Friday, April 29, 2011

Why No Doggy Friendly Museums?

We were so excited. Mom and Dad said we were having a guest come to see us on this weekend. Then she told us the bad news. They are going to the Science Discovery Museum in Acton and we cannot go because no dogs are allowed. We hear this all the time and it does not seem to bother Mom and Dad. They constantly pick sites that exclude us. Can you believe it?

Mom did say there she will take us to the Whisker Walk in Lancaster which is something like a fair in June, but just when is June! It is tomorrow we want to be included in the activities. Dad reminded us we do go to concerts on the common in the summer every week with Grandma and Grandpa. That is cool. Summer is still a long time away. Dad promises we will play ball and Frisbee with our weekend guest. I guess that is the best we can have to look forward to this time.

There must be many activities to explore at one of these museum places. We could learn about the science involved with a dog Frisbee catch. We of course would want this to be paws on minds on project. We could visit an exhibit exploring the physics of squirrel chasing. Again, activity would be essential to the success of the exhibit. How about a room full of doggy puzzle toys? Mazes? The possibilities are endless. Mom is not very encouraging about this situation.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mom's Sick

We tried some of our best Sheltie nursing tricks yesterday, but Mom still went to bed saying her head hurt and she was too tired to stay awake. We tried all our best doggie remedies, cold noses to sooth her head, snuggling with her, the toy test to see how sick she was, poking her to check her breathing. Daddy said she was better this morning, but not to bother her.

We were prepared for a dull day when noises burst outside. Our friend is getting some work done on his fence and Mommy declared she could not sleep and so what Sheltie medicine could not accomplish a Lab fence did. Mommy is up!!!!

She does not seem nearly as excited as we are though.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Easter Bunny Brings Treats

I was highly suspicious when Bailey talked about a bunny that bought bones and toys. Bailey is not known for liking things that hop and jump. Why would a bunny bring him bones and toys? However, he says it has something to do with Easter and just to accept it and enjoy what comes.

Katy has to have an explanation for everything. Why question when a rawhide football and ball show up? Who else would bring a mini squirrel house that she can carry? Accept the gifts before the bunny changes his mind and gives them to someone else.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter with Shelties

Bailey is used to the craziness of holidays here, but Katy is slowly working through her first experiences with the changes that occur each time the dates occur.

The dogs were thrilled to get new bones and Katy finally has her own mini squirrel house puzzle toy. This quickly became a score point. One would grab the house, sit down, and chew on the bone. The other would then plot to steal the house. This continued for a good bit of Easter morning.

Katy was thrilled with a rawhide football. She quickly claimed this and took off with it. This is only the second item she has claimed and refused to yield to Bailey. I think it is a sign she is getting more confident.

Bailey was only interested in his rawhide baseball when Katy threatened to steal it. His focus was on the circle bones. He tried to eat one while covering the other one with his body. In many respects they do remind me of human siblings with the way they try to hoard the toys.

When guests arrived, Katy began her circle around our hallways that join our downstairs area. Bailey turned on his charm in an attempt to get as much attention as possible. Our neighbors were hosting Easter egg hunts, which had both dogs excited and wanting to participate. By the end of the night, Katy finally approached one of the younger relatives to her delight and finally allowed her access. Bailey was disgusted as he had worked the crowd all day and all Katy had to do to get attention was to ignore everyone.

I was pleased to see her make this breakthrough. It is the best she has done with family at the house. Sometimes it is easy to focus only on where she needs to go. This Easter reminded us of how far she has come.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

Mom has these amazing boxes with surprises in them. The other day she dug out these strangely shaped objects. Some of them squeak, one has a strange feel that I do not really like. Katy ran off with it and I had to prove she could not just take things from me.

Bailey has all these cool toys. All I wanted was one egg. He does not even like the egg and look he has to try to steal it. He is rather upset because I keep hiding it from him, but it is the only way to keep it for myself.

I finally have my egg and I am not giving it up.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dog Easter Eggs

Bailey has always collected many holiday toys. Since he has a large supply of regular toys, we always pack the seasonal ones away with the decorations. Katy has already enjoyed his Christmas toys and loving family members added to her stash as well.

As I was unpacking the Easter decorations in preparation for the holiday, I came across the Easter Eggs Bailey got last year. He has a set of three plush ones we picked up at a local pet store. I have not seen them in Petco or Petsmart this year when I was out shopping for Easter goodies. Bailey loves these because they squeak loudly. The other Easter Egg is one I made after writing an article about knitted and crochet toys for dogs for my craft blog. I realized I had never made any toys for Bailey. I used the same Crochet Easter Egg pattern I used for the kids. The eggs are made with cotton dishcloth yarn and I substituted recycled clean old socks for traditional stuffing.

Bailey had no interest in the crochet egg last year. He loved the squeaky ones. This year as I unpacked the boxes and took out the eggs, Bailey predictably was thrilled to discover his old favorite plush eggs. Katy however took off with the crocheted egg. The squeaky eggs held no interest. I am not sure if it is the size or the texture. Squeaky toys are generally a favorite.

The crochet egg has become important enough that she has taken to hiding it in her crate so Bailey does not steal it from her. She has never done this with another toy. While Bailey is not interested in the egg, he does enjoy teasing her by taking it. It looks like when I make my crocheted eggs for the kids next year I will need to add a few for Katy as well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bailey Demonstrates His Frisbee Skills

Katy has it all wrong. I work hard at my skills and I have tried to help her develop her talents, too. It is not my fault, she is afraid of being hit by balls and Frisbees. I have certainly taken my share of missed catches hitting me.

Mom and Dad never bought me specialized balls and Frisbees. They won't let me even play with Katy's special toys. She is allowed to grab mine, though.

I am glad she has learned to play catch with the ball. It has made playing outdoors more fun. If she can catch a Frisbee, it will be even more fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Katy Learns to Play Frisbee

Let's face it Bailey is the show off in the family. While I can run faster, he jumps higher and manages to catch balls and Frisbees high in the air.

I am not crazy about these objects flying at my head. He leaps up like without any hesitation. Mom and Dad seemed convinced this Frisbee thing is important. They even bought me a smaller frisbee so it would be easier for me to catch it. This one is softer, more jelly like than Bailey's Frisbee.

Bailey tried to teach me to pick up the Frisbee. Then he started stealing my Frisbee when I did not grab it fast enough.

I am still not sure why this Frisbee thing is so important, but I am working on learning. Bailey is not going to get all the attention.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Patriots Day!

We welcome you to Patriots Day in Massachusetts. No, this is not a celebration of our favorite football team. However, Mom says it has historical significance. She wrote an entry on her education blog if you want to learn more. To Shelties historical celebrations usually means loud and scary noises. Thankfully, most of this holiday's celebrations are not near our home so we do not hear the muskets as we do on the July 4th and Labor Day.

Instead, we look forward to a day spent with Dad playing outdoors and having extra walks. Then we get to watch an afternoon Red Sox game and the Boston Marathon. Katy has never seen a Marathon so she is not sure it will be very exciting. I love watching people run. I just think we should be allowed to run, too. It would be fun.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Camera Strikes Again

"Katy, what was that sound?"

"Hey, where did that camera come from?"

Are we not entitled to any privacy? This is exhausting. We have got to find them something else to keep them entertained.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

I thought we should get Dad a nice juicy bone. After all a bone is such a wonderful gift, you can enjoy for days. Dad could use something to relax with after playing with Bailey and I when he comes home from work.

Katy has it all wrong. Dad does not need to relax. He needs more toys to play with us. Who needs Wii Fit when you have Shelties? Dad needs more toys, balls, squeaky toys, and other things to keep him entertaining, I mean exercising with us.

Mom said we did not need to buy you anything Dad. Therefore, we send you lots of doggy kisses and wishes for a Happy Birthday. We Love You.

-Bailey & Katy

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tasty Paws Excursion

There is a right way and a wrong way to eat doggy ice cream. Bailey was introduced to doggy ice cream at play group as a puppy. During the summer we give it to him as an occcasional treat.

Bailey demonstrates the appropriate method of eating doggy ice cream.

Katy's reaction was unexpected.

Like Bailey she received her ice cream in a dish. For some reason she grabbed the chunk of ice cream and ran under the kitchen table. She resisted all urges to come out and eat the ice cream from the bowl. Eventually we moved her ice cream outside and she was happy to eat the ice cream on the porch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The First Spring Walk of the Season

Bailey and my husband used to walk year round at least once daily. Since Katy has joined us the walks have dropped off. Katy needs leash practice and Bailey has hated leaving Katy behind.

Katy has walking outings with her friends during playgroup. However, my husband and I have only taken her to the Vet and for a few shopping trips to Petco and Petsmart. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Katy is not thrilled with shopping. We have determined Katy would be an Internet shopper if given the choice. While she likes getting bones and toys, the shopping experience is not one she enjoys. Bailey enjoys getting out, meeting people, and getting to see all the products available.

Katy loves playing in the backyard. She has speed and turns Bailey has never had. Watching her get up to speed and cut her turns sharply is amazing to watch. We have not been concerned about her getting enough exercise. However, we would like her to be leash trained and more comfortable in public.

Saturday the weather was warmer and after an afternoon of yard work, my husband decided to take the two of them for a walk. Bailey was thrilled. He loves the exercise and social aspects of a neighborhood walk. Katy enjoyed the time with my husband, but she was overwhelmed by experience. While she walked, she pressed close to my husband the entire trip.

Our hope is if the weather stays nice, there will be more opportunities for her and Bailey to get out and practice walking together. She has learned to enjoy experiences that previously terrified her. My hope is that being in public will be one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dog Names

When you get a puppy, naming a dog is generally the choice of the owner. Everyone has a different approach to naming and teaching the dog to respond to the name.

When you bring home a rescue dog, deciding to keep or change the name is a different issue. Bailey was a puppy when we got him, but he already responded to his name. At the time, we did not think much about the name. We have since learned it is a name given to both males and females. However, it does appear that the name is more commonly used as a female than male name. It is also a very common Sheltie name. I find many Sheltie owners with Baileys. Since Bailey responded to his name and we had no issues with the name, we chose to keep it.

Katy had a much longer name that she refused to answer to when we met her at her foster home. The only word she responded to was "cookie" and it was becoming her default name. I will not offend anyone by discussing her given name. I just found it too long and awkward for a dog that at two clearly did not recognize the name as hers. After talking to the foster Mom, we decided to look for hard "C" names that would trigger the response cookie did without naming her cookie. We went through a list of short hard "C" names and Katy was the one that drew the most response.

It amazes me what time and attention can do for a smart Sheltie. I suspect she did not hear her name much in the two years prior to arriving at her foster home. However, she quickly learned to respond to her new name when we brought her home and used it frequently. She had no problem distinguishing between her name and Bailey's name. Her resilience continues to amaze me.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Disappointed Red Sox Fans

Bailey and Katy love watching sports with my husband. As the Red Sox season opened, they eagerly found their spots to watch the games. Bailey settles on the couch on his Patriots blanket. Katy watches from the front of the couch.

They actually do seem to be focused on the game. However, I think their excitement is primarily based on how happy or frustrated my husband is with the state of the game. The opening of the season has not been a happy one for the dogs. They are hoping the Yankees series will change the pace of the game.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Pills

Growing up giving the dogs pills was as much punishment for the owner as the dog. The dogs were as creative at hiding the pills we thought they had swallowed as we were at hiding the food we hated from our parents.

When we took Bailey to the vet, she introduced us to a simple method for giving pills, peanut butter. Bailey and now Katy both love peanut butter. We smear a little on the pill and they think they are being spoiled rotten. We keep a separate jar and brand of peanut butter to avoid any chance of cross contamination between dog medication and human consumption of peanut butter. This was a personal choice.

The little things make life easier.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Signs of Spring

Our weather has been crazy, but the perennials have been pushing forward with their efforts to claim spring. Bailey and Katy are going to have to get used to new boundaries. I noticed Bailey napping in a sunny spot yesterday. It just happened to be one of my flower gardens. Katy and Bailey have been using the back vegetable gardens as highways in their squirrel hunts. We are going to have to work on establishing boundaries.

I hate to resort to fencing. In the past, Bailey has been trainable. We will have to see if the two of them can learn to respect the gardens.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sheltie Ice Cubes

Thankfully, the snow melted fairly quickly over the weekend with some warm sunny weekend weather. Bailey and Katy insisted on playing with Bailey's new outdoor birthday toys.

Since his puppy days, Bailey has always had a challenge staying hydrated. Katy has no problem diving into the water bowl. The woman that runs their doggy daycare gave us a hint that works well for Bailey, ice cubes. For some reason Bailey loves ice cubes. We take them outside, place them on the porch and Bailey treats them like cold bones. He considers them a great challenge. Since it was warm last weekend, it seemed like a great time to introduce Katy to the tradition. Bailey dived into the ice cube pile. Katy touched one cautiously and then turned up her princess snout at the idea of an ice bone. Bailey looked at her as if she was missing a steak dinner. We tried convincing her to try one, but she refused. Bailey cleaned up the pile without any help.

It is good to know Bailey's summer hydration trick still works. It will be interesting to see if Katy's competitive nature gets her engaged in trying the treat.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Snow Angels Attack Katy

We used to joke about snow angels throwing snowballs at us from the trees when I was a child. When we walked home from school, there were large trees that would drop snow on us as they shed snow. We would laugh when another snow angel attacked us.

As you can see from this older winter picture, we have trees in our backyard that are perfect for snow angel attacks. Bailey has learned to be wary, but Katy was under full assault after the April Fool's storm. She was convinced it must be a squirrel or bird attack. Nothing Bailey did would convince her that all she need do was move from underneath the tree to avoid the attack.

Bailey finally gave up and snacked on his snow cookies. Katy is starting to rethink this snow-whispering thing. We may have her ready for spring.