Monday, January 31, 2011

Dog on Dog Day 2 n 3

I have come to a few conclusions over the weekend while doggy sitting Ms. Brooklyn. 
  • Two dogs is twice as hard as one dog. 
  • I don't want a second dog for a while.
  • A muddy back yard sucks but the garage makes a great mud-middleman.
  • Taricha (and I) have a lot further to go with training than I wanted to believe.
  • Taricha needs more socialization. She started to get possessive and bossy. (highly unwanted...)
  • Rufio the cat looks hilarious when he's a huge puffball of rage. (see below)

The only way to stop the madness is food.

Sharing a strong urge for toys.

I felt sorry for Brooklyn, she wants the toy so badly.

... but moving Taricha is like moving a brick house.


Ms Brooklyn left late last night. The cat soon returned to normal size.  Taricha zonked. Got up to pee and eat this morning and proceeded to zonk back out. I love an exhausted dog... maybe I have time to do the dishes and clean before she's back to harassing me.... 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dog on Dog Interaction! Finally!

Since I've had Taricha, she's been a dog all by herself. Every dog interaction we've had so far has been pretty allright. She plays, she gets beat on mostly (Taricha tends to be the submissive type from every dog interaction I've seen her have), she will play, romp, and she moves on. Sure we've gone to the dog park here or there. She sees other dogs from distances at parks and walks, some leash interaction at pet stores, etc etc. We really just haven't had a chance to hang to do much more than that, for dog interaction.  Her attitude towards dogs has never been a problem and for that I am BLESSED.

For some reason or another I volunteered to take in a friends dog this weekend.

Meet Brooklyn, a 2 year rott/mutt girl. Brooklyn is currently passed out on my lap while Taricha is passed out in her kennel due to them having been doing the photographed above activity for the past three hours straight.

I admit to taking a chance when offering to watch this girl for the weekend. I didn't really know how Taricha would react to another dog on her turf simply because we've never done it before! When they met, on leashes outside in the street, Taricha surprised me by erupting into growls, while wagging her tail profusely and practically destroying me in the process. (holding 100lbs of raw muscle back.....)

Thankfully... Brooklyn is a total sweetheart. We went for a walk with both dogs up and down the street. Some scoldings from me towards Taricha. A quick loud "STOP" seemed to snap her out of it when she started getting over-zealous. Lots of turning around and going back and forth up and down the street. (oh and I bet the neighbors think we're idiots...) Before we knew it... they were walking side by side and doing just fine. (treats and clicker? COMPLETELY out the window, btw. I even broke out the $100 bills hotdogs but to no avail.)

Another thirty min later, they're best friends, my back yard is  a MUD PIT OF DOOM from chasing about (a foot of snow just melted...), they're both having the time of their lives and gracious be, Taricha hasn't said a bad word towards Brooklyn since their meeting.

While their fighting has looked vicious and all, they've both been excellently nice to each other. They stop when one makes noise and no blood has been drawn. (whew!) I'm especially impressed with Taricha, with really no free doggie playtime like this since she was probably a puppy 10 months ago...

The only downside is. they will NOT leave each other alone and *I* do not exist. Granted, I move rooms, they both come with me but still ignore me while in the room..... Play, Play, Play, Play, PLAY OMG PLAY. I felt like I had to separate them eventually, so I did,  both looked exhausted and this is how nap time begun.

I wonder what will happen when I wake them both up and let them go for round 2....

(It's going to be a long but fun weekend!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cutest Couple

This looks like a lot of fun! Taricha and I submitted a photo just now, happy voting! 

Modern Dog Cutest Couple Photo Contest

Fun to just browse too....

Vote for us by "liking" our photo here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who knew walks in January would be rad?

Taricha was bugging me more than usual today. I try my darndest to make the woman happy but you can only be cooped up inside so much before you start to go bonkers. Which is what she does. Barking, growling in a playful manner, attempting to nip at me but knows better and then gets more frustrated, bouncing and growling! throwing toys in my lap and generally NOT leaving me alone? oh it just goes on. Stopping this behavior is a cinch, I leave the room, shut the door, 15 seconds later I come back and she gets the idea and settles. (Its an ongoing process. I want her to communicate when she WANTS something so I'm never 'upset' at her bugging me behavior.)

But... all the training aside... one morning inside doing nothing is enough take 'the idea' of staying calm right out of her head and she was communicating as best she knew how. I agree'ed. We decided to head out into the great cold beyond....

Now, we go for walks everyday. Usually up and down the street, around the block once or twice and back home. Couple times a day. We've been wanting more but it's awfully rough when its been so bitter and snowy, yah know? Today was a good break in bitter, 40 degrees! *gasp* so this walk quickly turned into a long walk. 

Feels like we both needed it. From the get go she was focused on me. I love that! We were on the same wavelength from the moment our feet (paws) touched the front steps. We wanted to get OUT!

She fancies always jumping onto and walking along next to me at this wall around the corner.

Taricha is mildly leash trained, we usually have 'tension' on the lease but never enough that I cant hold her with a SINGLE finger. She usually watches but moves on from distractions. An occasional over enthusiastic dog in a house and or yard got her pulling harder and tail/butt wagging but she gets over it with some "come on"'s and leash tugs. Back to walking nicely with a little tension here and there. (I think she LIKES the tension, as shes more prone to walk very close to me if I keep it somewhat tight but not by any means yanking or holding her there close. Maybe this is a breed thing, she likes to 'push' or 'pull'. We use a simple buckle collar, so tension I guess isnt bad, kind of hits her on the shoulders/chest most of the time...  she SEEMS to want it?? Maybe I imagine it? Maybe not.... oh my goodness we're getting sidetracked...) We did great today. She listened to me, she followed, I let her sniff and I sniffed with her. (well sorted, I looked interested!) We... connected!

2 miles later.. we hit a park and relax. I smoke while she watched a few passerby. I love my neighborhood. Lots of older bundled-up couples, jogging moms and a few misc dog and owner combos. This park is allllllright.


A cute Jack Russel terrier thing was yapping at us from across the park while we sat. The poor lady looked distraught but did the right thing (I hope?) and just kept on walking. Her dog kinda followed, stop to yap, follow, stop to yap, little yanking going on. They wandered off. Poor Taricha just stood there butt-wagging, looking back to me, a few whines... maybe wondering with big brown eyes why I wouldn't let her go play with that little yappy toy over there.

Long way home, we are tired, cold and about done...

We found a dead squirrel but opted not to take photos as it was awfully mangled. I managed to get her to skip past it  and keep going by starting to jogg.  Also lost my lighter due to a hole (apparently.....) in my pocket.

Oh it was just tons of fun and it felt great to spend a few hours out and about just doing our thing. We REALLY really cant wait for the nicer weather to come around. (These kind of walks will become a daily excursion!) It was great to come home, lap a bucket of water and have both of us just collapse on the bed in a heap. Exhausted in that good way.

She loves head n neck massages bestest. This is happy face!

And sleepy face!

PS: Thank you to all the friendly neighbors who shovel their sidewalks! We are eternally grateful!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Eat Snow

Taricha decided today was a more than awesome day to eat the more than usual amount of snow.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The sky parted, the sun came out and the temperature rose above freezing for the first time in what feels like months! We happily spent a few hours runnin a muck around the neighborhood! We even had time to clean the backyard of all the poo! Or what we could find.... the foot of snow is still there.

Yar, so it was nice-ish. Still cold, we spent a lot of time indoors.
Indoors playing with Rufio.
Who's Rufio?

He is Taricha's chew toy best friend.

Last fall, my youngest sister brought home this itty bitty palm sized kitten in her pocket. At first, he was deathly afraid of the dog and the dog was eagerly NOT afraid of him. So the poor fuzzball spent the first few weeks tucked in my sisters room. Eventually he grew some balls (literally) and decided he wanted to explore the house, of course coming in contact Taricha at every turn.

It took very little effort on my part to make the two get along. A few days of "Stop" and "Leave it" towards Taricha when she got over-zealous and pinned poor Rufio... or saw him run and got up to pursue. A few days of treats (for BOTH of them) to coax contact without teeth. A few days, all it took.  They now get along like two peas in a pod. If one is nearby, by golly, the other will be near too.

They romp, they cuddle n sleep, they play with the same toys!

I like to think that Rufio thinks he is anything but a cat. Perches on shoulders. Investigate strangers. Tugs on toys, chases and tackles. He follows people, talks to you and involves himself in everything going on in the house at all times. If Taricha is getting a training session (clicker n treats!), Rufio is RIGHT there, waiting, watching, getting in the way! (ie, running in, pouncing Taricha's tail during nose work and disrupting the whole process).  (or getting into the treat pouches when Im not looking) I've tried to get the darn cat to work for treats, but he's a little scatter brained for it. Loves treats, but scatter brained!

I like to think that most dogs really do get along with cats.
How do your dogs and cats interact and live together?

a Video of Taricha and Rufio goin at it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding our place in the world

Today was a day that made me think about how we got to where we are. Taricha has completely taken over my life. I refer to her as my "fuzzy shackles" when conversing with friends because thats.... what she is. I call her lots of bad names come to think of it, always in a loving tone and I always do mean it in that teasing- nana- baby talk-  loving sort of way.

Fatty, thunder thighs, farty mc fart, beefy, anchor, beast, stinky, fuzzball (think Wookie), 2x4,  bean butt, drool face, snorty <- to name a few family safe words. I dont know why I make fun of her for being fat because she doesn't have an once of fat on her solid built body. Let's move on....

I make fun because I care. After receiving her last September from a friend of mine who didnt know what he was getting into with a new puppy,  I've come to believe she came to me because I needed her and she needed me. She is now my shadow, the light of my life, that bond can only get stronger from here. As much as I poke at her and often dream of the days when I could stay out all night drinking, disappear on road trips and skip jogging when I was feeling lazy.... I don't regret taking this wonderful dog demon into my home.

I was trying to mention today, right? Yeah, Today. An opportunity came my way, one I've always dreamed of.! I was asked to join with a band and be their merch girl. This particular band is well known, they tour most of year, have been around for years, have like 7 records. This is a serious paying gig with opportunities! I would be on the road for a few months with four sweaty guys in a bus, loud metal shows every night, selling T-shirts n buttons with my chest and wearing heels for hours and hours. This described scenario is my opportunity but is not necessarily my dream. That is simply to pack up and travel and experience what there is.  Traveling with this group would just... hit the spot.  I'm 25 years old, no college, dead end jobs (depending on the week...), no man, no children, no real goals or direction, too many hobbies and now........... this DOG DEMON!

It hurt to turn this down.  Sure, I could have found someone to 'watch' Taricha, boarded her, gave her away, (stuffed her in my suitcase and taken her with me?)... but before they even finished asking if I'd take them up on the offer, I knew I'd take this smelly dog over touring any day.  As Taricha and I cuddle in bed now, I type away here, I don't regret the choice to stay here and find our way, together! Who would have thunk you could feel this way about a dog! She's an obligation I knew I was taking on when I took it. She's here to stay.... and we have one hell of a long road ahead. 

Taricha isnt even a year old yet. OI OI OI!

So no, I cant stay out tonight and have another beer. I have to get home and let puppy out of her kennel. And sorry, I cant go buy those new shoes because I need to buy dog food instead.

But yes you can cuddle in my bed. Yes! lets go jogging! Yes lets romp. Yes lets impress everyone with our skilzzz! Yes, Taricha will be there when I need her!

Kids n Stuff

We're taking it slow today.

In fact, neither of us have actually crawled out of bed yet.
So here's a photo in the meantime of my niece and Taricha.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Other plans n things...

I seem to have left out a minor thing about my blogging goals here. While cute pictures, videos and stories are great and I will be posting plenty of that.... I also want some 'serious' posts. A simple objective, once a week post a 'real' entry about something awesome. I don't have any literary claim to fame and I will be writing like I talk. Taricha will write like she barks. Strange (big) things are a-foot.

We dont have a shortage of ideas. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Planning for the future!

This afternoon brought another round of snow. We were on the edge of cabin fever before, I can imagine we will be swallowed whole starting tomorrow. I suppose this leaves us with a lot of time to think. What will this year hold?
"Stuck inside... again?"
(yes, that is a balloon hanging from the ceiling)

Im still a new dog owner. When it comes down to it, I really don't know what I'm doing. Through much much research lately (much help from the snow), my mind is a spinning with ideas and plans and THINGS. I want the two of us to go FAR.( I want a lot of things but I have to remember, baby steps. )

Finally out and all she wants to do is eat snow

We are really doing great as is. For only being in our home for about 4 months, Taricha has come from chewing my doors to laying down and waiting at the door. From chasing the cat up and down the house to cuddling with the cat on the floor. We walk on a leash most excellently, including distractions. (L2Heel soon) We're around 20 strong 'tricks' with the clicker. Her eyes meet mine constantly, even at the dog park from a distance she turns to 'check' on me. She is my shadow and this is how we want it.

Owning a dog is a constant uphill learning experience. So even though we have made progress and I love how things are, there is SO MUCH MORE to DO!


- Impulse control when people arrive in the home
- Impulse control when meeting new people out and about
- Walk more (once a day isn't enough and I'm lazy)
- Learn to and train to cart and weight pull
- Take training to more new locations
- Learn fetch as opposed to fetch-tug
- Find doggy play dates

Snow on the table? NO WAY

All of these so called goals are quite realistic. They're all very simplistic but yet important things to us. Taricha is highly HIGHLY friendly towards NEW humans. Every new human could possibly hold the holy grail of all tug toys and she has to find out! So a LOT of our work is going towards socializing her PROPERLY.  Thats neither here nor there....

My greatest goal this year!

The two of us will be able to go to our local coffee shop patio. Taricha will lay down at my feet and calmly stay there for the duration. Through distractions, food and comings and goings.

If all else fails, sticks are guurrreat.

Of trees and squirrels

At some point during this winter, a family of squirrels has moved inside the back corner of our roof. Using our two huge oaks, they scurry on the roof, IN the roof, across the yard and along the fence.

Of course, driving a poor puppy crazy.
Never even had a chance.

(Note, seeking squirrel extractor.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Taricha goes through stuffed animals like the world is ending tomorrow. She goes bezerk. She MUST shred it, stuff her face in it, destroy it, pull everything out, rip it, pull everything out again, rip more (the sound of the ripping makes her hysterical), check it all to make sure that the stuffing is out and then finally runs off with the empty shell of an animal....

A previous victim left for dead.

Todays victim.

Taricha's classic one ear up alert mode.


Monday, January 17, 2011

So what if it's almost a month late....

My puppy is still a puppy but she continues to get wider. My story as follows explains.

For Christmas, my younger sister was very awesome and made Taricha a sweater.  Not only is it logical for warmth, it would be highly fashionable to have my dog walking next to me in a skull sweater. We would match!

Taricha suffers my attention, as most dogs do. She suffered me stuffing her beefy chest into this mildly snug sweater. We just giggled and she just sat there. We took it off and hadn't really had a need to use it since. It was SO CUTE!

Now, the end of January. Its suddenly frigid outside. Windchills below zero. Our lovely suburban home is located on a hill, among other rather steep hills, causing the wind to be even worse and sweep around in bursts. 

And she doesnt fit her sweater.
I cant even stuff her upper arm through an arm hole.
Since Christmas, her arm/leg muscles have grown SO much that it -just- doesn't fit!

I am incredibly sad and I guess it'll just have to be put away for some future dog who needs a sweater.
My girl is wide.

Allo World!

We havent blogged in a long time! So the two of us decided its about that time again, so walah, doggie bloggie!