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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy 2012!

2011 went so fast! People say time does that as you get older...
Practiced clean habits.
Enjoyed the beach.

Made new friends.
Took time to smell the roses.

Enjoyed doing things I love with people who are fun to be with..

Always remembered my old friends.

Visited some interesting places with interesting people.
Enjoyed myself wherever I was.
Made sure to get plenty of rest.
Never took myself too seriously.

Welcomed new family members!
Saw some strange sights.

And had a great time celebrating the holidays!
Hope your year was as much fun. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours!

I'm all dressed up in my jingle bell collar - can you see one bell peeking out from my fur? Hope this Christmas each of you is able to find a way to grant a special wish for someone you love.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Book About A Puppy

This is Archie, when he came to join our family almost 9 years ago.

Since this is gift giving time, I thought I might take up more space than usual to recommend a book - especially for people who might be thinking about giving/getting a pet.

First, I was not sure I would like “The Puppy Diaries - Raising a Dog named Scout.” Since it was written by Jill Abramson, a managing editor of The New York Times, I figured it might be a little snooty for my tastes, but I liked her writing style - not the least bit uppity.

She tells the trials of a New Yorker raising her British Standard Golden Retriever. (British Standards are more cream colored than the reddish gold more used associated with the breed.) Whether you live in the country or city, any pet owner, but especially a puppy owner, can relate to the trials that she goes through incorporating Scout into her life style.

She takes a few jabs at Cesar Millan throughout the book but by the end, her conclusion was the same as I have - dogs need different training/behavior methods at different times in their lives. Any one who has a dog as part of their family knows the dog is not a stagnant being and behaviors change, for better or worse. It’s up to the thinking members of the family to come up with what will work for their dog at that particular time.

Jill is not the first person to be put-off by Cesar’s methods but I always wonder if the people who knock him are watching/reading the same information as me. He is never mean or hurtful to dogs. When you see him on TV with his pack, there is no doubt - those dogs love him. I think dogs know what they like and they like Cesar. In case you haven’t noticed, I like Cesar (on TV anyway), too.

What I really like about this book, though, doesn’t sugar coat anything. She told about the problems she had with her pup, even those that were grounded in her own insecurities. Scout was not a “Marley,” but she did misbehave once in awhile and had some real issues Jill had to address.

Which is why, if you are thinking about getting a dog or know someone who is, read this book first. I think too many dogs end up in shelters because the families think it’s going to be like a Disney cartoon once they get their pet home. Puppies need training, love and to be a part of the pack. For most of them, that means they need to live inside the house with their humans. If you aren’t willing to put up with the changes a pet will make in your routine or the responsibility a pet entails, please just leave that cute puppy in the window. If you are thinking of giving a pet as a gift, make sure the intended “receivers” are also aware of the changes this gift will make in their lives.

If you do feel you are ready to include a canine member in your family, and especially if you are thinking about a puppy, take the time to read Ms. Abramson’s book. After reading it, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go...

This week we decided to visit family in Springville.

We park outside Aunt Lisa & Uncle Henry's house. They have a new dog, Shorty. He is so little, I thought he was a toy. Then he started moving around - he was very fast.

The nice thing about traveling RV style, I have a place of my own for pets and people to meet me. Shorty and I got along, even though he's real little. We had fun together, until he got a 'Frosty Paw' (dog ice cream - D). He was not into sharing.

In Springville, sometimes you can walk around without a leash! I went exploring and came across some strange animals. Were they huge dogs? Little horses? What were they?
I'm not sure they knew what to think of me, either.

This is my friend, Ella. We've met before. She lives across the street from where we park the motor home. She usually takes a little time to remember me but, finally, she does and then we have some nice walks.

Grandma and Grandpa live nearby. I can't go to their house because their dogs are not into socializing. Grandma and Grandpa always come to see me, though. I think Grandpa is more of a dog person, but I can tell I am winning Grandma over.

Grandma & Grandpa watching TV with Mike
Have a tail-wagging week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Happy Place

Guess where I went last week?  Disneyland! Of course, I don’t really get to see too much of it - parking lot, tram ride, ticket area, kennel.

There were other dogs on board the tram, too - “working” dogs. Sometimes I think I should get a vest but since I don’t go to the bathroom "on command" and I am rather excited when anyone acts interested in me, people would probably realize I was faking it.

So, to the kennels I go after walking through crowds of people, which is fun because everyone notices me and I get lots of attention - I like that part. But we didn’t want to waste too much time - kennel cages are first come, first served - no reservations! Get there late and you might get stuck in a little cage. After I got mine, there was only one other big one left. We got there early (The kennels open ½ hour before the park. -D) but they seem to be more accomodations for little dogs than big ones.

My paper work filled out, my shot record studied (Be sure to bring up-to-date proof of vaccines. No proof and the dog does not get in - NO EXCEPTIONS! - D) and I was shown to my clean cage. I had my blanket, treats and a couple of toys with me, so I was set. A bowl for food and water was provided and the Disney crew did a good job of making sure I always had something to drink and came by to say hello.

My kennel-mates were nice and well-mannered as we waited for our people to come back to walk us from time to time. The walking area isn’t really all that big but Mike and Dana could throw my ball for me to chase after.

The only scary part - Disney’s grand fire works. Mike came back to the kennels just as they were going off but some of my canine buddies were not so lucky - they were alone and shook.

I went back for a second day. I was pretty excited about seeing friends I’d made the day before. I got more attention as we rode the tram and then I pulled Mike through the ticket area to the kennel pretty fast - something you know I don't do very often. You would think I was going to visit old friends - maybe I was.

We all had a great time at Disneyland/California Adventure but was it crowded! Schools were out, which explains why there were times, if we had fallen over, we wouldn't have to worry about hitting the ground. Still, it’d been a few years since our last visit and, except for the disappointment over Pirates being closed for refurbishing, it was still a magical place.