went behind his front legs.

We took him out for a walk anyway, and although the backpack stayed on, we had to adjust it about every 10 minutes because it would slip to one side or the other.

It also made sloshing noises as he walked

I'm quite confused about why the backpack doesn't fit, because Badger is squarely within the range for a size medium. I'm considering buying a small backpack to see if it fits, even though the sizing chart recommends that for dogs under 18 lbs and with a girth less than 25". Could it be that Badger has been cheating on his weigh-ins and only weighs 18 lbs?

Is your dog hard-to-fit? Have you experienced sizing issues with backpacks or any other dog gear?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A video of Badger being Badger

Reasons we love Badger (not a comprehensive list):
  • He can fit objects the size of his head into his mouth and then chew them like bubblegum. The object shown in the video is the Linkables orb toy. We put a biscuit just larger than the opening into the orb. 
  • He somehow understands the concept of gravity.
  • He never gives up. If you watch until the end, he actually manages to get part of the treat out.
  • He is really entertaining to watch!

What has your dog done that you've found entertaining?

Monday, April 8, 2013

How about those resolutions?

My new year's resolution this year was to take each dog for a separate, 30+ minute walk per day. I even bought a wall calendar and asked L to give me a sticker for each day I did this. Let's check in and see how I'm doing...

Those stickers look lonely

Not so well. That's not to say we haven't been doing anything with the dogs. It's just that most days, they only get short walks, or I only take one dog out for a long walk or adventure. (No half-stickers here.) And I know it's affected Badger and Mushroom, since they're doing more zoomies. But now that it's officially, totally spring (ie: the snow has melted, and it's no longer dark by 3 PM), it's time to kick my butt back into gear and get with the program! And what better motivation is there than buying things?

Um, how about us?

We've had a few problems with our dogs' leashes - the D-ring on their Gentle Leaders would slip through the small hole where the hook opens/closes, and suddenly we'd have an off-leash dog. So we took a hint from Pitlandia and bought the Ruffwear Flat Out leash. In addition to a hook that closes completely, it also has a traffic handle and a hands-free option. The traffic handle has been helpful for keeping the dogs close when passing other people, though Mushroom is so short that I have to bend over a little to use it. I tried out the hands-free waist loop for the first time this morning and have been entertaining the possibility of using it to take Badger running on the nearby bike trail. (Or maybe briskly walking. I'm not really the running type.)

Badger is the prancing type (seriously, he prances when he walks)

Let's hope that the improvement in weather and equipment helps motivate me to stick with my resolution!

Mushroom attempts to guilt-trip me

How have you done on your new year's resolutions?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blooper Friday

I could really use a weekend! This is how I feel right about now...

Thank goodness it's Friday. Viv and I might do another reactive dog walk with Mushroom and Lilee this weekend. What are your plans?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cameras: Convenience vs Quality

It's been a while since we've used the DSLR camera that we bought in November. A lot of times, we look over at Badger and Mushroom and find that they're doing something cute. If we get up to go grab the DSLR, the dogs will follow us and ruin the moment we wanted to capture. So instead, we grab our cell phones and snap a picture of dogs with glowing eyes.

Mushroom is only snuggling because she wants Badger's toy

If we lie down on the couch, Badger likes to sneeze in our faces

Badger ignored the sweet potato fries... for long enough to snap a picture

As the weather warms up and daylight hours continue to lengthen, we'll try to take more pictures of the dogs outside using the DSLR. However, this would also mean having one more thing to juggle on our walks, when we already have to deal with treats, leashes, poop bags, and car harnesses and water if we're going outside of our apartment complex.

We always see beautiful pictures on other blogs, so what's your advice for:
Keeping your DSLR camera handy for cute moments?
Juggling your DSLR and everything else on walks?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Badger's Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, Badger and I went to Petco for a doggy Easter egg hunt. The store had advertised their event as an Easter egg hunt for both dogs and kids, so I didn't know what to expect in terms of the number of people or dogs or how well-behaved the kids would be. Erring on the side of caution, Badger wore his head collar, and I brought a clicker and a bag of kibble mixed with vienna sausages.

Luckily, the store was almost empty, and we ended up not even using the head collar. We saw maybe 4 or 5 other dogs there, and, as expected, Badger didn't pay them too much attention. Sometimes he gets a little stare-y at small dogs, but I (and the vienna sausages) even managed to keep Badger calm while he got stared down by a tiny cocker spaniel. We wandered around the store for about half an hour, practicing some basic commands and finding two treat-filled eggs.

The hardest part for Badger was greeting people. He was way too excited - all bouncy and wriggly and kissy. This is something that we've needed to practice for a while. I say "we" because I need to practice being firm with other people, especially dog lovers, and explain that Badger should be calm before receiving any attention.

There was one time that Badger didn't heed his "leave it" command. He picked a toy from the shelf and proceeded to slobber on it so much that I felt the need to buy it. This was our cue to leave, since Badger only had eyes for his new toy. We were handed two bags of Easter goodies on our way out.

Free Easter goodies from the snack bar at Petco

Badger and Mushroom wear seat belt harnesses when in the car, so imagine my surprise when I pulled into my garage and saw a naked Badger sitting on the floor behind the driver's seat. I'll really have to remember to tighten that harness the next time we go out.

Badger is not here. Only Houdini

Badger then proudly carried his new toy from the car back to our apartment, Mr. B-style. Unlike Mr. B, he then destroyed it in approximately a minute.

Badger and his toy, in happier times (ie: before we went inside)

Mushroom didn't get to go on the Easter egg hunt because we want to set her up for success, and she's not quite ready for a store full of dogs and kids. I stuffed some of the treats from the goodie bags into our acorn for her. She's not the most adept at food toys, so she actually gave up and took a nap instead of getting all the treats out. Overall, we ended up with two full, sleepy dogs, so I'd consider it a success.

Om nom nomzzzzz...

Did you and your dog(s) have any special Easter adventures?