Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thunder Boomers

Well, that's what we called them in my house growing up.

Recently, we saw this sky:

It was so beautiful yet so powerful at the same time.  Some intense storms followed this amazing photo.

For the most part, I really love thunder storms!  While this was not the case when I was younger (a lot younger if I'm going to be honest), I now think they are sort of romantic.  You may think I'm being weird, but when it gets all dark-ish, maybe the electricity goes out, it's quiet - the thunder can't be too loud or this whole thing goes out the window, so to say - it's a great time to snuggle with your loved one.  Of course this isn't so easy to do when you're alone.  But when hubby is home, I sure do like these times!  I've loved thunder storms since I started dating!  Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

Poly, however, could have done without the whole thing!  The lightening was striking, the thunder was booming... Poly was shaking.  :(   Poor baby does NOT like thunder storms!  We've tried the Thunder Shirt and some all-natural remedies with no success.  (friends have tried each of these products with success; I am not saying that these products are defective or a waste).

I would take video of her, but was too busy trying to comfort her.  While I was doing that, my husband kept busy trying to search for new ideas.  Well, the internet is a dangerous place!  He had heard about giving dogs a very small amount of Benadryl and wanted to check it out, especially since it's not all-natural.  Well as you can imagine he found sites which suggested it was the best thing ever and other ones which said it was evil.  As is the case with many things, I fall somewhere in the middle.  Evil?  No.  Best thing ever?  Sure not.

He also found one site which said that we shouldn't pay attention to her because it teaches her we'll love on her.  Ok, I have to let the cat out of the bag here... I have a degree in psychology and excelled in my behavior modification classes.  I'm no expert but I get that giving a dog attention when he/she is doing something bad they will learn that if they are misbehaving they someone will pay attention to them; that's super-basic, day one Intro to Psych thinking; it's called positive reinforcement.  However, I don't believe for a minute that Poly is doing this on purpose or that she had any control over it.  My heart goes out to her and I will not, I repeat will NOT ignore her her body language proves she is scared!

The storm passed and Poly returned to her usual nighttime position, asleep on the couch:

Casey remains unaffected by the loud bangs and follows Poly's lead:

I'd love to hear your experiences with thunder storms - both as a human and how your dog responds, plus what you've done which helps or doesn't help your canine kid(s).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Groundhog Strikes Back

So, my husband is a huge Star Wars fan, hence the geeky title of this post.  But I digress (before even getting started).

Yes, it feels like this is all I write about, but it's what our lives have become centered on lately.  The groundhog seems to have taken over here at the Brown household.  Poly will see the little rodent and bark incessantly for hours on end - no exaggeration!  She has a specific bark and Casey knows what it means, jumping up and going into the kitchen to catch a view of this thing.  He will stand at the back door, doing his horizontal jump, and groaning.  "LET US OUT!"  I still figure that the pups are quicker than the groundhog so refuse to let them out while it's in sight.

Yesterday brought our Groundhog Adventures to a new level.  Casey squeezed himself under the neighbor's fence and into their yard.  The Great Escape!  I must explain that Sir Groundhog (as he defines himself, best I can tell from his behavior) not only lives under our shed, but himself goes under the fence, into our neighbors' yards and under their sheds.  I presume that Casey wanted to follow a scent to catch the thing once and for all... for lunch.  Fortunately Keith realized it before too long and went to get him, no less hungry.

Later, after Casey's adventure Mr. Groundhog thought he'd (yes, it's a male - LOL) test the waters, as it were, and see how close he could get to the house without the dogs ramming through the glass door.  They had already seen the thing (from inside the house) once that day but stubborn (see, male) Mr. Groundhog wanted to play games.  Keith looks out and sees him inching closer and closer to the porch.  Fortunately the dogs were unaware.  The next thing Keith knows, the rodent is on our porch, only a few feet from the back door.  Again, we are thankful they were completely oblivious to the groundhog's latest attempt to presumably make new friends.

This creature will move for nothing!  When the dogs see it, and even when only the humans in the house see it, nothing makes him move.  We know Poly's bark is audible through to the outdoors - nothing; we know that our banging on the door gains attention from the dogs, but with the rodent? nothing; we have yelled and screamed and stomped our feet - nothing.  One of these days Poly and Casey are going to have quite a meal when Sir Groundhog doesn't make it out of our yard quickly enough.  When that day comes, rest assured, you'll know about it.

I do pray that day never comes...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Groundhog Day

Ok, so it's technically not Groundhog Day, but it is at our house.  I woke up this morning to two dogs barking - constantly and loudly - and Casey hardly ever barks.  They were both in their crates, but the barking was non-stop.  I figured either they saw something in the back yard or there was someone robbing our house... likely the former.

I showered and after I got downstairs I let them out of their crates.  Needless to say, the barking continued.  I didn't see a thing in the yard... not a thing!  But the barking persisted.  As you can imagine, I was starting to lose it.  At one point, I looked into the yard again and there it was - a groundhog running under the turkey wire into the neighbor's yard!  Well, now I knew the reason for the barking but couldn't stop it.

Not being able to think clearly after an hour (or more) of barking I called my husband.  He suggested that I let them outside so they could sniff where the groundhog was.  I figured it couldn't hurt and let them out.  I have to say, it was not an easy task.  Poly gets a training collar and a leash and she was having none of it.  She kept running away from me.  I finally got it on her - whew!  Now to get them to sit before I open the door (they always have to sit before going out).  Again, Poly was having none of it.  Casey is pretty good about it, but Poly usually needs a little encouragement.  With the presence of the groundhog, Casey spent a little time doing his vertical jump and Poly spent time running back and forth, in and out of the kitchen (where the door to the yard is).

I finally got them hooked up and ready and I opened the door.  I don't think I've ever seen them run that fast!  They took off to the corners of the yard and sniffed their little noses off.  When it was time to come in, they did so without issue and then both went to lay down in their spots.  Thank you, dear husband!

Believe it or not, Poly has begun barking again so I must go and figure out if the groundhog has returned.  I do have to say, he's not a very intelligent groundhog - there are two fairly good sized dogs in our yard... why run around in it?  I guess he's about as bright as Punxatawney Phil -- did Spring actually come early for you??  I've said enough!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Easter Bunny

Yes, you read that right - we have the Easter Bunny living in our backyard (well, ours and the neighbor's)!  Poly and Casey went berserk!  I just thought they wanted to go out since it was a nice day yesterday.  When I went towards the back door Casey did his "jump" where he jumps 100% vertical into the air.  He only does this when he is excited - like when Daddy comes home.  Poly was barking, but that's nothing new.

I let them out, having to be gone for a few hours and wanting them to enjoy themselves first.  Before I knew it, Casey had his head under the turkey wire into the neighbor's yard and Poly just stood there and barked.  A minute or two pass and suddenly I see this movement, this... bouncing... and voila - a bunny.  Given the recent Easter holiday, I think that the only logical conclusion is that it IS the actual Easter Bunny.

Now, I am left with several questions here, like why does such a prominent creature live under a shed, and how does this little critter carry all the goodies that go in Easter baskets?  I mean even Punxsutawney Phil has a virtual mansion and he doesn't travel the world giving out gifts and candy.  Heck, he's rarely even accurate on the one day a year he has to work.  Anyway, if you have answers to these questions, please post them!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Toy and Stuff...

I got a new toy.  I know, I know, you thought I meant the kids got something, but they have plenty of toys!  I got a new camera!  My coveting of this camera has not been a secret and we finally saved enough money to get it.  What am I photographing, you ask yourself?  Well, the dogs, of course!  They like to run towards it and check it out when I try to take pictures of them, though, so getting good ones is harder than it may seem.  I haven't yet connected the camera to my computer so cannot show you any of the pictures I've taken because I have gotten a few pretty adorable pictures!  In fact, all the pictures I've taken with this camera are of the dogs, minus a couple of exceptions of Keith pix.

Now to the "stuff" part of the post:  It is muddy outside today.  We're talking really muddy!  It's also not super cold (or the ground would be frozen - duh!) so the doggies are happy being out there.  I just can't leave them unattended while in the back yard (fenced in, btw) because of their inclination to dig.  Now, this is bad enough in dirt, but in mud, well, it's a downright nightmare!  I got Casey to come (literally) running towards the back door and inside.  Poly, on the other hand decided not to acknowledge my existence and continued to dig and sit in the mud.  I went and got her, brought her in and got a towel.  They both had to have their paws (and her entire legs) cleaned off.  They do not exactly enjoy this process, to say the least.

As you can imagine, these two paragraphs are NOT related -- I did not take pictures of my muddy "puppies."  Nor do I intend to take pictures of the muddy foot prints left in the kitchen before I got to their little paws.  Hmmmm, I wonder if we can make the entire back yard a wooden deck with a little corner for grass.  Hey, it's less digging space, right?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why No (Human) Kids?

I thought maybe I'd spend a post talking about why Keith and I are childless... or at least have no 2-legged kids.

Keith and I tried for quite some time to become pregnant, both naturally and with treatments.  Not only did I take medications, but he had surgery.  Even considering those treatments we did not become pregnant.  At one point Clomid had me sporting four (yep, you read that right), four eggs.  We could have had quadruplets!  Looking back I can't even imagine what life would have been like.  We are both totally anti-abortion and I would have carried all four to the best of my ability had we become pregnant with all four eggs.  As we discovered later, I had endometriosis and adenomyosis.  The names aren't really important.  What is important is that there is treatment out there, we tried it, and decided - a conscious decision - to stop trying.

We chose to finish with treatments in 2000.  It's still painful to talk about pregnancy, to see a pregnant woman, to hear children laugh, etc.  Even seeing babies is painful - but to those of you whose babies we love (and you know who you are), we don't love them any less!  I promise!  I love to look at babies, albeit painful.  I love to see babies when we're out or pictures of little ones!  While it is a reminder that we were never given that gift, someone else was and even through the hard times parents have, I pray that those little miracles grow up loved and happy.

For us, though, the decision to end our seemingly constant trips to the fertility specialist was the best decision we could have made.  Not only are treatments expensive financially but they take an enormous toll on our emotions.  The roller coaster we went through each month was more intense than the most intense roller coaster imaginable.

So now we are blessed with our four-legged kids!  We believe that it was God's plan all along.  Of course He knew that I'd never carry a baby and that we'd save the lives of 5 critters - so far!  For any of you who know someone going through infertility or who is childless, this post will help you further understand.  I encourage you to read it!

As always, ask questions, make comments, link to my post - it's all appreciated!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chicken and Toys and Naps... Oh My!

Sleeping in a circle - Casey will make himself fit in the
smallest of spots.
These kids are funny - so very funny!  For one thing, they get chicken with their kibble at dinnertime; they do not get it with breakfast.  Well, each and every morning, Poly will finish with her bowl and check to make sure Casey didn't get any chicken with his breakfast!  At dinnertime, she will check to make sure he's finished it.  They love them some chicken!  They can smell it when it's baking (summertime it gets grilled so they don't have that "privilege") and will go in and out of the kitchen - I guess to make sure that they aren't missing anything.

Toys.  We have to be very careful what toys they have because they LOVE to chew.  We discovered antlers, which we get from an online company (a reputable one) and there are frozen bones at the pet store which they adore!  Anything cloth or soft will be obliterated in a matter of seconds.  What else do we use, well, Kong (a great company) makes a line of black toys, as opposed to their usual red, which are more sturdy and bite resistant.  We sometimes fill them with peanut butter (sometimes not) and give them to the kids and they have still not decimated those Kongs.  We have many of these things in a crate, along with a couple of other toys ("Mr. Green Man" who remains intact - he's a green plastic ball with feet and a couple of other toys they can only play with when we're around to watch them).  It's hysterical to watch them (more Poly than Casey) dig for a specific toy they want and sometimes pull out a couple before they get just the right one.

Sleep is big for both kids.  They play HARD and sleep hard!  I love it when they snore or when it's obvious they are chasing something and barking at it.  I swear the groundhog living under our fence is in for it because these guys both have a good repertoire of chasing critters in their sleep... practice makes perfect.  They also like to sleep with their tongues out sometimes which is incredibly funny as well.  Casey is the more "people-person/dog" of the two of them.  As you can see in the picture, he likes to curl up next to us, even in the tiniest of spaces.  Poly... well, she dug herself underneath the blanket we have on the sofa and took a nap one day; I was fortunate enough to catch it on my cell's camera.  Enjoy!

Casey and his Daddy napping

Poly under the covers

Poly sporting her new sweater!  She doesn't have much fur to keep her warm.  Neither Keith nor I thought we'd ever put our dog in a sweater, let alone a pink, argyle one, but when she's shivering, love takes over and we do what we have to!

Casey - I love his left ear and yes, I *am* silly!

Poly sleeping with her tongue out

So, I added a few random pictures for your enjoyment.  I know I enjoy looking at them!  I guess that's all for now.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Great Escape

I apologize for ignoring this blog for so long!  The kids have been a handful and I simply haven't taken the time to write about their lives.  It's not as if anything major has happened, just the day-to-day stuff.  The kids do like to play and play rough!  Sometimes Poly initiates, sometimes Casey is the instigator.  But every time they have to be separated so they don't kill each other or cause permanent bodily harm.  It is funny to watch them jump from sofa to sofa as they chase one another, it's like some sort of gymnastic leap.  LOL

Adventures of late?  Well, they went to the vet.  And got shots.  That was fun - NOT!  Poly went to Dog's Nite Out at the park, compliments of our pet store, Perk Valley Pet Eatery.  Casey is a little too aggressive to be put in a situation where there are so many other people and dogs.  There were vendors and rescues and just lots of other people.  Well, Casey did NOT like that Poly went out without him - and in the car no less!  So, we got home to find Casey looking out the window next to the door.  Hmmmm, how did this happen?  Casey had to break out of his kennel and then open the baby gate!  Now that's one talented dog!  We have not since left him alone and taken her out.  She didn't enjoy herself anyway - she's too guarded and tentative.

Upcoming adventures?  Well, who knows...  What I do  know is that I'll do my best to keep up with this blog :)