Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another New Class

Theo started his intermediate obedience training class last night. It is so nice to finally be at the next level with Theo. After 2 puppy courses and 2 beginner courses, we've been doing the basics for months. We were both ready to move on to harder stuff, and it was a lot of fun! It's nice to be challenged again.

At the end of this course Theo will be tested for his Canine Good Citizenship. I'm really excited for Theo to get his CGC because for me it's something tangible to show for months and months of obedience classes. Yes, an obedient dog is tangible...but I want a certificate darn it! I asked the trainer how many dogs pass who take the test, generally. She said every single one of them. There's hope for Theo yet!

Monday, September 29, 2008



I cleared my head, slept on it, and today I have a new outlook. I've been thinking about doing this for awhile (I even reserved the blog name in blogger), and in light of recent events I think it's an even better idea. I'm going to start another blog. I guess I won't consider it a third blog because I'm really just transferring 75% of my content to a new blog. It's going to be primarily about crafting and cooking (which is why I haven't started it yet...not much time for that lately), but probably with some other stuff mixed in. The other 25%, the complaining, I'll keep there and I'll keep private, since I doubt many people read that but me anyway.

Since I'm taking away the snark (probably something I should do anyway), it begs the question...do I tell my friends about this blog now? I don't know if I want to let them in on how dog crazy I am...though they probably already know. o_O

PS: If you want an invite to my non-dog blog, send an email to imperfectcomplainer@gmail.com and let me know which email address you want the invite sent to.

Rude Awakening

This morning I awoke with a jerk to the sound of my puppy barking his brains out. What was his problem? All I knew is that it was early. Then I heard a rumbling sound. More barking. It sounded like an earthquake, but the house wasn't shaking. There's normally shaking involved with an earthquake. Hmmm...well thunder kind of sounds like an earthquake without the shaking, so I got up and opened the window to see if that could be it. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. And no mushroom clouds either, so we weren't being bombed to oblivion. What could it be!?

Well all the while Theo was still going ballistic, using his growly protective bark, there was still intermittent rumbling, and I was awake. So I got up and took him outside to do his business and it was wet...and raining! And there was thunder and lightening! What the heck? It was clear when I looked out the window a minute ago! Apparently the storm clouds were directly over and behind the house so I couldn't see it them from looking out the window. How crazy is that?

So Theo experienced his first thunder and lightening this morning and I have to say, he reacted just how I would expect him to...with lots and lots of barking! LOL! He was a little freaked, but nothing beyond how I'm sure all dogs would react. I was bummed because I didn't get to go on my morning run with him. Ah well.

Aside: only in southern California do you have your AC running when it's raining outside. It's been HOT!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Video Of The Week 23: Ferocious Theo

I know I talk about Theo playing fetch a lot on this blog, but what can I say? It's just what he's been doing a lot of lately. It's hard to describe the little noises that a Corgi makes to non-Corgi owners. Check out my adorable little brat of a puppy insisting that I play fetch with him:

This is how Theo talks to me. Sometimes people hear it and get scared, thinking that he's growling and being aggressive, but anyone who has a Corgi knows this just isn't the case! He's just saying "play with me! Do it! Throw this!" Hehe. This video cracks me up! He was being extra bratty that evening.

The very end of the video is how I end my fetch sessions with Theo. I always tell him when it's going to be the last throw. I know the video is dark, but you can kind of see how his eyes go all googly when I say it. After I throw it and he fetches it, I say "all done!" so he knows the playtime is over. Sometimes he accepts it, sometimes he doesn't. Hehe.

And if you're in the mood for more Theo tv, here is just a regular fetch session I had with Theo a few weeks ago.

Just please don't mind the mess in my house. We still have stuff temporarily all over the place because of the remodel.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Officer Theo Is On The Prowl

My fellow citizens, this Halloween your children will be safe to roam the neighborhood. With Officer Theo on patrol, the streets of [redacted] will be safe for one night from evil.

Beware on this night those who would do harm. Officer Theo will be there to lay the smack down...

...you got a problem with that?

But since October 31st is still a month away, Officer Theo will put his uniform to use by moonlighting with the Hot Cops in the mean time.

PS: If you couldn't tell, this is Theo's Halloween costume! Apparently I'm not the only one who calls him Officer Theo. I just found out last week that that's what they call him at doggy daycare!

PPS: My mom just called me deranged and abusive for these pictures. D:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I LOL

I just can't help myself!

funny pictures

Theo's Switches

Theo's head has lots of switches. There was the switch that went off when he suddenly stopped mouthing my hands. There was the switch that caused him to want to play fetch all the time. There was the switch that helped him to finally understand "roll over". The latest switch to go off in Theo's head relates to our walks...well jogs.
As much as I looked forward to being able to take a nice jog with Theo, it was apparent not long after we got him that that dream was just not going to come to fruition. Being a herder, Theo didn't jog, he herded. Whenever I would quicken my pace to anything faster than a brisk walk, he would dart out and start swerving in front of me, like how a cop slows down traffic on the freeway when there's a big accident. Trying to run with a dog swerving in front of you is not only annoying, but dangerous to both parties. So I would never run with him...

...until last weekend. A switch went off in his head! I don't remember the reason, but I started jogging (I guess I have switches too), expecting Theo to bolt out in front of me like usual. But he didn't. He quickened his pace to a jog as well and stayed by my side! Let me say that again because I still can't believe it. Theo, the Corgi, the herding dog, jogged next to me! I figured it was a fluke, so I tried it again the next day and got the same result. I don't know what happened, but I've gone jogging with him every morning this week and had no issues! I'm loving it!

I told my trainer about it, and her eyes sparkled with pride and told me that it was such a wonderful thing and she was so proud of Theo for it. I am too! He'll turn out alright I dare say. In the mean time, I might actually get into some sort of a shape if I keep this up. Who knew?

PS: Ouch! The shin splints! Anyone know how to get rid of 'em besides swimming?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Walking Last Weekend

Last weekend I somewhat successfully organized a walk around the walking trails by my house, like I mentioned before. I say somewhat because only one family ended up coming to meet me. But it was successful because the family was wonderfully nice with 3 awesome dogs! Chester, Bruce, and Sidney were a delight. The two old boys were Chester, a black lab mix, and Bruce, a Corgi/Elkhound mix. They were both very sweet, and to my surprise, very well able to handle the walk at their ripe old age!

Theo and Sidney, the one year old Corgi, hit it off immediately when Sidney went ahead and jumped right on top of Theo's head. Yeah, they were pretty much made for each other. They were similar in size and temperament, if not in the tail department (Sidney is tailed). They walked side by side pretty much the entire time. At some points they were actually touching.

They played so much that Theo was covered in dirt by the end. That lovely white color had a nice dirty sheen by the end. Into the bath he went when we got home!

He didn't want to leave his new best friend Sidney. I bet he would have gone home with them if he had a say in the matter! He was very forlorn when they all piled in their car and it was just the two of us again. Don't worry Theo, we'll just have to do it again soon!

One highlight was seeing this guy:

He was riding what was essentially a large scooter pulled by his three Huskies. It was so cool! A desert dog sled. Mush! Mush! Of course, the dogs ended up getting a bit distracted whenever they passed something or someone interesting, so we say him taking time to rein them in a couple of times. He was really fun to watch.

The other highlight was meeting Tuffy, another Corgi! It was special because of Tuffy's story.

His owner told us that Tuffy had been in her house alone during the fires last October that burned down so many houses in my area. She was out of town and couldn't get to him before her house burned down! She doesn't know how, but somehow he managed to escape the house with little more than some singed fur, thank goodness! And what a good boy, he was waiting right behind their back fence, waiting to be claimed by his people, when they arrived a few hours later. I thought that was just such a crazy story. Not only did Tuffy live through his house burning down around him, but he had the sense to stay close to home.

So that was our walk. I know my pictures aren't the best. Husband decided to stay home and sleep in so I had to handle Theo, our bag of stuff, and my camera all at the same time. I'm surprised they turned out as well as they did! Next time I'd like to have a little help with Theo so I can focus on capturing the event better! You can check out my flickr for more pictures of the walk.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Update On The Sleeping Poll

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people vote on my poll. Thanks all you lurkers out there! I really enjoyed the discussions, and was most surprised to see that no one's dog sleeps with their kid. I wonder if that's because the people voting don't have kids (I know at least a few of you don't, and I don't), or if you all just want the doggy love all to yourself! I know if Theo were allowed in our bedroom, no pleading from my theoretical kids would tempt me to give up Corgi snuggles! Hehe.

I don't think we'll crate Theo at night forever. When we can trust him to not get into too much trouble while we're sleeping, we'll probably ask him to go into his crate at night and then just leave the door open. The problem is he'll definitely try and come into our bedroom, a place he isn't allowed. I would say we could put the gate up to block it off, but I would want to gate at the top of the stairs to make sure he's at least in a smaller, more controllable area. And I don't really want to buy a second gate. I can't just close the door because he wouldn't whine and cry. Hmmm...what to do? Secretly I still hope that Husband gets over the whole "I'm allergic so Theo can't be in the bedroom" thing.

On the other hand, Theo seems to really enjoy going to bed in his crate. When I get up to go to bed at night Theo instantly pops up from whatever he's doing (usually sleeping nearby me or Husband) to follow me downstairs, where I take him out to do his business for the night. When we're back inside he runs happily upstairs and does the happy ears back trot all the way into his crate where he waits for his nightly peanut butter treats before I close the door to his crate and he goes to sleep for the night. I always expect him to get grouchy at me for waking him up, but to my surprise every night he looks genuinely happy to be put to bed in his crate. So maybe I just shouldn't mess with a good thing!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Theo Plays Fetch

I know I've said it before, but Theo is just obsessed with playing fetch right now. When he's not chilling in the office after a nice session of ripping the fur out of his tribble (see all those brown bits behind him?)...

...or chilling on the new hardwood floors while Husband and I are cleaning up...

...he wants to play fetch...

...and more fetch...all the time fetch...

I could go on, but instead I'll just say that I may have a new favorite picture of Theo.

Check out my flickr for more photos.

I Love Reading (King Corgi Style)

Check out my non-dog blog for the full scoop on the awesome gocco cards I got in the mail from Ivy yesterday. The most anticipated of which was of course the latest in the "Real Corgis speak Welsh" line!

This one is "I love reading", which features a scholarly King Corgi on a university-like crest. The Welsh is in the place the Latin would normally go. It came out really great and I can't wait to see what's next in this line.

Thank you so much for the gocco cards, Ivy. Are you sure I can't repay you with a bookmark?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Which I Organize Things

The Corgi meetup group in my city meets once a month. Most times there are a lot of people, and even more dogs. Sometimes it's far away or I'm just busy that day. Overall I've been to about half the meetups since we got Theo, and of the ones we went to, only a couple I'd say Theo actually had a lot of fun at.

One of the members of the group who lives in a different part of the county often organizes walks in his area, around lakes and other scenic areas, and he invites all the other Corgi meetup members to join him. They're pretty popular I believe, but I've never been willing to trek all the way to his area. Last week one of the members finally said on the message board what I had been thinking all along. His walks are too far for her to drive out, so why don't we have one for people closer to her area? Well she lives near me so it got me thinking: why don't we?

I was in a rare state at the time...so even though I have a big weekend ahead of me involving lots of eating, and even though I hate planning things, I decided to go crazy and try and organize my own walk! Guess where? That's right, those lovely walking trails right by my house! Remember this?

Yay! It's finally cooled down enough that I feel comfortable taking Theo there again.

I'll *hopefully* be meeting a couple people with their Corgis (and non-Corgi dogs) this Saturday morning. And also, because I was afraid people would flake, Mouth and his 3 dogs will also be joining us.

I'm very excited, and if all goes well it might be something I organize regularly. At the very least I should finally have some new pictures of Theo out and about to post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Theo The Baby

I hate to say it, but Theo is one big drama queen baby. He squeals like a piggy and squirms like a worm at the silliest things.

Last night I trimmed the fur around his paws for the first time. I never saw the point before, but when I heard that it helps keep his paws clean, and after the incident with his growth, I decided it would be a good thing to do from now on. So I got some scissors, put him in my lap, gave him some treats to calm him down, and snipped away. Now mind you I was extremely careful not to cut his pads, so I left a fair amount of fur that I could have snipped away. Well he freaked. All out freaked. He was screaming, squealing, squirming, you name it. He acted like I was killing him when all I did was snip some fur. What a baby!

Is there something about paw fur anatomy I'm missing here?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Poll Time: Sleeping

I've been thinking a lot about sleep lately. Actually, I think about sleeping myself all the time, but I mean I've been thinking about where Theo sleeps and how it affects how we interact. Theo sleeps alone in his crate outside our bedroom door. This was Husband's one stipulation about getting a dog: s/he wouldn't be allowed in the bedroom because of his allergies. A small sacrifice for such a wonderful gift. Anyway, his crate is right outside our door so he can still see us and feel our presence when he's in his crate at night. I think that made a huge difference in getting Theo used to sleeping alone. When I put him in his crate at night as long as I'm in the bedroom he'll go right to sleep. If I forget something and have to leave the room he pops up and eagerly waits for me to come back. If I'm gone too long he feels abandoned and starts to cry until I come back. He's so needy sometimes it's adorable. So that's where Theo sleeps.

I was at the dog park last weekend and there was an adorable pug named Nestle who jumped right in my lap and gave me lots and lots of kisses. Her owner remarked that it's not so cute when she does it in the morning and wakes her up. That really got me thinking about the sleeping habits of dogs and how they affect their relationship with humans. I don't think Theo would ever be the type of dog to jump in my lap and lick my face, but would he be more affectionate if he slept in my bed with me? Does is independent personality come from sleeping alone? It's interesting to think about.

So interesting, in fact, that I decided to do another poll. Check out the column to the right. If you want to participate let me know where your dog sleeps, then leave me a comment letting me know what type of personality your dog has and whether you think where s/he sleeps has an impact on this.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How Many Treats To Change A Light Bulb

I've seen this many many times through email and other blogs, but I think I'll go ahead and post it because I think it's cute...

How many dogs and cats does it take to change a light bulb?

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a burned out bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And then I’ll replace any wiring that’s not up to code.

Chihuahua: We don’t need no stinking light bulb.

Dachshund: You know I can’t reach that stupid lamp!

Rottweiler: Make me!

Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Please, please, please!

German Shepherd: I’ll change it as soon as I’ve led these people from the dark, checked to make sure I haven’t missed any, and made just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Jack Russell Terrier: I’ll just pop it in while I’m bouncing off the walls and furniture.

Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I’m sorry, but I don’t see a light bulb!

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Greyhound: It isn’t moving. Who cares?

Australian Shepherd: First, I’ll put all the light bulbs in a little circle…

Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Corgi: Sure, problem. I’ll need a ladder. And a treat. Now hand me the bulb. And a treat. Take this burnt out one. Gimme a treat. And we’re done. I need a treat. And while you put away the ladder and throw out the old bulb, I’ll hoover the carpet looking for any crumbs I may have dropped. Look how clean this rug is. Gimme another treat.

Boston terrier: You want me to do what? Change what light buld? That light bulb? Does it squeak? Are you sure? And your certain it’s that light bulb you what changed?

Hound Dog: If you slept all night and most of the day like a sane person you would not need that stupid light.

How many cats does it take to change a light bulb?

Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: “How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?”

Hehe. The Corgi one is so true! Theo is not just treat driven...he's treat obsessed. When I dangle a treat in front of his face, no matter what he's doing, I have his complete attention. His eyes go all googly and he just has to have it. It's nice to always have a way of making him obedient, but it's annoying that he sometimes will only be obedient if he sees a treat. lol.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Vet Recognizes Theo

It's official. Theo is sick way too much. I broke down and took him to the vet this morning and she recognized him as the puffy faced dog from a couple weeks ago. Ack!

As you can probably guess, I took him to get his foot checked out. The bump was getting better, but not fast enough and there was a little bit of clear puss that was coming out when I squeezed it, not to mention it was still bothering Theo. It wasn't anything to really be alarmed about, but I'm glad I took him in. I was paranoid that there was a stinger or something stuck in there that was going to eventually fester. There wasn't, but the vet said that infections, even minor ones, on a dog's pads should be taken seriously. Apparently they don't get as much blood flow to their pads, so things are slow to heal, and if the infection spreads to the pads themselves it can get very serious. So she prescribed him an antibiotic to kill the infection quickly, just to be safe. Interesting stuff, eh?

Hopefully by the end of the weekend this little problem will be fully cleared up. And hopefully Theo won't need to go back to the vet until March for his next immunization!

PS: Have you noticed the new "followers" feature in Blogger? You can now follow blogs, basically like Google Reader (it links to Reader and you can import your list), and add a gadget to your blog to track who is following you. Check out the panel to the right to follow my blog! I don't want it to read zero for too long. :(

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Officer Theodore

If you watch Theo play with other dogs you pretty much get the sense that he's like the bossy kid on the playground who tries to tell all the other kids what to do. One on one he plays normally, but when there's a group playing together he usually circles around the outside of the crowd and barks a lot. I know it's just his herding nature coming out, but I like to say he's policing them.

So when I saw this costume on the Petco website, it was love at first sight.

Say hello to Theo's Halloween costume! At least, this is the one I would like if they have it. I am so excited for Theo's first Halloween! I wish it were October already!

Update: After I posted this I had discussions with my friend Scot and my sister about this outfit and they both agreed that were this a human costume, it would look like something a stripper would wear. After a couple of hours, I came back to the picture and the first thing I thought of was...stripper! Arg! Apparently for Halloween Theo is going to be a slut*.

* That's not to say all strippers are sluts. Hey some girls just like dancing and lots of easy money. But that's the connotation that comes with wearing a vinyl police uniform.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Update On New Product: Antler Chews

First off, let me just say that when I was raving about antler chews last month I totally forget to give credit to Amanda and her Pugs Blog for introducing me to the product in the first place! So thanks Amanda for introducing me to this new wonder product!

Second, I just wanted to let you know that after having tried out the chew for a few weeks now I can safely say these things really are a wonder. Theo has already worn his chew down to almost a nub! A few more scrapes and into the trash it goes (I don't want him choking on a big piece)! I've already ordered 3 more. They were out of stock on the medium and I couldn't wait until they got more in, so I decided to go for the large. I'm confident that even if they're a bit big for him, he'll still hunker down and chew 'em like a pro.

Once Theo got to the marrow, I think that's when he really discovered his love for the chews. At first he was a casual chewer, usually preferring his Nylabone. But after he got to the marrow the Nylabone went out the window! I think I've seen him chew on it once or twice in the last 3 weeks. I'd say on the priority list, the Nylabone is at the bottom. I'm not sure whether the antler or a bully stick would win for the top spot...probably the bully stick because it smells enticing.

If I were giving an antler chew for the first time, now that I know how Theo reacted to it, I might have tried to encourage him to chew it more in the beginning, maybe by spreading a little peanut butter or something yummy on it, just until he got to the marrow and discovered its deliciousness.

If anyone has already or decides to try this product I hope you'll post a comment and let me know what you think.

Video Of The Week 22: For Nerds

Go check out The Food Bowl for a really interesting video they posted on how dogs drink. I know, I know. Who cares? Well that's how I felt until I watched it and saw the slow motion of a dog drinking water and it was so neat! Did you know they curl their tongue backwards to form a kind of dipper? It'll leave you staring at your dog the next time s/he takes a drink of water. Hehe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apple Of My Eye

When I was little I was one of those kids that always got sick at the worst times. My Aunt would always complain that I got sick whenever my mom would leave me with her (which was true, but it wasn't always my fault). I got the chicken pox on our trip to England when I was six. That sort of thing.

So I guess it's just me getting a taste of my own medicine to say that Theo is always sick! Not sick per se, but there's always something wrong with him. First it was that throwing up/runs incident. Then it was the runs again. Then it was throwing up. Then it was eye goop. Then it was face puffing. The latest thing has been limping. I know, serious stuff. Over the weekend I noticed that when I exercised him a lot (like playing fetch at the dog park, for example), he would start to limp on his front foot. I figured the front foot is better than the back feet because at least it's not an issue with his hips (which is a huge concern for Corgi owners!). But I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. I tried gently rotating his legs and elbows, but he took it in stride. I tried massaging his shoulders a bit, but I think he would have liked that either way. In the mornings he was fine again so I've just been watching him like a hawk, figuring he stepped on some uneven ground wrong or something.

I also noticed that he's been hesitant on our walks the last day or two. He's doing the whole foot planting thing he did when I first got him. This morning I couldn't get him to walk at all. Every 20 feet he would plant feed, lay down, and refuse to move. Since there was obviously something wrong I didn't push him and we turned around and went back home. I finally figured out what I think has been bothering him.

I don't even know how to describe it. A callus? A blister? It's a small growth on the side of his pad, under the fur, on one of his middle toes. It's hard, but it's definitely a growth. It doesn't seem to cause him pain because he didn't cry out when I inspected it, but it obviously causes him discomfort because of the limping and refusal to walk and the fact that he kept trying to pull his foot away from me when I was looking at it. We have puppy class tonight so I'll try asking the trainer if she knows what it is. So far I'm guessing it's something not serious that just needs to heal.

Anyone seen anything like this before?

Update: My trainer thinks it's just something that got caught in his paw that irritated it. Today it looks more like an owwie than a growth. I've been cleaning it and putting Neosporin on it in the hopes that it'll go away soon. If it's not improved by tomorrow morning I'll call the vet.

We had some words this morning (read: he bared his teeth and snarled at me (but of course didn't even think about biting because he's as gentle as a kitten (where does that expression come from? Kittens aren't very gentle))) while I was trying to clean out his owwie. He was freaking out over the hydrogen peroxide I was trying to pour on it, even though I don't think it was hurting him because it was already basically clean. It didn't fizz or anything. So I got really annoyed at him because he was being such a bratty baby and I wasn't even hurting him. Ugh.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Bench Warmer

Now that I've got some caffeine in me I'm feeling a little better, and I remembered an experience at the dog park yesterday I wanted to share.

But first off just let me lament the combination of sweltering heat (I'm supposed to be living in a desert here!) with the days getting shorter. With the weather as it is it doesn't cool off enough to take Theo out to the dog park until at least 6pm. There's no point in going sooner because none of the dogs will play when it's too hot. They just sit in the shade and pant. It's boring. With the days getting shorter it starts to get pretty dark by 7:30. As you can see that doesn't leave much of a window, so I'm amazed I was able to work out taking him twice this weekend.

Ok, so we were at the dog park yesterday. Theo usually stays close to me, but still run and play with the dogs nearby, but yesterday he was apparently super needy. He kept jumping up on the bench and laying down next to me! I was amazed! As I've said in the past, I must be within eyesight of Theo at all times, but being within arms length is a no-no. If I sit next to him, he'll get up and move 2 feet away and lay back down. So for him to jump up and sit right next to me was a pleasant surprise, but very strange. It wasn't hot, he wasn't tired. I just can't explain it!

Great Weekend, Bad Monday

I had a really great time with Theo this weekend. He was snuggly and sweet and never gave much of a fuss. He let me sleep in until 9am both days! He didn't pull on our walks and he wasn't too adamant that I play fetch with him every waking moment of the day. He was playful but also calm. It was heaven.

This morning he woke up at 4:40, wide awake and ready to play the day away. He was so enthusiastic on our walk that he tried to pull the whole way. He was pouting when I wouldn't pay attention to him. *sigh* It was nice while it lasted.

When Theo has those great moments I always hope its his adulthood peaking through and when he's being a poop face it's just him being a puppy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Food Is A Tricky Question

Someone who just got their Corgi puppy last week asked me how much she should feed him. It reminded me that I haven't talked about food a whole lot on this blog even though I meant to. Part of the reason is that food is a tricky subject. Every dog is different, just like people. Just like there are people who can eat chili cheese fries all day and still be a twig (damn them!), I'm sure there are dogs that can eat a lot of kibble and still keep their girlish figure.

First off you have to decide how often to feed them. Some people do once, some people twice, and some even more. I would say it depends on how old your dog is. When we first got Theo he was a young pup with a raging metabolism, so we fed him 3 times a day. Actually, I only just recently reduced him down to 2 meals a day. I don't think I'll ever feed him just once a day. How would you like to be fed once a day? I think it's better to spread it out into a morning and evening meal.

How much to feed your dog obviously depends on what you're feeding your dog. I've read that if you use high end kibbles you actually have to feed your dog less because their more nutrient rich. I don't know if that's true, but generally if I eat a chicken salad vs. junk food I don't get fuller any faster on the salad. If anything food with fillers make me feel full longer. I would just use the bag as a guideline for how much to feed. I say guideline because I've heard from more sources than I can count that dog food companies suggest too much food per meal (more kibble fed = more money for them). So try feeding a little less and see how that goes. I myself feed Theo a combination of a natural diet with a high end, high protein kibble mixed in. So obviously it's harder to determine what's the right amount to feed.

An important thing to keep in mind is the age of the dog you're feeding. When we first got Theo he was eating maybe a cup a day. That quickly changed as he got older and at one point he was probably up to ~2 1/2 cups a day. Now that he's older his metabolism is obviously slowing down so I've actually been feeding him less than I did 2 months ago. Interesting how that works! When I asked Bailey the Beagle's owner how much food she gets, she said a cup a day. Bailey is 5. She's also smaller than Theo so I'll never feed him that little. Right now I feed Theo about 1 1/2 cups per day. The point is that there's never any one answer for how much to feed a dog (which is probably why I never found good information on it). You have to look at your dog, their weight, their habits, their age, and judge accordingly.

Don't worry, your dog won't roll over and die if he's one pound overweight. There's a trick to see if your over or under feeding your dog. Feel your dog's ribs. Can you feel them? If you can't feel ribs put little Fido on a diet, he's a fatty! Look at what kind of food you're feeding and how much. If you're still feeding puppy food, it's probably time to switch to adult. If you feed 3 cups a day, try reducing to 2 1/2 cups. I know it's hard to change your dog's eating habits, but if you stick with it, it quickly becomes the norm.

If you can feel ribs, great! Can you count them? As in, if you move your hand over your dogs ribs can you distinguish each rib bone well enough to count them. If the answer is yes, give Fido a snack! He's too skinny! That's the happy medium you want. You want to be able to feel your dog's ribs but not count them. Hey, I can still feel my ribs, does that mean I'm not fat!? Hehe. Again, that's just a guideline. I can still feel Theo's ribs, but to me he still looks a little tubby sometimes, so I've been really watching what I feed him. But at the same time I think it's just him getting bigger and his "chest dropping". That's what one of my neighbors refers to it as, and it's true! When Corgis get bigger their chest seems to grow down. LOL!

So now that I've spilled the beans on Theo's eating habits, anyone who wants to join in tell us what you feed your dog, how much, and how often. Do you think I've left any important information out, or just gotten something wrong?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Swapping Is Fun

Check out this awesome gocco card I received from Ivy yesterday!

She made it herself using her gocco machine thingy. It's the Welsh Corgi King and it says "Hello my subjects!" in Welsh. She made a bunch when she was doing her gocco card swap, and apparently didn't end up sending these out, so when I was going on and on in her blog about how awesome they were she offered to send me one! With a nice note inside! How nice!

Didn't this turn out great? I just love the picture, and I love that it's in Welsh! There's even her company logo printed on the back. You can't tell from the picture, but the ink sparkles and just looking amazing.

Really fantastic job, Ivy. I hope you'll be inspired to make other Welsh Corgi King related products!

Now here's my problem: the creative blogging world works in swaps! What could I send back that would match in awesomeness? And it should be something I make, since that's kind of the point. Pretty much the only things I make are either knitted and crocheted, and even those things I'm just starting at. Hmmm...would a nice crocheted fan bookmark be appropriate?

Hey Ivy, what color do you like? :D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm Awarded! That Makes Me Happy!

I'm so flattered I've been honor with another blogging award! Awww, thanks! And here I thought only one or two people even read my humble blog. It's those cute puppy pictures, right? Gets 'em every time.
Llyn M. on her blog picked Corgi Tails as one of the six blogs she likes (and makes her happy?). To pass it on I need to list 6 things that make me happy. I've been in a foul mood lately with Theo being a teenager and the construction on the house taking forever and a half, not to mention a bunch of drama at work, but this will be good to help me remember the good things in life.

1. Blogging! Blogging makes me happy. It's hard for me to explain why... It's like having a diary that's way more awesome and that I don't mind people reading. LOL! I feel so emo!

2. My husband and puppy. I know it's cheesy, but they do. I love them both to pieces. I love spending all my time with them. My life wouldn't be whole without them.

3. Food. I have the waistline to prove it! Good food (and wine!) makes me happy. Or maybe I should say meals, since good food with good friends is the best way to spent time.

4. The moments before I fall asleep. This is another hard one to explain. Crawling into my own bed every night is sometimes almost orgasmic. Husband finds it hilarious. I just love that feeling when all your muscles relax and you can just let the stress of the day fall away before you drift off to pleasant slumbering unconciousness. Does that make me completely weird? I feel a little weird...

5. Small, unexpected gifts make me happy. I had a friend who once told me that I was the easiest person to shop for because the smallest, simplest thing would light up my day, and it's true! Whether it's my mom sending me flowers because she knows I'm having a rough time, or a fellow blogger sending me a card she made just because I said I loved it (Thank you Ivy! You're the best! I'll post more about it when I get a chance to take some pictures). My day was brightened just today because of a small, unexpected, and thoughful gift.

6. Making things. Whether its crocheting an afghan or knitting a scarf, I love the feeling of accomplishment, not to mention the quiet time with myself while I'm making them. I love when I cook or bake something that comes out delicious and not totally ugly. It makes me happy to dream up a story in my head and spend the next few days adding and expanding it. As hard a time I have with finishing things, it does make me happy when I finally do it.

Wow, I did it! 6 things! It's getting late, so maybe there'll be a better thing I think of tomorrow, but that's the best I have for now. Now, 6 blogs that make me happy.

1. The Senakams. I've said it before but I just love Ivy's blog. She goes fun places and takes gorgeous pictures, and a lot of times Bryson gets to go with her and have an adventure! She helped inspire me to get out and do fun things with Theo like training classes beyond just obedience, or going to the beach to splash around.

2. Smitten Kitchen. I am obsessed with this blog right now. Since food makes me happy, lusting over food on someone's blog does too. I've been eating out for over 2 months now and I can't stand to eat another fish taco (I never thought I'd see the day!). Somewhere along the way I started dreaming about cooking and baking in my new kitchen, and eating home-cooked, healthy meals. I can't wait! I've already saved about 20 recipes from Deb's archives and can't wait to try them out.

3. Craft Stew. Lynn's blog is a lot of fun, especially lately with all her Dear Jane quilt squares. She helped inspire me to take up crocheting again and learn to knit. I saw all the awesome things she had made and wanted to do the same! She has an adorable Corgi just 2 weeks older than Theo, who I just love to see pictures of. Hey Lynn, how about some updated pics?

4. I Heart Linen. Rashida makes just gorgeous things. She doesn't update very often, but when she does, she has pictures of creative and fun projects that she's sewed amazingly. Some recent favorites of mine include a fabric calendar with fabric-covered buttons for dates and quilted bias tape. How fun! She has an etsy shop, but most things seem to sell out immediately.

5. Pink Lemonade Boutique. Lisa is another sewer of gorgeous things. This time handbags. Her handbags are just beautifully awesome...like sell her my first born for one beautifully awesome. She also has an etsy shop, but I just haven't had the mindset to buy anything yet, but from the pictures her bags look well made and very creative in fabric choice and style. If I ever start sewing again, I can only dream of making things that beautiful.

6. A Day in the Life of our Pugs. Amanda's header in her blog says it all. She has two adorable pugs with attitude and a creative imagination herself to make a fun blog. This blog is, I think, the very first doggy blog I started reading and have stuck with it ever since. I remember I found it while reading through the archives of Cute Overload. Miko and Meimei are adorable pups who cause an endless amount of trouble. I can relate!

It was so hard for me to choose just 6 blogs that make me happy. If I comment on your blog, that means I love it. I'm a total lurker, so it takes an awesome blog to get me to come out of the woodwork. Hehe. I hope you all will pass it on!

He Came, He Boarded, He No Doubt Conquered

I just have to ask...is Theo the only dog in the history of dogs who likes being boarded? I really think he would have liked to stay rather than coming home to our messy, under construction home. Can't say that I blame him. I guess it's a blessing since now I know I don't have to feel guilty if I have to go out of town and leave him behind. It's a vacation for him too. I'm sure it helps that he's a master charmer wherever he goes. I swear they gave him stuff they normally charge extra for just because they like him. Perfect example: when I went to pick him up from the vet last week I told the receptionist I was there to pick up Theo. "Oh is he the adorable one we've been loving on all afternoon?" Yes. Knowing him, he's just the one.

Mouth, ever the dependable friend, offered to pick Theo up since the boarding facility was going to close before our flight landed. We stopped to pick him up on our way home and Theo had obviously had an afternoon in heaven: hanging out in a big back yard with 3 other dogs and free feeding. When he got home he just collapsed into his usual sock pile (now moved to the office since we were banished upstairs) and slept the evening away. It was too cute.

I got a funny email from Mouth this morning asking what time the boarding facility had fed Theo because he "seemed hungry" when he was at his house. I laughed when I read that. How exactly does a Corgi "seem hungry"? Or I guess I should say "especially hungry". I tried to explain to him that just because Theo bolted straight for the food bowl and ate 3 other dog's food, that doesn't mean he was starving. Just because he gets all bug-eyed when you show him give him food doesn't mean he hasn't been fed for 3 days. And just because he cries and whines when he sees you with food doesn't mean he'll die of starvation if you don't share with him. He's a Corgi! That's what they do! Whether it's been 5 days or 5 minutes since their last meal, they act the same. At least Theo does.

Oh, and check out this picture of Theo I took while I was shooting him in his sock pile:

I love it! I have no idea how I did it. I just loaded the pictures on my computer and there it was! Whatever setting I had it on, it really doesn't do well with movement does it? Hehe. Theo kept giving me dirty looks while I was taking pictures because he hates the sound the camera makes when he's trying to sleep. Poor baby.