Update on the Move and My Mom

May 15, 2014

Hi everyone! Did you miss us? We sure missed all of you. It has been a very long but very busy month for me and a confusing one for Maya and Pierson. First off, Maya and Pierson had to be without me for a week while I went to visit my mom in Oregon. Then when I got back, my husband was gone, already starting his new job in Iowa.

I stayed at our house in Kansas as it was being fixed up for resale. Maya, Pierson, and I moved from sleeping in the bedroom, to the spare bedroom, then eventually to the basement while work was being done. They were, at one time, allowed in the kitchen, then denied; not allowed in the basement, then restricted to the basement; allowed free run of the back yard and porch, to only being allowed outside on a leash.

When we finally left our Kansas house on May 9th, we drove to Johnston, Iowa to stay with my husband in the temporary apartment he was staying in. We were supposed to move into our new home in Des Moines the following day. But that fell through and we stayed at the apartment through the weekend.

Then finally on Monday afternoon, we got to move into our new place!

Our New Place in Des Moines

We’re all moved into our new place in Des Moines!

Maya and Pierson have been exploring all over. It has been fun for Maya, but a little intimidating for Pierson. There are new noises for him to get used to (this is tough for a dog that barks in alarm at everything). There are a ton of big boxes all over the house that he’s not sure about. And it is a bit of an adjustment in the backyard because we no longer have a fenced yard. Yes, I chain them up, but only for less than 5 minutes at a time unless they really seem like they want to hang out back there instead of inside where I am rushing around from room to room trying to get things unpacked and organized.

I am still unpacking and organizing, so I’m not ready to get back into the blogosphere just yet. But soon, very very soon.

By the way, my mom is still doing okay. She is sleeping about 20 hours a day now, which is not a good sign. But when she is awake, she is still in good spirits. She is not in any pain. She is losing some of her mobility, but it is not so bad yet. She still gets to be at home with her husband (my stepdad) and her dog Solo. She had a very good day on Mother’s Day. Although I wasn’t there, my stepdad said that Sunday was one of her better days.

Here is a photo we took with our mom while I was visiting her in Oregon:

Family Photo with Mom

My brothers and sisters and I with our mom. That’s me with the turquoise head band.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Dawn with Maya and Pierson.

Solo is Reunited with My Mom!

April 21, 2014
Dog Solo Sitting

Sweet Solo is happily reunited with my mom and stepdad.

On the 10th, I told you about how my mom and stepdad moved to Oregon and how my stepdad had to leave their dog Solo behind in Missouri because they got the wrong kind of crate for flying. Luckily, a neighbor was able to take Solo back to the house. And for the past 10 days, Solo has been living all alone on en enclosed patio of an empty house with the neighbor coming by a few times a day to care for her.

People go on vacation without their dogs all the time and pay for pet sitters or boarding kennels. But like my mom and stepdad, I couldn’t help but think about how lonely and confused poor Solo must be. It was a less than ideal situation. But at least she was cared for. And at least she was in a place where she’s comfortable.

Well, I’m happy to say that Solo is finally reunited with my mom and stepdad in Oregon. One of their friend’s/neighbor’s bought an airline approved crate and another friend/neighbor took Solo to the vet to renew the health certificate. And that same neighbor took Solo to the airport, two hours away, and sent Solo on her way.

I wish I had still been in Oregon so I could have seen the reunion. I can only imagine how happy Solo was to see them. I have no doubt that she whined and cried with excitement. And I can imagine that both my mom and stepdad had tears in their eyes when they finally got to hug her. And I bet you there were a few other onlookers at the airport who saw the reunion and got teary-eyed as well. As far as I know, no one took photos or recorded the union. That would have been awesome to see.

My mom and stepdad called me last night to tell me the news. Yes, my eyes got a little teary. But I was so relieved. And even though my mom has been in good spirits despite the terminal cancer, I bet she is in an even better mood now that she has her dog back.

Pierson is a Wanton Bunny Killer

April 17, 2014

Dog Pierson Wanted Poster

While I was visiting my mom in the Portland, Oregon area, my husband told me Pierson killed a bunny in our yard. That would have been the 2nd bunny he’s killed (that I am aware of). I’m also pretty sure he’s killed a squirrel when he lived as a stray in Pierson park. And I once watched him amazingly snatch a bird out of midair. Then the same thing again a few months later.

Yesterday was Pierson’s 3rd bunny kill, 6th total kill. I let him outside yesterday evening, and next thing I know is I hear a squealing sound. I look, and Pierson has a full grown bunny in his mouth.

I know it is just his instinct, but it still makes me sad… and grossed out. It also worries me because he has such a high prey drive. I have to really be careful with him around small animals. I can never have a cat. I probably shouldn’t allow him around small dogs. And I can never let him off leash anywhere except in his own fenced yard.

Do you have a dog that’s killed before? How do you handle it?

(Brief update on my mom, her dog Solo, and our move to Iowa: My mom is still doing well. Some symptoms are starting to show up, but nothing drastic. Solo is still in Missouri but the neighbor is still caring for her and will hopefully be able to get her on a plane by next week. We found a great place in Des Moines, but won’t be able to move in until May 10th. My husband is already in Des Moines working his new job while I’m still in Kansas trying to prepare our home for resale.)

 

My Mom and Her Dog Solo

April 10, 2014

I’m here in Oregon with my mom. She is still doing well, but she says her muscles are getting weaker and her eyesight worse. Despite this, her spirits are still up. Something happened regarding her dog Solo, though, that has got her down and I don’t know what to do.

My mom spent most of her life in Oregon before moving to Missouri a few years ago. Now with this diagnosis, she wanted to go back home to Oregon. So we got her a plane ticket and she flew ahead and is staying with a dear friend while also getting to see my sisters and brother and her niece and nephews. My stepdad stayed behind in Missouri to wrap up things at their property.

The plan for my stepdad and their dog Solo was that after my stepdad received their social security check, which was supposed to include a year’s worth of back pay, he was going to buy a vehicle, rent a trailer, pack up all his and my mom’s stuff, and drive with their dog Solo to Oregon. I was going to go along to help with the long drive.

The check never came, so my stepdad and I bought plane tickets to Oregon instead. I arrived Tuesday. He was supposed to arrive yesterday with Solo. He did arrive, but unfortunately the airline wouldn’t take Solo. They said her travel crate wasn’t airline approved. Luckily, the friend that had brought my stepdad to the airport was able to take Solo back home.

At this very moment, Solo is still in Missouri staying all by herself at my mom and stepdad’s old place. Their friend lives very nearby and is coming by a few times a day to feed and care for her. But otherwise, Solo is all alone.

My mom and stepdad are currently trying to figure out what to do. The coordination of all this is tricky at such a long distance. Can they count on this friend to do the legwork on finding the right crate and on making another four hour round trip to the airport to drop Solo off? I hope so. Not only that, this friend has to make sure he doesn’t forget Solo’s traveling paperwork and that this trip happens within a specified period before the paperwork expires. Otherwise, he will also have to take Solo to the vet again to get re-certified. And my mom and stepdad have to find a way to send this friend enough money to cover the crate, gas expense, and plane ticket expense.

I honestly can’t see this friend doing all this. I may be wrong, but I am still worried. I can only imagine how worried my mom and stepdad are too. This is what I am thinking of doing. After I get back home to Kansas on Sunday evening, I can work on getting an airline approved crate. I can also try to find the time to make the five hour trip to my mom’s old place in Missouri. I’d have to stay overnight, then make the two hour drive to the airport with Solo myself. From there, it is another three hour drive back to Kansas.

Finding the time to do this is tricky. I’m still packing our things for our move to Iowa. And I also have to coordinate painters, flooring people, landscapers, etc. in order to fix up our house so it can be put on the market. I WILL do whatever I need to get Solo reunited with my mom and stepdad. But if anyone has any better ideas, I’d love to hear them.

I think I’ve told you that Solo is a special needs dog and that she came from a terrible dog hoarding situation. As a result of her rescue by my mom and stepdad, Solo is highly protective of them and very close to them. She needs them as much as they need her. My mom especially needs her.

Update on Solo
My mom and stepdad found two friends in Missouri who can help out. One friend is going to find an airline approved crate. And the other friend will take Solo to the airport. Yay! :)

Update

April 3, 2014

Hi everyone! I know it has been a while but Maya, Pierson, and I are still here. You’ve heard the saying, “when it rains, it pours”? Well, that is what’s happening here. For the most part, things are still good. It’s just a been little hectic.

Let me give you a quick little update:

SAYING GOODBYE TO FRIENDS
First off, I’m not sure if you knew this but my husband and I had housemates. You may have seen a little bit about our friends Sha Sha and Jinbo in previous posts. We have a huge house so we rented the finished basement to them a couple of years ago. And last month, they had to move away. Jinbo got a job in China, so they had to go back home. They have been wonderful housemates and very dear friends these past two years and we miss them a lot. ❤

Our Family Sha Sha Jinbo Etc

Left to Right: Pierson, Jinbo, Jinbo’s mom holding Jinbo’s son Eric, Sha Sha, Jinbo’s dad, me, my husband Li Xi, Maya. Jinbo’s parents lived with us for about 6 months. Sha Sha’s mom was here for a while at one time as well. We had quite the house full. :)

UPDATE ON MY MOM
Just before our friends moved away is when I found out my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer with just a few weeks to live. A few weeks have gone by since then and I am very happy to say that she is still doing pretty good. She went through the radiation treatment and steroids have helped shrink the tumors. So except for sleeping a lot more often, she is feeling normal. She stayed with me and my husband for a couple of days, then went on to Oregon where my other two sisters live. I will be driving with my stepdad and their dog Solo to Oregon this coming Monday and staying a week. My sisters and brother and I have a huge party for my mom planned. My mom has a ton of loyal friends who will be coming and it should be the best celebration ever. I know it will make my mom very happy. ❤❤❤

Solo the Border Collie Mix

My mom survived lung cancer a few years ago. This is her after recovery and with her dog Solo. Solo is the reason my stepdad and I are driving to Oregon instead of flying. Solo is a special needs dog my mom rescued from a terrible hoarding situation. Solo would not do well on a plane and my mom didn’t want to leave her behind when she moved to Oregon.

MOVING TO IOWA
While my mom was staying with me, my husband found out that he had been hired for a new job in Des Moines! This was a huge surprise. Although my husband did apply for the job and even drove to Iowa for the interview, he didn’t really expect to get it. But he did. And it is a huge pay increase that we just can’t pass up. So I have spent the past several days packing up all our stuff and with looking for a new place in Des Moines. I have a lot of stuff, so the packing is slow. My husband starts on 14th of this month. Since I will be gone a week and since I don’t have everything ready at our house, I will still be in Kansas for another few weeks, probably until the end of April.

FOUND A DOG
When I went to the store to get boxes, I saw a big black older dog wandering around in the parking lot. She looked very lost so I convinced her to get into my car. Since she didn’t have tags on her collar, I drove her to the vet to see if she was microchipped. She was! But the first main number was disconnected. There was an alternate number so the vet left a message for them and I took the dog home. Of course, Pierson did not like her. She did not like him either so I had to keep them separate. Luckily, our basement was available since our housemates had moved out. And luckily, the owner called me later in the evening when she realized her dog was missing and found the voice mail. The dog is named Lizzie and she is now home safe and sound.

Lizzie the Lost Dog

Lizzie is at least 10 years old, if not older. She is a black Lab and she is much bigger than my Maya! Lizzie is how home with her family.

DOG EVENT @ HUMANE SOCIETY
It just so happens that the humane society was holding a pet event on the same day I found Lizzie. Lizzie’s mom called just before I went to the humane society so Lizzie didn’t have to spend any time there. Maya did, however. The event was the Mixed Breed Mixer and the humane society invited Lawrence residents to come by their facility with their dogs and hang out in the run pens. Maya got to make new friends while I had a table set up as a vendor with many of my pet auto safety products. Both Maya and I had a great time!

Maya at March Mutt Mixer

Maya and I sure are going to miss the Lawrence Humane Society when we move to Iowa!

I MISS YOU ALL
Needless to say, I haven’t had a chance to check out your blogs and see what is going on with all of you. I’ve thought about you all and thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers for my mom. I promise that as soon as we get settled in Des Moines, I will get back to blogging and following up with all of you. In the meantime, please feel free to leave me a link below to your best blog posts this past several weeks. Give me a glimpse of what has been happening with you so that it will be easier for me to catch up. Tell me how your little furry friends are doing, how you are doing, if you’ve had any exciting events, etc. I would seriously love to hear from you all.

BTW, even though things have been crazy busy around here, I am still running the PetAutoSafety.com website. I haven’t been blogging on the pet auto safety blog, but I am still available by phone or email to answer questions about products and I have assistance in filling orders. If you need anything regarding pet travel, whether it be advice or products, let me know. All my contact information is on the website.

Thank you so much everyone and have a wonderful weekend! :)

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday – My Mom and the Dogs

March 26, 2014

My mom is doing well so far with her recent diagnosis. She is tired often but is keeping a positive attitude and living life as best as possible. It’s amazing how happy she is staying despite the adversity. She has been staying with my husband and I for the past couple of days. Here is a photo of her with Maya and Pierson.

Also, while she is here I have been drawing her beloved dog Rocky who passed away in January. This is what I have done so far. I should be finished with it later today. And around 2pm today, I will be taking her to the airport. She is going to Oregon to be with my sisters and brother and her numerous friends.

Before moving to Missouri a few years ago, my mom lived most of her life in Oregon and is excited about going back. After my stepdad is finished taking care of selling their belongings and property in Missouri, him and I are going to drive to Oregon with their dog Solo. I will be in Oregon with my mom for a couple of weeks or so. Don’t worry, I will still be taking care of business for PetAutoSafety.com.

My Mom with Maya and Pierson

My mom with Maya and Pierson. Pierson can sometimes be shy with strangers, but not my mom.

Rocky Small Drawing Almost Done

My mom’s beloved dog Rocky passed away in January. She wanted me to draw him for her so I have been working on this while she’s been visiting me.

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How to Deal With Your Dog’s Destructive Behavior

March 13, 2014

Puppy biting shoe

As you may have suspected from my previous post, I am taking a bit of a break from blogging in order to spend time with my mom. So what I have here is a great and informative article written by Helen Cole:

It’s normal for dogs to chew, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When chewing becomes destructive, however, you must control the behavior to keep your pet safe and your belongings intact. Learn more about why your dog chews to prevent this inappropriate use of teeth:

Reasons for Destructive Chewing and How to Prevent It

Dogs chew for a variety of reasons. Puppies do so while they are teething to relieve pain and help adult teeth break through, according to the Humane Society of the U.S. By providing your puppy with an appropriate chew toy, you help her feel better while also teaching what what is appropriate to chew. Anytime her teeth get too close to a furniture leg or other off-limits item, interrupt with a loud noise, such as a clap, then offer an appropriate toy and provide praise when she takes it.

Kong offers a line of chew toys for puppies. They feature soft rubber and are freezable to provide numbing relief. You can find these products at pet supply stores.

A poorly trained puppy can grow into a destructive chewer. That being said, certain circumstances can cause even a well-trained adult dog to chew. They include:

  • Medical issue — A poor diet or intestinal parasite can lead to pica, an abnormal desire to eat substances not normally eaten, which can be mistaken for inappropriate chewing, veterinarian Dr. Kristy Conn points out. She also states that gastrointestinal problems can cause nausea, which can trigger chewing as a way to cope. She recommends seeing your vet to rule out such issues.
  • Separation anxiety — If, in addition to destructive chewing, your dog whines, barks, paces and forgets his housetraining when you are away, the cause may be separation anxiety, according to the ASPCA. The organization offers a lengthy description of this behavioral problem as well as ways to deal with it.
  • Boredom — If you rule out a medical issue and separation anxiety, simple boredom could be the cause. Try upping the physical and mental stimulation you give your animal. Add another walk to your daily routine or hit the dog park for off-leash play with other dogs. Food and treat puzzle toys engage a dog’s mind. Nina Ottosson toys, for example, require your dog to use his mind — plus nose and paw — to get a treat.

No matter the reason for destructive chewing, you must control both your dog’s behavior and access to items you don’t want chewed. Move what you can out of reach and spray taste deterrent on what you can’t, such as furniture. Crate your dog when you cannot provide supervision.

If you catch inappropriate chewing in the act, the Humane Society recommends the same actions as given for puppies. Never punish after the fact, as your dog cannot associate the correction with something done even a few minutes ago.

A Separate Issue: Fabric Sucking and Licking

If your dog doesn’t chew but instead sucks and licks on your fabric furniture, the above advice works as well. Instead of using a taste deterrent spray, which could stain the fabric, invest in removable covers for your furniture. Wayfair.com, for example, sells machine-washable futon covers that are easily replaced.

Back to me, Dawn. I have been lucky these past several years in that I’ve had very little problems with Maya and Pierson chewing on things they are not supposed to. The last time I had issues with a chewing dog was with Sephi in 2002 when the little devil dog chewed up all my bibles! What are some crazy experiences you’ve had with your dog chewing?

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday – My Mom

March 5, 2014

I’ve told you in the past about my mom, about how I got my love for dogs from her and about how my mom was the dog rescue lady in our town. Recently, we’ve found out that she has brain cancer. So today I am going to share just a few words about this special woman. She’s not only made a difference in my life but also in the lives of others, including the lives of many dogs. Of the many lessons she taught me, the most enduring thing is that dogs are family too. I love you, Mom! ❤•.✿.•❤

Rocky Standing Over Mom

My mom recently lost her dog Rocky. This is him standing on the top of her chair. Rocky was a very lovable dog but he loved my mom more than anyone.

Solo the Border Collie Mix

My mom survived lung cancer a few years ago. This is her after recovery and with her dog Solo.

Mom and Goat Sandy

My mom loves all animals. This is Sandy, her goat… just one of the kids ;)

Wordless Wednesday blog hop:

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Help Working with Different Leash Reactive Behaviors

March 3, 2014

Does your dog react when he’s on a leash and sees another dog? The first thing to do is admit you have a problem.

Dog Pierson Sitting

Hi. My name is Pierson and if you’re a dog, I’m probably not going to like you. (Well, unless you’re Maya. I love Maya.) It’s nothing personal. If you’re a big dog, I go into protect-mode. If you’re a little dog, my prey-drive kicks in.

Dog Maya on the Chair

Hi. My name is Maya and I love other dogs. Well, except Pierson. Okay, I like him most of the time, except when he’s being a pest. Then I just tolerate him. But anyway, when I see another dog, I just get so happy that I start barking and lunging.

Pierson not liking dogs and Maya loving them both cause a leash reactive behavior. But because the causes are different, they require a different approach. To be honest, I have had more success dealing with Pierson’s aggressive behavior than with Maya’s excitement behavior. Just how do you deal with a crazy Labrador with GLS, anyway? (BTW, GLS stands for Goofy Lab Syndrome.)

If I see another dog while walking either Maya or Pierson, the first thing I do is cross the street. Because it has been more difficult for me to get their attention with the look command while still walking, I also make them sit. I give the look command and reward. I do this a few times until the other dog is passed.

This method works very well with Pierson unless the other dog reacts. He has made a lot of progress. However, this method is not working as well for Maya. When Maya gets excited about something, it is very difficult to distract her. She is so intent on what she sees (the other dog), that I couldn’t tempt her with a big juicy steak.

With Maya, I need to add another element to her training. If I see that she is going to start reacting, I need to turn her around and go the other way. So far, this is working, but it is not always possible for us to turn around. And I’m curious to know how doing this will eventually help her learn not to react. Any ideas on what training methods I can use for Maya? Keep in mind that when Maya gets excited, nothing, and I mean nothing can distract her. Not treats, not collars, not commands, nothing.

Wordless Wednesday – Pretty Portraits of Maya and Pierson

February 26, 2014

Welcome to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

Maya on Dog Bed Looks SadMaya Nose Portrait small Maya Nose and Stuff 007Portrait of My Dog Pierson 1 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 2 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 3
And because I can’t resist a few words:

Maya Brown Nosing

Thank you for stopping by for Wordless Wednesday. More fun pet photos can be found by clicking below:

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