Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We're (Almost) Off!

We leave tomorrow for Mendocino! If you saw the post on my non-dog blog, Mendocino is the awesomest place in the whole world. I'm super excited that we're taking Theo. It's one of those towns where everyone has a dog (supposedly very dog friendly...we'll see). Basically all you do there is walk, rest, and eat, just what all three of us love doing!

I don't know what my internet situation will be, so the blog may be silent for a week, but I'll be sure to bring back lots of pictures (and videos maybe?) of an adorable puppy. The plan is for lots of wine drinking (mmm...Navarro...), so hopefully I'll be able to get a few shots that aren't blurry and off center.

I'll leave you with a picture from Theo way back when he was a teeny tiny puppy.

Video Of The Week 20: Flyball

I just saw this awesome video of a corgi doing flyball. I can't ever see being able to train Theo to do this event, but boy would it be adorable to see his booty flying over all those hurdles. Hehe. Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Theo's Nest Of Socks

My husband has the annoying habit of taking off his socks whenever he sits down and relaxes at home. Every evening after work another pair of socks gets thrown on the floor. I refuse to move them to the laundry room because I'm not a maid, so the socks just stay there as long as it takes. Usually the pile builds throughout the week until we do laundry over the weekend. He's good about collecting his clothes from all over the house when I'm around to clean them. lol.

Theo has the adorable habit of collecting Husband's socks. He doesn't chew them up, he just walks around with them in his mouth, as he moves them from wherever Husband dropped them to his little sock nest he makes every week. I never stop him from picking up Husband's socks because I figure it's what he deserves for leaving them littered all over the floor.

Last weekend I got this adorable picture of Theo. He was in heaven: sleeping right next to Mommy and Daddy, and all the socks we could ever wish for. This was obviously Friday night, since I count 5 pairs! He was out like a light the whole evening. Hehe.

PS: I uploaded a couple more sleepy Theo pictures to my flickr. Check 'em out!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Small Bladdered Husband = Tired Wife

Here's the thing with having a dog. They wake up early. I think Theo just chills in his crate until something disturbs him. Some days it's my alarm clock going off. Theo always gives me a friendly reminder that he does not believe in the snooze button. Some days I wake up in an awkward position and need to toss and turn a bit to get comfortable. Theo doesn't approve of tossing and turning. Once he realizes I've gained consciousness, he thinks it's ok to start barking to get out of his crate. Unfortunately, most mornings I get my wakeup call from Theo because of Husband. It's his darn bladder. He can't ever go the whole night without getting up to pee. Before Theo I never cared, but A.T. it means that I basically now get up whenever Husband has to pee.

This morning I had the opportunity to "sleep in" (it's funny I use that phrase, since what I consider sleeping in now is what I used to call ungodly early just last year), but at 6:15am Husband just couldn't hold it any longer. He got up, he peed, he got back in bed, and I cringed and waited, hoping the barking wouldn't follow. Of course, it did. No! I didn't need to wake up for another hour! I won't go into why Husband didn't have to get up with him instead of me, it's something we're both ok with. But I am just so freaking tired today. I have to work for almost 5 hours. I'm only a little over an hour in and I'm seriously considering laying my head down on my desk and going to sleep. No one else is here so they would never know!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It's my mission in life to get a picture (if not a video) of Theo stretching. When he's sleeping on his side (which is most of the time), and I wake him up for some reason or other, he stretches his stubby little legs straight out in front of himself, and then moves them slowly downward, until he relaxes them again. It's the cutest thing in the world and I must have proof of it!

Does anyone else's Corgi do this?

Update: I just got a picture of it! Though I don't consider myself quite triumphant yet. It was only a half stretch, and it came out blurry. Boo! I think I can do better...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Little Sister

Over the weekend Husband was gushing about how wonderful and adorable Theo is and how much he'd like to get a puppy from the same parents if when we get a second dog. Since our breeder said she had been breeding Corgis for 5 years (and that was over a year ago, so more like 6 or 7 years now), and I assumed that she'd had Darlene (Theo's mama) for most of that time, I figured we didn't have a lot of chances left to get a puppy from Darlene and Dawson (Theo's papa). So I emailed the breeder the next day to ask how many more litters she is planning to have with the two of them... One. Just one!

Darlene is being retired from breeding after her litter this year (December again most likely). Good for her! But boo for me! That means that if we're not ready for another dog at the end of this year (Theo will have only just turned a year old), we'll never have another chance to try and get a Theo-ina.

Honestly, I don't think we'll quite be ready for another dog by the end of the year. I wish we were, I'd love to get another dog to keep Theo company all day everyday, but there's a problem with this thing called money. We could definitely afford to feed and house a second dog, but not as comfortably as I'd like to. We still have practically no backyard. We have two tiny sedans that barely hold Theo's crate, let alone two dogs. On the other hand, the idea of having to wait until we move and buy a bigger car is just torture.


So right now the answer is no, no little sister for Theo. But I'm secretly hoping things change directions by the end of the year. ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Diplomat

Theo loves everyone...especially dogs. When we're passing a dog on our walk, Theo lunges forward, nub wagging, impatient to get to the new playmate. A lot of the time the owner then walks out of our way, the obvious signal of an unfriendly dog. Sometimes the little yappy dog starts growling and yipping at Theo as if to say "I could take you on you %@$#!" But Theo just keeps on wagging his nub...keeps on wanting to say hello to the threatening ball of fur. He's never deterred. He loves everyone.

A while ago I talked about Theo's new favorite play buddy, Bailey the Beagle. Well their friendship is still going strong. She's full of energy, she's just the right height for jumping on, and her long ears are just right for munching on...she's perfect! They'll play together for hours. A couple of times we met Bailey playing with a Jack Russell Terrier (I don't look very favorably on the breed from my experiences with them...they're psychotic!), and since the JRT was snarling and snapping at Theo (when they were like 10 feet apart, Theo wasn't in danger or anything), the owner ended up just leaving. I felt bad, but Theo wanted to play with Bailey, so I got over it.

Over the weekend we met up with Bailey and the JRT, Sherlock, again. Theo really wanted to run around, so I was really hoping he could play with Bailey. Sherlock was acting like a punk, but I didn't want to drive them away again. I decided to let Theo try and make a new friend. He approached slowly, nub wagging. He seemed to know that Sherlock wasn't going to be friendly because he didn't try and jump on him, rather he assumed a somewhat submissive posture and started to lick under Sherlock's that normal? That's what Theo does when he's being submissive. Sherlock decided he still didn't like Theo and started snapping at him again. Theo backed off, Sherlock mellowed, and Theo tried again. This time he got even lower to the ground, put his ears back even more, and tried licking even further under his chin. Sherlock obviously wasn't happy with Theo, but he didn't snap at him either. Progress! Then Theo rolled over on his back in full on submissive posture. Sherlock saw that Theo had no manhood to contend with him, and decided it was acceptable for Theo to be in his presence.

And just like that, they were friends! Ok, not really. But Theo and Bailey could play together without driving Sherlock and his owner away. Everybody wins! Watching this interaction was fascinating! Both Sherlock's owner and I were watching them like a hawk. She was ready to pull Sherlock away if he snapped, and I was ready to pull Theo away his he was too daft to respond to Sherlock's warnings. But it worked out great. He got to play with Bailey and I got to sit and pet Sherlock, who was actually very sweet.

I've noticed that Theo is really great at reading a situation and letting another dog know that he's worthy of sitting at the cool kid's table. He's not submissive all the time. When a dog doesn't show any aggression, he'll usually go right ahead and jump on top of them. It's just one of those traits that you don't think about when you're actually getting a dog (or at least I didn't). A dog not too aggressive and not too submissive is great, but a dog that knows when to be one or the other is even better!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Somewhere along the road of puppyhood, Theo ended up collecting quite a bit of tags for himself! I know from the picture at the right here it looks like his collar is sagging from the weight of them, but it's really just the loop in the martingale it's not as bas as it looks.

How did I end up accumulating so many tags for him? I don't know, it just happened! It started with a bone. A stainless steel bone with Theo's name and phone number on it, in case he gets lost. Then we registered with the AKC and got a second tag with another number to call if he gets lost. After he got his rabies shot at 4 months, we registered him with the city, and they sent us another tag with another number to call in case he gets lost (also with, of course, his license number). Then we got him neutered and microchipped. The microchip registration came with that bright yellow tag with another number to call in case he gets lost.

Let's count 'em up: bone, AKC, registration, and microchip...that's 4! It doesn't sound like much, but they sure look like much. He's definitely not quiet with his collar on, but I actually like the noise. When it's time to walk Theo, I just jingle his collar and he comes running. Hehe.

I've heard that tags have the tendency to discolor a Corgi's fur, but so far I haven't seen that with Theo. He usually only has his collar on when we take him out, so maybe he just hasn't been exposed to them long enough for discoloration. If it starts to develop I may have to invest in one of those quiet tag holders...but then how will Theo know when it's time for a walk!?

PS: There's a couple new pictures uploaded on my Flickr. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to get some good pics this weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Doggy Day Camp

So yesterday we let Theo partake in the Doggy Day Camp, rather than just individual day boarding, which we've been doing the last few weeks (because he wasn't neutered). The day camp puts all the dogs together to play and hang. It's "a mixture of exercise, socialization, and fun". Theo came home yesterday so pooped that we didn't even take him on a walk in the evening (that was after our training class though, so he had some extra mental stimulation). I'm wondering, it good to have him with other dogs pretty much all day? I mean, I'm sure he generally loves it, but what about if he wants some individual time? Is that something that happens with dogs?

I know some of you think that dogs don't really need to play and interact with other dogs that aren't part of their "pack", but honestly, I just don't feel that way with Theo (at least at this stage in his life). He loves other dogs, and he loves to play. I seriously feel like he gets bored of me and Husband when he hasn't been exposed to anyone new for a while. So in a general sense, I think the playtime is great for him. But it just seems like it could be a lot for him. Plus, this is still only temporary. Hopefully the remodel will be done by the end of the month.

*crosses fingers*

*knocks on wood*

Will it be too much of a shock for him to go from being with other dogs and people all day to being alone for two ~4 hour blocks every day? Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gone Electric

I was at Petco over the weekend and came across an overpriced electric toothbrush "just for dogs" (it looks suspiciously just like the ones that are "just for kids", except there aren't pictures of Disney princesses all over it). It may seem like a silly purchase on my part, but I did it, and I'm glad I did it!

Here's the thing: Theo hates getting his teeth brushed. He jerks his head and tries non-stop to chomp on the toothbrush the whole time it's in his mouth (which is not often thanks to the head jerks). With an ordinary toothbrush I just wasn't getting the job done. It wasn't brushing so much as waving a toothbrush in his face. No longer (as much). Thanks to the toothbrush doing the actual "brushing" part for me, I just need to make sure to hold it in place, which Theo seems to find a lot less offensive.

It definitely took him some getting used to. He freaks out when I turn it on. He freaks out when I first try to get it in his mouth. But after that he's ok. But at least when I'm done I feel like I've actually cleaned his teeth!

I'm not generally very anal about clean teeth (I hate flossing!), but there's something about seeing a dog with so much buildup on their teeth that you can see more brown goop than white tooth! It's just sitting there, rotting their teeth away. Blegck!

And while I'm on the subject of teeth, I find it interesting that some people, when they learn I brush Theo's teeth every(other)day, give me a judgmental look and say something along the lines of my dog being spoiled. How is it spoiling a dog to make sure their teeth don't rot out of their mouth before they're done using them? If you'd observe Theo during said brushing, you'd know he doesn't feel spoiled about it. That part I actually find annoying. The interesting part is when I say my reasoning for brushing my dog's teeth is because it (hopefully) avoids or at least delays the hundreds of dollars it would cost to have his teeth cleaned every 6 months by the vet (that's not really the reason, I just like watching their response). With that my dog is no longer spoiled and I am no longer a crazy dog woman because, since it's all about money, it makes total sense. Is it sad that people think I'm crazy for wanting to keep my dog healthy, but change their minds when they think it's only for monetary reasons?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nubins Wagging

Last Saturday we all got a treat. There was what I'm calling a dog fair in town. It's a yearly event sponsored by a charity that gets dogs and their owners out and about for a day of fun, all to raise money for the charity. There were a ton of vendors, all giving out samples...mostly dog food vendors. If I had wanted I could have gotten enough to feed Theo for a year! I only got him enough to feed him some lunch.

The fair was really about events. They had everything! Agility, flyball, lure coursing, CGC testing, dock diving, you name it! There was supposed to be herding, but it was! Theo didn't participate in anything, but we all had a blast watching. My favorite was the dock diving. They had a huge tub of water (it was like a raised pool) and a dock leading up to it. People would throw their dog a toy into the water to get them to chase after it and dive in. Everyone waited on baited breath to see if the dog would actually jump in. When the dog took the plunge everyone would cheer! Most of the time the dog came to a screeching halt at the edge of the deck and paced, trying to figure out how to get the toy without jumping in the water. That was funny too.

It was fascinating to watch the "real" agility testing. It was so crazy to see how fast those dogs can move! And how in tune they are with their owner's smallest commands. I can't picture Theo ever being that in tune with me, but it would be so awesome if he was! We wanted to let him try the lure course, since it was pretty simple, just run after the moving white flags. But as luck would have it, the machine broke right as we went up to buy a ticket. Oh well! We didn't get to see any of the other activities because they were at a local high school a few miles away (due to the necessity of being indoors).

I can't wait until next year, when Theo is old enough to try some of the events on his own! Even though he wasn't jumping over hurdles or running through tunnels, he was still pooped enough to collapse asleep on my lap on the ride home. We went with some friends and their dog, a German Shepherd, so they ended just playing the whole time we watched all the other dogs. It worked out well. It turns out Theo and the German Shepherd were perfectly suited to playing together. He loves to jump on heads and bite their ears and she loves to crouch low and bite legs. It was hilarious watching her trying to bite Theo's legs as he jumped on her head.

They also had CGC (canine good citizenship) testing going on at the fair. Husband wanted to try getting him tested, even though he knew Theo wouldn't pass it, just to give it a try. But as soon as he looked at the list of everything Theo had to do, he didn't want to bother. There were a lot of things on the list that Theo just doesn't have down, like standing for grooming (he'll sit in my lap just fine, but he's not much of a "stander"), or not reacting to another dog or person approaching. But it was great to get the full list of what the test consists of. Now we can use that as our basis for the things we make sure to train him for. Whenever someone asks me what the point of getting CGC, I could say that it can be a precursor to being a therapy dog, or because I want an upstanding member of the canine community, but really I feel like it's a way of showing all these weeks of training actually mean something. It would mean to me that all the hard work we put in to make sure Theo works out as a part of the family is recognized. For bragging rights!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Video Of The Week 19: Frisbee

Theo is so cute when he plays with his frisbee, I decided to get it on "film" so I could share his cuteness. Please ignore my annoying voice. :p

And happy 200th post to me!

PS: There's plastic on the carpet and boxes everywhere because of our kitchen remodel...just in case you were wondering. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Starting Over

So last night was the first day of Theo's new obedience class. Since he finished the two puppy classes, this class was his first real big dog obedience class (not all the dogs in this class went through the puppy classes, since obviously not everyone gets dogs as puppies). I thought it would be more of the same classes that we've been doing...but I was, somewhat unfortunately, wrong.

In the puppy classes, about half the class was spent with the puppies just playing with each other. Socialization is important (and giving energetic puppies an outlet is important to tired fur-parents!), and I think it's been the classes that opened Theo up to other dogs. In the new class the dogs have to stay on lease and on task the whole class. In the puppy classes we learned a bunch of commands (sit, down, stand, up, off, etc.) all at once and practiced them a small amount each class. In the new class we only learned sit and did a little walking on the leash...for an hour! We don't even learn down until next class! Theo knows all those commands, so he seemed a little bored (oh wait, that was me), not to mention there were playful pups just feet from him for an hour that he wasn't allowed to play with at all!

It's not a totally bad thing though. Theo is pretty inconsistent. He knows all those commands like a pro, but he doesn't always do what I tell him. For example, we spent a ton of time on sit. Whenever I told Theo to sit, he laid down. It's bad because he wouldn't do what I told him to, but it's good because he generally knew what I wanted. He probably thought he'd try to get an extra big treat for doing one better. By the end of the class I had him back to sitting, thankfully.

At first I was a little insulted the trainer suggested I take Theo to this class rather than skip him ahead to the next one. Especially since he was doing so wonderfully the last couple puppy classes! Why weren't we ready!? I guess since the classes now are so structured, maybe we'll do more complex things towards the end that I haven't done with Theo yet. Maybe he isn't quite there for the next class yet. I'm going to look on the bright side. This is an opportunity to really hone his training. Sure, he has all those basic commands down, but I don't want to stop at the "good enough" point (which I am totally at right now!). Right now Theo is well trained enough to impress people who don't have dogs of their own, but not well enough to impress anyone else who has gone through dog training, and definitely not enough for him to get his Canine Good Citizen certificate (a dream of mine!). The next 6 weeks I'm going to hunker down and get us trained!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Fierce Protector

Over the weekend Husband bought GTA4. He was playing it while Theo was chilling with me on the couch. It comes with a big street map, and at one point he opened it fully. It was so big that it completely covered him to the point where all I could see were his hands holding it. Theo freaked! He started barking his low, growly bark (that's his I'm a seriously fierce protector bark). I guess he thought some evil map monster was eating his daddy! Oh no!

I told Husband to put the map down, and as soon as Theo saw his head peak out from behind the map, he stopped freaking out. He jumped down off the couch, ran over to Husband, made sure the map monster hadn't done any permanent damage, then came back over to me and plopped back into his chilling position.

I, of course, was laughing hysterically the whole time this was going on. My little protector!


Since yesterday, Theo has been acting especially needy. I was at work most of the day, but Husband said he was in constant demand of attention, which is abnormal for him because usually he wants attention in the mornings and evenings, but in the afternoons he naps the day away. And even when he does want to play, it's never constant. When I got home he was a total bundle of energy! He was practically bouncing off the walls. I can't prove it, but I told Husband he probably fed him too much, and he was just trying to work off all the extra energy. He denied it of course, but what else could explain it?

Then this morning I put Theo behind the gate and went upstairs to get ready for work. He freaked. He barked and barked and barked until Husband got up to go downstairs and sit with him. That helped for a few minutes, then every time I made a noise, I could hear him barking again. He didn't stop until I came downstairs to sit with him too. It was so strange! We put him in doggie daycare for the day, and we start his next training class tonight, so hopefully by the time we get home he will have significantly mellowed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Champ

I have to say, Theo has just been awesome since his surgery. I haven't seen him try to lick his stitches once, and I've been watching him like a hawk. It's hard making sure he doesn't jump up on the couch or run up the stairs, but other than that, he's been a dream. I know how lucky I am. I'm glad I only had to make him wear an e-collar for the two days while I was at work. Even that small amount was a lot for him. Hehe.

He's been acting like a dream in other ways too. We took him over to a co-worker's house yesterday for a barbecue. When we first got Theo, it was hard to get together with people because he would bark non-stop. It was hard for others to play with him because he would be mouthy with them. It was hard to bring him over to other people's houses because he would pee. Well he was just wonderful yesterday. He didn't have a single accident (he actually walked outside to go when he had to), he didn't get mouthy once, he played with the toys we brought him, and he didn't bark at all. Everyone commented on how well behaved he was and how much improved since we first got him. It made me really proud of Theo, and myself and Husband, since we worked so hard on training him in all of those areas. I'm glad it paid off. I know he's not usually that much of a dream, Theo always behaves better than usual around other people, but even at home just with me, he's definitely improved.

Theo also has a new play friend. Bailey the Beagle. She is the cutest Beagle I've ever seen. I love her howl, and her soft fur, and most of all, how great she and Theo play together. Her owner is a really nice and fun woman too. Whenever we meet each other walking, she always lets Bailey play with Theo as long as she wants, and we always end up walking around together afterward. Maybe after our kitchen is done we can have them over for a puppy play date.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Settling In

Theo's home. He's fine. R.I.P. Theo's testicles.

He was pretty uncomfortable last night after the pain meds wore off, but we weren't allowed to give him any more until this morning. Poor thing! This morning I think he's feeling better, but since we're going to be gone at work most of the day, he has to wear an e-collar. Theo hates e-collars. As soon as I put it on him he laid down on the floor and refused to move. I tried to get him to just stand up for a treat, and he didn't want to have anything to do with it or me. Poor thing! It's only for a day or two, hopefully.

I finally uploaded a bunch of new pictures in flickr, including the one here on the right. I know, it's another one where he looks funny, but I love it! It was the second right after a yawn.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Un-becoming A Man

I dropped Theo off this morning for his neutering (I was able to control my idiotic tendencies for a day, it's a miracle!). It cracks me up that every man I tell this to immediately starts giving me his condolences. He's not dead, gentlemen, he's just becoming an "it"!

He'll have to be confined to his crate a lot over the next few days because we're under strict instructions not to let him jumps around or be too active. Does anyone have any other tips for keeping Theo safe and comfortable during this time? It doesn't sound like there's much to it to me.

Oh, and while he's at the vet, Theo is also getting microchipped! I'm a huge fan of the microchip. While I don't anticipate ever losing him, or ever having him outside without his ID tags, it makes me feel better knowing that if someone ever did pick him up, there would be a way to identify him.

One day a few years ago I found a lost puppy wandering the streets on my way to work. Thanks to a friendly neighbor and my own diligence (and getting over my shyness abhorrence of randomly talking to strangers), we found the pup's home and deposited him behind his front gate. I was about 2 minutes from taking him to an animal shelter before I found a neighbor that was home and could tell me where he lived. That puppy was so darn sweet and cute I would have taken him home if no one had claimed him at the animal shelter. And ever since that day I thought that if something like that ever happened to Theo, I'd be darned glad that he had a microchip so hopefully someone else couldn't be tempted to take him home.

I'll be sure to (eventually) post lots of pathetic recovering Theo pictures.