Archive for April, 2013

Fit Dog Friday – Getting Fit with My Dogs

April 26, 2013
Dog Pierson in Group Walk

I’m working on Pierson’s dog aggression by going on group walks with other dog owners. It’s dog training and exercise at the same time.

My dogs are very fit and healthy. It helps that I am careful about what I feed them and how much. And that I keep them relatively fit by taking them for regular walks and playing fetch with them. But I have not been so good at keeping myself fit and healthy. So this Fit Dog Friday is mostly about me and a little about how my dogs Maya & Pierson contribute.

Benefits of Keeping Fit
I’ve been very focused lately on losing weight in a healthy way. Since mid-December, I have lost 18 pounds. Now, thanks to a little initiative on my part and to great partners like Maya and Pierson, I am only 5 pounds away from reaching my goal weight! Besides the benefit of losing excess pounds, I also get to buy new clothes, I have fewer problems with acne, my fibromyalgia symptoms are less severe, and I feel like I have more energy.

Healthy Diet
How did I do it? I did use some Herbalife products. However, these products were merely a support. What really helped me lose weight were the lifestyle changes. I’ve always generally eaten healthy foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and baked but not fried meat. But I’ve also been eating too many sweet foods. So the first thing I did when I really made up my mind to lose weight was to eliminate those sweets (for the most part).

Walk, Walk, Walk
The second thing I did was exercise more. It hasn’t been enough to just walk the dogs. Now we walk faster, more often, and further. Sometimes, instead of driving to the convenience store for a cup of coffee, I will walk the mile distance with Maya or Pierson. I’ve even taken one of them with me when I walked to the UPS store to ship a package. I also walk to the grocery store if I just need a few things, but Maya and Pierson don’t get to go because they are not allowed in the store and I don’t want to leave them tied up outside for that long.

Fun Activities with the Dogs
Maya, Pierson, and I have also been doing more fun activities together. Instead of just playing fetch with the dogs, I try to get involved with the games. Seeing who can catch the thrown ball becomes a contest to see who can get to the ball first. Although I always lose this game, Maya & Pierson love it when I chase them. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’ve also been taking Maya to dog park more often. Our dog park is around Clinton Lake and is not fenced. So from the dog park, we are able to walk the wooded trails to an area by the lake for Maya to swim.

Dog Walking Group
I’ve recently joined a group of other dog owners who have trouble with their leash-reactive dogs. In this group, we actually walk spaced out so that our dogs can’t hurt one another. The distance apart depends on the dog. I have to be the furthest away because Pierson’s behavior is the worst amongst the group. His behavior is especially bad at the beginning of the walk. But after about 10 minutes of walking and rewarding for good behaviors, I can decrease the distance between him and the dog ahead of us. After a few of these group walks, Pierson still has to walk a few feet behind. But this group has really helped him decrease that distance.

I can see us doing even more fun activities this spring. My husband and I are talking about going camping and hiking. I’d also like to teach Pierson some agility, which means less time for me sitting at the computer and more time outdoors. What other fit activities can you think of that Maya, Pierson, and I could do together? What do you and your dogs do to stay fit?

For more Fit Dog Friday posts, check out the link below:

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Almost Wordless Wednesday – Memes

April 17, 2013

I don’t think I’ve come up with any super funny memes, but here are a few that I’ve done that I think are cute. You may have seen most of them before, but some are new. If you think any of them are cute, please pin them! 🙂

Maya Wearing Daisy Diva Design Collar

Maya Wearing Daisy Diva Design Collar.

Dachshund Dogs Want Cookie

These are my aunt’s dogs Molly, Frank, and T-Bone. Read more about them by typing Dachshund in the search field.

Dog Killer at the Drive Through

This is my parent’s dog Killer.

Maya Cookie Quote

Maya is all ears when it comes to cookies.

Maya and Pierson in Back Seat of Car

Maya & Pierson in the back seat of the car. This caption is misleading because Maya LOVES to go the vet.

Pierson and Window Screens

Pierson is in the car hoping we are going somewhere besides the vet.

Sephi Loves Bones

My dog Sephi loved food more than anything else in the whole world.

Pierson's Real Dog Training Tips

My dog Pierson talks about how dog training really works.

What’s your favorite? Can you think of better memes for these pictures?

For more dog fun, check out the link to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below:

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If you’re wondering why most of the photos say, it is because I own this web site. Sephi was the co-founder in 2006 and Maya & Pierson are the current executive officers. I’m working on branding my photos so that when they are shared, so is our message. Not only do I want the world to know about Maya & Pierson, but I also want to create awareness about traveling safely with our dogs.

Monday Mischief – Squirrelly Squirrels

April 15, 2013

This is my first Monday Mischief. Why haven’t I posted a Monday Mischief before? It’s not because Maya and Pierson aren’t mischievous, because they are. But because it is so hard to get a photo of their naughty stuff.

So today’s mischief isn’t about Maya and Pierson, but about squirrels. Remember my post from April 3rd – Small Signs of Spring? I mentioned there is a squirrel living in my neighbor’s house. I see him all the time but can’t seem to get a photo of him.

I finally got his photo yesterday. Not only that, I found out there are two squirrels living there and probably a nest of young squirrels too.

Squirrel Peeking

The squirrel living in my neighbor’s house peeks his head out.

Two Squirrels

There’s not one squirrel, but two!

Squirrel Helping Squirrel

This squirrel must have been trying to sneak out. The other squirrel grabs his butt and hauls him back in. No going out to party tonight, mister!

How is this mischievous? Because the squirrels drive Pierson nuts (no pun intended). They intentionally tease him as they scurry about. Just look at how Pierson watches them.

Pierson Watching Squirrel

Tonight’s movie, “The Squirrelly Squirrels” will be featured on the outdoor patio in HD.

So what king of mischief are other dog bloggers up to this Monday? Find out by clicking the link below:

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Snoopy's Dog Blog

My Dogs and Cutie Patootie Poetry

April 13, 2013
My Dog Pierson Dancing for Snowballs

My dog Pierson looks funny as he tries to catch a snowball! (pin me)

Anyone know what a patootie is? Where in the heck did that word come from? I say it all the time to my dog Pierson. But I have no idea on the origin of the word, or even how to spell it. I looked it up online, but both spellings and definitions differ. The most common spelling is how I have spelled it here. I’ve always thought patootie was a nice way of saying butt, but some definitions say it is a term of endearment. Perhaps it is both.

Anyway, the word patootie inspired me to write a poem about my dog Pierson, aka Mr. Fluffybutt:

My Pierson is such a cutie.
But he can be a pain in the patootie.
He barks at every little sound and sight.
And with other dogs he wants to fight.
But he is so super smart.
And his prettiness captures the heart.
Oh, how lucky I am to have my fluffy boy
Despite the yapping, he is such a wonderful joy.
(Hugging him is like hugging a big wiggly stuffed toy.)

And not to leave out my lovable Maya:

Oh my, oh my, oh Maya.
My sweet adorable papaya.
Sometimes she gets a little overexcited.
But if sweetness was a crime, she’d surely be indicted.
Oh what a happy Labrador.
My Maya is never a bore.
For everything she does, she does with zest.
Life is great when you view life as one big fun fest.
(Even though sometimes she can be quite the pest.)

My Labrador Maya Chewing on Stick

My Labrador Maya really really enjoys chewing on sticks. It is her most favorite dog toy. (pin me)

Back to Pierson… I watched this great music video some time back (below) and thought it would be so much fun to teach my dog Pierson to do some of these things. What do you think? I think I can tell from the above photo that he has dancing potential, right?

Wordless Wednesday – More Signs of Spring

April 10, 2013

Although today is supposed to get cooler again, at least it’s not going to be in the 30s. I really love spring in Kansas. When all the trees blossom it is a gorgeous array of color. Not all the trees have blossomed yet. Only one of our trees has so far. But I imagine in the next week or so, I will be able to look down my street and see a line of whites, creams, pinks, reds, and purples.

Here are more Wordless Wednesday spring photos of Maya & Pierson enjoying more outdoor time:

Pierson Playing with Blanket

Pierson was getting stir crazy in winter. He wrapped this blanket around his head by himself while playing.

Maya and I on Porch Swing

Maya and I enjoy cuddle time on the porch swing.

Budding Tulips 2

The Tulips are starting to bud. Soon we will have flowers!

Maya in Tulip Garden

April showers bring Maya flowers.

Maya and Dandelions 2

April showers bring Maya more flowers.

My Dog Pierson on Rabbit Patrol

Pierson has placed himself on rabbit patrol.

Blossoming Trees 4

I love how the trees in Kansas blossom.

Blossoming Tree in our Backyard.

The white blossoming trees are coming out first. This one is from our back yard.

What does spring look like where you live?

For more great pet photos on Wordless Wednesday, check out the link to the blog hop below:

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Emerging from Rescue Dog to Family Dog

April 6, 2013
Pierson Rolling in the Grass

Happy Rescued Boy, PIerson.

This post is appropriate for spring as it is an article about growth. It is a story about the development of a rescue dog into a loved and cherished family dog.

I’ve been in contact with a new friend lately about her new rescue dog. And her story made me think about when I first got Pierson. He was so shy and nervous back then. I assumed I would have a calm and quiet dog on my hands. But then over the course of a few weeks, Pierson came out of his shell. He is a different dog today than he was back then. Here are his experiences and some things you can expect when you rescue a dog.

Shy to Outgoing
Pierson is still shy around strangers, but even that shyness is relatively mild compared to the shyness he expressed when he first came home. After spending time socializing him, he now allows most people to pet him. I don’t think he will ever be outgoing because of his breed tendencies. But it may be different with other rescued dogs. You might start out with a very shy dog and end up with one that absolutely loves to meet new people.

Unsure to Confident
When Pierson first came home, his walk was slow and deliberate. His tail was held low and his eyes were constantly on the lookout for a way to escape in case things went wrong. Today, he prances around with his tail held high. He knows this is his home and we are his family and he is completely at ease. When we go out, he is still confident because he knows I will take care of him.

Quiet to Loud
This may not be the case with all dogs, but it is definitely the case with Pierson. It was a couple weeks before I heard him bark. Now, not only does he bark (at every little thing), but he howls with excitement too. You should see him in the morning at feeding time. He wags his tail so hard that his cute little fluffy butt wiggles, he spins around in circles, and then he promptly sits and howls. It is the cutest thing!

Calm to Playful
I remember trying to play with Pierson after only having him for a couple of days. He didn’t understand that it was a game and still wasn’t too sure about me. The first time he ever played, it was with Maya. After a couple of weeks, he started to play with me too. I imagine my laughter when I tried to play with him scared him at first. Now he associates laughter with good things and we play and laugh all the time.

I use laughter now as a way to put him at ease. When Pierson heard a loud noise while we were out the other day, he got really scared. I purposely laughed at him playfully because the loud noise was nothing to be frightened of. He immediately calmed down.

Behavior Issues
Pierson developed a few behavior issues as he got more comfortable. When he first came here, he was too nervous to come out of his corner to do naughty things. But as Pierson got more comfortable going about the house, he started chewing on things, putting his paws on the counter, and digging holes in the yard. Expect some of these same things to happen when you rescue a dog. Remember, they don’t know what is right and wrong yet. As they come out of their shell, they will be investigating their new surroundings more often and may sometimes do things you don’t want them to do.

Pierson's Rescue on Facebook

Pierson’s rescue documented on my Facebook Timeline in January 2012. (Sorry it’s blurry. I don’t know how to make it sharp like the larger image file is.)

Watching Pierson slowly come out of his shell has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I love Pierson so much and am very proud of the dog he has become. A rescue dog requires time, patience, and training, but that dog is worth every effort. Pierson’s rescue story sort of reminds me of The Ugly Duckling story. Has your dog emerged from an ugly duckling into a swan?



Wordless Wednesday – Small Signs of Spring

April 3, 2013

We’ve had a long winter with a lot of snow this year. Although Maya & Pierson enjoyed it, I’m glad to finally see signs of spring.

Spring Tulips

Our tulips are coming up!

Spring Blossom Buds

The blossoms are starting to bud!

Green Grass

The grass is turning green!

Squirrel Hole

A squirrel lives here. But just my luck, every time I try to take a picture of him he disappears!

My Lab Maya with a Stick

I told Maya no sticks, but she loves them so much! Now that the snow is melted, she found a new one to chew on.

My Labrador Maya Chewing on Stick

My Labrador Maya really really enjoys chewing on sticks. It is her most favorite dog toy.

Pierson Looking for Rabbits

Pierson is looking for those pesky rabbits that live under our shed. He saw them in the yard earlier so he knows they are there.

Maya sniffs a Dandelion

Oh, look! A Dandelion! Maya sniffs the first spring flower.

For more cute pet photos from the Wordless Wednesday, visit the blog hop below.

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