Archive for August, 2014

Crazy Month – Fair, Ikea, Motel 6

August 29, 2014

Sorry I haven’t been posting in a while. It has been a crazy month. Here is an update.

Maya’s Birthday
My Maya is now seven years old. Go check out this cute photo of her I posted on my other blog yesterday: Maya’s Birthday

Doctor Who
Sometimes I just don’t feel motivated. I think it is tied to my cycle. I call it depression, but I’m fine for the most part. I just don’t have any energy. Mid-August was like that. I found myself cuddled on the couch with Maya and Pierson three days in a row and watching Doctor Who. It was a great way to spend a depression but I obviously didn’t get much done.

Iowa State Fair
I’m vegetarian now so going to the Iowa State Fair where they display animals that are soon going to be butchered seems a contradiction. I suppose it is, but I heard the Iowa State Fair is one of the biggest in the country and so wanted to see it at least once. Despite the fact that many of the animals will soon become someone’s food, I loved seeing them. The horses are my favorite. The Iowa State Fair also had an art show. There was a ton of different art work of different media and different subjects. As an artist, I loved this part of the fair.

Gorgeous Horse at Iowa State Fair

Isn’t this horse gorgeous? I believe her coloring is called flea-bitten gray.

Cute Kid at Iowa State Fair

This kid at the Iowa State Fair was so cute!

Ikea and Mall of America
A few days after the fair, I went with a friend to the Mall of America in Minnesota. We also went to Ikea, which is across the street. I didn’t buy much there, but I did buy lots of stuff at the Blick Art store, which we happened to drive by on our way to lunch at Good Earth.

Mall of America Me and SpongeBob

Yes, I love SpongeBob SquarePants and so when I saw him at the Mall of America, I had to get my picture taken with him.

Snoopy at Ikea in Minnesota

This was outside Ikea in Minnesota. Yes, I’m copying Emma from MyGBGVlife who always shares these finds. 🙂

Road Trip
The day after that trip, I broke a tooth and went to the dentist. Then the day after that I went to Wichta, Kansas to see a doctor for my fibromyalgia. Maya and Pierson went with me. I don’t like to travel alone and my husband couldn’t go, so Maya and Pierson eagerly agreed to make the boring trip.

Dogs on Road Trip to Kansas 2014

Maya looks like she’s scared of my driving, but she’s actually very excited about the trip.

Motel 6
I opted to stay at a Motel 6 because I knew they didn’t charge much and that they accept my two big dogs without charging extra pet fees. If you want to stay at a nice fancy hotel with all the amenities and free breakfast, Motel 6 is not the place to go. But who needs a fancy motel when you’re mostly going to be out?

Motel 6 August 2014 Maya & Pierson

The dogs and I had a nice comfortable room at Motel 6 in Wichita.

I discovered how great Motel 6 is for us when we got stuck in Oklahoma during a terrible ice storm. This Motel 6 in Wichita on Kellogg Dr. was even better! The bed was so comfortable, the room was clean, the property was quiet, and it even had a mini fridge. But what made it the best was the manager and the staff. The manager, Ron, told me, “Without customer service, I’m just another hotel chain.” So true!

Motel 6 August 2014 Ron and Dogs

Ron the manager of Motel 6 in Wichita was very nice and even posed with Maya and Pierson.

My Mom
You all won’t believe how well my mother is doing. She has terminal brain cancer, but that is not stopping her one bit. A month or so ago, she was in really bad shape. She couldn’t keep food down, she was sleeping 22+ hours a day, one of her hands went numb, she can’t see out of one eye, she started to have uncontrollable ticks, and she was so weak she could no longer walk. My stepdad had to get hospice care in to help.

Now my mom is up out of bed and dancing!!! No more hospice care either. My mom is able to eat again. She says her sleep is back to normal. She still can’t see out of one eye but the ticks are gone. And she can now walk an entire block and back. I so totally can’t believe it! But if anyone can kick brain cancer’s butt, it’s my mom.

One of my sisters lives closest to my mom and has been visiting her often. She gives my mom foot rubs and has been painting her nails. Recently, she did a leopard theme to match my mom’s leopard print robe and my stepdad bought her a leopard print hat to match. (leopard print, not actual leopard fur… no way!)

My Mom Wearing Leopard Print

My mom has always loved leopard print. The only thing missing in this photo is her leopard print slippers.

Well, that’s all for now! How has your month been?

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Wordless Wednesday – Doggies on a Road Trip

August 27, 2014
Dogs on Road Trip to KS 2014

We aren’t going anywhere particularly exciting, but that doesn’t stop Maya and Pierson from enjoying the road trip.

Find out where our boring trip was to later this week. In the meantime, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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Poppin Word on Wordless Wednesday

August 13, 2014
Maya and Poppin Dog Collar

Maya’s new dog collar from my friend, Shannon!

There are more fun pet photos for the Wordless Wednesday Blog hop below:

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Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?

Cute Words on Wordless Wednesday

August 6, 2014
Pierson Dog Cute Bunny-Killing Machine

No actual bunnies were hurt in the taking of this photo.

Face it, Pierson. You’re a cutie fluffy boy patootie.

There are a lot more fun pet photos on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop. Click the link below:

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Poor Maya – Sometimes Stuff Happens with Our Dogs

August 1, 2014
My Sad Dog Maya in a Cone

Poor sweet Maya. She had to wear this cone for a few weeks. You’ll see why below.

Stuff. I’m putting it nicely here because I don’t like to curse. If you have dogs, you understand what I mean by stuff. It doesn’t matter how much preventative action you take, how much training you do, or how responsible of a pet owner you are. Stuff happens. And it happens when you least expect it.

Let me tell you about the bad stuff that happened to my poor Maya during her first couple of weeks in our new home in Iowa. Maya was attacked on two separate occasions by two different dogs and two different owners. Sounds terrible, right? It was traumatizing for us both, especially Maya.

The funny thing is, we don’t live in a neighborhood of irresponsible pet owners. Our neighbors don’t let their dogs run loose. There is almost no trouble here. It just so happens that Maya was in the wrong place at the wrong time… twice.

The first incident was when we were on a walk. And it was as a result of a pet owner who had a momentary lapse of judgment. She went from the back yard to the front in order to put something in the trash. It was only going to take a few seconds so she didn’t close the gate. A few seconds was all it took. Maya and I happened to walk by at that moment and her dog ran out the gate and attacked Maya.

It happened so quickly. I was too shocked to react. Thankfully, the owner reacted right away. Maya’s feelings were hurt, but she was otherwise unharmed.

The woman was very apologetic. I didn’t lose my temper or give her a lecture about how she should have known better. The truth is, it could have just as easily happened the other way around. I get complacent with how well my dogs behave and sometimes I don’t think. Seriously, what are the chances of another dog walking by in that less-than-30-second span?

In the second incident, a Jack Russell Terrier let himself outside when he saw my dogs. Jack Russells are extremely intelligent… and devious. Although the owner knew how smart her dog was, the act of him opening the door like that took her completely by surprise. The Jack went mostly after Pierson and it was an ugly fight. But Pierson has thick fur and he defended himself, so he was fine.

The other dog owner and I struggled to get everyone separated. It wasn’t easy. Jacks are fast and agile. Pierson would not back down but I managed to grab him and get him away. When I did, the Jack went after Maya. Maya didn’t fight back. Her skin is thick around her neck, but the little dog got her around the leg and tore off a quarter-sized patch of skin.

My Dog Maya and Pet First Aid Kit

I used the pet first aid kit from Kurgo for the first time when Maya was injured by another dog.

The owner was extremely apologetic and took full responsibility. She helped me tend Maya’s wounds and took care of her medical needs. The injury on Maya’s leg looked terrible. But no arteries were hit. There was very little bleeding. Her hair will probably never grow back in that spot.

Maya limped badly for the rest of the day. But by the following morning, she was back to her chipper self. She wore a cone for a while, took some antibiotics, and had some nice pain relieving ointment. Her wound is now healed nicely, although scarred.

I know my Pierson is dog aggressive. And as such, I am very careful with him. But stuff can still happen. I can see the possibility of Pierson getting out or getting away unexpectedly and going after another dog. It has actually happened once while on a walk. He jerked the leash right out of my hand. We were very fortunate in that I got a hold of him before he could do anything to the other dog.

If Pierson had done what these dogs did to my Maya, would that make me an irresponsible dog owner? Would it label Pierson as a vicious dog? If it had been Pierson who had done these things, how would I have wanted the other parties to react? Angrily? Accusingly? With hostility?

Let’s face it, sometimes dogs do doggy things. It could be easy to judge these other dog owners and their dogs. And I think sometimes we tend to do just that, especially when we are the victims. But it is important to look at the entire situation. We are not perfect. Our dogs, angels though they might be most of the time, are not perfect either.

This article is not to say that being responsible doesn’t matter because stuff is going to happen anyway. Always be responsible with your pets. Never be careless. Because that one moment when you’re not is when stuff will happen to you and your dog too.

Maya Under My Desk

Maya loves to lay under my desk when I’m working. If you look at her front left leg, you can see her injury.