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And then came Luke

February 9th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

LukeIn the summer of 2011, we became acquainted with this handsome boy through a Peaceable Paws academy.  His home at the time was the Humane Society of Washington County, where he’d landed after being picked up in the streets of Hagerstown, MD.  He wasn’t doing very well in the shelter environment, and after a brief stay with another foster family he found us.  I think he likes it here ok.  His favorite thing to do is take a ride in the car.  It doesn’t seem to matter where we’re going, he’s just happy to ride along!


Fun in the snow

January 9th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted in Everything

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Shower time

September 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

Here’s a little snippet of a down-eared girl in the rain.  Enjoy!

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My bike got stolen

September 8th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

Gretel and I haven’t been taking many bike rides lately, since I have to borrow Shirley’s girly bike in order to do it.  It made me sad to learn that some schmuck had stolen my bike from our yard, but then I figured I guess the thief needed it more than I did.  It’s been an eventful summer for our doggies- Myah’s been fighting Lyme disease and Gretel just had a follicular cyst removed.  We’re still the luckiest parents in the neighborhood, and life couldn’t be better for us and our girls.  I hope to add some video of playtime soon!

Giving thanks

December 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

I suppose it comes as no surprise that we have officially adopted Myah.  She’s such a sweet little girl, and we’re thankful to have her.  Gretel and Myah have somewhat different play styles, which can be amusing, and surprising!  Myah will get a couple or few “puppy rushes”, during which she’s got energy off the charts, then she’ll settle right down and just be chillin’.  Gretel, on the other hand, loves to play with the cuz, and will chase it relentlessly until she finally gets tired.  Sometimes it takes awhile.  We’ve been pleased with the speed of Myah’s recovery from being spayed (just 3 days before we shot this video).  This little girl is a tank!

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Thanksgiving day play

November 30th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in Everything

We took the girls out back for a little play session and brought a camera along for a change.
The video should be done soon!

Enter Myah

October 18th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in Everything

We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this little girl a little bit over the last couple of weeks.
Here’s a peek at her with Gretel.  Enjoy!

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Travellin’ with my dawg

September 6th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been roaming about, visiting family around the region.  Gretel doesn’t like car trips, but she’ll get in the car and settle in anyway.  Since puppyhood she’s been prone to car sickness, although it’s been awhile since we’ve had an upheaval, so to speak.  I do try to drive extra gently, as I know what it’s like to be in the back seat (I get motion sickness easily too).

Visiting my mom in NY, we were pleased to see Mom’s cat Fibber was not afraid of Gretel, in fact he was curious and seemed to want to make friends.  Gretel was very well behaved at her Grandma’s house, and on our second day we borrowed Mom’s bike and took a little ride around the neighborhood to blow off some steam.  The setting is a little more urban there than our usual stomping grounds, and as a result we spent much of our time on the sidewalks.
The sidewalks are nice, and at each intersection there’s a ramp from the road, so that folks with wheelchairs, strollers, etc. can easily get on the sidewalk.  On the ramp areas, they have a different surface texture, and a gray color as well.  Gretel is a bit fussy about what surfaces she’s comfortable treading on, and I was reminded of this on our ride that morning, as she decided she would not be stepping on those strange looking surfaces.  There was enough room so that she was able to avoid them either by veering to the side or by hurdling over the top.  I think if we were to practice this on a daily basis for awhile, she’d gradually become more comfortable with this exotic surface, and be ok with it.

I wonder how many other folks have dogs who are extra sensitive about their surfaces…

Am I a pet Nazi?

August 13th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

I’ve been irritated in the past by my neighbors who don’t use leashes with their dogs.

This has lead me to wonder if in my old age (all things being relative, of course) I’ve become more rigid and crotchety.   I suppose I should back up and give some background on what it is I’m talking about.

There are people living next to us who have several small dogs of various breeds.  As animal lovers, we’ve certainly got no problem with the dogs themselves, they only do the things that dogs do.  Some of these dogs are what I would call the “yappy” type.  To give an example, I am virtually assured that if I walk outside to my mailbox to get the mail, I’ll be hearing some serious yapping from the neighbor’s dogs, whether they’re in the house or out.  If they’re outside, it’s quite likely that they’ll run towards me while yapping, presumably in an attempt to remove me from their environment.  It works, because I continue walking, as I have no interest in a confrontation with the yappy dogs.  It’s worth mentioning that the dogs are never on leash.  If the owners are present, they’ll usually scold the dogs which rarely has any effect on the barking.  I suspect it may in fact reinforce the bad behavior, cause it gets them attention, but I digress.

When we brought our German Shepherd/Rottweiler puppy home, one of the neighbors said something along the lines of “you got a dog to eat our dogs!” which of course was far from the truth, but interestingly it sort of acknowledged the tension that existed between us involving their dogs.  In fact, our desire to get a puppy was very independent of any influence our neighbors could exert, but that’s another story.  We were outside with Gretel on leash quite a bit those first few months, as we learned all about potty training and such, and we hadn’t yet fenced our back yard.  Any time we took our girl out, she was on leash.  One of the first times we went out for a bike ride, on our return we were met by the yapping yappers, which was quite disturbing to me, and almost certainly didn’t help the confidence of our somewhat fearful puppy who was on leash.  This sort of thing has happened time after time over the past 2 years, and one of the constants in the picture is that the neighbor’s dogs are never on leash, which means they are free to express themselves in my yard in as rude a fashion as they feel is appropriate.

Does anybody else have neighbors like this?  Part of me thinks having set the “good example” for 2 years with a leash on every excursion into the front yard should be enough to send a signal that the neighborly thing to do is to keep your pet by your side.  The few conversations I’ve had with the neighbors about this have generally not gone well.  When it finally came to carrying one of the dogs home to the owner after it snuck into my now fenced-in back yard, I felt compelled to suggest to the owner that a leash would be a good way to keep a dog in one’s sight.  I was frustrated, and couldn’t understand why they didn’t “get it”.

I’d be curious to hear other opinions on this, am I a Nazi?

Garbage truck curveball

August 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

Yesterday morning, Gretel and I went for our bike ride and for the first time encountered a garbage truck.

Big and noisy, I guess it’s a lot different from the cars and trucks we normally see on our rides.

We were on our way down the hill, and the truck was on its way up the hill, in retrospect I wish I’d handled it a little better, because Gretel was clearly freightened by the thing.  I kept moving, and she tried to stay back, but with me in motion, she’s learned that she’s gotta keep moving too.  If I could do it over again, I suppose I’d try going much slower, and have some treats on hand.

Part of me is glad that she wants to be far away from the truck, but another part of me wish she wasn’t afraid.

I suppose the experts would probably call it “flooding”, when forcing the dog to confront things that they’re afraid of.  That’s not at all what I want to do.

I wonder if I should look for another opportunity to desensitize her to the truck (perhaps gain some redemption), or if it would be better to avoid close proximity to truck(s) at all cost, knowing that fear of big heavy things can be a good thing…  Hmmm….  Stay tuned!