Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Ice Ice Puppy

Today we present to you Miss Holly of the Canine Companions for Independence Hero Litter in her debut video performance.

Ok, ok maybe not her debut, since we need to consider the past eight weeks of Eukanuba livestream.  Which, by the way and all, is still rerunning highlights of that time in California.

So let's call this her first solo performance, shall we?

Do note the purple stuffed toy that is merely an obstacle to the goal in this video. Even the favorite squeaky toy of every puppy, Jager, is invisible for this minute and a half of Holly action.

Here's how to entertain a puppy on the cheap.

Enjoy, y'all.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A California Hollygator

All the innocence and purity a girl can muster.
Food Lady? yells Jager. Hello? Hey, can you hear me?

The neighbors can hear you, I say. With the central air running. Why all the yapping up there? I'm kinda busy.

There you are! says Jager. Where have you been? I wanted to know if it's safe to come downstairs now.

Of course it's safe, I say. And why wouldn't it be?

Then it's gone? he asks.

What? I say. Is what gone?

Ah, I think I see where this is heading.

The hollygater you let in here, says Jager. The cat said it's an invasive species from California and we're all in peril or something. 

Jager's too long toenails click on the wood stairs as he trots down to join me in the kitchen.

'Cuz the cat said if you let even just one in the house, it'll take over everything, he continues. And that they're really hard to get .... Gah!  Ow! ow ow ow ow!

I thought you said it was gone! Jager says, licking his tenderized back leg.

I detach Holly from her ambitious effort in deboning Jager's gluteal region, because frankly, he can't afford to lose any more brains.

Jager enjoys a moment of respite.
Jager, my little spotted dog, I say. If you can separate yourself from your Professional Victim role for a moment, you may recall that this gorgeous creature is not an alligator at all. This is Holly, who will be staying with us for the next eighteen months. 

We'll be raising her for Canine Companions for Independence, I continue.  Just like we did with Euka. And well, you helped with all of them so far, right? Inga, Micron and Yaxley, too.

Gads, but another eighteen months! says Jager.  He tries to calculate that in dog years and gives up. I'm getting too old for this sh...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Introducing Holly

Introducing the next little ball o'spunk, Miss Holly, of Canine Companions for Independence's Hero Litter.

Just arrived on Ohio soil this morning from sunny California.

Actually, I have no idea of today's weather out there, but in my imagination it's always a beautiful day. And I'm not going to mess with that by looking it up or something.

Hang loose for more stories and adventures with our newest addition and the fifth puppy we'll be raising for Canine Companions for Independence.

In the meantime, I'm typing very, very quietly. It's naptime.  shhh.....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Roller Coaster

It wasn't to the level of a double dog dare, as no canines were involved in this challenge of machismo vs. tough, yet still delicately feminine character.

The Vortex at King's Island
Yeah, no problem.
The brother-in-law and I were standing before the Vortex on the first family trip to King's Island since the ride debuted. Vortex, which is Latin for You Don't Need Your Spleen Anyway, boasted a claim as the tallest roller coaster in the world with the highest drop.

Not so bad, right? I mean, once you tackle that feat with a hearty scream, you'll find yourself back in manageable territory of the usual twists and turns expected of a roller coaster.

Oh, but not so for the Vortex. No, this marvel of engineering psychopathy also was also the first thrill ride of its ilk to offer up six inversions.

Inversions?, you ask.

Inversions, I repeat. Upside down, ya'll. A full loop. Six brain rattling times. 

I believe the max speed of this ride is somewhere around highway speeds of fifty five miles per hour. Vomiting is not an option since even your overpriced amusement park lunch has no idea of which way is out after the second loop.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Holly vs. the Training Cape

Holly vs. the Training Cape.


Brought to you courtesy of Eukanuba.  Need more puppy action by the way of Vine videos?

Who are we kidding? Why else are we on the internet anyway?

Are you hip with Twitter? Eukanuba has tweeted a few videos this afternoon ... check out  Eukanuba's Twitter account here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

7 tips on using a Gentle Leader

What a big sweetie, she said, giving the mighty Micron a gentle scritching on the top of his noggin.

I'd like to pet that one, too, continues Micron's new admirer. But you've got that muzzle on her, so I won't.

Oh my.

Food Lady! Make him share his ball!
We do get the comments on the head halter, that handy training tool. And honestly, I don't mind fielding the questions. It's much better to have an educational moment than the sly skunk eye we get from those who aren't familiar. I suspect the muzzle comment is a common theme among volunteer puppy raisers for Canine Companions for Independence.

When faced with the query of why is she wearing a muzzle, we find it easy nuff to give a little shrug and say oh, no that's a Gentle Leader. A head collar, actually designed a lot like a horse halter. See, the leash is connected under here.

And sometimes that'll do it. They nod in understanding, which makes me wonder if we're talking to horse people and they totally get it.

Maybe it's city folk that ask for more on the philosophy behind the Gentle Leader. But no prob. We got this, too.

Yaxley demonstrates the comfort level
of the Gentle Leader.
Well, we say. Think about it this way. The head halter give us the ability to redirect the pup's attention if she gets distracted by something. Later on, when the dog is teamed with a person with a disability, it'll be easier to control a seven pound head than a sixty pound dog.

Lookit, she can still take a treat [crunch crunch] or get a drink of water. The halter doesn't hold her mouth closed. 

And for these dog lovers, we've now got it covered. Checking off good enough so we can all move onto our next thoughts. Things like how lovely Euka is and that's it's just not fair to all the other dogs out there since she took up all the gorgeous.

But then you get the next level of thinkers.

We kindly call these folk engineers.

How? they ask. Why?

Um, I will say. Oh hey, we've got bookmarks with Euka on them. Just a sec. I'll getcha one from her cape pocket. 

How indeed. Why do these things work so well, anyway? Hardly anecdotal evidence, we have a proven track record of pups that walk better on lead while wearing a head halter. As well as seeing the Gentle Leader provide a calming influence on an excitable puppy.

It's been supposed that the halter affects certain pressure points on the dog, similar to how the mom would correct her pup.

Have you seen this interaction? A dog gives a gentle, yet dominant, correction by wrapping a mouth about the top of another dog's snooter. Not a big deal kinda thing. Like a simmer down there, little missy. Or a similar behavior when the mother dog will grab her pup by the back of the neck.

Is there a spit of truth to this, do you think? I dunno myself. I only live with dogs, it's not like I talk to them about this stuff.

As if.

We mostly talk about when's dinner and why are all the tennis balls under the sofa where nobody can reach them and why the heck is the cat allowed on the kitchen counter.

He's not.

Hey, but I can offer you this. Through trial, error and four puppies I've been hit in the head with certain knowledge about how to work with this Gentle Leader training tool.

Suggestions for success with Gentle Leader training:

  1. Follow the directions for the correct fitting. Too loose or too tight - whether the nose loop or neck strap - will cause you a handful of probs. Do this first. Then check the instructions again. It's that important.
  2. Start the pup young. Eight weeks old, if you can. Just a few minutes at first, then work into longer periods.
  3. Gentle Leader Time is Happy Time. Introduce at a relaxed time of day. Say, like just for a few minutes while watching the tube in the evening. Or slip the thing on and feed a meal. Good things happen when the GL shows up. Euka recognizes hers and know it means Adventure Awaits.
  4. The pup will paw at it. They all do. They will tell you that's what their dew claws were made for, to hook into the nose strap and tug. Just don't remove it while the pup is fussing. The puppy brains will match this behavior to this is how to get their way, right?
  5. On a similar topic, the pup may turn to that kind stranger in hopes they might remove the nose loop. Physical attempts by the pup may even stray to the unmentionable regions of said stranger as the pup sees an opportunity for leverage. This will happen. And it will embarrass you in ways yet unknown to you at this point in life. I say to you now - expect it. Anticipate and you may be able to head off the obligatory and strangled apology. I've taken this one for the team. You're welcome.
  6. You'll come across folk who are vehemently opposed to the use of a head halter. They are different than the muzzle people. They will recount some vague tale of something they heard about that happened to a friend of a second cousin to their neighbor's college roommate. Merely smile politely and go on about your business with confidence. The GL, when fit and used properly, is a remarkable training tool. And safe, of course. Any training tool can be misused when in the hands of those who haven't been bothered to learn how to use it.
  7. Do #1 again. Really. Puppies grow, of course.

Do you have a success story with using the Gentle Leader with your beloved four legger? A cautionary tale that trumps the maybe-the-release-button-is-in-this-hooman's-crotch story?

Please share.

Especially if you've been more embarrassed than me.

Go for ride? I call shotgun!
Check out that hot pink GL on our girl.

The photos at top and bottom are from this weekend's adventures. 

Top image is our shopping trip for Mother's Day flowers at Knollwood Garden Center. We paused for a photo op with a fountain that is now on my OMG I Gotta Have This list, but sadly falls short of the Easily Affordable criteria with its suggested retail price of Higher Than a Cat's Back.

The bottom image with the fancy pants car was taken at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. Euka wanted to stand on the running board with a haughty look on her face. Your Toyota, she says to me, is so ... you. This is how I should be traveling about, you know. We compromised with a pretty sit on the floor and a wan smile.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Holly & Hoagy

Photo courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography

We interrupt your afternoon with a puppy moment. I'll just pause here to allow you time to soak up the yellow puppy vibes.

Nice, isn't it?

On the admiring viewer's left is Miss Holly, coming soon to the Heart of America. Ohio, people.

You know, O! H! ...

Don't leave me hanging here ...

I! O! 

Right. And the other chunk o'goodness is Hoagy.

Two puppies from Canine Companions for Independence's  Hero "H" Litter.  These adorable furries have just reached their seven week birthday. Want more photos to keep that good puppy vibe going? No prob. Simply click this link: The Hero Litter - Week 7 Pictures

And a by the way for all you H Litter fans.  Be sure to Like our Raising a Super Dog fan page on Facebook to keep updated on Miss Holly.  If the last few weeks of watching this rather ornery girl on the Eukanuba Puppy Cam gives us any indication, we can count on some adventures together.

Just a few days, folks.  And I can't wait.

Raising a Super Dog

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth

Micron Solo, Jabba and Princess Euka.

I can't find my tomato stakes, my lamentation for this sunny May afternoon.

Then what's that you're using? asks My Favorite Kid.

Bamboo kebab skewer thingies I found in the kitchen junk drawer, I say. That'll do for now. Maybe.

I've got some rebar rods in the garage if you want them, says The Husband.

Which I will be sure to keep in mind when I plant Godzilla tomatoes, I say. I only bought cherry tomato plants for the patio garden this time. Tokyo is safe for now. So thanks anyway, but I think I'll hang tight and see if I can't find something more appropriate than cooking utensils and bridge making equipment.

I turn my attention to the herb container.

Lessee, gotcha some dill, sage, 
thyme and copious amounts of
 dog hair. Don't dare ask me 
what my secret ingredient is.
I'll never tell.
By the way, I planted some jalapenos for you, too. I say to the kid. I was gonna add cilantro to the patio garden, but it insists on acting like a weed. Last time it took over everything.

What herbs are you planting then? he asks.

The basics. Some rosemary, parsley, sweet basil, I say. And sage.

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme? he asks. Sounds familiar.

And it does, right? Makes one think of Simon and Garfunkel.

Which then reminds me of Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher? Best known, perhaps, of her Princess Leia role in Star Wars and how she totally rocked that breakfast bun hairdo.

And holy cow, did you know? Today is May 4th.

The fourth of May, y'all.

As in ... May the Fourth be with You.

And the universe just became smaller. Everything is connected, don't you see?

My patio herb garden has a one degree separation from Harrison Ford.

I'm doing the math here, Food Lady, says
Euka. By my calculations, you're
completely delusional.
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