Thursday, May 19, 2016


Here's the scoop:

Casey is incredibly tuned into me.  Right now, I have all sorts of stuff on the ottoman that we moved where it is for the single purpose of allowing Casey to be near me while I'm still in the comfort and support of my special back chair.  Basically, 90% of the stuff on the ottoman is related to my upcoming bariatric surgery - cookbooks, books written by patients and by doctors as well as a bunch of cookbooks.

It's been a tumultuous time around here.  I had gone through all the prep for my surgery which didn't happen (you can read that tale here).  I spent some time in a puddle on the floor before picking myself up and getting back on the program.  During this time, Casey wound up climbing up onto my leather back chair more than once.  He rests his head on the corner of the ottoman and gazes at me to the point where I feel guilty.  There just isn't anything I can really move right now.  I need all of those things at hand.  Casey just didn't like it!

Poly... oh dear, dear Poly.  We've figured out (for the most part) how to keep her from peeing in the house, but it's hard work.  She'll be 6 years old and it's incredibly frustrating.  She lives in her own little world and will sometimes cuddle up with Daddy.  She'll find either of us when a thunderstorm is coming.  There's very little else to comfort her (as I know I've said multiple times, we've tried a number of things, none of which help).

The twins are the twins.  Not much has changed.  Wait, that's not true.  We have had to move their food and pile containers and crates up so that Casey can't reach it.  Several attempts to stop him were a total failure and the poor little kids got cheated out of a lot of food.  Bert is losing weight and we can't really figure out why.  We don't think it has anything to do with the food displacement because he knows exactly where it is and how to get to it.  I've seen him.  Keith has noticed  more urine in the litter box and it's difficult to determine if it's Tori or Bert.  We worry that it's Bert and wonder if it's not a UTI, although unlike my Mom's kitty who had one, we are not finding pee all over the house (thankfully).  The jury is still out on that one.  We dread taking him to the vet -- again.  He was just there in March  (or April) and had to have a tooth pulled.  Torturing him to "help" him in the carrier and the driving the 5-ish minutes to the vet and drop him gently onto the exam table.  At the same time, we don't want anything to happen to him.

Neither of the kitties are fond of Casey sleeping upstairs, although I've woken up in the middle of the night to find Bert on the wedge at the top of my pillow.  They manage.  They love their cat tree and spend a lot of time in there.  Frankly, I think Casey is more afraid of them, with their hissing and swatting (did I mention that they won't let us clip their claws.... yeah).  They're figuring it out.

Yesterday I was on the exercise bike and can see the top half of the stairs and the lower half through the mirror on our curio cabinet.  After Keith left for work, Casey wanted to stay downstairs.  It turned out that he changed his mind and broke himself out of the downstairs "prison."  Poly caught wind of this and took it upon  herself to go partway up the steps (I'm still confused how I missed it).  She grabbed poor little lambie (may he RIP) and I found stuffing and the catnip pocket on the rug at the bottom of the stairs.  Lambie's outer shell was at the back door.  We're pretty sure she was going to bury him when she went out.  At least it wasn't Froggie - that would have been pure devastation for Tori.

Not much else to update right now....

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Snow Days! (and a few other things)

Casey and Poly go berserk over snow and we had nearly 3 feet a couple of weekends ago.  Casey loves to romp in it, especially when it's so high.  He is basically forced to romp since it was above his chest.  He sure didn't seem to mind, though.  Poly barks at it.  A lot.  She will follow the flakes as they come down and then attempt to find them on the ground.  When it's early in the storm, she'll bark at them all.  When there is any accumulation at all, she'll bark and then stick her little nose in the snow trying to find the flake she was following and comes up with snow on her nose.  It's super cute, especially since she'll jump up and flip herself 180 degrees before landing.  She really is adorable!

On the flip side, Poly will dig as soon as she can get to the ground.  With the snow (obviously) being white, it's obviously how far she tosses it when she digs.  Man, this girl can DIG!  It's to the point where she has created crevices which freeze over to an ice rink when there is melted snow in there.  Ok, well, a one person ice rink, but you get the idea.

Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, but Casey has begun sleeping in bed with us.  He was opening the gates anyway (he's quite tenacious) and we didn't want him to get hurt.  Poly sleeps downstairs, but she's been a good girl, especially since Grandmom got sofa covers.  Poly does, however, enjoy digging away at the sofa and getting them out of her way (she did it with the blankets we had covering the sofas, too).

Ok, back to Casey upstairs with us.  I promise this is related - Casey has been on Prozac for anxiety because he was consistently licking his paws until there were spots raw and bleeding.  Well, Mr. Stubborn began refusing the pills in cheese, salami, and finally Pill Pockets.  Don't get me wrong, these things have been amazing for nearly a year, but Casey is a stubborn dog.  We were giving them to him before he ate and at first he loved his pre-dinner "treat" - it has such a strong scent and presumably a strong flavor, covering up the pill scent and taste.  He began making that difficult and I would have to keep him from spitting it out.  Then we started putting it in with his dinner, which worked for a bit, but our dear pup started eating that in his first bite, proceeding to throw it up.  We gave in and stopped giving it to him.

So, back to upstairs.... in a minute.  Since he stopped the prozac, he has returned to the dog we know and love.  He had been lethargic, not wanting to run or play with his sister.  He wasn't eating both meals every day.  Well, he now has a voracious appetite.  We have to keep guard on Poly's food when she decides she wants to eat it and we don't bother even putting it down until she's ready.  Alright, now that Casey is upstairs with us *and is able to open gates* he will open the gate to the kitty's room, which we have gated, he will break in there and eat THEIR food!  There is no stopping this guy.  He is supposed to be losing weight and now we can't stop him from eating.

As far as sleeping in the bed with us, we try to beat him to the bed or whoever comes upstairs last will have no place to sleep.  He gives no consideration to the fact that his people need space, too.  Sadly, this also means that Bert doesn't get unlimited attention once the first of us climbs into bed.  Don't get me wrong...the kitties have adapted to Casey being there.  He and Tori can walk by each other without a glance.  Bert still hisses sometimes, but both have been on the bed at the same time with no attempts to scratch out eyes or eat the other.

Well, that's the latest with our pups and the rest of our family.

How do your dogs do with the snow, be it large or small?  Do your dogs sleep with you?

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Casey is 5; Poly will be 5 next month.  5.  5 years old.  Yes, you read that right, 5.

Poly does not understand that it's not permissible to tinkle in the house.  It just isn't.

We have tried so many things, but she just doesn't get it.  Casey has freedom in the house, except when we got out and Poly has to go to her kennel.  Then, Casey can run free upstairs and he can sleep on the sofa or the bed.  Poly has been out of her kennel overnight (the gate is locked then) and we have, more than once, found that she has peed on the sofa (typically).  Just last night, K came down to find that the towels covering the holes the dogs created when they were first here.  It's usually a blanket, but last night it was a towel.  We have tried putting towels or blankets in her kennel when she was confined overnight and she always peed on those.  I think the towels caused her to think that it was okay to tinkle on the sofa towels.

The problem is that we have left her out of her kennel overnight.  If we try to put her in, she will bark her little head off and we know she can sustain that for well over 90 minutes straight.  The neighbors will file an official complaint.  We can tell that she knows we're home because we can hear her barking.  That leads to the obvious conclusion that the neighbors can also hear her.  It's embarrassing.

But back to the peeing.  She's 5 years old.  I've tried a number of behavioral techniques, all with no success.  We have to catch her when she goes to the kitchen and assume it's because she has to go out.  For me, she usually doesn't react and I have to guess.  Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I miss and wind up stepping into it.  She won't pee on the carpet, but she will on a rug he have in the kitchen.  For K, of course, she will act like a "perfect" little princess.

If only she's wasn't so darn cute!

Friday, September 11, 2015


Hubby and I took a cruise - and Alaskan cruise, to be specific.  It was incredible!  We left the day before the cruise left (we departed from Vancouver) and did an excursion the day we disembarked.  This meant that we took the red-eye and didn't get back to Philly until bright and early Tuesday morning.

We had someone coming in to care for the cats.  After the many years she's been coming here, she'd never seen them, but she looked under the bed this time and caught a glimpse of our black twins.  She knew they were there and alive because the food was gone and the litter box was full.

We board the dogs at the most wonderful place.  It is called "The Dog House" and is located in Spring City, PA.  If you go onto Facebook and search for them (or just click here) you will find a picture of Poly and then a montage of pictures.  The LOVE her there.  The owner has said that she is the only pup he lets sit in his seat.  She is a star on social media!  LOL

We know our kids are safe and sound and happy while we're away and we could ask for nothing more.  We don't have to worry about them at all.  In fact, the dogs come home exhausted and will sleep for days after they get back home.  They are, in fact, asleep as I type.  Perhaps I'll join them for a little nap.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Long Time

It sure has been way too long since I've written and I will have to keep this short since I'm recovering from carpal tunnel surgery and typing is a bear.

So, hubby and I went on vacation and came back to discover that during their usual rough play, Casey bit Poly.  The boarder took her to his vet and took all the necessary precautions.  She was on an anti-inflammatory as well as an antibiotic, which just finished a few days ago.  He got her in just the "right" place.  Evidently her neck blew up to the size of a baseball!  I can't even imagine.  I would be in tears for her.  I know that it was innocent rough-housing.  Heck, I've been bitten by one of them when I tried to separate them.  Well, it was two weeks ago today that we returned and she had to go see the vet.  While the lump is much, much smaller than it was, it's still there and sizable (than if there was nothing there).  The vet took a quick sample and decided that it was a mucus gland thing.  She said to give it a few more weeks since she isn't acting differently than usual, is sleeping and eating fine, etc.  If it doesn't clear up in 2-3 weeks, we may be talking surgery - significant surgery.  Now, our cat Nikki (an only child) had more surgery in her little life than I can deal with remembering.  Poly is NO LESS IMPORTANT than Nikki.  We do have to consider that this is major surgery.  They don't do it at our vet's office and would have to refer to a specialist.  It is a practice of specialists we've seen before with Nikki's health problems.  I just pray that the lump shrinks and even better, disappears altogether.  We feared what Casey, being the tricky thing that is is, would do, so we took him with us.  He got all worked up, of course, but was more than happy to go back to the car.

Also when we got home, we found that one of our cats was missing.  The basement door had mysteriously opened while we were gone and the kitty sitter noted that it was open whichever day she came in and saw it.  The sitter has never, ever seen the kitties.  They hide from her, so she didn't think twice about not seeing him.  Between my husband and myself, we went down to the basement more than a dozen times, opened every drawer, door, cabinet, and closet, as well as under all of the aforementioned, all to no avail.  I was beside myself.  Not only was I a wreck, but his sister would stand on the steps at night and just holler at us - every night.  We knew she wouldn't last long without him.  We've always said that we feel less guilty that they stay upstairs since they have each other.  Anyway, we called the 2 local SPCAs, local vets and posted all over social media.  We wracked our brains as to how and when he would have gotten out.  We hung posters all over the neighborhood.  The worst case scenarios kept running through my mind as we drove around the neighborhood at dusk yelling his name.  Someone on hub's Facebook page commented about having taken all the drawers out of her bureau before finally finding her baby.  Well, it gave us the idea to hunt for our baby there.  We didn't even start with our own, master bedroom furniture.  We went into the basement, in the far corner, way, way back, tucked away to my bureau from childhood.  Hub started pulling out drawers and almost immediately found the little stinker.  My first question was "is he alive?"  The poor guy could have gone as long as 5 days without food or water - we're not sure exactly when he got down there.  Hub worked to pull him out, because of course he was in the furthest spot possible.  Once he was back upstairs, he had food and water and hopped right back into his routine, starting with waiting for me at bedtime when we snuggle.  When we called our vet to put out a "BOLO" on Bert, they gave us a site to reach out to, which led to the vet putting up a "missing kitty" sign in their office.  When we were there today with Poly, we got to tell them they can take it down!  It was a great feeling - and they said how excited they are when they get to take one down!

Now my hand is about to fall off, so I have to stop typing.  Those have been our critter adventures of late.

Monday, May 11, 2015


The Animal Rescue Site.

This site saves animals.  Rescues animals.  The name of the site is pretty clear.

Now, here's what's involved.  Click on the above link and there will be a button which says "Click here - it's FREE" and that's all there is to it.  There are other links/buttons you can click on, such as "Hunger" "Literacy" "Autism" "Diabetes" "Alzheimer's" "Veterans" and more.  It's a matter of clicking every day.  It doesn't take more than a couple of minutes and you're making a difference.... in the lives of those who live in poverty, helping those who aren't able to read, advancing research and resources for those with diabetes, veterans, and Alzheimer's, including others.

You can get sign-up to get a daily reminder email.  Personally I click on each everyday.  I mean, what the heck, I'm already there and it sure won't hurt anything!

If you are reading this blog, you are likely an animal lover.  You may foster rescues, volunteer at a physical rescue location, work at a special pet store (especially one like ours who is locally owned; sponsors rescue animals in-store, like our kitties; hosts foster organizations draw people to them outside of the store; promotes and sells only healthy foods and treats and well-made toys; partners with quality pet services such as vets, pet-sitters, day-care, and boarding locations and finally - one thing we love about our favorite store! - has events throughout the year where many reps from these services participate -- can you tell we love this store?); and adopt, not shop!  Yep, I stole that.  It's everywhere, but personally, it's on my husband's car.  My car's magnet is "My kids have fur" and there are so many more out there.

I've gone off on a few rabbit trails but I feel strongly about this cause and I suspect you do, too.  When people ask what breed Casey and Poly are, my answer is always "rescue" followed by saying that they are rescues, so we were told they are an "x-mix" and a "y-mix" but everyone sees something different in them.  I'm not trying to get any kudos for being some sort of hero but to show that these guys deserve forever homes!  Some of them have been abused, but can be trained, others come from high-kill shelters (Poly came from one in the South, which I understand is common), some are simply not wanted for one reason or another.

This site is one simple thing you can do to make a difference.  If we each click daily, just think what good can be done!  Won't you take a couple of minutes out of your day to improve the lives of others.

The Day After (from the eyes of someone who can't have kids)

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
(Excerpts from: Source)
This says it all.  -J

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

It's here.  The long-awaited Springtime.  I'm naturally warm and wore short sleeves most of the Winter, including the single-digit days.  But at least we're not dealing with snow and ice.  Heck, that amounts to copious amounts of dog poop when the snow melts.  With two large dogs.... well, you get the idea.

Today, hubby was outside weeding (!).  He SO very much wants to take Casey outside when he's out there, even just to get the mail.  We're not sure we can trust him to not run off.  This dog loves, loves, loves to run and you can see the smile on his face when he's doing it.  We want to get the pups a bigger yard, but that's a post for another day.  We have a 50' leash so while hub was outside weeding, we put Casey on that leash and hubster sat on it.  Casey seemed more interested in his desire to go for a ride in the car and peeing on a bush in our yard.  So, no such luck, bud.  He was still really good and didn't run away.  We are both envious of people in the development who have their dogs romping around in the yard while they do one thing or another.  It's just a tough call.  Casey is very protective of us and very protective of HIS yard.

Now to his sister.  When I put her out this morning at 7:30 she would run back and forth parallel to the house (which is unusual since she has her paths carved out on the perimeter of our property).  She would stare at something in one direction and them flip herself 180 degrees and run to the other side.  This went on and on and on until I called her in for breakfast.  I admit, I wanted to take a nap and the sooner I fed her, the sooner I could plop myself down on the sofa and snooze off.  She does still get excited about her new feeder so when I called her in for breakfast and she saw the neon green she came running!  She woke me up at some point and when I let her out she kept herself busy leaping around watching the ground for shadows of anything flying by.  It's really rather funny to watch but I can never catch a video of it.  Isn't that always the way?

To re-cap: We have Casey sometimes outside, eating dirt when he's unattended.  We have Poly chasing shadows and trying her darndest to break out of the yard by digging at the gate, despite K re-filling that hole with dirt today.  We have the possibility of Sir Casey having some freedom on our property.  Yep, I think that about covers it.

So, we have open windows, happy puppies, a weeded "garden" area (thank you, thank you, thank you, K!) and the prospect of Mr. Casey being free in the front yard when we are out there.  Updates to follow.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ask and You Shall Receive

Poly is a piggie.  She inhales her food.  Even if I showed you a video, you wouldn't believe how fast she would snarf down her food.  BUT, today I got her this new feeder and while Casey lays down and takes a few pieces at a time, reaching his neck over his bowl, today they finished at the same time!  The exact same time!  This thing is miraculous.  I am not receiving any compensation for this post, but with just one use, LOVE this product!!

It is called Green mini interactive feeder:

It is my new best friend!

Monday, April 13, 2015


I don't know about any of the rest of you, but weather here is currently 74F.  I do not intend to brag, but it's magnificent, near perfect weather!  The sun is shining, there's a slight breeze -- heck, I even drove on the highway (!) with my windows down.  It is that great out.  For this time of year in this part of the country, I'll soak up as much of this as I can!

Poly and Casey?  They are loving life right now.  I only had to stop Casey from eating dirt once and never saw Poly dig.  Impressive!  They were out a few times but I think the sun got to be too hot for them.  Right now, every window is open and the doors are making for a spectacular breeze.  But, Poly is on the love seat sound asleep and Casey is enjoying the cross breeze while laying on the floor.  I'm in a bad place physically, but if I wasn't, we'd be taking the most enjoyable walk of all time!

Weather wise, our week is hit or miss.  Tomorrow - rain and mid-60s; the rest of the work week has us in the 60s with no rain in the forecast, just clouds.  Over the weekend I think we had one day of 46 (or something).  Happy Spring, Mid-Atlantic!

I hope you're having as gorgeous of a day as we are!!!  Take those doggies for a walk...and if someone feels so inclined, c'mon over and walk my big kids!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oh Dirt!

Yes, dirt.  Guess who?  If you guessed Poly you'd be wrong.  Right now, Casey is outside by himself.  When I don't watch him (and sometimes when I do), he will find himself or create pieces of dirt.  He is a good pup, he really is.  But when I call his name for him to come inside, he stays put.  This is not the Casey we know and love.  It's as if he's been invaded by dirt-eating aliens.  We go to an amazing pet store and I asked the owner if there was a reason.... if there was some deficiency in his food, if it was a sign of something bigger, etc.  It turns out it's one of those "weird dog things."  Casey isn't the only one and that's good to know.

Now Poly has her own dirt issues.  She is a digger and she's GOOD at it!  We're not sure what she's trying to find or where she's trying to escape to, but she's a digger.... a very, very good digger.  So, snow melts when it gets warmer.  Melting snow = mud = very, VERY messy digging.  She's outside now but the mud is slowly becoming dirt.  I can deal with dirt.  I still head over to the door or the window since she's outside.  She's not allowed to dig.  It's one seriously bad habit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Animal Kindness times 100

I'm not going to do much writing here.  This story really says it all.  Now, have the tissues ready and have a seat for the fewer than 15 minutes it will take to watch this video.  It will warm your heart - I promise!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring has Sprung, Melting Snow has Created Mud

Let me start off by saying that I am not complaining.  While I do love the cold (coming from a middle-aged woman, remember), I also love Spring!  Now, here in the Northeast, the first day of Spring brought with it 6" of snow.  Happy "living in the Northeast" weather, where you never know what to expect.  I think we could create a game show of some sort.

Now, take 6" of snow and add in a pinch of above-freezing temps and we have a melt.  Now, before I had dogs (as an adult) I never considered the ramifications of this melt.  Melt=Mud.  It's as simple as that.  For my pups, Poly in particular, this means that digging creates a gargantuan-sized mess.  Casey will come in and I'll have to wipe off his feet.  While it's not his favorite thing in the world, he tolerates it.  Heck, I'll come in and find that I have to wipe my shoes off to avoid trampling mud and muck into the house.

Enter Poly.  Today I had an appointment so I left her outside to let off some of the energy she had from a whopping 2 hours in the kennel.  I checked on her several times and all appeared well in her kingdom.  One time, though, things were amiss.  There was dirt on the ramp to the shed.  This can mean only one thing.  Digging!  Fortunately she came in when I slid on a pair of shoes - she knew I meant business and that she was coming in one way or another so it was best if she didn't fight it.  What I saw was nothing short of .... well, ICK!  I pulled solidified mud (though not as dry as dirt) in pieces as big as one square inch.  Gross!!!!  There was mud going in all directions.  She isn't a fan of the paw-cleaning to begin with and this was that multiplied by 50!  It wasn't long until I was going to be leaving and neither she nor I could tolerate any more, so I put her in her kennel.  There was just enough time to get the hand vac out and clean up the big pieces that were strewn about the nook.  I have to say, she was not happy about that noise.... and she couldn't escape.  At the time I wasn't terribly sympathetic, but now I do feel sort of bad.  However, there wasn't a better option.  She couldn't go running free around the house with her dirty toes and the mud had to be cleaned up.

I wish I'd taken pictures.  It was quite the scene, although I have already admitted my terribly inconsideration of any sensitivities the vac may have caused to her ears.  It's just hard to describe the amount of mud that could garrote itself into those toes of hers!

On another front, Casey continues to sleep upstairs.  He also continues to sleep parallel to the head/foot boards, leaving little room for hubby and me.  Last night I got up for some reason and came back to zero room.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to move an 85-lb dog from your area of the bed?  He wasn't super co-operative, but some excited calling of his name and some physical encouragement got the job done enough that I could squeeze in.  No complaints though, not big ones.  It's nice to have him snuggling with us at night and this morning I woke up to him with his head on Daddy's pillow and somehow under the covers - just like a human.  So cute :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


All of our furry kids are spoiled.  The twins, Casey, and Poly.  The way we see it, that had rough starts so we want them to live in the lap of luxury.  Had it been children or Kilter the story would tell a little differently, but it's not.

In my last post, I said that Casey had most recently figured out how to open the gate and that we had to lock it; he figured that out, too; we added the bungee cord and he broke through that (without actually removing the cord).  We have made a decision here in the "B" family and it's a big one, so...

<drum roll, please>

Sir Casey now sleeps upstairs with his Mom and Dad.  In the bed.  An 85-lb dog.  In the bed.  With two adults.  In the bed.

Let me paint you a picture.... I sleep with a wedge pillow for reflux; I also sleep with a body pillow to help keep the pressure off of my arthritic back (yes, I really am 43); I have had to move more to the center of the bed for reasons I won't bother to describe here; finally, I am not a tiny woman, rather quite the opposite and I mean quite the opposite!  MrB has 2 pillows and one of them usually winds up more towards the center of the bed.  This is not a complaint but a statement of fact.  Add in the big guy, who sometimes sleeps perpendicular to his parents and we find ourselves in quite the quandary.  We do find ourselves in a king-sized bed so we humans do have that going for us.

I went out yesterday.  When I came home, I found some of the kitty's toys in the living room, joined by a couple stuffed animals we keep on the steps (I mean, Dory has to keep an eye out, right?).  Since I was gone, Poly was in her kennel, so the "injuries" done to our stuffed friends is all Casey.  I put them on top of a cabinet which is about 3' high.  I came down this morning to find the cat's spider toy being decimated.  He was already missing a "pom-pom" foot yesterday, but this was the final blow.  He was bleeding out... innards, that is.  He flat-lined.  He didn't make it.  It was then I realized that the only way to keep everyone else (Dory, the turtle, and the monkey) safe was to put them onto the counter.  I did have to be careful, though, since Poly has found a way to reach onto the counter and take things (to date, it's only been food, meat specifically).  We'll see if these guys stay safe.

On another topic, I know I wrote a few days ago about how Casey ripped open the bag of jelly beans and spit out the black ones.  Crack.Me.Up!  Anyway, I saw this video of a dog with a lemon and think I may have to pick up a lemon next time we're at the supermarket!

Have your furry kids done anything funny with food?  Had any adventures with those of the stuffed variety?  Done anything funny at all (and the answer to this is always, always yes!)?  I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oh Casey.....

We've given the babies a little more freedom of late.  While Poly continues urinating on the couch, she still has the freedom of spending the night on the furniture.  Casey does as well, but he doesn't chew or use the house as a toilet, etc.  He just doesn't make bad choices.  Or at least he didn't.  He had been escaping his kennel which is what prompted the "more freedom" movement in our house.  Casey had escaped enough times and since we didn't see how he got out, we didn't want him to hurt himself on the way out.  He has a breakaway collar, but he could still get scratched/cut.  It just didn't seem safe and we didn't want to put him in danger.

We have a baby gate on the steps to the upstairs.  It keeps the dogs from going up and there is a cat door, should they decide to come down.  Poly and one of the kitties have touched noses a few times, but mostly Poly gets freaked out, barking and running around the house.  When both dogs are outside, I have recently felt or heard a kitty in the kitchen while I'm watching the dogs Poly to make sure she takes care of business and doesn't beg to come in and wind up going in the house.  The gate has served its purpose for years now, no problem...... Until - earlier this week, Casey figured out how to get the baby gate open.  This dog is too smart for his own good!

It's a teensy bit hard to explain but I'll give it a shot.  The gate's lock in on top.  There is a red part that slides left, unlocking the a handle-type thing which lifts up so the door will open.  Now, we didn't use the "unlocking" part because it just makes it more difficult on us and the handle part had been enough to keep all of the kids in their own spaces (with a random kitty sighting on the dog floor).  One night we saw Casey - upstairs, trying to get on the bed!  Upstairs!  There was a lot of banging and he broke through 3 times (I think).  Each time he had opened the gate and after the first time we slid that red part over to further lock thing up.  That means that he is brilliant and figured out a way to slide the red thing over and pull the lever up to open the gate.  We're pretty sure that he just wanted to be with us and was going to get to us one way or another.  We can hear him sometimes jumping onto the gate to get to us - as is evidenced by the missing paint where the gate meets the wall.

It was probably 3 days ago that we added a new layer of security.  When hubby and I are away from the house, we keep the red thing over the lever and have now begun using a bungee cord to lock the door in place.  That worked.  Until today...  Hubby was in the shower and heard a lot of banging.  When he got out of the shower he found Casey, upstairs and the bungee cord was still in place.  Who knows how this guy made it upstairs, but he did.  We have to figure out something new.  We definitely have a Houdini on our hands.

It's coming up on Easter and we have jelly beans in the house.  We leave Casey free during the day and when we go out, Poly goes into her kennel.  Keith and I both went out last evening.  Keith arrived home before me and found that he had broken into a bag of jelly beans I had hidden in a basket which I had covered with a med box and my datebook and a few other things.  Well, Casey and his super nose found them.  He got the bag open and ate a bunch; we're not sure how many.  He did spit some out, though - the black ones.  I mean, who likes black jelly beans?  There must be a market for them because they make entire bags of just the black ones, but to add them into the fruit-flavored mix?  Well that's just wrong.  Casey knows that and Keith found them laying on the ground with the rest of the opened bag.

Oh Casey.....

Monday, November 17, 2014

'Tis (nearing) the Season

Yes, here we are again.  We're right on the heels of Thanksgiving which leads right into Christmas.  It is an incredibly holy day for us, but we love to decorate and to find just the right gifts for people.  We like to give gifts - in fact if I could give 1% of what I wanted to, we'd need to have a million coming in annually.  Hub says he loves that about me, but I have to question it.  I mean, we're on one income and one disability check with 2 human mouths and 4 furry kid mouths to feed.

One big decision: to Christmas tree or not to Christmas tree.  Pre-kitty twins and doggies, we had a tree (usually live) in the living room and one 3' artificial one in our bedroom holding the extra special ornaments... the ones we got when we were married (a popular gift when you marry in December), the ones we get every trip we take, the ones we have for the first year in our home and for anniversaries, plus the ones for all of our furry kids.  Needless to say it's time to get a bigger tree for those ornaments.  BUT, we now live with twin kitties who have pulled down a curtain.  There is no way they can be trusted alone with our special tree.  The dogs...  well, the year we got them we were only home for a couple of weeks before Christmas arrived.  Last year I was stuck in our bedroom after some surgery so we had no tree.  I do have to add to that to let you know that hubby got me a "Charlie Brown tree" (which it was officially called as evidenced on the tag) and my Mom picked up a small metal tree because I was so upset about not feeling like it was Christmastime.

So, I think we have to eliminate the upstairs tree.  This is crushing - both for obvious reasons and because we would always leave it lit Christmas Eve when we left the radio on with Christmas carols all night long, so we'd wake up to it.  It's also crushing because I'm not sure exactly how I want to handle a downstairs tree.  Or other decorations for that matter.  We have enough boxes of decorations to have every inch of this house covered.  It's been years since we've gone all out.  I've not been feeling all too well lately, so we're basically faced with the tree vs. no tree debate.

The pups would never be alone with it.  They have not proven themselves trustworthy to be out of their kennels when we're not home.  With our very open floor plan, they'd never be more than around a corner from us seeing them.  We're considering an artificial 4' tree which we already own.  But what about the other stuff.  I neglected to mention that the nativity is a no-brainer and goes up every year without fail.

So, tree?  No tree?  Live (I'm sooo afraid that Casey would want to "mark it" as his own)?  Artificial?  Eeeeep!  Help a girl out here!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Brains and Beauty

We have recently established that Poly, while smart when she wants to be or when it involves food, isn't the brightest bulb in the box.  She is not a good problem-solver.  For instance, when we unlatch the two slides on her kennel she still thinks she's locked in.  Casey, on the other hand, can actually break out of his kennel and, after we undo just one of the hooks, pushes his head halfway out.  I had re-configured the furniture for an afternoon and Poly wasn't able to find a path to get onto the sofa.  Casey didn't think twice about leaping over my legs one time and simply going around the furniture a different time.  She just can't figure certain things out.  It's a darn good thing she's cute!

Of course Casey is pretty adorable himself!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here.  It's been in the mid-60s to mid-70s with a breeze - we're talking unbeatable!  Casey and Poly think so, too.  While Casey only wants to go out and enjoy the gorgeousness with his people, Poly is content being out there all day, mostly "guarding the shed."

Let me go back to the last time it was so incredible outside.  Hubby has just fixed the screen on the slider that goes out to the back yard.  Both dogs like to scratch at screens when they want something.  At the back door it's usually to go outside.  As for the front door, well, let's just say there is a lot of excitement when Daddy comes home from work!

Ok, well with a lot of scratching at the door it was time to replace the screen.  Keith got the stuff and voila, all better.  The very next time we opened the screen in the sliding door, Poly didn't realize it was there and ran right through it.  Right through.  It tore about a foot up one side and a foot along the bottom.  Well, then came the heat and we turned the a/c on, not giving it another thought.

Mr. Smarty-pants, Casey, quickly realized the tear was there.  Just this week, I heard him come up the steps to the back door so I went to let him in.  I turn the corner into the kitchen and there he is --- IN the kitchen!  I go hunting around for duct tape and go outside to tape up the rips.  A couple hours later he and Poly ask to go out, so I go marching back out to the kitchen only to find that he has let himself out!  This is not a doggy door!  Of course Poly didn't exactly realize she could do the same.  Anyway, I got down on the floor and taped the corner of the screen from the inside.  Here is the only duct tape we have in the house:

It's quite the sight.

The next night, we headed to the home improvement store and ordered a new door.  We'll have Minnie Mouse keeping an eye on Casey for the next 2-3 weeks until it's installed.

Love my big kids!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Girl!

I've mentioned a bunch of times that Poly is our stubborn challenging problematic difficult demanding ... what is the right word?  Ok, I'm going to say it... Poly is sometimes downright impossible.  Don't get me wrong, I love her to death.  I mean, who couldn't love this face?

No need to go on and on about her tough side.

We've had continual problems with her thinking it's ok to "go" in the house.  We've done our best to teach her that she cannot do that.  However she isn't getting the message.  Just last week I stepped onto a wet spot on a rug we have in the foyer.  I didn't know it was there and... squish.  Yep squish.  Yep, gross!  Sometimes she goes into the powder room to let us know she has to go out.  GOOD GIRL!  Other times she will have been barking at Sir Groundhog so we don't know if she needs to go out.  Sometimes she'll scratch at the sliding door when she has to go.  She'll often already be in the kitchen "sun-bathing" and doesn't alert us to her need.  There isn't anything consistent and since she feels it's ok to use the house as her potty (#1 only, thankfully!) it's hard to catch her at just the right time.  I've tried an array of different things but in the end, just when I think she's got it down, squish.

MrB is usually the person to spend the mornings with them, since he has to get up to go to work anyway (I do my part on the weekends and if a need arises).  Recently he's been leaving me notes on my nightstand letting me know whether or not  she "pee-d."

That brings us to today.  I woke up to a note saying that MrB didn't know if she went.  So, out of her kennel and right outside.  One of the things I've tried is holding onto her leash until she goes and then setting her free to stalk groundhogs or secure the shed.  When she finally had it and was consistent for a couple weeks, I stopped going with her.  She would tinkle first thing before running around the yard.  Especially in the mornings she really needs to "go" first thing.  Don't we all?  Sometimes she'll stop when she's run around to a place where she's hidden from us.  Today was one of those days.  Today I got the "I don't think..." note.  I took her out twice before calling MrB on the phone.  He said he was pretty sure that she had... just not certain.  I told her I was taking a risk and trusting her and let her have free reign like usual.  Here I was, sitting innocently and Poly went into the kitchen.  I heard her get a drink and lay down to sunbathe in front of the sliders.  This isn't new; she does it virtually every day.  Suddenly I hear it.  A bark coming from the kitchen.  Did I really hear it?  Casey was in here with me and he doesn't really bark anyway.  It was Poly!  I went out with her and as soon as she found just the right spot, she squatted and the rest is history.  Now, I can't have false hope her... I can't let her play with us so we gain confidence and get sloppy.  But for today... GOOD GIRL!!

As an added note, what the heck makes a dog decide one spot is better to use than any other.  And why do some dogs (Poly) feel the need to run in a bunch of circles before finally squatting?  I find this curious.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

And here we go again

It's storming.  Again.  Thunder, lightening, horizontal rain -- the whole thing.  And the dogs are exactly the same each time.  Actually that's not entirely true.  Poly has gotten SO much calmer when there are storms.  She still shakes sometimes, though not all the time.  At least one of us is with her, as best as our schedules allow.  At this moment she's curled up in a ball, breathing somewhat deeply but no shaking.  I keep praying that this means she feels safe here... with us.  It's been a few years since she and her brother arrived.  I'm glad to know that after all she's been through, she considers this her HOME!

 I may have told these stories before and if I have, please forgive me.

Poly's life started in Georgia where she somehow wound up in a "high-kill" shelter.  Actually she spent her entire life in a shelter.  She never had a home.  Never had someone to let her sleep on the sofa.  Never had people care for her, and snuggle with her.  It makes me sad just to write that.  Fortunately, after her traumatic beginnings, a rescue picked her up and brought her up North.  She was fostered for about a millisecond before we grabbed her.

Actually we were hooking up with someone from the rescue to meet Casey!  He was in a high-kill shelter as well.  We know little about his history other than that he was adopted with his brother.  That adoptive family felt overwhelmed loving both of them.  I can't imagine how, but they gave Casey (then known as Wesley) back.  Again, this was our blessing and we have the privilege of loving him - and spoiling him!  So, we went to meet Casey and Poly (then, "Wendy").  She hadn't been up North very long but seemed to have bonded with Casey.  The two of them were romping around and playing together like they'd shared their entire lives together.  Then Poly snuggled up to MrB and that was that.  We'd been sucked in.  We were now the parents of TWO dogs....

So we are in the midst of a pretty awful storm.  Casey is just hanging out.  Poly plopped herself on the ottoman next to me after Daddy left for just a minute.  She remains there... here:

Now is that adorable or what?  I guess I'm taking advantage of her storm snuggles since she usually pays the most attention to Daddy.  She's doing ok now.  Deep breaths and snuggling against my leg.  I'll take it!

Before I end with the poem below, please remember


I have absolutely no idea where I got this and apologize that I don't have a name to reference:

Tail tucked between your legs,
Confusion in your eyes -
I know it's hard to understand
That someone heard your cries.
When loneliness is all you know
And pain is all you feel
And no one can be trusted,
And hunger's all too real...
That's the time the Lord sees you
And lets you know He's there
That's when He sends His messengers
The hearts that love and care.
Yes, rescuers are angels
You cannot see their wings, 
They keep them neatly folded
As they do their caring things.
The medicine to make you well
Good food to make you strong,
And finally to help you learn
That hugs are never wrong.
The perfect place then must be found
The home where you can live
Secure and safe and happy
With joy to get and give.
When you reach your Forever Home,
Your place to feel whole,
The Angels smile, and off they go

To save another soul.

Monday, July 14, 2014


It has been storming a lot here in the Mid-Atlantic.  I mean a lot!  There are flood watches and warnings as well as actual flooding.  Many of the storms have had thunder and lightening.  I think I've mentioned before that Poly is not a fan of "thunder-boomers" (as they were called when I was a scared little one).  Firstly, our little Princess doesn't like to get her paws wet.  Heaven forbid.  You have to time it just right where she actually has to go, the grass isn't wet, there is no mud AND right before the storm starts.  She is one high-maintenance pup.  We love her a lot.  I mean a lot!

Poly could be a weather-dog if we taught her to use the green screen.  She shakes with storms.  Often she senses they are coming before we're even aware of an impending storm.  Poor little girl wants to be cuddled up next to something -- usually someone.  We've tried the ThunderShirt (which I know to be very successful with other pups, just not our Poly) as well as some holistic remedies.  Nothing works for our little girl except some love and cuddling.  No problem!  I read one article about how you shouldn't give your pet extra attention when they're shaking during storms because it just teaches them to shake more.  Ok, hold on just one minute!  I have a degree in psychology and behavior modification was my favorite topic (I'll have you know I got an "A" in training my mouse, but I digress).  I understand "Classical Conditioning" where you give a reward with a desired behavior occurs.  I just don't think this applies to FEAR!  C'mon, would you do that to a baby who's afraid of something?  Yes, you would totally give the baby love and attention.  Why on earth would someone say you shouldn't do as much.  Argh!  People frustrate me!

Storms: Casey.

That's basically the extent of it.  Or he'll snuggle with us, but that's what he does a lot of the time.  While he can be a bully, not wanting his sister to get attention unless he is -- or instead of her, he's a big lover.  We love him back... happily!  Well, that's the extent of our big kids and storms.

 The little ones (our two kitties), well, unless they are here (see left) they are under the bed or in the tub.  Ok, so Bert might be in the tub; he's the one on top.  Tori will likely be hiding under the bed or in the spare bedroom.  They're pretty "chill" when it comes to thunder storms.  Thankfully.

Here's hoping praying the basement is dry!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Long Overdue

There is no excuse.  None.  At all.

However, I'm going to offer one up anyway.


Life is crazy busy.  You know it.  It's true for you, too.  It seems to be true for everyone these days, doesn't it?  Work.  Cooking.  Shopping.  Movies.  Dinner out.  Family Visits.  Friend visits.  Cooking for said visits.  Phone calls.  Life.

The dogs are loving life right about now!  They are sound asleep.  Poly spent most of the day outside, getting annoyed when I would force her to come in, cool off, and get some water.  Poly was in quite a "place" where she loved what was going on, but it totally set off her ADD.  Wishes (at least that's what we call them here in the Mid-Atlantic) were flying by and Poly couldn't help but chase after them, either with her eyes or by running after them.  At the same time, she was on the lookout for birds to fly overhead so she could chase after their shadows.  Meanwhile, Casey couldn't decide if he wanted to stay outside, where he could periodically eat some branches/grass/dirt or he stays inside with his people - or person, as it were.

Sir Groundhog has reared his ugly head.  There has been quite a raucous around here.  I've taken a few videos and I'll share one with you.  Oh, by the way, it seems Sir Groundhog has developed a relationship and they are both eating the clover taking over our backyard.  Ugh!

Here is where I tried to load a video of the pups going crazy over Sir Groundhog.  Casey definitely provides great entertainment.  However, I'm sure you noticed the word "tried" and that gets the idea across.  I thought I finally had it... the box with the first screen and the arrow.  I was so excited (the dogs were sleeping at the time).  Then I clicked on it and nothing.  Noth-ing!  Perhaps I'll figure it out for another video entry.

We've taken oodles of pictures of these big guys.  Unfortunately I can't  post them right now.  I promise I'll get them up as soon as possible.

MrB and I had several engagements the weekend before last.  This meant that the dogs were alone.  I was feeling incredibly guilty about that.. I can't imagine I'm alone in that, right?  So, I grabbed my jammies and slept on the sofa.  Two nights in a row.  Now that makes for a couple of happy dogs!

Casey is a champ when it comes to behavior, paying attention to us about 99% of the time.  Poly, on the other hand, still thinks it's ok to pee in the house.  Really?  She's 3 yrs old!  We've tried everything!  For a long time now I've taken her outside myself and stayed with her (she was on a leash) until she finally went and then she was free to romp, run, and play to her heart's desire.  It was working for a while.  That "while" came to an end.  Just this week, while she was barking her head off, she was presumably barking at one point to go outside.  I do hope that's what happened because I stepped in a wet spot on an area rug in our foyer.  At other times she'll go 16 hours without going (like during Hurricane Sandy).  She's a very confusing dog.  She has gotten really good at coming in when she's called from outside.  She's usually in front of the shed, happy as a clam.  It's almost a straight line from the shed to the back door.  She's a tricky little thing, though because she'll head towards the door and then veer off to the right, heading back towards the door at the last minute.  Now that we know she does that, it makes us laugh.  She really is one smart cookie!

I'll get quiet now.  Hopefully not for too long.  There are plenty more antics here with the "B" critters.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Our Babies

Wow, I cannot  believe it's been since JULY that I've written!  I knew it had been awhile, but 9 months?  Now that's just neglectful!

What have the kids been up to since I last posted?  Well, they stayed with "Mr. Jim" twice while we went away.  The husband and I went away twice.  Once was to Disney World for to Night of Joy.  The other was for a relaxing and (mandatory) un-plugged anniversary (18th) away.  Hub's job was super stressful, to the extreme that he was angry, yes ANGRY at not being able to reach Keith for that long weekend... 3 days of which he was already off for holiday time and the other day was vacation time.  I could easily go off about this, but I'd rather talk about my birthday trip.

We are HUGE Disney fans and we are Christians who love contemporary Christian music.  Night of Joy is the perfect combination of these things.  It sounds like a Christmas celebration, but it's in September...every year.  We got to see concerts from Stephen Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, Matthew West, The Newsboys (others performed, too)...  AWESOME lineup for 2013.  Ok, I got off a little bit and I apologize.  Back to the pups!

While it is boarding when they stay at Mr. Jim's, he is incredible and takes such good care of them!  They come home exhausted!  It takes every ounce of energy, after their rush of seeing us, to get in the car.  They are happy to see him when we drop them off.  I had surgery in December (the day after our "un-plug" trip) and wasn't able to properly care for the dogs.  Rather than worrying, Mr. Jim was more than happy to accept a couple of last minute daycare friends.  He has told us that he never lets any dog on his chair.  Poly, however, stole his heart and she is permitted on the chair.  Poly and only Poly!  She steals hearts pretty easily.  Casey is darn good at this himself.  He is a big lover if ever there was one.  He jumps all 4 legs in the air with a vertical jump because he is so excited to see someone he knows.  Kisses.  He LOVES kisses and will give them to you, even if he doesn't know you.  He will sit next to you and hand you his paw, or both paws, and wants you to pet under them until he slides down the sofa and wants belly rubs.  Such a lover!

As I've written before, Casey and Poly are rescue dogs.  We completed an application with interest in Casey.  They accepted our application, did a home-study and interview and checked references - adopting a human doesn't seem so extensive (kidding...just kidding!).  We'd gone through a different rescue to adopt our kitties, Victoria and Albert (aka Tori and Bert).  So, Casey seemed to be a good match for us so we met him with his foster Mom.  Immediately we knew he had to be part of our family!

I mean really -- look at those eyes (even though they're half closed) and those ears - oh my goodness!  He had us at "hello!"

Well it turns out that the foster Mom was also caring for a dog, a Vizsla (what? you ask, what is that?).  Well, we had no idea either, we just knew she was a cute, sly little thing!

She knew how to work the situation.  "Hmmmm, if I curl up in a tight little ball right between the two of them and let them feel how soft I am, maybe, just maybe they'll take me home."  And while we're at it, big guy, let's play together and then take a nap right at their feet.  That'll really suck 'em in!

Well, she was right.  A few days later Wesley and Wendy because Casey and Poly and were deemed members of our family forever.

Ok, so, Poly...a vizsla.  The video will show you how beautiful this breed is.  She is not pure vizsla, of course, but she sure does have many (MANY) of the qualities of them.  Basically what I tell people when they ask is that hubby and I had never heard of the breed before Poly and that she's a Hungarian hunting dog.  That pretty much sums it up from this end.  This dog can dig like nobody's business and regularly tries to get under the fence on both sides of the yard.  Yep, she's a digger!

We've had a rough winter here in the Northeast//MidAtlantic.  These guys were not so sure about all of the snow.  Poly tries to catch snow flakes and gets upset when they fall to the ground, getting lost in the inches of snow on the ground.  Casey had it when the snow reached as high as his belly.  Neither were very fond of this after a while.  Prancing through the snow with their legs sinking it at every step got old pretty fast.  Fortunately, hubster and I took video I can now share it with you so we have it for prosperity. (dumb upload)

Mr. Casey has had a hard time this winter.  He seems very depressed and has started licking one of his paws to the point of being red and raw.  We have a spray meant to help it clear up; he licks that off almost immediately despite our best efforts.  He's also taking a med with the thinking that he's doing it due to stress.  There has been a great deal of stress here, but with hubby starting a new job, some of that should be relieved.

I guess that pretty much sums up what's going on with us.  I know I say this every time, but I'll try to keep on top of "Two Dogs" better!

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 :)