Wordy Wednesday – Who Wants Breakfast? Maya Does!

March 25, 2015

It doesn’t matter how sound asleep my Labrador Maya is. If I say the word breakfast, food, cookie, or oops (to mean I dropped something on accident), she is suddenly alert and comes running!

Labrador Dog Maya Sleep Awake Breakfast

What is your dog’s favorite word?

For more Wordless or Wordy Wednesday fun, check out the pet blog hop below.

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Managing Undesirable Dog Behaviors

March 6, 2015
Bad Poetry Day - Roses Aren't Edible

Pierson likes poop so I need to manage his behavior.

Dogs will be dogs, but some of the things they want to do are annoying, unpleasant, or possibly not safe. If someone is not familiar with dog training, their first instinct might be to try to correct the issue with punishment. Those who are familiar with better ways to stop an undesirable behavior will try behavioral modification techniques such as redirection and positive reinforcement. But sometimes, we don’t have to go through all this work. Sometimes we can eliminate an undesirable behavior by managing it.

Let me give you an example. My dog Pierson loves to eat my other dog Maya’s poop. I’ve considered training him not to eat it. But let’s be honest, even if I did teach him not to eat it, he will probably still try whenever I’m not looking. I’ve also considered giving Maya something like NaturVet Coprophagia Stool Eating Deterrent to make her poop taste bad. But I’d have to buy this stuff all the time or risk Pierson realizing the poop wasn’t tainted and eating it. So what did I do instead? I simply decided to always pick up Maya’s poop right after she poops. Yes, it is a bit inconvenient, especially in colder weather. But it’s more sanitary and it has completely stopped Pierson from eating her poop. No training, no expensive supplements.

Another example is with Pierson’s barking. As you may know from previous posts, I gave in and got him a no bark collar. It worked well much of the time. But sometimes he really couldn’t help himself from barking and I felt terrible about the collar shocking him. It finally occurred to me that I should try managing his barking instead. This is what I did:

Determine the Cause of the Behavior

Pierson barks at surprising noises and he barks at squirrels, rabbits, and birds. I decided that barking at noises isn’t such a bad thing. I want to know if someone is creeping around my house. Even though most of the noises Pierson barks at are nothing to be concerned about, I can live with that. But the barking at squirrels, rabbits, and birds when he can see them out the back door window was too much.

Eliminate the Cause of the Behavior

Like how I eliminated Pierson’s desire for eating Maya’s poop by picking up her poop, I managed Pierson’s barking at animals he sees through the window by blocking the view from the window. It worked like magic! By simply putting a large piece of paper over the bottom half of the door window, I eliminated Pierson’s barking by at least 70%.

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 1

See how I blocked the door window so that Pierson can’t bark at squirrels?

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 2

“How am I going to talk to the squirrels now?”

Other Ways to Eliminate Undesirable Behaviors

If your dog tends to get in the trash, eliminate the behavior by getting a trash can with a secure lid or by putting the trash can in the pantry. If you don’t have a pantry, use a smaller trash can and put it under the kitchen sink. You may have to throw out trash more often, but isn’t that better than picking up trash from the floor and worrying about whether your dog ate something harmful?

Eliminate digging behaviors by filling his favorite digging spots with rocks or even his own poop. Keep your dog out of your garden by putting decorative fencing around your garden. Keep your dog from trying to bolt out the door by putting his leash on him before you open the door. Stop counter surfing by making sure food is always put away and/or out of reach. Keep your dog off the furniture by laying a sheet of foil over it when you’re not around.

Managing your dog’s undesirable behaviors isn’t always feasible and doesn’t always work. But if you think outside the box, you might just come up with a simpler way to stop your dog from doing things you don’t like. You can save time and even money by not having to hire a dog trainer.

Does your dog have an annoying behavior that you’d like to stop? Comment below and let’s see if we can come up with some creative ways to manage your dog’s behavior.

Wordy Wednesday – The Most Interesting Dogs in the World

March 4, 2015

Which of these two photo captions of Pierson work best?

Naughty Dog Most Interesting in the World 1

The sly look?

Naughty Dog Most Interesting in the World 2

Or the guilty look?

Maya and Pierson are the most interesting dogs in the world. :)

Always Wear Dog Seat Belts

Happy Wordless… I mean Wordy Wednesday!

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Story of a Lost and Found Dog

February 16, 2015
My Dog Smokey

In Memory of Smokey – One Darned Good Dog

This is a true story about my dog Smokey from several years ago. Smokey has since passed on, but I still think of him from time to time. I was recently reminded of this lost and found story when empathizing with someone whose dog has been missing for over a month.

Smokey was everything a good dog should be. Smart, loyal, lovable, and well-mannered. He was my boy. He didn’t just love me, he took care of me. I can recall a number of incidences when he had my back, but before I relate the lost and found story, let me tell you about one of these incidents during our trip to the Grand Canyon.

I was separated from my husband at the time and was anxious to go out and see the world. I was really into hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities at the time so the Grand Canyon seemed like a great place to go on vacation. As a single female, I should have been a little afraid to go on vacation by myself. But I really wasn’t going to go by myself. I was taking my boy Smokey with me.

Me and My Dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake

This isn’t the Grand Canyon, but my dog Smokey was my hiking buddy on a lot of trips. We spent three days roughing it on a hike we made around Georgetown Lake in Texas.

Our first stop was in Tucson where we slept in my car at a campsite. We stayed only long enough to sleep and for me to take a quick photo of Smokey in front of a tall cactus. Then we were on our way to Sedona. I think we were there for a day or two hiking the wild green trails surrounding various big red rock formations. It was on that trip that Smokey and I saw our first Tarantula. Cool!

My Dog Smokey in Tucson Arizona 3

Before we headed to the Grand Canyon, we stopped in Tucson.

 

Next, we went to the Grand Canyon. It was here that Smokey first exhibited his role as my guardian. I was young and pretty back then so it is no surprise that I had men hit on me from time to time. For the most part, Smokey could care less. He got along with people well. But he had a sixth sense, as some dogs tend to do. There was this one particular man that Smokey did not like one bit. And he let the man know exactly how he felt, too. Smokey did not lunge at him or even bark, but when the man went to pet him Smokey showed his pearly whites and let out a menacing rumble. Now I don’t really know if this man was up to no good or not. But I trusted Smokey more than I trusted myself.

My Dog Smokey

That’s my boy!

This is just a hint at how close Smokey and I were. So you can imagine how devastated I felt on the day he disappeared. Someone left the gate open and being an intact male, Smokey went out exploring.

I looked everywhere for him to no avail. I must have filled the tank in my car a dozen times while out looking for him. I even checked the animal shelter, but there was no sign of him anywhere. The internet was not as prevalent as it is now, so I did what most people who lost their pet did back then. I put up hundreds of fliers and posted ads in the newspaper. I also talked to people who were out and about and visited the shelter on a regular basis.

No one had claimed to see Smokey. Not a single person responded to my ad or my fliers. I did have a scam call where a truck driver told me he had my dog and he wanted money, but I didn’t fall for it. This man didn’t have my dog.

For two long weeks I feared for the worst. I was sure Smokey had been hit by a car or something. Smokey was smart but he was not streetwise.

By the beginning of week three, I was ready to give up. I almost didn’t place an ad in the paper. But thankfully, I did.

A couple of days after I placed that ad, I finally got the call I had been hoping for. It was a vet office. They said they had picked up a dog fitting Smokey’s description a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a distance from our house, but it really sounded like it could be my Smokey. He had the same collar. He had tags too, although the woman said the tag information didn’t lead her anywhere. (I checked the tags myself later and the tags did, indeed, come back to my current information. But that is another story.)

I still wasn’t sure if it was my Smokey that they had or not, but my heart raced as I got in my car and tried not to speed over to the vet office. When I got to the office, I tried to be patient as the receptionist called someone to the front. As a woman led me to the back kennel area, I asked her a dozen questions. My heart was still racing and she was walking so darned slow!

Smokey must have heard my voice because before we got to the door of the kennel area, I heard a wailing cry. I’ve never heard this sound from Smokey, but somehow I recognized his voice too. The woman couldn’t open the kennel area door fast enough!

She didn’t have to show me which cage Smokey was in. I just followed his cry. And sure enough, there was my boy!

I cried so hard at seeing him again. He cried too. It didn’t take long before the entire vet staff had tears in their eyes too.

When the woman opened the cage, I was mauled by the happiest dog ever. I’m sure he scratched me with his nails, but I didn’t care. I was so happy to see him again. I got my boy back! It was the best day ever!!!

You can’t end a story on a happier note than this, so The End.

My Dog Smokey When He Was 2.5 Years Old

This is my dog Smokey in his younger years. He is 2.5 years old in this photo, long before the lost and found incident.

Wordless Wednesday – Dogs and Snowflakes are Kisses from Heaven

February 4, 2015

Ever heard the quote, “Snowflakes are kisses from heaven”? After shoveling 10.5 inches of snow from my driveway this weekend, I wasn’t sure I agreed. But after watching my dogs Maya and Pierson play in it, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of snow.

The Street to My House February 2nd, 2015

The street to my house after our weekend snow was so pretty that I had to pull over and take a photo.

My Dog Maya Scales 10.5 Inches of Snow

This bench in our back yard shows how deep the snow is compared to my Maya.

Snow-Filled Trees in Our Back Yard

The trees in our back yard are heavy with snow. Some branches broke.

My Fluffy Dog Pierson in the Snow

My fluffy boy Pierson likes the snow. Can you see his boots?

Dogs Maya and Pierson Looking at Frozen Squirrel

Maya and Pierson are looking at a squirrel that is sitting on a lower branch of a snow-filled tree.

Maya and Pierson Giving Snow Kisses

Pierson gives Maya snow kisses.

Okay, so it’s not so wordless. I just can’t help but to comment on the photos. You’re welcome to leave a comment too. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Wordless Wednesday – Slo-Bowl for Piggy Dogs

January 14, 2015

Maya and Pierson are piggy dogs. Eating from a normal bowl takes them less than a minute. The Kyjen Slo-bowl dog bowl makes them take at least five or more minutes.

Maya and Pierson Wait for Dinner

“Can we eat now?”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 1

“Nom, nom, nom, nom.”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 2

“Only a few pieces left.”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 3

“Still working at it, five minutes later.”

I purchased these Slo-Bowl feeders on my own and am not being compensated in any way. However, if you are interested in one for your dog, follow my link to my Amazon a-store.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Pierson

January 10, 2015

I can’t believe it has only been three years since I got my dog Pierson. It seems like he’s always been a member of the family.

Happy 4th Birthday & Happy 3rd Gotcha Day, Pierson!

Pierson Cuddling on 3rd Gotcha Day

Pierson Cuddling with Me 2

Maya wants cake for Pierson Gotcha Day

Yes Sweetums, of course you get cake too.

Want to know more about the day I caught my little fluffy pants Pierson in Pierson Park? Check out my post on The Reward of Rescuing a Dog.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Blue Lacy

January 7, 2015

This is Lacy and she is a Blue Lacy dog breed. Lacy was found as a stray and never claimed. My dad and step mom adopted her from the City of San Marcos Animal Shelter. Lacy is blind in one eye but that doesn’t stop her from looking for mischief. :) I can’t wait to meet her in person when I next visit my parents in Texas.

Profile of Blue Lacy Dog Named Lacy Cute Blue Lacy Dog Sitting Blue Lacy with Her Dog Toys

This is a blog hop. Check out the link before for more Wordless Wednesday pet photo fun:

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Holiday Goodies for My Doggies

January 1, 2015

My dogs Maya and Pierson have received a lot of gifts this season. Our thank you is a little late, but your gifts did not go unnoticed.

Maya with light-up stick dog toy

Maya really likes the light-up stick. Pierson only wants it when Maya has it.

We won this great gift from Petco through AllThingsDogBlog. It’s a lightup stick dog toy and Maya absolutely loves it. It lights up and squeaks, although Maya broke the squeaker right away. It’s a soft but hard rubber that Maya can chew on safely without breaking off any pieces.

Boo Bucket from Jones Natural Chews

I forgot to take a photo of the Boo Bucket that Flea gave us from Jones Natural Chews so I borrowed this photo from Flea’s Dog Treat Web site.

We received the Halloween Boo Bucket from Flea when she came to visit in September. Then later, we won a bag of Jones Natural Chews dog treats through Flea’s Dog Treat Web. We won it for this video we did:

Spring Naturals Dog Treats

This is the company’s photo. I forgot to take a photo of the Spring Natural dog treats that we won.

We also won some dog treats from Spring Naturals through Rumpy Dog’s Blog. Those went fast too.

Labrador Retriever Ornament from ForLoveofaDog.com

I was too lazy to take my own photo so I borrowed this photo of my Labrador Retriever ornament from the place I bought it, ForLoveofaDog.com.

I didn’t win this ornament, but it was a gift to myself so I’m counting it. It is a wonderful ornament made by Sue with Talking Dogs blog and the For Love of a Dog jewelry retail site. I would buy her beautiful dog-themed jewelry too, but I don’t wear jewelry very often.

Maya with Kong Stick Dog Toy

Maya is pooped after playing with her Kong stick dog toy.

This gift is from me to Maya. It is a Kong stick and Maya loves sticks. I saw it reviewed on one of the blogs I follow, but sorry, I don’t remember who that was!

Dog Chews Olaf Snowman Dog Toy

Despite not having any stuffing, Olaf still lives!

This is a gift from me to Pierson. Pierson does not chew his toys like Maya does, so this stuffed squeaky has lasted a while. What do you think of the caption? :D

Maya with Hide-a-Squirrel Dog Toy

There are six of these little squirrel dog toys in the Hide-a-Squirrel, and Maya loves every one of them.

This squirrel toy is part of a larger gift given last year by my friend Joanne with FleeceDogHarnesses. The Hide-a-Squirrel has stayed in good shape all year because I only allow Maya and Pierson to play with it when I supervise them. Otherwise, I’d have six destuffed squirrels all over my house! Joanne gave Maya and Pierson a Tail Teaser dog toy from Kyjen this year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture because my camera doesn’t do action shots very well, and Maya was bouncing all over the place for this toy.

Thank you, Carrie, Flea, Jen, Sue, and Joanne! And Happy New Year to everyone. :)

Wordless Wednesday – Snowman Dog Toy Prequel

December 31, 2014
Dog Pierson Chewing Snowman Dog Toy

Come on, let’s go and play!

This snowman dog toy was a gift. Find out what other gifts Maya and Pierson have received this year in tomorrow’s blog post.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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