Saturday, December 31, 2011

Escape Artists

Well, they somehow broke out of the kitchen!  Keith came home to find that the locked gate was open and they had meandered their way through and into the living room.  We still haven't figured out how they did that, unless it wasn't fully latched.  That, or they are the smartest dogs on earth.

Given that, we had them in their crates one night.  Poly was having none of that and with 2 hours of constant barking, by 1:30am, Keith and I had enough and, in order to get some sleep ourselves, let them into the kitchen.  Last night they woke Keith up 3 different times with barking (we're pretty sure it's her; he rarely barks).  Their crates are arranged in the kitchen such that one of them is up against a tension gate and the other is a couple of feet away.  Poly's has a side door, so when we put it in the doorway with the tension gate, there is only a matter of a couple inches of empty space.

We ran some errands today and, as always, left them in the kitchen.  When we returned home, the dogs were running free on the first floor.  What?!?  Evidently, Keith had switched and put Casey's crate against the tension gate.  This leaves more space between the crate and the wall.  There are towels on the floor for when they come inside all muddy.  It appears that they used the towels to pull the crate away from the gate and then knocked through it.

These guys are too, too smart!  They also crack us up!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Innocent Look

I came down to Casey and Poly in the kitchen (thankful they were still there), but with their bed in close to a million pieces.  It was totally decimated!  After cleaning up most of the mess, I saw the following and had to take a picture.  It definitely says "I didn't do it, Mom."

Now, I have to be honest, we believe Poly to be the one who did this, or at least started it.  She is the one who is more destructive when we're around.  Don't get me wrong, I don't see Mr. Casey as innocent in this whole thing.  I can envision him thinking "wow, that looks fun, I think I'll join in" although he did once destroy his bed at his foster Mom's.  We have also lost 3-4 pairs of shoes (lost count), cookbooks have been eaten, the couch has a hole in it -- you know.

I went to lean the bed up against the house in the backyard and guess who snuck out?  Well, I saw Casey sneak out, but all of the sudden I saw Poly - outside.  I think she got out first and I just didn't know it, what with fighting with the bed and all.  Our backyard is a swamp after a storm yesterday and she is running around as fast as a bullet.  It took me a long time to catch her, during which time she tried to get under the fence more than once.  I wish I knew her real age - Vizslas are known to have a lot of energy, but is some of this because she's young?  Ugh!

We're just not sure we can keep both of them.  She can't have most toys because he will take them and destroy them; he can't play with one of the deer antlers because she will take it right out of his mouth (it's a darn good thing he's so easy-going!).  We just don't know what to do.  I want them to both be happy and she is so affectionate with us and he is so calm and smart...  I wish someone else could make this decision for us, or that we'd go back in time and do it differently........


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leash Adventures

When we take the kids out in the backyard, Poly MUST be on a leash (or she will sneak under the fence into the neighbor's yard); Casey will not do any "business" unless he is off-leash.  While they are outside, they like to play, and they can play hard and rough sometimes.  Well, Poly has been known to get the leash (30') around the table on the patio.  I will walk around the table to un-tangle the leash.  What happens?  She follows me, so it stays tangled.  It's actually pretty funny (even though it doesn't sound that from the way I'm telling it).

Both dogs are strong and can pull.  It is something that's improving, but Keith is the one who has to take them for walks because I am simply not strong enough to control them and keep them safe on a walk (in addition to some personal physical reasons).  The other day Keith comes and tells me that the 30 footer broke... snapped right in two.  He tied it together, but it isn't going to stay that way for long; she just pulls too hard.

With Casey off-leash and Poly on-leash, it has been known to happen that Poly wraps Casey all up in her leash.  I can't figure out if she's trying to get a leg-up on him or if it's an accident.  Surely she doesn't need to cheat to win their play-fights...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Drama King

Mr. Casey, drama king.  When Poly is getting attention, he HAS to come over and stick his nose in the middle of it (and fear not, he isn't lacking for attention).  We have a bone for each of them and a deer antler for each of them.  Well, specifically tonight, Poly got one and took it up onto the sofa.  Casey was having none of that.  He came over, sat on the floor with his nose right next to Poly's -- and more importantly, the antler.

He did, of course, move away a little bit when I got my phone out to take a picture, but you get the idea.  You'd think we never played with him or let him gnaw on a bone!

When we go outside in the backyard, Poly still has to be on a leash - she likes to dig and has a little too much interest in both getting into the neighbor's yard and tracking a phantom bunny - right under one of the gates in the fence.  Casey always comes from wherever he is and assumes that since my face is at his level, it's there for him to lick and he proceeds to do so.  It's quite distracting when trying to hook the collar to the leash.  It's even more interesting at night when we put their harnesses on.  Add his usual level of eagerness to pure out excitement and, well, we have one hyper pup.

Earlier today, they had their Kongs filled with yogurt (and frozen overnight).  Hers is the standard red; he requires the more sturdy one and it's black.  Of course they decided they wanted each others'.  I'll never understand.  They do, however, continue to crack me up!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Yes, I know we need rain and that we couldn't survive without it.  Try telling that to Poly!  She is a bit, ummmm, prissy.  She doesn't like to get wet, nor does she like to step on wet grass.  Last week we got a LOT of rain and it turned our backyard into a marsh because the ground was just saturated.  It was to the point where the kids were drinking out of puddles.  Gross!  Poly wound up having an accident due to refusing to go outside.  Honestly, I can't say I blame her; I sure prefer to take care of business indoors!

It seems the ground hasn't fully dried out because puddles have already formed, making "going out" quite the chore with her.  He'll gladly go out and stay there.  He LOVES it outside - happy as a clam!  He just shakes off the water and goes along with whatever he was doing.  She shakes the water off in her little OCD way, incessantly.  This is only after I've carried her to the area she usually uses, but she won't even do her business outside, even though she stands with me.... ok, ok, she's on the leash and can't go too far, but she walks in circles and never does anything.  I keep praying this doesn't result in another accident.

So, yeah, rain, rain go away!!!!  Poly has to pee some day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who Wants a Bone?

This evening, Poly was innocently playing with a bone.

Casey decided he wanted it, but isn't an aggressive dog, so did this little move:

He gets this pitiful look on his face and, as you can see, plops half of his body on their bed.

Poly, seemingly annoyed with him being so close to her and the precious bone, proceeds to fling the front half of her body around to gain some distance

and Casey gets an even more beggarly look on his face.

Shortly after this, Daddy took them for a 1.6 mile walk and now they're beat!

For the sake of update: Casey is now eating in his crate, door closed but not latched (which protects his food from her!).  He's super smart and comes almost all the time when called; he has "sit" down like a champ!  Poly's food is right inside the door to the crate, but she shakes some when she goes in, so we are building up to see if she can handle it.  She's really getting the hang of "sit" now and is doing it more and more quickly at mealtime.  The situation with the kitties remains the same - the first floor is "canine land" and the second floor is "feline-ville."  It works, at least for now.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis The Season

Keith and the kids just came back from a walk around the neighborhood.  It seems that our big furry kids are not at all pleased with the outdoor Christmas decorations.  It was a beautiful weekend here and tons of people took advantage of the fine weather to put up their lights and lawn ornaments.

Casey is most disturbed by the lawn reindeer.  He growled each time he saw one (and there are many in our development) and even tried to chase one!  Poly, on the other hand, just paced at all of the lights.  Back and forth, back and forth.

How many days until the end of the year??  It'll be just about that time that the furkids get used to the Christmas stuff!

DOCD - Doggie OCD

If I were a clinician, I would totally diagnose Poly with this disorder.  Keith suggests medication for her; perhaps a little Abilify would help.

We have had a rabbit living under our shed for years now.  Poly discovered it this week.  Granted, she hasn't actually seen the critter, but she sure has one powerful little nose!  Rumor has it (ok, Keith told me) that she tries to "climb" the shed.  I'll believe it when I see it.  She keeps her snout to the ground and you can tell that she's following a trail.  Does she want to make a new friend OR does she think she found dinner?  She's obsessed with one corner of the yard near a gate.  Does the rabbit open up the gate and hoppity hop through?  Really, what is up with the dang gate?  Fortunately Casey is always out there at the same time and he can distract her.  Us, her parents, not so much...

We have two holes going under our porch.  When they've been filled with dirt, it lasts only a day or two before they are opened up again.  We're nearly certain that they are groundhogs, since they are pretty plentiful here.  Poly just about gets her head into these holes.  One of these days she's going to get her little nose bitten!  She also goes under a rather large holly bush and she just about gets lost under this thing.  I have to wonder if something is living under there or just visits.  Either way, Poly likes it!  She pulls for these two things any time we're out front.  Girl has quite the memory!!  If only she'd apply it to "sit."

Yep, it might be time for meds.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day Weekend

It was a pretty quiet day for all 6 of us.  Wow, it sounds like a huge family... I guess maybe it is, especially when I start talking about us in terms of legs.  There are 20 legs in this house - yikes!

Anyway, Keith and I went to my Mom's house and the furry ones stayed home.  We returned home to the house just the way we left it!  What good kids!  The cats are even still alive...  We fed them some leftovers of turkey and stuffing on top of their regular food and they certainly enjoyed it.  We found out today that turkey isn't good for dogs.  Who knew?  This has been a public service announcement.

We went to the pet store today, sans dog.  I feel awful taking him and leaving her, so we didn't take either.  Anyway, Poly is a bit prissy and very picky when it comes to food.  We tried a few tricks, but with limited success.  She just isn't a big eater - she's not even food motivated for training!  Now, that's a challenge.  We shop at Perk Valley Pet Eatery, a local, family-owned pet store.  We figured we always shop there anyway, we might as well go on Small Business Saturday.  We had to take back the large back of food we'd gotten (when they - she - seemed to like the one type of food) and figure out something else to feed them.  We came home with a small bag of one food and the wonderful people at the shop gave us samples of a couple varieties to try.  Well, I got home and she wouldn't touch the one kind.  The second brand she ate for me, but not for Keith.  We decided that the fact that she had any interest in it at all was good enough.  Soooo, we truck back to the pet store (yes, it's us again -- although we brought Casey and Poly and only Keith went in).  He got yet another kind of food with a few cans (the Princess will gladly eat dry food covered in wet) in the hopes that she'll eat that.

Then we were off!  We thought we'd take a ride since the weather is so beautiful.  I can't believe it's nearly December!  We were going to go to the park but when we got on the highway, Poly began shaking.  She was terrified.  Keith had to carry her to the car just to get her in.  I believe she may be traumatized from spending time in a car coming up from the South; it's not even been a month.  We got to the park, but she was too scared, so we decided to come home.  Keith made a pit-stop to get his hair cut and the rest of us sat in the car.  Poly just slept, quite comfortable when we weren't moving.  Casey... well, he would love to get his license.  He's all about the front seat.  He got himself so tangled up in his car harness (which goes through the seat belt) that he could barely move.  I went to fix it and, well, let's just say he was very excited at the thought of getting out.  When we got home, he was one happy camper.  Then again, he's usually a happy camper.

Training update: he's a little too smart for his own good.  He knows to sit when he wants something (and will sit and look cute when there is something he wants that he has no chance of getting - like our lunch!); he's learning to wait rather than lunging for his food bowl and is doing a great job with waiting before going through a door or into his crate.  She's not quite as smart, although she's no dummy.  We praise her beyond belief when we see her sitting - party time!  We're working on "wait" although "sit" is more of a priority.  When she isn't motivated by food, asking things of her is difficult and we're nearly always praising her like crazy!

Funny stories:

  • The first day we had them was a Monday.  Keith was at work and I was here alone with two dogs we hadn't even had for 24 hrs.  When we are outside and they have done their business, I let them off-leash to run free around the backyard.  She decided it would be fun to play in the next door neighbor's yard and wiggled herself under the turkey wire.  Mind you, she wasn't on leash at this point and doesn't yet know her new name (I'm not convinced she ever knew her former name).  I truck over to the neighbor's yard to get her and she thinks this is great fun.  Now she's on a 30 ft leash when we go outside.
  • Casey is a jumper.  I don't only mean that he jumps up onto someone, though he does more than enough of that.  He jumps as if he's on a trampoline, straight up in the air.  It is one of the funniest things I've seen.  He gets so excited it's as if there is a spring that's come up from the ground, tossing him into the air.  He loves being outside so much that when he sees either the walking harness or car harness come out, he's sure to do it.
I caught another precious sleeping moment - again on our couch.  I really have to do something about that...  Anyway, I thought I'd share:

First, two similar pictures of "Doggies in a Circle" because Casey moved and the second picture is just as cute as the first  :-)

Sleeping Head-to-Head

I just can't get enough of these two!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Welcome to our blog.  First, I should introduce us - we are the Browns.  I am Jen, married to Keith.  Everyone else has four legs.  Currently we have two kitties and two dogs.  Are we a tad crazy?  You bet!  Do we love all 16 legs?  Without question!  While the blog is named for the dogs, you'll hear about all of our adventures as we travel this journey.

The kitties are Victoria and Albert (aka Tori and Bert), about 3 yrs old and named after an amazing restaurant in Disney World.  The dogs are Casey (a 60+ lb Shepherd mix with maybe some Husky and Chow thrown in there), named after a Counter service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and Poly (a 35-ish lb Vizsla mix and I have no idea what else); her name comes from the Disney fanatic shorthand for the Polynesian resort.  The dogs are guesstimated to be 18 mos-2 yrs old.  They hail from the south and saved by The Rescue Express out of Media, PA.  Let me tell you, they are a joy to work with!!!  The pups are here on a trial basis right now - it's quite an adjustment to see if we can go from zero dogs to two overnight.  We want to be sure we can meet their needs and provide them with the care and love the deserve without going over the edge ourselves.  We coordinated the trial period to be about a month and we're a week into it.  So far things are improving every day.

Bert on the left, Tori on the right

Poly in front; Casey in the back

I feel the need to say (before I go any further) that the title "A Tail of Two Dogs" was already taken...I tried!

If you couldn't tell, we love Disney just about as much as we love our furry kids.  Ok, I'll say it: We are Disney Fanatics.  There, it's out for all to know... as if it was a surprise to anyone who has spent more than 3 minutes with us.  We're looking forward to our upcoming trip... it's been too long since we've seen the mouse!

(Park icons, left to right): Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios

I think that's it for now.  I hope you'll keep up with our lives.  Please leave comments and follow along with our adventures!