Monday, April 29, 2013

What a Week

Between two puppy classes a week, Taricha's tooth surgery and all the general mayhem of dog life... This last week (month!) has been a blurr!

Taricha is just happy the sun is out.

Chunky girl's tooth mess has been just that, a mess. I feel so awful sorry for her, as the hole left in her mouth is freagging huge. It looks like it hurts a whole hell of a lot. I may post photos later but its pretty nasty to see. She's taking her meds like a pro yet the pain killers leave her a bit loopy and glass eyed. The only mildly nice thing is, she's far more into snuggling than usual. We're getting some quality spooning in. 

Loves them ear rubs!

The hardest part is keeping her from doing anything with her mouth. If you know anything about Taricha, you know she is all jaws. Toys, bones, sticks and hand/mouth wrestling, all the time! (which is probably why her tooth broke in the first place... !) To keep her somewhat satisfied, we've been going on a lot of short walks throughout the day. 

Shoulder scruuutches makes the pain go away.

Poor puppy Martok on the other hand, is going slightly crazy because every time he tries to start something with Taricha, I break it up and distract them. Taricha wants to join the play, I feel like the big bad mean parent every time... the sad eyes they give me are getting sadder and sadder but there is really nothing to be done. Taricha still has a huge hole in her jaw and can't risk opening it back up. Taricha cannot properly defend herself if needed, she knows it and could get grumpy, so other activities like the dog park or play dates are also on the back burner. Life goes on....

Martok is getting bigger and bigger! And browner!

He did fabulous at the vet last week for a checkup and shots. At now 21 weeks, Martok weights a hefty 21lbs and as of this afternoon, has lost all four puppy canines! Until his big ones come in... his bite is much more bearable!

Don't let that face fool you. he is all bitey mode all the time! He's starting to figure out that humans have a lot of clothes and toes and fingers and its fun to bite because they squeel! Its a phase, I hope, or he's bored cause he can't chew on Taricha anymore. Martok is smart, he knows he's not supposed to chew on humans, he's just stubborn and never tired!

Since the sun is still shining, we're off to take naps in it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That Suckers Huge!

Taricha's surgery went well. It was probably harder for me than her... especially watching her be all dopey last night. Like she was drunk and the poor pitiful whines.  Today Taricha is more herself but still miserable, drugged up and all she's doing is moving from sleeping spot to sleeping spot.

The tooth is huge. Like, this photo does it no justice, its as thick as a battery. 2/3 of the tooth was below the gums, hidden, now I get why bull breeds have crazy tugging ability!

The only issue I currently have is... what to DO with the tooth? Frame it? ehh maybe. Making a necklace seems cliche and I wouldn't want to wear it, incase Id lose it. What else can be done with it!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Going to be a long day...

I decided surgery on the tooth is better sooner than later, just get it over with. So this morning I dropped Taricha off at the vet. Im sure that I'm having a harder time than she is... it was extremely hard to leave her in a room in the hands of another person. She's really never been away from me in strange places with strange people... ! Deep breath.... I will see her later this evening, minus one canine.

(I asked if we could keep the tooth and the lady said most likely....  keeping my fingers crossed, it would make a nice necklace!)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Morning in Pictures

Ohhh the sun tried to come out! 
Taricha informed me early in the morning that we needed to get outside. 

Oh, hai there.

Martok does whatever Taricha does... !

Decides he likes nature, a lot! Zoom zoom.

See Yah!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poor Chunky Girl

Taricha and I were playing tug with a squeaky kong, like we always do and somehow she broke a tooth. I only noticed because there was blood all over the toy and my hands! How can one little tooth create so much blood, I have no idea.

I know this has to hurt, even though she doesn't seem to show it right now.  There is something exposed, pulp, root or whatever!  (That big tooth to the left is a canine and they were about the same size!) So today's beautiful weather is going to be spent going to the Vet rather than romping through the fields.

Later in the day update:
The vet says there is pulp exposed and unless I want to front 2k for a root canal and crown... the tooth just has to go, which isnt going to be cheap either. It has to be done so we set it up for this coming Monday. Slightly nervous because she hasnt been under anesthesia since she was spayed as a puppy! She has some pain killers and antibiotics for now, even though it still doesnt seem to phase her.... except for the excess puddles of drool. Lots of drool.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Just Wandering

 Just happy we're walking down this hill and not up...

Mmm spray from the fountains feels goooood.

Does this dude make me look tiny or what?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Falling into a Routine

It's been over a month now since Martok joined our family, which is getting large. Two pups, two cats, five snakes and two hoomans. The amount of shit poop that must be cleaned up on a daily basis is getting out of hand. Let's just say, I'm ready for Martok to grow up so there isn't 6 puppy piles in the yard to pick up every single day. He is a digesting machine! So... anyways.

Most mornings involve Martok, quickly turning into a little black demon, harassing both Taricha and I until we get up to do something. 

Taricha is a dog who likes to get up real early, potty, eat and go back to bed for a few hours. She lays about while I get some work done.

Martok is a dog who likes to jump on her face, bite ears and nuzzle his way over, around and on her the moment he's out of his kennel and rid of his morning poo.

Taricha gets obviously peeved sometimes but once again she is the most tolerant beast ever. She's figured out that if she just ignores him and pretends to sleep, he wanders off to pester me instead!

Mid-morning is playtime, walk time, train time, game time......

 garden time, snack time, car ride time, whatever time.

Afternoon is crash time and boy do these two crash. Evidence as follows. 

Evenings can always differ but since Im personally such a sucker... its all dog time. Little Martok has puppy class once a week (though Ive been TRYING very hard to find a second class) but I always make sure he gets some kind of different outing every single day. Park, Playgrounds, Stores, Friends Houses and the list goes on. He's had a lot of successful playdates from machenster terries, to giant huskies, labs and even a super friendly chow mix. 

Taricha always gets some evening time too. I feel they each need their own space and their own time. Any dog does. I wouldn't want an annoying toddler barking at me and biting my ankles 24/7 either! As soon as this nasty bitter rainy weather clears up, Taricha and I will be on the trails!

By 8pm... which is kinda early. Both pups are again zonked. 
Which is quality dogpile time!

PS. Ohh I do work, mind you, from home, love it, which means my day pretty much revolves around the dogs right now and I work while they nap. Im over the puppy phase and wish he would grow up sometimes (only sometimes!) but I know one day I will look back and realize he wasnt a puppy long enough!

PPS. People who come thru my house in the evenings (a lot do, our roommate is a student)  mention how chill the pups are (after the initial 30 second buzz of "omg new people"). Whats the secret? They're tried. A tired dog is a HAPPY DOG!!!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Backpacking We Will Go!

The other day I mentioned we received a package. It was Taricha's new backpack and hiking leash. 

I would like to mention right away that the Ruffwear Roamer Leash is my absolute favorite new thing ever.

Taricha and I are walkers. Be it our neighborhood, our fine city or out in the middle of the woods. She sure seems to enjoy the woods more than anywhere else because this is where she starts to pull me around a bit. For the first 15min or so, Taricha pays great attention and is loose-leash but..... then finds a groove and tries to set a fast pace all the while trying to sniff things as she walks briefly. A normal flat 6' leash, this becomes a pain, constantly readjusting, holding, turning around, folding the leash. Hands free was not an option because of her brief sniffs, she'd step over the leash and then it starts to get tangled in legs and more readjustment is needed. If I wanted to take the time to treat every 10 steps she would walk in a heel but that is seriously no fun on a trail for either of us and often there isnt room. 

The roamer has changed it all! I think both of us felt some form of relief while on the trail. Less tension. I  attached the leash to my backpack and didn't really have to think about it the rest of the hike. Actually I thought about it a lot, I thought about how AWESOME it was to not adjust every two steps! Every move either of us made was slowly guided in or out by the bungee-ness of the leash. It never got tangled in legs, it just swang along in the air doing its thing. 

This is not a leash I would probably use on streets or parks, because I really dont have that much control. Taricha has nearly 12ft of free roam with when stretched out. Near the dog end of the leash is an extra loop to grab hold of incase of emergencies or if I need to help Taricha up an obstacle. Brilliant  The perfect hiking leash, I will never look back.


Then we have our new Ruffwear Approach Pack, size XL. Taricha has gone through a lot of backpacks over the years. All have their pros and cons but this backpack blows them all out of the water. Im turning into an advocate for Ruffwear because the quality has always been superb and they think of great little things that other packs don't. It is expensive, that's why it took me so long to 'invest' but I will say this now, so. worth. it.

But... anyways. This backpack still leans slightly to one side sometimes but every pack has done this on Taricha, maybe one leg is shorter than the other! This pack has room to spare, a great harness for her beefy shoulders to move in and good fit on the belly with padded straps. I looove the little tiny bungee-ness of every strap where it attaches to the pack, it allows for some freedomwhile still hanging tight.

The first day she had it on, Taricha managed to find a pile of animal poo in a thorn bush and proceeded to roll in it as I squeeled at her. I didnt care about her getting dirty, I didnt want the pack to rip! I could hear the thorns grabbing into fabric, I cringed! Thankfully.... not a single thread was out of place on her backpack! Some thorns were stuck in Taricha's hair, though....

I feel backpacking is important for Taricha. It does.... give her a job. I notice an extra glint in her eye when she's got one on and she's extra tired when we get home. I don't always make her carry a lot of weight, per say, just having something on her back does the mental trick. Another of our favorites is this backpack.

Oh jeeze another ruffwear product? Yeah! The Singletrak Pack. We used this alllll winter, when it was muddy or in the city. Its nice a nice pack because she can carry her own water but its small, light and easy to slip on and off.  We had to cut off the belly strap padding to adjust the straps to fit her correctly... even though this is the largest size pack. It didnt seem to effect her comfort at all. But. again, great quality. After almost a year of use it still has every thread in place. 

Taricha is a funny shaped dog, well, compared to most sporty dogs you'll see out on the trail. She has such a huge head, neck and shoulders (doesnt really come across in photos as well as you'd think) that most sizes of most packs dont fit in one place or another. Some failed packs are the following....

Homemade! Oh so long ago I made this for Taricha out of some old cargo pants. It was cute and fun while she was a puppy but she quickly grew out of it. If you'd like to see how your doggie thinks of a backpack, try something like this first even if it doesn't quite fit right... :)


The EzyDog Summit backpack! This is probably the worst pack we've tried. For it's average internet price of  $60 for a Large, I fully expected it to be better. The strange canvas fabric is stiff, noisy, like really noisy with every step noisy. The pockets are all Velcro and snaps (as opposed to most packs being zippers). While the chest harness is thick and padded... it doesn't make up for the saddlebags being huge, square and bulky. I do not recommend this item. 

This inexpensive pack was one of our favorites for two years. The Outward Hound Excursion Backpack is only $30 ish bucks for an XL but unfortunately, seems to have been discontinued? The only place online that seem to have this style anymore is Ebay. 

This pack only recently died on a hike from a seam rip and broken zipper. It served well while it lived! This pack never really attached very well around Taricha's chest but this gave her more freedom to move (this would be a better offleash area pack than ruffwear's bulkier harnesses). No matter how I adjusted the straps, the pack always kept the weight on her back (as opposed to shoulders where it should be...) so I never put more than a few water bottles in it. Still gave her a job and for the price, it's frigging awesome.

Spring is here and summer is coming... I cannot express how happy we are to start getting some real outdoors time again. Taricha is starting to carry real weight now as we train and prep for overnight hikes coming up soon.

When out backpacking it's important to remember common courtesy doggie rules. Most areas require a leash so stick to it! Wildlife doesn't appreciate being chased. Pick up all poo to keep things beautiful and water unpolluted!

Have you gotten outdoors with your dog lately? I mean more than just a walk around your block! Go sniff some poo and talk to some birds! Wear a backpack while you do it!