Monday, December 7, 2009

He Keeps Going...And Going...

Did you guys miss the list updates I used to do. I did, so I brought the list back.
  1. I took Theo on a 6.5 mile hike yesterday, hoping it would mean a few hours of peace and quiet (and a break from playing fetch!). Theo is a gosh darn work horse! He powered through the whole thing without even needing to take a break! I made him stop for a water break twice, but he was content to keep pushing forward. The minute we walked in the door when we got home he went and found a toy for me to throw. Oiy. A friend made reference to the Energizer Bunny. Very appropriate.
  2. Husband thinks the only time Theo ever gets tired is when he's hot. Yesterday it was cold and cloudy. Maybe that was my problem.
  3. Husband is out of town for work for the next 2 weeks. He left yesterday morning. Last night Theo was definitely missing him. Not only was he totally snuggly on the couch, but he was actually letting me hug him. Theo doesn't do hugging. Poor guy, it's going to be a long 2 weeks for him.
  4. I can add windshield wipers to the long list of things Theo is afraid of. He kept trying to worm his way into my lap while I was driving him to doggy daycare this morning. I compromised by letting him rest his chin on my knee. My heart may have melted...just a little bit.
  5. It was raining this morning, much to Theo's dismay. He refused to stay outside long enough to pee. Hopefully it's not pouring tomorrow morning, since I usually take him for a run on the non-doggy daycare days. I don't think the rain coat I bought last year fits him anymore. Darn.
  6. There's a couple of women we used to see on our nightly walks and they would love all over Theo when he was younger, but we went probably a 6 month stretch without seeing them. We saw them last night. Theo was in heaven. Dogs really do have longer memories than we give them credit for sometimes.
  7. With Husband out of town until basically right before Christmas, that means it's just me and the pup decorating the house for the holidays. Should be a cozy affair. I can't wait to hang Theo's poop ornament from last year.

And as the holiday season nears full swing, remember your canine holiday safety! much consists of not letting your dog near poinsettias (they're poison!), and not letting your dog drink the water from your Christmas tree stand if you mix any kind of tree preservative with the water (it's poison!). Remember Bryson's experience with that last year.

Update: If you're wondering about the dog poop ornament I mentioned, it looks just like this one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Giving Thanks

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I went from holding a puppy to holding my one month old nephew. It was an excellent week. I'm not even going to lie, I full on hogged him. Other family members be damned! He was so adorable and wonderful, it just felt good holding him. Puppies, babies, kittens, chicks, whatever! If it's a baby, it belongs in my arms.

There are no current plans to expand the household. Just saying.

Unfortunately, Theo's second Thanksgiving was not so momentous. We had to board him while we were gone for 5 whole days. I felt a tug at my heart strings every time I saw another dog. I missed my troublemaker terribly.

On the plus side, he wasn't the least bit mad at us for leaving him for so long. He was overjoyed when Husband and I picked him up together. His pack was reunited, everything was right in the world.

And then we gave him a bath.

Yup, I think we had a good strategy. We got him home and immediately threw him in the tub (because he was stinky before we left, when we picked him up...just ew.), after shedding him good because all the stresses of the day were causing his fur to fly, and of course, since his nails were nice and soft from the bath we went ahead and ground them down as well. And then we brushed his teeth. You get the idea. It was a doggy spa day. I think he was so unhappy with us for torturing him, he forgot all about being mad at us for boarding him. Worked like a charm.

Theo is almost 2 years old now. Can you believe it?! I can still remember when we first flew to Oklahoma to collect him. I remember the rambunctious puppy who introduced himself to me by tugging on my braids. I remember Theo and his siblings attempting to corner their mom to try and get at her milk (she was too smart for the 3 of them, it was pretty hilarious to watch). And I remember being so happy to take this tiny bundle of fur home with me!
I love him to pieces.

I know it's after the fact, but here's a list of things I'm thankful for when it comes to my furkid:

Dear Theo,
  1. I am thankful for the way you sit on people's feet when you first say hello to them.
  2. I am thankful that you give me space in the kitchen, yet are always close by when I clumsily spill something that needs to be cleaned up (I really missed this while I was cooking in my sister's kitchen...I spill a lot).
  3. I am thankful for the way you give one small lick to the inside corner of my eye when you want to tell me good morning.
  4. I am thankful for our evening snuggles, in which you fall asleep curled up in the blanket on the couch between me and Husband.
  5. I am thankful for the way you inform me it's high time I put you to bed (an exasperated whine, of course).
  6. I am thankful that you still haven't outgrown jumping on my head and biting my ears. I love it so.
  7. I am thankful that you wait patiently every morning for me to come back from working out before I let you out of your crate, and the way you enthusiastically run downstairs knowing you'll be getting a nice long fetch session outside.
  8. I am thankful that you've always been so well behaved and never destructive. I count my blessings every day. And I try to reward that good behavior with lots of off-leash time.
  9. I am thankful for every cry, whine, yip, bark, woof, groan, grunt, growl, and wail. Those Corgi noises are a source of endless entertainment.
  10. I am thankful for your big satellite dish ears and the look on your face whenever I give them a good rub.

I should probably say in there something about being thankful Theo is in my life, but I just can't type that without barfing all over the keyboard. And anyway, it's implied.

What are you thankful for when it comes to your furry ones?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Puppy Breath

I held a Corgi puppy on Sunday. Brian. A 13 week black headed tri. Named after the talking dog on Family Guy. One of my favorite shows. He was...*clears heart out of throat*...precious. That seems to be my go-to word for all things infantile, but he truly was.

We were at the dog park for a mini-meetup and there he was. Sitting on the bench with his mama because he didn't quite have all of his shots. She was good enough to bring Brian to the meetup just so we could fawn over him. Ok, actually it was for much better reasons, like socialization! Brian was all aflutter about the doggy commotion going on around him! He was so calm, so quite, so mellow! All in all, the complete antithesis of Theo when he was a puppy. Exhibit A: he sat in my lap quietly, content even, while I pet him for minutes upon minutes! Theo couldn't sit within 2 feet of me without trying to nip my face off when he was a puppy. Not to mention he didn't sit still unless it was to sleep.

But nevermind Theo as a puppy, we're talking about Brian here! I, of course, snagged the prime seat right next to little Brian on the bench as soon as I saw him. A few minutes later he wandered out of him mama's lap and into mine. My heart melted right then and there. He didn't seem frightened or anxious. He just chilled out, watching all the dogs play around him while I gently pet him and cooed how adorable he was. He didn't mind any of it. What a great pup!

My status as Brian's cushion made me quite popular with the other Corgis. Every few minutes one of them would run by, pop up on my legs or the bench, and give Brian a quick sniff hello. They all wanted to welcome him to our close-knit group. I ended up with a Corgi or two on my feet, and Theo, predictably, trying to compete for mommy's attention. At one point I was literally covered in sweet, adorable, goofy Corgis. I may have mentioned something about it being my vision of heaven. I came home from the dog park positively glowing. Tears might have welled up when I recounted the affair to Husband. They might be welling up as I type this. I'll never admit it, though. I am still thinking of Brian and how completely calm, adorable, and tiny he was. Puppies are dangerous, people.

But I learned something that day. Theo, from all experiences so far, which admittedly are very limited, likes Corgi puppies. Theo doesn't like puppies. They're whipper snappers! They jump all over you and nip and don't mind their doggy manners! They need to be told the ways of the world the same way Theo was told when he was a puppy. Like this:

That's how Theo usually acts around puppies. Except when it comes to Corgi puppies. Theo was so calm with Brian, and responded to him with an aloofness that bordered on friendliness! *gasp!* He let Brian sniff his ears! Crazier still, Theo pitched not a single fit to my giving all my love and attention to Brian. Whenever I love on another dog at the dog park, Theo always runs up, growls and barks at me, then gives me a look like he's been betrayed. He's not satisfied until the other dog is gone and I am patting Theo reassuringly that he is my one and only. When Brian was in my lap, Theo jumped up onto the bench, wedged himself between Brian's mama and myself, and calmly laid there. He just laid there! Every few minutes he would sniff Brian's ears, or his nose, or his you-know-what. Then he would stop and just chill out next to him, like there was no place he'd rather be than chilling with this puppy and me. My Theo. The non-chiller.

Crazier still, he seemed to get a bit protective of Brian. When other dogs would come up to say hello (ok, it was mostly Philip), Theo would chase them off! He would snap and bark at them, sometimes even jumping down to the ground to convey his point, until they ran off. He definitely seemed to be saying "look, don't touch you fur-truders!" If he hadn't started acting normal again once Brian was out of my lap, I would have suspected alien abduction and body snatching.

What else is there to conclude except that Theo was enamored of Brian. I was too. Not that I would consider anything but a Corgi for a second dog at this point, but this really drove home the point that Corgis just really love Corgis. There's definitely a camaraderie there that I've never seen him express with another breed. If we were to bring home a puppy, it would have to be a Corgi.

Not that I'm bringing home a puppy anytime soon.

But man do I want to bring home a puppy. Or just steal Brian. I think Theo would be ok with that too.

Oh, and Philip was definitely getting Theo back for his rude behavior last month. Theo might be louder and crabbier, but Philip is definitely faster! He kept giving Theo a challenging look bob of the head and then bolting with a "you're never gonna caaaaaaatch me!" look on his face. Mwhahaha! Payback is a female you, Theo! Also, Philip's owner's commentary during the whole thing was hilarious. All the Corgis were in quite a hilarious mood that day. By far the most fun I've had at a meetup!

So it's that time of year. Thanksgiving! While I wish I could say I'm getting ready to enjoy Theo's second Thanksgiving, I'm actually getting ready to drop him off at the boarding facility. I know. I'm a horrible person. But see, my only sister just had her first baby. She lives on the East Coast. I live on the West Coast. She can't travel with a newborn. I still haven't met my nephew. So guess how this ends? Yep, I'm going to Virginia for Thanksgiving to meet my nephew who is the cutest baby in the whole world! And yes, he's also extremely precious. There will definitely be more tear wellage this week. I hope she's stocked up on tissue. I am such a softy! Unfortunately, since Theo isn't small enough to fit under an airline seat. Or rather, since airline seats haven't been made to take Corgi cabin travel into account (can I write my local representative about this travesty?), that means Theo has to stay behind. He'll be boarded for five whole days. I am trying not to dwell. He'll be fine. We'll miss each other terribly. I just hope he's not too mad at me when I finally pick him up. I'm not completely depriving him of a festive good time. I think I'll try to host a holiday dinner of some kind in the next few weeks. Chanukah perhaps? Get my latke on?

The Theo random acts of cuddlage (I might just have to coin it TRACs if this keeps up!) have continued. Usually it involves snuggling on the couch on top of my favorite blanket (it's Husband's super old, threadbare, and thus super-soft comforter from college. I've promised him a divorce if ever he tries to throw it out behind my back (he's threatened!).), with a full belly, wedged between me and Husband. Now when I try to work out in the mornings, Theo is right there distracting me with wet nose sniffs and exposed soft bellies. How is a girl supposed to whip her butt into shape with that kind of a distraction? I've moved that portion of my morning routine to the gym.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone! Moderation is our friend, for both human and canine alike! And remember to be thankful for your furkids: adorable, troublesome goofballs that they are!

Friday, November 20, 2009

RIP Nemo

My friend and co-worker Mouth just lost his dog, Nemo, this week. It was completely shocking and unexpected and, I expect, rather traumatic. He was only about 3 or 4 years old. In the prime of his youth. Nemo had two other dogs that made up his pack and they must be just devastated to lose one of their own. I know Mouth and his family sure are.

I'm not sure exactly what happened. I don't think they are either. He was having tummy issues, vomiting, followed by some serious lethargy. They took him to the emergency vet, but he passed soon after they arrived. The vet thinks he was exposed to something that sent his body into shock, such as poison or a bug bite. Mouth thinks it's the latter. But it's crazy to me that a dog could live in the same environment for multiple years and never be affected by something until one random day. What was the bug? What was the environmental factor at work!? How can we prevent this to happened to our own furkids?! I just don't know, and I've been giving Theo extra hugs ever since I heard.

Much to his dismay, of course. What teenage boy wants hugs from his maternal figure?

The day I heard, that evening Theo unexpectedly and randomly vomited. It was before he had eaten dinner. Husband and I looked at each other uncertainly. Suddenly a random bout of upchucking had a whole other meaning for us. I tend towards hypochondria, and I overcompensate by always trying to tell myself that whatever it is is fine, and I'm just being a hypochondriac. When Theo is sick, he has to get pretty darn sick before I'll take him to the vet, just because adolescents get sick. It happens. And the vet can never do anything besides give him fluids and send me on my way. Right? Well this time the overcompensation didn't kick in. I didn't rush him to the vet for throwing up, but Husband and I both kept a very close eye on him for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, he was fine. No other symptoms reared their ugly head, and we rested easy. But what a time to decide to blow chunks!

Nemo was often a companion on our outings the last 2 years. He loved to play with other dogs, play fetch, and prance around on his goofy little legs. He was adorable and a joy. I will miss him terribly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A New Kind Of Giveaway

Kelly over at Corgi Butts, graphic artist extraordinaire, is doing a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers on Blogger. Wow, what an accomplishment! I was amazed when I got 10. Hehe. What's she giving away? Her graphic artist extraordinaire skillz! Awesome! You can win either a custom blog header or a custom illustration you can use through cafe press to purchase merchandise. Here's the catch, you have to decide which you want if you win! Ack!

I'm not too worried about it, since I have yet to ever win a blog giveaway, but if I lived in an alternate reality where I did ever win anything, which would I choose? I have no idea! They both sound awesome! I mean, a custom blog header would be great. Kelly's blog header is totally adorable. the same time, I like my blog header. I love that picture of Theo's tushy when he was a pup. Then again, if it's custom, maybe I can still keep the picture but with other better stuff. Or I could go for the illustration. Of course that would mean spending countless hours debating which picture of Theo I would want illustrated. I may be too indecisive for that. On the other hand, how cool would it be to buy stuff that has Theo's mug on it?

Decisions! Decisions!

Anyway, head over to Kelly's blog to enter a chance to win yourself! Corgi ownership is not required!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Foot Warmer

I don't think I've mentioned before, but Theo has a thing for sitting on people's feet. I've never had a dog do this to me, but when I'm out with Theo on our evening walk, when we stop to chat with a person, Theo will walk over to the person, turn around, and do this kind of lazy backwards fall onto their feet. You know the one, where he just kind of slowly lets his booty skooch back until it hits something. Nine times out of ten the person melts, and then leans down to pet him. Yep, he's got them all pegged. When the person has a dog with them, Theo will do this sort of sniffing dance, where he'll pretend like he's walking around the dog to sniff his/her butt, but really it's so he can get to the owner's feet (without the dog going postal on him). As soon as he's there, he loses all interest in the other dog. What a tricksssssy dog he is!

There are a few of my neighbors (dog owners of course) who Theo genuinely adores. When he sees them, he will run up to them and practically fling his body onto their feet. Why? So they can love on him of course! They know just where the good scratching spots are, and he's all over it. Usually if we stick around talking long enough (more than a minute), he'll lose interest, get up and move somewhere away from us, and wait not so patiently for our conversation to be over.

Has anyone else seen the foot sit before? I wish I had a picture of it, but I don't take my camera on our walks, plus it's dark out. It's pretty hilarious when it happens to someone for the first time. They kind of go "Oh! There's a dog on my foot!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Word Verification Enabled

Some idiot has been spamming my posts. I was hoping it would go away, but it didn't, so I've had to enable word verification. I'm very annoyed by this because I hate word verification. I think it's a pain in the butt, and never thought it needed. Why does some jack arses always have to ruin it for everyone?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fresh New Attitude

So Theo has been on his new Deli Fresh diet for 3 weeks now, and the change has been unreal. We buy the slice and serve logs (we've tried both the turkey and chicken flavors, which are actually very similar, and Theo of course loves both), slice up about 1/3 of a pound twice a day, cut it into pieces, throw it in his bowl, and that's it! No cooking chicken, no cooking rice, no chopping vegetables, no shopping for multivitamins online because the pet stores for some reason never seem to carry anything that's not for joint health. It's fast, it's easy, and the price isn't that bad. Our local Petco sells it for $15/6lb log. We feed Theo ~2/3 lb per day, so it lasts about a week. $15 a week on food, while definitely not as cheap as kibble, by no means breaks my bank. Especially after seeing his reaction to it.

What I like about this food is that it's the closest thing to real whole food I've found (minus real whole food, of course). When you slice into it you see the bits of carrots and rice. It's the color of chicken, it smells like chicken, it feels like chicken, though processed. It's plainly clear that this is real food that's been cooked and then tightly packed into the log form, rather than torched and compressed like charcoal, a la kibble. I feel like I'm feeding my dog real food which makes me feel good.

Then there was Theo's reaction to the food. I wish I could somehow convey how dramatic the change was. Husband, Mr. I don't want to pay that much for food we can make ourselves, was 100% convinced after observing Theo on this diet for a week. No complaints. No hesitation about going back and buying more. Phew! It wasn't just the extra energy. And Theo had a ton of extra energy. (For about a week there our nightly walks turned into nightly runs. He had so much extra energy to burn that he would just run run run! Good thing I'm in shape!) It was his attitude. He was happy. He was cuddling with us, something he never does. He'd let me pet him whenever I wanted, something he never ever ever does! He was playing by himself, something he never does. And his facial expressions always held a smile.

He's since calmed down a bit. He's back to walking on our walks. And he only cuddles when we're eating. But that pep in his step is still there. There's no doubt it was the switch in food. So, of course, I would recommend Deli Fresh to anyone, and I'm heartily grateful it was recommended to me! (Thanks Philip's owner!)

As random aside: apparently Theo loves Golden Spoon frozen yogurt as much as I do. They have a pumpkin pie flavor this month that is so fantastic Husband and I got a quart of it on Halloween (they were having a special for $5, ooooh yeah!). Theo was eying my bowl big time when I was having some last night, so when I was finished, I put the bowl on the floor to let him have the melty bits. Now, if you'll recall, Theo is a big fat chicken who is scared of dishware. Usually when we try this, he backs away and looks longingly but warily at it. This time after his usual initial hesitation, he went for it! That's how badly he wanted some. I can't say I blame him. That pumpkin pie flavor is darn good! Too good, in fact! I've never eaten this much frozen yogurt in my life!

And in other Theo's exciting life news, we actually made it to the dog park, yeesh, two weekends ago. Man, it's been awhile since I updated, huh? In my defense, I was in St. Louis last week. Anyway, it had been forever since we had seen our other Corgi friends and Theo was very excited. I tried taking him to the dog park a few weeks ago, and he had none of it. He just laid there and looked bored. But with his Corgi friends around, he actually played a little bit! It's crazy, I know.

Of course, the picture here is not Theo playing. That's Theo bullying Philip. As I've said before, Theo is usually sweet and submissive with other dogs, but when he encounters a more submissive dog, sometimes he becomes a real bully. Philip is one such pup. It doesn't help that he's so people friendly. Every time I tried to take his picture, Philip would run up and wedge his head between my face and the camera as if to say "Nevermind pictures when you could be petting me!" I am more in love with that dog every time I see him. Yeah, that could be why Theo doesn't let him get anywhere near me. Heh. Fortunately, Philip has the most easy going personality of any living creature I've ever seen. So he's totally unphased make these kinds of faces at him. I wouldn't be so unphased. That's for sure. You can view the rest of the mini meetup photos here. I haven't had a chance to upload them all, but that's most of 'em.

Have you heard about the new dog flu virus that's going around: H3N8? Apparently it's serious enough that my doggy daycare is requiring Theo to be vaccinated by next week. That was fast! I don't even get myself vaccinated for flus. Yet another way in which Theo is better treated than his owners. Hehe. Is anyone else getting their little ones vaccinated?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quality Time With Julo

I'm taking a page out of Kelly's book blog. For her hundredth post, she came out from behind the camera/computer and told us all about her. I liked the idea, so I'll spend a post talking a bit about me. Hey! Where are you going? Come on, this will be fun!


Oh wait, I forgot I'm incredibly boring. Ummm....

Did you know I have a food blog? Well ok, it's called Hell on Needles because it was originally going to be a blog about my crafting (knitting and crocheting, mostly), with occasional posts about my adventures in the kitchen. And then I kind of had a lifestyle change. I brought home Theo, for one. As a puppy he demanded so much attention (ok, he still demands just as much attention, I've just learned to say no from time to time ;p), I never got very far in any of my projects. And then I started exercising and losing weight, and cooking and losing weight, and baking, and, well that didn't help the weight loss so much. I've lost 65 pounds since the start of the year from just boring old diet and exercise. And that's diet as in watching what I eat, not a fad diet. No, sir, those don't work for me. It was a lot of hard work, and it took a lot of time. All of my free time in fact. And as a result, I've become a bit food-obsessed. In a good way, I think! I started off a terrible cook, and now I think I've gotten pretty good! I eat all kinds of foods I never did before. And I only eat out once or twice a week, whereas before it was once or twice a day! I wanted a way to capture all the food I make because my memory is terrible and I fall into ruts quite easily. I try to post every week the food I've made (I spend pretty much all day Sunday cooking and baking food for the entire week. That's just what works for me. I've never minded leftovers.), and what I thought of each recipe. That way I can go back 6 months from now and dust off some of the older favorites. That kind of thing. Sometimes I even post my own recipes! It's rare, but I'm starting to break out of my mold and do it more and more. If you're interested, follow me!

I run. A lot. I used to do it 6 days a week, which was fine when I was only running 1-2 miles. But now I run 3.5-4 miles, and my legs just can't take that every day. So I've been cross training with some swimming and the elliptical machine. I used to hate running. I was that kid in high school who only ran the straight parts of the track during our once/year physical fitness test. I think my time was like 14:something minutes. 3 weeks ago I ran 5 miles in 40:44. To the people who say "I'm just not a runner", I say "That's a cop out!" If I can do it, so can everyone else, because I was the lamest of the lame less than a year ago. Also, I'm currently on the lookout for a good "skin-firming" lotion because my loose skin is grossing me out.

You know if there's a TMI in sight, I'm going for it, right?

I'm an engineer. This job, this industry, like so many things in my life, just kind of fell into my lap when I was at the right place at the right time. It's a bit of a struggle, but right now I'm just glad to have a job. I was un-laid off a few weeks ago, so I'll be employed for a little while longer yet. It will most likely be a temporary save, so I'm still looking for other opportunities. It's a terrible time to be looking for the type of job I'm looking for in my area. Voluntary unemployment is my ultimate dream, while involuntary unemployment is my greatest fear. That and spiders. I am constantly fighting the urge to bury my head in the sand and wait for it to all go away. Also, engineers are such a pain in the butt! A bunch of type-A socially inept good ol' boys. It can be very trying at times.

Like Kelly, I also enjoy wine. And even though I really don't know much about it, it's my drink of choice. When I drink it, I either say "Mmmm, this is delicious. I love wine! Winey, wine, wine!", or "Ew, this is undrinkable swill! Time to braise some potatoes!" I get totally overwhelmed by the options out there, and usually chicken out and just stick to the wines I know. But Husband and I have been trying to branch out and try something new now and then. My current go-to wine is the Root:1 Cabernet. It's less than $10 at Costco, and I think it's just fantastic wine for everyday. I should try more Chilean wines. Anyone have any suggestions for wines they like?

Also, good wine, good cheese, and fresh bread. 'Nuff said. This kind of happiness really can pull me out of any funk. Husband has used to before, very successfully.

I'm going to be an aunt any day now! My sister is ready to pop her little Bagel bun out of the oven hopefully in another week or two. She's my only sibling and this is her first child, so the whole family is extremely excited. She's having a boy, and we call him Bagel (it's a long story that would reveal all to clearly how insane we all are, so we just won't go there), though when he comes out I hear we'll be calling him Nate. Awww. I can't wait to spoil him rotten, and I'm already thinking about how many trips cross country (she lives on the East Coast) I'll be able to make without breaking the bank.

Is it weird that when typing up my steam of consciousness I went with "comes out" instead of "born"?

It's my dream to live in the Pacific Northwest. I dream of the lush greenery of Oregon and the homey feel I get when I read blogs from people who live there. It's my kinda place. I loved Seattle the last few times I briefly visited, which is saying something because I usually hate big cities. They're ugly and dirty. Seattle is gorgeous. But I must admit sometimes I'm afraid of how I would do there. I live in the most temperate climate in the US, and I still run my space heater at work (what? They over-AC!). Though I think as long as we could afford to heat/cool our house and proper outerwear, we would be fine. Unfortunately, both Husband and I seem to be far too chicken to make the leap.

We remodeled our kitchen last year. It was the second most stressful thing I've ever done, I think. It wasn't a good experience. We haven't been in a rush to hire anyone to work on the house since.



Though I do like the way it turned out. Much more me. I wanted a darker, earthier green on the walls, but Husband was afraid of it "darkening the room". *Snort* I wish I knew how to do more myself, but I am decidedly not handy.

I love Family Guy. Sure, the new episodes are a bit preachy, but who watches that show for the plot? I have been known to laugh so hard I cried while recalling a particular quote from that show. We all need a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously sometimes.

When my mom, my sister and I get together, sometimes hysterical laughter over something completely inane ensues. Usually there's crying and wheezing involved. Sometimes both. We're a crazy family, but we have fun. Sometimes I think it could make a good book, but then I remember I can't write, or even remember most things. Ah well.

Wow, are you still reading this? You didn't fall asleep? Most people agree that I'm a terribly boring person. A homebody with no real hobbies. It often makes for forced small talk and awkward conversation (thus further encouraging my homebody status). I don't really care if other people think I'm boring, since I don't think that. I like my life. I enjoy the things I do. I'm simple. Nothing wrong with that. So thanks for reading. I hope I didn't bore you too much, and now you know more about the woman behind the blog.

And because I can't just let it go without mentioning the little goober, I'll also mention that it looks like Theo will be dressing up as a disgruntled Petco customer for Halloween. I went there last weekend (that would be two whole weeks before Halloween) looking for a Halloween costume for Theo. And you know what? They were out! Sold out. The chick at the register was completely rude, and acted like I was daft for even asking if they would be getting more in stock. I didn't realize it was something I needed to get a mad rush on. So Theo will just be Theo, unless I can find something at Target this weekend (assuming I have time to get to Target, which I don't have high hopes for). Neither Husband nor Theo were particularly broken up about this fact. Also, my mom will be glad I'm not practicing animal cruelty.

And we still have firm poops on the booty front.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not The Pink Stuff!

The only liquid "medication" I've given to Theo before last week was children's benedryl. Since it's made for kids, they added enough sugar to it to make it perfectly palatable for Theo's consumption. In other words, I could get him to drink it right out of the little cup. Pepto bismol? Not so. I've never taken the pink stuff myself, but apparently it tastes nasty enough that even Theo won't go near it. Poor guy. As part of his tummy upset regimen we were instructed to give him a few tablespoons of pepto bismol every day. I only lasted two. I think the picture to the left clearly spells out why.

First off, the only liquid medication syringe at my disposal only holds about 1/16 of a teaspoon at a time. Which means to give him 2 tablespoons in one sitting, took about 30 million little syringe shots. Needless to say, Theo and I both tired of it very quickly. I have since purchased a much much bigger syringe. Also, Theo kept trying to spit it out (see picture), which not only led to doggy spittle all over my hands (see picture), but also to a very pink dog (see picture). Not to mention a pink me. You can't see it in this picture because I look nice and covered with that paper towel, but my entire arm (my favorite sweater!) is covered in pink doggy spittle. Ew.

So it begs the question, did it work? Why, yes! It did! This was the same disastrous evening where Theo decided to upchuck his new "easy on his stomach" food (the I/D). Perhaps because his stomach was already upset. I think it was in protest to the slop. After the upchucking, Theo was mopey and obviously not feeling that great. I eventually wrestled enough of the pink stuff in him, and 5 minutes later he was back to his normal self: wanting to play fetch and eat. After the second day he obviously didn't even need it, so I figured I wouldn't even bother putting us both through the stress.

Where was Husband during this whole debacle? Well since I'm in the photo (like the fun I had with pixelation?), I'll give you one guess. Yep. While I was juggling a stubborn bratty puppy, cleaning up dog vomit, and getting covered in pink goop, Husband was snapping pictures. I guess I should be thankful, otherwise we wouldn't have a remembrance of this extra fun event! *sigh*

On the food front, I convinced Husband to do a trial run with Deli Fresh. From what I've gathered, their slice and serve logs are basically whole ingredients that are gently cooked (as in, cooked enough that their not raw, but not so much that all the nutrients are killed. So like people food rather than kibble). It's sold in the refrigerated section of my local big-name pet store. Unfortunately, they don't carry it at the smaller specialty pet stores I prefer to frequent. Oh well. I'm really liking this stuff so far because it feels like I'm just feeding him regular pre-cooked food. You can even identify ingredients like brown rice and carrots, and it smells like chicken. And you can't beat the convenience! Also, I feel like I'm feeding him a more complete diet. It has all the vitamins and nutrients that he needs added to it in the correct balance to keep him healthy, which was something that always kept me a bit worried with the diet I was feeding him. At my local store it was $15 for an 8lb log, which should last about 8-10 days. So about $45/month. No bad at all! Considering how much time I'm saving by not having to constantly be cooking chicken and chopping fruits and vegetables and cooking rice, I'm thinking this might be a permanent thing.

Oh, and Theo's health issues? Ok, it's kind of a long story. Do you need a bathroom break? Maybe a glass of water? Better get it now. We won't be having an intermission. Also, the rest of this post is mainly going to talk about poop, so the faint hearted should just stop reading now. Seriously.

Ok, so about 2 months ago we noticed Theo's poops were consistently soft. Not runny, not like diarrhea. Just soft. All the time. It wasn't anything to cause alarm, but I started restricting his diet to clear it up. I started by taking him off the kibble. Maybe it was just a bad batch. Then I took him off dairy. Then I added pumpkin. Nothing changed. Next to go were the fruits and veggies, leaving just the bland chicken and rice. Nothing changed, leading me to think it wasn't an issue with his food. This was over the course of several weeks. Then I got a postcard in the mail telling me it was time for one of Theo's vaccination shots. I figured while I was at the vet, I would have them look him over to see if they could shed any light on the issue.

$200 later I was sent home with some anti-diarrhetic (flagyl, I believe it's called) pills for the soft poops, and some probiotics for his digestion. They also did a fecal analysis that came back negative. He was on the meds for a week, and they seemed to clear things right up. Almost immediately his poops were hard. I remember scooping up the first hard poop, shoving it in Husband's face and saying "It's FIRM!" It's amazing how caught up you get about poop when you're a dog owner. And it's rather embarrassing how much it comes up in conversation with other dog owners. Sorry neighbors, for constantly steering the direction of the conversation to poop! After the week on meds things went back to normal. I reintroduced Theo slowly to his more regular diet, and his poops stayed good. I should also mention that through this whole process his appetite and energy level never changed. Other than soft poops he never had any other visible symptoms.

Then a few weeks later Theo's doggy daycare called to tell me Theo was having major diarrhea. I told my boss "I gotta leave early. My kid is sick at daycare." Just for effect. It was fun. It was a Friday evening. Theo had diarrhea (and I wish there was a worse term for what kind of diarrhea he had because I feel like diarrhea just doesn't cut it here) until we took him to the vet that Monday morning. Probably about every 2-3 hours he had to go, and usually felt like he had to go every hour. That includes the middle of the night. Husband and I had to take turns taking him outside every couple of hours. 3 nights in a row was brutal. Yes, I know we're not ready for kids. I'm fine with getting up once. Twice was a bit torturous. By the third time I was fed up enough to wake up Husband and make him do it. Hehe.

As I said, it wasn't just diarrhea. It was soup. It came with a complement of squirty noises. Lots of doggy wipes were involved. Theo had the most adorable embarrassed-looking face every time he went. But other than that, no change in his demeanor. He would be playing fetch out in the backyard, same as always, and suddenly stop and run off for the occasional pit stop. It was rather hilarious, actually.

So that Monday morning Husband took him back to the vet. You already mostly know how it turned out. Even though he told them Theo was on a chicken and rice diet, they insisted on pushing their swill on him. And the same exact meds as before. And another fecal test, which of course came back negative. The meds suppress his symptoms, but they made no effort to diagnose him. Why was he having the issue in the first place? I have to think it's related to the soft poops from the last few months. They apparently just shrugged it off and said he had probably "gotten into something". First off, he didn't. I watch that dog like a hawk. And second, what could he have possibly gotten into that would cause that level of diarrhea for 4 days?! Honestly, it never showed any signs of improving the entire weekend. When we took him to the vet, whatever was bothering his system was still bothering him.

The meds have suppressed the issue, so we're just going to wait and see. If it's something like an infection or some other issue that hasn't already cleared up on its own, it'll rear it's ugly head again. And when it does, we'll be ready. To take him to a new vet. Hooray!

In the meantime we're looking into pet insurance. Because really, I wasn't convinced, but I think in the long run it'll be worth it. Anyone have insurance with a company other than VPI? Just curious, since VPI seems to be what everyone has.

And that's the saga of Theo's poop troubles! My intestinally-challenged little troublemaker. Did you survive? Should I say diarrhea one more time just in case I didn't already offend you with the frequency of its use? Naw, I wouldn't do that. I'm classy like that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


If you read this blog, know Theo, or own a Corgi yourself, chances are you'll understand the gravity of the statement I am about to make. I found a food Theo won't eat.

OMG!!! No wai!

Way. There's kind of a long story there, and there's a ton of stuff I need to post about and haven't had time. Soon! But I couldn't wait to tell you that my dog - Yes, the one who will eat anything edible (including dried up crunchy worms, a delicacy!). The one who I have yet to find a food he won't eat, including all manner or grain, vegetable (even brussells sprouts!), and fruit. The one who prefers real food, but eats his kibble like a trooper and without complaint. The one who instinctively stays away from all things non-edible, like tree seeds, rocks, bark, and uncooked lentils that I've spilled all over the kitchen floor (because I'm me, and that is my life). Yes, that one. - He won't eat the Science Diet I/D dry food.

This is the stuff that you're supposed to give your dog when he has an upset tummy. This is the stuff that, while supposedly easy on their system, also has a first ingredient of corn. There's also soy. This is also the stuff my vet pressured my husband into buying after he told them we've been feeding Theo chicken and rice. A ten pound bag of it. A month's supply, supposedly. How is it that chicken meal and rice processed heavily (to the point where all the nutrients are cooked out of it) with corn, soy, and other fillers that are hard to digest are better for my dog's digestive system than fully cooked chicken breast and brown rice?

Aside: My old professor who I talk to on Facebook says that most vets don't take classes on canine nutrition in veterinary school. I told her that I had never taken a class on canine nutrition either. I do, however, possess enough common sense to work it out for myself. What can I conclude, except that my vet does not possess common sense?

In other news, I will now be finding a new vet.

Anyway, this 10lb bag of processed disgustingness? Money down the drain. Theo took one look at his food bowl last night and gave me a look that very clearly said "Seriously? This is my dinner? How am I supposed to eat this!?" He picked up a few bites, but they mostly ended up on the floor next to his food bowl. After a couple of attempts he just walked away. He walked away with all the food still in the bowl! And then he upchucked. Yeap. He had a look of pure misery on his face. From the upchucking or the ingestion of that swill, I don't know.

About an hour and 2TB of pepto bismol later (OMG, is that ever another story! And with pictures! Ooooh, I hope I have time to post about that this week!), Theo was back to his normal self. And he happily downed the chicken and rice we gave him. No issues. Seriously, he went from pathetically run down to normal Theo in less than 5 minutes. It was kind of amazing. We were ready to throw the I/D in the trash, but I had a thought this morning. What if his disdain for the kibble was due to the fact that he wasn't feeling well? Had we let our preconceived notions of the crap food lead us to conclude the upchucking was a result of the food rather than the other way around? So I gave him another bowl for breakfast. I got another one of those looks. But this time he powered through a few bites. And then he left his food bowl when Husband sat down to eat his breakfast. He left his food bowl with food still in it in the hopes of scrounging a morsel or two from the floor around Husband's feet. This is about as unlike Theo as you can get. It really is a testament to how nasty that stuff is. Eventually I mixed in some chicken and rice just to get him to finish eating.

And now I'm left with a dilemma. Do I chuck the bag of vet-prescribed disgustingness? Or do I continue to mix crap food with real food? That good ol' common sense I was talking about tells me I should just nix the crap food, but the goody two-shoes rule-follower in me says I should try and stick with what the vet says since Theo wasn't getting better on chicken and rice. *sigh* What to do?

More on Theo's tummy woes later. Nothing serious, so no cause for worries. Unless you're worried about me getting my uninterrupted 6-7 hours of sleep every night, in which case, be very worried.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Calendar Link Correction

I am S-M-R-T. I didn't realize there were two links to the Corgi Blogs Calendar. The one I linked in my last post was for the personalized calendar, should you want to change the size, background color, etc. of the calendar. The good ol' Kelly-made calendar is actually here, and for $5 less! But not to worry, the $5 going to Corgi Rescue still applies. Phew! The world makes sense again. I apologize if my link led anyone astray. Apparently I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached. Put the keys in the bowl!*

I think somewhere along the way I broke Theo. I've mentioned before that he's not really into playing with other dogs. At most usually he'll just bark at other dogs while they play. Husband took Theo to the dog park yesterday, and as usual, while he enjoyed himself immensely, he didn't exactly get tuckered out and wanted to play as soon as he got home. I guess I should count myself lucky that he didn't fall asleep this time. And how does Theo want to play? By jumping on my head and nibbling my ears, of course! Ya know, dog play! But he won't dog play with other dogs... Hmm... I'm just not sure how this happened. *sigh*

*10 points if you know that reference!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mr. January

It is unpardonable how much I've been neglecting poor Theo Theo's poor blog of late. I never even bothered to post that Kelly, our favorite Corgi-owned Corgi-merch extraordinaire at Corgi Butts ran a calendar contest for those of us crazies with Corgi blogs. And wouldn't you know it, Theo is Mr. January! Yay! The picture that was chosen (out of the 6 or so I submitted) was during a little photo op I had with him in Reno last Christmas (pictured right). That's right, one of the pictures I never bothered uploading, or even pulling off of my camera until recently. Whoops! It's almost next Christmas already! Heh. So I'll be uploading a bunch of new pictures of Theo hopefully sometime in the near future.

I almost didn't make it into the calendar at all, thanks to my procrastinating ways! Ok, well actually Husband was 100% hogging the laptop until very very recently, and then I was way busy with other things, etc. Kelly's last call post the other day was just the kick in the pants I needed to hunker down and find some pics! And thankfully she was very forgiving of my pacific timezone timing. Heh. A whopping $5 per calendar goes to Corgi Rescue, so get your 2010 Corgi Blogs Calendar here! Attention family, I'm buying you one already so don't even think about it unless you want two!. ;p

In other Theo news, Theo has been channeling my lazy bum-ness himself lately. He's really taken a liking to the dark hallway by the garage door. He usually takes a small after dinner nap there before our nightly walk. Some nights he's not so excited about the walk, and he gives me this look when I ask him if he's ready to go. I think he's saying "Go ahead and go on without me tonight, Mommy. *yawn*"

I had some minor concerns about his health over the last few months, so I took him to the vet a few weeks ago. Not to get TMI on you, but his poops haven't been too happy. No full on diarrhea, but just a bit soft, consistently, for too long of a period. I tried altering his diet in every way possible, eliminating ingredients one at a time, and nothing changed. So the vet put him on probiotics. You know, like Activia? I was skeptical, but they actually worked like a dream. One week with some good bacteria in his system seemed to do the trick. The other concern is a small growth on the side of his tummy. It's a hard lump that popped up recently. The vet just said to keep an eye on it and bring him back if it grows, but since he's only a year and a half old, he really doubted it was anything to cause concern. I don't like that my puppy already has lumps growing. I'll have to keep a close eye on him!

Other than that, Mr. January has been a dream!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's High Time

We were in Reno this week visiting my parents. In a plan only my mother could come up with, we drove up to Reno last Friday. Saturday morning Husband and I flew from Reno up to Seattle to spend the weekend with Husband's parents and some extended family for the Labor Day weekend. Monday we flew back to Reno and spent the rest of the week with my parents. We're leaving tomorrow morning after the balloon festival. My mom came up with it when I was trying to work out visiting them and Husband's parents in the same time period without boarding Theo a lot.

So my parents dog-sat for us while we were in Seattle. I was worried because Theo is my baby! But I wasn't worried because while my parents have never had a dog while I was alive, they have both been dog owners in the past. They knew what they were doing. And Theo was definitely a happy dog while I was gone. He loves my dad. My mom said, while I was gone, when she would let Theo out of his crate, and he would go lay down in front of their bedroom door and wait for my dad to get up. So funny.

This area has coyotes, so we had to be very careful while walking him at night. It was uneventful for the most part, but there were a few incidents. One night we heard 4 or 5 coyotes all howling and having a gay old time. I didn't stick around to find out what they were so excited about, just in case Theo was what they had their eyes on. He does look like a super-sized bunny, their main staple, after all! And last night Theo almost walked right over a scorpion. My parents said they've never seen a scorpion here, so of course, I found one. Heh.

I think Theo is going to be sad to leave tomorrow, especially since there's a very long car ride involved!

Happy September everyone!

PS: I know I've been blogging a lot about agility. I believe last I updated, I said that we were taking a break from agility. I meant for it to just be one session...but I found out last week that I'm getting laid off from my job. Boo! I know. D: So we'll be cutting back on things like agility classes starting now, and doggy daycare if I don't find another job before my 60 days is up. Wish me luck because I know Theo will definitely miss his doggy daycare buddies!

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Suds

Here is a sage tip from my many years year of dog owning experience: when giving your dog a bath, it's important to have dog shampoo on hand.

Yesterday I was about 10 seconds from dropping Theo into the tub and dousing him with water when I realized I had used up the last of his shampoo the last bath and had negelected to buy more. He was literally dangling over the tub. Phew! I almost had to deal with a wet, dirty dog!

And a heath tip you all probably already know, but never use human shampoo on a dog. That was Husband's suggestion when I told him Theo's bath would have to wait another week. I set him straight.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Last night I cuddled with Theo. I picked him up and held him in my lap, and he put his head down on my leg and rested quietly while I gently pet him. This may sound like a completely normal interaction for a person and his/her dog, but I don't have just any dog. I have Theo. Mr. 2 foot rule. He doesn't do laps. He doesn't do petting. He certainly doesn't reward you with cuddles when you have the audacity to lift his tushy off the ground. So what, you may ask, was the matter with him? Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that his head was swollen up like the Pillsbury dough boy at the time. Yeah, that might have had something to do with it.

You may recall this same exact thing happened almost this exact time last year. It was not a doggy daycare day, so when I got home I took him out to go potty and play some fetch. He was fine during this period. After about 5 minutes we went back inside to play some more fetch. He was fine during this period. After about 30 minutes Husband came home with dinner. Theo was very interested in the food, as per usual. I fed him his dinner, and Husband and I ate ours (Rubio's, yum!). It was about this time I noticed Theo's face looking ever slightly so puffy, and his behavior being ever so slightly different. Over the next 15 minutes or so he puffed up like a balloon. He went from being happy to miserable. Queue the lap time with mommy. He was in dire need of some comfort, poor thing.

I don't know what the heck happened to him. He ate the same food he always eats, we went only so far as the backyard for 5 minutes. He didn't seem to have any bee strings or obvious punctures or pains. I checked his feet, his muzzle, his legs. It was obviously a reaction of some kind, so I broke out the children's Benedryl. Remembering my mistake last time of not giving him enough, I gave him 3 teaspoons this time. After about 10 minutes the swelling went down considerably, but he was still pretty swollen, so after another 20 minutes I gave him 2 teaspoons more. That did it. His face went back to being ever slightly so puffy. Husband also decided that he felt a little hot, so we gave him some crushed ice, which he couldn't seem to get enough of. I think that may have helped with the swelling a bit too. His energy came back with a vengeance. He was playing fetch non-stop, so we figured it was safe to walk him. He did great. No issues. We put him to bed, and hoped he'd be okay in the morning.

This morning I woke up and checked on Theo. He looked fine. I couldn't tell if there was still that small amount of swelling because he was still in his crate, but there was no obvious swelling. I went for my run (Theo doesn't like to come running with me anymore. He prefers to run at night, apparently, but that's another post), I came home and let him out of his crate. He still looked fine. Maybe the tiniest hint of swelling, but I think I was mostly just being paranoid. I played a little fetch with him, then went on to do more exercising. While I was exercising, I noticed Theo being very restless. He went from laying next to the sofa, to on top of the sofa, to the foot of the sofa in the other room, the the top of that sofa, etc. Usually he just runs upstairs and hangs out on his bed until he hears me preparing his breakfast. So obviously, something was still wrong with him. Then the swelling began again. This time it was his eye and cheek that swelled. I tell you, it would have been hilarious if he didn't look so dang miserable.

He was still very willing to eat, but he had no interest in crushed ice this time. I gave him the last of the children's Benedryl, which was only 2 teaspoons. It helped, but he was still pretty swollen while Husband and I were getting dressed for work and discussing what to do. I asked Husband to take him to the vet, even though last time they charged us $300, for what was basically just a shot of concentrated Benedryl. Theo was obviously uncomfortable, so I figured I would just pay for the drugs.

$130 later (woohoo! Half the cost this time around!) Theo got his shot and we got some anti-inflamatory pills, including enough to last us until when this happens again next year. Hopefully when I pick him up at doggy daycare today he'll be his normal skinny-faced self. Poor thing.

What keeps happening? We have no clue, and neither does the vet. I noticed when his face swelled this morning that it started on his muzzle, and it looked like a bump or two formed before the rest of his face swelled. I would guess it's a bug bite of some kind that his system just really doesn't like. I'm going to wash his bedding tonight, in case there's a spider hiding in there or something. *shudder!*

I'm trying to look on the bright side of things. At least I got to cuddle my dog last night!

And no, I didn't take any pictures. I would have...I was just too busy being an over-worrying puppy mama. By the time I thought to take any the swelling was mostly gone. Maybe next time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Mommy Socialized?

When Theo was a puppy, he got picked on sometimes by the older, wiser dogs. In other words, he got his nose chomped a few times for being a young whipper-snapper, which is the doggy equivalent of saying "get off my lawn!" Now that Theo is the ripe old age of 19 months, he's been displaying some crotchety tendencies of his own.

Let me start off by telling you something about Theo I don't think I've shared before. It's never quite come up, but Theo is a ridiculously submissive dog. Greeting a dog goes something like this: Theo sees dog and ears-back-nub-wiggling ensues. Theo and new dog meet nose to nose for about half a second before Theo rolls onto his back and spreads his legs wide for maximum goods exposure. After new dog is properly acquainted with Theo's scent, Theo will then, if permitted by the other dog, take a brief sniff of his own before either continuing to be submissive by licking the other dog's muzzle, or finally initiating a wee-bit of head jumping. Sometimes Theo will just stay on his back the entire time, even if the other dog is trying to initiate play. Either way, Theo always has an adorable look on his face that says "I'm totally non-threatening, I just want you to love me." Thankfully, he's not submissive to the point where he's scared oruncomfortable. He doesn't do submissive peeing and he never looks stressed out. As long as the dog isn't super dominant, he enjoys the encounter.

Of course, none of that applies to puppies. Theo was bullied as a puppy, so of course, now that he's big and threatening himself, he feels it's his turn to show the puppies their place.

Now, let me tell you about Fireball. He is a new puppy (~8 months old, I think) who was just adopted by someone in the neighborhood (this person already owns a dog of similar breed named Snowball, who Theo's age). I've come across Fireball while walking Theo three times this last week. Fireball is freaking adorable! He's one of those indistinguishable white, fluff dogs (usually some Poodle, Maltese, Bichon mix). He loves everyone. He loves to be pet, he loves to put your fingers in his mouth (but completely gentle), and he loves to jump all over you. He also likes to jump all over other dogs.

Theo does not like Fireball. Snowball he has no problems with. They've played together several times with no incident. Fireball, however, is a puppy. A peon. Not only does Theo growl at Fireball...he bares his teeth, very ferociously. He even snapped at him! He basically did every kind of dominant behavior you can think of, just short of straight peeing on him (which I wouldn't have put past him, given time). I was not pleased. Besides the fact that it's horribly embarrassing for my dog to be snapping at the sweetest dog on Earth, and besides the fact that it's not a behavior I will put up with for one means I can't play with Fireball! Who gets the short end of that stick? Moi!

On our second meeting, Fireball was learning not to jump all over Theo, and Theo was learning to let Fireball give him submissive kisses without snapping at him. Everything looked like they might, maybe, in time, get along. Then I reached out to pet Fireball. Oh my, was that a bad idea! Theo went ballistic! You know, in his adorable, ridiculous, Corgi way. Meeting over, we were on our way. No fair! I want to pet the puppy!

The experience made me realize that while Theo has always been well socialized with other dogs (puppy classes, doggy daycare 2-3 times a week, dog park visits, etc.), he's not necessarily well socialized when it comes to sharing Mommy. He has never liked it when I give another dog attention (though usually if there's another owner there to give him attention, he doesn't care as much), but since he's usually submissive, he doesn't raise a stink. He just gives me a pathetic look that says "how could you?" But since Theo takes the dominant role with puppies like Fireball, he has no problem telling them to back off of his Mommy in a very rude manner. I wonder, is that something dogs can get over with time and practice? Or should I count myself lucky that, thanks to his chicken-like ways, I'm able to pet other dogs at all?

As a hilarious aside, have you ever seen a 150lb Malamute act possessive with his owner? Sanook, whom I've mentioned before, does not approve of all the love his owner gives Theo (which is a lot, Theo eats this guy up with a spoon!) when we see each other, so he's taken to positioning his (humongous!) body between them and then leaning into his owner, causing him to either get up or fall over. Hehe. Oh the things you can do when you're 150lbs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Plum Tuckered

I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July! Mine was fantastic. We had some friends over for the greatest feast of all time a BBQ. We don't host many get-togethers at our house because of various reasons, mostly involving laziness busyness and my neuroses about cooking for other people and hosting in general, so Theo doesn't often have people play-dates. Oh boy, does that dog love having strange new people in the house to play fetch with him. Theo painted them all as suckers within minutes and their arrival, and between my four friends that were over, I think Theo managed to spend only a few minutes of the entire evening not running after a thrown toy.

I could tell he was at the point of poop-xaustion when, as soon as the front door was closed behind my departing friends, Theo literally collapsed where he was standing. One minute he was booty-wiggling them goodbye, and the next he was flat-backed on the floor, conked out. Husband and I enjoyed closing the evening with a good chuckle.

Then yesterday, Husband and I were feeling the aftermath of eating our weight in food the day before (not to mention the second round of pigging out that happened that day as well), so we decided to take a long waddle walk around the surrounding neighborhoods. That's right, we actually ventured out of the complex. It's something we tried for the first time last week and it was marvelous! Theo had a blast marking all new spots. I don't know how far we walked, or how long we walked (since I forgot to check the time when we left), but it felt like about 4 or 5 miles. Even though we stopped frequently for water and pee breaks (Husband and I, obviously, only partook in the water breaks), Theo was so pooped, he did the collapsing on spot thing again as soon as we stopped to open the front gate to our yard. He plopped right down, and when I told him to go in the house after Husband had opened the front door, he gave me the dirtiest "you want me to move?" look he's ever given me. Hehe. He even stayed lying down while I gave him his after-walk treats (he usually likes to lessen the time it takes to get a treat into his mouth by meeting me halfway). What a drama queen!

Looks like I did a pretty good job of tuckering him out this weekend, eh?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Were On A Break!

I've been meaning to post about this for a few weeks now, but I wasn't truly decided until yesterday. Theo and I are taking a break from agility class. Theo, of course, will not approve. But I need one. I was beginning to dread Wednesday nights, and the whole point of the classes was to be a night of fun for both of us. Well they're not for me lately, so on a break is where we are.

On class nights, my evening goes something like this. I pick up Theo at doggy daycare, then walk him around for 30 minutes because there's a half hour gap between when doggy daycare closes and when class starts. I'm ok with this because Theo has so much energy, he could use the walk. I usually get lots of strange looks from the people who live in the neighborhood I walk in because they're private streets, and no one recognizes me. One day I was sitting down on the curb feeding Theo his dinner (since there's not time to go home first, I bring a bag of kibble) and some guy driving by actually stopped and asked if I needed help with something. Either I looked like I was in distress, or I looked like I was up to no good. Don't know which. ;p When it's time for class, I take Theo to get a drink of water, then take him around as many obstacles as we can get to for a warm up. Really, I'm just trying to get rid of more puppy energy.

When class starts, that's when Theo's barking begins. I have to hold his leash tight because the sneaky devil will lunge forward at any moment when he decides he just has to be there on the course, showing them all how it's done. If I give him a constant stream of treats for an hour, he will be quiet, but since I won't give him that many treats, I have to endure a lot of very loud barking. It's ear-splitting, really. Sometimes I try and pick him up to make him stay quiet. Lately, he's start clawing at my neck like a cat when I do this. He stops barking, but starts whining, sounding like a piglet getting Chinese water torture. Usually people start looking at me funny, wondering what the heck I'm doing to him. It's embarrassing. Sometimes I just let him bark, and my trainer comments (and by comments, I mean she not-so-subtly tells me to shut my dog up).

When it's finally Theo's turn to run a course, I let him off leash. Usually he dashes to the course with enthusiasm, and runs over any obstacle he can find. After a good minute of calling him to our starting point, he finally mossies over. It takes another minute at least to get him to actually sit down (asking him to sit usually results in him backing up 3 feet with lots of barking in between), and another minute to get to my starting spot while getting him to stay seated. Oh, by the way, usually the other people have completed running the entire course in this amount of time. When I'm in the right spot, I tell him to go over the first obstacle. Sometimes he decides to just go around the obstacle, the little bastard. When that happens, we have to spend another 3 minutes getting back into position. When he misses his contacts, I make him go back and do it again. Usually after 3 or 4 tries, I just pretend he hit them. He's so fast, that he's usually gone 3 obstacles ahead while I'm still telling him to go over the first one. He's great at keeping an eye on me, but he doesn't do so well with the listening.

Did I mention the barking? He barks the whole time he runs a course. It's because he's excited. He wants to let everyone know how awesome and excited he is. Too bad he's usually too busy barking to listen to me. Our exchange usually goes something like this: Me, pointing to jump, "Theo, jump!" Theo, standing in front of jump, looking at me, "bark! bark! bark!" Me, pointing to the jump, "Theo, JUMP!" Theo, after he's gone around the jump, then jumped over it backwards, "bark! bark! bark!" If it weren't so frustrating, it would be, without a doubt, absolutely hilarious. Usually while there's steam coming out of my ears, the entire class is in stitches. It almost seems like an old-style comedy routine.

I could live with the humiliation except apparently Theo is a little too excitable. My trainer told me the last class of the last session that Theo was launching himself into the A-frame too hard, and she was afraid he was going to hurt his shoulders. He's such a boy! She actually suggested we go back to beginning agility to work on his contacts. Beginning agility! After 3 classes of advanced! Heck no! Beginning agility was boring even when we were beginners! I'm sure we could have worked something else out, but I was down-right insulted at the suggestion.

I was so frustrated after that class that I was ready to give up agility all together. But then I remembered how much Theo loves it. He's only that big of a pain because he has so much fun, he just can't contain himself. He is a Corgi after all. They do all things all out, right? And then the woman who runs the doggy daycare (who also helps teach the agility class) told me very emphatically that Theo is an agility prodigy. He is really good at it and he loves it. He has no fear on any of the obstacles, and he's faster than the wind. If he could just focus (I took this to mean if he had a better handler), he could be really great. How could I cut him off after that? I can't. And I won't.

But that said, I do still need a break. In another 7-8 weeks, another class will start up. I think I've convinced Husband to start coming with me to class. I'm hoping he'll give handling a try. Husband has 10 times my patience, and he's wicked smart, so I'm convinced he could be a really good handler for Theo. And if not, maybe he can at least help me with keeping Theo quiet!

The woman who runs the doggy daycare also suggested I put agility equipment in the backyard for Theo to play around on. Her reasoning was that he'll be less psychotic in class if he can play on similar equipment at home. Two problems with that: first, money does not grow out of my bum, and second, my backyard is made of concrete. Otherwise, it's a great idea. Anyone want to buy me agility equipment? Ho-hum.

Corgi Stuff Giveaway

No sorry, it's not I who is giving Corgi paraphernalia away. For that kind of awesomeness you'll have to check out Gibson's blog, Corgi Butts. In honor of turning one year old, Kelly is giving away credits for her store. How cool! I haven't gotten anything Corgi-related since my dad sent me a "Corgis for Obama" magnet. I wouldn't mind a "Corgi Agility" tshirt, or an "I love Corgi butts: license plate frame. Wish me luck! I never win these things.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You'd Never Catch A Corgi With This

I know I haven't blogged for a month (edit: make that a month and a half! Oh my! Did I mention I'm totally important at work lately and have a million people annoying me with a million things all day? I do...). I've already been properly chastised by my mother. You can blame my laptop-hogging husband. But never mind that! Have you seen this? Um, probably not, since it's not a Corgi blog. But you must go to that link and see this hound dog sleep its way through food morsels! It's hilarious! I had to share the cuteness immediately.

Would that actually work with any of your Corgis (or other dogs, I don't discriminate)? I know for Theo it never would. He doesn't sleep that soundly, ever. If I walk near him when he's sleeping, he wakes up. If I take a picture of him while he's sleeping, he wakes up. If I'm rummaging through the fridge to get food to even try this trick while he's sleeping, he wakes up and comes running. But man, it would be funny if I could try this on him.

In other Theo news, we went to the local dog park yesterday for a mini meetup with a few Corgi owners in the area. It was sunny, but by no means scorching. This was by far the most hilarious meetup I've been to. They finally added additional benches to the park (previously, there was one per pen, right by the entrance), so we all huddled at the far end of the pen around a bench in the shade. All the Corgis (about 8 of them), cuddled right up to us people-folk, and didn't do much besides chase off any non-Corgis looking for trouble. Seriously. Other people were commenting about the Corgi-club in the back that wasn't allowing non-Corgis to join. It was pretty funny. There was one Beagle who kept trying to come and say hello, and every time there were 2 or 3 Corgis that would chase him away. Theo, of course, didn't have anything to do with such anti-social behavior. He was too busy being glued to me (giving me dirty looks when I was giving love to the other Corgis), or glued to the girl who snuck in treats (he loooooves her...can't understand why...). About an hour in I looked over and Theo was curled up beside me on the bench in the shade about 2 seconds from falling asleep! My dog fell asleep at the dog park! What a dork!

It was definitely the most sedate group of Corgis I've ever seen. It was nice and peaceful. Not exactly the point of taking your dog to the dog park, but oh well. It was a nice afternoon in the sun, surrounded by dogs. I can't complain. Of course, as I predicted, once we got home, Theo was a bundle of fetching energy. Oiy.

There's one thing I just don't understand about Theo. He goes head over heels when we arrive at the dog park. He cries and whines with excitement when we pull into the parking lot. He shoots into my lap the minute I put the car in park. We pulls me the whole way until we get to the pen. And then once we're in...plop. He just chills. After about 90 minutes yesterday I asked Theo "are you ready to go home?" He popped up, eyes alight with excitement, and started barking. Everyone agreed it was definitely a "yes". He even got indignant with me when I stopped to talk to a person while we were leaving. Why does he get so excited to come and then want nothing but to go home? I'll never understand, but in the mean time, he's darn cute!

(By the way, mom. I know you like regular updates on your grand-puppy, but I also have another blog I update weekly. I know it's not exactly your thing, but I talk about you sometimes on that one too.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Baby Love

Ivy's baby-centric blog reminded me about this baby I've been meaning to blog about!  No, this is not an "I'm pregnant!" announcement (seriously, everyone is pregnant right now, right?).  There's a couple in my agility class who have the most adorable baby they bring with them to class every week.  I bad at guessing baby ages, but she's just starting to talk (as in, mumble unintelligible words) and she can't walk yet, if that helps.  This little girl loves Theo.  Seriously, she cannot get enough of him.  Out of the 10 or so dogs in class, including her own two dogs, she only has eyes for Theo.  She likes to yell "Doggie!" and reach her arms out to Theo with a big fat smile on her face. It's the most precious thing ever.  

Of course, Theo loves babies right back.  If he sees a stroller while we're out walking, he will do nothing but stare until the kid inside is out of site.  Even when he was a nippy little puppy, he was always so gentle with kids.  He's not usually satisfied until their faces are properly covered with a coating of his protective doggy slobber, including meeting after meeting with the baby in my agility class.   Her mother will always set her down to say hello to Theo, and Theo always proceeds to cover her with kisses.  I always expect her to start freaking out and crying because the big furry beast is trying to eat her, but this kid has no fear!  She always just laughs and smiles and tries to turn her head away (the way most dog lovers tend to react to kisses).  A dog person this kid will certainly be.

How are your Corgis with kids?  I'm curious what Theo's reaction will be when we start having our own kids.  Will it be a wonderful joy, or just another intruder?  Hehe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On My List Of Favorites

Last Sunday was a lazy day, even for Theo, my usual early riser.  It was the first day in I don't know how long that I turned off my alarm and let myself sleep as late as Theo let me.  To my surprise, it was until past 8:00am!  It felt soooo nice.  Theo needed the extra sleep time too, I think.  He had been very lethargic in the mornings the last few weeks.  Not in a "OMG, what's wrong with him!?" way, but in a "we've been uber-busy!" way.  The sleep obviously did him good because he was crazy energetic when he emerged from his crate Sunday morning.  It was hilarious!

The first thing he went for was my head.  Of course, he couldn't reach it, so I obliged him by laying down on the floor. Then the barrage began!  He did the putting his chin on my shoulder thing (which I love love love because it is sort of, kind of, not really snugly behavior!), he tried to pull my hair tie out, he nipped my ears (in the completely gentle, playful way), and of course, there was oodles of adorable play-growling.  I was eating it up!  We didn't end up going on our run until almost 9am because I didn't know how to end the play session.  It was so much fun! You know what really drives him crazy?  Blowing on his face when he's trying to own me.  Gets him riled up every time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Arriving In Style

Has anyone heard of PetAirways?  Apparently they are a pet-only airline, where your pet rides in the main cabin of the plane, rather than the cargo area.  It's definitely an interesting concept, but I wonder what the main differences between the main cabin and the cargo area would be on a plane that is just for pets.  Obviously the cabin is not going to be equiped with reclining seats and a convenient reading light for Theo's leisure.  But temperature sound control would be a definite plus.

Would I do it?  Probably not.  But I think it's a really neat idea, and a decidedly better option that cargo shipping your pup.  Plus, I think it's neat that you can track your puppy's progress.

Flights start in July.  Would anybody consider PetAirways for their pet traveling needs?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Only 8

I've been tagged with the following blog game by Infrared Goggles.  Here it goes!

8 Things I am Looking Forward to

1…..Being an aunt!
2…..Watching Theo grow up.
3…..Getting in shape (it's a wip at the moment).
5…..Seeing Wicked this summer.
6…..More hikes with Theo and Husband.
7…..The dog beach!
8…..Getting old.

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1…..Went and had high tea with friends.  Yum! 
2…..Jogged with Theo in the morning.
3…..Ate a huge dinner that wasn't even that great. *sigh*
4…..Attempted to walk off said huge dinner, but Theo couldn't keep up, so I had to slow down.
5…..Vegged on the couch and watched a movie.
6…..Read a couple chapters of East of Eden and wrote down a passage I really liked in Chapter 7.
7…..Slept in until 8am!  That's a rarity for me.
8…..Played lots of fetch with Theo (yes, I really am a terribly uninteresting person, I know).

8 Things I Wish I Could do
3…..Shrink (vertically as well as horizontally).
4.....Win the lottery.
5.....Move to Oregon.
6…..Have a house with enough land for lots of animals.
7…..Function normally with only a few hours of sleep each night.
8…..Give world peace.

8 Shows I Enjoy (DVR)
2…..My Boys
3…..Battlestar Galactica (*sniff*)
5…..Good Eats
6…..Family Guy
8…..Top Chef

8 Fur People I tag
1…..Lindsey at Frankenstein
2…..Kelly at Corgi Butts
3…..Lynn at Craft Stew
4…..Ivy at The Senakams + 1 (twice tagged!)
5…..Jenna at Corgi Pants (twice tagged!)
6…..Betty at...Oh snap!  Where did her blog go?
7…..Philip the Corgi
8…..Manda Girl at A day in the life of our pugs

You Left Me!

A bit delayed, but how was everyone's Easter/Passover?  Husband and I went to Reno for the weekend.  Since we were only there two days, we decided to forgo the 20 hours of driving and just fly, meaning we had to board Theo.  It ended up being 4 days of boarding for him because we dropped him off Friday morning (for doggy daycare and boarding in the evening), and weren't able to pick him up until Monday because they were closed for Easter (but yes, still taking care of the animals).  And since we were working Monday, we just did the usual doggy daycare and picking him up after work.  

When I finally got him back Monday evening, he was pretty pissed at me.  He had a "you left me!" look on his face the whole way home.  He didn't want to be touched, he didn't want to even be around me.  He pretty much just curled up and went to sleep in another room after we got home.  Husband had to go out of town for work Monday morning, so it was just the two of us.  Thankfully, he got over it by morning.  He was his usual peppy self, and when Husband came home Tuesday night, he was happy again.  Pehw!  Ok, maybe boarding isn't as painless as we thought.  Heh.

We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night.  Theo was in heaven.  Not one, but three people willing to play fetch with him!  Oh my goodness!  My friend Mouth was there, and he is Theo's shining star.  He just adores him.  During dinner I found out why.  Mouth kept feeding him!  No wonder!  Hehe.  Stop trying to buy my puppy's love!  It totally works, you know.  

Summer is officially here.  It seems we're skipping straight past Spring this year.  That means it's already too hot to go outside in the middle of the day.  It was in the 90s yesterday!  I'm a little bummed because I don't think we got out enough while the weather was good.  Hopefully we'll get a couple more weekends of cool days before Summer totally sets in. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something In The Air

Rex is long gone (since last Friday), and Theo couldn't be happier.  He was Mr. Grumpy Pants pretty much 24/7 while Rex was here, and when he left, Theo was so relieved.  Hehe.  I guess we'll be keeping him an only puppy for a while.  I couldn't really blame him when Rex took to stealing whatever toy Theo was playing with and laying his body over it so Theo couldn't get to it.  What an instigator!  

I, on the other hand, was sad to see Rex go.  I liked having a dog who was cuddly, who would nudge my hand when I stopped petting him, who would roll over for belly rubs.  He was a total sweetheart.  But I do acknowledge that his rock-hard nails did cause quite a few gauges in our new hardwood floors.  And running a mile with him just didn't wear Rex out like it does with Theo.  But that's ok.  He's a good dog and Husband's parents are lucky to have him.

I think our runs together (Theo, Rex, and I) summed up these two nicely.  Theo would run at full speed, going as fast as the collar choking him around his neck would let him.  Whenever Rex would come up to close behind him, Theo would turn his head and growl at him as if to say "I'm in the front here mister, get in line!"  Rex would very diplomatically run right behind Theo and at my side.  When I stopped to pick up poop or had to slow to a walk for a short break, Rex would slow and match my pace.  Theo, as usually, would still try to run.  What a goof!

As I said, everything is back to normal.  Theo had his agility class last night.  As my trainer said, there was definitely something in the air last night.  All the dogs were just crazy hyper and all seemed to have selective hearing.  Even the trainer's dog (she always uses one of her dogs to run the course first so we can see what she means when she tells us the order) kept running off to do his own thing.  And I'd never seen a Greyhound really let loose and run before!  Man she was fast!  And Theo, of course, was pretty much how he is every week, only this week the other dogs matched his 'tude.  

Theo seems to have decided that I am not a necessary part of the agility class.  Last night after the trainer had her dog run a course, it was Theo's turn.  As soon as I let him off leash he started running it!  Who needs a human to tell a dog what to do when said dog can just watch and do by example?  Makes sense to me.  

We'll be boarding Theo for the weekend while we're in Reno for Seder.  We decided not to spend 20 hours in the car for just a couple days visit.  My mom sounded relieved since Theo's last visit resulted in a carpet cleaning.   I guess she should be grateful Theo is better behaved (and by that I mean crate trained and with softer nails, of course).  Carpet cleaning is better than carpet replacement.  Heh.  Anyway, he'll be staying at the place we take him for doggy daycare, so I know he'll be fine.  It's going to be so strange to be without a dog for 3 days!  I keep thinking to myself things like, "Oh, I have to remember to bring food for Theo when we go up to Reno...oh that's right, he's not coming with us."  It's weird!